interview with Humbros

Humbros is the Nantes-based duo of Charles Dubois (percussion) and Simon P. (sax, electronics). On calm moments, they sound like fourth world ambient. On wilder moments, they sound like a krautrock band with an ecstatic early rave feel. They made two releases: the tape ‘Night of the Toacas’ (2018) and the vinyl album ‘From 0 to 90’ this year.


How did you get to know each other?

We met at the age of 14 thanks to skateboarding, in the streets of Saumur, our small hometown.

For how long have you been making music together?

We quickly started to play together with our two respective instruments, saxophone and drums. Today we are 27 years old, so it’s been … 13 years that we play together.

How did your music change during the time you play together?

Styles have evolved over time, shifting from grunge and punk influences to more repetitive rock forms, even going through a more techno phase. We both studied at the School of Fine Arts in Angers, West France. This is really where the various meetings, concerts seen, records listened started to feed the current project. We worked a lot at that time on performances, sound installations and pictures, while continuing to rehearse and do concerts. We also respectively spent some time in Asia (Beijing, Vietnam, India, Thailand, …) and both lived for few months in West Bengal, India, where classic music and nomadic, traveling street music intersect in the culture, both fascinate us. There are also the many encounters, and the many places in which we have worked: apartment, attic, outdoors, cellars, studio… the environment and the place are very much part of the music!

Does each of you have a specific role within the band?

Yes, Simon is the electronic/wind/microphone part of the project, and Charles the drums and percussion part. Most of our music is born from a search for fusion between these two parts around electronic tunes, or cut from recorded improvisations then looped. Then, we work with a simple but kind of infinite device: an electronic tunes (synth, sample, loop..) turns, the “drums” follows or try to imitate these sounds, while being taken up in effects, creating new possible turning tunes, a kind of endless spiral.