The Boys of The Blaze Have Rum, Sake, and M&Ms on Their Rider
“We hug each other, and then we let ourselves get carried by the music,” says the French electronic music duo The Blaze, comprised of cousins Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, of their pre-live gig meditation routine. The duo is known for their French-infused dance music, characterized by heavenly vocals, inspirational build-ups, and crowd-pleasing drops, which has prompted many a music publication to describe their sound as “emotional.” Their latest album, JUNGLE, takes inspiration from the many individuals that inhabit the different concrete jungles they’ve visited, from their native Paris to Indio for Coachella and, more recently, Brooklyn, where they caught up with Interview after their show at the Brooklyn Mirage. Today, The Blaze celebrates the release of their sixth self-produced music video, “The Poem,” set to the track “MADLY,” which follows the “transformative” journey of a teenager. After their gig at Avant Gardner, and before catching a flight to the Netherlands, the duo told us about their very French tour habits: cigarettes, wine, and red M&Ms.
MACIAS: Where are y’all right now?
THE BLAZE: Paris.
MACIAS: What’s in your system before a show?
THE BLAZE: Usually we go on stage a few minutes before just to feel the crowd. It’s exciting because we always want to go for it, but it’s also stressful because there’s often a lot of people.
MACIAS: How many hours of sleep do you get every night?
THE BLAZE: Really, really not enough. Between flights, hotels, and runs, it’s more naps than real sleep.
MACIAS: The name of your latest album is JUNGLE, can you tell me about the origin of that title?
THE BLAZE: The first one was called DANCEHALL with an outside photo of a big hall, so for this one, we did JUNGLE with an aerial shot of a concrete jungle. It’s another perspective of the people we talk about in our music and music videos. And always with the same little “trick”: name our album with a musical genre.
MACIAS: What do you eat, drink, or smoke before a big show?
THE BLAZE: Local food—we like everything. Sometimes cigarettes because we’re French, but never alcohol before a show. The live aspect of the performance is already another dimension for us.
MACIAS: How do you prepare mentally for a show?
THE BLAZE: There is no special preparation. We try to stay focused, we hug each other, and then we let ourselves get carried by the music.
MACIAS: Do you style yourselves?
THE BLAZE: We wear basic black clothes for live shows. No style is our style.
MACIAS: What movies do you watch when you’re on tour?
THE BLAZE: Unfortunately, we don’t really have time for that.
MACIAS: What do you miss most about home when you’re on the road?
THE BLAZE: Spending time with family and friends. The routine. Having a more “normal” life than fast life. Also, the studio—having moments of solitude and creative time.
MACIAS: What’s on your rider?
THE BLAZE: Good rum, wine (because we’re French), sake, and, most important, a big bowl of M&M’s, but only the red ones.
MACIAS: Which songs are crowd favorites? And your personal favorites?
THE BLAZE: “Dreamer,” “Territory,” “Eyes,” and “Madly” are insane. For us, all the songs are our personal favorites.
MACIAS: What about after the show? Do you guys have an after party or do you just like to chill?
THE BLAZE: Depends on the mood, sometimes we love to go to see some other artists we like on stage, meet local people, and party with them. But if we have another show the day after, we go back to the hotel to chill with our crew.
MACIAS: What was the last concert you went to?
THE BLAZE: Rosalía, Wu-Tang Clan, Overmono.
MACIAS: You played Coachella, you just played in NYC, and you’re doing a few North America shows and one in Mexico. What’s one place you’ve yet to play that you’re burning to play?
THE BLAZE: Honestly, everywhere there’s a crowd ready to burn a dance floor, we’re in.
MACIAS: What are you doing tomorrow?
THE BLAZE: Traveling to Down the Rabbit Hole, a super cool festival in the Netherlands.