„It’s all about energy!” – Yelle Interview
Girly electro-pop on board! French act Yelle is responsible for some of the finest french touch hits – their gleefully mad electronic pop earworms will surely get you on the dancefloor. And now, they are touring with their third album, Complètement Fou – and on the twentieth of November, they’ll perform at Budapest for the first time. What can we expect? A concert that is both sensual and strange, wild and wry, forceful and full of fun – there is no other band like this French trio when it comes to stage performance. But before she would get on that stage, we asked the trio’s singer, Julie Budet about her relation to her native language, the story of Yelle’s own micro-label and the future of Yelle.
How did you and Jean-François Perrier met and started working together?
Jean-François Perrier (aka GrandMarnier) and I met at a party more than ten years ago and we did not decide to work together, it just happened like AHAH!
What does Yelle means exactly?
It was YEL for You Enjoy Life at the beginning, and we decided to feminize the word, like ‘elle’ for ‘she’ in French.
After french touch, what do you think, what can be the next big thing in music – coming from France? In what way do you think the French music scene is unique?
The next big thing is French music sang in French, authentic French music that breaks the international rules! It’s unique cause we have Daft Punk and we had Serge Gainsbourg. And both are a big influences for many artists in the world.
Your second album (Safari Disco Club) came for years after the debut (Pop Up) and Complètement Fou came three years after Safari Disco Club – what did you do in the time between?
We tour a lot, we did two hundred gigs for the first album and around one hundred fifty for the second. It takes time and energy, than we rest, than we write songs. – time goes fast and we don’t write songs during touring, we need to be in a peaceful mood.
How Complètement Fou differs from your previous ones?
It’s been made with many collaborations and it is finally at the end more pure and efficient! We’ve been working with American producer Dr. Luke, and some amazing people in his team, we opened the circle and it was an amazing experience! The songs are sponteneous, very fresh, but still with some external vision – I think it works great.
What are the pros and cons of singing in French?
It’s not easy to write in French, French talking people are really picky with lyrics and you can’t just say ‘dancefloor’ and ‘party’ and ‘bitch’ all along the songs. But it’s a good challenge and that’s what we do naturally, expressing ourselves in French. It’s a good way to be identified, but clearly not a good way to be played by mainstream American radios who wouldn’t take that kind of risk too much.
Why did you decide to start your own micro-label, Recreation Center and what’s going on with it?
We produced the second album, the music, the videos, etc. We wanted to have that experience and it was great. Now we know how it works and keep managing our boutique etc. We also signed a band: Totorro. You should check them out, great catchy post rock math pop from our Brittany!
You’ve said in an interview, that you are a real rock band on stage; what does it mean?
It’s all about energy. We sweat a lot and play loud!
Which is your favourite song to play live?
I think I love singing «Dire qu’on va tous mourir, because it’s really different from the other songs. One and a half minutes long slow song that people don’t expect us to play live and everyone becomes really quiet. It’s cool!
You also do DJ sets – in what way those occasions are different than your concerts?
GrandMarnier, the main composer and writer in Yelle, actually deejays. I’m with him to sing over on some songs sometimes but DJ sets are really a bonus, something to after party or to party in some special events that can’t book live shows.
Why are remixes are so important for you? Will Complétement fou be followed by a remix album, something like Safari Disco Club: The Remixes?
Remixes are cool cause they create the opportunity of playing the songs in some different contexts, it’s interesting and it’s good for spreading the name too! I don’t know yet if there will be a remixes version of the album – it’s too early in the process!