Paris XY - photo by Justin Gardner

PARIS XY – Photo by Justin Gardner

From Leeds with love. Despite their name British duo PARIS XY doesn’t have much in common with sweet chansons from France. They prefer a slightly darker aspect of romance and emotion. At least within their music. Alice Smith and James ‘Jim’ Orvis are more familiar in the musical territory of artists like THE KNIFE or TRENTEMØLLER. Haunting synthetic lullabies that are drenched in darkness but also sometimes feel like a rave event in a nightly forest. PARIS XY are many things but mainly a promising new act that deserves to get more attention.

While the duo is currently working on their first full-length longplayer NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION sat down with Mrs. Smith and Mr. Ovis to talk about the essential things in life in form of our infamous ‘Introducing’-Q&A. Find the answers of the two talented musicians below.

Why should people listen to PARIS XY? What’s the main difference to all the other acts out there?
Starting things off with an extremely difficult question! Is it possible to answer this without blowing our own trumpet!
I’d say that we started out as a band from two very distinct backgrounds, and so the music we make is influenced by several different genres. Every track you can hear the influences, however it sounds new due to the purposeful clash in sound. In most cases acts tend to stick with one definitive area, but our attempts to use elements from everything we like have made our sound. It’s going to be impossible to invent an entirely new genre in the future, everything’s been done, so I think the noticeable acts are the ones who use everything together. Fabricated chaos!

How would you describe your music to a deaf person?
If you took yourself out on one of the coldest darkest nights, you can’t see anything but a maze of black, then from that place in your head where you think nothing but evil and sinister thoughts, verging on the destitute and insane. You see lights, all around you, you feel that energy that light can bring you, and all the thoughts in your head reach clarity to leave you in a state of introverted euphoria, a state of renewed assurance with your life. That’s why I write, that’s what I write, and that’s therefore what I can describe.

I you’d have to create a mixtape to introduce people to your music. Which artists / tracks, aside of your own, would be part of it?
It wouldn’t just be a string of modern electronic producers and bands, I think we would have some influential favourites in there such as RADIOHEAD, MAZZY STARR, BILLIE HOLIDAY…. things that influenced us to make music in the first place. Then it would definitely be an eclectic mix of club tracks, trip hop and electronica. This is a really hard question to summarise!

Would you rather be a dragon or have a dragon?
Definitely have a dragon, the all seeing almighty protector, it could guard you all the time, plus neither me nor Jim can drive so free transportation would be ideal.

Fingers as tall as legs or legs as small as fingers?
Fingers as tall as legs, think of how many functions you need your hands for, and how well you could perform those with mega long fingers. Alice’s hands are freakishly small so that’s the dream for her.

Paris XY - Alice Smith - live pic

Imagine you don’t have any budget limits. Would sort of music video would you produce? Which guest stars, which plot?
We’re big fans of videos with a narrative, it would have to be some fictitious evil plot, probably involving violence, psychotic minds, haunting scenes, verging on a horror film. The music we’re making now is pushing towards a heavy cinematic feel, so a suitable short film that could stand alone as a piece of art is what we’d love. Euan Baker is our film maker extraordinaire, his talents lean towards the sinister horror influence as well, so his input would help us out a lot. Maybe a little too sinister at times, even for the XY!

What are the three key elements to every song of PARIS XY?
Sub, lyrics and powerful walls of sound.

What’s the best scenario to listen to your music?
It entirely depends on what part of our repertoire you are listening to. On the one hand there are somber stay-at-home after-party tracks, you always get a groove but it’s more subtle and easier to listen to, sink in to. And then you have the ‘James Orvis bangers’, these culminate into underground dirty parties, minimal vibes, heavy sub and kick, songs that you just need to dance to and that’s it.

The music & culture industry is currently about to redefine itself on many levels. Do you feel like being completely and utterly at the its mercy, or should things be seen as a chance for artists?
If I’m honest the industry probably won’t listen to independent artists or even signed artists. It’s in the hands of the higher powers that be, the local and national promoters, and the ‘who’s who’ in whatever genre. The power of independent artists however, is definitely rising. DIY bands and producers have the internet, social media, the capacity to produce and release their own music. We’ve spent the last 2 years managing and producing ourselves, we’ve had to learn the business and all the possible pitfalls. For the moment though, it is impossible to produce and finish off an album without the help of someone experienced and able to do the groundwork so we can focus on creativity.

PARIS XY – Tourdates

25.07.2014 – DE – Bayreuth – Glashaus
26.07.2014 – DE – Görlitz – Stadtpark
26.07.2014 – DE – Chemnitz – MS Beat Festival
30.07.2014 – DE – Berlin – Monarch
31.07.2014 – DE – Berlin – Klunkerkranich
02.08.2014 – DE – Krefeld – Cocolores @ Magnapop
03.08.2014 – NL – Heeten – Tone’s Summerjam Festival
08.08.2014 – UK – Heslaker Farm – Beacons Festival
09.08.2014 – UK – Scunthorpe – Party in the Pines
15.08.2014 – UK – Ikley Moor – Fieldtrip Festival
23.08.2014 – UK – Helmsley – Galtres Festival
05-07.09.2014 – UK – Hull – Freedom Festival
25.10.2014 – DE – Munich – Digital Analog Festival


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