As part of AltDaily’s Long Live Local Music Series the totes groovy Bonne Chère headlines The NorVa this Friday.
We got to know the band a little bit better by chatting with their very own Cameron Smith. We think you’ll dig em.
AltDaily: Totally digging your sound! For everyone new to the band, tell us about your sonic journey. What teachers, influences, or situations led to what Bonne Chère sounds like today?
Cameron: Our inspiration is mostly derived from our interests in Jazz and probably being in high school playing in the band helped us understand how to use our horn players, possibly, and how to handle the size that our band has become. Also our past as friends and musicians trying out different groups locally, most of us being previous members of Latin for Beginners; Connor Hall, our bassist, being in several groups of various genres, including Just Standing and Badnik.
I myself am a huge fan of bands that have that raw sound. The Strokes, Tama Impala, The Walkmen, Washed Out. No loops, no fake stuff, all just raw talent and also having a communal feeling to your group, I love having guest players and being able to direct our music dependent on instrumentation rather than the other way around.
“Love Me Now” makes me want to fall in love and then play this song while we ride bikes to a beautiful place to make out. What inspired this song?
“Love Me Now” is inspired by me just being in Love and just the idea of spontaneous love. It’s pleading the individual sung it to just love the deliverer for what he/she is and that love is irrational but so is everything else so it makes sense.
You got the feeling pretty much dead on.
Who are you listening to locally these days? National acts?
Locally, we love Dear Adamus. Severin even drummed on our album. We’ve played a ton with Friends with Monsters and a lot of local pop-punk acts, and I am upset because the Norva show is scheduled on Jackmoves’ last show with their horns, who really got me into music in a rock band style in the first place. Nationally, The Strokes are my favorite group whatsoever, but the 1975 has surprised us a lot this year and inspired a lot of our media and how we produced our album.
I very much appreciate your live videos shot in downtown Norfolk. Do you think the music you’re creating is different than it would be if you were creating it elsewhere? If so, how?
It is different definitely because we are a very adaptive band and we feel it is smart to work your audience appropriately and kind of jive with them. Our music is also very inspired by the people around us, like the local bands specifically who really help to drive what we do. I think it’s always supposed to work that way though.
“Take it away, I don’t need to change.” What is this speaking to? Do you feel pressure to conform, as a person, and/or as a musician?
Kind of working off the last question, our need to conform, or mine, seemed much more prevalent before we established ourselves as Bonne Chère or myself as less caring what people think of me or what I do. We feel our doing this has made us much more confident and enjoyable; recording and live performances the same.
Tell us about the other acts on the line-up with you at the NorVa. Who are you stoked for, and why?
Signal is very new and are going to blow up. If they added another horn player we would be in trouble.
Aquarium is mostly from the west coast and is probably the most original sound; basically like west coast surf psychedelic in VA beach in august and missing them would be a sin.
Starcoast should be opening for Tama Impala, not us. They are the coolest band ever and we are obsessed with them. We are so excited to be playing with them again.
We’re moving to Richmond so The Norva is our last show in VA Beach for a while, probably for recording, hopefully another album, who knows.
Bonne Chère plays along with Starcoast, Signal, and Aquarium at The NorVA this Friday, August 12 as part of AltDaily’s Long Live Local Music Series. Show is at 7. For more info or tickets, click here.