Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GET SCHOOLED :: Sébastien Tellier

The 33 year old French multi-instrumentalist is no stranger to being erotic, from having fellow French friends like Air as well as making this year's album Sexuality, an "11-track meditation on lovemaking." After having his song featured in this year's Eurovision Song Contest (which is sort of like an American Idol between European countries), Tellier is landing in San Francisco Thursday, December 4 to bring his take on the new Parisian pop, as well as sitting down with us to talk about soft sex and V-neck shirts.


Q: We are very thrilled to have you back in the States. I went into American Apparel a month or so ago and noticed ads for your new album, Sexuality. How did you get involved with the brand name to do a promotion which essentially released your album before record stores, [at] at a clothing store?

A: It was by chance. American Apparel and I share the same aesthetic for soft sex and easy color, and that links us with a similar philosophy. They even made a Sébastien Tellier t-shirt for me and started the promotion in July.

Q: I totally felt a perfect pairing. I have a bunch of friends who purchased the Sébastien Tellier tee. It's an ultra-deep V [neck], oversized tee, right?

A: Yes, you're correct.

Q: Speaking of your new album, Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo [that also did Daft Punk] produced it. How did you connect with him?

A: Guy-Manuel is the best producer. He's really clever and doesn't use his brain when it comes to music; Guy feels the music. As for me, I'm a composer of the music and don't see some things that Guy does, so he's very good and does everything that I don't see. I'm a composer and I'm always thinking about the music from the beginning until the end of the day. It's always on my mind and he's a producer, always, and coming up with new things.

Q: He's brilliant, and your new album is great as well. Can you tell us about your live shows? Does it only feature you on stage?

A: It's a really intimate setting. I do have a band; there's four of us on stage. I've been on tour for the last year so this is a new band for this tour. I play guitar and channel. I want to see kisses in the crowd and have everyone excited to hear the songs.

Q: What about lights, visuals, projections? Do you have all of that stuff?

A: Lights are important to mood. We use soft pink lights that remind us of the 70's; it's a very natural setting, but also electronic. I want it to feel more real as if the spirit is "woody" so sometimes there's not too much light.

Q: Your video for "Divine" (which was also iTunes "Video of the Week" for New Music Tuesday) puts you in various venues like a library, liquor store, a ferris wheel, a police lineup. What was going through your head, or does it have meaning?

A: It wasn't trying to be hip; the video has no meaning. I just made it because I don't live just one life. If you're going to be happy, you got to live your life how you want to.

Interview by Shahim Ali

Pictures courtesy of management

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