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Topic: interviews
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Au revoir Simone (l’interview en anglais)

par arbobo | imprimer | 4juin 2007

Voilà, pour celles et ceux qui préfèrent, l'interview
en anglais de Annie Hart, de Au revoir Simone.

Je ne vous refais pas la présentation, elle est ici.

Nota : comments are closed on this page, but you can
 comment here under the translated version of the interview.
You’ve been touring a lot during the last months, and still all along 2007. You said in an interview that it was not surprising that the Japanese liked you. But you keep on coming to France (festival des Inrocks in November, festival Les femmes s’en melent in April, David Lynch exhibition at Fondation Cartier in May, then a new date in June) during the past months, in Paris but also in small cities. How is the French audience, and how do you feel in France?
Annie : French audiences are kind and enthusiatic. They are so warm an open. We love to play for them.

From a musical point of view, what do you miss the most on tour? your records? A club in particular? Your favorite records shop?
Annie : Seeing all my friends’ bands play in Brooklyn and catching up with them and getting inspired.

On this tour you met a lot of artists (I mean when you’re not with Peter Bjorn and John). For instance, I was recently at a concert of Joan as Police Woman, who loves you very much. Joan said she met you at a festival in Paris. It’s a funny thing to have 2 bands from New York meeting for the first time in Europe. In the city of Angoulème you played with the Konki duet, a French-Japanese-Russian band based in Paris.
Among all the artists you discovered thanks to this tour, which is the best discovery, for you?
Annie : I really like almost all the bands we’ve played with on this tour, and each one is great for different reasons, like apples and oranges. We just toured with Slow Club from Sheffield, England, who play really fun and clever music with interesting percussion and great vocals. AND they are great to dance with after the show on the dance floor. Can’t beat that.

In interviews, you mention very different bands you like, including the British Electrelane. But in the Gothamist, Heather also mentioned Brian Wilson. The way you sing in choir, does it come from a Brian Wilson influence or more from Stereolab?
Annie : It comes from whatever we can figure out how to do in the studio and work with the resources we have.

Still in an interview, Annie talked about drums and handclaps. Even though you love programming, could you imagine playing with a drummer?
Annie : Yes, my husband, Doug Marvin, from Dirty on Purpose played some drums on our record.

Handclaps are very trendy, but they also sound a bit oldie. Some songs of The Bird of music are really a mix of different periods. Apart from the modern pop side of yours, there is a bit of
Phil Spector/Ronettes in some rhythms and drums, and even a little gospel singing in The lucky one. But the keyboards are also very electronica, I think of Swayzak or Client (or even the band called Mono).
Do you recognize your music in such comparisons?
Annie : Sure!

You’re based in Brooklyn, but you’ve been on tour for ages now. Where do you listen to music? Do you go to concerts as often as you can? Do you hang out in clubs? Are you the kind that listens CDs in their cars or hold an ipod in the street?
Annie : I don’t have a car or an ipod, so when I walk around I am actually writing music most of the time, even if it’s just dumb songs. I go see shows about once a month when I am home, but as much as I can, really.

I suppose that playing keyboards, collectionning vintage synthethizers and programming sounds, implies that you pay a lot attention to the sound itself. How far can you go to find the actual sound you want, for instance?
Annie : Hours and days and weeks experimenting. It is really fun!

Through the backyards appears on the tv series Grey’s anatomy, but this is quite anecdotic. Your relationship to movies seems deeper. The choice of your band’s name, the fact that you asked to play for David Lynch at a Barnes & Noble’s event, cinema seems important to you. How much does it intervene in the process of writing songs? And would you say your music is cinematographic in itself?
Annie : When I write songs I am usually just capturing what spontaneously erupts from my brain, not really trying to invoke any particular image or scene. But a lot of people equate us with cinematic themes, so I guess there is something to that theory in the ears of the listener.

You signed on Rallye record and Moshi-Moshi, but you have your own label though. “Our own record company” is the ironic name of the music label you created. Being your own label gives you more independance but also more work. When and why did you decide to create it?
Annie : It just kind of happened, since when we started we didn’t have a label, and when the Bird of Music was to come out, we thought to continue with what we had created and were enjoying.

Incidentally, very few record labels are owned by women. Would you be happy to open the way for other women artists?
Annie : Of course.

One last question, about the future and your next LP. Do you have new material ready for an album? Is it difficult to write new songs during the tour?
Annie : We all have songs in our heads we are working on, but so far not much time to share them with the group, which is the most important step. I look forward to it.

Thanks a lot Annie !
See you at the Trabendo :-)

ps : thanx to Rod Sherwood for the help and the pictures.


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