In Conversation with Sisyphes

Describing themselves as deviant-pop, Geoffrey Papin (vocals and guitar), Jimi Tormey (synths), Clémentine Blue (vocals, bass and bass synth) and John Davies (drums) push the boundaries of shoegaze in the seaside town of Margate and beyond. We chat with Sisyphes about their new single ‘Samsara’, their future plans and how to find new music.

Why did you enter the music industry?

I make music because I consider this is the purpose of my life. I’m not sure I am part of the music industry, but I will just keep making music anyway. It’s more like a therapy and a way of life.

What can you tell us about your latest release ‘Samsara’?

Samsara is a Sanskrit word illustrating the cyclical concept of life, death and reincarnation. It is very rooted in the Hindu religion.

The lyrics are inspired by Castaneda, an American author and anthropologist who wrote a book about Shamanism. He was taught about concepts such as forgetting about your own importance and considering death as your company to change your perception of the world.

Death in India seems to be considered as a way to elevate yourself, almost a relief. This tune is an attempt to have a peaceful conversation about it. The meaning of the song evolved and solidified during our journey in India and capturing fragments of life there felt relevant to illustrate the track.

What was the recording and writing process like?

Geoffrey had written an instrumental track and Clémentine wrote the vocal line not long before going to India. We then took a trip to the south of France where Frankie Mockett and his analogue studio had settled for a music residency. We brought our fantastic drummer John along with us and recorded the album in four days.



What do you hope people take from the single?

We hope that people get caught up in the immediateness of the melody and chords then, hopefully, dive deeper in the meaning of the lyrics.

Which is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?

I think lyrics are more challenging. Melodies can come easily with improvising spontaneously, although lyrics can take more time. I feel I need to weigh each word carefully so they resonate with one another and with everyone.

Describe ‘Samsara’ in three words.

Cycle, shoegaze, soothing.

What do you think is the best way to discover new music?

I think it’s good to go see random gigs and let yourself be surprised.

What does 2020 (and beyond) hold for Sisyphes?

We had a tour planned in France in May and some UK gigs in the summer, but it looks like all of this will be cancelled. We will try to survive this worldwide crisis first; maybe see you in 2021?

What advice do you have for anyone planning to become a musician?

Be unique and don’t worry about the summit, just focus on the journey.

Do you have any message for our readers?

I am dreaming of a good old gig in a mouldy basement with all these bodies pressed against each other in a beautiful vibrant crowd – slightly drunk and sweating. It sounds surreal today and yet we will never forget about it. If “Hell is other people” then living all these moments together is the most beautiful thing that exists and I can’t wait to see you all again!

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