maandag 14 december 2009

Conversation with Gainsbourg

Today I had the privilige of interviewing Charlotte Gainsbourg over the phone, for a one-page story. She did so many interviews already (almost all French interviews are collected on this excellent blog), there was hardly anything left to ask. We talked about the video for Heaven Can Wait - Charlotte said that she immediatly loved the idea for the video when she read the script, and that the director had almost cart blanche. She and Beck were on the set for one day, she saw the other scenes later. I asked if it was inspired by the movie Donnie Darko, but it isn't. To her, the video is more about the atmosphere of Los Angeles, a city she never visited until this project. She confirmed that all three doctors who treated her after the waterskiing incident are in the thank-list of the album, and that her husband Yvan is mentioned in the personnel-list just 'cause he was there during the recordings. Her kids, Ben (12) and Alice (5) do play on the record. Like many things during the recordings, that was spontaneous. Ben was behind a drumkit, and Beck and Charlotte both liked the beat so it was recorded (without Ben knowing that he was) and used for Trick Pony. Alice's 'monster screams' are recorded from the studio-intercom, she was just fooling around and again, they liked the sound and used it for Greenwich Mean Time.
When I asked if both her children and Yvan play a role on the album to celebrate, in a way, that mummy survived a brain hemorrhage, she said: 'That would be a little pretentious, would it not?'
When asked about Dandelion, one of my favourite songs on the album, she said it wasn't inspired by T-Rex (like I thought) but more by Robert Johnson. Beck had her listen to the old blues maestro, as you know he would. He also recommended Panda Bear, M.I.A., Animal Collective and Dory Prévin to Charlotte. I'd never heard of that last artist, but when I was listening to some songs I could understand why Beck wanted Charlotte to hear her music.
About touring - there's a good chance she will do some concerts. There is a band, and she's less terrified to be on stage than she was. She recalled the show I saw with Air in Amsterdam. 'I was so nervous, I couldn't move a finger during those two songs.'

Dory Prévin - Beware of young girls
Dory Prévin - With my daddy in the attic (imagine a cover of this song by Charlotte!)
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Looking Glass Blues (bonus track on the limited edition of IRM)
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Heaven Can Wait (Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear remix)

4 opmerkingen:

  1. Did she whisper a possible concert in your ear down here in The Netherlands too?

  2. Thanks for covering this album. I was happy to see IRM on Pitchfork's top 100 tracks of 2009 list. I hope her album gets the attention it deserves.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to Dory Previn. I loved the songs. Also, Camera Obscura are her fans. They wrote a song about her "Dory Previn" on "Let's Get Out of this Country".