It’s been said that every scene has a fake Ramones, rip off Talking Heads and 100 bands trying to be Motorhead. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing someone else’s sound to find your own voice. However to have a unique vision right out of the gate is the hallmark to great artistry. Haute Tension is a band that doesn’t sound like anyone else, they have a tropidelic, punk, garage, funk, soul, surf vibe, that wouldn’t be out of place in a David Lynch film; yeah, for real, all that. While that may sound like a hodge podge of dirty genre jumping, and it is, the sound Haute Tension make is a translation of their genuine love for music. Here’s some questions we asked of the group that started as a duo between Alexandre Merbouti, and Monica McGivern, and expanded to a trio with Nabedi Osorio on drums.
How did you guys get started?
Alexandre – Monica wanted to learn the bass so I taught her “Shadowplay” by Joy Division. Then she said she wanted to play a show so we became Mo’Booty and played a few shows as a two piece with a drum machine. We quickly realized we needed the energy of live drums for what we were playing. After recording demos with Danny Calle in 2016, and a full length album with Cody Mentelos in 2018, we went on a 31 day tour of Miami to solidify Nabedi Osorio into the group. We’ve since been on a tour to Michigan and New York, and recorded a single together.
What would you say are your major influences? I get a lot of different references with your sound.
Alexandre – I have many. This band for me was a challenge to not stick to one ‘genre’ or style of music, but to put all the sounds in my brain together in a way that makes sense. Most of the songs were written independently from each other and draw from almost every corner of the spectrum. Immediate influences are Death, Bad Brains, Joy Division, The Dead Kennedys, Jimi Hendrix, psychedelic cumbia, 60’s garage and surf, Soul, and funk. I like the visceral energy of punk, the smooth grooves of funk and psychedelia, and the conscious lyrics and production in hip hop.
When the smoke clears from Coronavirus what’s next for Haute Tension?
Our band is rooted in the energy of a live show. We’ve done a few quarantine sessions from afar, but we miss playing together. We’ve got a single that we recorded pre-COVID19 ready to release, and are putting out a call out to artists to co-create a video. We feel a responsibility to focus on using this platform to amplify the voices that aren’t heard.
You can catch Haute Tension playing Meltasia, a garage rock music festival that normally happens in the Catskill Mountains, via livestream on July 26, 2020.
If you can catch the on the live stream, we highly recommend it. Otherwise, visit the band on Spotify, Facebook and maybe buy something from their band camp!