Grandma’s Ashes, can we get a bit of background on the band?
Myriam: I first met with Eva on the internet and joined her punk-rock/noise band and we played with different drummers before we eventually decided we wanted to play heavier music. We started over and found Edith online. We jammed, and her math-rock influences took us in a more progressive direction. That’s how we ended up mixing heavy riffs, progressive parts and powerful melodies. We’ve been playing together for three years now.
Are most of your songs a result of jamming, or do you work from structured ideas?
Myriam: One of us will usually come up with with a riff or melody that suits a particular emotion, then we’ll jam it around and end up with different parts that we’ll put together.
Eva: I write a lot of voice melodies when I’m at home, and often come to rehearsal with voice lines and simple bass lines, then Myriam will find something to do with it, bring heavy riffs before Edith comes with her complex rhythmics.
Are there any artists in particular that have inspired you two as players, or someone that encouraged you to pick up your instruments to begin with?
Myriam: My dad plays guitar and taught me the basics of blues with Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy when I was 9. However, it wasn’t until discovered Led Zeppelin at the age of 13 I became obsessed with the guitar. I’d say Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen and Matt Bellamy were my early inspirations as a teenager. I later discovered QOTSA and Frank Zappa, which inspired the tones I use with the band and the modal scales I sometimes use when I improvise.
Eva: My father was my first inspiration, he’s a multi-instrumentalist and was playing in different bands within different genres when I was growing up up, jazz, rock, punk and blues. I was surrounded by instruments as a child and he’d teach me. When I was 11, I discovered The Stranglers and was instantly very interested by the incredible J.J Burnel’s heavy, slamming but fat bass sound! I started playing bass right after that. After that I discovered Flea, and Chris Squier from Yes, both with more complicated bass lines. That paired with my growing love for funk, I started to work on my sound because I wanted to achieve a mix between two iconic styles, the incisive and punk one, and the groovy, melodic tone of my prog rock idols.
You’re releasing your first EP ‘The Fates’ in January, what can you tell us about it?Myriam: We recorded ‘The Fates’ a year ago at “Ferber”, a famous French recording studio where Zappa and Black Sabbath used to come in the 70s. We decided to record everything live with no overdubs in order to try and catch the energy of our live performances. We worked with producer Mario Caladato Jr. (The Mars Volta, Beastie Boys etc) who helped us find a balance between the aerial atmospheres of the vocals and the heavier parts.
Eva: By recording it live we managed to capture the synergy we feel between the three of us while jamming. We wanted it to be as fluid as possible, and highlight the emotional involvement in each song when played live. We named it “The Fates” after the three Moirai in Greek mythology, known as the sisters who determine the origin of the world and human beings. One is giving life, by spinning the wool, one unwinding the thread and the last one cutting it, bringing death. We loved that very symbolical allegory of our roles in the band.
What’s your history and experience with Orange?
Myriam: My first ever encounter was whenI was looking for a tube amp that could be aggressive and round at the same time, and a friend of mine let me try their TH30, the sound was both crispy and round. I’m also really into the desert rock scene, and when I saw Sleep live with Matt Pike’s wall of Rockerverbs I thought that it was the deepest guitar sound ever!
Eva: I noticed Orange Amps at festivals and I very intrigued by the colourful design, and when Myriam bought one I immediately loved its power!
Myriam, I know you play the Dual Terror, why did you go for that one and what’s your thoughts on it?
Myriam: It’s the first amp I ever bought with my very first paycheck : I needed a two channel amp because we have some ethereal parts in our music where a nice clean sound is necessary. The tiny channel of the DT has that slamming clean tone. I mainly use the fat channel with the typical Orange crunch sound and add fuzz or overdrive to it. I also went for the Dual Terror because of its practicality. It doesn’t weigh that much and is also switchable from 30w to 15w, which is really useful in the studio or in rehearsal to push the tubes without sounding too loud.
How does your dream Orange riggs / stacks look like?
Myriam: I like to play with a dry/wet setup, so my dream Orange stack would be the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII paired with a PPC 412. Because it has an FX loop and two separate channels, it would allow me to have cleaner modulation effects such as phaser, delays etc. than I have currently on the DT. The other amp would be a Tiny terror on a PPC 212. I like it with a crunchy sound and a really light slap delay. It also works well with fuzzs and overdrives because of its narrow frequency response.
Eva: I’d like to split my sound on two cabs, and looking for the best one to fit with my Sunn O))) Concert Bass, so I would say an OBC410, or OBC212 and OBC115 paired with a Terror Bass. I secretly dream of a AD200B, but unfortunately it’s a little heavy to bring home after rehearsal on the Parisian subway…
If you could tour with any band or artist, who would it be, and why?
Monolord! We discovered them with their last album, No Comfort. Their riffs are so heavy, it’s truly a slap in the face listening to them play live. We’d like to tour with them because we are comfortable in the stoner rock scene generally, and people look really psyched at their gigs.