Birds In Row: "Hard to appreciate life through the filter of depression"

Talking with Birds In Row about collective traumas and the sincerity of music

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On the 19th of May 2023, Birds In Row return to Greece for a gig in Athenian soil, bringing with them a truly magnificent album. Here in we loved "Gris Klein" from day one, giving it a very highly ranked position in our top 30 albums of 2022 list, so the momentum was ideal for an interview. Their replies were sincere and crystal clear and they didn’t hesitate to comment on more sensitive subjects like depression or the collective trauma of music industry in the post COVID world. For all these and for some hints regarding their musical future, keep reading - and do not miss their ritual on the 19th of May…

Birds In Row

We are very happy to welcome you at for the first time. Our joy is even greater since "Gris Klein" was in our list of best albums of 2022! Did you expect the enthusiastic reception it generally received?

Hey! You never know about the response to anything you create but we are really stoked people found interests in this new record. As always, we put a lot of ourselves in it.

Do you find "Gris Klein" to be your best effort so far? From our end, we definitely feel it's your most "universal" album, containing many elements from different punk/hc styles and eras.

We always try to make our best effort, so yeah we tend to think it is. It might be more universal, I don’t know, we don’t really think that way when we create. We just try to write music we like to play.

While composing the songs, was your approach any different this time around in contrast to your previous albums?

We always try to bring something new, it would be boring to compose the same record again and again. So this time we tried to give more contrast to the whole record but also bring new sounds.

Everything we like within the punk scene could be interesting for people outside of it

Furthermore, we strongly believe that “Gris Klein” is an album that has a crossover value to audiences outside of the greater punk/HC community. Do you agree? Also, could you name any of your influences while creating the album?

That’s something we’d like to achieve yes. Because we believe everything we like within the punk scene could be interesting for people outside of it. Also, we tend to not listen to hardcore much anymore, so we brought different influences on this record such as Radiohead, Big Thief, Portishead, …

To be a bit more specific, we particularly liked the melodic punk and experimental vibes we discovered throughout the record. Do you feel the artistic need to expand your sound as much as possible?

I think it’s the way we function. We always try to push ourselves further, see where the next record will bring us to.

It is really hard to appreciate life seen through the filter of depression

Please tell us about Yves Klein and how you decided to name the album "Gris Klein".

The name of the record is meant to be a parallel between color-blindness and depression. It is really hard to appreciate life seen through the filter of depression, in the same way that watching life as a colorblind person gives you a different experience than most of the people around you.

Birds In Row

We were lucky to see you live in Roadburn 2019, it was a very loud, violent and cathartic live! How important is the live aspect of your art for you? Is it a sort of a ritual?

Live setup is the main reason we do this for. The shared energy and meeting people every night, it’s a blessing. And yeah there definitely is a ritual thing, as we repeat the same songs again and again, but in different settings, in front of different people, but we keep getting the same feedbacks.

Soon you will return to Greece after quite a while. How do you feel about it? Do you anticipate something unique? Do you remember anything from the previous times?

We played in Greece in the beginnings of the band but couldn’t reach Athens cause it was too far. So we played in Larissa and Thessaloniki, and it was great. It was a long trip and we were stoked to be so far away from home, with people appreciating the moment with us. We’re very happy to be finally back, and in Athens!

It is quite obvious that you have a very special bond and connection with your fans. How do you explain it and how did you build it?

I don’t know. We always tried to be honest and sincere in all the aspects of the band. I think people feel it and give us the same honesty in return. I’m not sure it’s something we tried to build, it was just the way to be for us.

We think that your lyrics are pretty much amazing and offer a lot to the Birds In Row listening experience. On the other hand, we feel that a lot of people don't invest time with the lyrics anymore, because of shorter attention span etc. What do you think from your angle?

I think, as a non-English speaker (like when it’s not your mother tongue), the first feeling you have comes from the music. And then if you wanna go deeper, you can search through the lyrics. We write them, inspired by the music we composed so it’s an extension to what we wanted to express sonically. Now, if people don’t want to want to get there, I think they already have a good chunk of what we’re about.

The whole (music) industry is slowly recovering and we are some of the lucky ones

Many artists recently have been quite vocal about the current situation regarding touring. How do you view it from your perspective?

Touring has been hard after COVID, for a lot of bands and mainly the smaller ones. Everyone wanted to tour at the same time, after being blocked for a while. Everyone is short on money, maybe it took a bit of time for people to get back on the roads to venues. I think it was trauma overall, for everybody, and we all try to cope. I gotta say we’ve been very lucky to have a lot of support when we got back on tour. Shows were crowded, and people invested in the experience. So we’re not complaining but we know that the whole industry is slowly recovering and that we are some of the lucky ones.

How do you view the French underground scene these days? Any newer and upcoming bands that you would like to suggest to our readers?

There is always a lot going on in the french scene. You should check out: Irnini Mons, Orbel, Venil, Plebeian Grandstand, Soja Triani, Mutterlein, Nightwatchers, Fange, Lisieux, W!zard, Oï Boys, Mermonte, Syndrome 81, …

We are now moving in 2023, but, it would be really nice of you to name us your best albums of 2022!

Fontaines DC - Skinty Fia

40 Watt Sun - Perfect Light

KEN Mode - Null

Cult of Luna - The Long Road North

Final question and we would like to thank you for your time! Any future plans you would like to share with us, apart from Athens show?

We have a couple of collaboration works coming up! Stay tuned!