The Arrogants are part of a growing wave of young musicians who, unlike many other teenagers of their generation, are not interested in video games and hipster bands name-checks. These particular young men, alongside a number of others in various countries (some of whom you may know from other Dirty Water Records releases) have happily spent their teens investigating classic 20th-century music: blues, rock’n’roll, garage-rock, rhythm’n’blues!
And they decided they wanted guitars in their hands rather than games consoles. The Arrogants began their musical archaeology first as a 14-year-old duo, then as a 15-year-old trio… Then with an organist, as a quartet, they were ready to be heard by the wider world, with their debut EP, (‘Introducing the Arrogants’ on Dirty Water Records). And now, with the addition of a fifth band member, a rhythm guitarist, to further fill out their sound they are ready with their first long-player.
Whilst digging the sounds of the past, they have successfully developed their own repertoire, writing their own songs and gaining recognition in their home-town by playing as support to their heroes The Pretty Things, and appearing at the Lille Vintage Weekend in front of 15,000 strong crowd. And, recently, they appeared in front of 57,000 people opening for Lenny Kravitz at the Mainsquare Festival in Arras, France.
Produced by French Londoner Healer Selecta (a.k.a. Yvan Serrano of the Dustaphonics) and mastered by Pete Maher (who has worked for U2, The Killers, Rolling Stones, and Jack White, amongst other famous names), these eleven tracks were recorded at the vintage studio of the National Belgian Corporation in just three days. Serrano remembers seeing the sixteen-year-old Arrogants on stage for the first time, ‘It was a strange feeling, as though I was watching an original garage band. Their garage sound is pure, minimal and wild. To make true sixties garage, it should have this youthful energy and not over-do the technical ability to make for a real musical experience.’
The London album launch was on 31 October 2015 at the Fiddler’s Elbow, NW5 in a joint promotion by the Dirty Water Club and Weirdsville. The French album launch was at the Roubaix Vintage Weekender, a major festival attracting tens of thousands of revellers.
It’s been a rather busy 2016 for these ‘fab five’ from Lille, France having been interviewed on French national television along with mainstream magazine features, countless articles, reviews and international radio play. The group produced in grand style, their first video for the title track and single off their scorching hot debut album ” No Time To Wait.” The band has been touring all over Europe including a concert at the legendary Liverpool Cavern Club (Home The Beatles).
Major Influences: 60’s Mod sounds The Who, The Small Faces. Garage Rock The Standells, The Shadows of Knights. Psychedelic sounds 13th Floor Elevetors. Blues Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker. 50’s Rhythm & Blues Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley!
The Arrogants consist of Thomas Babczynski in the lead guitar and vocals, Louis Szymanowski in the bass, Martin Tournemire in the organ, Hugo El Hadeuf in the drums, and Emilian Mierzejewski in the rhythm guitar.
01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?
The band started in 2008 with Thomas & his younger brother Luc. At this time as the band was just two guitar and two fuzz pedals. Thomas started singing and they both plays guitars. Luc was 13 and Thomas was 14. They did their first big gig in Brussels in 2009 for the National Belgian Radio & Television Broadcasting Co, then Luc stopped guitar and started the drums. They met Louis who became the bass man and then found an organist. Then Luc left the band.
At that time they changed the line up: the drummer and then the organist. Thomas met Hugo the new actual drummer in his neighborhood (he was playing so loud that we can hear him from his own bedroom…) One morning, he knocked on his door and just simply asked him if he wanted to join a rock n roll band and he said ‘yes’ of course. He met Martin the organist at school and him and some others were skipping lessons whilst playing music for the Church part of our school that’s where he first heard him playing the organ – he was amazed so he asked him if he wanted to join a rock n roll band and he said ‘yeah’! Thomas met Emilian, the rhythm guitarist in our Town.
02. What influences do the band members have in common?
Bo Diddley, Small Faces, Shadows of Knight, The Fabulous Wailers, The Sonics, and The Seeds.
03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?
The Gentlemen’s Agreements cause they are very good!
04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?
Pretty Mod inspired at the moment.
05. How would you describe the style you play?
Fuzzadelic! What we’ve created is a mix of everything that we like: sixties music and the revival stuff that came up in the eighties and some of today’s sounds too…
06. What are your live shows like?
Energetic and very wild, we like a ‘crazy’ crowd!
07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?
60’s Garage Rock, just one cover “Gloria” by Them. We don’t like the mainstream pop of today.
08. What are your main influences outside of music?
60’s Culture in general, Modernism, and clean Design!
09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?
Mostly Thomas. It’s all about life, dreams, experiences and gals.
10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?
That’s a new one “No Plan”. “Out of Our Tree” – The Fabulous Wailers
11. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?
Interesting but without much media focus on it. Absolutely, we get out and about!
12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?
Main Square Festival Arras France. 57,000 people!
13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?
Once a week, once a week, recording as much we can, we look forwards to our Spanish Tour soon!
14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?
Could be better, Is there any music coverage by the media?
15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?
Brian Jonestown Massacre, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Nick Waterhouse, and also Allah-Las.
16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?
The Sorrows, because they were there in the good old days and still incredible on stage.
17. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up of interest?
A new album, a world tour, Spanish Tour, Le Beat Bespoké – Easter 2017 in London which will be amazing!
Facebook: – facebook.com/TheArrogants/
Soundcloud: – soundcloud.com/the-arrogants
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