Though their band name may literally translate from French to mean ‘bad’, Mauvais are in actuality the polar opposite when it comes to their crushing heaviness, chugging bass, and two-steppable riffs. The Adelaide band carry a dark mystique surrounding their themes and sound that’s very very GOOD. We connected with vocalist Jaycob Page about his musical influences and how they permeate what we hear in Mauvais’ music.
Gifted a Walkman by his mum (which came with the cassingle of Will Smith’s “Boom! Shake The Room”!), Jaycob’s passion for music began with the purchase of Simple Plan‘s album Still Not Getting Any. Without knowing anything at all about the Canadian band, “other than the fact that my cousin loved them”, Jaycob says he picked up the album for roughly $20 from his local Sanity store, and never looked back. The fact that he’d chosen it for himself seemed to inspire even more of a connection with these releases, and kicked off his personal passion for music.
Though his parents aren’t musicians themselves, music was always being played around Jaycob in his childhood. From this he was exposed to a variety of bands like AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, and more. “The AC/DC Live album was a constant in my dad’s car and at home. With my mum, I was always listening to Good Charlotte or Evanescence and even a classic So Fresh CD.”
Jaycob also found his way to The Killers after receiving Hot Fuss as a birthday present when he was 11 or 12; an album he still considers to be in his top five albums today. “I think I played it daily at least once for the span of a year and more on weekends. Especially loving the first half as “Mr. Brightside” led on to “Smile Like You Mean It” and then “Somebody Told Me”, occasionally just playing those three over and over.”
All of these bands he was exposed to collectively ‘opened the gateway’ to music for Jaycob, allowing for him to explore his own choices, and experience new bands. One of those bands was Northlane, who Jaycob feels were pivotal in him ultimately pursuing music. He’d seen the band’s name everywhere relating to their tours, and Northlane music videos would also appear as suggested videos in the side bar on YouTube. It was finally a recommendation of a friend from Murray Bridge that inspired him to buy the Singularity album on iTunes.
“The first thing that hit home for me was the heaviness of the band, yet how diverse Adrian was between singing, and what I would consider to be his mid and low range vocally. Then their drum sounds, and guitar tones, their rhythms. I’d never listened to a band considered progressive metalcore before and I was blown away.”
Singularity is still the stand out album for Jaycob, despite the band now having four albums released. He goes so far as to consider Singularity potentially his favourite album of all time, “especially as I can listen cover to cover, over and over, and not lose interest and always feel a nostalgia and sense of awe.”
Diving into specific tracks of the album, Jaycob says: “I’d say “Genesis” was a perfect introduction to the album with the drums at the forefront. I’m always captivated. “Windbreaker” is a personal favorite especially the way Adrian delivers the line “I will break the wind” and the low tone of voice he achieves. From there the standard fan favorites and diversity between “Quantum Flux” and “Dream Awake” will never get old. I really like how dark and heavy “The Calling” feels and then onto “Masquerade” featuring Drew York. Now I’m not much of a Stray from the Path fan personally but this may possibly be one of the best features on an album in all existence, it just compliments so well.”
When it comes to Jaycob’s role with Mauvais, he takes a lot of inspiration from Northlane and their vocalist (at the time of Singularity) Adrian Fitipaldes, saying they made him want to pursue vocals. “I practiced daily to singularity for the better part of 9-10 months. But they also made me want to have a confident and easily understood mid tone with the ability to get my voice lower and accent certain parts of our songs, especially in the live setting. For me Adrian stood out not only lyrically, but in the way that his vocals were the fifth instrument to the band. They compliment the song and accent certain sections or riffs, which has become a personal focus of mine in the writing process. Northlane also just helped with me want to play in a heavy band and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it.”
Mauvais recently released their debut EP Frail Words. Check it out via Spotify:
Photo of Jaycob Page courtesy of Steven Cook.