interview: QUARRY’s new EP ‘RENAISSANCE’ features an enthralling mix of Post-Punk and Grunge

"In everyday life, I see considerably more hate, violence, and a lack of understanding among humans"
15 February 2024

QUARRY, the ​enigmatic indie rock musician, unveils his newest EP, RENAISSANCE, via Lowfieye Records. Building on the success of his widely praised album Positioning The Sun, this four-track EP explores a distinctive mix of post-punk and grunge, enriched with QUARRY’s hallmark indie flair. RENAISSANCE captivates with its mesmerizing compositions, melding vigorous intensity with ethereal tunes, forging a sound that’s both reminiscent and contemporary.

The EP’s core theme is a contemplative journey, inspired by an astronaut’s view of Earth, symbolizing a longing for humanity’s rebirth and a quest for new beginnings. QUARRY skillfully merges ambient guitar sounds with pop hooks, tribal drums, and a dynamic bass line, crafting songs that resonate with listeners seeking depth and innovation in music.

In an exclusive interview, QUARRY reflects on the inspiration behind RENAISSANCE, including his desire to create music in a more peaceful world and his explorations of post-punk and grunge. He cites a NASA video as a catalyst for the EP’s astronaut-themed vision, which influenced his songwriting to contrast the beauty of Earth from space with the darker aspects of contemporary life.

QUARRY’s approach to music is a blend of experimentation and homage to his influences, aiming to produce tracks that are both meaningful and musically appealing. As he prepares for a US tour to promote RENAISSANCE, QUARRY promises passionate and energetic live performances that mirror the EP’s thematic depth and sonic diversity.

Looking to the future, QUARRY is eager to explore new musical directions, expressing an interest in incorporating African rhythms into his work. When asked about dream collaborators, he mentions John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen, highlighting his wide-ranging musical influences. Describing his sound as “in motion, tense, changing,” QUARRY hopes listeners find authenticity and inspiration in his music, aiming to contribute positively to the chaotic world through his artistic expression.

RENAISSANCE marks a significant step in QUARRY’s musical journey, offering a fresh perspective on indie rock that is both reflective and forward-looking.

It all started with a NASA video of an astronaut in orbit recording breathtaking sights of our home planet Earth

What’s up Quarry? What’s going through your mind right now?

I’m thinking how fantastic it would be to release music in a peaceful world. The joy of creating music is overshadowed by the helplessness I feel when I watch the news every morning.

Your new EP RENAISSANCE, features a unique blend of post-punk and grunge with your signature indie rock sound. What inspired you to explore these particular genres in your latest project?

My sound evolved throughout the course of three albums, as I experimented with new approaches. Listeners have told me about a personal sound and songwriting, thus I believe there is a Quarry sound. In the EP’s four songs, post-punk and grunge refer to a guitar-driven vibe. I grew up listening to a lot of bands whose music was mostly driven by guitars. This is not to say that you will always listen to distorted guitars. There are many tones and nuances, just like in the post-punk era. Speaking of grunge, I wanted to capture the intensity of that era. Aside from the guitars, I find this work incredibly interesting because of the way the vocals are juxtaposed with the rhythm section.

The concept of viewing Earth from space and longing for humanity’s rebirth is central to RENAISSANCE. Can you share more about what sparked this astronaut-themed vision and how it influenced the songwriting process?

It all started with a NASA video of an astronaut in orbit recording breathtaking sights of our home planet Earth. I was watching it and thinking: “”What a magnificent natural show he was enjoying from there. How beautiful!” Yet as soon as I thought about the present, I felt depressed. The past didn’t teach us nothing. How many wars still rage on Earth, how shallow humanity appears to be in modern times, and how previous calamities, including the latest pandemic, did not inspire us to live in a better place. On the contrary, everything appears to be more exarcebated. In everyday life, I see considerably more hate, violence, and a lack of understanding among humans. I wanted to contrast the dark aspect of our current reality with the stunning view from afar enjoyed by this astronaut.

Throughout your career, you’ve seamlessly blended various musical elements to create your distinct sound. How do you approach the process of combining suggestive ambient guitar sounds with pop hooks and tribal drums to produce something that feels both nostalgic and modern?

I went on several musical adventures. And I enjoy experimenting in the challenge of songwriting, both sonically and lyrically. I think I’ve incorporated every aspect of my musical journey to create a sound I’m pleased and proud of. Many people appear embarrassed by pop hooks or catchy melodies when it comes to indie music or alternative pop rock. I’m not. Think about the Pixies, for example. The rugged, sometimes dissonant, sound is accompanied by beautiful melodies and hooks. As Burt Bacharach once said, “Never be ashamed to write a melody that people remember.” That would be fantastic!

Your music often tackles profound themes, from socio-environmental issues to critiques of modern life’s superficiality. How do you balance delivering these messages without compromising the musicality and appeal of your songs?

It’s quite simple. Music comes first! You can sing about any topic or write the world’s greatest poem, but if the lyrics don’t merge with the sounds, and the sounds aren’t exciting, fascinating, and don’t lead somewhere, stick to being a writer or a poet and leave music to people who are inspired to do so. If I write emotional lyrics but don’t accompany them with a strong musical idea, I put them aside. For me, there has to be something that connects music and lyrics from the outset. Adapting music to lyrics is a fine craft, but it’s not enough to make a decent song.

With a US tour on the horizon to promote RENAISSANCE, what can fans expect from your live performances, especially considering the thematic depth and sonic diversity of the new EP?

Passion, rage…and a great sound! I have a great band playing with me. I want to get as close as possible to the sonic world I developed with my albums and this new EP, but I also know that the live approach will be a little more “aggressive”.

Having been active in the music scene for several years and achieving critical acclaim, including features in TV shows and praise from publications like Rolling Stone France, how do you see your music evolving in the future? What new territories, musically or thematically, are you eager to explore?

I want my music to take a completely different direction. I’d like to write an album that takes a similar approach to African rhythms and rhythmic styles as did Talking Heads with Remain in Light.

If you could tour with any musicians, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen.

If you had to describe your sound in three words what would they be?

In motion, tense, changing.

What do you want people to take away from listening to your music?

The feeling that the person who wrote the songs truly believes in what he does and wants to enlighten this chaotic world in his own small way.