The last time I wrote an article on the blog was in March 2013. More than a year ago. Wow. Time sure flies. I thought maybe you deserve fresh news, and today is the day.
So, what happened since the release of Bandit ? As you may have noticed, the record had a very short lifetime. I wish we could have pushed it further, but things do not always happen the way one imagines it. Considering how complicated the making of this album has been for me, I can understand it was hard for people to get into it. I love this record though. I like the songs and I like the story it tells. But maybe it’s too monolithic on the musical side. I can’t really know. I don’t listen to my records after they are made. That being said, and it might sound strange, Bandit ended up being a prophecy of what my life looked like in the past two years. I said it all on the record right before it actually happened.
Music is definitely a mysterious matter. And so is life.
The two last years were really harsh for me, professionally and personally. Obviously I wasn’t busy touring, and after Bandit I had a violent meltdown. I seriously thought about quitting music and I started looking for a reliable job. Although I had to consider it for real, I somehow knew it was not a valid option. I updated my resume, sent a bunch of vapid emails, and, well…no way. I couldn’t give up the music. I was not ready for any kind of withdrawal. So I got away from Paris and spent a few months writing in my studio in the country.
Consequently, the band was going through a tough phase. I was pretty lost and the boys were anxiously waiting for me to make a move. I knew I needed a change, but I didn’t know what change I needed, and starting all over again was a scary option. As I was fighting against my apathetic state, I met a bunch of people, rang some old friends and followed the only thing I knew I could trust ; my instincts. And this is how I decided I would set up a new band.
I’m not going to tell a lot more about it here yet because honestly, I don’t know what’s next. Those of you who have been checking the social networks probably have an idea of what’s going on, and of who’s involved.
All I can say it that it has been really exciting, and everything added up so smoothly I knew it was the way to go. I got so much support from the people I work with and from the new recruits, it’s unbelievable. Their enthusiasm never failed, despite the fact that I was very confused, and not sure about anything anymore. They gave me the energy, the patience and faith I needed so I could get myself back together. All of a sudden I wanted to write solid songs they would be proud of, and would want to play with me on stage. I am so thankful for that.
Coming up with a song is not difficult when you know how to do it and I believe I had some decent training. But the real challenge is having something to say, as it can turn a basic song into something really special. And even though I was sad and unhappy, I had nothing to say. I was writing the same song over and over, focused on how hurt my little self was. Now I can say it was really poor.
The thing is, if you want to release records and write tunes that people love, and if you want to make a living out of songwriting, you’d better keep up with it. I was struggling but I didn’t surrender, and eventually I got better at it. Well, I hope so !
So here we are. The last nine months were a sort of long pre-production phase, where I wrote and recorded demos, on my own, and with the new band. It was a weird process overall as I transformed into something new. In the writing, that’s for sure, but also as a human being. I hope it’s for the best.
Also, I used some of the free time I had in the past years to travel a little. When I was really down I found an old Staten Island ferry schedule in my stuff and I planned a trip to NYC. I had a friend in Manhattan that offered his couch, and I thought it was the ideal time for me to run away from a bunch of things – not to say everything.
Looks like all the messed up souls converge in NYC at some point, right ? This city is so energizing, there’s a non-stop array of things going on, it’s just endless. I remember telling myself, one morning, as I was wandering around in Central Park : « This is my city, this is my city ! », and I couldn’t chase the idea out of my head.
This trip has surely been the highlight of my year 2013. When I came back, Paris looked different to me. I felt like a tourist. I still do. I love Paris dearly, but my heart is elsewhere. New York City haunts me and I belong there.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I rarely post in french and I do most of my writing in english. I apologize for those who would like to read more french on this page. It’s not that I’m trying to be hype or look super cool. The truth is, when I sit at my desk, and want to express something, english always happens.
I told you I was a different human being : I’m like a tourist in my own head !
From now on, I promise I’ll keep you updated more often.
Love you all.