Having formed back in 1978, Coventry band Paris broke up 8 years later, frustrated at the current music industry. However, after reuniting once again in 2012, the band are back and after 30 years in the making, have released their first album ‘Unfinished Business’. The album produced and engineered by band members Fran Petiffer and Tim Constable, was mastered by Grammy award winning producer Roger Lomas. Now all in their later years, Tim has been chatting to us about their new album and how they’ve found the music scene after returning 30 years later.
So Tim, the band formed back in 1978, what was Paris’ tone of voice then and what led you to want to stand out from the rest?
In the very early 70’s a school friend and I, who had a lot of common interests, started developing and experimenting with our writing style; we were happy playing around with all sorts of musical structure and lyrics. We’d just got to the stage of wanting to an outlet for our music when a local band advertised that they were looking for original material to perform. Although it didn’t work out with them, Paris was born and we started performing our own original music. Our writing style was really quite varied with a mix of pop, progressive and rock and that’s really what Paris was all about.
So back in 1982 the band started to fizzle out, was it a hard decision to go your separate ways?
In some ways no, it was just shear frustration that led to the separation. Around the same time 2 Tone had risen in popularity in Coventry, whatever else we were we weren’t 2 Tone, so it became increasingly difficult to get professional interest in our music. It was a very frustrating time for us with managers not living up to their promises and 2 Tone taking Coventry by storm.
However, 30 years later the band is back! Do you think your age now has spurred you to pick up where you left off and record the album?
Age was never a factor, we just wanted to record out of posterity at first but the music just turned out so much better than we’d expected; with a Grammy award winning producer, a contact from back in the day, agreeing to do the final mastering for us with a superb result.
It’s very inspiring that years later it can still all work out! So you say age in nothing, do you still feel the same chemistry when performing together now as there was 30 years ago?
Yes, there was never a sense of deliberately breaking up, calling the project off or falling out personally. When we first met again in Fran’s studio back in 2012 and after a few moments of catching up on the last 30 years, Steve the guitarist started the intro to one of the songs, as it happened Fran had left a keyboard in one corner and a drum kit in the other, so we just started playing and it was like the last 30 years just disappeared.
What a lovely story! Now back together what inspired your music and in particular your signature track Paris Fashions?
The band came up with the idea that we wanted a song that would sum up what Paris was all about but something that also incorporated the band’s name into the lyrics. It was my co-writer, a none performing member, that handled the lyrics and between us we came with the melody and cord structure. Taking the idea of fashion, and looking at it from a slightly jaundice point of view, with the first line for example “there’s nothing you can do with expensive taste except feed it on money, and even though I see it as an awful waste, you can’t have bread without honey” we wanted to highlight a rather edgy approach to the fashion business but also at the same time it’s a song that can be used to showcase the Paris sound and approach to music.
Something that definitely comes across in your video; talking more about videos and the digital era, do you think it’s now much harder now to stand out as a band or actually easier to have your music heard?
That’s probably a question we could discuss for the next few hours! I think it’s easier to get a scattered audience aware of material but more difficult to actually get a large scale interest. Despite all of the internet activity it’s still really necessary to have the right publicity machine in place. For every musician that makes it, I believe there are probably 3 or 4 hundred, equally talented musicians, that don’t!
So what’s next for Paris, where do you want to go with the band?
Getting our album ‘unfinished Business’ publicized is a priority, having spent the last few months working to promote the album there is still more to be done in terms of generating the right publicity for us as a band which is something we will carry on working towards. Looking ahead towards the future we have already started recording the second album. It’s been such fascinating and rewarding project that we want to carry on working with it. We’ve very recently received a breathtaking track by track review from a guy called Paul Marcarno from the band LightDreams, he perfectly summed up what we’ve been trying to achieve. Fran, Paris’ bass player, even said “this one review makes 30 years of music making worthwhile.” Having such an unbiased and honest view has really given us a great deal of encouragement to carry on.
That’s so great to here and hopefully we will be hearing a lot more from Paris over the upcoming months! Thanks so much for chatting to us Tim.
Full Album on CD babyLast modified: June 10, 2021