Great White Shark – Interview on MinimalMag

Great White Shark - New EP "Time To Be"

David Naville is a Lausanne-born artist, now resident in Berlin. Formerly producing music under the alias Pyrame, David has recently launched the Great White Shark project, with which he released his debut EP Time To Be on French label M&O Music.

The EP is a departure from his earlier work as Pyrame, taking a sultry and psychedelic approach to alternative rock with electronic influences, and a return to his guitar-based roots.

We spoke to David about the story behind the project, themes and meanings behind the songs on the EP, his influences, and his plans for the future.

Great White Shark

Hello David, we got to know your electronic side with your Pyrame project that fascinated us last year and now this is a big surprise to see also an indie-rock project.

Could you tell us more about Great White Shark?

Great White Shark is a testament to the music I have been listening to the most for the past…40 years.

Rock came first in my music journey, before electronic music – typical GenX feature, I guess – and it’s been a long while that I craved to put together an EP of indie rock songs together.

This is a side-project if you compare to what I do with my electronic project Pyrame and record label Thisbe Recordings.

Yet, Great White Shark represents a necessary – if not idealogic – step and an area of complete freedom – freedom of speech, freedom to scream and shoot – and go 100% for stoner / heavy rock music. And that feels pretty good…

How did you get your name?

I had no specific name when I started this project.

In fact, my drummer sent me completely by mistake an article about great white sharks when I first talked to him about the first single “Doberman”.

It was a sign.

I liked the name right away.

It is a powerful metaphor when it comes to the music genre: loud, stoner, infused with psychedelic electro samples.

It also captures a kind of attitude around the music and the messages conveyed by the lyrics.

It’s meant to bite.

Great White Shark on YouTube:

Please tell us about your debut EP as GWS. How did it come about? What themes are prevalent in the tracks across your EP?

The EP is the sum of compositions I had – some for many years – in the bag, and at some point, I wanted to put them all together and produce an EP out of those.

As far as composition is concerned.

It always starts by playing the bass or guitar, and searching for ideas.

Riffs, chords progression, melodies. Some melodies also come by playing the piano, or simply…mumbling.

I also attached a great importance to the messages conveyed by the songs.

For instance, with “Doberman”, I wanted to touch upon that feeling of freedom that characterizes human beings, that need to feel free and make the most out of our lives, run, release that energy within, make things happen.

“Tapis Rouge” is a portrait of modern narcissism and egocentrism.

As a matter of fact, I am amazed by the amount of information people share about themselves nowadays, about the importance they attached to their image, etc.

That scares me, to be honest, and it is going exponential.

I am seeing a lot of downside to this.

Let us see what the future has for us in that regards.

“Last Night on Earth” tackles the theme of relationships.

The song highlights the fact that it is always possible to meet someone…compatible (let’s put it this way), whatever stage of your life we are at.

Life is full of good surprises and we shall never give up when bad news are knocking at the door.

This song is hence full of hope and forward-looking.

We should look forward to the good things that are awaiting us and we don’t know about yet.

“Choices” reflects on the unique path – out of a myriad of possible journeys – that each and everyone of us follows, taking decisions all the time. 

There is indeed a significant dose of randomness attached to the choices we make, out of which result consequences that often go beyond what we would expect in the first place. 

In fact, it looks to me that this is an axiom of life that we are bound to make wrong calls, and inexorably “lose ourselves” along the way. 

Life is unpredictable, and above all, entropic.

“Someone Else’s City” is a highly autobiographic song, as it is meant to convey a feeling of nostalgia with regards to the different cities I used to live in. 

I have been lucky enough to live and work in several big cities in the world, and had the opportunity to meet great people. 

I keep many amazing memories of those times. 

This song is dedicated to my friends that I used to see a lot more in a time not so long ago, and with whom I have less opportunities to be with nowadays, because of geography. 

The memories remain. This song is for them.


Great White Shark

We love to see videos accompanying the music. Could you tell us more about the visual part? Where does the inspiration for your music videos come from?

4 music videos come along the EP. 

I worked with 3 different directors for the making of “Doberman”, “Tapis Rouge”, Last Night on Earth” and “Choices”. 

They first express their ideas about what we could be doing to put the song in the context of a music video. 

We then iterate around the best – and doable – ideas and move forward. 

A music video is a bit like the remix of a track: after listening to the track with the director and discussing the meaning of it, I am always curious to hear their “visual / story interpretation” of the song. 

The three of them – Julien, Justus and Christian – were or have become good friends in the process.

I am very grateful for their hard work and the trust they put in the project. 

In short, they have completely embrace what I like to call “the Great White Shark attitude”.

Every video is a unique experience, and it is as draining as it is fun to produce. 

Among the different components of the overall project, making music videos requires the most organization, coordination, logistics, etc., and of course, the need to identify the actors, and the people taking part in – what is really – a short movie. 

I am taking this opportunity to heartfully thank the many people who acted in the videos or showed up to help (some, on a very short notice…you know who you are).

Great White Shark on SoundCloud

What / who influences you the most when making music?

To answer the “What”, I would rather think of it as sources of inspiration to compose.

And that would simply be playing the guitar for a certain amount of time and searching for ideas.

The night and the silence that goes with it are great for that.

Not having a plan and a tight schedule in the hours that follow, help a lot, too.

To answer the “Who”, I guess this is the sum of all the rock and electronic music I have been listening to for decades.

I was really into nu metal at some point, but also new wave and Brit pop.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are at home? What has been the latest track you’ve had on repeat?

At the moment, I am listening to a lot of electronic music.

Some established artists as well as some new upcoming acts who I am looking at for Thisbe Recordings.

When it comes to rock, I can’t get enough of some jewels from Korn (Issues, Take a look in the Mirror), or Deftones (Around the Fur, White Pony,..).

We also have a teenager at home who is making the most of our Spotify account, so we have music on repeat all by itself, spanning music from the 70s to 2010’s, from Depeche Mode to Beastie Boys, to Michael Jackson, to German trap…..

Otherwise, for a few days now, I have “2020”, by Suuns, on repeat. Great track.

Any future plans for Great White Shark?

I would love to perform the tracks live, of course.

Let us see how things develop over the next few months with the overall situation.

I also have several compositions for a second EP.

It will be more industrial. More electronic/ electro-rock, too.

Now that the Great White Shark has been thrown in the pool, it would be a shame that he does not swim a few laps, isn’t?

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