A short chat with David and Fabrice from French band Yé Yé
Hugger: By way of introduction can you give a quick overview of Yé Yé for those who may be unfamiliar with your music?
Yé Yé: Yé Yé was born in 1999 as a duo (Fabrice and David). We’re based in Rouen and at this time we began to experiment with sampler, synths. We released our first album in 2003 with some really nice guests (Shivika from Papas Fritas and Xavier from Tahiti 80)
H: Yé Yé wasn’t your first brush with the music industry (Tahiti 80 and Les Années Pop) so how did those experiences shape what the band has become?
YY: We were both involved in traditional indie pop bands but were a bit fed up with it, rehearsals and so on. Big beat, French touch, DJ Shadow were changing the musical scene so we took the train with our indie pop background verse-chorus songs but with samplers and loops.
H: You scored a hit in Japan with a single from your first album called ‘Eurostar’. Was there a temptation to use that song as a template on future releases?
YY: No template. ‘Eurostar’ was a good song according to us. We are just following our instinct and construct tracks when a good idea comes to mind.
H: How did you manage to gather so many luminaries from the 1990’s scene for last year’s ‘My Trap’ album?
YY: Everything was done by email in a simple way. We love the Boo Radleys, we love the Posies. We had several tracks that needed a singer. Sice from the Boo Radley’s is a very nice guy and very talented. He’s not in the music business anymore, that was very simple: send me the tracks, i will find a voice on it. When we had to record the voice, we looked for a studio in Oxford and Mark Gardener was opening his own in oxford. We are label-mates (Anorak Supersport from Belgium) so we made the voice tracking at Mark’s. He took his Martin guitar to play on ‘Supa Vixen’. Sice and Mark played together on one of our tracks, it was a very nice musical moment. With Jon Auer it was done the American way, send me some money on my paypal account and in two weeks I will send you a voice track!!
H: Was their presence important for the type of sound you were aiming for?
YY: We want only one singer to have a real voice unity on our album. Jon Auer’s track was made a year later.
H: Do you think that being based away from the traditional hub for new music, Britain and the U.S., is a disadvantage?
YY: Not sure, France is now a respected place for electronic music. Belgium is also a good place for indie music. For all that we are not well known in France. Our album was badly distributed in France and ‘My Trap’ is only available in digital format because of the record crisis. Our Japanese label didn’t want to distribute ‘My Trap’ but it’s nice to know that it reaches Ireland!
H: Have you any new works in the pipeline and if so what kind of sound can we expect?
YY: Yé Yé as we know it is probably dead and we are working on a new project which is more electro stuff. We made a electro mashup of two Yé Yé songs and you can have a listen here:
H: Finally, do you think the internet has been good or bad for artists like yourself?
YY: We need to think about music differently. In a way it’s good, because the time to market is now very short so you can put out an EP every month if you want, but it’s pretty hard if you want to make a living with your music. The best opportunities are in advertising or video game scoring.
Yé Yé – Pope Of The Pop