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ARCHIVE (MARCH 25, 2022)



Six years of absence for Archive, which catches up with an album of almost two hours! Interview with three of the band members, exclusively for Music Waves!
DARIALYS - 27.04.2022 -
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Without the covid episode and the confinements that followed, "Call To Arms & Angels" would surely have sounded different. Although separated and forced to work in unprecedented conditions, the Archive musicians have nevertheless overcome the difficulties inherent to this period with brilliance, by offering a particularly rich two-hour record.

This new album, "Call To Arms & Angels" came as a reaction to the pandemic. What impact did this period have on your vision of art and life in general?

Darius Keeler: That period had a very big impact on all of us. It made us realize how small and insignificant we are. It's the first time we've experienced something like this. I would say that we each handled it in our own way. Some in a more positive way than others. But we got through it like everyone else!

Dave Pen : And now we have even bigger problems in the East.

Yes, we thought we had reached a climax with the pandemic, but now we have the war...

Darius: We live in a very troubled time. There are huge gaps in wealth. It's the most volatile time since the 1930s. It's a dangerous but interesting time.

And what should be the role of artists in this period?

Dave: We have to tell what's going on. We have our own interpretation, our own dreams, we write our own stories of course. That's the role of art.

Darius: Our music is also an escape for some people. They can disconnect through us, especially with Archive's music. I think music can save people just like it saves us. We play it with our heart, with our soul.

You're lucky as musicians to be able to express yourself in a way that non-musicians can't.

Dave: We all have our strengths and weaknesses, our talents... I think the pandemic has also given us a new appreciation for things.

Has it changed the way you work? You usually worked collectively, this time you couldn't rehearse together.

Darius: Before the pandemic started, we already wanted to work on a new album. We have our own studio, where we recorded our last three albums. There are a lot of instruments there, so there's a lot to experiment with. When the pandemic started, we were very limited. We didn't have much equipment with us. When you're in the studio, you can tend to focus on experimenting, and you can forget about the songs. Not having access to our studio allowed us to focus more on the essentials.

Does that mean that without the pandemic, this album would have been different?

Darius: It would have been very different.

Dave: But with the technology we don't really feel cut off from each other either.

Anyway, it's an album with moments of contemplation, tension. A kind of journey, like a movie of the events that took place in the last two years. Is that how you conceived it?

Darius: The second confinement in England was very hard for us, because every time we wanted to book the studio, there were new restrictions.

Pollard Berrier: I think that all the emotions that you can perceive when listening to this album were inside us. There are some quiet parts that remind you of loneliness, and some sad parts that are full of pain. In this album, there are all the feelings that we felt during this period.

Dave: I think it's one of the most balanced albums we've ever recorded.

It's a dense album, maybe the densest to date (104 minutes), with alternating short and long tracks. It's been a long time since the long tracks had such an important place. Why this choice? Was it to express the frustration of not having released any new music for 6 years? Did you not want to put any limits on yourself?

Darius: Epics are hard to plan. It usually progresses from an idea, an emotion. Daytime Coma' (14 minutes) works like that too.

Dave: Long songs are part of the Archive sound. It's like life. Sometimes you have to take your time.

Pollard: It's kind of a typical day during the pandemic. It's an unreal experience.

Dave: Yeah, there's the silence, the anger, the frustration, the fear. We've all been there!

It's human! We've all felt that, the anger, the sadness...

Dave: At first we were trying to figure out what was going on. Over time, people changed. Some people changed jobs, for example. There were positive aspects.

Pollard: We also got to take care of our kids, when we're usually on tour. It was great!

Dave: Personally, I try to be optimistic. I think things will work out. I really want to believe that!

There are a lot of "climaxes" on this album, and also, some very beautiful melodies. I think for example of the songs 'Surrounded By Ghosts' and 'Shouting Within', which are full of a kind of simplicity. What does this mean to you?

Darius: That's a very difficult question! We all love to compose. It's hard to quantify our own songs, where the melodies come from, because there are many people involved, each with their own influences.

We were talking about 'Daytime Coma' earlier. It's the longest track on the album, probably the most cathartic one, too. Is that why you chose to make it the first single?

Dave: It wasn't supposed to be, but it ended up being our first single!

Darius: As we were saying earlier, this song really embodies a day in the life of someone living through the pandemic. So it was probably the best choice to make.

Pollard: It was a way for us to start our comeback as well. So that's where we're at.

Darius: And the funny thing is that the end of the song came late. On the original demo, there wasn't that ending. It was with all the musicians that we wanted to make an explosion at the end.

The title 'Freedom' also has a particular atmosphere which proposes pop elements in the way of the Beatles, but also elements specific to the classic which really create this calming feeling of freedom. Is this one of your best songs to date?

Dave: I think you could say that a lot of the songs on this album are some of our best songs.

Darius: It's one of those songs that we really lived. You have to experience things to write. The strength of this song comes from there.

There is also a conceptual side to this album. A documentary, Super 8, accompanies its release, there is an enigmatic artwork... Is there a will to push art to its paroxysm?

Pollard: Archive is art, in the first sense. It's what we are! And the documentary shows under what circumstances we made this album. Archive has always had this artistic dimension, because our music expresses many things. I think we really consider ourselves as a collective. The documentary and the artwork were made by people who work with us on the visual side. It's part of us, it's an extension of us. That's the beauty of creation, and we're honored by it!

Dave: Everyone plays their part.

And that's a valuable thing. You do what you want to do, that's no small thing, in an industry like this.

Dave: We're lucky. In the beginning, the band could make mistakes. When we came in with Pollard, things changed a bit. We worked a lot, we believed in ourselves, we communicated a lot. Communication is the most important thing. We grew up. We always did what we wanted to do.

Darius: We don't compromise.

Dave: A lot of bands would love to be in our shoes. Some bands get a hit, and then they're stuck in one direction.

Pollard: You can become a slave to your music.

Last question! This album is maybe the most personal, the most cathartic album you've done. Maybe the most beautiful and the most accomplished even though it was written in a dark period. Is it typical of the most beautiful works to come from dark moments or periods of suffering?

Darius: Maybe, yes. You're probably right. Anyway, the albums that we make freely are the most important. With Archive, we found a way to express ourselves with more depth.

Thank you very much!

All three: Thank you!

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ARCHIVE: Call To Arms & Angels (2022)

"Call To Arms & Angels" is there to affirm that Archive remains a band capable of offering unstoppable and beautiful tracks while keeping this avant-garde spirit without which the collective would not be what it is.
ARCHIVE: Call To Arms & Angels
Music Waves now offers you every month the monthly selection of the editors and the winners of March 2022 are..
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