2005 – present (13 years)
1) French experimental acoustic rock band.
Six years after releasing their self-titled album, For Heaven’s Sake will be back in March 2011 with a brand new record entitled “Paha Sapa / Mako Sika”.
With multi-instrumentalist Guillaume Nicolas now fully established as the band’s leader, For Heaven’s Sake’s journey has been quite atypical. “In 2005, we released our first album, which was recorded as a trio in Paris and New York City and garnered very positive reviews, then we toured around France and Europe for about 200 dates. In terms of learning experiences and emotions, it was a very intense year. In 2006, when the tour ended on a series of solo dates, I wondered whether I should channel the energy and experience I had developed on stage into the immediate release of a second album, or felt like taking some distance to figure things out. On a personal level, after spending a whole year on the road, I felt like I needed a bit of time and perspective before releasing anything new. I wanted new experiences, new sounds, I needed to get away from some of the lyrical and musical formulas I had used on the first album, and I wanted to introduce and blend brand new influences and references into my songwriting.”
In 2006, following an encounter which turned out to be pivotal in his life, the young man, then 24, went back to New York City. “From then on, the first draft of the kind of music I wanted to create started to take shape in my head. In an apartment on the Lower East Side, I wrote new tracks and recorded a few demos. I was increasingly fascinated with languages, instruments and traditional music from around the world – Oriental and American cultures, among others. I had this intense craving to learn, to grow, to understand words and sounds, whether they came from India, Eastern Europe, Africa, the backwoods of America or the native American culture. I studied many languages and dialects, and learned to play many traditional instruments. I progressively focused my songwriting on that combination between some of those ethnic sounds and my love for a more experimental, electric approach, rock, blues, as well as stripped-down acoustic folk. During the time I spent in New York, some of my personal convictions began to take root and flourish deep within me, which I think is conveyed through my lyrics.” These lyrics are essential in For Heaven’s Sake artistic universe. “It is a very sensitive subject on which I won’t dwell, for many different and personal reasons, but yes, I can definitely say that my lyrics are one of the key elements in my music.”
For all these years, the desire to write, compose and record was still there, stronger than ever – however, the desire to release a new album and tour with For Heaven’s Sake, a project yet so close to Guillaume’s heart, had somewhat faded into the background. “I then started to travel a lot and work on many different parallel projects, as a musician, producer, arranger, or quite simply for my own enjoyment or the sake of culture. And I have gained a lot from all these experiences. Once again, opening yourself up to others and the world in general is the secret behind everything, behind all creation and inspiration, however paradoxical this may sound coming from somebody who records music all on his own.” As a matter of fact, Guillaume Nicolas dealt with the songwriting, all the instruments, the production and the whole recording process on his own on this new album. “For Heaven’s Sake is a project I feel intimately connected to, and as much as I love sharing the music on stage with other musicians, I also really enjoy the freedom of bringing these songs, this universe to life alone in the studio. When it comes to a band like this one, being on stage and being in the studio are two very distinct worlds. I see the recording process as a lonely, intimate process, during which I need to be on my own, so I can take my songs in the right direction and paint them with the right colours.”
Over four years, more than 100 tracks have been written and recorded. As time went by and he got to know new people, new places, new countries and new towns, inspiration has never dwindled. “Travels and human connections are an endless source of inspiration, when it comes to my personal life as well as my music. I have written and recorded a lot of material these last few years, without necessarily realizing it at the time, since I didn’t have specific plans for these songs in the future. It wasn’t before September 2010 that I felt like releasing a record under the name For Heaven’s Sake, and that’s when I realized just how much material I had written in four years, and how much it all meant to me. I preselected about 20 tracks or so, and asked my friend Kevin Salem (a famous, brilliant producer in New York City) to mix them. I decided to split these songs into three albums, which will be released a few months after one another, and if everything goes well, the rest will be released soon afterward. I am an absolute workaholic, and these last few years have been some of the most intense and fruitful of my life, on a personal, spiritual and artistic level, since those three elements are always intertwined. After being silent for a few years, I now really want to bring For Heaven’s Sake back to life.”
For Heaven’s Sake will release “Paha Sapa / Mako Sika” in March 2011, followed by “Pandemonium” and “13” later.
2) German Ska Punk Band
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