Q&A with Eux Autres – playing the Larimer Lounge Thursday, August 26th

Aug 25

Eux autres, the French phrase meaning "them others," sounds like "ooz-oh-trah." Eux Autres, the San Francisco based brother-sister duo of Nicholas and Heather Larimer sounds like catchy minimalist pop music that would fit well on a mixtape filled with Elephant 6 and Vaselines songs. On record, the pair always managed to sound larger than just two people, so they've added two more "others" (Yoshi on drums and Nathan on bass) for this tour and their upcoming album Broken Bow, due later this year.

"Anne Boleyn" from Cold City

In advance of their show at the Larimer Lounge (the Larimers at the Larimer, it's destiny!) this Thursday with Hindershot and Birdy, we chatted with Heather, who had some charming and interesting things to say about keeping your record clean (for eHarmony's sake!), World Cup Soccer, and writing songs in two languages.

Eux Autres has called Omaha, Portland, and now San Francisco home over the last few years. Why so much moving? Are you really just a criminal outfit on the lam posing as a band?
We've moved a lot because we've been a band for a while, and I think because we're siblings, we have such a permanent bond that we weren't afraid of pursuing other things in our life while making music together. We never said, "Okay, we'll do this full time for 2 years and if we don't get huge, then it's over." We always saw it as a long-term investment. Nick left Portland for grad school, I left Portland for a job in New York City, then we hooked up with Yoshi, who lives in SF. Last year, we decided to focus a lot more attention on the band, so we all reconvened in San Francisco...Which is a long way of saying that, yes, Eux Autres is actually just a money-laundering front for an illegal, ultra high-potency sunscreen-dealing operation.

I was going to ask if you had any interesting stories from the road, but it seems you've covered all of that on your blog. Anything you might've left out that you want to share here? Highlights? Lowlights?
We have twice as many stories from the road that could never be published on the blog. We purposefully keep it pretty tame on there - all of the really funny or weird stuff really incriminates one person or the other. And as we've all learned the hard way, the internet is forever. What seems hilarious today might keep one of us from finding our soulmate on E-harmony tomorrow.

The funny thing about tour is that the highlights and lowlights occur so many times a day. They practically overlap. You're moving through this actual landscape, but then you're navigating a whole other mental landscape and that terrain is a lot more extreme. You have moments where you think you're actually incapable of playing tonight or sitting another moment in the back seat. And then moments where you think you are the luckiest person in the world. Where you feel like you could explode with happiness.

Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming record, Broken Bow?
We are incredibly excited about this record. It's our first record with Yoshi, and having an amazing drummer just opens up so many opportunities recording-wise. Plus, we worked with Jason Quever from Papercuts; he's so talented, and his aesthetic stamp is everywhere on these songs. To me, this record feels more like San Francisco and New York, than Portland. It reflects the places it was made.

You seem to sing in French less often now than in the past, and in your bio you mention that only you guys notice the lyrics, anyways. Are you writing more in English now to get people to pay attention to the words?
We've always wanted to do at least one French song per album, and we've continued that tradition. We do think lyrics matter, but mostly, we're just interested in the sounds they make. We were kind of being smart asses when we said that no one notices that most of our songs are about sports, etc. If people are listening at all, I'm happy--they can interpret the songs however they want.

How'd the idea to write a song for the World Cup come about?
Nicholas is a massive soccer fan. He's been waiting his whole life to write a song about it. In general, we think it's really fun to write a song about something very specific. We love Christmas music for the same reason.

Stream "World Cup Fever" at the top of this page.

Denver is your last stop on the tour, what's the first thing each of you is going to do when you get back to San Francisco?
Heather: After throwing in a load of laundry, I'll take my dogs and my man-friend to Ocean Beach and go to Trouble coffee. Watching my big Chow/Lab bodysurf while I sip a killer cappuccino makes my face hurt from smiling so hard.
Nicholas: Eat a veggie burrito from my local taqueria.
Nathan: Listen to the two records I scored on the road--The Scorpions In Trance and Alice Copper, Love it to Death--with my ladyfriend. Eat a lot of kale.
Yoshi: I'll go for a walk in my city, and then go to karaoke.