Social Square was founded 9 years ago, at Christmas 2005. They are a trio from Paris, France. Their unique trademark is reflected by a percussive and distorted indie rock, mixed with powerful guitar hooks and solid songwriting. Be ready for their new release Kaïju Quick Fix: you'll be struck by a huge flood of energy, and you will ask for more!
- Hi guys! First of all, can you tell us who is Social Square and what's the story behind the band? How did you meet and get to play music together?
The band started around Christmas 2005. We met through various music connections, friends of friends, etc. We’d all been playing in previous bands for years previously. Social Square was a new project created by our singer Patrick who wanted to start a 3-piece band, something light and full of energy. He was first joined by our bassist Laurent, then Faez, the drummer. We figure we really don’t need more than those three elements to make the music we want to make, though we do enjoy adding some quirky instruments like stylophone or theremin when we’re in the studio.
- How is the creative/production process divided between each of you (lyrics, songwriting, recording...)?
We basically just jam in our rehearsal studio, record our ideas to make sure we don’t forget them, work on them the next time we rehearse, and pretty quickly, in maybe 3 rehearsals, a new song is born and 80% finished. Writing the lyrics is the final phase, which Patrick does more or less quickly, but usually only when the chords and melody are definitive. So the last 20% can take much longer to complete…
- With your energetic and saturated guitar hooks, your sound is pure loud alternative rock! What are your main influences?
1990s indie rock is our main influence. We know it, and people keep saying it, so there’s not denying it! Bands like Pavement, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Pixies Sebadoh and Fugazi built our musical identity. We don’t try and sound like that, we just naturally do. We could sound differently I guess, but that would require a conscious effort on our part, and we’re too lazy for that. Our music comes as it comes, it’s imperfect but sincere.
- Three years have passed since your EP For The Time Being in 2011. Can you tell us more about the making of your new release? Was it a long journey, did you meet new people since then?
The mini EP “Kaiju Quick Fix”, released in the spring of 2014, was born from our meeting Arno, from the band Stuck In The Sound, who are quite popular in France. He offered to record some new songs for us; he is a bass player but also a sound engineer and complete sound geek. He builds his own effect pedals and compressors and stuff. It was a great experience recording with him (we of course used some of his homemade gizmos) and our new songs sound really good, with definitely the best sound we’ve ever achieved. There are only 2 of them because we wanted to record only our best new material.
- Your description on Jamendo says that you "enjoy loud songs that carry a melody nevertheless, but they need to be loud". We can’t help but noticing on your Kaïju Quick Fix EP cover a Godzilla-ish monster attacking a city. Why did you choose that image?
The Godzilla-type image and general taste for Japanese monster movies came from the video we made for “As They Come” in 2013, which is a montage of bits and pieces from such movies. We asked Half Bob, a great comic book artist who does all the artwork for our label, to come up with an idea including a monster destroying a city, as a nod to that well-known cliché. The name of the record also came from that, since ‘kaiju’ is Japanese for ‘monster’. And ‘quick fix’ for the fact there are only two songs on it, like a quick little shot of high-energy indie rock.
We didn’t pursue in that direction for our latest video though, for the song “It Never Works” which is on “Kaiju Quick Fix”: it was shot on a Velib, the free city bikes in Paris, using an iPod fixed on the front basket, and filming while riding through the city. The combined ideas of struggling with urban chaos and promoting environmental consciousness speak to us. But it’s not a conceptual or arty video by any means.
- Have you already taken the new material on the road, and performed it live? How would you describe the live experiences you've had so far?
We play quite regularly, mostly in Paris. We feel our newest material is usually the most energy-packed, and those are always the most fun songs to play on stage, because they get the best reaction from the audience. The older we get, the more we seem to enjoy songs that are faster and louder than what we did before…
- What‘s next for Social Square? Any plans for the future?
Yes, our label, Influenza Records, which we created with 3 other Parisian indie rock bands (Wonderflu, Polarbird and Pfau), is releasing a split vinyl album, with 3 songs from each band, in the spring 2015. It’s actually being mastered as we speak, in Seattle. There will be a release party and other things going on around its release date. It will be the first time we release some material on vinyl, which is exciting for us, especially a 12”, which is a beautiful object. Of course, we asked Half Bob to handle the artwork, he’s working on it right now also.