INTERVIEW: Arnaud Verrier – Uneven Structure

UNEVEN STRUCTURE are a band who have burst back onto the scene after a number of years of inactivity. Usually in these cases, the band don’t quite have the magic they once did and fall somewhat flat against their back catalogue and other bands in the scene. In this French outfit’s case, however, they have returned with La Partition; a record that pushes the boundaries of the djent category they originally resided in. On their recent UK tour, we spoke to UNEVEN STRUCTURE’s drummer, Arnaud Verrier, about touring, the djent label, and what’s next for the band.

How’s the tour going so far?

Arnaud: Oh, it’s pretty good. It’s been a bit tougher than the previous ones because we wanted to push the limits somehow and do everything by ourselves. Just to set things straight with what we can do and what we can’t, and it’s going really nice. Really nice, except we don’t have time to enjoy the cities in any way, we don’t have time to party much so far, hopefully that will happen. But, it’s amazing. We love touring the UK, we’ve got a bigger and bigger audience and the guys are truly devoted, the junk food is amazing [laughs] and yeah, the feedback has been really good so we’re happy and honoured.

UNEVEN STRUCTURE have just grown in popularity since your last album came out. We last saw you supporting TWELVE FOOT NINJA…

Arnaud: Absolutely. It was the best touring conditions we could ask for, really. The TWELVE FOOT NINJA guys are truly, truly amazing, just exceptional human beings and each minute spent with them on the road was a blessing. We were together on the same bus for five weeks, I guess, yeah, every day from the moment we woke up to the moment we reached our bed was pure happiness. The crowds were amazing, the venues and the staff, everything was way beyond our expectations so we’re hoping to do it again with them soon, maybe in another continent. I hope so!

How do you keep going on the road? UNEVEN STRUCTURE tour quite extensively when you do.

Arnaud: Ah, it’s just some sort of inertia. Like, we might be more tired after a one-off rather than on a tour, which is where we try to take more care of our food, our sleeping schedule. It used to be a lot more in excess than how we are on this tour, because we have responsibilities of driving and loading in and out, and these are things where when you repeat them over and over through the days, it can become quite dangerous if you’re not 100% focused. So, yeah, we just like being nutrition geeks [laughs], more fruit, more protein. We try to do as much as we can to take care with what we have without any cheat codes or whatever, just doing what any caring human being would do, I guess. There are days that are easier than others, it depends a lot on the people we meet, the audience, crew, if it’s good then we’re going to have a good day and that’s gonna fuel us for the next day and so on and so forth. It’s not much of a big deal, we’re doing what we’ve always been working for, we’re just very fortunate and don’t take it for granted, and do our best to make it go on.

What’s it been like touring with VOYAGER and everyone else?

Arnaud: It’s been really cool, although I’ve found that having two separate vans and two separate schedules has made it that we couldn’t hang together that much yet. But once again, I hope it’s going to happen on a few days off or at shows where we have some more time, but you know, you arrive at the venue, you load in, you sound check, you hang a bit round, a matter of minutes, then you eat, warm up and play, then set down and load out and we don’t have much time to spend with the guys unfortunately. They’re really awesome, they’re really fun, they’re quite salty already which was a good start of the tour. I hope we’re going to get to know each other more.

Yeah, it’s a gradual process. Like you said, the downside of touring is that you don’t have the time to look at the cities and experience the places you’re going to. If you had the opportunity, which city would you love to explore?

Arnaud: Actually, the thing is we came back from Ireland and took the ferry to Scotland and the sights there were amazing. We drove along the coast for a few hours and it’s just mind-blowing, it’s the land of dreams. You understand that there’s so many legends about it there because it’s stunning in every way. I would have loved to spend a few days in Prague, I just discovered Dublin and now I’m dreaming of a vacation there. And I wish I could just do a bit more wandering around and shopping in the UK because everything’s so flashy, I just want to have a walk around all the shops you come buy and spend all your money on the first useless shit you find, but I just love the vibe of this country. It’s always raining but the people are based around it and made it really welcoming and warm. There’s always a sense of family, groups of friends, everyone knows everyone, everyone goes to everyone they don’t know yet, which is something we like in France, and yeah, I love the vibe of this country. You see it with things such as Tech-Fest, everyone in the cities go to every show together, they’re like friends all around the year, not just friends at Tech-Fest. It’s truly inspiring.

On the subject of touring, what can people expect from UNEVEN STRUCTURE on this tour?

Arnaud: Full power and chaos, dude! We’re happy with our music and are truly driven by the vibe and whether there’s something positive or negative going on, we will make something out of it and we’ll end up with stuff broken. With knees broken, such as our singer yesterday in Glasgow, he fucked up his knee jumping off the stage and his knee just fell in the wrong place, and that’s just pretty much what happens every day. My drums are covered in blood, our instruments are always covered in blood or fucked up, and it’s just what we do. We try to give life to our music, as much as we can and we want to deliver something that is chaotic and just like a slap in the face, an hour-long slap in the face so that when people come out of the venue they’re like “What just happened?”. It’s what we aim for. The purpose of it all and we’re in for it, we know what we’re doing, we know it’s going to happen. We know that there’s going to be fuck ups and we’re working our way through it.

Onto the album, did you expect the response you got from it?

Arnaud: Yeah, we didn’t know where to stand because we know it’s been a few years gap between Februus and La Partition, we knew we were going for something totally different. Whether it’s a matter of composition, of instrumental performance, a matter of production, everything has been really really different from Februus, so we knew we’d lose a few people along the way, that’s what happens, but it’s only to gain new ones which is most important to us. We knew that people would have changed in the last few years, like some guys discovered UNEVEN STRUCTURE while jerking off in their uni bedroom and now they’re fathers of children. That’s pretty much the way things go, and we changed and we’re really happy with how it turned out. It’s still growing, it’s something that grows constantly. We don’t have such things as the first week buzz and then it goes down, it’s just a constant growth somehow which is good. Slow and steady rather than fast.

It’s better to take your time. UNEVEN STRUCTURE are there to make music. What would you say the main differences are between Februus and La Partition?

Arnaud: Well, Februs was musically more aesthetically clean and straight in terms of composition and production. On La Partition, we went for something much more organic, more free. Our singer, Matthieu, has been singing clean lines upon blast beats, there’s no rules. We just like, let go of every rule and barriers we have in our minds and break the mould to make something as close to what we pictured in our head as possible, and that’s what happened. That’s also why it took so much time, we wanted to have a product we were 100% satisfied with, so as long as someone has something to say about anything, we just came back and worked on it until everyone was 100% satisfied with it, and that’s what we achieved.

It’s really admirable how you don’t limit yourselves.

Arnaud: That’s the worst thing about the djent circle. When you start out as a djent band, people expect you to do djent all along your career, that’s absolutely not something we want. We didn’t even want to be classified as a djent band in the first place, and now it’s getting a bit old, but people are going to get used to it. Like, there are that many djent bands who are still keeping their roots but going for something much more personal, that’s what we did.

What’s next for UNEVEN STRUCTURE after the tour?

Arnaud: I think we’re going to be playing through Europe for the next few months, and exploring as many opportunities we have overseas. See what’s happening over in the US or in Asia. We’ll be writing again very soon, because we don’t want our third album to take that long, most of us might be dead by then! [laughs]

La Partition is out now via Long Branch Records.

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