We recently caught up with guitarist/founder Jean-Sébastien of This Deafening Whisper for an insightful look into the band. See what happened below…
Thanks for the interview – could you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Hey man, my name is Jean-Sébastien, I’m TDW’s founder (alongside with my brother Nils at the drums and Alban for the vocals). I’m the rhythm guitarist and main composer of the band. We started out 3 years ago, released one EP in 2011 and our first album last year. We’re playing metal, with influences of metalcore, hardcore, post-hardcore blended with orchestral elements (always tough to stick a definite label on our style you know). From the start, we really wanted to breath in a cinematographic feeling into our compositions and band image so our videos, lyrics, artwork and orchestral parts and intermissions really tend to follow that direction.
How did you get started?
I for myself was born in a musician family (hence my name..) so I grew up in this ‘classical’ environment and it still is for me a big inspiration, even if you can’t tell on each of our songs. Nils, Alban and myself played in a band together many years ago, but we got tired of staling and just playing for our friends you know, that’s when we decided to step up and we started TDW few months after. Right away, we wanted to record professionally our first EP without wasting any time, we didn’t want to be the kind of band that shares his shitty demos with everyone hoping this will be enough to create fans.
Can you describe your writing and recording process?
Usually, me, Luis and Mark will start working on our side to create the backbones of a few song (usually on guitar pro). Then we share it, everyone adds their touch, removes what we feel isn’t good enough .. That’s the painful part of course, always hard to please everyone but usually it is only for the best. Then Mark and Alban start to work on their flow on the early demos of the song, often singing and screaming in ‘english yoghourt’ you know lol, just random English blabla. Then I write the lyrics with the singers, once the whole tone of the song is set, the inspirations flows in easily.
Who or what inspires you?
Most of the time, my main source of inspiration comes from feelings, sensations, abstract ideas or stories. Sometimes it flows and sometimes you really need to dig deep to create something out of it. So I guess watching a movie, hearing a news, reading a book, those would come as big as an influence as listening other bands to a certain extent. Musicwise, I draw a lot of inspiration from bands such as August Burns Red, Architects, Underoath, BMTH but also Muse, Danny Elfmann, Hans Zimmer, The Beatles…
How would you describe your live show to someone who hasn’t seen you yet?
We try to give all that we have at every show, Alban has become a real showman after our previous tours in East Europe, France and Netherlands. All of us move like crazy (even if that means a few wrong notes along the way..) but we’ve always tried to share with the audience the raw energy that our songs carry, and nothing pleases me as much as the excitement of playing in front of a crowd that jumps, screams and mosh with us..
What would you say the best show you’ve ever played has been?
I think I’ll go with the show we played in Karkiv. During the east European tour we’ve had many venues that were small, dark, dirty but when we arrived there we just couldn’t believe it, it was seriously huge and modern ! Adding to that fact, the audience was downright awesome and we drank our ass off with another band before going on stage so it was a pure slaughter, seriously an amazing night ! And seeing all the awful events happening there now makes me even happier that we could go there before it all started, but it makes me really sad as well.
If you could play anywhere, on any lineup, what would you choose?
Honestly, as long as I can remember being a musician, touring the US has always been my biggest dream, I feel that if we can pull off a successful one there, then I would have achieved one of my goals, and many of us feel the same way ! In second position, it would be any place in Japan, definitely.
And if This Deafening Whisper could put its name to a product, what would it be?
Let see.. How about a pressure cooker ? You know, it creates this annoying whispering sounds that grows until it becomes fucking deafening ! Or an energy drink why not, that could work too!