Eine simple Idee mit großer Wirkung: Man nehme eine paar junge, hübsche Damen und filme sie dabei wie sie sich in einer Fußgängerzone entkleiden. Eigentlich fast schon zu simple, doch zumindest für das französische Elektro-Duo Make The Girl Dance hat sich diese Video-Idee, die sie zu ihrem Song ‘Baby, Baby, Baby‘ visualisierten, nachhaltig gelohnt. Dass die Band mehr kann als nur nackte Tatsachen für sich sprechen zu lassen, bewiesen sie dann mit ihrem Debütalbum ‘Everything Is Gonna Be OK In The End‘, auf dem sie nicht nur progressive Töne versammelten, sondern auch sehr melodische Indie- und Pop-Songs präsentierten. Mehr zu ihrer Geschichte, ihrem Humor und ihren Plänen erfährt man unter anderen auch noch mal in unserem Interview mit den beiden Machern Greg Kozo und Pierre Mathieu – Make The Girl Dance im Bedroomdisco Interview!
1.) Band facts
- Name: MAKE THE GIRL DANCE
- Band members (names): Greg KOZO and Pierre MATHIEU
- Founding year: 2008
- Current album: ‘Everything is gonna be ok in the end’
- How did you start making music – had you been forced to play an instrument somehow or was it in your own interest? What was your motivation?
Pierre: I was a DJ when I was 20. The turntables are the only instrument I can play really.
Greg: I’ve started music when I was 15. Guitar, then bass and double bass. After 4 years studying arrangement at the jazz school I’ve played in a lot of bands, then I’ve started my own label.
- How did you meet and in which situation did you decide to form a band?
Pierre: we met in a club in Paris. I was playing there before Greg. We had fun. And a strange sexual attraction though we are not supposed to be gay. Then a few month after I told him “instead of having sex let’s make one track of electronic music with rock and roll in it”. And it stared like this.
Greg: It was the first time for me that I was trying to write music at four hands. Usually it’s quite not really easy, but together we were having fun and that was the main reason to keep on doing it.
- In which situation did you come up with the name “Make The Girl Dance”, why did you choose it and what meaning has it for you?
Pierre: we were creating our Myspace page (an old website where people were trying to have sex before Facebook) and we had no name. I was fan of Franz Ferdinand and I read an interview where they were telling that they “made music to make girls dancing”. It sounded obvious.
- What musical influences do you have?
Pierre: many because we are old. I am a big rock fan but I always been listening to hip hop, and electronic music. So I can either listen to sad folk songs of Simon and Garfunkel and switch on Beastie Boyz, AC/DC, Ting Tings, Metronomy, and end up with Aznavour (french old guy)
Greg: I like folk music also but my main thing is electronic music, from Warp stuff like Aphex Twin or Squarepusher to Sonar Kollectiv with Forss or Jazzanova to Dim mak and Ed Banger. I also like some very cheesy shits. Too many to mention.
- We, like probably many people, first got to know your music through the video for ‘Baby Baby Baby’ – did you expect such an success because of such a simple idea?
Pierre: not at all. The day before we were saying “it would be great if the video reach 10.000 views”. Because yes the idea is quite simple and still today I can’t explain the real reason of such a success.
Greg: Of course not, and we’re still surprised when we see that this music video is known worldwide.
- How do you normally work on songs? What are the steps/processes, what are the usual problems of finishing a song?
Pierre: the problem is mainly the lack of talent. We need to work harder than others to produce a good track. Some artist can create an album in 2 weeks. For us it’s one track every 8 months.
Greg: Usually I start writing some patterns, chords progressions or just beats and bass licks. Then Pierre comes over and he cut and paste notes, to make it efficient. The main problem to finish the song is to find who s gonna sing on it, or more globally when do we think the music is ok and nothing has to be added.
- Could you tell us something about the production process of ‘Everything Is Gonna Be OK In The End’? How long did it take, where did it happen, what were the difficulties, how did you prepare for it? What was the best, what the worst moment? Most told anecdote?
Pierre: For 4 years we were working on some tracks. But we had like 100 piece of tracks that we never ended. So we began to listen to all of them, try to pick some part of each one to make another one. Work on it again and again. Like a huge mess. Then one day we decided to write down all the tracks (even not finished) that we would like to have in the album. Then we realized that we had all the tracks we needed. We had an album. It was very strange. Just like if it appeared on a sheet of paper in 5 minutes.
Greg: Exactly like he said. After that we had some problem to finish some songs. So we spent like two months only on the writing process and after that 2 months to find singers or guitar player when needed. The best moment is when you realize that it’s over and that the record will now live his own life. The worst moment is when you realize that it’s over and that you won’t be able to change anything.
- The record is divided in three parts – make the girl dance soft, pop and hard – was this a concept you had before you started working on the record or did the album turn out that way after it was finished?
Pierre: When we wrote down the tracks we wanted on the album we realized that their was 3 very distinct kind of tracks. So we decided to make it happen that way.
- ‘Breezy’ is one of our favorite songs – can you tell us what it is about, how it was done and if there is a story behind it?
Pierre: Breezy is my favorite movie of all times. It’s directed by Clint Eastwood, a very simple love story. At the beginning of the band one day we produce this melody. It was a “romantic day” perhaps. And we decided to put some famous sentences of this movie on it. The track has been done very quickly and it’s still one of my favorite.
Greg: This is exactly the good example on how we wrote music. I wrote a 4 chords progressions, Pierre told me “cut and delete theses two” and what was left was the main riff of the song.
- ‘Breezy’ features the lyrics from a 1973 Clint Eastwood-directed film with the same name – how did you come up with the idea to cut out lyrics from a movie and why did you choose that movie?
Pierre: see previous answer.
Greg: I always loved to put quotes from movies. Movies are a very rich world to write music. It helps to put different hues in the music.
- The song ‘Rocker 33′ seems to be named after a club in Stuttgart – how come?
Pierre: It’s a club in Stuttgart were we played 3 times. Each time was incredible. Perfect place, perfect crowd. Nice promoter. So we decided to dedicate a song to this place. The sad thing is by the time we produce the album, the place has been destroyed…
- In what situations do you write songs/lyrics/which themes inspire you to write songs?
Pierre: there are really no pattern. We can work on a loop of 3 seconds for a month and do shit and just create Breezy in an afternoon. We tried to find if it was related to sex or moon or something but no.
Greg: I’m a lot inspired by people or cities. But it doesn’t mean we wrote good music because of a good person of a beautiful city.
- You seem to have a lot of fun shooting music videos – how would you see the importance of them, while music television seems to be dead?
Pierre: I love image. I come from TV. And I also consider every musical project globally. It’s cool to have a band and think about the video, the image and stuffs. It’s not only marketing, it’s pure creation.
Greg: For me, it’s also comes from a real frustration. I would have loved to direct movies. So with music video, it’s like pieces of art with less money to invest in one shot. We experience stuff.
- What are your next plans?
Pierre: right now I need to poo.
Greg: Right now, I’m gonna bottle-feed my 4 days old daughter. But next plans are to be back on tour, release our 5th music video with the track ‘Tchiki Tchiki Tchiki’ and maybe start writing the beginning of the 2nd album.
- What are you doing if your not making music?
Pierre: I was a TV host. I quit for 3 years to do some music with the band. Today I am back in TV business a little bit and trying to do both.
Greg: When I was young I also wanted to raise dogs or to be a real good cooker. But I intend to do only music.
- What did you learn in 2011?
Pierre: That drug is bad indeed. See Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston.
Greg: That I should quit alcohol. That’s not very very efficient actually but 2012 will be better I hope.
- Your Top 3 records of 2011? Why?
Pierre: Metronomy / Bon Iver / Make The Girl Dance
Greg: James Blake/Justice/Birdy Nam Nam
- Which song would fit to your actual situation?
Pierre: There’s no song talking about going to the toilets.
Greg: Herman Dune ‘Take Him Back To New York City’ quiet and sad, perfect to let babies relax.
- Which song makes you dance independent of your situation?
Pierre: Azealia Banks – 212
Greg: Modek – By The Pool
- How would your “Bedroomdisco” look like?
Pierre: a bed with a lot of pillows, mirrors, condoms and straws.
Greg: red light, straps, and music by Kendrick Lamar, Theophilus London and Kid Cudi.
- Who did fill out this questionnaire?
Pierre: quickly and you know why now.
Greg: Me and him.