During one of the most hectic times any of us have felt in decades, the French idiom, “Tohu Bohu,” resonates. It means commotion or confusion, two very prevalent words in the midst of the pandemic, and the resurging social inequalities and injustices. But Tohu Bohu also has another meaning. It’s the name of a French retro-futuristic pop group. Although they state that the name was fitting due to being “not the most organized people,” their music doesn’t show it. With crisp rhythms, strong melodic runs, and production reminiscent of bold 80s disco, the group presents cohesive projects with a tangible sense of adventure and happiness.
Where are you guys at right now? If you’re quarantining, how has that been/affected you all?
Right now we are just out of quarantine here in France , so we had our first real session since like 3 months. We were excited to finally be able to meet again and go over what each one of us had been cooking up during the quarantine. So now we have lots of new tracks on which we are working on for the future but we ‘re also itching to go back on stage when all of this is said and done.
What inspired the theme of “shackles” holding our minds and searching for freedom in “That’s Why We Came”?
Babil will answer this question since he wrote the lyrics:
“This song is kind of a mix of my own past experiences in vacation , or just when I would get out and discover someplace new . I find that discovering new landscapes and places is always making me feel somehow free and I wanted to write about that. The song refers to that kinda naive feeling of freedom and blissfulness when you go out on vacation with your friends and that you find this new world where you can be anybody you want. The shackles are the barriers and limitations that routine, city life and work can put on our minds, sometimes stopping us from feeling free.”
Where’d the name Tohu Bohu come from?
Tohu Bohu is a kinda outdated french idiom that means chaos or mess. We just liked the way it sounded. And it fits us pretty well since we are not the most organized human beings.
What brought you guys together?
We used to have this other band called Moi Je (nu-disco) which was Loïc’s solo project back in 2013. He needed some additional bass, guitar and vocals on his tracks and that’s how he put the 4 of us together at the time. We made music like that for about 2 years while most of us hadn’t met until we had to rehearse for the first shows in 2015.
While our interest in the genre somehow faded over the years, in 2019, we decided to create Tohu Bohu: a new project that would better represent our own musicality. We needed a drummer and Antoine S., that we knew from the local scene, was the man for the task.
In a few short words, how would you describe your music?
It’s always the tough one to answer… Our songs are “pop songs” in the sense that they tend to have a classic pop structure with verses, choruses and a bridge. Although the sounds we use will often be borrowed from other genres.
We also kinda got a thing for old synths and analogic gear and we like to have fun with it. All in all we try to create stuff that feels good to us, and then if it makes the people bounce their heads or dance, that means we got to keep on going. We don’t try to fit in any particular style.
Do you guys have a favorite of your released songs? If so, why?
After hours of mixing and mastering it’s always tough to really get an objective opinion on a record. Plus we try to think the best one is always the one that’s to come out, if not, why bother making new music?
We try our best to make every new record sound better than the previous one so we can’t really pick a favorite.
In terms of playing it live, we really enjoy our song Nightwalker though, it is really fun to play. (you can check out the live video on our IG and YT)
Who or what are some major influences for your music?
Each of us have so many inspirations across genres like 70’s rock music, jazz, funk , hip-hop, soul, alternative rock and more , it is complicated to pinpoint a style, in particular, that would be our main influence. Our music is just a mix, a “tohu bohu” of all our individual and collective influences.
Dream artist to collaborate with?
Kevin Parker ? That would be amazing to discover how he works, and maybe get some tips and tricks.
Any new projects we should be on the lookout for?
We were supposed to be releasing a 4 tracks EP at this moment. The record is ready, but with the quarantine we weren’t able to shoot a video for our music, so we decided to postpone the release and give ourselves time to put out the EP in the best conditions possible later in the year.
However we couldn’t wait this long without putting out something new, so we are going to release a single that’s not from the EP, hopefully by the end of June. We hope you’ll check it out !
What are you guys listening to right now?
Recent albums that we really dig :
- Mild High Club “ Skiptracing”
- Tame Impala “The Slow Rush”
- King Krule “Man Alive!”
- Britanny Howard “Jaime”
- King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard “ Infest the Rat’s Nest”
We have a playlist on Spotify called “That’s What We Listened To” if you want to check out more.
Tohu Bohu Band Members
Simon Bérard: Bass
Antoine Lartigue: Guitar
Antoine Soret: Drums
Loïc Lassablière: Keys
Babil Lachheb: Vocals
We are all from nearby Lyon in France.
For more Tohu Bohu, follow their Instagram and listen to their music below!