French trio Pink Noise Party formulate quirky pop for the dance floor, for fans of the likes Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. This November is set to see the release of Pink Noise Party’s elevating new single ‘End Of Summer,’ and with two former physicists behind the groups infectious track, Gigslutz ask how science transcends into contagious pop music…
Pink Noise Party have coined their own genre ‘Quantum Electro Rock’, could you elaborate on what this genre entails? How would the group further describe their sound?
One of the ground principle of quantum physics is the famous Uncertainty Principle by Heisenberg. Basically, it tells you that you can never really know where things are located, especially if you want to know how fast they’re going. It’s a bit as if quantum objects were blurred, and their future could never be perfectly predicted. But we don’t really care! And this is probably how we also envision our music: somehow by blurring boundaries between genres, sound, textures and melodies we accept that things remain uncertain, incompletely defined, metaphoric, with several interpretations being equally acceptable. Why should we have to provide a unique interpretation to things? Surely this would be very sad, and certainly not very enlightening!
Your music has been described as “like Kate Bush circa The Red Shoes sharing a cocktail and a sunset with Damon Albarn in his Gorillaz suit”, but what artists would Pink Noise Party themselves liken their music to?
That’s a beautiful description! Now, it’s always daunting and somewhat disconcerting to try and define your own music. Though Blur would probably match… Some of our fans say it sounds a little bit betwixt Arcade Fire and Metronomy… No clue!
Which artists do Pink Noise Party take their quirky dance-floor pop sounds from? Who has musically influenced the trio’s sound the most?
We love our own quirkiness haha! OK, joking apart, we’ve had a time back in 2011 when we first all met when we’d listen a lot to those so-called dance-punk bands – LCD Soundsystem, Late Of The Pier, Van She or Presets (there are loads of amazing Australian bands belonging in this scene for that matter), and then later on to Phoenix, M83, Metronomy, Hot Chip and all those related acts. We were quite happy to see indie pop somewhat connecting to the clubbing subculture, because we really love dancing and the energy it gives to you. One thing which is probably specific to our band is that the three of us really have disjoint “historic” influences, ranging for instance from 80s new wave bands for Joy, to the early Pink Floyd era for Sebastian (in addition he’s also a former jazz drummer), to nineteenth century classical music for me (I’m a former symphonic orchestra violinist). So, all this creates an amazing mixture (Did I say “quantum”?!).
I believe the enthusing pop group includes two physicists. How do Pink Noise Party inject or transform their scientific knowledge into music?
Probably because we’ve a background in physics and we know how science can be demanding, we also know you can’t really ‘pretend’ when you’re doing science in a laboratory – you can’t fake it, you’re somewhat accountable to ‘reality’ because what you find, invent or design, your results, your experiment, it all must somehow ‘fit’ in the real world. I guess the opposite is exactly what defines art, right? So, we’re probably trying to inject into music everything that is forbidden by science and rationality! Our music is a modest project that aims at (re)poeticizing the world.
I hear the group has invented their own musical machines named ‘Quantum Gimmick Generators’. How do these instruments influence Pink Noise Party’s sound? How do these interesting sounding machines come to play in the band?
Yeah, we happen to cherish Q2G’s like our own children! Incidentally, this is the very example of what we said just above. Because, as it turns out, Random Number Generators based on quantum physics have existed for a long time, but scientists use them mostly for ciphering purpose, like encrypting sensitive data or communications. So, at some point, we realized we just had to divert these quantum devices from their primary function so that they’d produce melodies instead of just stupidly crunch numbers… Well, we’ve had enough numbers on earth now, haven’t we? (ever thought about all those ghost numbers haunting the nights of traders, accountants and Excel spreadsheets experts?). And those quantum machines ain’t just mere random number generators, they actually generate numbers by listening to the quantum vibrations of the Universe. It’s a bit as if you had waves spreading through the Universe, and these devices would literally feel them and produce a series of musical notes from them. Poorly inspired tonight and a song to write for tomorrow morning? Well, just use a Q2G! Quantum is the new classical. Definitely.
Pink Noise Party’s new single ‘End Of Summer’ is soon to be released – for those yet to hear the track, how would the group describe the single?
It’s probably chilly, disco and sensual at the same time, and you’ll really want to dance to it! Somehow a romance is coming to an end, but what comes after may very well be even more enlightening.
That’s the thing we love about music: it can be sad, but still you feel you wanna dance on it. Somebody says it’s been like this since J.S. Bach, right?
What do Pink Noise Party hate the most about summer ending and moving into colder autumn months?
Don’t think we hate it! We actually just hate what it’s like when you live in Paris! We’d probably have a different take on this, should we live in Corsica or Sicilia for that matter.
‘End Of Summer’ is said to use the metaphor of foreboding autumn for the end of a romance. Who is behind Pink Noise Party’s relatable lyrics? What inspired the writer to compare an ending love to an ending season?
We’re used to writing lyrics in turn, and I wrote these ones. Syd’s more into philosophical lyrics and I’m really more into emotional ones. But metaphors are paramount in our lyrics. Like an ending love, Autumn is THE season where things flow back to earth, get somehow “recycled”, digested and shared afresh amongst humans, and contribute to re-energize our world and make it more stimulating and enlightening… Not that we particularly fancy this harsh period of time you’ve to face when a romance comes to an end, but if it came to an end, surely there was a reason for this… Back to square one, but not exactly. You always learn from love. Always.
Huge thanks to Pink Noise Party for answering our questions!
‘End Of Summer’ is released 6 November.