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

Interview with Ceci dit

Joe McRedmond interviewed Ceci dit, a punk rock band from Troyes, France, via email about their travels over the last two years.

Published on July 18, 2020

Thanks for agreeing to an interview with me!

Hello! We are Ceci dit (“That being said” in English). We are a three men punk rock band which has been formed in February 2018. In our songs we are dealing with our relation to other people, to ourselves, and to the world. At the moment we have released a demo and a EP, and played nearly 40 shows mainly in the east of  France. It is a pleasure to share our experience with other people. Thanks Joe for having us!

Tell us what the catalyst, motivation, or inspiration for traveling outside of your hometown in the first place, specifically?

We have begun to play in other cities because we wanted to share our music with new people in new places. It allows us to meet great people and to go to some places we’ve never been before. We are often playing in our hometown because we are organizing shows here, so it is always nice to get off the beaten track.

When you travel out of town, what is your main method of transportation? Did you know the background of this vehicle when you purchased it?

For our first summer of touring, 6 months after we created the band, we had the chance to pick the old van from Lucas’ cousin, but most of the time we are using Lucas’ car to travel.

Tell us about these vehicles; year, make, model, color – did it need work, and did you do any DIY, build a loft, etc.?

Our van was a Renault Trafic T1000 from 1989 used to carry tools and workers in vineyards, so we had a lot of space at the back, but only 3 seats. As we said before, at the moment our main tour vehicle was Lucas’ car, a tiny Peugeot 206, but we are always surprised by the amount of instruments and personal stuff this car can carry. 

Ceci dit’s 1989 Renault Trafic T1000. Photo courtesy of Ceci dit.

Any funny or unique features?

The back of our first van was modified so we could sleep in it with a mattress to make it even more comfortable. Lucas’ cousin also added extra storage, batteries to plug electrical stuff, and a ventilation system to improve the quality of the inside.

What’s the longest drive you ever did between shows? What was the first trip you took with it?

The longest drive we made in our van was between Dijon (well known for the mustard) and Romilly-sur-Seine (a tiny town near our hometown). Because of taking wrong directions, and the tiny motor for this big van, it took us 4 hours to go to the show instead of 2h30. The first trip we had with the van was less complicated. We didn’t take too much time to go to the venue in Reims (well known for its champagne), but we had some scare when we had to park the van in the big avenue where the venue was located. But finally, after a risky half turn realized by our trucker drummer Stann’, we made it.

Officially, the longest trip we have done was last year when we played in Belgium. It took us 4 hours to drive to the venue, and we had a big hangover. Not a great time, but a great memory. If we are right, the first time we have toured as a band with a car was when we went to Metz (another big city of Eastern France). As usual, when Lucas is driving, we made some detours, but we have played in the best place we’ve ever been. It was at an associative venue called ‘La chaouée’. We had the chance to sleep upstairs the venue. Good party and partial memories. 

Did you sleep in the vehicle, people’s houses, or hotels?

Our van was modified to welcome some mattresses at the back, but we were not able to use this feature because the space was taken by the gears. So most of the time we sleep in people’s houses, often in the promoter’s house. We really like it because we can have some chill time with people and discuss more easily than in the crowded and noisy venue.

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

The only rule we have when we are traveling is “no smoking inside the vehicle”. Except that we didn’t have any explicit rules. By touring we have learned how to know each other, and now we know how to adapt our behavior in the tour life to avoid tensions, and keep a good vibe in the band.

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

We are not touring all the time, so when we know we will have to travel more than usual, we take time to check all the parts of the vehicle to make sure we can go to the shows safely. By chance our families have mechanical skills, so we can fix issues really quickly when we have some troubles. 

Ceci Dit with Marée Basse (RIP)

Where did the Renault end up?

Unfortunately, the van we used during our first tour is not usable anymore, because it didn’t pass road worthiness testing. It is now used as a garden van to go through all the land owned by Lucas’ cousin.

Any other entertaining tour stories?

Yes for sure! During our first tour days we have forgotten to think about a place to sleep, so we have planned to sleep outside in our tent in an abandoned skate park. At the last moment we found someone in the audience who welcomed us in his apartment. Good after-party with weird songs. It depicts well our lack of experience at the time, and all the troubles a band can face in their tour life.

How can we help promote any releases?

The way you did by giving us some space on the internet to speak about our passion is a good way to help. We have a Facebook page we often used to update back in the time we were able to play shows. Our last record “Il s’agirait de grandir” which means “It would be about growing up” is available on every streaming platform, but we are suggesting to people to listen to our songs on bandcamp. As you will notice, we are singing in French, but don’t worry, you can find all the lyrics on the bandcamp site, and translate the song easily by copying and pasting texts on a translator. 

On our EP you can find two songs dealing with our tour life and the choice we have made to play punk rock. The first one is “1247”. This song is about the emptiness we feel every time we come back home after touring and how to use all those memories to fight the struggles of routine. The second one is called “Echec subjectif” which means “Subjective failure”. In that song , we are speaking of the fact that we sometimes have some troubles to explain our passion to other people, because they don’t understand how we can find pleasure in it, and also because they feel that it is not a rational choice to cross the country just to play in front of few people for little money. That one has a video clip that you can find on our YouTube channel and where you can spot our main tour car.

If you like it you can share it with your friends and spread our music on social networks by doing all the things we are not really at ease with.

Ceci dit – 1247
Ceci Dit – Echec Subjectif