If you haven’t heard us at Musicvein harping on about French Band L’Impératrice and their infectious music – seriously, Where on earth have you been?
OK, OK so we’re a little late to the party but since hearing ‘Erreur 404’ last year, we were hooked and desperately wanted to know more about this mysterious band!
Well, it’s only taken almost a year but here at Musicvein, we aim to please and have an UK Exclusive interview with Charles De Boisseguin, founder of L’Impératrice.
Read on to find out the inspiration behind album Matahari, Charles’ shocking background and Exclusive UK News!
Musicvein: Going straight in with the new album Charles, it’s called Matahari and from what I’ve read she was a dancer and spy. What made you base your album around her?
Charles: “Well women fascinate me and I always choose to talk about women through my music, which is why the band is called L’Impératrice meaning Empress. Matahari’s life was really something in that she was a nobody and made herself somebody. She was a liar who pretended to be a dancer, pretended to be a spy, pretended to know Politians in every country and in the end we don’t really know what happened to her! She’s mysterious and glamourous, an amazing character, you could say she’s a heroine!
Matahari had many faces, like a disco ball and that is where I drew inspiration. She is like the definition of L’Impératrice in that we are six musicians, all from different backgrounds – the lead singer is from Jazz, two of the others are from Classical backgrounds (cello and violin), the drummer is Rock, another into Disco and myself – well I just love music.”
Musicvein: What drew you to having the album based around disco sounds? You mentioned the band is quite musically diverse, so why did you use the disco genre as opposed to classical?
Charles: “Disco music was made for this album! I love spy movies and thrillers in particular Jackie Brown. I see Matahari as a Jackie Brown. Disco music in the 70’s you know was all about gathering people together and having a good time. I just feel it’s the closet way to illustrate Matahari the dancer and the spy!”
Musicvein: I read that it took 6 years for you to complete this album, why so long?
Charles: “Ah why so long? well what is an album today? what does it mean? People don’t really listen to albums nowadays they only listen to some tracks on platforms like Spotify, Youtube and Deezer. I pondered for some time whether to release an album, I prefered to make EP’s and release singles but it came to the stage where the media are waiting for an album, the public are waiting for an album so eventually I did it.”
Musicvein: What I find interesting Charles is that your background/previous job was a music journalist and critic is that right?
Charles: “Yes I used to be!”
Musicvein: That’s crazy! OK so tell me how you feel now that you’re on the other side and making music? Do you fear the critics and what they might say of your music?
Charles: “Yeah! I mean I feel better that I changed my job but I don’t feel comfortable cause I know what a critic is! I left my job as a critic because after a while I didn’t feel comfortable criticing other people’s music when I didn’t know how to make music myself. With music critics, they hear one track on an album, which takes about 3 minutes and they judge an artist based on that one track or maybe even album. One track can take 1 – 3 months to make, it’s a really long process depending on how you work, I know that now and so yes I fear what they say because I know how they work.”
Musicvein: So how did you make the transition from journalist to musician? Did you take any formal training?
Charles: “No, it was natural for me, I just gave it a try.”
Musicvein: So do you take inspiration from all the music you have heard over the years or from life?
Charles: “I don’t really take inspiration from life at all, I take inspiration from all the music I listened to over the years. I love Jazz, Rock and especially music produced from the 70’s to around 1984 – that’s my favourite. All my money is always spent on buying vinyls, I buy 15-20 vinyls a week! My girlfriend is always mad at me hahaha.”
Musicvein: No Way! I think I would be mad too! Now tell me how did the band meet?
Charles: “When I began in 2012, it was a solo project. I was signed to a label called Cracki. People were asking the label for me to do live gigs so that posed the question; Do I do this alone like modern Dj’s with laptops on stage? but I decided that this music had to be played live with real musicians and that was the start of my search. I first met the keyboard player Hagni, who introduced me to Tom (drums), who introduced me to David (Bass) who introduced me to Achille (guitar) – that was the first face of the band. We were an instrumental group and went on tour for 3 years before we signed with Microqlima and I had a chance meeting with Flore who became our lead singer.”
Musicvein: Do you all share the same creative vision or are there conflicts in your musical taste that could change the way your music is produced?
Charles: “No, that’s why they are in the band. It’s kind of a family, we all share the same artistic direction. We all share the same colours in music.”
Musicvein: Brilliant. Now I see that you opened for London Grammar, they are huge, how did that come about?
Charles: “We shared the same booker in France and ours asked if we could open for them. They listened to the music and said “yes for sure!”. We met Hannah and the guys, it went really well and we ended up playing in huge huge huge venues, we never played in such venues before, 5-6,000 people it was really amazing!”
Musicvein: So the question that everyone in the UK wants to know is, will you be coming over here?
Charles: “Of course we will!”
Charles: “We are coming to London in January next year and playing at Village Underground!”
Musicvein: Oh My Gosh! I can’t wait!
Charles: “Neither can we, we really want to meet the English audience so that is something to look forward to. After London, we plan on revisiting the USA and playing new venues there too.”
Wowee! Well you heard it! L’Impératrice will be bringing their infectious music to English shores January 2019, Village Underground. Stay tuned to Musicvein for more information coming on that event.