Walk Home Drunk is the moniker of Daniel Selig from Toulouse, France, who chose his solo musical output about ten years ago. At the time Daniel was playing in a pretty heavy band but he was also listening to mellower, more melancholic stuff like old-school emo or Elliott Smith and Daniel wanted to see what was down that path, musically, for himself. So Walk Home Drunk is mostly Daniel on guitar and vocals and some other more-or-less regular people helping him out on other instruments.
“I started Walk Home Drunk as a solo project but quickly asked my friend Jeronymous Bouquet to record some drums for the songs I was working on,” Daniel tells Eat This Music on the inception of his project. “He has more of a metal background so it’s always interesting to hear the ideas he comes up with.”
For this EP, Daniel asked another friend, Robin Cousin, to participate as well. He’s into electronic music and recently bought an MPC. Some of the songs Daniel was working on were going in a slower, softer direction so he thought it could be interesting to have a mix of electronic and acoustic drums for this EP.
These past few years Daniel has been concentrating on his live band DOCKS, an instrumental slowcore/shoegaze duo Daniel started with his girlfriend Manon Raupp. “We’ve released a few cassettes and have played shows all over France,” Daniel continues in our chat. “We were two days away from traveling to Spain to record our first 7” when the pandemic hit.”
“It’s tough not being able to participate in the music scene, whether it’s playing and attending shows or just talking with people at venues.”
“It’s all the more frustrating because so many businesses are open but all the cultural venues have to stay closed, in France at least,” Daniel adds.
The title of Walk Home Drunk’s EP ‘Time Flies’ is a summary of the themes in the EP: The first track, “Finish Last” is an ironic look at how a lack of ambition can hold you back when you’re trying to establish yourself as a professional artist. You can’t help but compare yourself to others, and especially with social media nowadays it can seem like everyone is “doing well” and being super-productive, all the time. Of course this is all smoke and mirrors and most people probably feel quite inadequate. “Urgh” is about the absolute hell that is growing older and not being able to drink as much as before. “Anti-summer” is about not particularly enjoying something that’s unanimously adored. “Time Flies” is a commentary on the urgency with which we are incited to live our lives, and also a nudge to the fact it took several years to finish the EP.
“I usually start off with a guitar melody I record on my computer,” Daniel reveals on the creative process of his music. “After a while I’ll have about fifteen ideas of which I’ll select maybe five, or try to mix different ideas which could go together. Then I’ll generally have to re-record everything because I can’t remember the settings I used.”
Daniel lives in an apartment, so he record from his pedals straight into an interface, nothing fancy: “I have a notebook where I write down ideas for lyrics, mostly one or two lines,” Daniel states. “This helps me find ideas for a subject or sometimes even just a specific tone.”
Once the songs are somewhat structured, Daniel will go through the notebook and see which themes or ideas could work with each song. About a year ago Jerome, Robin and Daniel got together and they each tried out some drum patterns for their songs while Daniel drank beers and watched.
“Usually Jerome and I mix and master everything together but this time we were in lockdown so I had to mix the guitars & vocals while he mixed the drums on his end.” Walk Home Drunk on his creative process.
“I love working on music with other people, so asking two good friends to participate on the EP was super fun,” Daniel continues. “I think music and art in general can be an important alternative space in which we can collectively, if temporarily, escape the business forces which control much of our lives.”
In that sense the making of Walk Home Drunk’s EP is a validation of everything Daniel holds dear and he is tremendously grateful to Hidden Bay Records for releasing it, and to anyone who happens to listen to it and enjoy it.
The first single, “Urgh” is quite straight-forward and effective, but Daniel’s personal favourite is the last track “Anti-summer” on the ‘B’ side, because of the way the two drum sounds transition into each other, building from a meandering, almost drone-y atmosphere to an upbeat, epic finale.
Walk Home Drunk wants listeners to understand that technical perfection isn’t necessary to write and produce music, that you can do quite a lot with limited resources and that instrumental tracks can be cool!
Five years ago Daniel helped a friend put on a show in her house in the country-side near Toulouse. The band’s driver Eric and Daniel bonded over a mutual appreciation of bands like Against Me and Rvivr, and kept in touch by email.
Last month Daniel and Eric decided to try writing some music together, so they have been sending ideas back and forth. In fact, Eric will be playing bass, drums and synth. Daniel is also working on another series of faster rock ideas he would like to develop with Jerome, and Daniel has also got a bunch of more lyrics-focused ideas with weird effects and sequencers.
“I’m also greatly looking forward to getting back to playing shows with Docks, because it’s been a while and I’m sure every other musician on earth misses it as much as I do,” Daniel adds. “Hopefully the bars, squats and small venues will survive long enough for us to play and attend shows together in safe and respectful environments.”