This is a big crush. The one you can’t forget after hearing words you wanted to. This kind of melody which comes from your soul. And from the East of London. The area in which the band grew in. It was the first time I had the opportunity to speak and interview an english band face to face, I didn’t really opened my english workbook since my last year at high school… it means two months ago. So it was like a chalenge for me to meet Jethro (piano and vocals) and James (guitar and vocals), speaking english naturally. Vainly. They were really comprehensive and we had fun speaking about the (their) Queen Elizabeth II, prince and princess… In award a lot of things about their daily life, a real conversation about who they are, what they want. But don’t be disappointed, we’ve got some gossip for you about their music. We spent few minutes together before they get the bus to the « bateau » as rightly Jethro said in french.
Ayant fait la connaissance avec la programmation du festival Au Pont du Rock très peu de temps après sa publication, je me suis décidée à écouter les groupes qui me disaient pas grand chose, car comme disait Nadine Gordimer: « l’inconnu est porteur d’angoisse ». Enfin oui car le vide, l’inconnu et tout c’est attrayant mais… jusqu’à un certain point. Alors j’ai fait le premier pas. J’ai écouté la chanson Me, Myself & I, Doesn’t Matter puis The Lake Song. Comme je vous l’ai dit en anglais au dessus, ce fut un effondrement devant mon clavier. Mon rythme cardiaque s’est accéléré, bref tous les synonymes prévenant le sentiment amoureux. La bave qui coule sur le clavier en moins. J’ai amené ma traductrice attitrée Caroline sur les lieux du crime ou de l’interview c’est selon. Et juste avant de les rencontrer on nous a prévenu: « Vous savez qu’ils sont anglais hein ? » Encore heureux, parce qu’on leur avait préparé certaines questions… qui ont dévié vers une conversation fort sympathique assis à 4 sur un petit sofa.
– Do you speak French ?
– Jethro: Un petit peu !
– What do you know to say in French ?
– Je parle très mauvais français mais je vais essayer.
– So did you enjoy your concert at Le Pont du Rock ?
– Very much. It’s very good fun, a new audience for us. The show were very good and the crowd very nice, and there were good fans. We were happy !
– We enjoyed the concert too.
– Did you see it ?
– Obviously ! Unfortunately we weren’t here when you sang Me, Myself & I…
– Oh you missed it !
– Yeah, it’s my favorite song from you by the way.
– I’m sorry, next time we’ll make sure you’re there.
– When will be the next time you come back to France ?
– Not easy to say… I don’t know. But facts, at the end of August we stop playing the festivals and then we record a new album, the third album. So there’s no dates, nothing planned. But I hope as soon as possible.
– Is it for the end of the year ?
– Early next year, I think January or February.
– Do you have a theme or something for this new release ?
– I can’t tell you know because it’s not 100%… we have a few ideas but the sound is very good, we work with a very good young producer, his production include Adele, Florence and The Machine, Foster The People, Bruno Mars and so on. His name is Paul Epworth…
James the guitarist came to sit and started to answer to our questions, both. Jethro asked him if he loved the show.
– James: Yes, we loved the show. It’s fantastic ! We’ve ever been to this part of France, for Dance Ska-La at Rennes (Antipode), 16th February. So it’s our second time. Yeah it’s nice, because everyone came and watched us and dance, have a good time… all of this makes us very happy.
– We know you come from East London, what’s your vision from a Londonner like you ?
– We love East London, we’re very proud of it, there’s a lot of changes because it used to be a very poor area and now it’s becoming very artistic, with a new generation. This is a good place to be but in fact now the problem is East London is becoming expensive and this is always a problem when there’s a lot of artists.
– In French we call that « gentrification. »
– It’s exactly the same word in English. We’ve lot of your french words !
– Do you think when you come from a big city like London or Paris is it an advantage ?
– Well maybe, you know there’s 8 million people in London so it means a lot of people to come and see your shows. I think there is a lot of inspiration with things around you. So I guess yes, but people from countryside have their advantages as well.
– There is a lot of different music in London and Paris so you can have a lot of influences, that’s good. But I think if sometimes you come from a small region you can get a good following, you can get a lot of fans. But London, we wouldn’t be anywhere else… I think. We love Brighton, Manchester…
– What are your influences ?
– The Clash, Chuck Berry, The Specials mainly. So we try to listen to everything. In our music there’s a lot of influence, reggae ska, rock and roll and punk as well and a bit of indie yeah…
– We like Blur as well. Graham Coxon is my favorite guitarist.
– The Kinks are very cool, a bit of everything !
– Justin Bieber !
– Do you have unusual hobbies ?
– Fly fishing, hovercraft…
– I have a licence, I am pilot, but for the submarine under the sea. So I’ve experience going very very further. I look for very beautiful fishes, and this is a joke but it would be interesting ! In fact we like football, music, we do like art, good food. You know « curry », Indian food. A lot of English people like Indian food. We know foie-gras but we don’t like it… it’s bad for the ducks. We like a bit poulet.
– Et le boeuf.
– Did you try frogs ?
– Yes and escargots. We love french food.
– The cliches about all frenchies eating frogs is wrong you know.
– Noo ! Every night you eat frog legs ! In England we think for breakfast it’s frog’s legs, for lunch it’s snails and for dinner, frog’s legs again.
– Or horse.
– And you think in England it’s fish and chips or rosbeef, jelly… No, we like a lot cheese. If it’s smell a lot it’s good you know.
– Good vine as well. This is a good thing about coming to France for us, we buy a lot of vine every time, when we get to the supermarket we fill the bus full of french vine. Because in England vine is bad and expensive.
– We like the pain au chocolat.
– About actuality, what do you think about William & Kate, about their baby, from the point of view of english people ?
– It’s nice !
– Are you this kind of people who are amazed like « whaaa they had their baby, I’m going to have a heart attack! » ?
– Not really, we are just happy for them and after that we have our life, shows, we are busy playing guitar and other things to do, so it’s like an ordinary day for us.
– Well that’s funny because in France to our kings we cut their head and then when baby George came out, french medias made a huge sound !
– Yes we know French people always liked Lady Di, when she died young everybody were like « Lady Di morte ! Lady Di morte… » ! In England there’s every newspaper which relate this event everywhere but it’s nice you know, there’s a good exemple ! There’s a lot of bad people and bad things going on so why not a nice story about love, people who are married ?
– Indeed French people like reading about kings and queens of other countries but in the same time they don’t want them in France.
– When we will come back to Rennes we’ll talk about Lady Di !
We just have time to take a photo all of us and they left to their next show.
Some pictures of the show
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Thanks to the band for this amazing interview ! Be sure we’ll going to talk about the new album next year !
Last show ! Sept.07 in Germany, Fraureuth at Fraureuther Open Air