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2011/05/20 / monteurhulot

INTERVIEW / Princesse

If you’ve been enjoying this demo from Princesse as much as I have (and if you haven’t listened to it, what are you waiting for?) than you may have been wondering what makes them tick. Not sure if I got down to that, but I did ask them ten questions, which they answered with aplomb.

O(h)rtlos: When and how did the two of you start collaborating/playing together?

Anthony: We met about two years ago. A complicated story which includes girls we cannot talk about without getting a bit nervous. We started occasionally playing together in a post-punk band which had no future about a year ago. Princesse was born last summer, when we realised we did not need any one else and when I got the idea of buying a sequencer which looks like a shiny light blue box.

Maxime: Yup.

O(h): What was your first music purchase (if you had one?)

A: The Libertines’ second album. I remember the day I discovered them. I was back from school, they were on TV. I thought Pete and Carl were quite stylish.

M: Snoop Dog, Doggystyle’s cassette.

O(h): Are you inspired by a local musical scene, or do you find yourself mostly influenced by outside sources?

A : The Lyon based François Virot and his bands Clara Clara and Reveille make pretty good music, but they are not a source of inspiration. The Grnd Zero, an industrial wasteland where concerts are organized, has a strong influence on us. A lot of very cool indie bands played there. When we write a song which appears to be, maybe, not “alternative” enough (=a bit too easy to please you), we sometimes ask ourselves “would Grnd Zero authorize so much popness?”. Yes, it is a bit alienating.

M: No.

A: No what? You cannot answer just no, this is not a “yes/no” question.

O(h): Did the songs on your demo come together around lyrics or a vocal melody, or develop through improvisation and experimentation?

A : I come to the rehearsal with something. Lines of words and guitar gimmicks which could absolutely not be called a song. Maxime listen to it and together we turn it into music. Except for “the living, the dead, the zombie”: Maxime came one day with the entire song. I just put some “palapapa” and my guitar part. Easy.

M: True dat.

O(h): What unique challenges or advantages come with writing/singing in a second language?

A : Writing and singing in English does not mean we try to fake we are not French. (well, with our gigantic accent, we could not…). Writing in a second language is a way for me to go straight to the point and to sing naive and spontaneous things that I would not dare to sing in French. Moreover, because the result is not very idiomatic, the language used is not any one’s mother tongue. It creates a certain strangeness that I think is interesting.

O(h): What significance does May, 1968 have for you?

A : Just an excuse for old dudes to tell young people they do not care about policy and the world you are living in and the future of the society and the poor people and the rich ones who lead the world to its end and the other ones and the other ones, not like them, who were protesting to death in 1968. Just an excuse to fantasies the past and not living your own life. But in fact, it does not mean a lot for me.
M: My father shared a lot of ideas and dreams with a sexual encounter at this time. He was a Marxist in a noble and very romantic way I guess. Point is, where is the romance in may 2011?
O(h): What thing that you think the 21st century will bring are you most looking forward to? Least?

A : Most : Mad Men season 6. Least: the iPhone 56.

M: Most: time traveling keyring. Least: Jersey shore broadcasted in French tv.

 O(h): What single person most influenced how you think about music?

A : Brian Eno, Maxime and me.

M: Rebecca Black.

O(h): What are each of your favorite songs of 2011 so far?

A : “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker”, by Destroyer. Each melodic element has his own feeling to bring and, all together, they create a melancholic but hopeful atmosphere to help you confronting the world with serenity and a bit of irony. Plus the guitar of the beginning of the song reminds me the BO of “The Princess Bride” by Rob Reiner, which is an exquisite cult movie for me (the BO is by Mark Knopfler but is a nice peace of pop music, though).

M: Gang Gang Dance’s “Glass Jar.”

A: Really?
O(h): What flavour of ice cream would each of you be, were you to be ice cream?

A : Strawberry. Because it is a very girly flavour : it is sweet enough to please them but it is still a light sorbet, so they will not get fat. A subtle metaphor of what a lover should be, isn’t it?

M: Banana-Cocaine.

A: Now you know which one of us is the funny one.


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