An Interview With French Mouth
A fresh album release from French Mouth is a blistering punch to the gut in the form of aggressive riffs and an edgy and progressive metal undertone that blends with hardcore elements and a killer alternative rock soundscape, and it all comes together with an energy that's tough to beat.
The In Your Snake Eyes album has so many outstanding blends of hard-hitting genres from classic 90's alt-rock to underground hardcore. It's like The Bronx meets Alice In Chains but with these layers of vocals and guitars that just give songs a heavy and lush feel.
Of course, you also get saxophone which is just incredibly cool of them.
Songs can hit like a blitzkrieg of face melting almost mathy riffs and high-octane punchy feels while others drift off like a dream.
One of the coolest things about this record is boundless experimental side production. The songs come through massive and vast but there is also this cool psychedelic sort of trippiness.
Vocals are brutal and melodic at the same time. You get that yelling but it's sung while other sections scream with a sharp-edged fierceness that bounce off spoken word chanting which is totally NY hardcore style really.
As a fan of bands like Cancer Bats, The Bronx, Deftones, Glassjaw, and plenty more, these guys really bring together the best parts of these styles and make it all their own.
This record has it all and for fans of thrash, metal, alt-rock, and hardcore, French Mouth takes the cake.
With the release of such a killer album, we had to have a talk with the band to talk about the release and where it all came from.
Here's what happened.
DF = Dee Frank
JP = Jacque Parras
BR = Brandon Reyes
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with the In Your Shark Eyes album. This record has such a cool math and alt rock vibe to it. Where did this album come from?
Musically, the album is most definitely a collective effort on all fronts. Even on the songs that are written by just one or two members, (in the studio) we really all had our hands in the cake mix at one point. We prefer it that way. The synopsis was conceptualized by myself over the course of a year. Reading poetry, Greek mythology and short stories (Lewis Carroll) and eventually writing about the synopsis before even beginning writing the lyrics to any songs. Everything else fell into place due to the incredible musicianship of my bandmates who were able to indulge me when it came to my 'big ideas'. Not to mention they lent a great deal of their talents to making it what it is. (DF)
Buzz Slayers: Would you say this is a concept record?
Absolutely it is. While it is not rigid in its format I hope that listeners can take that into consideration. It is short, much like a haiku or limerick but in album format. The story follows someone named 'person' in the future who, after awakening from living in a digital world, searches for the mysterious entity that has been sending him messages. Answers (if any) are subject to the listener. The concept itself is very loosely based on Lewis Carrolls The Hunting of The Snark. (DF)
Buzz Slayers: So how did this all begin for you guys?
French Mouth was started (with different members) as early as 2017 by me but the lineup didn't solidify until late 2019 with the release of their first EP Paper Tiger. Brittany Maccarello (from NY) wrote and recorded drums for our EP and debut album, but currently on tour with us is our (og) drummer Dan Franklin. We are mostly a San Fernando Valley based group having grown up there our entire lives. We now all live scattered throughout Atwater Village and the Valley. (DF)
Buzz Slayers: This record has some great styles! Can you all give us some of your top musical influences?
The Birthday Party
Dance Gavin Dance
At The Drive In/Mars Volta
Buzz Slayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
Cycling, reading, editing film. I film and cut up most if not all of our promo videos. (DF)
Working out, sightseeing/ traveling (JP)
Most likely watching 90's wrestling videos online (BR)
Buzz Slayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?
Sweat (Gotta Give It Up)
GEL/Cold Brats Split EP (Shock Therapy)
Title Fight, The Doors
Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale and Big Steppers
Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?
Yaaas, playing the following:
San Diego at Che Cafe 08/13
September at Offbeat Bar date TBD
Los Angeles at Moroccan Lounge - 10/10
Buzz Slayers: This album feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming bands out there?
Well, if you are ambitious like us and you want to self-produce your own album... Plan as much as you can and then plan some more. When making an album (a debut album no less) you will undoubtedly encounter things you were not expecting in the pre-production or post process. Be ready to change things on the fly and never rush your product out the door until you're comfortable with it. Be patient! (DF)
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
Currently looking for a label to work with to press our debut album to vinyl. We also have an animated music video for our second single off ‘IYSE’.
Otherwise, we are currently writing for our sophomore album and playing shows throughout the west coast. (DF)
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Continue to support not only our music but other true DIY artists who are self-funded. Say "No" to industry plants and rich artists trying to play it like they are working class. Being an artist in this day and age is tough and any support we can get (listening, buying merch, spreading our name) is greatly appreciated! (DF)