How To Rock In Switzerland
Switzerland is not well-known for its massive music culture, except maybe yodeling. However, its picturesque landscapes of the French part inspired many famous rock stars, including the Queen, Deep Purple, Prince, AC/DC, who recorded their global hits in Montreux.
Today there are plenty of talented musicians who play rock and seek for venues and options to be seen. SUISSEPIC had a talk with young band Fell’Oz from Geneva.
Jeremy (guitarist), Joe (guitarist), Parik (drummer) answered our questions.
Photo: Arnaud Poncet
SUISSEPIC: When did you start playing?
Joe: I started playing guitar when I was 16, but I had been playing the piano for 2 years before that.
Jeremy: I started playing guitar and drums when I was a teenager. I am also a sound engineer.
Parik: As a child, I’d always wanted to play drums but I first started with piano and music theory lessons. I finally started to play drums when I was 15.
SUISSEPIC: How did the idea of band creation appear?
Parik: We wanted to be rockstars! (laughs) Almost all of us had played in other bands before Fell’Oz, we are not the type to play alone in our bedrooms. We love playing gigs!
SUISSEPIC: How do you call your style?
Parik: This is a tough one. Nowadays each band has to play in a defined style. Our problem is that we like to try and blend styles such as punk-rock, hard rock, ballads, metal, alternative rock, etc. Let’s just say we’re a punk-rock/alternative band.
SUISSEPIC: It is often said that Switzerland is not the country to perform music. What do you think about musical culture here on the whole? What is it?
Parik: Unfortunately you’re right. It’s a shame because there are a lot of great musicians and bands but not enough venues or opportunities. Also, as you know, we have three different linguistic areas in Switzerland which can also be a problem sometimes.
Photo: Arnaud Poncet
SUISSEPIC: How many concerts do you hold annually? Where?
Parik: Until now, we’ve only played gigs in Geneva but in June we’re driving to the Valais Canton to play at St-Jean Rock Festival near Martigny, we’re very excited about it! In Geneva we’ve played places such as l’Usine, l’Undertown or le Bouffon de la Taverne. Usually we play a few gigs a year, let’s say about 5, but we plan on playing more often!
SUISSEPIC: What are you favorite Swiss cities? Which ones do you consider the best to perform music?
Joe: Certainly Bienne! (laughs)
Jeremy: No, Gland! (laughs) Seriously, we’ve never played gigs outside of Geneva so we can’t answer your question. Although, apparently Lausanne and Zürich are cool places with a lot of things going on.
SUISSEPIC: Do you remember any special concert where you performed? If yes, why?
Parik: A few years ago, we played in an awkward venue in Geneva’s red light district… the place was deserted, no sound system nor real stage area. We also played in a retirement home under a tent on a really hot day. It was a lot of fun for us but the audience was a bit sleepy…
SUISSEPIC: What inspires you as musicians ?
Joe: Women! (laughs)
Mostly the bands we are listening to and those we grew up with like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Led Zeppelin… but also a lot of bands from the punk rock era such as The Offspring, Sum41 or Green Day.