Strawberry Spotlight is a weekly feature on Strawberry Tongue Radio hosted by Lady Audio. She chats with the bands you hear on Strawberry Tongue. In this edition, Lady Audio chats with Book of Giants, who are based out of Lisbon, Portugal and Paris, France.
This is a transcription of that interview which airs February 8, 2017, 1:00 EST, only on Strawberry Tongue Radio. You can also catch the re-broadcast of this show on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm EST. Be sure to tune in!
Lady Audio apologizes for the audio quality of this telephone interview. If you have any questions about something you didn’t quite understand, please contact Lady Audio at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll be happy to translate for you. Conversely, you may also contact the band by visiting bookofgiants.net.
Lady Audio: Hi everyone and welcome to the strawberry Spotlight radio show! I am Lady Audio and I will be your host. Our guest this week is Book of Giants. Welcome to the show Book of Giants, how are you?
Ricardo: Thank you, I’m quite fine.
Marine: I’m fine, too. Thanks.
Lady Audio: If you would please introduce yourselves and let the audience a little bit about you. We can start with you, Ricardo.
Ricardo: Okay well I play piano in a band called Book of Giants and I do most of the composing. I started writing music about 10 years ago more or less. I started classical music – piano – and then started to play in some bands with a couple of friends and writing stuff for short movies. Now I am completely dedicated to this project with Marine called Book of Giants and that’s it.
Lady Audio: Cool. And, Marine, how about you?
Marine: Me, actually, I was not playing a lot of music before I was mostly singing. I learned to play guitar about six years ago with but just was singing over it and that’s how I started. Otherwise I’m drawing most of the time – just occasionally music.
Lady Audio: Oh great! So going back into time a little bit I wanted to ask you, I’ll start with you Ricardo again, what attracted you to the realm of music?
Ricardo: Well, I started music at the age of eight or nine and mostly for fun – I like music. Not for professional music then I started studying at the conservatory in Lisbon and studied mostly for (inadudible) but after, let’s say, five or six years, I quit it – that school. I started playing with some friends and some friends challenged me to start playing my own stuff, my own music. So, then I started to be committed to playing my own stuff. That’s kind of my story.
Lady Audio: Oh, cool and Marine – so you are an artist – for doing drawing and stuff is so how did you get into music?
Marine: Actually, I was like ten and my father used to sing all the time and I was singing all the time – walking, when I was taking my shower whatever. But, I never really thought about anything professional about it at all until my boyfriend presented me to Ricardo that he was looking for female voice and that’s how we met. I said “yeah, why not” so I decided to give it a try and that’s how it came. Just like singing and it’s exciting to try to do something with that and to discover my voice as well.
Lady Audio: So, when did the Giants get started?
Ricardo: Well, we met in 2014 and we started like – we were just experimenting. We had no clear ambitions or objective as such. We were just experimenting with a lot of stuff, so the first thing that we did was nothing very special, but, mostly experimental. The first thing that started to sound like Book of Giants, I think that came up around 2015 more or less.
Lady Audio: Cool. Do you both record all your own music and where you located? Do you work remotely? How does that work?
Marine: Well, I am actually in Paris. Ricardo is in Lisbon, so it’s a bit far – Portugal from France. So, Ricardo is sending me his composition and the music and the lyrics and me, I’m recording myself – the voice – here in Paris with my microphone in my room. I don’t know how you work Ricardo exactly.
Ricardo: (laughs) Well, I have no method (inaudible). Well, I go to the piano – whenever I feel like going to the piano – and just play for fun. When something strikes me, like woah, this is something – I grab that and we develop the music more special and start arranging and adding lyrics and melodies and stuff. Once I have something that sounds more or less like a song, well, I send it to Marine.
Lady Audio: Cool and Marine, I want to ask you how do you describe the kind of music with Book of Giants creates?
Marine: I think Ricardo would be better talking about this but it’s more – I don’t know a mix of indie stuff. and a bit dark side. But we’re actually working on a different side. I don’t know I think Ricardo’s going to be more able to talk about this because I’m, mostly singing and it’s more his universe, you know? I don’t Ricardo, if you feel more like talking about it.
Ricardo: As I said before we didn’t start with no preconceived objectives. We both have our own in inclinations – they are quite different but we are compatible. I listen to mostly indie stuff, electronic and dark classic and jazz music. Marine she listens to not the same bands that I do but they’re bands that are like also, so we have are compatible background. We started experimenting with different stuff – we tried more ethnic textures mixed with dark chill-out moods and it was interesting but it was not working. Once we wrote our first song that started this sound like a song, which was “Endeavor,” we were like – this this sounds good – let’s go this way and that’s what started to define or songs. Dark and yet polished. I usually tend to go more towards the dark side but also but with a female voice it gives it a little more color and more mood, maybe. So the result it’s dark, it’s a little bit sexy, I think, and moody.
Marine: Yeah I would say our music is changing with the time. I don’t know but we are trying something and to see if it worked and then we tried to continue in that way and then we discover another way – another path possible. We’ve been trying to – we did a remake of a jazz song. So, we trying different stuff but, in the end, that gloomy, atmosphere is what is defining us for the moment at least.
Lady Audio: I really like the song Monster. What is it about?
Ricardo: Well the concept for the song is about our inner monster when we are in a relationship with someone and how we try to control it. The music itself started, well, I usually start it at the piano. (inaudible) it’s harder when it’s a faster song – without overplaying the piano. When that was done, I started (inaudible) adding part of the chorus and stuff. It gets that dark atmosphere with a little more (inaudible) feel also.
Marine: What I like is – that the reason it’s quite fast and all that and yet the voice which is more – inner – an inner voice – you know coming out from it – it can be the heartbeat and then inside you try to quiet all of your emotions, you know. When you feel all this pressure inside of you and sometime you don’t control everything.
Lady Audio: Another song that I really like is “Fade in the Sun.” What is that song about?
Ricardo: One of our first songs and it speaks about how you tend to fade a little bit of yourself when you’re with someone you always lose a little part of you. The music is more we were experimenting with electronics at that time (inaudible) and we started working it more downtempo and adding some piano, and strings and the result – we like – but,we are not exploring that line – we are trying to explore more acoustic, with more instruments and less electronic.
[Play Fade in the Sun]
Lady Audio: Yeah I really like the Acoustic drum sounds you are coming up with. how do you record the drums?
Ricardo: The drums we first started with electronic drums in mostly from Cubase – digital drums. We tried also with a drummer – a real drummer – but that didn’t work out well. So I got back to electronic drum and now we are trying to extend our drum textures. But, our next step will be to use a real drummer for live.
Lady Audio: Yeah, that was going to be one of my next questions. In regards to playing live do you think you guys will ever play live?
Marine: Yeah, I guess maybe that’s one thing we’d like to do. What makes it complicated is that we are not living in the same city. So we should train, I guess, but I think maybe next year we should meet up somewhere in Paris or Lisbon and try it – doing live. For me it’s pretty new I’ve never done it before. I think Ricardo you did already with some of your friends.
Ricardo: Yeah, I did some concerts, not many. Mostly solo concerts with piano. Our goal is to try to play live. First try to find some musicians that are willing to help and then start to play live.
Marine: Yeah, but, I think it’s going to be really interesting step now because it’s really different to play live, I guess. With the voice and the instruments and see how it all works together. It’s a bit scary (laughs) but, I think it’s gonna be great!
Lady Audio: Yeah, it will be a challenge, but, I think it will be a really good thing to do for next steps. And now it’s time for a scenario, are you ready?
Marine and Ricardo: Yeah, yep.
Lady Audio: I’ll start with Marine. It’s late in the afternoon, the shadows are long and you are sitting in an airplane that is just about to take off. Where do you imagine the airplane to be taking you?
Marine: Umm, ok (laughs) this is really a classical response because actually my boyfriend is living in Spain, so if I am taking a plane, which is happening quite regularly now, it’s going to be there, for finding him again. You know if he is coming soon to Paris, the first idea coming to my mind is to take the plane to go back to him. So, this is the first idea that came to my mind, otherwise, I am really willing to discover Portugal. That’s going to be my next destination.
Lady Audio: How about you, Ricardo?
Ricardo: Well, I was thinking the same thing. My girlfriend lives in Portugal, but, she lives like 300 km away. The first thing that came to my mind was to be with her.
Marine: Lovers, you know. The first thing that comes to our mind.
Lady Audio: I think that sweet, really, really sweet. And last but not least, what is your favorite flower? Ricardo, I will start with you.
Ricardo: Oh, I have to think about it. Hmmm, I guess…well, I would say something simple, like you see along the roadside, like a daisy.
Lady Audio: Oh, I love daisies! What about you Marine? What’s your favorite flower?
Marine: Oh, I don’t really know. I like the red color of the coquelicot – I don’t know what it is in English. It’s a small red flower, it’s very nice. Otherwise, generally, I like more white flowers. But, I don’t have a favorite one. I find, in general, flowers are very nice, and I have my tastes, but, I don’t exactly know which one is my favorite. I like different ones. The idea of the daisy – the natural ones that are growing everywhere naturally.
Lady Audio: Thank you for that. Umm, I’m gonna try to look up that flower, you are going to have to send me a picture of it.
Marine: Yes, I am trying to find it in English. Ah, a red poppy!
Lady Audio: Oh, okay, a red poppy. Oh, those are really lovely flowers.
Marine: Yeah, they are nice. The red color – it is very simple but it is very powerful at the same time.
Lady Audio: So, where can people go to listen to and purchase your music?
Ricardo: We are in the typical social networks. Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, we also started to promote….
Marine: Twitter…we’re a bit everywhere, right?
Ricardo: Yes. And Spotify….I think that’s it.
Lady Audio: Thank you so much for joining me today Book of Giants, I really appreciate it. And for everyone listening, you can find Book of Giants by visiting BookofGiants.Net and from there you will find the links to their Facebook, Soundcloud and all the good stuff. So, blessed be until next week, bye!