Interview: Endless Floods

Our opinion is that you're only surrounded by the boundaries you create yourself, especially in music. Our goal is to keep our minds free, and do whatever we want as long as we enjoy playing music together.

France’s Endless Floods – featuring members of Monarch – play like the lights have gone out and there’s no hope they’ll ever come back on. Their latest offering II, released last month here on Dry Cough Records, features a pair of stunning, devastating epics imbued with sadness and ruin…exactly the kind of pick me up everyone needs in January! We’re rather taken with it so asked vocalist/bassist Stéphane some questions for us on process, plans and the state of “doom”…

(((o))): Firstly congratulations on the release of your excellent new record. While a few of our readers might be familiar with some of the other projects you guys are/have been in – Monarch in particular – Endless Floods will be a new name to many over here. Can you give us a brief history of the band?

Stéphane: Thank you! Well, Endless Floods started in the summer of 2015. Simon, Benjamin and myself were room mates in Bordeaux at that time, and wanted to start a three-piece band as we’re long-time friends. We had the chance to have this new rehearsal space where we could practice whenever we wanted, so we were like “ok, instead of playing videogames at home, let’s make some riffs.” Classic story…

(((o))): Of all the projects you’ve got going on what does Endless Floods mean to you? What do you get from working together you don’t get from your other bands?

Stéphane: We’re all involved in many bands and music activities in Bordeaux: Monarch, Bombardement, Shock, Ghettö… All these bands we’re involved in are different, even though the same 12 people run them all, haha. Benjamin also manages one of the best venue in town, VOID//BDX.

Endless Floods may be special for us: we don’t play in many three-piece bands and we’ve never been in a band with Simon before (he has a folk background). Also, it’s definitely easier to manage only 3 people, the perfect compromise with making music with your buddies and keeping it simple. Endless Floods’ main purpose is to write music and explore our possibilities as a trio. This band is very important to us but we keep it as a side project for now, as Benjamin and I are mainly dedicated to our main band Monarch.

(((o))): There’s a quote that gets brought up a lot in write-ups about Endless Floods: “no boundaries in heaviness.” Are there any boundaries in particular you wanted to be free from when you started the band?

Stéphane: Yes indeed, that quote comes up a lot in reviews – but it’s not from us, haha! Well, our opinion is that you’re only surrounded by the boundaries you create yourself, especially in music. Our goal is to keep our minds free, and do whatever we want as long as we enjoy playing music together. The feeling and excitement of having a “white-board space” when creating a band is so good. We try to keep that spirit.

And when we want something a little more “labeled”, we play with our d-beat, powerviolence or metal punk bands, haha. And it’s way more fun! Basically we just try to find our very pleasure, balanced between exploration and rocking action in music.

(((o))): What’s the writing process such long songs like ‘Impasse’ and ‘Procession’? Are they harder to write than shorter tracks? Is it hard to keep things interesting when playing that long?

Stéphane: With II we aimed to create soundscapes in which you can lose yourself, then emerge from time to time. In order to feel free in our songwriting, we didn’t define the length of like 40% of the songs before recording them.

So we went in the studio with many undefined parts, then played the songs and let the live performance choose for us. We always record our bands live, this is how we feel comfortable with our music. Keeping undefined length help us to reinforce that feeling here. For that record, the atmosphere we wanted to create was strongly linked to long-structured tracks, so it’s wasn’t so hard to write around this. It’s can be hard to write long or short materials if it’s irrelevant with what you want to feel while playing. Writing long songs can be a pain the ass (for you and the listener) if meaningless.

(((o))): Anyone who plays heavy and slow tends to get lumped together under the ‘doom’ banner. Is that a label you feel comfortable under? Do you feel any affinity to other bands under that tag?

Stéphane: Only a blind man wouldn’t see that there has been a huge trend for “doom” these past few years. There’s many bands, many records, many shows and fests and it keeps increasing. And we are 100% part of this with Endless Floods.

We come from various musical backgrounds and our inspirations are broader than the way “doom” can sound like nowadays. But that’s okay, We’re responsible for our music and it’s up to us to get away from genres, create something unique, either it’s called doom or anything else. Creating something like that is a long way, so you sometimes have to help yourself a little with some good looking banner, haha.

Of course there’s so many bands we love under that tag (Corrupted, Funeral Moth, Warning, Samothrace, Thergothon, Reverend Bizarre, Asunder, Yob, etc …) but those bands offer something that goes far beyond “doom”. Dead Can Dance, Lungfish, Melvins, Ulver, Grief, Thin Lizzy, Discharge, Harvey Milk, Paintbox, KARP, Judas Priest, etc. Being “outside the doom tag” is so inspirational and essential for us, not only in Endless Floods but in the way we create music.

(((o))): The vocals in Endless Floods are incredibly abrasive – which is perfect for the style but makes understanding the words tough! What do you write about? Are the lyrics important to you at all or is the voice just another instrument?

Stéphane: Vocals is definitely one of the most darkest aspects of Endless Flood. We express something dark for those moments when life can appear meaningless and full of despair. But we also manage to have some kind of “naive happiness” in darkness, because this is how we go through our lives. So yes, lyrics are important but in the other hand, we don’t want them to be in the forefront (but it can change), as our instruments already support our purpose.

(((o))): Finally: what’s next for you? Do you get the chance to tour much? Is there any chance we might see you on this side of the channel any time soon?

Stéphane: We have some shows booked in Bordeaux with amazing bands, we also plan to go on tour in the summer. We’ll go back in studio in March 2017, release one EP and one split LP with some super friends of ours, finger crossed. Anyway, we will release new stuff this year for sure. We want to keep it productive so we can go forward and write new stuffs.

II is out on UK’s amazing label Dry Cough Records (which also released other crushing-heavy bands like Ommadon and Bismuth) and we have so many friends on your side of the Channel that we definitely want to come and play the UK. It’s funny ’cause while I’m writing this, I just remembered that UK already sort of experienced Endless Floods, when Simon joined Monarch on stage at Desertfest London in 2016. That was such an great moment, the heavy scene there is so devoted… Anyway, we will provide 100% Endless Floods shows in UK. We have to!

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