Interview: Paris Suit Yourself

Ahead of the last late night Barfly show in Camden, Bearded caught up with the trans-genre outfit Paris Suit Yourself, sans an apparently shy Luvinsky Atche and with a new drummer in tow, to see what makes them tick....

Paris Suit Yourself Bearded: How did you meet?

Marie Boye: It began in Paris. Luvinsky accidentally came to live with me because he got kicked out of his apartment. He had no place to go, and after that we just stuck together. We were talking with a friend we have in common, and we realised we had the same ideas about music, so we decided to start a band.

What do you mean by having the same ideas about music?

M.B: It’s not about taste, as the entire band have very different tastes in music. It was just the idea of music in general, how we like to share it

Rui: Conceptual right?

MB: Yeah, the way we understand rhythm, the way we create stuff, the way we organise ourselves to create a piece or melody.

So it’s in the arrangement?

R: I think it’s in terms of spirituality as far as I could understand. I’ve only known these people two weeks... Talking to Luvinsky, Marie and Victor, I understood that their first connection was spiritual and conceptual in how to do things, not specifically about arrangements and how to play rhythm, not technical. You just do it and that’s it...

So it’s about how you feel music?

MB: Yeah that’s it.

Did the album come together as fluidly or was there more structure?

Victor Tricard: We actually recorded it about three years ago, we wanted to put some down to show.

MB: It was the thing that we had to do, we had to have something concrete to make people listen to... but we were never saying ‘OK, we are going to make this song like this, and like this’, at the time of recording the songs were like this, but if you hear them tonight, they may be totally different.

You see yourselves more as a live act than as a recording band?

VT: Well, it’s good exercise but it is very different. When on stage we can share it with the people and what happens on the night is we can extend songs.

MB: We have more freedom on stage to create new energy. we can change the rhythm, make them all move in a different way... Depending on the audience, some people enjoy the Afrobeat, some people like the rough or heavy parts. Thats really cool because then we can create the connection.

That's interesting as there is a really great quote, from you Marie, that we found whilst researching,
“Brutality without elegance is like trying to fit a square inside a circle... in a more or less controlled way, we like to make our audience re-become animals, while remaining ourselves at the height or their dignity.”

MB: I remember when I said that, we were beginning our songs very calm at the beginning, then we would begin to move with the songs. It became more violent, and by the end there was this big explosion. There would be an elegance at the beginning, then this would become something very primal.

Do you use this experience to write on tour at all?

MB: We don’t really write on stage, it can happen, but it’s not usual...

VT: we have to be tight on stage, and this is important, but you can go too far the other way.

R: We don’t really write things down.

So as you have only been with these guys for two weeks Rui, how did you pick it up?

R: We kept practicing and I memorised it. That is the way rock usually work.

Was it a good experience supporting The Fall?

MB: Well it was interesting as we always said we would never be a support band... but at the time it seemed to make sense

VT: The lead singer Mark E Smith is very punk, a lot of what he does is very raw, that is the way we like to do things.

There is a lot of switching between French and English in the album tracks, why is this:

VT: It is sometimes just easier to say things in French than in English, and vice versa.

R: I love it when they sing in French, its beautiful. It is my favourite part.

If you could describe yourself, your style and album, to someone who had never heard you, what would you say?

MB: we usually just say ‘Listen to the album’

VT: Yeah, just come to the show and then you’ll see...