Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Exclusive interview: Minitel Rose

The French electro trio Minitel Rose is back in the game. Two years after their critically acclaimed first mini-album, "The French Machine" (Futur, 2008), Raphael, Romain and Quentin have teamed up with K7! Records for their sophomore release "Atlantique". We decided it was time to talk with these three Frenchmen about the release and how good Nantes really is.

Hello Minitel Rose, you’re back, and you’re back with great news. You’re here with your debut album “Atlantique”. Feels good we suppose?

Of course, it still seems unreal for us to realize a child's dream. I mean we are doing music, travelling around the world to play it, how can't that feel good?

You released “Atlantique” on the French market back in May on Futur and now it’s time for the rest of the world to get their hands on your debut album when Futur and German label K7! are working together on the international release. What are your expectations with the release worldwide?
"The French Machine", our first release had a little international visibility. With this one and the help of K7! we are really hoping that we could be touring in those countries where Minitel Rose never played before, such as USA or Australia.

Our expectations for “Atlantique” went high when we first heard and posted the instrumental version of “Snake Girl” back in March. We weren’t disappointed when we heard the rest of “Atlantique” for the first time, so to speak. It’s a great album, are you satisfied with the general impression of “Atlantique” yourselves?
It's really hard to get an objective point of view on our music, I mean we put all our energy and our feeling into it. For us "Atlantique" is a real step after "The French Machine". We decided to do it only by ourself, we recorded it, performed all the instruments, mixed it, finalized the artworks, so the album it's exactly as we wanted to do it. We choose each songs to be unique in its style and now we put the same attention on their live interpretation.

If you then should compare this release with the release of the mini-album “The French Machine” from 2008. What do you think is the biggest difference between them?
"The French Machine" was a kind of two first years best of Minitel Rose. With "Atlantique" we were only the three of us, working in a big house in front of the sea during one month. Even if we get some ideas before to get there, we composed, recorded and mixed the whole album during this period. There were two years between these two records, during this time we were always thinking about how we wanted that album to sound.

It's definitely more pop but with a far better sound, we used synths we like such as Moog Voyager or DX7. Raphael found his own vocal style he was looking for, a mix between sexy intention and powerful new wave chorus.

We’ve heard that the first rough outlines for “Atlantique” were made while you were on the road?
This is not really exactly. It was what our French partners told to be more sexy but the truth is that when we are on tour it's hard for us to be focused on other things than the live shows, plus we like too much party, to do other things after a show. But we were always speaking about what we wanted to do, that is true. And we started some songs between two gigs in our home studio. We really wanted to be the three of us in front of our synths, we've always done like that.

You guys are originally from Nantes, that’s close to the Atlantic Ocean. Is it therefore the album got the name “Atlantique”?
"Atlantique" is a part of us. To be honest we started to work on this album in Paris, in a traditional studio with a professional engineer, but it wasn't us. I mean we didn't recognize ourself in the way to do music, it was the way for us to figure out that the place we are at when we compose have a real influence on our music. So we decided to rent a house with our own keyboards and stuffs, in a place we perfectly know and love. The place where we met each other 10 years ago: the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean was always there in our life and it's a kind of family member. And we like the idea to be on the other side of the US, which is a dream for us.

Nantes were said to be “the most liveable city in Europe” according to Time Magazine back in 2004. Do you agree with them?
How can it not be, this city is at human size, you can easily know the good people, the good places. There is no coolest contest, all is really natural. It's only 30 minutes from the sea. Architecture is wonderful... and we got the Muscadet (a French white wine).

You’re a part of the amazing Valerie Collective with acts like Anoraak, Russ Chimes and The Outrunners. Do you think that being a part of Valerie has helped you forward in your career?
It has helped us to get an international focus for sure. The blog is really famous, and the Valerie party organized all around the world get a real impact. Valerie is for us the best on the 80's revival sound. Each member get his own way in different sounds and regarding career choice this is why the collective is so interesting.

The members of Valerie work together a lot, you remix The Outrunners, Maethelvin remixes you, College and you collaborate. How well do the members of Valerie know each other?
First it was College who created the blog in parallel with his musical project. His friends from the childhood, Maethelvin and The Outrunners were starting their project in the same musical direction. They were the first members of the team, four years ago now. College saw us at our first gig in Nantes, he liked it and after a few beers we were part of the crew. It was the same for Anoraak. The last member was Russ Chimes (the only who didn't live in Nantes). We are friends first, and we share same influences such as 80's blockbuster, synth gods (Vangelis, Moroder, Tangerine Dream), and we all share the same graphist (The Zonders).

And speaking of remixes, back in the days you made a couple of special remixes of Pink Floyd and The Kinks. How was it to remix classic old songs like these ones?
It was a kind of game for us to remix songs that are untouchables. It was our first step into the remix thing, we had no limit and that's why it works I guess. It's always fun to play these songs in a DJ set.

Pink Floyd - Another Brick In the Wall (Minitel Rose Remix)

You’ve been playing live and DJing at some of the best clubs and festivals around the world. On live gigs you are four performers instead of three and you use no computers or tapes. Is the feeling more genuine when doing so?
To find the best way to do our live set was a long journey. We tried a lot of things, from one computer and two mics to how we got it now. As a spectator we like rock performances, this is what we wanted to do, put all our energy in our instruments. So we decided to use only instruments, play live (no computers) and to be joined by a drummer. The songs are not exactly as on the CD but we don't care, cause they got their own life on stage.

Tracasseur wants to thank you guys for the interview and we wish you all success with the worldwide release of “Atlantique”. Salut!

Here are two carefully chosen great tracks from "Atlantique". Go and buy your copy of it here to get your hands on the whole great album.

Minitel Rose - Captain

Minitel Rose - Hundred Years