UPDATE (March 12, 2016): Les Trois Huit will in Quebec / Ontario in July 2016 … Rebel Time Records is chuffed to be presenting their two Ontario shows … Hamilton at This Ain’t Hollywood on July 29th and Coalition in Toronto on July 30th … also on the bill(s) will be The Strike and The Fallout, Final Four and at least a couple of other top-shelf street-punk outfits…
And, as well, Rebel Time Records is pleased as pie to be releasing, in conjunction with some other boss labels like Dure Realitie, Rusty Knife, Aggro Beat and Rumagna Sgroza, a split 7″ featuring Les Trois Huit and Les Partisans!
One of the highlights of 2015 was coming across this great militant antifa streetpunk band from Grenoble, France. Thanks to the Action Sedition crew for bringing Les Trois Huit to our ears and attention!
What follows is an interview with Les Trois Huit that was done very recently by the folks at Dure Realitie zine/label out of Quebec.
Huge thanks to Mathieu (host of Sous Pression) for the translation…Sous Pression radio highlights some of the best in francophone punk, ska, hardcore, and oi! from every corner of the french-speaking world…well worth a listen…
Hopefully we’ll have another interview or two from LTH before they make their way over here…
FYI: you can download the band’s new album for FREE at the Les Trois Huit website!
Here’s a short interview with a band that Dure Realitie is working with to distribute their self-titled album. Les Trois Huit, an antifascist Oi! and streetpunk band from Grenoble (France). Enjoy!
First of all, for the sake of those who might not have heard of you yet, could you introduce the band and its members?
Well first of all, hello to everyone!
We are Les Trois Huit, or LTH, from Grenoble. We play a a mix of streetpunk and oi!. We are an activist group fighting for a society free from oppression, for a mixed and popular society. We’re active through our lyrics, through our DIY and egalitarian approach, and through our own activist activities.
The band formed three years ago without really know how to play our instruments, but we tried to take things slow, did our best, and stayed true to ourselves, and now we just released our first album.
As for the band members, there’s Rubz on vocals, Riad on bass, Numa on guitar, Polo on rhythm, Rouk on drums, and Rémi is the sound engineer.
What does your band name, Les Trois Huit, mean?
In France, Les Trois Huit is a rhythm of work in a lot of factories and stores. There are three teams that work 8 hours each: from 5am to 1pm, then from 1pm to 9pm, and then from 9pm to 5am. You have a team and you work from one week to another.
It’s a rhythm of work that throws you off completely, that fucks with your social life and you family life…
Even if none of us work under this regime of work anymore, it’s something we’ve experienced that we wanted to give nod to our working-class roots. We’re also proud of that part of our lives, and we’re showing it through our name.
On top of that, it’s the number of the département we live in, of our city Grenoble, and its surrounding areas. [Translators Note: A département in France is similar to a province or state. Each département has both a name, and a regional number.]
What are some of your influences?
Well, in LTH, some of our members come from different musical backgrounds. Numa and Rubz are from a more urban background, more Hip Hop, Riad is more ska, Polo only listens to oi!, and Rouk comes more from the hardcore punk scene. Every member comes with their own baggage, which is what makes LTH. If we had to list some bands that have influences us, we’d have to say that it went from Brigada Flores Magon to Bad Manners, but also Singe Des Rues, Bull Brigade, Les Partisans, Molodoï, Non Servium, Hors Contrôle, Los Foiros, Bolchoï, Nabat…
But seriously, the guys in the band really listen to just about everything, so obviously we’re influenced by a lot of things.
What have some of the band’s memorable moments?
There have been a lot of memorable moments. Well, for one our first practice sessions were a disaster. Some of us have shared overnight stays in jail, our old guitarist Tonton leaving the band, working overnight to build our practice space, and lately, the release of our album in Grenoble, which was for us a really great moment with lots of friends.
Your lyrics are clearly political Are you also active with any activist collectives of groups? If so, which ones?
Yeah, it’s obvious that most of our lyrics are political. When you sing about your vision of life in general, and that you think critically of things that surround you, then you’re obviously being political. But singing political songs isn’t enough. Just being political at concerts and then going out to party is too easy. You have to be political all of the time: at work, in the streets, in collectives and other groups. At the very least, we’re all unionized. There are some of us who were in the CNT, but are now in SUD, others are in their own unions at work. Otherwise, we also participate in a lot of protests, and we organize things in our own city. For the moment, our main involvement outside of the band is in our workplace.
What are some of the current struggles going on in Grenoble?
Well at the moment, one of the bigger struggles has to do with housing, and squats that are being evicted by the city.
In fact, our city is run by an environmental and leftist council. During their campaign, they said they would support the squats and stop the evictionss, but we can see that this obviously isn’t what’s happening. Roma people are bearing the biggest brunt of their political plans, which consists only of evictions without any long term, sustainable housing and integration plan.
Our feminist comrades also have a strong presence in Grenoble. Although we aren’t really members of any of their collectives, we support them 100%, because for us, being antifascist is being realistic and willing to struggle against all forms of oppression, including the struggle against male domination over women.
Given the current climate in France, there are also struggles against the state of emergency and state abuses. Random arrests, house arrests for people who have nothing to do with fundamentalists and have no interest in blowing anything up.
There’s a lot to fight against. These are dirty times.
Musically speaking, what’s the revolutionary scene in region like?
To talk of a revolutionary scene in relation to what is happening around here is, in our opinion, seeing things a bit through rose coloured glasses. We can’t really speak of a revolutionary scene around here. When we speak more of alternative scenes, Grenoble is a pretty lively city. There are some pretty good punk, surf or coldwave bands coming out of the squats. There is one particular collective, L’Armée Des Zombies, that makes it possible for a number of punk and rock bands to exist. There is also a big metal, hip hop, and trance scene. In fact, there is a pretty big musical diversity for a city this size. As for politics, it’s less about the music and more about collectives, organizations, and associations. We also have our friends in the ultras from stands RK94 and DB07 who do a lot of good work in the stands and in the city.
As for music, there are a few political bands out there, but nowhere close to being a majority.
We know that the redskin movement was really strong in France in the 1990s and 2000s. They seem to have disappeared a bit over the last few years, but there also seems to be a re-emergence of redskin bands such as yours. Would you say that we’re witnessing a renewal of the movement in France? Would you say that you’re part of this renewal? What’s your relationship with the movement?
Honestly, it might be a bit too soon to talk about a renewal, but there has been a resurgence of antifa collectives these last few years, made up in part by redskins. This has pretty much the natural response to the growth of neo-fascist groups in our country.
Although we clearly identify with the antifa movement, we don’t necessarily label ourselves as redskins. We don’t want to assume that title and we have much respect for what they did in the 90s. The most important thing for us isn’t how you label yourself, but what you say and what you do, not what you claim to be.
But we know that, when you look at us, we’re not too far off from looking like a bunch of reds! Hahaha!
Are there any bands from your region that you would recommend, regardless of style?
Well, there are our friends’ bands, obviously. We’ll give them a bit of a shout out! Les Partisans (recently reunited), the Profs de Skids, Guarapita, Resaka Sonora, Bull Brigade, Lorelei, Retrograd, DK Les Sales Gueules, Flo Mescouyenski, Motor Riot, Les Chevals Hongrois, Habemus Papam, les Tôle Boyz…
Do you have anything to say to people in Québec who are discovering you now?
Well, we’re obviously really proud and happy that our music is being heard over there, and we hope that you’ll like our stuff. Whatever we do, it comes from the heart, and that’s what’s most important to us.
We really hope to come play in Québec on day, and to get to know the scene a bit better, especially since it has such a great reputation here.
Other than that, take care of yourselves.
Don’t give up your struggles, your values, and your ideals.
We can’t forget that, as activists, despite our differences, we are all brothers and sisters, from both sides of the Atlantic, even without knowing each other!
UNI.E.S NOUS SOMMES ET NOUS LE RESTERONS///
UNITED WE ARE, UNITED WE WILL ALWAYS BE///
And, here is a nice review of Les Trois Huit’s debut album, from the Oi Of America blog:
“I have never heard of this band before I got this promo and thank the gods I got this promo because this band is a pleasant surprise. From the sounds of, what I think is spray paint cans in the intro of “Writer” this record had my full attention. Pleasant surprise is understating the howling power this band delivers on “Writer” and “Liberi Tutti“. On these first two tracks the band delivers two songs that will shake the bones of your ancestors in the choruses, with boot party beats and great riffs. Then bam! catchy ska beats and up beat vocals keeps “Uni-e-s” very danceable, while the chorus is rooted in melodic street punk. This song keeps both sounds working together to deliver a strong sound and a even better song.
For those that do not like to dance and only want boot to concrete Oi! the band delivers the goods on “Travailler“. This song is a mid tempo stomp that keeps the energy building in the bottom end while the harsh vocals conveys a heavy dose of skinhead attitude. With a wall of attitude and a sound that would make Motorhead proud, “Gernoble” hits with a thuggish power and hammering riffs. The slow and low lead vocals add to the menacing sound. To sum this song up in one word it would be, brutal. The band gives us a big dose of melody on the infectious “Au Fond Des Yeux“. The neo- ska beat will keep your toe tapping while the angular guitar lead and aggro filled choruses will keep this song firmly rooted in Oi!. I keep listening to this record over and over, so much of this record hits like a ton of bricks but one of the songs I keep coming back to is the Le Partisans cover “Pas De Quartier“. If this song does not get your blood flowing with it’s dynamic guitars and surging rhythms, then you are fucking dead.
Man I really wished I would have reviewed this record last year because my best of 2015 would have had this record firmly on it. This album gets better and better on each listen. With all the new bands worldwide coming out, please do not let this hammer of a record slip through the cracks.”