Pic ©Pascale Cholette
Lien version française
We started to really listen to The Feeling Of Love since their last album, Dissolve Me (Born Bad / Kill Shaman)and they have become fascinating. With a discography becoming more and more cult, this project that Guillaume Marietta started by himself (after his debuts with AH Kraken) constantly evolved and tends, in our view, to find its ideal shape, both on record and during their powerful and excellent live acts. They are also to release a new album Reward Your Grace (Born Bad Records) on which we'll hear them experimenting in studio. This is going to be one of the highlights of the year and here is a first glimpse of it “Julee Cruise”:
This interview was lead on the last 10th of December, at Le Point FMR, and is the first part of a three acts interview. This night, The Feeling Of Love played with White Fence for what was one of the best shows of 2012. We had the great opportunity to meet all of them, first each on their side and then altogether during a crossed interview. We start with Guillaume, from The Feeling Of Love .
(Part II here, Part III here)
Pic ©Pascale Cholette
x What about the forthcoming album, Reward Your Grace?
Guillaume :(thinking), well, when JB from Born Bad Records heard it, he said that it was something more peaceful, calm, brighter, less dark than the former ones.
He isn't wrong, the compositions are a bit more pop, this has more to do with the « song » format. Also the big change is that I stopped playing in open tuning. I have now a classic tuning and it allows me to have slightly neater sound and songs, with more harmonies in it... We had been thinking of this for a while, like doing more « real songs ».
Whereas in the beginning, it was the total opposite. We really were in an anti-song process. I didn't want any verse or chorus, or catchy riffs. Here, it's the contrary; we've done something more « classic ».
x Is there something, a theme, that's coming from it? I read that your previous albums were about (mostly) sexual frustration for Petite tu es un hit, submission and death for Ok Judge Revival and death and disappearance for Dissolve me.
G: Well it's complicated to picture a theme out of this one. I see things more while taking a step back. But it's basically the same thing every time, because it's mostly about love in the end.
I have a way of talking about it that is more focused on frustration, deception, things like that. I'm also kind of haunted by death, and this is why I play music.
When earlier you were asking about why I was doing such a lot of stuff, it is because being reactive gives me the impression of being alive. Producing or recording albums is some sort of material proof of your existence.
It's only because I'm scared actually. If I die, this would stay, in case of.
And since Dissolve Me came I have become a father, I had a little girl... this also changed me a lot.
x So do you think this has an influence?
G : Well JB thought it was perceptible, this too. He also had a child at the same time. I don't know how it influences me but there is maybe more of a fighting spirit on this album.
x Because of raising a child?
G : Maybe, but I don't want to do any cheap psychology like « Why did you paint that picture? - It's because I lost my mom when I was 2... » Then you stand here like « Wow » and everybody falls into tears. I have had really tough times in my life but I don't want to say things like this album came from me losing my brother and the next album came when I had my daughter... Even if it is certainly connected, as you nourish your art from your life and background.
x Is this a good album?
G : I think so, yeah!
x The way you play music, this tribal feeling it gives, the seeking of some sort of trance, is it always something that you're looking for and where does it come from?
G : I think that a good rock album or performance is the one which is gonna blow your mind.
There are many ways of doing this, but the one we love, all three of us, is indeed this hypnotic, tribal side that I found on my own when I was deep down into blues.
I love those very simple blues pieces when you only have three or four tunings, and it goes round and round and everybody starts dancing and this one guy is here, singing his lyrics, quite short lyrics, but he's going to repeat and repeat it again and again, and it starts to make sense, and this is the effect it gives...
And the tribal music, psychedelic music, krautrock or whatever, are also able to bring that so we went naturally to this direction because we like when you’re tripping with music.
It's also may be because we are really bad dancers and we don't know how to dance rock and roll and twist stuff... We don't know how to make people dance, so the only way we have is to throw them a big badass trance in their face (laughs).
It's maybe the reason. I don't know but it's how I like music, this is how I feel when I listen to the Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3, Neu, Can, or other stuff like this.
x We can also find this tribal thing on your album covers...
G: I'm very fond of art brut. I pretty much love naive stuff and I had a period, mostly at the time of “OK Judge Revival”, when I bought a book about the art of the Mithila (a province in India). Women are drawing on rolls to create a frieze, a repetitive floral pattern. And there’s always things like gods and animals involved...
There is a super effective visual impact, it's direct, and there are always those tiny repetitive patterns that come and go and come back again.
It's basically like in our music. You go with a pattern that you're gonna repeat several times. First, it might look very seductive, but then you gonna start to question about some specifics, the grain, the keyboard, the sound itself, the effects…
x Could you tell what kind of imagery you’re close to, and for example which kind of cinema you like?
G: Well, it's obvious that our generation has been much influenced by David Lynch.
We were all blown away when we watched Mulholland Drive or Lost Highway, or when we discovered the older ones like Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, as well.
So yes, this was a big influence.
And what's cool with him is that he knows how to use the music in a classy way. When he'd put some rock songs, it was never randomly, always on purpose, not to fill in the blanks, it'd really make sense. He'd always choose the best songs.
And when you'd see those movies in theaters, the images as well as the music would grab your guts. There is truly some sort of body aspect, intellectually of course, but also physically when you'd go watch his movies.
It’s exactly what you can feel standing at a rock performance.
x When I think of FOL, I think about the color red…
G : G: There is this image of the curtains in Twin Peaks with the pattern on the floor of the Red room, it's wonderful... And Julee Cruise, when you see her singing on stage... Well, this scene is beautiful.
x I'm getting back to the blues and your influences regarding that. Is the « black music » really something which you carry along with you?
G: Well I think that from the moment you get involved in Rock and Roll, you need to go through this.
There is this common idea that everything comes from blues. It's a bit cliché but it's not entirely wrong.
Although, it's really interesting reading Nick Toshes books in which he demystifies things a little bit.
He is really talking about the bond between black and white music and how each took from each other. And there also was this commercial aspect, not only considering the artsy side of it, but at one point the guys said « Hey dudes, we need to eat, we need to play, we need to make people dance. »
Blacks needed to make the whites dance, because that was where the money was, in return whites needed to « blacken » their culture to look like a bit more authentic.
I'm not listening that much to blues anymore, but I was a big listener, mostly when the Fat Possum label started reediting and rerecording all those old guys from the Delta when they were still alive.
I listened to that a lot and also older stuff like Skip James, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, but I always preferred the guys with the purest sound. I'm not really into blues bands. I prefer when it's only a voice and a guitar or it has to be really raw.
I also prefer slender voices, like Skip James or Blind Willie McTell. Sometimes they almost sound like girls. Muddy Water and his big balls distorted blues is not really my thing.
x And more rock and roll stuff like Ike Turner for example?
G: Ah, Ike Turner, yeah true, it's also cool, and those deep voices like Howlin'Wolf, it’s killing me. Blind Willie Johnson also has a deep voice.
Well let say that I like the blues when it’s floating and light, not when they're like « Hey baby, I'm a male! », at last they all say that (laugh) but I prefer when they say « I'm a male but I'm also a little gay » even if homosexuality is not really a topic here. I like it fragile.
x You are among those « curious » bands. Classical music for example, that might be something you listen to?
G: Yes, I listened to it a lot. My brother was a big classical fan. I was mostly listening to what he would advise me. My mother was also a lot into it, so I started by rejecting all that. When I was a child, when my mother put it loud, I was like « Mum, turn that down it's lame! » and then, one thing led to another and we got interested of it.
I can't really drop names because that's not very much my field but I like when it's romantic, when it takes your body and soul. But there are so many things for each composer. I could say that I like this one guy but what have I listened to, may be two pieces?
And some stuff are totally not understandable for me. For example, I'm going to listen to the beginning of symphony and then, they it becomes something else and I lose the track of it. I can't understand the structure of it... But with a rock song, it's all crystal clear, why, who does what. I get lost in classical music... and this is super interesting.
x In your imagery, the 90's are really present, on your covers, etc. It reminds me of some frustrating years. Is it something you think positively on or not?
G: It's a frustration time because it's linked to our teenage years. At one point, you’re gonna have a hard time, you’ll sometimes find yourself on the ground, but you're going to move on and build yourself up from those failures.
Actually I always need a time to process, and then I can speak about what happened before.
Why am I still stuck in the 90's? I don't really know.
It also comes from my art studies, so I just used, who are for me and for many french people, the two main symbols of the 90's, Kurt Cobain and Michael Jordan. If I was older, it would have been the Beatles and the Stones. But we had Nirvana and the Chicago Bulls.
So I don't know, it's some sort of raw material that’s still reliable and still rich of things to develop or to find.
x You have a special bond with the US, where you’ve toured several times and lately with White Fence, Mikal Cronin and Ty Segall... what do people think of you and how do you feel it?
G: It's easy and complicated at the same time. It's easy because it's exactly the same as in Europe. It's just rock bands playing, struggling and sometimes they have better opportunities.
Ty Segall managed to get out of this tiny garage network and now he's dealing with a much larger audience.
For those who are into it, some blogs like Terminal Boredom or similar fanzines, there is no problem, we belong to the same scene, they've followed us for years now and even write about our first 7''.
When we've played on bigger stages in Los Angeles and San Francisco, there were many people who had never heard about us but they loved it. So this is cool, this is why you tour, to travel, to discover...
We have this chance to not be a 100% french band. Most of the bands that earn a bit of money with what they do in France, well they do it in France.
Maybe we are less known, we earn less, but we play everywhere, and this is a good thing, even if we have to play in bars (laughs).
x What is your “feeling of love”?
G : As a concept? (laughs) Love is an infinite quest? L'amour is an everyday job! I don't really know what to say about it, I'm bad at love, so i'd be of poor at giving advice. But as I'm a father since not so long ago, I just discovered some kind of love and it's strong. I feel like it’s a cliché, but it's really intense. (laughs)
x So Feeling of Love is a good name after all?
G: Yeah, as time passes, I must say that I more and more believe that we have a good name... (laughs)
- The Feeling Of Love – New Album "Reward Your Grace" (Born Bad Records ), will be released on march or april 2013
- Link to the discography here
- Link FB, Twitter
- They’ll play:
Feb 2d @ Gazteszena in San Sebastian w/ Veronica Falls
Feb 9th @ La Carène in Brest w/ Frustration
Feb 16th @ La Route Du Rock Hiver in St Malo (w/ John Cale, etc...)
March 1st @ La Bobine in Grenoble
B / FGC, Big thank to JL & A