Dear Progressive Rock Journal readers, we have the opportunity to speak exclusively with Aurélien Goude, creator of the Esthesis project.
> Welcome Aurélien how’s it going?
Hi Jacopo ! I’m very well, thank you very much for this interview.
> Let’s talk a little about you, where does your passion for music and Prog in particular come from?
Well, I’m a great music lover since my childhood. When I was six or seven, I always listened to the Beatles, or such artists like Toto, Sting, Supertramp, thanks to my parents. There was constantly great music at home. I listened to all of my parents’ records. Then I discovered Pink Floyd at 14, and it was the beginning of a new vision of music for me. They change everything in me, like The Beatles. Today, I constantly listen to old and new music, it is essential for me to discover new records and bands.
> Your project was born in 2013, mixing more genres and styles, tell us more about Esthesis.
I started to compose music alone in 2013, when I was a student. It was just for the fun (and it’s still fun today !) and over the months and years, I began to imagine myself on stage, surrounded by great musicians, with a true record. It was some kind of vision or dream maybe, but from this moment I started to make this vision real… even if I was actually stucked in my bedroom with my studies ! (laughs)
The music of Esthesis is characterized by many influences (70’s british rock, film score, ambient, metal, pop…) and primarily based on emotion and ambiences. I am not interested in making one only style of music, for instance progressive rock or metal, and I like many different bands and styles of music. My personality evolves each year, and Esthesis music will also evolve through records. This is a very exciting thing to make different music each time, even if it can be subtle, and I already know the direction of the next two records.
> In February 2019 you released the first EP “Raising Hands”, what is the theme of the album?
« Raising Hands » is not a concept album, but lyrics are mainly related to war and conflicts. Maybe a little cliché, but it was a very first EP and lyrics are great I think, especially on Raising Hands Part 2 and Silent Call. At this time, I was not the only one to write lyrics for the band and I was helped by my ex-lover and my guitarist and friend David.
However, first album lyrics will talk about the quest and loss of identity in many situations, which is a really important and personal theme for me. It will be more mature and I’m now the only one writing lyrics, because it is essential for me to express some personal things on a piece of paper, and to sing these lyrics on stage in the future. I’m more confident now on this point, even if it’s a lot of work.
> Contains five long-lasting and well-made songs, which show the various musical facets of your sound, how was the album born?
As I said before, Esthesis was born in Paris in 2013, when I was a student. I started to compose a lot of music alone in my bedroom, on keyboard and guitar, and my friend David Delavoipière joins me in 2014 to compose some music. We were joined later by Yann Pousset on drums, and Charles Thumloup on bass guitar. We recorded the EP in 2017 but its publication was delayed by some personal events. The EP was officially released in January 2019. It was very hard to conciliate a job, personal life and music during all these years. Fortunately, the first Esthesis album we are currently working on will be released faster, since I live near Toulouse in France.
> Multi-instrumentalist, singer and mind of the group, which however has other musicians, what contribution do they give during the realization phase?
Even if I am the leader of the band, the contribution of each musician has been essential on the EP. I consider myself a sort of orchestra conductor, more than a real musician. I very often have a clear vision of the songs I wrote, and even if I only recorded a small piece of piano or guitar for a demo, I hear immediately all the instruments in my head and my role is to get as close as possible to this vision and to test it with the rest of the band, with all their advice and technique. We all contribute a lot to the arrangements of the songs.
> How is the album sponsorship going, are live dates scheduled?
Well, our first EP « Raising Hands » is now sold out in physical format, and has been very well received by magazines, webzines, radios and, most importantly, by people who bought it. I’m really glad of all this, even if I don’t have any label yet. We will be looking for a label after the first album, which is on the way since April 2019. Meanwhile, our very first live dates with the new line-up will be announced in the next few months, and it will be a great step for me and the band !
> Going back to your sound, how do you see the culture and the modern music scene and if it influences you?
I’m a great music lover and I constantly discover new records from new bands, from progressive rock and metal to ambient… But I don’t like mainstream music, especially in France (fortunately, there are some rare exceptions). It such a depressing thing to hear crap music on many radios, even if there are some great broadcasts in our country. Artists and bands that influence me are mainly « underground » or « independant ». I could name a lot of bands or artists, like Steven Wilson, Goldfrapp, Rover, Agnes Obel or Jonathan Wilson, but there are many others that influence me. I’m also very influenced by movie music composers like Ryuichi Sakamoto and Angelo Badalamenti.
> “Raising Hands” was your record debut, what plans are there for the future?
I am currently working on Esthesis first « real » record, with a new and very talented line-up. The record will be 1-hour long, with seven very different tracks, even if there is a great cohesion and coherence. It will be a very different record than « Raising Hands », with much more influences on it, like Goldfrapp, Kate Bush, Philip Glass, Ludovico Einaudi, Ennio Morricone or Nine Inch Nails and Biosphere. Of course, Pink Floyd and Steven Wilson influenced me on this record too, but mainly the Atom Heart Mother and Insurgentes records. There will be explosive moments on the record, as well as very atmospheric moments on it. It will be recorded in July 2020 in a great recording studio in Toulouse, and I hope it will be released in autumn 2020 in physical format, digital and streaming.
As I said before, our second plan will be to tour a lot with our first EP and this debut album. We are currently working hard on finding dates, and also on our light show, which will be an important part of the future concerts. If music is essential for me, light show is equally important during a concert and I want the audience to be immerged by it, especially during powerful moments or, at the opposite, ambient and atmospheric moments. Since my adolescence, I have always been attracted by light shows which were in complete harmony with the music, for instance in Pink Floyd shows, which is my best reference I think.
> Close the interview as you wish, a message for those who read to get closer to your music.
I would like to thank all of those who support Esthesis. Thank you for your patience, I hope you will like the new record, and we can’t wait to share our music with you on stage. Please come to our future live shows to support us 🙂
Thanks for your availability, wishing the best to Aurélien and the Esthesis project.
Find the review of “Raising Hands EP” on our webzine: https://progrockjournal.com/review-esthesis-raising-hands/