The three musicians started from scratch and gradually sketched out the bones of their future album on computers, using samples, vocal scraps and ideas for tunes. "Whereas Miracle was created really fast and live, Psalms and Revolution took us over a year to build up behind closed doors," explained Arnaud, the band’s guitarist. The result is something of a return to their roots, with the reappearance of old-fashioned drum and bass loops, now a new-found staple of La Phaze music. "Drum and bass is back in underground music," explained Damny. "The style is increasingly connected to other types of music, like rock. That’s exactly what our approach is about: moving towards fusing genres and away from archetypes."
Fewer sermons, more music
Not easy, then, to find an equivalent of hard-hitting tracks like La Cause or Miracle. Fans will even come across some very unlikely themes, like Temps de chien, which contains the album’s most striking lyrics, on the topic of pregnancy denial. "It was at the time of the Courjault affair (a woman who hid her pregnancies and deep froze her new-born foetuses, ed’s note)," reminisced Damny. "I have always been fascinated by those people who maintain a social veneer but keep a terrible secret inside, and all the suffering that they must live through by hiding it from themselves and others. It really got me thinking." The overall impression of the album is that images have replaced slogans, epitomized by the symbolist artwork that decorates the cover that was produced by a young photographer and graphic designer, Hamzat.
Fed up of labels
The same goes for the anti-globalization movement. The three musicians admit their commitment (like the Colère Noire, or black anger, operation to support victims of the Erika oil spill on the Breton coastline in 1999), but refuse to be pigeonholed. "For me, the term “anti-globalization" doesn’t mean anything," complained Arnaud. "We got given that label when we took part in the Larzac Plateau Festival (an anti-globalization gathering initiated in 2003 by the radical French figure José Bové, ed’s note). Today we’re more interested in small local initiatives. Joining Greenpeace isn’t as important to us as it was." Instead of giving sermons, La Phaze has gone back to creating music for dancing, and their forthcoming tour will show whether they have hit the mark.
Translation : Anne-Marie Harper