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INFORMATION Avec Sans play the Waterfront Studio on 25th June with support from local acts Mullally, Phoebe Robinson and Abigail Blake . Tickets available from Read this interview in full over at outline


If electro pop plus cutting edge technology are your bag, do not hesitate to catch London duo Avec Sans when they visit the Waterfront this month. Alice and Jack create banging hooks and sweet melodies of the highest order and their new album is just about to drop. I spoke to Alice about meeting Michael Stipe at SXSW, their cover of Perth by Bon Iver and wearing free leather.

You’re called Avec Sans, which means ‘with without’ in French. How did you come up with the name and what does it represent about the band? We wanted to get to the crux of what songs are usually about and this fitted as it felt like most tracks are essentially about the presence or absence of something important. Alice, you’re from Manchester, Jack from Trinidad; how did you meet and get the band together? Jack grew up in the UK from about the age of 11. He and I met at a Death Cab for Cutie show in London and totally hit it off. We both wanted a new musical project and started with a cover of Bon Iver's Perth. Ten moved to London so we could be a band. Perth hit the top slot on Hype Machine. Did you expect such a massive reaction to it? Within hours of it going online we had show offers and emails from major labels and thought that was probably a sign we should become a band! It would have been entirely unrealistic to expect that reaction, but it really meant we had to work our backsides off to get it

together. Your new album is out this month – what can we expect from it? Tere will be 13 tracks of bittersweet electro pop. You played SXSW recently; how did that go? As music fans you grow up with an idea of this mystical American festival, that every band who ever succeeds has played on their way up. Tey'd been talking to us about going the previous year but we couldn't pull it together, we were worried we might not get to go again. So it was amazing that this year we managed to get out there. We took some friends along and had an incredible time going from show to show all week. I understand you met Michael Stipe there – how was he? Michael was really lovely! He

“Michael Stipe let me take a selfie!”

asked about us and what we were doing out there and let me take a selfie. I grew up really loving his band. You’re off out to support Ladyhawke in June on her tour. How are you feeling about it? So excited! We've been in the studio for so long that we're delighted to be getting outside and on the road. It's a total honour to be supporting Ladyhawke, I remember listening to her stuff when I first started thinking about making electronic music, so this is unreal. When you play live Jack uses Novation launchpads used in tandem. Can you explain what these launchpads are to the uneducated please? Ha ha! Tis is something we get asked at every show. Essentially Jack hacked the lights on a tool that is designed to trigger samples for DJs and he programmed them so that he could play them like synths or keyboards. So live, they flash light patterns and they're also being played as an instrument in a way you probably won't see many people doing. Jack is such a geek in the best possible way. I have to really bring it

performance wise to compete with all of that!! You’ve been named band of the year by Dolce & Gabbana & were Track of the Day on Do you get free clobber from fashion designers these days? We've been given loads of lovely things, mainly from the people we already wear regularly as we're not into doing things for the wrong reasons. So new Scottish designer Mairi McDonald has leant me some of her gorgeous black leather numbers and we've had an amazing time with Cheap Monday and Monki, both sleek Scandi brands who we love. What’s the vibe going to be like at the Avec Sans show in Norwich? I think it will be a love in. Everything is being done with love. Alphabet Bands blog are hosting and Adam who runs it has put us together with some incredible young local acts. It will be a feast of future talent and we can't wait to meet the other acts.

Lizz Page / June 2016 / 37

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