Interview with Romain Malavialle, a.k.a. Maro

Joe McRedmond interviewed Romain Malavialle, a.k.a. Maro, sound technician for BRUIT ≤ , PRINCESS THAILAND, LOS GUAYABO BROTHERS, and BRUIT FUREUR, from Toulouse, France, about his 1998 Master Renault 2.5D.

Tell us who you are?

I am Romain Malavialle, a.k.a. Maro, sound technician for 7 years now, and getting on tour with bands in my van around France, my home country, and Europe. Most of the photos I have included were taken last year during BRUIT ≤ ‘s Belgium tour, with whom I’ve worked for 2 years now.

BRUIT ≤  on tour in Belgium. Photo courtesy of Theo Grecolinos.

What was the catalyst, motivation, or inspiration for getting a van in the first place, specifically? 

I’ve bought the van in 2013. It was my first one, and I thought about it since the teenagehood.

Classic dream about travelling the world in a mobile house, to discover new places and people, but I did not know in that time I will do all of that like a sound tech! 🙂

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

Where/from whom did you get it? Did you know the background of this van when you purchased it?

I get it from a little garage, and in his past life he use to drive disabled people.

Tell us about the van, year, make, model, color – did it need work, and did you do any DIY, build a loft, etc.? Did you give it a name? Who maintained it?

It is a Master Renault 2.5D from 1998, and about 5,5m long and 2,45 tall and it’s white.

After 2 years, I rebuilt entirely the old equipment. I try to find the balance between tours and my own needs. Finally there were 7 seats (3 + 4 in the back), a little berth and a trunk. Not so bad!

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

I tried to maintained it as well as i can for we can drive safely. During the past years I have learn mechanics every time we got an issue with the van.

I used to go in an associative DIY garage where I found professional and passionate people who helped me.

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

Any funny or unique features?

No magical features, but I’ve put speakers in the separation between the trunk and the seats, and there was a system to easily remove the bed.

During some journeys i have thought about a training bike inside the van to charge phones and computer’s battery but i have never done it 🙂

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

What’s the longest drive you ever did between shows?

I think the longest drive was when we came back home after an Italy tour with another band, Princess Thailand, from Ravenna (Ita) to Toulouse (Fra), and about 1200km.

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

What do you listen to in the van?

Year of No light, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Amenra, James Blake, Eleven Tigers, TRNA, BRMC, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bjork, Swans, Thurston Moore, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Breeders, Queens of the Stone Age, Son lux, The Roots, …

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

What do you do for entertainment on drives between shows?

Depends of the mood, but try to sleep is one of them! Also playing some games, reading, joking about shit, smoking and drinking, and in my opinion smartphones take more and more places in our lives.

Do you sleep in the van, people’s houses, or motels/hotels?

Most of times we got accommodation in people’s house or hotel, and we use the van’s bed during the journeys.

Photo by Romain Malavialle.

Are there any van rules you have? Or band rules in general?

Aha! I think « what happened on tour stay on tour ! » 🙂

Tetris pack by BRUIT ≤ . Photo courtesy of Theo Grecolinos.

Do you have a classic nightmare van/police/mechanical/crash/fire story from tour or any other shows?

One time we had an issue with the starter of the van when we took the ferry to go to England. So we have to push it to start every single day during a week!

Also sometimes police look us wrong because of the mystical power of the sentence « we are a rock band travelling » ! 🙂 but finally it always go well.

Where did the van end up? 

Finally I sold the van, because it get older an older and had mechanical issues. I think buy a most recent in the future, even if I really liked the road with this one.

Any other entertaining tour stories?

More to come I hope in this strange era!

How can we help promote any releases?

You can follow BRUIT ≤ on the social media and the new release in February! And please check out “And We Shine” the last release of Princess Thailand.


Stay connected with BRUIT ≤ :



Elusive Sound

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