Ways. are a Rock / Metal / Alternative band from Paris, France. In January 2016, the band released their debut EP Watching From Afar which was recorded and mixed by Tony Di Santo and Ways. and mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna). Mixing several influences and musical styles, Ways offers a powerful, dynamic and melodic music close to alternative rock, metal and post-hardcore. Lead vocalist Clément and bassist Niko were kind enough to answer some of our questions.
How did you first get in to music? Who or what turned you onto rock/metal?
Niko: I was 13 or 14 years old, something like that and i was playing guitar since few years. At this time i was (and i still) a huge fan of Nirvana and i grew up with this kind of music… and i discovered Deftones. This band is the reason why i play metal.
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
I started playing music with an acoustic guitar when i was 13 years old. I practiced all days and i learned with some riffs of Nirvana, Metallica, SOAD, Linkin park, Deftones and more. With my first job, at 16 years old, i bought my first electric guitar.
How did the band form and how did the band name come about?
Niko: Tony, Bruno and me (Niko) played in Rise of Echoes. So we know Tony since 10 years, maybe more. Bruno is my brother, so it’s different :). After Rise of Echoes, we created Ways. About Clément and Nico, we met these guys for Ways. This name is about direction, the way to go to find some solutions and move on again and again. Nothing is blocked, there is always a way, an alternative to move on. We found this name at the beginning of this project. The idea was to find a short name that speaks about direction and alternative solution to find a way and move on. Ways. was the perfect choice.
How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?
Clément: I always wanted to sing in a band and it happened, by chance, during the show of one of my friends. I screamed, i singed even when there was no music between two songs. At the end, some guy asked me if i had a band. I sayed no and he told me “Ok man, i want you in my band”. I became singer of my first band called Mike Revolta like this. I don’t play others instruments. During 4 years, i worked my voice by myself but now i try to perform this with regular lessons.
What makes a good Ways song?
Niko: A mix between a lot of energy, melody, melancholy and brutality.
What artists with a message have made you change in any particular way and what was that change?
Clément: Marilyn Manson had the most influence to me. I grew up with this guy, this character, and this band. I headed to, without fall, to metal music. I have begun to listen metal music late, around 2002. I was in a musical and human construction and i translated all the lyrics which there were amazing with a double meaning. He gave a lot of messages and told good stories. Even if his career is stormy, this one is an example for me. He created a movement and a style peculiar to itself. After that, some other singers like Jared Leto or Sam Carter, with some involved lyrics, gave me the desire to write my own stories and defend a lot of subject which i care about.
Who are some of your influences? Who can we hear in your music?
Niko: It’s really difficult to give you an answer for this one. We love a lot of artists and kind of music. But, if we have to choose bands that are curently an inspiration for us, we could say Underoath, A Day To Remember and 36 Crazyfists.
What can we expect from a live Ways show?
Niko: A lot of energy, always. It’s on stage that Ways. takes more sense. On stage, we are here to share and make a great party.
What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?
Clément: To myself, the cinema. In my opinion, picture and sound are inseparable. With music i can put my own pictures and i think cinema allows to combine both. I think mostly about artists like James Newton Howard, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Hanz Zimmer who sublimate pictures.
What part of French history are you most proud of and most ashamed of?
Clément: With a lot of pessimism and a little of utopia, i think that the moment of history which makes me proud hasn’t happened yet. In my opinion, this day will come when human being stop to live like a speciesist person and that he will respect all forms of life on earth. The worst is, i think, our time. We claim to be the most intelligent species but we self destroy ourselves all the time and we make again the same mistakes as in the past and we create news mistakes. And all of this at an animals level, human and environnemental.
How would you like to be remembered?
Niko: Like a cool band with who you can take good time during a show.
How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?
Niko: So much time… I take care about communication around Ways. on social media and i’m always looking for differents kind of partners for us like booker, bands, associations, labels, press, gigs and more. It’s a full time job when you have to do everything by your own way. I’m not a big fan of Facebook, everything has become so complicated on Facebook when you have an artist profile. Unfortunately, Facebook is necessary when you have a project. I don’t have a favorite social media but if i have to choose, i’m gonna say Instagram. I love and i take a lot of photography and Instagram is a cool app.
Who have been some of your favorite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?
Niko: The Prestige (FR), Checkmate (FR), Napoleon (UK) for now. But we are very lucky because we always shared the stage with so many talented bands.
Do you still buy cds and records or mostly use streaming sites? Which sites do you use?
Niko: I still buy cds when i go to a show. It’s also a way to support emergent bands. For streaming, i use Spotify, Bandcamp and Youtube for most.
Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?
Niko: Papa Roach (Crooked Teeth), Enter Shikari (The Spark), soon Underoath (Erase Me), While She Sleeps (You are we) and even if it was in 2016 the last album of Thrice (to be everywhere is to be nowhere).
You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?
Niko: White pony of Deftones because the album gave me the motivation and the pleasure to play metal music. Thrice, live at the house of blues, because is one of live that i listen often and to finish any Johnny’s Cash album because his voice and his songs are magic to me.
What does metal mean to you?
Niko: Metal music was always for us an inspiring thing, at the same time strong, melodic and sad, a music that take you away. But Metal is always more, this is a way to think, a big community of people with a lot of joy and love.