I review one EP from them and got sold, after that I review it all and am now eager to see them finally on stage! This interview is a nice step into getting to know them better and introducing them to you all!
Why the band’s name JE T’AIME as you sing in English? For what does this choice stand for?
Tall Bastard: «JE T’AIME» was chosen precisely to inform our audience that despite the fact that we use English, we are French. I think the whole world knows what it means. And when we were done writing and recording our first song, pretty drunk at the beginning of the day after a long night working, we were so proud of ourselves that we kept saying to each other «I love you, man». So it just stayed.
Crazy Z.: When Tall Bastard and dBoy chose that name, and called me to inform me, I was like «what a shitty name, we never will be foundable on Google», but well, we love that name, if I can say.
You all have a separate background. Can you tell a bit more about it?
Tall Bastard: I used to play in a ska band for years then in another French cold wave band «Saigon Blue Rain». But Goth, cold and post punk really are my roots. I love And Also The Trees, for instance.
dBoy: In thirty years of music I have had the time to travel in many musical styles. I love music with a capital M, although it is true that dark music is my favorite style. And in music, being on stage is what I like to do the most. Travelling and sharing your music with the audience is just great.
Crazy Z.: Same for me, I play in bands since 20 years at least, and I’ve travelled a lot so far, through metal, dark folk, power noise… That would be too many to make a list, and the important is where we are today and where we will be tomorrow.
I know one of you play(ed) in Herrschaft in the past, but somehow within this band you don’t use your previous artist name(s), is there a specific reason for?
Crazy Z.: Actually, Crazy Z is more like a joke, everybody use to call me Zoé in real life anyway. But I found that JE T’AIME is a really funny project, and I just wanted to translate that silliness into my personality. Crazy Z just made me laugh a lot for its weird sounding pronunciation. It is even funnier in French, because I let you seek for what is a Zizi in France.
You already released a few studio albums and a live albums and yet I can say you don’t exist that long. How come you have been so productive?
Tall Bastard: Covid ! We were supposed to go on tour to present our first, eponymous, album and it didn’t happen. So we had a lot of time to create.
dBoy: Today's technologies clearly allow us to work well and fast. When twenty years ago you had to spend tens of thousands of euros to produce a record, today, if you have the technical knowledge of sound and a minimum of audio equipment, it is very easy. As for the imagination to write stories, we are also lucky to be well endowed with it.
Crazy Z.: I run and own a recording studio, so we took the time to produce those album in the best and most efficient way. That is how we released PASSIVE and AGGRESSIVE, our two-parted album, in one year, plus our KISS THE BOYS EP, starring great musicians from dark scene in Europe.
You also managed to get some other artist on your previous records (Ophelia, Alex Svenson, Marion Parfait & Anaïs Novembre). How do you look back at it and was it easy to get them on board?
Tall Bastard : For Anaïs, Marion and Ophélia it was very easy 'cos they are very good friends, almost family. You should ask them but I think they were just very happy to help ! For Alex from Foreign Resort that’s another story 'cos we barely know each other. We briefly met them after their show at the W-Festival and on-Line but we never really had the chance to hang out with them. Fortunately we’ll play two gigs with them in Germany next week so we’ll finally get to know each other and play together.
Crazy Z. We also worked with Mikkel from The Foreign Resorts, and Diamond Deuklo, famous or infamous artist from Caen in France. Alex and those guys just jumped in our KISS THE BOYS project, where we wanted to share songs with European artists in the goal to raise funds to help Ukrainian families facing the war. They all accepted immediately this challenge to write, produce, and share this EP.
The cool thing with this band is that you swing from EBM (Front 242-minded), synth/pop (Hooverphonic), post-punk, Electro to cold & new wave (The Cure) minded tracks. Is it easy to make these kind of swings?
Tall Bastard: I don’t know if it’s easy. It’s just US. JE T’AIME. We put ourselves in a room with our personalities, backgrounds and influences and this is what comes out !
dBoy: To be quite honest with you, personally, I don't feel like we have such a big gap in musical styles on our productions. On the other hand, the main guiding line in this project is to never get bored. That's our golden rule.
I dropped the name Reeves Gabrels whilst talking about the guitar play in one my reviews, what does it do with you? Do you agree with it? Check:
“A Million Suns shows off how good the guitar play is (even slightly reminds me of Reeves Gabrels). The Oh Oh’s really works well in this live version, just as the bass guitar!”
Tall Bastard : Hmm… If you mean that Reeves Gabrels doesn’t fit in The Cure like I don’t fit in JE T’AIME then I suppose I should leave the band! But I guess I should take that as a compliment - – though I’m still not sure it is (laugh).
dBoy : LOL! Tall doesn’t like Reeves! It's true that a guitarist with a blues touch in The Cure is very difficult for us.
If I listen to the vocals I would say it’s an English guy singing, but it’s not or am I still wrong? Has anybody said something about the accent (luckily you don’t sound like Soko aka “I’ll Kill her).
Tall Bastard : You are completely wrong! We pulled him out of the gutter of Manchester City and polished him in Paris ! And look at him now ! We are so proud !!
dBoy : Huh!
How do you proceed with writing of the songs (music & lyrics)? Is it a group effort or not?
Tall Bastard: We lock ourselves away from the light of the city and we talk, walk, laugh, argue, yell, cry, make love and finally after nine months of carrying the work, give birth !
dBoy: We're just about to release a little making of the PASSIVE / AGGRESSIVE studio session. You will discover all our secrets!
Crazy Z. : The good and the dirty ones.
What bands inspired you in the past?
Tall Bastard : The Mamas and the Papas.
dBoy: Babylon Zoo!
Crazy Z : Jean-Michel Jarre!
Good thing is that I ran into you with the benefit EP to help Ukraine. How did you come up with this idea and did it work out well (output-wise)?
Tall Bastard: We are not a political band. We are here for Entertainment purposes only. But we felt that we should do something for the victims of this war. It’s so close to us !
Crazy Z.: we just wanted to help innocent people. And the challenge was to make it quick. So we worked a lot with the guys and came up with this EP ready in one month. Moreover I think those three songs are some of the best we did.
About this EP: “They open the EP with My Sweetness (feat. Diamond 2klo): partially sung in French. I could call it cold war pop with a slice of an 80’s & Gainsbourg touch. I’m sure some DJ’s will have fun with this tune!” Why is this the only track you sing (partially) in French? Why not do it more?
dBoy: It's not me who sings the parts in French but Diamond 2klo, a French artist who is not well known here, he made a name for himself in the Casseurs Flowters project.
Crazy. He put his personality in the song, so his language. We do not wanted him to constrain himself. So it couldn’t be different.
What are your favorite tracks to perform and why?
Tall Bastard : They change according to my mood. I love up-tempo songs as well as more atmospheric ones. But these days Marble Heroes is my favorite.
dBoy: It totally depends of the mood of the night. But it's true that nervous post-punk songs are often the most fun to play on stage.
Crazy Z. Actually yes, my choice could change every night, depends of the country, the crowd, or… the kind of alcohol we drink before ! (laugh)
My favorite tracks so far are (but they change according to my mood) are: Marble Heroes, Blood on Fire, On The Phone, Leave Me For Dead, Kiss The Boys, Fuck Me and C++. What are the fan favorite ones (according to the feedback)?
Tall Bastard: I think we’ve heard everything and its opposite ! I can’t answer this question.
Crazy: And THAT is a pretty positive sign I guess!
Just before the launch of the live album, the reworked version of your first album you also launched two albums in a short time: PASSIVE & AGGRESSIVE. What was the idea behind those 2 different and opposite album names?
Tall Bastard: Those albums are two sides of the same coin. It was supposed to be a double album 'cos all the songs were written and recorded during the same period. We had a lot of time during covid. And for the names it’s the same: Passive aggression is a way of expressing negative feelings, such as anger or annoyance, indirectly instead of directly. Passive-aggressive behaviors are often difficult to identify and can sabotage relationships at home and at work.
Years ago you played in Belgium (W-Fest), how was it to play in front of the sea/beach (Oostende)?
Tall Bastard: I don’t think we saw the sea at the time ?
dBoy: Lol no we never saw the sea. We played in a huge dark venue, it was great! Even though nobody knew who we were.
On the 15/4 you’ll play at the Wol’n Back Festival in Belgium, what can we expect?
Tall Bastard: Pure energy, fun, drama, laughter and love. JE T’AIME was made to go on stage. This is the reason we exist.
dBoy : We've made quite a few friends in Belgium, and you can see them all in our Blood On Fire video, with Leslie Dykens in the lead role, she really did it!
Crazy Z. W-Fest was our second show ever, so I am so grateful for Belgium that warm welcomed us that fast when we began. So I want to give it back on stage at the Wol n Back Festival !
Is there new material coming up soon?
Tall Bastard : Maybe two albums and one EP in less than one year is ok for now ? But we’ll have a few surprises for re-releasing PASSIVE.
dBoy: Three albums! Tall you forget the live album!
Crazy Z: We know we will tour a lot this year, enjoying that PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE album on stage. And yes indeed, as PASSIVE is already sold-out, we are preparing a new edition with some surprises on it ! Please be ready to a new double album on that reedition.
If you could pick out one Huge band (you just would have to make the call or send a mail) and go on tour with them: who would it be and why? You can answer all separately.
Tall Bastard: I choose Depeche Mode. Their songs are sometimes very pop and sometimes deeper, they have had an amazing career, and fuck they are high class !
dBoy: It’s true that for JE T’AIME, Depeche Mode would fit in perfectly with us.
Crazy Z. Nothing more to say, I agree!
Something to close this interview? A last message towards the fans? Something I should have asked
Tall Bastard : The best way to discover us is to come and see us on stage. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
dBoy: I have just received my new boots and they are so stylish!
Crazy Z.: Come to us my darlings, we want to party hard after our shows in Italy next week, in France in February, at Wave Gothik Treffen in April, and in Spain in September!