Interview – Elyse and the Affair

By: Katt Keuleman

Montreal’s Elyse and the Affair may be fresh on the music scene, but they are definitely not new to music. The band has over two decades of experience that shines threw on their latest EP “There Soon”. Composed of Elyse Robineault on lead vocals and guitar, guitarists Karine Tremblay and Sebastien Savoie, bassist Dom Fortin and drummer Sergio Caluori, the group has a strong 90s rock influence with their own unique touch.

What are some of your biggest inspirations/influences?

The Cranberries, PJ Harvey, Metric, Foo Fighters

You just released your latest EP There Soon, what was the writing process like?

It really all just happened naturally.  It starts with Karine and I, a simple guitar riff, a hook and a basic song structure.  I usually inspire myself from the overall spirit to compose the lyrics and the melody.  Once this is done, shaping and fine tuning happens with everyone in the band.  Each member adds his own magic to it, making the piece whole and alive.  That’s essentially how each title of There Soon materialized.

You started as a group with Berry Shandy– a Cranberries tribute band. Is it safe to say they are a big inspiration behind your sound?

No matter if it is safe or not, I accept that fact and will always take what comes with it.  I will never deny our essence, our roots.  This is where I come from, and where we come from as a band too.

Do you have any tour plans for the summer?

We have some shows in the Greater Montreal area including an August Festival that supports Mental Health (  I truly believe music can deeply help people; at least it did for me. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website for further infos.

How come you decided to write your songs in English?

Natural fit, that’s just how it is.  English is what suits good old rock songs the best most of the time.  Vocals add arrangements and textures, just like any other instrument does in a song.  If you asked me, how come you decided to write songs on an acoustic guitar?  I’d give you the same answer; it’s just how it is!

What does a typical show for Elyse and the Affair look like?

Expect a combination of a strong stage presence, true passion and a melodic powerful sound.  I love to dance and let my thoughts and feelings free on stage.  Live shows are like therapy to me.

For Elyse: You started as a solo artist- what inspired you to switch it up and add The Affairs?

As a teenager, I dreamed of having a band to write songs and play with.  Finding the right team willing to put the energy, time and effort into a musical project was always my goal…  Nothing compares the feeling of playing music with your mates, living through highs and lows together, sticking together and growing together.  Let’s just say getting the whole band locked on an upbeat rhythm is a very powerful and satisfying thing!

If you could open for any band, who would it be?

Without hesitation Foo Fighters; would be a blast!

What is your dream venue to perform at?

An outdoor Festival on a huge stage with tons of people!

Do you have any band rituals before you perform?

We get together in a private space, isolated from the crowd, friends and loved ones.  This gets us concentrated and focused as a band, tap into our primal energy and spirit.

What is the best cure for writers block?

Letting go and forgetting all about it.  Trying to force inspiration is against the natural process of creation.  If I am inspired, it is flowing and easy.  If I’m not, I just trust myself that I will be, sooner or later.

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