Ulysse. Behind that epic name promising an odyssey, there’s a mind trip. A trio of youths from Liege who found their home in Brussels. Aged only 24, they’ve already launched two EPs: U and Cashmere Guns. I like Arnaud’s deep voice, Ben’s determined vibe and Julien’s authenticity. The original sounds they mix, the ambiance they create through their songs. Cashmere guns is a little jewel and deserves to be looped hours on end. If you haven’t listened to them yet, click on one of the songs at the bottom of the page. I met them for a drink at Botanique and enjoyed hearing the chat and their story. Read their INTERVIEW below.
Tell us a word about your epic name.
There’s no epic story behind it, really. We just loved its simplicity, sound and meaning.
How would you describe your music?
We try not be confined with tags. Our music is a blend of different genres. To many, Electronic music is what comes to mind, and there’s a lot of truth in that. There’s pop, too. We try to make it surprising.
How does your creative process usually work?
Someone starts with a beat, a guitar riff, some chords and then we try to work together, collecting layers and creating a structure. One of the hardest things in our process comes from the fact that ze don’t have instruments in the classic sense of a band. We all have our synths and you could even say that each of us can do the whole song alone. We sometimes even switch places on stage.
What fuels your inspiration?
We used to have a lot of free time. We fooled around and tried things non-stop. Even if it was really lame. Among the mass, we found stuff we liked enough to work on. Now, the biggest inspiration we have are bands that innovate using unconventional sounds coming from other spheres. A flute. An echo. Maybe a fresh synth. What you find in cashmere guns reflects that quest.
When it comes to music: who blows your mind from the Belgian scene?
We listen to genres that are really different from our music. A lot of hip hop for example. We think BRNS and Balthazar are great. And in the electro scene, mostly Flemmish bands.
I’m loving your last EP Cashmere Guns. And the eponym song features a beautiful oxymoronic image. Tell us about it.
The combination of words began as a way to describe our music. Cashmere reflected the soft silky side of our music and guns, the beat, the tempo. We began writing around it. The dark side around the pop.
What about the cover art?
It comes from a young Belgian artist called Julien Kartheuser from Liege. (Ben) used to be his scout leader and he was so talented! He draws, makes photography and video. The cover comes from a texture photography he did and we added the green.
Sometimes we get lazy. We get too comfortable. It’s hard to develop the project while doing other stuff on the side. There are no regrets, really. Rather a wish to dedicate ourselves fully to our music.
What’s next for you?
We just launched the 2nd EP so we’re still pushing it. We may start working on a LP but that would require us finding a great team to work alongside us. We can do a lot on our own but for an LP we would need more structure. A label. People who believe in us, who are motivated and whom we can trust.
Are you Brussels lovers? Name a rad place.
It’s been our home for 6 years now. Even most our friends from Liege are here. Our home studio is a pretty rad place! Saint-Gilles is a great spot. We go to Flagey pretty often. La Mer à boire. Ebrius…
So….Brusselsprouts…. How do you have yours?
Steamed and plain.