Some time ago, I received a very strange object in my mailbox. All sparkling in the sun, it was “La Quête du Saint Grind”, the latest concept album of the French band Ethmebb. After this musical adventure, I had a few questions to ask to this bunch of merry men. So I sent them an interview. Now that I have received their answers, I can finally tell you a little more about Ethmebb and their quest!

First of all, what does Ethmebb mean? How did you choose this name for the band?

Ethmebb is the anagram for The Bemb.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

Could you give us a little rundown on the genesis of the band? Who are you, where are you from? What were your motivations for creating this band?

The band started off as a joke by Rémi Molette’s at the end of his puberty. He always wanted to make music to show off and to impress the girls.

At the beginning, it was a very freaking Grind band that we had called Ethmeb. Several line-ups of merry men followed one another until 2013 with the arrival of a more stable line-up as well as a keyboardist to give a more epic dimension to our music. It’s also when Ethmeb became Ethmebb, giving up on Grind to do more stylish stuff.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

What was the basic project, the story behind « La Quête du Saint Grind » ?

The idea was to make a concept album that tells an adventure throughout the songs.

La Quête du Saint Grind is about the adventures of Tathor, a knight who wakes up one morning and has lost his “Grind”. He is super angry and we quickly understand that his Grind allowed him to have all the girls of the kingdom. He will therefore undertake a journey to try to find it until he realizes that in fact he does not need it and that his life is better without it.

In the end, it’s a bit like the story of Ethmebb, with its beginnings with Grind and its limitless musical evolution!

When you get ready to listen to « La Quête du Saint Grind », , you would expect to have a majority of Grind on the album. On the contrary, the Grind is, in my personal experience, quite a minoritary and there are plenty of varied influences. What were your sources of musical inspiration and why did you choose the “Saint Grind”?

Our differences greatly influence our music, that’s obvious.

We all come from different backgrounds. For example Rémi likes to pile up video game figurines and buy expensive cars while François prefers to spend all his time in the countryside in charentaise with a plaid on his knees… Damien is more the kind of guy who loses at video games and complains when nobody helps him to set his gear on stage… And then Victor… He plays the guitar and that’s why he’s super strong.

Apart from music, you bring some touches of pop culture in your “quest”. What were your influences for writing the lyrics?

Among the most influential ones: La cité de la peur, the Monthy Piton, Dragolebol zed, Enjoyphoenix, l’Assommoir of Zola, and of course, les Feux de l’Amour onTF1 at noon (in addition there’s Victor Newman, who has the same first name as Victor, what a coincidence…).

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

We will also not hide that we are also (a little) inspired by, espacially, the story of the guy who falls in love with a ring and who insults his friends, or the story of those who “should come to this side because they are too much in the light” but who are trying to resist, or even, to finish, the story of the afterbeing, not very fairplay but really charismatic, who is disgusted because his boat is in a bottle with a miniature zombie monkey.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

Considering the eclecticism of this album, is it difficult to play live or you manage to render the album in all its complexity on stage?

Do we have the right to say that we have stopped eclecticism for a long time because it makes us sweat too much? It’s a bit of a personal victory.

Since we have been playing the album for quite some time, we’ve started to master the parts. On the other hand, we are not going to lie, there is always one who plays more the role of baker than musician.

But what we’ve been working on for some time now is everything about scenography, creation and interaction of characters, etc. it makes the show much more interesting for everyone and even if we had a cape on stage at the beginning (which we dropped because it was too hot there), we had never really pushed the thing further. And seeing Victor tumble onto the stage as a hairy mini camper, that’s priceless.

I read on your Facebook page that you are starting to hit the stage again this year and that the next album is being written. What more can you tell me about future concerts and this next album?

After focusing on the composition of the second album, we wanted to resume the scene (which we all miss) and find dates to have fun and make (re) discover the quest for the Saint Grind to those who have the nerve to pretend otherwise!

We had booked a date at la Boîte de Concerts in Pontault-Combault (which is a bit the stronghold of some of us), in a brand new hall that we had the pleasure of using to train on scene. At the same time, we were scheduled in Rouen at the Pagan Nordmanni Fest with other bands that were not gross at all. We couldn’t wait for it all!

But, in between, there was the containment due to Covid-19. So we had to cancel everything in March. Like just before the scheduled concerts. So we are disgusted.

So we are impatiently awaiting the resumption of activities to play again in front of crowds – which will have tripled in size because of the confinement – it’s always good for us, it makes it seem like there are more people.

If we look even further, what is the ultimate goal of Ethmebb (concert of your dreams, festival, label, …)?

I would like so much that we can tidy up the gear in less than three quarters of an hour repeating it because half the band has already left at that time … (we can see here the redundancy of the subject)

Any dates planned for Belgium this year?

It would be a great pleasure to come and play in Belgium. Unfortunately, nothing is planned yet.

We are coming to the end of this interview. I will leave you the last word.

Chasuble.

Yes because in fact it is important to mention it, and we forget to do it most of the time. I remember when we were little we would go after a ball. Besides, I have to salute the designers, who knew how to choose the right fabrics – those that stick but don’t leave a mark.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

It also marks the beginning of the real competition between happy toddlers, between those who have brand new flashy colors and those who have old rotten stuff which smell the sweat of the classes who used them before.

Already at the time, we were making a selection for two-tier education. While in reality, two speeds is not enough. Look, it would look stupid on the highway in a car if we only had the first and second.

The guys were really smart about it. You can see that before, they were really thinking about the mass / power / speed ratio which takes into account the derivative of p = mg, with g = 9.81 something, and stuff like that.

Today, we don’t care if it works, it just needs to pick up 4G. It suits us a lot, because everyone can listen to our album everywhere like that.

Ah, life is good! We can always say that some are pulling the strings, that others decide everything and nothing… Well, what interests us most is to sell our CDs, because to be honest, we haven’t had the return on investment we were hoping for yet, and I would love to eat something different from celery.


Photo par Deuskin Photography

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