With over 500 concerts, ‘Kwak', the French pop-rock band talks about their music and what sets them apart
“Kwak is the sound of a wrong note, it can also mean, something absurd and something bad…” says Julien Joubert, lead guitarist of the French Pop and Rock band, Kwak.
The band meant the name of their band to be ironic. Damien Tartamella, on the vocals and harp clarifies that the music they make is not bad, but they wanted the name to signify something surprising and something unusual.
“We build strange and weird characters into our songs to show a sympathetic view, some of songs are from the point of view of taxidermist, while some are about murder and violence,” says Damien, while Julien shoots a sharp look, “It's not like only murder and violence are our prime subjects!” he laughs.
Kwak is into rock energy, setting lyrics to electric music. The band plays a synthesis of Rock and Chanson— traditional French music.
Damien believes that there is no limiting style and they are happy to experiment between genres. “We listen to a lot of different music and that in turn influences and reflects on our personal style…” says Julien.
In terms of influences, Kwak draws from reggae, ska, rock, celtic and blues. What comes first? Lyrics or the tune, Julien jumps to say that Damien writes all the lyrics. Together they claim that there is no set pattern to their music-making. “Sometimes, it's the tune, sometimes it's the lyrics. As a group we jam a lot and there is a healthy exchange of ideas amongst us, so we pick up one good idea and work on it together,” Julien adds.
On their fourth tour to India, Kwak has taken the stage by storm.
The band was in Ahmedabad recently where they created a performance piece with Indian classical dance group, Kadamb.
The band has heard quite a bit of Indian classical music and hopes to use it in their forthcoming albums. “Fusion music is quite a rage in Europe, but as Kwak we stick to the pop-rock genre. It's more about lighting the stage of fire for us.
Damien uses poetry in his lyrics. “Literature is close-knit in our country and is very present. Most of the times, the songs reflect my inner-most feelings,” says Damien.
Julien points that Damien uses a lot of metaphors in his music and the characters illustrate the feelings. “But apart from all that, we sing mostly because we love singing, jumping, screaming and having fun on the stage,” says Julien.
Kwak, as Damien and Julien sum it up, is a wrong note or the rebel within all of us, it could be anything depending on the situation— rage against the system, or society or even love.
The band played in the city recently.