NACHDEM ICH VOR KURZEM BEREITS DAS NEUE ALBUM „IN EXILE“ VON NOBLESSE OBLIGE IN DEN FINGERN UND DEN OHREN HATTE, GIBT ES HIER NUN DAS DAZU GEHÖRIGE INTERVIEW IM O-TON, IN DEM MIR DER WEIBLICHE PART DER BAND, VALERIE GEDULDIG ALLE MEINE FRAGEN BEANTWORTET HAT. AT FIRST I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND THAT WE CAN MAKE THIS INTERVIEW WITH YOU. RECENTLY I HEARD YOUR LATEST ALBUM “IN EXILE”, HOW LONG DID YOU WORK ON IT TOTALLY? It took about a year to write, record, mix and master the whole thing ourselves in our studio in Neukölln. We are control freaks so we decided to produce it completely alone, without any help from the outside. It was tough but also very rewarding, because it was like giving birth. Bringing to life an album that represent our own personal vision. Uncompromising. WHAT WAS THE INTENTION TO CALL IT “IN EXILE”? We left London to come to Berlin and write this album. It felt like a very natural choice for the title. Everything was new and fresh on the Berlin scene for us which was exciting but also we had to start again settling down in a new place, that’s always a challenge especially for me who doesn’t speak German. Making yourself at home in a new country takes time, but now it’s been 2 years and we love being here. The city is very inspiring, it has a slower pace compare to London, time to breath, that’s ideal to help creativity flow. AND HOW DID YOU FIND OR DECIDE ABOUT THE NAME NOBLESSE OBLIGE? That was the only name I came up with that Seb didn’t find really stupid… like “Kaleidoscope”. I am French, so it makes sense to use a French expression but it also is well know in Germany and England. We like what it stands for. “Privilege Entails Responsibility’ that’s what it means and also the name of our first album. HOW DOES IT COME TO SO MUCH DIFFERENT INFLUENCES IN YOUR MUSIC? One of the thing that brought Sebastian and I together to start the band was our eclectic taste of music. He loves THROBBING GRISTLES and ABBA, I’m a fan of JOY DIVISION and BURT BACHARACH. We are also crazy about films and they’re an other great influence on our music. DO YOU LIKE IT IF PEOPLE CALL YOUR MUSIC EXPERIMENTAL? II don’t really mind what people call my music, as long as they’re listening to it and it touches them in some way! It’s always interesting to hear how your music makes people feel, how they perceive it or classify it. Some people have said we were too pop, and it made me laugh. Some say we are experimental and it’s a compliment. It’s important to stay true to what you believe in without letting people’s opinion get in the way. I VERY MUCH LIKE THE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES YOU INTONATE YOUR SONGS IN. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG LANGUAGE? English is the obvious international language, it reaches the largest audience. But myself being French and Sebastian German, it makes senses to also sing in those 2 languages. We don’t really have a favorite, we’re just aware that English travels best. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE STYLES OF MUSIK OR WHICH BANDS DO YOU LIKE MOST? I love classical music/ opera, I love Klezmer music, good pop, good disco, film soundtracks, electronic music, French chanson, Motown classics, 80’s goth, 60’s stuff…it’s a long list. I like all good music, doesn’t matter which style. Seb and I both love PINK FLOYD. ARE YOU MORE A LIVE BAND OR DO YOU LIKE THE STUDIO WORK BETTER? These are two very different experiences, that we equally love. In the studio you create, write, record, experiment, try out new things. We have a very cosy space in Neukoelln, where we do all that. It’s 5 min walk from our flat, so it’s easy to just go there when we feel inspired to work. Live, it’s adrenaline rush, chemistry, sweat, and energy. It’s always intense to be face to face with your audience. We re-work our songs to have different live version so we get to play several instruments that we swap around. Seb plays mainly guitar but also piano and drums, I play keyboard, melodica, kazoo, half a drum kit standing, percussions including cow bells, and granite block, we both sing and dance around when we have the opportunity. So it doesn’t sound exactly like on the CD, which is more fun of course. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY? The album has just been released so we need to promote it by playing live gigs and doing interviews like this one which is interesting because it gives us time to reflect. Right now we are rehearsing a new live set, we want it to have several possibilities. So if we want to go for a harder, faster set of songs, we can, but we also have the choice to go mellow, intimate with more delicate melodies, if the atmosphere is right. IS IT JUST WORK THAT BRINGS YOU TWO TOGETHER OR ARE YOU AS WELL GOOD FRIENDS IN REAL LIFE? Sebastian is my best friend and has been since starting the band. He is a very special man, a gifted artist and talented all around musician, with a very warm and caring spirit. We can only work so intensively because of our closeness, understanding and respect for each other. Working with Sebastian is easy and feels natural, like cooking him his favorite meal. Also he saved my life twice last week end so he must be a good friend. I guess I’ll have to do some extra cooking to make for it… WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU? Music instantly changes the mood, atmosphere of a place. For me it’s the most powerful instinctive and immediate form of art, something that affects people physically. It touches me more deeply than any words. Music is pure emotion, with a very subtle range. It’s a universal language. WHEN DID YOU BEGIN TO MAKE YOUR OWN MUSIC? As a child there were always 2 pianos in my house, because my mother had nearly become a professional pianist. So playing music, improvising on the piano for hours was always part of my life, something natural. I was the only one in the family who didn’t take lessons, because I wanted to do my own thing…and look at me now, nothing has changed, still doing my own thing! WHAT IS MOST INSPIRING FOR YOU? Inspiration is more like a state of mind than a particular thing for me. When you are in tune with yourself and your surrounding everything can be turn into a source of inspiration, even anger, cold wind, fear, screaming neighbors. I process information and make sense of the data by giving my personal interpretation, writing a song is on a very small level a way to give your vision of the world at a given time, the day you felt exhausted but happy inside, or the day you walked 2 hours in the rain laughing. IS IT COMPLICATED FOR YOU TO BALANCE YOUR LIFE AND YOUR WORK AT THE SAME TIME? Life and work are one. There is no conflict. I think that’s the greatest thing about being an artist. Everything you are and you do, everything you see or breath, everything you hear or feel is part of your creative process. DO YOU BOTH HAVE FAMILIES? Seb’s parents live in Dusseldorf, his sister travels a lot for her job and she lives in Amsterdam. My parents, brothers and sisters live all over France. Neither of us is married with children if that’s what you meant. I myself don’t believe marriage is a relevant concept in our modern society. I love children, and that’s exactly why I would never want to have any. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING ABOUT YOUR JOBS? Both are families are very supportive and proud of us, they always believed in us, and understood what we wanted to achieve. ARE THEY SAD, IF YOU ARE ON THE ROAD EVERYTIME? They are happy for us. They find it very exciting that we travel so much and get to play all around the world. WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD? Our second album ‘In Exile’ makes me very proud! It has so much of us in it, it so rich of influences and yet so personal. It reflects very well how we feel right now living a new life in Berlin. It feels rich and diverse like the experience of moving to a new country, finding yourself… “In Exile” Our video for “Tanz, Mephisto!” makes me very proud too. It was shot here in Berlin at the Roter Salon by Armando, a UK based director, who’s also a close friend. It has a bit of a retro feel, with the art deco chandelier and velvet curtain, of this beautiful venue, something naughty and provocative too, and Sebastian looks exquisite in his gold shirt while playing every instrument at the same time. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF NOBLESSE OBLIGE? Luckily, the future of Noblesse Oblige is very much a reality as opposed to a dream. We have turned our dream into a reality now, we just have to continue to work hard. We are already thinking about trying new things, a different strategy to write the 3rd album. But for now we are excited about playing live a lot and reaching more and more people with our music. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE FROM LONDON TO BERLIN? It’s very refreshing to have a change of scene, once in a while, otherwise you start going round in circles. I love London, it’s such a vibrant city, overwhelming overcrowded overpriced wonderful in its excess. In Berlin everything is easier, not so stressful, not so much queuing everywhere you go. In the summer we discovered the beautiful lakes just outside the city, it just feel like a better quality of life here. We have also met a lot of kindred spirits here, international artists, performers, musicians, DJ, filmmakers, the scene is very active but still laid back and easy going. IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT THE BUSINESS YOU REALLY HATE OR ARE BORED ABOUT? Everything is pretty good compared to the life of someone working behind the till at Edeka, in a factory or even an office desk or barwork! That would drive me crazy in no time. I just feel happy and lucky to be doing what I love doing! I’m not going to be fussy, I’ve got a good life, I wouldn’t want to change anything. Sebastian and I are privileged people, we appreciate what we have. WHAT ABOUT SUCCESS, HOW IMPORTANT IT THAT FOR YOU? What is important is to be able to continue to have fun making music, and hopefully reach more and more people. HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELFES? My definition of success: Freedom, happiness, respect, pleasure, lots of fun, making new friends all the time, discovering new countries. Success is when it’s not just your mum and best friend who likes your music but a lot more people around the world. Success is when people appreciate or possibly admire your work, it feels good to get the recognition. It’s the reward for the hard work, for the time you doubted and questioned, it’s a form of reassurance. A tap on the shoulder. Success also means people trust you more, they are willing to take a risk because of what you’ve achieved, it gives you more credibility. THANKS A LOT AND WE WHISH YOU TO HAVE FURTHER SUCCESS WITH YOUR MUSIC AND UPFRONT TO HAVE FUN IN THINGS YOU DO. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.