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Learn more about Ubik’s debut EP “Solace”!

Below is your opportunity to learn more about the French punk rock solo project Ubik created by Tom Panier, who’s also known for being the bass player of the punk rock band Bare Teeth. In this interview, we’re talking, among other things, about his debut EP “Solace” and the messages he wanted to convey through this release!

Picture by Titouan Andritsos & Romain Gosse

Hello Ubik, thanks for your time. Would it be please possible to introduce your project to our readers?

Sure thing! Ubik is a solo punk rock project. It was born in 2019 as a way for me to release songs which really mattered to me and didn’t quite fit Bare Teeth, the band I was already a part of as a bass player and vocalist. It is centered around the idea of inducing thought among its listeners: the name is borrowed from a novel written by Philip K. Dick, a science-fiction author whose work has always revolved around questioning the very essence of reality, and a long-time favourite of mine.

How would you personally describe your local punk rock scene?

To my knowledge, the punk rock scene in Lille is much more focused on hardcore punk than melodic stuff. It’s a world I’m not quite familiar with, even though I also enjoy this kind of stuff. I don’t really know any skate punk-ish band beyond Bare Teeth in the area. Lately though, my friend Jérôme has gotten into promoting and has brought great bands to play in the city (Belvedere, Adrenalized, Pmx, Useless ID, Chaser…) so that might change!

You’ve just released your debut EP, “Solace”. How long have you worked on it?

It’s been about three years, I believe. I’m not the most productive person in the world, but I’m still proud I went through with it.

Was it important for you to write songs in English instead of French?

I honestly don’t believe French is a good language to sing in, it’s very flat because it doesn’t incorporate stressed syllables, the vowels are higher, etc. It’s technically harder (check out classical singing in French, like Lakmé’s Flower Duet: the words are really distorted make them singable, which wouldn’t be the case with e.g. Italian) and just doesn’t sound as good as English for rock music. Beyond that, I wanted my lyrics to be understandable by as many people as possible, and practically today that means using English. Finally, at a more personal level, it’s a language I love speaking, and usually find more relevant to convey what I want to say.

How would you describe your usual writing process?

I don’t believe creativity responds well to schedules, at least it doesn’t for me. I make people around me laugh because I’m always taking out my phone to write down ideas to use later, and I keep an acoustic guitar next to my bed because sometimes I’ll hear music in my dreams and then wake up at 4 AM and need to jot it down not to forget it. Some songs I’ll write progressively, step by step, over the course of a few years, others I’ll pretty much craft start to finish in a single sitting, with full vocals and all instruments. It really depends. I don’t really have a process, I just do it when it happens.

Your EP was released digitally. Can we expect a physical release anytime soon?

Most definitely! I’m actually working with you guys (Distrolution Merch) for this. I’ve ordered a small batch of CDs, which I’ll be selling around directly. I have also struck a deal with Fast Decade Records over in Finland for a few copies. Like the digital release, all sales money from the CDs will be donated to UNHCR to support refugees around the world.

The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey, here’s your chance!

As I mentioned earlier, I believe now is a good time for all of us to take a step back to think about the world around us and our place in it. At a time of impending climatic catastrophe, ignored by a ruling class focused on sustaining a failing economic system regardless of the cost to ensure their own immediate benefit, which in turn pushes people away from one another and makes far-right ideology come back stronger than ever since the second world war, we really need to be standing together now and making sure the sun dawns upon a more sustainable and empathetic society. It’s more easier said than done, but there is no time like the present to get started!

About Valentine

I've been writing for various music websites since 2011 and joined Distrolution in 2017. Huge fan of pop punk and punk rock music.

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