Putting Vilnius, Lithuania squarely on the musical map, Linchette Marcel give a hard hitting album with some very memorable moments throughout. Their impressive and powerful self-titled album is going to turn many heads, and if you have a 90’s grunge inspired itch that needs to be scratched, this album might just do the trick.
Bands names are a difficult decision to make. What is the story behind yours?
Michael: Yes, you are right, most of the time it is a hard task and our case is not the exception. There is a story behind our band name and it goes like this. There was a time in my life when I was deep in psychology and quiet often I was diving on the edge of my subconsciousness looking for some answers. And one day I was thinking about the female part of my personality. I tried to understand what it meant, I wanted to see the shape and to know the name of it. My attention was all inside during few days trying to find the answers to all those questions. And suddenly I started to understand that all music and my creativity come from this female part of mine. It’s like the inner muse that is always with you – a part of you.
I wondered what was the name of this sexy lady. Trying not to lose the focus I kept my attention inside and I started to hear some kind of word inside my head… First it was something like “Lishe, Lanchet…” and then suddenly appeared Marcel. And it began to spin on my tongue. It kept spinning for about 10-15 minutes in different interpretations and then I came up with Linchette… Linchette Marcel. And I got the feeling that it was the name that I was looking for all this time, it was the name of my female part, my inner muse. Few days later we had a rehearsal and I told this story to the guys and suggested to name the band “Linchette Marcel” and they agreed.
How did the band form?
Alex: The band was formed four years ago on the ashes of a trio student band called CRAFT. The whole story had begun in 1997 when three teenagersinfluenced by Seattle and West Coast scene of the 90’s stepped onto the local rock-scene on the actual decline of grunge era. During three years of performing in local clubs and festivals we had been looking for our own musical character and trying to build a strong relationship inside the band. At some point something had gone wrong for many reasons and fire started to fade. That had led to a sad end of the band about 2002 and all of us took their own directions in musical and personal terms. However, communication between us had never stopped and in January 2012 after some talks we had decided that we still had a lot of potential and, most important, desire, to continue our old dream to rock. A hard work began. By the end of 2015 it had become clear that the duo format was a perfect way to create a solid unit in terms of music quality and true partnership. That resulted current band line up – Michael Levin on guitar and vocal and me on drums.
Water Rider is such a great track, but does the band have a personal favorite?
Alex: Thanks! Water Rider, probably, represents the essence of Linchette Marcel for us remembering how the basic tune was created, modified into a final track and recorded for the EP. We enjoy rehearsing the song and playing it live, though it is always a challenge to perform it with the right attitude.
The favourite Linchette Marcel track for us is the one which is delivered with the right emotion at the certain moment of time. I believe our best material is still to appear on our upcoming album, which is planned to be released autumn this year.
What does your song writing process look like?
Alex: Actually, it’s a well-known and simple formula. Everything starts with a basic guitar riff or a drum beat, and then we start jamming on top of that. If we feel that the first idea has a good potential, we try to capture most suitable options to turn the idea into a completed raw track. Usually it takes about two hours to finish the basic track. Probably, the birth of a new song is the most exciting and emotional moment of the whole creative process. Then we take a break and another day we start polishing the new track. Usually it is the hardest and most demanding part of the writing process, and sometimes yesterday’s good ideas next day become rubbish and go straight to the recycle bin. Before stepping into the recording process we usually test the track live during the gig. Sometimes it gives us new ideas how to improve and tune the track, to provide more flavour to it.
Michael: I think there are no rules on writing a song. Really true material comes out when you don’t even expect it. Sometimes I just sit practicing my guitar skills and “bang” – the riff, the chord progression or the melody comes out. And suddenly I start to understand that I’ve got the song though it’s not finished yet. It’s an interesting moment and it’s a kind of mental orgasm. I hate to create music from the need. You can’t fool yourself and people. People always feel the true stuff and always feel the fake. My favorite place for writing is my kitchen and my bedroom. And one more thing – I try to choose my instruments carefully, because some of the guitars have many songs inside and some of them don’t.
Where does the band gather inspiration from?
Alex: After being together for so many years we can say that the biggest inspiration for us is our strong and time-tested belief in what we do, in music we play. We truly enjoy our music, we don’t follow the fashion, don’t correct our music style to become a mainstream band. We know that there are mountains to climb, many lessons to learn, and many more, good and honest, music stuff to create. It may sound like a cliché, but this questionis the easy one. Besides our own enthusiasm a big part of inspiration still comes from early 90’s, from all those grunge bands of our childhood, such iconic persons as David Bowie, Scott Weiland, Dimebag Darrel and many more.
Michael: Me and Alex try to listen to different music and I think you can feel it in our tunes. We reflect all our musical inspiration through our own sound mix. Me personally – I’m a big snob when it comes to music listening, I skip the tune immediately if I feel it doesn’t resonate with me. Alex has a wider range of musical interests than me, I guess…
How long have you been together?
Alex: As music partners we’ve been together for 20 years now. Our Linchette Marcel incarnation lasts for 4 years.
What advice do you have for artists looking to create their own EP?
Michael: The most important – just do it and enjoy it. If you enjoy making your own music, then people will enjoy too. Be true to yourself, don’t try to “calculate your music”. Don’t be afraid of crazy ideas, experiments and listen to your heart and intuition all the time. You always know the right way.
Alex: Try to record as high quality audio as you can and don’t save money on mixing and mastering. These are the things that bring the pro quality to the sound. You can have a really great material but if you do it with the wrong frequencies or unbalanced, your music will be tiring for people ears. Think well how you want to represent your upcoming LP, what is the main idea or the concept and choose the right songs for your EP to create a primal vibe of upcoming LP.
What is the current music scene like in Vilnius, Lithuania?
Michael: Well… a lot of hip hop, electronic, indie and pop staff. The rock scene is quite weak in my opinion. People don’t want or like to rock in Lithuania. There is a bigger metal scene than rock I guess. No rock culture here… Our purpose is to help to develop rock scene in Lithuania. Because it is boring and not sexy otherwise…
Alex: I think something we could call a local rock scene, but it is heavily influenced by European indie rock movement of the 2000’s. There are some really interesting bands, I like to stream their music sometimes.
At this point in your musical career, what are some of your highlights?
Michael: We have about 20 years of different musical experience over our shoulders, but as Linchette Marcel we are newcomers and this is only the beginning for us. We are trying to play as much live as we can and share our music. I think all our highlights are still to come.
Lastly, thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?
Michael: We just hope we’ll be able to share more new music with all of you soon. We continue to work on our debut LP album that will appear lately this year. We’ll try to make it as much true and exciting as we can. It would be great if we manage to get on tour to support an album. Waiting impatiently to get on the road and bring you all Linchette Marcel’s energy and sound.
Alex: Keep calm and don’t forget to rock. Many thanks!!!