Let's put down the Kraft singles and that cheap glass of Yellowtail and try something new for a minute. Now, it's going to be a little more expensive because it's imported. From France! Paris, France where all the best stuff comes from. Wine, cheese, sex, movies, clothes, Serge Gainsbourg—so why not twitchy, glitchy punk new wave? This is a group of weirdo Parisian bastards who enjoy the complex things in life and express them simply in song. Grimy, distorted, casio drum machine song. This odd little trio of voice (David), guitar (Etienne) and keyboard/beats (Oliver) was born to confuse and compell. One guy wants to be (early) Ice Cube's DJ (using Suicide's gear). Another just wants to be a blues guitarist (ugh, I know but more Keith Richards and Bo Diddley than Steve Ray Yawn). And the singer, hell, I have no clue... the best description I've heard is "the no-wave Steven Wright". I'll buy that.
Well, listen to these freaks while they tell you about each track on their fantastic, year-old record 1000 for another Track Meet:
Quattro Stagioni This song was supposed to be the "pop" song of the album (maybe in a over sugar-ed way) when we were recorded it. While on tour in Sardinia, David tried putting some italian lyrics on it, with the help of the singer of a local band called Love Boat, but it was not so successfull. Then, almost accidentally, we had the chance to record those gorgeous strings in Israel (arrangements by Maya Duniets). The lyrics now are inspired by the final scene of a funny thriller by Barcelonian writer Manuel Vasquez Montalban, in which the exhibitionnist bad guy faces his victim, whom turns out to have the same problem. Like two love birds "She opens coat, pia pia pia pia ... He opens wings piapiapia". Notice the acoustic guitars, "Brown Sugar" style...
Charlie Sheen First code name for this one was "rock n roll 2", some kind of 2.0 Cheveu style californian/skate punk song, we didn't really know what to think of it. We finally liked it when we put this weird break in the end, probably the first in our songs! For the lyrics, David was inspired by an interview of Charlie Sheen (that was before his meltdown), where Charlie was saying something like, "I don't pay girls for sex, I pay them to leave." David added a list of rather "imaged" sexual practices, and that was it.
No Birds Here is a typical example of a song we did in multiple layers, ending with the strings arrangements, which can make the song sound a little weird...like this record.
Impossible is Not French After days of no success in writing the lyrics, David finally came up with "impossible is not french.' Some kind of ironic proto nationalist punk..? We believe the guitars here sound a little like "Pissing on the Mainframe" by Live Fast Die.
Sensual Drug Abuse (originally released on « Flottante tension d'éclipse ») comp by SDZ records) This song is a computerised mashup of recorded rehearsals. Playing really loud, the sound of all the tracks were going through David's vocal effects, which gave the whole thing a strange atmosphere, and helped linked very differents parts in the final mix. Lyrics are taken from an introduction to a serious scientific book on the spread of painkillers, written by an Oxford professor back in 1978.
Show The first song we recorded. A horse neighs at the end, probably the wildest production trick of the album... Some melodies remind us a little of Gainsbourg and maybe the Black Lips.
Ice Ice Baby Initial code name was "jazzou,'—our jazz rock track! In fact, we pasted together ideas we had for two different songs. Etienne was trying to imitate Lili Z from Volt on the guitar on the first part, then Francis Cabrel (mainstream southern variété from france) for the ending riff. The lyrics are directly taken from the Vanilla Ice track, no lawsuit for now.
Push Push in the Bush Bush A very old project of ours, recorded at first in a bedroom. Drums were added by a great jazz drummer friend, Francesco Pastacaldi. Song title is a quote from Matt Z. of Tyvek—touring with those guys is always great fun. We have a good stock of Matt Z. quotes, next will be "easy peezy, japan-easy".
Like a Deer in the Headlights That song was on a 7' released for a euro tour with did with Tyvek in 2009. We were trying some new gear—drum machines, tape echo... and the sound subsequently changed a lot from our first records.
Payback Game Slightly unbalanced but we kind of like it (reminiscent of hardcore music, even if we don't listen to it).
La Fin au Debut David wanted this album to be 100% French speaking, but this is the only French part that survived! Lyrics here are about January 2010 when, for some weird reason, many of our friends passed away at the same time. Olivier had some trouble mixing the whole thing, considering there were about 120 tracks of strings. Compressors were at their highest. We think the final result could have sounded better, but oh well.. This is a really good one to play live.
My First Song Another old track. It definitely sounds more "garage" than the rest of the record. David, in an approximative English, tries to express how hard it is for to sing right and respect structures of songs in general. Our singer is a mess..
Bonne Nuit Cheri(e) Maya Dunietz did a great job on this one as well. We're lucky to have it recorded though, as we were running out studio time in Tel Aviv, and the musicians (some of them from the Israel's national orchestra!) had more important things to do than work on Cheveu's next LP. Jean-Baptiste (from Born Bad, our Paris label) who was with us on the tour, went to a cash machine for a little extra time, and we finally made it. We love the final string crescendo. David wrote a little poem about the Israelo-Palestinian conflict through the journey of a mosquito.