One-Way Mirror is not new to the American music scene, but it’s possible that you haven’t heard them yet. Or maybe you caught their self-titled album on Metal Blade Records in 2008 and were wondering what had happened to them. Hailing from France, the band has continued to make music, releasing two more albums in Europe only. So unless you tried very hard, you probably weren’t able to pick up a copy. But they are now heading back our way with their latest release via Pavement, Capture, as well as their first single off the album, Stinkin’ of Gold, the video of which was released on January 27th.
The band is made up of five fellows: Guillaume Bideau (Mnemic) on vocals, brothers Franck and David Potvin (Lyzanxia, Phaze 1) on guitars, Clement Rouxel (T.A.N.K.) on drums and Perdi (Vincent Perdicaro, General Lee) on bass. Franck Potvin took some time out of his busy schedule, from halfway around the world to chat with Screamer regarding all things One-Way Mirror.
The Potvin brothers have been part of the band Lyzanxia since 1996 and recorded four full length albums, the most recent being in 2010. While the musicians were working on projects separately, a friendly party seemed to be the catalyst for the band’s formation. According to Potvin, “David and I met Guillaume in 2000 or 2001, while we were recording the first Lyzanxia’s album called EDEN. We became good friends and we kept in touch for many years. We always got to party together and toured a lot with his former band Scarve. Then one day Guillaume came to our place. We had a really big party and we decided to have a band all together to play the music that we like to play and liked to hear. It was pretty fast and fun. We went into the rehearsal room for twelve days, and after those twelve days, we came out with twelve songs. We sent the songs to a few labels and were signed on Metal Blade Records. It’s more like a dream until now.”
While recording their first album in Denmark, the members were asked what the name of the band was and at that point, they hadn’t made a selection. Having taken a look through their current lyrics, they came across the phrase “One Way Mirror”, and decided to go with it, just one day before sending the CD out to labels! It seems like it is the band’s way to make quick decisions. No over-thinking involved here!
As Potvin hinted at, the band has a unique style of songwriting. They tend to complete an entire song in one day; no fussing and fixing. When it’s done, it’s done. If it takes longer than that, then it’s not working for them. Also, “We mainly compose with only two people together. We pair off to do the writing process. When everyone composes at the same time, it’s a really big mess, so we mainly compose as duos,” says Potvin. “It’s mainly my brother, David and I; Guillaume and I, or Guillaume and David. Perdi, the bassist, and Clement, the drummer, they work together creating the arrangement. It’s getting really, really fast.”
For this album, as with their previous releases, they did the recording in their own studio, known as the Dome Studio. “We record many bands now and we feel more comfortable recording at home with no pressure from anyone or pressure of time. It’s easier for us to work this way, as we know exactly what we want. Guillaume is a producer as well (Dogs In The House Studio), so he can manage to do everything alone.” However, for one track, Warnings, they decided to bring in someone else for a little assistance. According to Potvin, “First, this song was a regular mid-tempo rock ballad, be we wanted to do something deeper with some kind of electronic sound. The only guy we were thinking about was Antonin Pierre from the band Tonus. He’s a really cool guy and a great musician. He came to our place and listened to the song, took the main part, and remixed it with his own sound. The result was really surprising for us, as we never expected something like that. We like it so much. And the other person we worked with is Alain Trehard, our layout designer. A big great guy!”
Potvin also shared some brief thoughts on a few of the tracks on Capture. Tomorrow Comes Fast: “ In this mid tempo song, you can feel our 80’s influences. It starts cool with an easy verse and explodes during the chorus.” Fuck Your Autotune– “It’s a song from Guillaume. He did it really quickly. This song is an in your face one. Easy, punchy, and no compromise. Warnings: “Maybe the most different track of Capture. Complicated to say if it’s a ballad or not.” Stinkin’ of Gold: “The opening track and the first single. We just released a video directed by ourselves. This song represents perfectly our kind of music.” And of course, the cover tune, Lady Marmalade: “A cover from Patti Labelle, a soul singer. I really like the original song and we just wanted to honor this.”
The music is a unique blend of both European and American metal. Maybe one would classify them as melodic metal, or nu-metal, or perhaps alternative metal. But as we all know, most bands are difficult to categorize so simply. Bideau’s vocals are at times soaring and melodic, sometimes growling, and at other times there is a bit of a rap-rock vibe.
One-Way Mirror doesn’t feel the need to classify their music, but perhaps their list of influences might give you a feel for what you might be getting if you pick up a copy of Capture. Says Potvin, “Five musicians and so many different influences! I guess Metallica is of course a big influence for us. But we also like Papa Roach, Soil, Pantera. Guillaume listens to some 80’s artists. There you can find a lot of good melodies. The newcomer bands are more into the production and arrangements. Back in the 80’s, bands were thinking of the melodies first. That’s what we like.” And what they like outside of the music realm? “I think that all of us like doing sport and American monster cars! And of course having parties on tour!” Potvin adds, “I’m kind of proud of every song, as we did them with fun. As I told you, we play the music we like.”
One-Way Mirror will be touring Europe with Soilwork and have a North American tour in the works as well. When asked if he was looking forward to any particular locations on tours, Potvin said with a laugh, “Stadiums? Seriously, anywhere it’s possible as long as there’s a plug for the amps!” In addition to touring, the band are working on additional videos and bonus album tracks as well. The band’s website does not currently have their tour dates listed, but keep checking back and follow their social media pages to see when they will be in your neck of the woods. Word of advice: unless you are a fluent French speaker, have your translator handy as a handful of the posts are in French.