Though it contains songs of dreams and strange moons, is liberally laced with mantric bells, cymbals and tambourines, and might also give off a slight whiff of incense, L’Epee’s debut Diabolique - titled after Mario Bava’s 1968 cult action film Danger: Diabolik - is not quite as new-age as it may at first sound.
The melding of the minds of French actress, model and singer Emmanuelle Seigner, Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe and psych-rock husband and wife duo The Limiñanas, L’Epee’s sound is as double-edged as the sword of the band’s name; serving tough-as-shit noir expanse alongside good old-fashioned breathy-but-bored sex appeal. File somewhere between the Velvet Underground, Whyte Horses and Unloved.
We picked L'Épée's guitarist and label head Anton Newcombe's brain to find out a little bit more about one of our favourite albums of the year...
Who are L'Épée? How did L'Épée come to be?
We are Lépée (the sword). We form this project after setting out to make a solo album for emmanuelle- I suggest we become a project and tour.
Where did the name come from? Does the sword symbolise or mean anything in particular for you?
It came to me in a dream and so I translated it into french and asked the others if they thought it was ok
I've heard the record was named after Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik. Was the film and/or Morricone's soundtrack a specific point of reference for the album? Where there any other conscious influences?
Sort of, I was trying to come up with a stack of names and titles for songs and things, and translating them to see how the words looked in french, because I am equally interested in the shape, look, sound and meanings of words
The album has a very cinematic feel overall, and after BJM's Musique de Film ImaginéI wonder if an actual feature length matching of your music to film might happen in future. Is that something you would be interested in?
I sure hope so. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lionel’s writing and we’ve talked about searching for a project like that to do together- I have talked to a few film makers too, but it takes so long with these things
What's next for you, L'Épée and your label A Recordings?
First up, finish 2019 and the Lépée tour, then get in the studio and write a BJM album - I plan shows with both groups - it’s a lot of pressure, but an exciting challenge that I am looking forward to.
We managed to catch up with Lionel & Marie before their London show. They kindly signed some records for us too!