Feeder.ro: How are you doing?
Marc Collin: I’m fine, I’m fine; today we rehearsed new songs for the next shows, great, it doesn’t happen so often.
F: Do you have new songs ready?
Marc Collin: Yeah.
F: Are you going to play them in Bucharest?
Marc Collin: Yeah, some of them, yeah.
F: That’s great! I take it you’re working on a new album, also?
Marc Collin: Yeah, it’s almost finished, actually.
F: That sounds great. Considering the way Nouvelle Vague’s music has evolved so far, is this album going to be even darker than the previous ones?
Marc Collin: This new one is.. I don’t know if it’s darker or not.. We have more kind of country and western kind of sound, of arrangement, but the new thing is that we’re gonna have duets with the original singers. People like Martin Gore, and Terry Hall.. So that’s the real new thing.
F: How do you select the bands whose songs you cover?
Marc Collin: It’s just bands that I was fond of when I was young, and I really always liked the music, so it’s a good opportunity for me to just listen again to the songs and to work on songs that I really like so it’s quite simple; also, I try also to cover songs that in a way are really important for post-punk music, so.. it’s quite simple.
F: So what’s the formula, let’s say, that you use? What do you keep from a song, what do you change?
Marc Collin: We always keep, of course, the melody, most of the times the chords, I mean the harmony, and most of the times we change completely the rhythm and we try to do something.. we can just start from the guitar or we can just start with a rhythm or some piano chord; we must have a main idea of what we want to do, I mean if we want to do something that will sound like a soundtrack from the ‘60s, or Bossa nova, or a country song.. as long as we’ve got this idea, we just transform.. we just try to play the song and see what happens.
F: So, is it still covers, then? In a sense, it feels like you’re doing much more than that.
Marc Collin: Yeah, of course, that’s why it’s considered sometimes that we have reinvented the songs, yeah, because covers only play the song exactly like the original, whereas we are doing something totally different. That’s why I think we had this success and why we still have this success.
F: What do the original creators of the songs think about your versions?
Marc Collin: Most of them are really happy because, as I told you, now we are working with them; we now work with the guys I mentioned already, we work with Depeche Mode, Terry Hall from The Specials, so it’s.. yeah, most of them are really happy. We haven’t really got bad feedback, actually.
F: As a personal thought.. you somehow find beauty in a bunch of violent, hard songs (and “Too Drunk to Fuck” just happens to jump into my mind).. Did you also find substance? I mean, going beyond the form.. maybe in the realm of message, did you work on that, maybe?
Marc Collin: Not really, we are just working on how to do songs that have some emotion or some energy or something crazy.. we also sometimes start from the lyrics, and yeah.. as we are looking for emotion.. sure, sometimes it is a form of beauty.
F: From a musical perspective, where do you, personally, come from? What did you do before doing Nouvelle Vague?
Marc Collin: I was doing a lot of things in France; i started doing records in ’93-’94, so I did a lot of things into party, into club music; I also did a lot of soundtracks.. I did really a lot of things, but Nouvelle Vague was the most successful thing that I have done.
F: But then, how did you get from club music to arranging all these songs in all these different styles?
Marc Collin: It’s the same kind of thing, you know, I mean I consider myself the producer, so in a way I can do things in every style; the thing that I do is to get personal into the style; but if you take a style like Bossa Nova – of course we are not playing Bossa Nova like a real Brazilian band; we are French, we are not good musicians so we are doing our own way, our own interpretation of Bossa nova. It’s the same in club music; it’s my way of doing club music, and it’s not.. for me.. it’s music you know, it’s rhythm, it’s chord, it’s instrument, it’s arrangement, it’s melodies, it’s the same, it doesn’t make much difference between club music, soundtracks..
F: Did you just say that you are French and you are not such good musicians?
Marc Collin: Because I’m French?[laughs] No, it’s not because I’m French.. Bossa Nova was played by really good Bossa Nova musicians, and Olivier is a real pop guitar player and I am really kind of pop musician also, so we are not good for this, we are not Jazz musicians.
F: Oh, I see what you mean.
Marc Collin: Yeah, so we are doing our own way to Bossa Nova; it’s like when we are doing reggae – of course we are not Jamaican people; doing reggae we are doing it our own way.
F: Nouvelle Vague seems a clear reference to French New Wave. Where did that come from?
Marc Collin: It’s not so linked with French New Wave, actually it was a deconstruction of both New Wave and Bossa Nova, that’s why we chose this name, one way or another Nouvelle Vague was a good name. Afterwards, sure that I’m a big fan of cinema and so I’m a big fan of Jean Luc Godard, so it’s understandable.
F: How do you choose your girls? How do you find them?
Marc Collin: There are different possibilities. I knew Camille and Melanie, they were my friends in Paris, and another singer – she sent me a demo via mail, and the new singer that will be on stage with Melanie in Bucharest.. there were some friends that told me I had to go and see her, she was playing in a club in Paris, and she was great, and I asked her to come and to make some songs for Nouvelle Vague. It’s really like.. just meetings, it’s just happened like that. And of course, looking.. Sometimes I’ll hear stuff on myspace, a lot of good stuff from singers and that’s how it is..
F: Do you still make your vocalists play songs they’ve never heard before?
Marc Collin: It was only for the first album. It wasn’t a way.. It just happened like that for the first album, but now, of course, we are working differently, we send the original songs to the singer, they can learn them and come to the studio and sing; we are not working like that anymore.
F: Any surprises for the show in Bucharest? Will you have any duets here?
Marc Collin: No, no no no, I think the duet is only for the album, I don’t think we can do it live, it was very difficult to have these people in the studio, so for the road it’s, I think, probably impossible. Maybe when we play London, New York, maybe, but otherwise I think it will be difficult to have them. So no, we are doing the songs only with our girls.
Nouvelle Vague concerteaza miine, 22 noiembrie la Sala Palatului incepand cu ora 20:00.