Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Teenagers, interview, 06/10/2007

The Teenagers, 6th October 2007

What happens when label of the moment Merok (home to the wired electrothrash noises of Klaxons and Comanechi) sign three impossibly cool Parisian boys straight out of an American Apparel ad? Quelle surprise: the kind of sultry, sex-crazed synth-pop that only a trio of dirty French not-quite-teenagers could make.

Quentin, Dorian and Michael started with just a Myspace page for a fake band and, as indie lore generally has it these days, 10,000 friends later the record deal came knocking. We demanded they explain themselves. “Thing is, we really did what we wanted with no pressure from anything or anyone,” explains Quentin. And how would they describe their sound? “It’s awesome.”

Though they list influences as diverse as Madonna, The Strokes, Slayer and Jacques lu Cont (the DJ pseudonym of the man behind Les Rhythmes Digitales), The Teenagers actually sound like they’ve taken the legacy of Serge Gainsbourg, stripped away all the romantic fluff and filled in the gaps with bitching, stalking, perversion and adolescent fornication, all delivered in a heavily accented monotone over Strokes-esque lo-fi synth. Oh, and then there’s ‘Starlett Johannson’, their ode to their favourite Hollywood actress (“I know you’re born in ‘84/ Half Polish, half Danish…You don’t believe in monogamy/ I’m not jealous Scarlett, will you marry me?”) Do they know what Scarlett thinks of stalker’s sonnet? “Nah! We wish though!”

This summer the band packed their synths and moved across the channel to our very city. “I moved here not to settle in Paris,” says Quentin, “and have some extra years of fun, without expecting any kind of musical surprise. I was looking for something more lively than Paris. I found it!” There are no plans to make the move a permanent one though. “We just moved because it was easier to be in London for the music. It’s really more fun here than Paris to go out at night - but the weather is terrible,” Dorian adds.

Having played a batch of gigs in London in the past couple of months, what does Quentin make of their English audience? “We played Push at the Mean Fiddler and it was a really good crowd.” Dorian agrees. “Our crowd is mostly English and every time we play in London it’s amazing.” So, a sex-crazed band and hundreds of adoring fans – there must be substantial groupie attention? “Kind of…,” muses Quentin, “isn’t it supposed to be a taboo?” Surprisingly shy when it comes to real girls rather than A-list starlets perhaps? “It's terrible to see how much girls like boys in bands,” hints Dorian sarcastically.

Starlett Johansson is released on 12th November on Merok and The Teenagers are playing the Vice tour with Crystal Castles and These New Puritans later this year.

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