"We wanted to make the perfect car ride album..." hmv.com talks to Jamaica
It’s been four years since your first album, how are you feeling about the new one?
Antoine: We are very excited! We can’t wait for people to listen to it, tell us what songs they like, tell us what they are expecting live and everything. But even if it had only been two years we would still be just as excited probably!
When did you start writing it, and when was the album finished?
Florent: We finished the recording around September last year.
No Problem was produced by Xavier de Rosnay of Justice, who’s producing this time around? #
Antoine: This time it’s us and Laurent d’Herbécourt producing, also Peter Franco worked on our first album also so we worked with him again on the new record, he’s been handling all the engineering.
Peter’s obviously been working with Daft Punk on Random Access Memories recently, was the new album all recorded in L.A.?
Antoine: Partly, yes. We finished writing there, but it wasn’t done at a big studio. We rented a house and Peter basically built a big home studio there, put a load of gear in there, borrowed instruments and things, then we basically stated recording at the house in L.A., then came back home to Paris to finish it at Laurent’s studio, which is just an amazing place.
What inspired the title, Ventura?
Antoine: Aha! Actually the street with the house we rented to use as the studio was called Ventura Boulevard. It’s right in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. It’s really average, you know? It’s like ‘real’ America to us. So I guess you could say it felt like the right kind of summary I guess for everything that was happening at the time.
How do you think it moves on from the first record? You’ve said you felt like No Problem was a nighttime album, whereas Ventura is a daytime record, can you explain what you mean by that?
Antoine: Well, we were inspired by the Paris nightlife for the first album so a lot of it is really dance music inspired, at least as far as production goes. So when we started writing and recording in the L.A. sunshine we really wanted to it to have that feeling.
Florent: We wanted to make the perfect car ride album. You should try listening to it in the car, it works really well!
What kind of album is it lyrically? Are there any themes running through the album?
Antoine: Being away from loved ones, I guess.
Florent: There’s a slight touch of nostalgia to it, I mean in that sense that you try to cheer yourself up when there is a little something missing, you know? That inspired a lot of it and informs the songs on the album.
What sort of live show can we expect for the new material? We hear you have a ‘no synthesizers’ rule for live shows, is that still the case?
Antoine: Ah, yes we don’t have any synthesizers on stage. We hired a new drummer and we have also a new guitar player, which is really exciting. So live we are a four-piece band, but yes, still no synthesizers. We want to keep a very ‘rock’ feel to the live performances.
What does the rest of 2014 have in store?
Antoine: We are playing in London actually, it’s on May 15th at Oslo.
Florent: Also we are touring Europe this spring, then in the summer we will also be mostly in Europe doing festivals.
Are there any producers / artists you’d really like to work with?
Antoine: Ahhh, so many! We’d love to work with Laurent again, we’d love to work with peter Franco again. We’ve not tried to work with a producer who is also an artist besides Xavier so that’s something I’d like to try again, but we enjoyed this experience too so I don’t know, we’ll have to give it some thought! I We met Mark Ronson, he’s really nice, he’d be good to work with, he seems to turn everything he touches into gold! I wouldn’t mind being rich!