This week, French tech metal and prog rock specialists Uneven Structure return with their first album in six years. ‘La Partition’ sees the sextet deliver an engaging and dynamic collection of songs decorated in experimentation and complex instrumentation. While vocalist Matthieu Romarin compliments throughout with soaring harmonies and fierce screams.
Uneven Structure’s roots lie on the South coast of France, in Montpellier. It is considered one of the countries fastest growing cities with its multicultured population, rich history and contemporary architecture.
To give us a better insight into Montpellier, Matthieu gives us a cultured guide into the sights and sounds the city has to offer.
We are from Montpellier in the South East of France near the Mediterranean Sea. We can’t really talk about being proud of where we’re from, it would be a bit too strong, but there are lots of things that make Montpellier a great place to live. First of all the weather, you can swim in the sea and walk in summer clothes from March till October, that’s something we really appreciate. Then most of downtown is car-free so it’s not polluted and walking through it is a real pleasure by day and night.
Its People and Culture:
Montpellier is known for its really clement Mediterranean weather and for its beautiful old downtown. We have a lot of monuments, parks, places and little secret gardens spread all over it. It’s also known to be a big students city, and that makes it alive and friendly. The downtown at night is really animated. I have to say that we party quite often, especially during summer, especially with Igor (Omodei – guitar) and Benoit (Friedrich – bass). We love to drink some fresh pastis under the sun…
The Music It Inspires:
As the weather is almost always clement and people are really festive there, you get to see lots of gigs for every genre coming up in pubs, bars, venues and even outside in the streets.
The Local Music Scene:
We can’t speak about particular genres actually, the local scene is huge and very eclectic. As Montpellier is cosmopolitan, the local scene is very diverse. I mainly know the rock and metal scenes which are rich and not bad at all! We can speak however about the occitane culture (language, music etc) which is still quite present in the town and all the region.
Its Most Famous Musical Sons and Daughters:
I think that the most well-known band from Montpellier is Regg’Lyss. This is a reggae band from the eighties which had big success in the 90’s with a song called ‘Met De L’Huile’. I think everyone who lived in France in the nineties knows this song. It́s a festive song people listened to at the appropriate time. To be honest, this is really not my cup of tea but I respect them of course.
The other band from Montpellier that pops into my mind is Rinocerose of course, who have a song called ‘Cubicle’. You have certainly heard it in an advertisement for that fruit company’s (Apple) latest MP3 player circa 2005.
The Venues We Visited:
We have a lot of clubs in Montpellier to see gigs and most of them are good venues. But the Rockstore is definitely the best venue in Montpellier, it’s a legendary venue, the best bands in the world played at it.
For example, before 1986, when the name still was Le Grand Odeon, there were Metallica and The Cure. Since it’s been called the Rockstore, Radiohead, Lenny Kravitz, PJ Harvey, Faith No More, Suicidal Tendencies, The Stranglers, Hole, Cat Power and many more have played there. That venue taught me a lot about live music and life in general since I was 17. I went to my first shows there and a lot of “first times” in my life have happened there too…
The Venues We Played:
It’s not very often that we play in Montpellier now, that’s a shame but I think it will come at some point. We just played twice at the Black Sheep. It’s an awesome bar to drink beer (they have a lot of choices) and see rock, metal, noise, punk, pop etc… The atmosphere is always good and festive, you can go there with your eyes closed.
The Influence Home Has on Our Songs:
I haven’t written a song about it yet, but I think it could be something with a warm and soft intro, tainted with a touch of melancholy leading up to a big and bright climax.
‘La Partition’ by Uneven Structure is released on 21st April on Long Branch Records.