‘Let’s make it louder here’ An interview with St. Louis rock band Aquitaine

Kelley Luckett

“A wall of sound built from the best bricks of Brit pop, shoegaze and psychedelic rock” is how songwriter and guitarist David Collett describes Aquitaine, a new four-piece rock juggernaut based in St. Louis.

William Hildebrandt and Gerald Good join Collett on guitar and bass respectively while Chris Luckett sits behind the skins.

“We set out inquiring, ‘What if Ian Curtis shared a prison cell with Mick Jones?’ and ‘What if Echo and the Bunnymen had been born in a city on the Mississippi rather than a city on the Mersey?’” says Collett. “We pondered those questions and wrote out the answers in the form of songs.”

“Oh God, I want to forget,” moans Good when reminiscing about the long journey to choosing the band’s name.

“Our first band name, Supermoon, got stolen by about 10 other bands, including one from Alton, Ill., so we had to change it to avoid confusion,” he explains. “Our quick-fix solution was Super Maroon, which was universally hated. One of the options we were leaning toward was Chateau Chouteau. I Googled it and found out there was a vineyard in Aquitaine with that name. Will asked if there were any other bands using the name Aquitaine, and there weren’t. Since it sounds neat and looks good on a T-shirt, we went with it.”

“During our Supermoon identity,” recalls Hildebrandt, “we had discussed coordinating a ‘Battle of the Supermoons’ concert with a ‘may the best band win and keep the band name’ approach to the evening.” He hopes to one day have a Supermoon open for Aquitaine. “The premise for having one of the Supermoon bands opening for us would be that the best band did win and has a way cooler name now.”

The majority of the songwriting is handled by Hildebrandt and Collett, with Good and Luckett pitching in where needed.

“A lot of the time I try to subtly influence the dynamics of our songs,” explains Good, “by saying, ‘Let’s make it louder here’ or ‘Everyone shut up here’ while trying to make everyone else think it was their idea.”

“As the drummer, my role is to show up on time sober enough to play and load gear,” says Luckett. “I feel that my actual greatest role is that of support personnel, because at the heart of the strongest organizations are strong support figures.”

Aquitaine is having a CD release party on Friday, June 29 at the Firebird to introduce the world to “American Pulverizer: Part 1,” the first batch of songs that the group recorded at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis. The tracks were mixed in New York City by band friend and Grammy winning producer Greg Thompson. Plans are in the works to record and release “American Pulverizer: Part 2″ sometime before the holidays.

When asked what the concert-going public should expect from the party, Collett replied, “I think they can expect to be able to one day say, ‘I was there at the beginning, and got a glimpse into the future of a quickly emerging St. Louis band.’”