Four psychosomatic weirdos – as Low Bat would say – just released an EP called “Jean-Luc”. Who is Jean-Luc? That moody yet dreamy punk standing near the bar in Berlin’s arkaoda? Those, who were following Knekelhuis lately, had an opportunity to hear how modern new wave poetry sounds like. “Jean-Luc” release revives listeners’ imagination and helps to recover from the rotten smell of banality. The lyrics, the sounds, the atmosphere. This is what Low Bat told about this gem, as well as a bit about himself.
Louis, tell about yourself. How did a political science and sociology student become a part of Berlin music scene?
I had to do an internship at the political representation of the European Commission in Berlin – after finishing my master and putting my suit really deep into my closet, I started to put some records at a local bar in Neukölln. But already before, thanks to my brother, sister as well as Thomas Zehnle and Locked Groove Records in Strasbourg, I was already having an appetence for music, such as post-punk, prog-rock and french hip-hop and rap.
Where are the roots of “Jean-Luc” project? How did it start? What about the creative process – is it a challenge or a meditative experience, where you can loose your head and make the worries go away?
Antoine Cramatte, a friend from Switzerland, told me once that his childhood’s friend (Luc) was in Berlin for a few days, and that I should meet him, because he was thinking that we could be a good match. So we did, and indeed, it was a good match. The day after, Luc took me to the old studio of Mr. Ariel and we started to jam. We called the first jam Jean-Luc, and played a few months later at a first jam-live-set in Le Mouton Noir, in Fribourg. A few months after, Luc and I invited Lenny to come to DJ with me in Fribourg, as well, and then we started to produce with him and Luc – that’s how we did “40 Stunden” during this session. So – “Jean-Luc” is almost dada and out of the blue.
Introduce us – who are the people behind the “Jean-Luc”?
There are 3 talented musicians and myself. Luc Bersier and Ariel Garcia are involved in the theatre scene in Switzerland, producing the music for pieces – Luc studied sound engineering and Ariel is a mega musician, playing all kind of instruments, such as trumpet, banjo, and tutti quanti. Leonard Prochazka is a self-made musician from Vienna – his other alias is Geier aus Stahl, you should check it – it is as sexy as my big toes.
Krautrock and poetry, influenced by different cultures, contexts, full of different sounds, rich yet playful. A piece of art. That’s what I hear while listening to “Des litres d’essence”. What is the message you’re sending to the listeners?
Boa, thanks for the kind words. It depends, sometimes or most of the time is not to forget to head-bang, better with only your slip-ons. I’m writing the texts, so I put a different meaning than everyone else into the songs, I guess – oscillating between some poetry and some factual descriptions about modern phenomena. “Holiday”, for example, is a poem I wrote about the song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday – it’s about slavery and free workers. More than that, I don’t think there is any message put into the music we are doing (I only can speak for myself) – better to have a discussion about something specific, in order to develop some judgments about the certain topic.
What is happening during the live performance? Is it theatrical?
Let see – we are going to prepare for the live just before the release show (on the 14.06 at arkaoda Berlin). Might be some theatrical vibe, but not too much – if something, then a few body contacts.
How did the paths with Mark Knekelhuis cross? Are you enjoying this collaboration? How the label can enrich the creation?
We met at a mini festival that friends of mine have been organising in France for a few years by now (it’s called ZDA – the best one, by the way). And then slowly, over the years, until I wrote him to say to him that we were willing to work with him. Mark is superb, full of support, great thoughts – he is this beast with a tall hearth. So yes, I think, I can speak for all of us: we are all enjoying it! For the rest: it is good for the creation to feel supported by a label, so we will try to develop this relation more and more. We are already cooking the next release.
What is “Jean-Luc” dreaming about?
“Jean-Luc” is dreaming of a small cabin in the mountains (not too high, maybe in the pre-alps in south of France), where he would sit outside while sipping some Grenache-Carignan and listening to the screaming wolfs (and there are loads of them in this part of the alps). But I think that he is also dreaming of some small dirty places to play and scream at, to awake some zombies and put them into a trance, as a french people call it – manie dansante. Ah, and if there was any devise from him, I think it would be – “say my name, say my name, when nobody’s around you, say baby I love you” – Kashual Plastic for life!