World’s & is a rock band based in Geneva, Switzerland comprising of Natalie Anston on vocals, Lucas Innocenti on drums, César Dyrberg on guitar and Romain Corne on bass guitar.
Formed in 2016, they describe their music as follows:
To all those who don’t know us, we ask them to imagine if Coldplay, Pink Floyd, and Radiohead had a baby, we would be the weird sibling.
The band had released their EP entitled “Vice” at the end of March 2021. It’s an album I’ve been listening to repeatedly over the past two weeks and I wanted an interview to get behind the nuts and bolts of how the band developed their music. The following interview was conducted with Natalie.
About World’s &
Natalie, how did you and the rest of the band meet and end up becoming Word’s & in 2016?
Well, the band was first formed by myself and Bruno Kaddar and then in 2019 Bruno left the band and I searched for other musicians. César responded right away and we had a great connection. Lucas came soon after because he was friends with César and the three of us got along really well. We also have a bassist, Romain Corne, who plays with us.
How did you come up with your band name?
In my living room I had a big light with a red “&” and I thought,’ Hmm, what about “The &” ?’
But that name was actually already taken. Afterwards, “World’s &” appeared in my head. I like irony and things like that, so it’s a play on words: not “the World’s End” but “the World’s &”.
I had a good feeling about that name although I didn’t quite understand why, lol! But I figured that one day it would make sense with our music and it really does.
How does World’s & go about composing its songs? Is it a group effort where every member contributes (e.g., composing songs by jamming together) or do one or two members write the majority of your material?
Mostly César and I come up with the melodies. He might bring a melody to me and I’ll try it out or the other way around and then we all sort of add our own touch. Luckily, we don’t seem to have any difficulties coming up with compositions; we actually have quite a few that are on the list waiting to be tweaked. But we’re also realizing that some songs are stronger than others and we have to give priority to the strong ones.
To the extent that the songwriting process is borne of the efforts of individual members, do you consciously sit down and treat writing a song like a full-time job or do your songs come from sudden inspiration (or maybe a mix of both)?
Most of my song melodies pop into my head when I’m driving or vacuuming, lol! I’ll record a song melody and find the chords that go along with it and I’ll show it to the band. I have a bunch of audio recordings on my phone as inventory for song ideas.
César also doesn’t really just sit down and say “I wanna make a song now”. He comes to us and says, “I have this new idea I want to try out”. And then I’ll usually squeal like a little girl because when he comes up with an idea, I always love it!
Are there any specific tips that you can give to bands who aspire to write their own original material and who may be reading this interview?
Don’t over think it. If you have an idea, start by singing the melody into your phone right away so you don’t lose the idea. Then, go to your band and work on the idea together or, if you’re alone, just make a very simple demo with vocals and piano/guitar and then go from there. One step at a time.
Recording and gear
Does World’s & record and mix its own music? If so, is there any advice you can give to bands who wish to produce their own music but may not have yet acquired the technical skill?
César does have the skills to record and mix our own music. We make some pretty cool demos, lol, but I think working with a professional studio is a great investment.
We worked with Yvan Bing and his experience really taught us a lot. It wasn’t just the EP we created that was important, but how much we grew as musicians after this experience. It’s expensive to do this, but very much worth it.
On the other hand, it is very de rigueur now to have a home studio and do stuff yourself, and this is really cool! I’ve taught myself Logic Pro X in order to record better vocals on my own after going online to Coursera.com to take a music production course. Nowadays, you can learn anything you want online.
[To the band members] Can you provide me with a rundown of the gear the individual band members use for both stage and studio?
Romain (bass guitar): A Fender Jazz Bass from the 70s and whatever amp is available on stage.
César (guitar): An Epiphone Les Paul Tribute – not a high-end guitar, but it does a good job when needed. Also various pedals (Boss, Catalinbread, Mad Professor) and a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue amp.
Lucas (drums): Onstage I usually play what the venue will provide me, but usually I’ll play with a Byrne Vintage 14″ hi-hat, a Meinl Foundry Reserve 22″ ride, an Istanbul OM 16″ crash and a Masterwork Troy 18″ crash (with a sizzle)
Natalie (vocals): I use my vocal chords and my lungs – they cost me quite a lot, lol! But yeah, I’ll use whatever mic is available or my Shure. Also, I just bought myself a Boss VE-1 vocal echo because I love me some reverb! I also have a Nord Stage Ex I play keys on and a Korg Minilogue.
World’s & is based in Geneva, Switzerland. What’s the music scene currently like in Geneva in light of Covid? And what’s your expectation for the Swiss music scene and World’s &’s place in it once everyone gets vaccinated and things “get back to normal”?
We actually had quite a few concerts the year prior to Covid and it seemed like things were really picking up and then “Boom! Bye bye!”.
We hope to get back into that rhythm, we just have to stay positive. I think there’s a big music scene in Geneva, but it’s a bit difficult to break through as an artist. Ironically, with the entire Covid situation I feel that many people are becoming more appreciative and supportive of local musicians. Life is like that – you never miss something until it’s gone.
How did you develop your social media following? And is there any advice you can give to bands out there just starting who wish to follow in your footsteps and gain a following?
I watched alot of YouTube videos explaining what to do and what not to do when it comes to marketing on social media – and I’m still learning. But it’s mostly about putting out content that you know your followers will like.
It’s also about connecting with them. They’re people too, with lives of their own. I can’t stand artists that have something like 100,000 followers and are only following 5 people back. I’m like – “Really?!” We like to get to know the people who follow us and if we could be great friends with all of them that would be awesome!
What are World’s &’s short-term (within a year), medium-term (within 5 years) and long-term (within 10 years) professional goals?
Short Term: We’d like to get our songs from our EP “Vice” onto as many radios and playlists as possible. We plan to release a single (a cover of Portugal. The Man’s song “Live in the Moment”) in June. Also, we’re already making the demos for our next EP and plan to release that, but not sure when yet.
Medium Term: We plan to release a lot more music, find a manager, and play at the Paléo Festival and Caribana Festival in Switzerland! (and many more concerts and festivals as well!)
Long Term: Oh my.. long-term plans are hard, lol! I think we’ll still be playing together in 10 years. We’re not perfect – we get frustrated with each other and things aren’t always easy, especially now during these difficult times, but when we play together, there is something special and we all feel it. We make each other better and we’re a band of equals. We teach each other things and when you are growing and learning, you’re happy.
And of course, you can listen to their music over at Spotify and other major streaming platforms.