Timüt is a trio from Metz, France, formed by Louis (guitar voice), Jeanne (bass) and Joël (drums). The band is characterised by a math punk sound influenced by Minutemen, NoMeansNo and generally from hardcore punk. In particular, The Timüt project is inflenced, for its background, by Le Singe Blanc, the main band from Metz which had an important, international role in the European noise scene from 2000 years. LSB was in the sign of mathematical rhythms, elevated velocities, sharpy sound of the soloist bass by Thomas Coltat. Your trio is connected to the LSB world, because of their affiliation with another project from Metz, Frau Trofea, formed by Vincent Urbani, Val L’Enclume, in addition Joël Lattanzio, the drummer who was a member of them. Timüt published a demo (No Demo) and a live album (No Live), the last one for Neutral Records.
Following an interview with the Timüt’s three members.
Let’s start from the beginning. How was the Timüt project born and the relative approach with polyrhythmic and atonal sonorities? Its sound reminds in a certain sense Minutemen, we could say there arises a “math-punk” form in your music, with a typical French weirdness, in an obvious sense. Do you share my opinion ?
Joël: “As many bands we started as a group of friends discussing about bands we’d like to sound like, it is Jeanne and Louis’s first band. I’ve been doing music in different kind of DIY bands since 20 years (Strong As Ten, The Sioux, etc…). I’ve experienced polyrhythms with LSB and wanted to keep it in Timüt, even if we wanted to keep a simple approach to songs. I’m for sure a big fan of the Minutemen and The Big Boys, who were not afraid to ad different style of music out the punk mouvement.”
Jeanne: “We are use to organise and see a lot of live bands in the punk noise and underground scene, and are interested in a large genres of music. For many years our local scene in Metz and around has been and still is very prolific so it influenced us a lot, mostly experimental and punk stuff.”
Louis: “I’m really into the 80’s New York filmmakers, arts, and no wave scene and that’s the kind dissonante guitars i’m looking for. In the French scene, we share interest in Ferdinand Richard, Ptose, Zad Kokar, Chocolat Billy to name a few.”
So, what is the meaning or inspirations from people or things behind your name “Timüt”? Timut is a typology of pepper, and the umlauts on the “u” recalls many hardcore bands first at all Hüsker Dü. Are these any of the possible right observations?
Louis: “We were still looking for a name, and during a car travel back from rehearsal Jeanne talk about a local brewed beer with timut pepper in it, and Joël noticed that it could be a good idea for a band’s name.”
Joël: “I remembered eating it with vanilla ice cream, and found funny to compare the way we approach the band like putting pepper in a sugared meal. An unusual association you first won’t do but is indeed very interesting. About the umlaut, I’m a Motörhead freak, I like Hüsker Dü but can’t put it in my early influences.”
Jeanne: “I had no opinion about umlaut, I was only hoping to be endorsed by a local beer brewery.”
If the demo No Demo has a raw form, No Live is more organic in its production phase. Drop Drop has a peculiar plasticity in the sound with a punk attitude, indeed the voice recalls the D Boon one, with an interesting progressive craftsmanship in the usage of the music devices. How did happen this weird mindset in your punk creativity?
Jeanne: “We meanly try to sounds like bands we like (Gang of Four, Beards, Duds, Red Zebra, Television, Lithics)”
Louis: “No Demo has been recorded by Joël during a rehearsal as we usually do when we practice, No Live is indeed a live recording our sound engineer did during a tour we did in France last January with Frau Trofea, the other band which Joël is also the drummer.”
Joël: “The crapy sounds of No Demo comes first from my ignorance in the recording and mixing field!”
Damien Bagarre recalls “Bob Dylan wrote a propaganda song” by Minutemen (first track from the What Makes a Man Start Fire album), with a magmatic and swirling character, and Sick and a more funk sonic shape which remembers in a certain sense the heavy and oblique music by Primus. Anyway, we could say your math sound has a bucolic DIY aspect, whereas punk oi culture, your broad and probable influence, encounters your arty intentions, giving a peculiar contribution in independent worldwide music (not casually, as LSB did similarly). So can you talk about your intentions and these aspects?
Louis: “We agree to go for an unobvious way of expression, I can relate it to the many artists we like outside of music like Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, the Fluxus art movement, Basquiat, John Waters or Richard Kern. Jeanne and I have been studiying in fine art schools and have also practiced many fields outside of music like drawing, sculpture, video, performance and other mediums.”
Joël: “I’m glad you mentioned “Bob Dylan wrote a propaganda song” and btw Brutal Truth made a great cover, the “math” approach is unintentional in this project but I can’t deny listening to math-rock band like Spy vs Spy or the Casket Lottery. I’m no particular fan of the oi scene and Primus.”
Jeanne: “Even if we like to mix different genres we don’t pretend to invente anything, when we practice we try not to overthink.”
Maudit, the final track, has a properly math, syncopated sound, which is, in this case, different from the other tracks and the Minutemen poetics. Indeed, it is different in its oblique and complex rhythmic part, whereas we could see a certain influence from Nomeansno in this case, with extreme vorticous riffs with a further epicenter to the rhythm. So can you talk about the points of reference for this piece?
Joël: “Maudit is a more recent song, as many band we grow up together and try to find new way to write songs.”
Jeanne: “We putted more attention to vocals, and wanted to have a different approach.”
At the end, can you talk about news about the next works and concerts?
Jeanne: “After the tour we did in June with Frau Trofea, we now focus on writing new songs that will lead us to a more solid recording, but our K7 is still available on Neutral Records and Bandcamp.”
Louis: “We feel the need to put new songs in our setlist, some songs are getting really old, it is about time we put new ones.”
Joël: “We have few gigs here and there, but no plan for a tour in the near futur, we want to write more and try new stuff.”