— Guest interviewer: Svetoslav Petrov
— Exclusive photography: Kohann Tensen
Say it out loud! They are young and they are proud.
Juveniles are definitely one of our greatest discoveries for 2011. The band, whose name is translated as “youths”, are expressively described as the new ambassadors of retro-futurism, illuminated by a monochromatic mirror ball. No wonder that the Rennes, France based trio already have two singles released on a huge label like Kitsuné – the audience simply love them. Their music would rather feel light-heartedness and cheerness than some crazy ambition for musical glory.
We had a little chat with them just before the release of their new single, ‘Ambitions’, due out February 27. Unlike any other articles on Nite Versions, this time we asked for some help for the interview questions from a guest. Meet Svetoslav Petrov who’s a media individual from Bulgaria, known for his work as an editor of the Egoist and Ego magazines, and is currently co-founder of Boyscout Magazine.
The group also picked five tracks themed ‘French‘. Because they are coming from France, and because these are probably some of the current favorites on their personal playlists. All of the tunes can be streamed through the player aside.
Kavinsky – Nightcall
Jupiter – Saké
Arnaud Rebotini – Another Time, Another Place
Sébastien Tellier – Pepito Bleu
Wagner – Love Sick
What were you as kids? Where did you grow up and what are you first and best memories connected with music?
We grew up in different cities in France, we really met all together in Rennes. Thibaut was 10 when his older cousin showed him a ticket for a Nirvana show during the In Utero tour, the artwork was awesome and he was like “Damn, I saw this amazing band you gotta check’em out“. Years later he was playing the drums in skatecore bands.
How did you form the band? Where do you guys meet? Have you been in any previous bands?
Rennes has a big musical scene, the first we met we were playing in different bands, it was like three or four years ago. Pierre and Thibaut were big fans of Test Icicles and all the disco/punk scene and I was more attracted to garage.
We all wanted to make something new together and that’s how it got started.
What do you think about the current French scene? What’s going on and who are the most exciting artists beside you that we have to check?
All the Drive OST, with the label Valérie. Desire, College, Kavinsky… France tends to export its electro-driven projects very well, like the Dafts, Air, Yelle, M83. Sébastien Tellier got a new album coming and we’re quite excited about it.
Describe your recording process and the way you write your songs.
We have our own studio to record and produce. We also have a great sound engineer who’s a good friend, he’s like the fourth member of the band.
Journalists have labeled your sound, but how would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?
Let them play with words. If someone hasn’t heard us, just tell him we play pop. Pop is an universal concept, everybody can get it and that’s what we want.
What are your musical heroes and main influences?
We have a lot of admiration for the leading figures of the late 70’s early 80’s scene like Curtis, Morrissey, McCulloch, even Madonna when she was young and playing at the Hacienda. We love today’s band like Hot Chip, Cut Copy, Tellier, Azari & III…
You have been described as a band, that was influenced by English music and the bands from Sheffield and Manchester. Which are your favorite albums from that scene?
The Smiths – Meat is Murder
New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies
The Cure – Japanese Whispers
Echo and the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain
Madonna – Madonna
What’s the best thing about being French?
It’s ok, we have baguettes, croissants… No seriously I don’t know, we were just born here.
Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate or you prefer to do it on your own?
We enjoy doing things on our own but we’d love to work with somebody. We’re quite open.
What’s the best place to play live?
Anywhere, we love to travel and see people. As long as the venue’s got a little magic.
Are you planning a debut album? How will it sound?
Yes we’re currently working on it. How will it sound? Honestly we don’t have the slightest idea!