The Sète rocker is firing on all cylinders. After a memorable concert at the Fête de l’Humanité, he is about to release a new album entitled: “Storm Storm”.
You recently gave a big concert at the Fête de l’Huma…
It went well, there was mud, I like when there is mud and rain. I rolled in the mud.
Did you play in front of a lot of people?
I don’t know, but they said there were about 25,000 people. When there are big festivals 5 or 10,000 it’s a bit the same. When the Mano Negra started performing in the 80s, Manu Chao told us: “Guys at big festivals, when there are a lot of people, you have to sing for the last person in the back row. for a moment, I realized that was not true at all. You have to play like in a club for the five who pogot in front of the stage. It’s quite the opposite, you have to put on a show in the same way in front of 50 people or 10,000. I disregard the number and the fact that there are barriers. I get off the stage, I get on the barriers and I go into the crowd. I function like in a club of 1,100 people. I refuse to go into the logic of the big, well-regulated American-style show. If you do that, I think you’re losing your soul.
And the stage fright?
Sometimes not at all. And then it happens that you are more nervous in front of a few people. Stage fright still exists, but I manage to manage it well and do something about it. But, I always have stage fright before going on stage.
Do you have your rituals to bring it down?
Not really. I get dressed, I isolate myself, I stay alone in my corner, as long as possible. The first times when you arrive on stage, it is very difficult. You arrive and you don’t know what to do. What am I going to do with my hands, for example. Since then, I have learned a lot. I have a lot of experience and at the same time, I don’t calculate. I try to give everything to people. I’m trying to do the best show ever. That people say to themselves, but it’s madness. I also try to do the opposite of an American show. I like that there are things that don’t go well. I like when I get on something and I break my neck or the guitar doesn’t work; that’s where it’s good. I hate that everything is going well…
What do you expect from the public in return?
I expect people to look at me like they’ve never seen this before. The worst is when I see one yawning, even if it doesn’t happen often. I make sure that people don’t take their eyes off me and for that, you have to give everything. Before going to the concert, I listened to a lot of records at home. I imagined so many things. And when I went to the concert, I said to myself shit! nothing happens. I was so disappointed with a lot of shows (not all of them) that I didn’t want people to experience that. I wanted people to come out of there thinking, “I’ve never seen that.”
And when you go in public?
I’m really scared of nothing when I’m in the public. People carry me, I calculate more. It’s like a boxing match. You have to go all out and not think about it. Once I had a problem, I was not being stupid. There was beer on stage, I slipped and fell. Another time I almost got run over in Switzerland by some girls. They piled on top of me and I really thought I was going to die. I will have gone down in rock history (laughs). Anyway, if you’re scared, don’t do it.
Are you suffering from decompression after the concert?
After the concert, I hold on for an hour on my nerves and then I fall down and go to bed. But I tell myself each time that I have the chance of madness to do that. The audience gives you a lot of energy. It is therefore normal that I give him a lot.
A concert in Sète soon?
Not immediately. Apart from the Théâtre de la Mer, there is no corresponding room. There would be the Brassens boat, there is room, but it is stored in a corner of the port.
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