Wednesday, May 25, 2005

RFC Interview: Stereo Total

Last Thursday, besides the much-hyped appearance of LCD Soundsystem and M.I.A. w/Diplo at Metro, there was another hot dance party going on across town. Berlin-based Stereo Total (pronounced "toe-TALL") was gracing the stage of the Abbey Pub for a headlining show with Les Georges Leningrad. If you've never experienced Stereo Total, you are seriously missing out. Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring mix up an infectious blend of electronic pop that fuses punk, electro, disco, new wave and hip-hop elements accompanied by vocals in a multitude of languages. Their music is classic, yet cutting edge...simple, yet brilliant. And most of as hell. RFC caught up lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Françoise Cactus after their show last week to learn more about this Euro-pop phenomenon known as Stereo Total... Radio Free Chicago: Your live shows are always a riot...what's the craziest live experience you've ever had? Françoise Cactus: We played once in the Philharmonia in Novrozibirsk (Siberia) at 6 p.m. On the huge stage we looked like 2 flies on a cake. The audience was expecting some classical music or maybe some jazz, so they were first a little bit surprised, but at the end some of them climbed on their armchairs and started dancing the kasatchock. RFC: The "Do The Bambi Tour" also includes Hawney Troof, Les Georges Leningrad and Gossip. How or why did you choose these bands to tour with? FC: Hawney is already an old friend of us. He visited us in Berlin and is singing with me on the song "I am Hungry" on the new Stereo Total CD. Les Georges Leningrad were recommended by a Canadian friend from Montreal who gave me their first record some years ago. The Gossip we don't know personally yet, but I am a fan of their music and I hope we will [become] friends on this tour. RFC: Do you have any other new favorite bands/artists that you'd like to work with? Any current music obsessions (new or old) that you've been listening to non-stop lately? FC: I would love to tour with Petty Booka, 2 Japanese girls who play the ukulele and sing cute songs about the rain. I just bought me a ukulele, so I could join them for one song or two. On this tour we're listening to the new Françoise Hardy record, to Green Day, to François de Roubaix ... RFC: How does touring in North America compare to touring in Germany, France or anywhere else in Europe? Of all the cities and countries you've toured, who has the most fun crowds? Who has the best dancers? FC: Here you have to drive a lot, because your country is so big...but [it's] more relaxed, the people don't drive so fast [like on the Autobahn], the landscapes look fabulous, and we enjoy the good food. I'm getting green asparagus every day, and some crazy stuff like blue soft shell crabs, we don't have that in Europe. We've got nice fans in every country, the Californian people seem to be always in a good mood, maybe because of the sun. There are great dancers in Spain and Brazil. RFC: Tell us more about the new album... FC: This is a long album with 20 songs. It is moody: some songs are funny, some are rebellious or sad. The sound is really good. Our mixer Cem Oral did a great job. A lot of songs are related to the movies "Christiane F.", "Week end" and "Cinemania". RFC: By our count, this is your 7th album? How did you end up on the Kill Rock Stars label? FC: Really? I thought it was our 6th. Let me think a little bit ... "Oh ah", "Monokini"' , "Juke Box Alarm", "My Melody", "Musique Automatique", "Do the Bambi". That's it! The other one, "Total Pop," is a sort of Best of. Our former label "Bobsled" closed its boutique, So we were looking for a new label. Kathleen from Le Tigre spoke about us to Slim from Kill Rock Stars, and he adopted us in his music family. Cool! RFC: So, how does one actually "do the bambi?" Can you describe it verbally? FC: It's a little dance you do with your eyes. You look up to your lover and move your eyelashes in a charming innocent sexy touch! RFC: Thanks for your time...anything else you'd like to add??? FC: I wanna kiss all our fans and invite them to come to our shows. Bisous bisous.


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