101913_AnimauxAnimaux (pronounced an-ee-MO) are a seven-piece funk-pop band with catchy tunes that just make you want to get up and dance. While they may still be teenagers, Animaux have performed at a range of festivals around Victoria and opened for several well-known Australian and international artists. I spoke with their singer (and only female in the band) Alex about the importance of professionalism and having a solid social media presence.

You’ve opened for bands such as Oh Mercy and Saskwatch. Who is one artist or band you’d love to tour with?

Well, if we were to narrow down our very extensive “touring wish list”, two Australian artists that we admire and look up to would be The Cat Empire and The Bamboos. To have the opportunity to play with them, let alone tour with them, would be unbelievable.

What have you learned from sharing the stage with other established bands?

Probably the most telling lesson that we have managed to bring away from meeting and observing some great bands would be that there must be a balance between professionalism and having fun. In other words, for us to play at our best we have to be equal parts well-prepared and excited to be playing.

How has FReeZA helped you as a band?

FReeZA has provided us with some great opportunities to play good gigs and work with good people, which are invaluable for any young band. Most notably the Push Start Battle of the Bands series in 2011/2012 allowed us to play at Pushover Festival and St Kilda Festival, which are still some of our highlights as a band so far.

How did you come up with the name Animaux?

Unfortunately there’s not some great story behind the name! It came up in a brainstorming session when we started writing the very first songs for the then-unnamed project. We stuck with it because we liked how it’s only one word and means “animals” in French.

It seems you’ve already conquered Victoria with residencies at the Evelyn and the Worker’s Club. Is an Australian tour something you see the band embarking on the future?

We’re planning on playing a few shows up the east coast in December 2012 in celebration of our new single “Paradise”. We got our first taste of touring earlier in 2012 when we went to Sydney. We can’t wait to play to audiences all over the country and, maybe one day, all over the world. That said, Melbourne is such a huge musical city and we are yet to really even scrape the surface. There’s plenty more fun to be had in our hometown for us.

Where do you draw the inspiration for your songs from?

The songwriting process in Animaux is a collaborative process, which means the inspiration for our songs come from everywhere. The subject matter within our lyrics specifically is fairly broad, and the music behind them reflects this varied approach to writing. Like any young band we’re still trying to consolidate our writing process and so we see every new song as a chance to draw upon differing inspirations from our previous music.

What difficulties have you encountered as a band trying to get gigs?

The first few gigs are always the hardest to get because no one knows who you are or what you can do, but we were lucky to know a couple of bands that were already gigging when we wanted to get started who gave us support slots. We’re so lucky to be based in a city like Melbourne that has so many live music venues for young bands to play at.

How important is the internet and social media for promoting your band? What advice would you give to other bands?

Social media is a crucial aspect of promotion for us. It’s important to set up a central point of reference that’s easy to access and provides as little or as much detail about gigs and recordings as people wish to see. We use Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis to promote gigs, announce special news and even share new music that we’re really digging at that point in time with our listeners.

For other bands using the internet to promote themselves, our advice is: don’t go spamming people. No matter how many ‘fans’ or ‘likes’ you have, people don’t want to be bombarded with information all day, every day. It’ll just put them off. Also, don’t post anything you might regret later.

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