Shrill is a rock band hailing from Vannes, France. The guys started playing in 1999 but unfortunately parted ways after a few years. They’re now back with their debut record “Private Custom” and more than happy to share their story with us! Check out the interview I did with Tristan (guitar and vocals) below.
Hello Shrill, thanks for taking time to answer a few questions for Distrolution. Could you please tell us who’s in your band and about how your band first formed? The band members are Franck (bass), Gweltaz (vocals), Jean-Pierre (guitar), Romain (drums) and me (guitar and vocals). Growing up my parents had acoustic guitars, I played a bit. Around seventeen, hanging around with Jean-Pierre, who also played, pushed me to improve. I still remember the time he played in front of me the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ intro on his white strat. As a beginner, hearing that really sealed my vocation as a guitarist. We continued to play and improve together. Then, other friends joined in and we joined other friends until we were a rock band capable of playing live and writing songs, around 1999.
Your biggest dream as a band was, when you started it, to release your album. At the time, most of the recording and writing process was done. What did you feel when the band dissolved, without being able to release this record? The band kind of dissolved gradually (studies, work…) but without the album, the whole experience felt incomplete. I always thought we should finish it one day because I knew we had something interesting on our hands. Only last year, after hearing some friends cover one of our songs did I resume the work in order to finally release the album. It was more work than I thought! During a year, I worked on finishing the recordings (most of the vocals, a few guitars). Learned mixing and mastering fundamentals, and Jean-Pierre helped with the final adjustments.
You’re now back 20 years after the creation of the band. How was it like, finally releasing this record? Bands that come together, play for a while, stop, there’s a lot of them. But to unbury stuff from twenty years ago, finish and release it, that’s less common! I think the album sounds the way we would have done it at the time, very direct sounds, with little to no effects. Surely with professional people and equipment you could get much better technical quality. But I had a lot of time to get what we wanted and we’re quite satisfied with the result. I don’t know if people will like the record but I’m really happy that it’s here, now. It definitely was worth the efforts.
Speaking of this release. Which one is your personal favorite track and why? If there was only one for me it would be ‘The Walker’ which closes the album. There is a lot of dramatic intensity that builds up all the way to the end. The lead guitar that goes up while the heavy rhythm goes down the neck, I really like the sound we got for that. That’s not how we recorded it at the time, that came from how we played it live. The kind of thing you come up with after you think the song is already done. Remembering that, that is the intensity I wanted to achieve when rerecording parts. I could also say ‘Great Paradise’ with the over-the-top epicness or ‘Broken Dreams’ for raw emotion or ‘Interlude’ for the explosive energy.
Apart from the release of your debut album, what else can we expect from Shrill in 2018? A tour, maybe? We haven’t been touring for quite some time, we are already very happy with finally releasing the album. If we can get people to listen to it maybe it will drive us to play these songs again, to play live again. The initial idea was more about finishing something than starting something else, so it’s hard to know where this might go. We still have some songs stored away and a couple left off the album at the time were mostly recorded too. We could work toward a new release soon.
Thanks for your time, Tristan!