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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Classical Meets Metal With West Oakland's La Fin Absolute Du Monde

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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Ask West Oakland duo La Fin Absolute Du Monde what the best setting to enjoy their music is and Jason Myles won’t hesitate with his response. “Standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean,” he offers. “Watching a giant wave engulf the land. Sometimes, there's beauty in that destruction.”

Myles,the guitarist, bassist and drum programmer, and his collaborator Cyndy “Chicky” Melanio, know all about finding inspiration in the darkest of situations – and their genre-defying musical creations reflect that. Using Myles’ hard-rock background and Melanio’s training in classical piano, along with the couple’s mutual love of British trip-hop (think Portishead and Massive Attack), La Fin Absolute Du Monde excel at making sounds that they describe as “neo-noir.”

If that’s a genre you’ve never heard of: good. LFADM thrive on not fitting in.

“We hate labels,” Myles says. “Once you fit in a genre box, you're stuck there. We didn't want to be stuck anywhere since our musical tastes are so broad. We want to be able to work with anyone anywhere. Like a Mike Patton or Bjork. When you say those people’s names, you don't really think of a genre. That's kind of where we are when explaining ourselves.”

This month, the electronic metal duo are letting their music do the talking with the release of their debut full-length, Clarity Amongst the Rubble – a complex, multi-layered, searing exploration of darkness that leaps from claustrophobic dystopian themes to heartfelt exorcisms.

“We wanted every song to really hit people emotionally,” Myles explains. “We wanted the album to ebb and flow like a good movie – with some unsuspecting twists and turns.”

Myles and Milanio draw inspiration from both their home (an East Bay music rehearsal space in a “non-residential area, nestled right next to skid row”) and the circumstances of their personal lives. “At this point in our lives,” Myles says, “most of our peers have settled down and given up on whatever dreams they had in their teens and twenties. The thought of that is soul shattering for us.”

The couple also don’t shy away from expressing their own daily frustrations and delving into very painful personal experiences. One of their new tracks, "Dreams and Disappointment in a Cloud of Hope," was written directly after Milanio had a devastating argument with her mother. Myles explains that Milanio sat down at the piano and wrote the song directly afterwards, “in a tearful eruption of creativity.”

Ultimately, La Fin Absolute Du Monde – which translates to “The Absolute End of the World” – hopes that its own commitment to exploring uncomfortable themes will ultimately help others find some light at the end of the tunnel.
“We hope that expressing these real emotions – dark emotions – that people try not to deal with, might help people overcome their own demons,” Myles says. “We met in our thirties, so, at that time, we had pretty much given up on music seriously. It was hard for us to even start playing live. We didn't think people wanted to see two aging minorities who make dark music on stage. But um...” Myles takes a breath. “We were wrong about that one.”

They certainly were. With five EPs and five years of under their belts, Myles and Milanio are encouraged by the warm reception they receive wherever they play.

Myles cheerfully relays a story about playing a sold out show in Southwest England and being approached by the promoter afterwards with an odd question.

“She asked me, ‘What it was like to be first?’ I thought she meant to play first, so I didn't really have a response. So she elaborated: ‘What's it like to be first playing this style of music?’ Here we are in the land of some of our musical heroes and we're being told by the people native to this region that we have a sound they've never heard before. I was blown away.”

La Fin Absolute Du Monde’s new album, Clarity Amongst the Rubble, is out now.

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