FÄR is a Belgian duo set up by producer – engineer Tim De Gieter and singer An-Sofie De Meyer. Their debut album “Salute” has been released at the end of 2017 on Circuits (division of Consouling Sounds). The duo deals with an interesting sound format, which is mixing different styles such as trip-pop, electronics and experimental music. It sounds a bit indie-like as well and yet dark and underground-like. It’s not that easy to define their sound, but it’s a fully accomplished production. I asked a few questions to An-Sofie De Meyer.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: What are the main things we have to know about the background of FÄR, the origin of the band name and what kind of sound did you have in mind?
An-Sofie: Two years ago I started making music with just a piano and a guitar. I made three songs but wasn’t so sure about them. Tim listened to them and said he wanted to work on them together. We started making “Sinners” and “Hands” as we still play them now. We played one show (that we didn’t mean to play) and got an offer to play as a support band for ABRA. Since ABRA’s one of our favorite artists we couldn’t say no, but hadn’t had a full repertoire to perform. So we wrote 8 songs in one week and played the show. We afterwards got more offers to play and we decided to see ourselves as a band now.
The name was my idea. I was playing with the Swedish word ‘Färg’ which means colour. I used FÄR as a contradiction. Where it means colour, we only use black and white.
The sound is mostly Tim. He has a very unique way of making music and creating his own sound. I think we mostly search until we find the sound that matches the feeling of the song. And that’s probably also the reason why our sound isn’t going be the same all the time.
Q: It’s not an easy thing to define your music, but it clearly reflects an impressive arsenal of influences while it also makes the originality of the band. Tell us a bit more about the ‘sound concept’ and the way you’re composing songs?
An-Sofie: On “SALUTE”, our debut record, the beat always came first. Tim started working on it and when the beat was finished I made the lyrics and finished it. But we tend to switch the process up. For example, we’re currently working on a track now that I came up with. I made a very easy beat on my computer, created lyrics and had an idea of the track. I sent it to Tim and he then started working on it. Then we listen together and refine it even more. We also have scheduled some jam sessions with Bert, our drummer. I think it’s important that our music is equally a part of us all, that’s the only way that we can play it and really feel it.
Q: What do you keep in mind from the writing process of “Salute” and what are your favorite aspects from the production globally speaking?
An-Sofie: “Salute” was a hard one and it also was my first record. I didn’t really know what it was like to make an album and to work with someone in the studio. It was confronting and in a way I met myself in this process. I’m thankful that Tim and I can do this together.
Q: The vocals clearly appear to be one of the main strengths of FÄR, but there also is a perfect match between vocals and music creating a real dark sensation. What can you tell us about this important element of the production, its darkness and the harmony between vocals and sound?
An-Sofie: We feel that though we come from very different backgrounds and listen to very different kinds of music, the darkness seems to be a common denominator in both our lives and what we want to exteriorize as a band. It almost seems to come naturally, we don’t really sit down and think of it as ‘how are we going to make this one sound equally dark’… It feels like this common language where we can find and understand each other. A safe space for both ourselves and the people who listen to our music.
Q: The lyrical content of “Salute” seems to be an important item of the work. What have been your main sources of inspiration and what have been the main subjects you tried to express, maybe to exorcize?
An-Sofie: I really write my lyrics from the heart. It’s like pouring all of your sadness/negativity/anxiety/… into the music and leave it there for others to find it and discover they’re not alone in feeling this.
Q: You already did a few noticeable gigs here in Belgium. How do you look back at the live shows and what brings the future regarding live performances, new songs, maybe remixes and other side-projects?
An-Sofie: Every show we played in 2017 was so cool. We played some little venues, but also big ones like ‘Ancienne Belgique’ and ‘Het Bos’. It’s definitely been a learning curve as well, we feel like every show we play we grow a little bit more as a band. Also our live performance changed so much during this process.
We hope to cross the borders more in 2018 to play in some other countries. We’re also working on new music as we speak. We really want to release some new music in the near future and introduce people to how our sound has evolved since “SALUTE”.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)