A Emilie Rougier dos Marvin falou connosco sobre a banda, o novo disco, Barry, a estadia em Portugal e os promotores loucos e sobre a cena rock em Montpellier.
E fizeram uma malandrice ao nosso logo também! Obrigado!
Ilícito: How did you guys meet?
Emilie, Marvin: Greg (Drums) and Fred (Guitar) are old friends from primary school. They were living in the same village around Montpellier, they were skateboarding together and learning classic guitar together and were bored about these lessons together so they started a band, Greg was playing drums on pillows while Fred was playing guitar and they recorded 80 songs like that on a tape recorder. Then they met new friends in their village and started a real band, skatecore influenced, in the mid-90s. I was a fan of this band, we were in the same high school and I was also playing skateboard in the same skatepark as them so that’s how we met. And Marvin started in 2003 when Greg came back from his studies in Paris, he saw many bands there, Oxes, Trans Am etc (it was the post-rock math rock period !) and he asked Fred to start a band again, instrumental, powerful and using this MS20 that Fred was had from his father. As I was Greg’s girlfriend at that time I was around when they were looking for the friend who’s gonna drive this keyboard and I tried one time and It worked well, so I stayed and Marvin was born.
I:What was on your walkman when you were a kid?
E:I was crazy about A-HA, I saw them live in 1989, it was like a honeymoon. Then when I went to college, I discovered Metallica, U2 and Queen and of course Nirvana. But I was living 4 months a year in a camping next to the sea in Palavas les Flots, and every friday and saturday night there was a big dance with a local band or a DJ, and a lot of dance music was played and i was loving that a lot too.
I: What are your favourite French bands?
E: There’s many bands we are playing with in France that are really good and I don’t think I’m listening or knowing many others. Electric Electric, Gablé, Zëro, Papier Tigre, Pneu, Shub, The Agamenmonz, X-OR, Fordamage, Cheveu..
And in the 90’s there was a band named Les Thugs, that is maybe the best indie french band ever.
I: Do you know any Portuguese bands?
E: We played with a band in Porto named Equations but except for them I don´t know any portuguese band, unfortunately, I would love to, if you have some advice.
I: What do you think of Justice, Air or M83?
E: Justice is really something. Sometimes you think about which bands or which type of music we all remember while thinking about a special decade of music and Justice is the band I think about for the 2000s. They invented a new popular music that was fitting with their time. Their album CROSS became a classic immediately.
Air is ok, their « Virgin Suicide » soundtrack is really good!
And about M83… I really don’t like that kind of music, I don’t want to be mean, but for me it’s just one more bad band for summer festivals.
I: Who the fuck is Marvin(sorry I couldn’t help myself..)?
E:Hahahah, we’ll never know it!
I: Have you ever fallen off stage? Is there any way of doing it in style?
E: One time I fell with my huge mixing board in my hands as I was putting my stuff on stage, but I never felt during a show. To have style when it happens, maybe you have to keep on playing on the floor after the fall, even if your ankle is twisted.
I: How is the music scene in Montpellier? Are there many bands that you relate to?
E: Montpellier is special! In Lyon, for example, there’s a Noise Rock scene, with many bands, promoters, labels, etc… In Nantes there’s some bands you can put in the same family like Papier Tigre, Papaye, Fordamage, … and in Montpellier it’s special! There’s just bands, all different, there’s not a real rock scene with people that have the same way of living their music. But this is good! Cause every band is special and doesn’t sound like the other and doesn’t live the same things, nobody else does some Marvin, as well as there’s only one band like Verdun (powerdoomrock) or Dure Mère (Flamenco Noise). Of course there’s a garage rock scene, a metal scene, etc, but not really a solid alternative one. But we have the chance to have good places like the Black Sheep, where all the bands play and the Subsonic also, where everybody rehearse, to meet each other and share things and have fun.
Also, and I only speak about the rock/indie/alternative music scene, our generation didn’t have a local band that showed us the way, a band that was important and that influenced us all in Montpellier.
And it’s not really a rock city here, we have too much sunshine maybe! It’s very touristic and full of students, there’s many nightclubs, electronic music, reggae, ska, etc.. And our most famous festivals are about electronic music and xtreme sports!
I:Your high school friends have bands?
E: No! And many are teachers!
I: Do you like touring or you get back pain quickly?
E: We love touring, the best is to tour with another band and in another country, it’s the most fun and the best way to make new friends and to travel! The pain arrives quickly of course, but there’s a moment when tiredness is your new way of feeling and it’s ok, everybody’s fucked up and happy.
I: Who had the idea to cover Brian Eno on Hangover The Top?
E: We needed a last song and we didn´t have the time to rehearse. We wanted to do something that sounds happy and peaceful to end an album full of … “tensions” ? and we were listening to Brian Eno a lot at that time and Greg suggested to cover this one. We tried it in studio, after having drinking some good Calvados and we had a lot of fun.
I: Korg is your weapon of choice? Have you played anything else?
E: I didn’t choose this crazy Korg, I just tried one time to play on it with Greg and Fred for fun and now that’s 10 years I’m using it. I was not playing music before Marvin and I really don’t know how to play other instruments, I tried guitar once and I quit, the same with drumming!
I: Do you guys have other personal projects aside from music?
E: Fred always had other projects, the last ones were Super Beatnik, a good speedstonerband that splitted unfortunately and Payday, some highspeedmathnoise that is named Paydead now ‘cause the singer has moved.
We three also play in a Weezer cover band, just for fun. And I made some music with friends and computers for a documentary.
I: Tell us about the trip to Portugal. I remember the basement was empty. But you put a hell of a show!
E: It was a super fun two weeks tour in Spain and Portugal with our friends from Fordamage. We had only 3 gigs in Portugal. We played in Bragança, there’s a guy there named Nuno, who’s moving his ass as hell to put on some shows in his little town and that night was fun!
The 2 other gigs were really special and organized by the same guy. The first one was in Porto. Nobody came, not even the promoter’s friends, the place was really cool, the meal fabulous as always in Portugal but you’re on tour for playing and the show was empty! Fortunately a band of french architecture students arrived by chance at the end and danced and yelled and asked for some more and it turned into a better night! Then we took some strange drugs that it’s possible to buy legally in Portugal, some kind of LSD and went to the apartment of the promoters for sleeping. There, there was only one sofa to lay down and we were 9 people. The promoters said good night and went in their bedroom. We laughed a lot about the situation! We made pillows with the kitchen paper roll, we tried to sleep standing up or on a chair, with the effect of the drugs it was funny but our psychologic mattress didn’t do his job well and we woke up with our back a bit broken! And the best is that we haven’t been paid for this gig and we’ll never be!
The second show was in Lisboa, same story, beautiful town, crazy food, super wine, super gentle soundman, super place and not so many people at the show but compared to Porto it was really good ! We had a lot of fun playing, both bands! But again it was weird with the promoter. This night it was a friend of the guy in Porto that was dealing with us. We just saw him 5 minutes, he gave us some little money and disappeared at the end of the show, we had to phone him to know where we were going to sleep. At 4 in the morning we finaly had the information and found the place, he said it was an hotel but in fact it was a flat were a guy was living with his family and he was renting a room for bands on tour. In the room there were 4 dirty mattresses. We were still 9 people. Bored, we said goodbye to the guy and moved around the city, looking for a not so expensive hotel.
Hope we’ll have a better experience next time cause we loved the cities and the people we met! And anyway we laughed a lot about it during the tour! Those experiences are precious!
I: Is that a bass I hear in “As Noisy As you possible”? Who plays it? Would you like to have a bass player on the band?
E: Yes, Fred plays bass on that song, playing bass is Fred’s fantasm! He was so happy to record it ! But live he plays this riff with his guitar and an octaver.
Marvin is a family affair so I don’t think anybody’s gonna join the band now but yeah, for having done it sometimes, it’s really good to have a bass player in your band, everything turns so easy then.
I: Do you plan to take “Barry” overseas?
E: In the US? Barry is released on Sickroom Records there, so i think it’s gonna be a little bit easier to tour there, Ryan from the label is gonna help us. And our friends from Papier Tigre just came back from a cool tour on the East Coast and we hope we’ll do the same thing next Spring. We are like any band, we dream about touring in the USA, to see this mythic country, to drive an old GMC on straight roads during hours listening the local rock radio stations.
I: How long did it take to record “Barry”?
E: We have 9 days for the takes and same thing for the mix but we had the chance to change things on the mix at distance after having listened to it a lot and also after the first version of the master, so the result is really what we wanted.
I: What were your main ideas for the record?
E: We don’t plan anything for the creation of the songs, we just take what it comes, it’s not easy for us to make new things and it takes us a lot of time, it starts with a guitar riff, a keyboard sound, a drum pattern but nobody arrives with a special idea of a song. They are built step by step.
But we have special ideas for the sound we wanted to have on this album, powerful, efficient, fat and beautiful!