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Lone Assembly


Having extensive experience in how everyday life can suppress sensitivity, I couldn’t imagine that I was going to discover new music that could influence my daily routine in such a way, my way of looking at things. Every life experience has its deeper meaning, a reflection on what is important and it’s up to us to feel it, to dig deeper inside ourselves. However, it happened. This time thanks to the Geneva quartet Lone Assembly who delivered a moving first EP that serves as a tribute to a deceased sister: dark and indispensable post-punk and synth-pop crossover with a processed aesthetic, as if the band perfectly balances between the pop evidence of Editors, the coldness of Joy Division and the urgency of Idles. Profound, unstoppable and penetrative.

We discovered their music through Seven Souls, their first single came out back in September 2023 and that alone was enough to realize that this was a way more than an interesting band. At first, Raphaël Bressler's voice and way of singing was something enough to capture all your senses and captivate you. Their music, melodic, with a specific beginning, a middle and an end. Full of elegance and expressiveness that captivates, it is easily etched in your memory and each repetition of the tracks brings another acknowledgment of how successful this effort of the band was.

“That Never Happened” is not another boring piece of music in the mediocrity of those that can be found everywhere and without any effort of searching - just turn on the radio. In fact, the more we try to analyze this release, the more we will unwittingly belittle its value with our words. Diamonds cannot be described, they are simply admired by dazzling our eyes. The EP will close with “Backwards”, a stunning acoustic ballad, probably a natural consequence of the mood building on this album. I am not sure if this is the best song of theirs, every time I listen to the EP it’s like a re-exploration. I’ll just wait for their next chapter that hopefully will again be a magnificence.

Below, you can read our revealing chat with the members of the band...

 

That Never Happened EP (out 19/4/24)

 

The Basement: Hello Lone Assembly! First of all, it's so great to have you for this Q&A. Please, introduce yourself to us.

Raph: Hi Michael and thank you for having us. We’re a post-punk/synth pop/new wave band coming from Geneva in Switzerland, composed by Glenn Le Meur (electric guitar), Jim Bodeman (bass), Romain Segu (drum) and myself, Raphaël Bressler (vocals, piano & synths).

 

The Basement: Let's flash back to 2023. First single "Seven Souls" came out in 2023. A song that made you known in the world of web music magazines. Tell us more about how you reached this first release.

Raph: Well, glad to know that ! If you'd listened to the first demos of this song, you wouldn't believe your ears. « Seven Souls », as well as all the other songs, was conceived on a piano-vocal base and, in a way, was our first experimental laboratory. A playground if you like for finding our sound. It felt right to show people who we are by choosing this song to be our first single. Personally, it’s my favorite on the record.

 

The Basement: What are your ages and what's your history in relation to music?

Jim: As far as my age is concerned, we're talking about 3 different decades in the group. I'm closer to the dark side. My history about music ? I grew up in a musical environment, my father is a huge music fan and always had an anecdote to tell me about the bands we listened to and above all, he took me with him to concerts since I was born. He also played the guitar, which he left around the house and made it easier for me to want to play. Best toy in the world.

Romain: I’m the youngest in the band. I started playing drums when I was 2 years old. Music has always been a huge part of my life, if not my entire life. For the last ten years I’ve been playing and touring with many local bands. I joined Lone Assembly pretty recently and haven’t been working with the band on that first release. But when I got asked to join, I felt like this was going to take me to the next level. Something in the music really hit me right where it needed to be. I feel really privileged to be playing with Lone Assembly and I can’t wait to see where this adventure will bring us in the future and what we’ll be able to create together.

 

The Basement: How did you pick the name of the band? 

Glenn: We’d like to tell you that there’s history behind it. Honestly, we brainstormed a lot about the band’s name. I remember Raph and I really fancied the word « assembly ». We tried to put a few words before it and finally came up with "Lone". We surely didn’t want to pick a name that was already taken. We simply said it out loud a couple times and found out that was a great band’s name. In fact, we do feel like a lone assembly while jamming and rehearsing in our little bat cave in Geneva.

 

The Basement: Your first EP was really such a pleasant surprise for the people that are seeking to find music like this. I mean, it is so good in all aspects. Tell us more about the process of your songwriting.

Raph: First of all, thank you for that ! As said before, all the songs on « That Never Happened » were articulated on a piano-vocal base. It’s just the way I like to conceive songs, it’s my bread and butter if you like. I usually start with a chord progression that I fancy and start jamming lines with my voice. Once I’d find my vocal line, I simply let myself wander in the music and in the lyrics as well. I like to think that songs are puzzles. Take the lyrics for instance: my process is basically crafting sentences on the run while singing and playing the piano. From there, I sometimes sing words that come back often and sound good. I’d take them to form my themes and write around them. Then the rest is just to find the melodies and the instruments to craft the perfect envelope for these words. Then again, this project is very personal. During the songwriting process, I brutally lost my sister, who was very close to me. This EP became a shelter where I could express my pain and grief through music. It became necessary. My friends and band-members were as shocked as I was and gave me support that I will never forget. They took this record as much to heart as I did and put their soul into making it as beautiful as possible. Each of us played an important part in the composition and the end result of this project. I guess in a way, it brought us much closer together and cemented us as a group. That’s why I’m convinced that the best is yet to come. Our chemistry is becoming more and more natural, and in that sense, each of us brings his own touch to the new tracks and I just love that.


 

 

 

The Basement: Who was respondsible for the production of "That Never Happened"? 

Raph: I entirely produced this record, which was necessary due to the emotional impact it had on me. It gives you a lot of freedom and time, which is great. But being a perfectionist, it’s very, very difficult to have to finalize songs you’ve created and then must let them cradle other eardrums. You could spend hours and hours in the studio just to perfect snare sounds or granular releases of certain effects. That’s where Glenn, as well as Sébastien Tavel (the person who did the mixing), were of crucial importance in this final stage. One another great thing about self-producing your project is that you get to choose who you work with. We were lucky enough to do so with people we love and that’s a definite privilege. To name a few: Sébastien Tavel, Loïc Zybach, Hylia Howl, Touka Fatémi, Victor McNeill, Xiomara Hussein, Melany Marquez, Mathieu Bally.

 

The Basement: I am sure your sound is gonna be compared with artists like Editors or Interpol or even The National, but I personally know that music is such a personal thing for everyone. What are your thoughts about this? 

Raph: You’re right on the money. To be fair The National and Editors had a big influence on me as a teenager and a young adult. Especially the latter and their lead singer Tom Smith. The guy’s just a beast, I can’t hide my admiration for his powerful and accurate vocals. What I like the most about The National, apart from the musical aspect, is that Matt Berninger isn’t really a singer and that’s what makes this band special in my opinion. The guy’s a story teller and is quite a genius in creating beautiful and poetic lyrics. Generally speaking, I think it's quite natural for people to compare bands and their sound - I do it a lot myself. I like how songs can interact with our emotions or bring us back to particular periods in our lives. I guess that’s what songs are made for. Coming back to the influences, Editors often come up for sure, but if you read the comments of the people who follow us, you'll also find Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Tindersticks... which really is fine for us ! It's always galvanizing to be compared to bands you love. But still, we've got a long way to go before we can match those sacred monsters.

Romain: Even though I don’t play on the record, I can safely say that every musician is influenced in a way or another by the music they listen to. I think that the whole interesting thing when you want to create music that is unique is how you can take all those influences you have and make it your own without having to copy it or sound the same.

 

The Basement: Whose idea was the black and white covers of your releases? They feel so cinematic and I am sure there's a meaning in them. Is there a message being sent or just your point of view in aesthetics?

Glenn: Right from the start, I've always attached great importance to the band's visuals. As our music has a certain cinematic dimension, I wanted to bring a poetic and dark vision to the project through photography and image composition. I was deeply inspired by the imagery of film noir from the 50s to tint our artistic direction with a very vintage and dark touch. So for me it was an obvious choice to use black and white, with a lot of grain in the image to match our music, the lyrics and this very ghostly and deep aspect.

 

The Basement: What's "That Never Happened" talking about ? Are you planning to release it physically too (Vinyl-CD) -crossing fingers for that- ?

Raph: As said before, TNH is deeply inspired by the loss of my sister even though the lyrics aren’t always related to this event. The songs sometimes echo grief, but mostly speak of loss of control, fear of being oneself, fear of commitment, denial and self-destruction. We’re definitely planning to release a vinyl but rather by the end of the year.

 

The Basement: What kind of music and which bands or artists are you listening to nowadays?

Glenn: I listen to a lot of new wave/post-punk inspired bands like Principe Valiente, Twin Tribes and Crows. I like the fact that this musical genre is constantly evolving, even though it has a very specific sound aesthetic and musical codes. I've also been influenced by bands like Radiohead, Editors, Slowdive and Mogwai.

Jim: I grew up in the nineties, I'm a British music kid, so I mainly listen to that music period. As a result, I'm currently listening a lot to the shoegaze band ‘’Ride’’, their new album ''Interplay'' is brilliant.

Raph: Recently I listened to Principe Valiente as well and The KVB new records, loved them, both dark and beautiful. Between that, I found myself re-listening to the entire discography of The Sisters Of Mercy. What a band.

Romain: I’ve always been interested in so many kinds of music. I grew up listening to heavier bands like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest but also lots of more electronic or new wave artists and bands such as Depeche Mode or even Moby. I’ve also had strong roots in the metal and hardcore scenes for many years now. Now I listen to all types of stuff from Jazz to Death Metal to Post Punk or even Rn’B and Hip Hop.

 

The Basement: Thank you so very much you Guys, It was a pleasure talking with you. Can't wait for the next page of this wonderful music journey!


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