Nous avions déjà parler des COURETTES dans la rubrique THE SOUND OF NOW. Leur nouvel 45 tours vient de sortir et il est en français, il fallait le fêter !  Les photos ont toutes été prises en France, merci Flavia et Martin de nous les avoir fourni.

Cette fois l'interview reste en Anglais, à vos dictionnaires ! Vous pouvez également utiliser l'outil de traduction présent sur le blog.

Can you first introduce yourself ?

F: Hello! We are The Courettes, the hardest working band in showbiz!

Can you tell us a little about your musical career before the Courettes ? Did you play in other bands than COLUMBIAN NECKTIES or AUTORAMAS ?

F: Yes, we both played in many bands before. Martin played in the beat band Thee Attacks and and I played with a female punk trio Doidivinas, among other projects.

How was the group created in late 2014?

F: The Courettes started as a love story in 2013. We started dating in a two-week tour in Brazil, when Columbian Neckties was supporting Autoramas. We had a long-distance relationship for two years until I moved to Denmark in 2015. I spent a lot of time in planes on a non-stop air bridge Rio-Copenhagen, and I started writing songs while travelling The Boy I Love, I´ve been walking, these songs from our first album, they all talk about love and travelling. One day while I was visiting Martin in Denmark we decided to go to a studio to play the songs I wrote, and we were both blown away of how good it sounded with just the two of us.

Why did you decide to stay with two for the band? Wouldn't you be tempted to take other musicians?

F: No, as I said before, we were really amazed of how good it sounded with only the two of us. It´s a big challenge to have a duo, musically and as a performer, how to keep a 1:30 hour concert entertaining with only two people. But we have accepted the challenge and I believe we´re doing it pretty well. We never planned to be a duo, the band just came up together naturally and with no expectations. And we never thought there was a place for a third musician.

How did you create your sound? Were there times when 'accidents' helped shape it?

M: The sound comes naturally. We don’t force it… It’s just there. The sound is so authentic because we don’t play rock’n’roll.. We are rock’n’roll by heart. That´s the fascinating thing about r´n´r. It’s universal.

You love the sound of 60's recordings. Where does this fascination come from ? Could you imagine changing your style completely?

M: The love of the sound is rooted in our hearts. The mid range sound of 60s instruments and recordings is our thing. Whenever we listen to newer music we´re always really annoyed about how those sounds have this super high frequencies and lo-ends too. Just sounds crappy. No, we´d never change style completely. I know we´d feel like sell outs if we ever did!

What do you think are the greatest qualities of your different albums and how would you differentiate them? What were your intentions when you started recording them, and at the end of the recording did you think you had achieved them?

M: There’s been an evolution in all the albums. Here Are The Courettes is our debut. Raw, live in the studio, no bullshit! And amazing tunes and sound. It’s the introduction of the band. Already showing our love (and taking steps towards) for the girl groups hence the name The Courettes and the songwriting of f.ex. The Boy I Love and I’ve Been Walking. We just wanted to record and we had no real plans other than enjoy what we had created. When we went to the studio with Kim Kix of Powersolo as producer we only had these 8 songs. So everything was no compromise and real sound!

Could you tell us about your experience with the Sounds Of Subterrania Rds and Damaged Goods Rds labels ? Why did you change ?

F: We were VERY unsatisfied with Sounds of Subterrania and wanted to find a new label. We did a top 2 of our favourite labels in the world, and Damaged Goods were number 1 on the list. We decided to take a chance and send them our first two records, we thought they would never reply, but at least we have tried. To our surprise, Ian loved the albums and contacted us. Damaged Goods records is the best label on Earth, and we are so proud and happy to work with them. First time we have a fair deal and transparency. We couldn´t be more satisfied!

M: Damaged Goods Records is the best label on earth. Our old label is the direct opposite. What a pile of shit. Advice of the day, kids: Stay away! Find a label that doesn’t treat you like shit, doesn’t try to steal your music, doesn’t pay royalties etc etc etc… We did and we couldn’t be more relieved and happier.

In your album
We are the Courettes, the actor known from his horror movies Coffin Joe participated to a track. Tell us about the creation of this track and how you met him.

F: We are so honoured to have Coffin Joe featuring in our album. I am a fan of his movies since I was eleven years old, and I never thought it would be possible. It was actually Kim Kix´s (the album´s producer) idea. We were thinking we needed a guest for Voodoo Doll, and Kim said, “you´re Brazilian, why don´t you invite Coffin Joe?”. Cofiin Joe made a special appearance on John Spencer Blues Explosion MTV live session, and by this time Kim was in the band playing bass, so that´s how they met. I remembered I had a common friend with Coffin Joe´s daughter, so she put me in contact with her and we arranged all. He loved the track and recorded his part in a studio in Sao Paulo. He was already very sick, and I believe it is one of his last works. He did a great work putting his spells on the song, we are so proud and thrilled to have him in our album.

How was the work with Kim Kix (from POWERSOLO) for your first two albums?

Kim is great. We owe the recording of our first album to him. He saw us live in our very first show, and invited us to his studio. He is a great producer, and it was the first time we could record in a very organic way, no auto tune, no editing, no click, minimal overdubs. It was really a pleasure to work with Kim and we´ve learned a lot with him.

What is the difference with Søren Christensen who produced your next album?

Since our second album We Are The Courettes, we had begun to write songs with Søren Christensen of Danish band The Blue Van. Søren is a great musician and songwriter, musician and producer, so when we had the idea to make a Wall of Sound record, more produced and sophisticated, he was the obvious choice. Søren has also been a part in the whole process of building of our StarrSound Studio, he knows the studio as nobody else. He is also featured in Back in Mono and Back in Mono B Sides playing mellotron, organ and piano, the whole Wall of Sound was created by only three musicians, Martin, Søren and I. We could have never made these albums without Søren, and it´s always a pleasure to work with him.

I understand that Seiki Sato had a great importance in the sound of the last album, can you tell us more?

M: Yes, Seiki Sato is the only person in the world who can do an authentic Spector/Levine wall of sound. No doubt about that! We’re so proud and happy to have found Seiki. We built our studio complete with echo chamber, wrote and recorded the album Back In Mono, but we hadn’t found the right mix. We tried 2 other mixing guys and though it sounded good it wasn’t a “Wall Of Sound”. But Seiki knew how. And what a coincidence that we actually found him!

What made you decide to create your own recording studio StarrSound Studios? Were you not satisfied with the other studios you had recorded in?

M: The idea came as we could see the prices of going to other studios to record. In all we do we always go that extra mile. So we spent hours and hours searching for mics, outboard, effects and mixing desks etc. We wanted a very unique studio so we have gone for a lot of obscure gear. And also we had space available so we decided to build and invest all we owned in 2019. 2020 was looking great with a lot of shows and we could see we could keep living of the band plus recoup our investments in the studio… And then March arrived!

What is family life like when you are so often in concert in different countries? Does your child accompany you everywhere?

F: No, apart from the concerts in Denmark, he stays with his grandmother while we´re on tour. He goes to school, has his play dates and have a normal 6-year-old boy happy life. We miss him every minute, but life on the road can be tough and tiring even for adults, so we believe he has a better time with his grandmother in her farm.

M: We miss our son a lot. I have a teen daughter too and we miss them a lot while touring. But though missing we also see how a priceless time they have with my mother who babysits. That’s a bond and time together that many never get the chance to have.

Do you make all your tours with your COURETTES-Mobil? Who is responsible for the organisation of the tours?

No, the Courettes-mobile were only used in Denmark, North Germany and Scandinavia. It drinks too much gasoline and not fast enough for the German highways! We have a VW mini bus as our main tour vehicle now, but of course to some countries like UK, Japan and Spain we fly.

In a studio you can work to get that huge Phil Spector sound. Of course, it's impossible to recreate it with two people in concert. So you 'interpret' your songs differently. Which songs do you prefer to play live rather than in the studio (and why)?

M: For the shows we play songs from all 4 albums. The Spector sound is not possible to do live. Not even for the girl groups he produced back then. So the garagy, up tempo tunes work really well live, but we play slower tunes and some of the ballads too. To get a dynamic set!

Do you have any anecdotes about concerts in France?

F: Oh, yes. In 2020 we were touring France when covid pandemics started. It was like being in a bad science fiction film. At the first show a girl asked me in the toilet if I was not scared of being there, and I had no clue what she was talking about. She said we started the tour on the French covid epicenter! Next day we heard Denmark went into lockdown, and our friends told us to rush back home. But the shows were still going on in France normally, and we kept going on with the tour. Everyday there where emails from our bookers in other countries cancelling one by one all our shows in 2020. We made a concert in Paris, packed venue, stage dive and all, and we heard after it was a big covid party and many people got sick. Last show was in Evreux and it was the weirdest of them all. It was moved to a smaller venue because of the new restrictions, we played at 9 pm and at midnight France would go into lockdown. The promoter made dinner for us, and we felt like Christ´s Last Supper, we were eating with these lovely people knowing the day after we would be in quarantine in Denmark. All those terms, quarantine, lockdown, they were so new to everybody back then, and really scary. We did the wildest show that evening, and people were partying as there was no tomorrow – because maybe there wasn´t. It was a bitter sweet evening and we wrote a song about it, Misfits & freaks, `Let´s have a party, at the end of the world”… That´s how we felt that night, as it was the end of the world we once knew. We had a horrible trip back home the day after, borders were being closed and people were talking about doctors dressed with astronaut suits measuring people´s temperature on the border - which never happened. That was the level lack of information and confusion back them, it was really like being in a low cost B horror movie. We arrived home super sick, and stayed in bed for three weeks. There were no tests back then in Denmark, so we never knew if it was covid. That was a crazy tour and our last tour in the pre-pandemic world.

Flavia, you come from Brazil, could you tell us how the rock music scene is there (especially the garage scene)?

Brazil has amazing bands like Boogarins, Fuzzues, Altermoderns, Mary-O and the Pink Flamingos, Gross and Legendary Chucrobilly Man.

Martin, same question for Denmark.

Powersolo, Tremolo Beer Gut and Fox Paloma.

Can you tell us which French bands you know and appreciate?

M: Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Bard
ot, Fabienne del Sol

F: Jaques Dutronc and France Gall.

Could you tell us about the genesis of :

-The Courettes / Powersolo - Hoodoo Hop / Big Butt Bonnie (7", Single) - Sounds Of Subterrania - 2016

Single version of “Hoodoo Hop”, featuring Yebo of The Tremolo Beer Gutt on theremin.

-The Courettes / Powersolo - Christmas (I Can Hardly Wait) / Glædelig Jul Allesammen - Crunchy Frog – 2019

Our one and only Christmas song, heavily inspired by Phil Spector´s Christmas album, which we are great fans of. With this single all the concept of Back in Mono was born, the idea of making our own Wall of Sound album. It was through this single that me got in contact with Seiki Sato, who mixed Back in mono. We tried different producers and studios to mix Christmas (I Can Hardly Wait), trying to get that real Spector sound, but with no success. So the single went on a “best Christmas singles of the year” list, it hit number 5, and on number 4 there was this track by a 15 year-old Japanese girl called Soleil, Twinkle Heart which had exactly the sound we were looking for. Then Martin managed to chase who produced it, and it was Seiki Sato. Seiki has been mixing all our releases since Back in Mono.

- Le Favolose Courettes - Salta Il Ramo / Non Ti Lascerò - 2022

We love this 60s version of English and American bands in Italian, French or Spanish, so we decided to make our own to promote a tour in Italy.
Our new single is out this Friday, October 21st, and is a French version of Want You! Like a Cigarette.

Have you started working on a new album?

M: Slowly… We just released a new album in June 2022 and the touring has been crazy. However we know what and where we wanna go on the 5th album. As we’ve done on all the albums we put hints of what’s gonna happen on the next record. So pay attention on the last 2.

Thank you a lot Flavia & Martin !

Interview réalisée en octobre 2022 (merci d'avance pour vos commentaires)