Danton Eeprom: The most serious Frenchman
Londoner Frenchman Danton Eeprom is one of the most inlfuential and inspiring and emerging talent from France. His hometown Marseilles is far away now and he resides in London but he still does the dame thing.
He is a serious guy. Whatever it takes he does push the limits and never budges from what he really believes. His sound has evolved and matured during all those years. He still has a spice of 'Retronica De Reve' what he sued to call his music. Danton Eeprom is such a talent to lend an eye and his sound is as mature as never before.
His debut tells much about his contemporary life and wills. A concept build upon equestrian which means discipline, hard working and rules.
He is the most serious Frenchman you could ever imagine. You should also see him on stage. He is a legend! His performance is still one of the best in indigo club's history. And you should listen to what he says about the music and the things lefted over.
Hello how are you and what have you been up to? YOu moved to London and residing there for a while, how is the scene and atmosphere there compared to France and Paris or Marseille?
Hello Christopher. Well lots of things happened since I last came to Istanbul, where I had an amazing time. I've toured all over the world, playing live and DJing, and somewhere along the line I realised the scene had gone global, which is great news for everyone, as more quality music is readily available and enjoyable by most.
I've also recorded my album, and I moved to London a couple of years ago. London's always been a key place in the realm of music, strong movements were born here and it is still happening as we speak. The scene is incredibly lively, with an open-mindedness and a sense of partying I never really could find in France., or anywhere else for that matter. People are also more respectful to others in daily life, which is something very important to me.
You released you first single 'Give Me Pain' from the forthcoming LP. This album will be really big! How long did it take you to finish and how was the process, could you please talk about it a little bit?
The album was released in France at the very end of last year and is now available in Europe and most other countries will follow very soon. It was produced by my own imprint, Fondation Records in order to be sure it would be exactly as I wanted it and not turned into a watered-down version so to please A&R sharks and hopeless label executives. I've been proven right making no compromises whatsoever considering early press reaction, and wasn't expecting that much praise, if any, this record being my LP first effort.
"Yes Is More" was chosen as "album of the month" by at least ten magazines all over Europe at the same time, and even got a couple of features on national television which needless to say was a first for me! It got me the opportunity to play live with a band I formed to perform the album's songs later this year at summer festivals. Most importantly, it also caught the scene and crowd's attention, people in general reacted well to the fact the LP felt quite different to anything I had done before, let alone anything else at the moment!
All these things I really appreciated when they came along as I had spent an intense year recording it in France and UK behind closed doors, and I was looking forward to tell the world about it all. After all, people could have thought I was done with music production, or that I had joined the infantry, or that I had turned into a hippie selling organic goat cheese and home-made necklaces in a VW van in the countryside. People, they imagine things, you know.
In 'Yes Is More' there is no exact direction. You are giving clues about what we may expect from you in the future and what excites you right? And'Taking risks instead of going safe' is the way also you chose in you debut.
Just because "Yes Is More" is a fairly diverse record encompassing what could be perceived as different styles doesn't mean it is lacking a direction. Quite the opposite, actually, as it's going from one place to another instead of going round in circles. It could be assimilated to story-telling, like, say, a novel. The only difference being, in this novel all the chapters can also be read independently, like short stories. I'm heavily influenced by my readings so this makes a lot of sense to me.
If I had chosen to shy out and play it safe by going for techno-only or pop-only tracks, It would have been like repeating one part of a given story over and over, every time in different words. I would have been bored to death doing this, and I think you would have given up on me too. People reacted very well to the record in its current form, which amazed me first, but I then realised we were in 2010 with several decades of pop and electronic and rock behind us, and it would be an insult to people's intelligence and open-mindedness to assume they couldn't cope with a record that tried to push the boundaries of what's possible to do a bit further. Primal Scream predicted some odd twenty years ago that albums of now would be more like iTunes playlists...
Unfortunately, record companies' greed and artist's fear of not succeeding, two things typical of our modern crisis days, give birth to what seems to be a never-ending string of inbred records indulging in cheap tricks, easy melodies and good old studio recipes we've been fed hundreds of times before. On top of being foul play, it is not my idea of forward-thinking and innovative music and the good news is, I don't seem to be the only one to think so.
What do you think about the current trends (nudisco and deep house revival etc.) and how do you think these effected the global dance music scene?
I don't know man, and to be honest I don't give hype too much credit. I didn't even notice to be honest with you. I like a good tune, whatever label you may put onto it. Styles are only here to sort out the records in different sections so people can find them more easily in stores, right?
What do you think about your approach towards contemporary electronic music production? Can we say that 'Yes Is More' is the exact and efficent answer of this question?
Well I don't think anything, I just do it. I didn't mean to answer any question either. If anything, my record is more of a question than the other way round. Since pretty much all the music is electronic these days, including folk ballads, pop, RnB, the term "electronic" music doesn't make any more sense to me. I'm just trying to write good, honest music. Music that moves me. "Yes Is More" is a recollection of things that moved me, things
I wanted to share with people, and they can make these their own by associating them with their own experiences if they feel like it.
Don't you like and deal with electro as you used to do in the 'Retronica De Reve' days of yours?
I don't regret a thing, but as you have noticed I don't feel the need to do the same thing twice; once it's been done my curiosity pushes me to explore new territories. I'm not changing, just evolving permanently, like quicksands. It's the only way to stay alive and to surprise people... like, well, quicksands.
Do you have a favorite track in the LP? For example I love 'Tight' and 'The Feminine Man' track you did with Chloe. Or maybe there is a track with a special story behind which you would like to tell?
I can't chose one over the others, there are no "filler" tracks in here, all these pieces are part of the big picture and mean a lot to me. Nevertheless I chose to put a new mix of a track I did three years ago and that helped me achieving recognition by the scene at the time, when it came out on 12": it's "Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater", whose untouched 12 minutes sit right in the middle of the record, inevitably splitting the record in two.
Common sense would have ordered to shorten it to make it more "LP-friendly". But this track only makes sense when listened from a to z in its original length, so it was either this way or not putting it in the tracklist at all, which would have been a shame in my opinion.
What is the concept behind the art direction of the album artwork. Danton the equestrian?
It's more of an irrational obsession than a concept per say. I've started collecting everything horse-related for a little while for some reason: paintings, drawings, objects, clothes... I'll leave it up to the people. If anything, my music life has been closely linked to travelling around, going places and explore so far. Isn't horse-riding the best, most natural way to do so?
What do you usually do, when you are not having a gig the following night or when not doing music production?
I do quite a bit of photography at the moment, and had my first couple of exhibitions in London and Paris a few weeks ago. It's a great source of inspiration. So are the people I love, with whom I try to spend as much time as I can, since DJing and producing can be quite a lonely affair at times.
Do you like London's weather? What is the worst thing you hate and the best thing you like there?
Weather.. It's all up there in your head I think! I kind of got used to it, even though I'm missing the clear blue skies and the warmth typical of my native South of France every now and then. Good news is, here in London we make the best of sunny days by rushing to the park and sporting swimsuits whenever possible, ie. when temperature is above... 19 degrees! Bad weather tends to get people together though, they gather up and warm up in pubs to forget about the rain and cold.
Do you still wear a tuxedo in your live shows! And when will you come back to İstanbul? Maybe you don't know but yours was one of the best ever performances the Indigo club has seen!
I'm still fooling around with clothes, yes. I still wear a tux, but I can now also be a sailor, an all leather-wearing cocky rockstar... Whatever comes across my mind and I find funny is good enough. I really liked that Elvis-style white tux that french fashion designer and dear friend Agnes B. lent me to perform on TV last december! It made me feel like a virgin who knew one thing or two...
What about your future plans? what is in your mind in terms of musical and personal career?
I live on a day-to-day basis so I don't think about it too much. All I know is that I've got more places to go, more love to give, more music to share, and more people to meet and have a hell of a good time with!
Interview: Christopher Çolak
17 February 2010
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