|Q: You were born in 1960. Where did you grow up?
A: i was born in 1959 and i grew up in Paris with my mom mostly
Q: Was it a big family?
A: No ,a small family ,i got no brother ,no sister ,and my dad was not
home since my parents got divorced before i was born .
Q: When did your interest in music start?
A:I use to go on vacation at my aunt's and i had a cousin who was
listening to Hendrix ,Crosby ,stills ,nash and Young
and other stuff like that .That's when i got some interest in rock music
.It was in 1970 i think .
Back to Paris i bought my first single :Black Sabbath ,Paranoid .My first
LP was "band of gypsies" by hendrix .
Q: The years 1965-75 was an interesting time.
What was it like growing up in Paris during these years?
A:Hmmmmmmm it was nice ,french music is a shame
but i could find all the english and
american records i wanted .
I was a number one fan of the who
at the time .I remember going to
the flea market on saturdays and
selling records there ,that was a way
to get records i wanted too .Last
thing ,Paris didn't have the social
problems it has now ,it was a
lot safer to just "go out" then .
Q: So "going out" where did you go to?
A:I started to go out when i was
around 16 ,i left school the day of
my birthday and was finally free
to do only music.
That s also when i joined Shakin
Street who was actually called "speedball'
at the time .I would go to
clubs with the band
,like "the rose bonbon"
,"the Gibus" and "the golf
Q: How long had you been
playing drums by then?
A:Not long ,i had been to music school for 2 years and then one year to a
drum school ,but i didn t learn anything interesting as far as rock
Q: Was drums your first instrument?
A:guitar was my first instrument ,i wanted to play piano but it was too
expensive to buy .
Q: How did you meet up with the other members of Shakin' Street?
A:I saw an add in a rock magazine askin for a drummer to form "the
biggest band ever" .Louis bertignac had put up this add ,we played
once together and i had no news from him for a while .He called me back
later to ask me to join his new band .That was shakin street .As i said
the band was called "speedball" then .The members were :eric
lewy ,fabienne ,louis bertignac ,corinne marienneau and me .
Q: Going out was that also a way of promoting the band? Did these clubs
A:Yes ,there was a few clubs with live bands .The "rose bonbon"
is where we played our first show
ever .We were not very good then lol .
Q: What kind of crowd/audience
was it at these clubs? This was
prior to the break of punk/new
wave in France I believe?
A:That was right when the punk era
started ,the audience was mixed
tho ,punks ,straight ,hard rockers
etc..... .Btw ,mont de marsant
was our second or third gig ,
the very first one was at the Rose
Q: What was your repetoire then?
A:some of the songs we were
playing are on the first LP .
we played covers too ,
stones songs mostly .
Q: But then... before
the Vampire Rock LP,
the line-up changed.
How did Mike and Armik
get into the band?
A:well ,we had to fire Louis
Bertignac and his girlfriend
Corinne from the band cause they would stop rehearsals at 8pm to
watch tv (yes it s true) So we got another guitar player named Patrice (he
s now in my new band with nono ) ,and a new bass player but i can t
remember his name .This line up didn t last long and sometimes Nono (that
was before Trust got together) would play some gigs with us because we had
no second guitar player .one day i was told by Eric that we had a new
guitar player named Armik and a new bass player named Mike .I have no idea
how they ended up in the band .fabienne knows i guess .
Q: When I listen to Vampire Rock what strikes me is the dancing quality of
your drumplaying. The music really makes you wanna dance.
You went to England and was very well recieved by the musicpress there.
What was the tour like?
A:We played mostly France and England .In france we had the average rock
audience and it all went fine ,we openned for Eddie and the hot rods for a
while too and that was fine ;In england we played all the rock clubs
like the 100 club ,the Marquee club etc....the problem(to me) was that we
openned for punk bands but we were not punk at all ,we had long hairs and stuff
.CBS was trying to tell people
we were a punk band by puting punk stickers on the LP cover .
One thing i was happy with was beeing a drummer
,i was too far for the punks ti spit on me hehe .
Q: Guess there must have been
hordes of A&R people, around
that time, eager to discover the next
Sex Pistols, he,he. But it is true. On
both Shakin' Street LP's you get a
very new wavesque presentation ,
though on Vampire Rock the
model for the production/mixing
seem also guided toward a
Rolling Stones like sound.With
your second LP Shakin' Street
with Pearlman producing things
of course came out a bit more
theatric whilst in reality
you were more of a
serious rockband with a
That is heard more clearly
on the live CDs.
On Vampire Rock you have
Ian Stewart (Rolling Stones)
on piano on some of the
songs. How was it recorded?
A:the first Lp was recorded at the Olympic studios in london .the
"producer"was a wanker named patrice fabien and he had never
produced a band before .CBS asked him to do the job and he really covered
his ass by hiring extra musiciens ,a bass player ,a drummer and a guitar
player . that was really makin me nervous to have a drummer ready to play
my parts .I have to say that Eric didn t care about eventualy having other
musiciens playing on our first record ,but then for those who know Eric it
won t be a big surprise .This recordings are not good memories for
me and i like only a few songs on that LP .
Q: Ah, I see... well, I really like all the songs on Vampire Rock though I
believe the production in general could have been much more atmospheric.
Hmm... your succes didn't diminish but then Armik had to leave the band
due to living out the rock'n'roll lifestyle a little too happily. However
then got connected with producer Sandy Pearlman who had previously
produced Blue Öyster Cult and The Dictators. You got a bigger contract
and went to San Francisco to record your second LP Shakin' Street with
Boss replacing Armik. How was the trip to S.F. and working with Sandy
A:Armik was so much into dope that when
Sandy signed us as manager ,he fired
him and that was good news
to me at list since i never liked his
guitar playing .sandy came to Paris ,
rented a very cheap 4 track studio
and brought Ross with him .Even
tho we couldn t record anything
good in that studio we knew the
band was going to get to another
level with Ross in the band .
Sandy rented a house and an apartment
in san Francisco for us ,we bought
some equipement ,guitars ,amps ,
drums(the dictators drumkit) and
we went to the Automatt
studios to record that
2nd LP .Working with
sandy was hard cause
he's a perfectionist ,wa
played those songs over
and over again till it was right .
The recording of the basic
tracks took about 3 weeks .
Armando perezza came and
played the percussion solo on "soul dealer" and that was it
.The whole recording and mixing process took 9 months .Sandy and Eric
finished it in N.Y ,Allen Lanier came to record some synth and piano there
but i don t know much about how the mixing sessions went since Eric always
considered shakin Street as "his thing" and never told us much
about it .Anyway ,working with sandy was really great ,he is a real
was the sound engineer,Glen Kotlokin who had work earlier with
Hendrix,Joplin end more .
Q: During your stay in S.F. you met Blue Öyster Cult that was then in the
studio recording Mirrors. Sandy no longer produced them but was theirs,
Black Sabbath's and Shakin' Street's manager. You were introduced to
Albert Bouchard's Imaginos project and then toured with both bands. Tell
me about your involvement with the Imaginos project and the tour.
A:I saw BOC recording "mirrors" in N.Y ,in the CBS studios .I
met Albert later when we did our first stadium gig (the day on the green)
in Oackland .It's only after 2 months touring together that Albert asked
me and Mike if we would play
on his solo LP Imaginos .Of course we
said yes and we started rehearsing
before shows in BOC's dressing room
where they had amps and a drumkit .
I had no idea Shakin Street would
broke up right after the tour.
So when the tour ended for us we
came back to france ,Ross and
Mike had left the band so we got
another bass player and another
guitar player ,we played 2 dates
and that was it ,we cancelled the
rest of french tour .Fabienne was
living in Oackland ,so the new
bass player and i went there and
we waited for Eric to join us and
continue the band but............
Eric who was in france
still had formed a new
Shakin Street without
us with a male singer .
That was of course a
big mistake and CBS told
Eric to fuck off .I came
back to France ,lost contact
with Albert and got into
drugs for a while .
Maybe you understand now why we never asked Eric to join us for the
Olympia gig in 2004 .
Q: I had been wondering why Eric did not join you for the 2004 re-union.
Must have been pretty hard to see the band fall apart after you had come
Musically how did you spend the rest of the 80ies?
A: .I moved to california where my wife was .I worked for Tower record a
for the Wharehouse(another record shop) .It's only in the 90s when i came
to france that i started playing again really .
Q: What made you want to go back to playing?
A:Well,people asked me to play ,so i played lol .I played with the Jet
boys but that was a mistake,no talent ,6 months waisted .
Then i joined a
band called Possada they were good but there was too much dope
around so i
quit .Before i quit we recorded a song for a johnny thunders tribute,
ended up playin with chris wilson
from the flamin' groovies on one song .
The producer ,mark Zermati(skydog
records)ask me to play with Henri
Padovani who was playing guitar
with "Police"in the beginning
axel bauer,a french guitar player .
I ended up playin 3 songs for this
tribute .Later Giselle from the
Loco Lizards ,a N.Y band asked
me to play with her
on a stooges
tribute LP .We did "dirt" ,great cover .
Then i saw Fabienne in Paris ,
i was working in a recordingstudio then .
I asked her to come over ,we recorded
one song and decided with Pierre-
henri Samion (owner of the studio)
to produce no mad nomad .
It took 5 years to complete .
After that ,i played with different
bands/artists ,mostly in bars
but i got fed up playin for a
drunks so i stopped
playing drums for a while and
started workin on ac22 ,my own project .
Q: Yeah, No Mad Nomad really appeared as some kind of 'mystery CD' to me.
Fabienne is right up there with Iggy, Bowie and Lou Reed I think.
It's very well-produced.Well I guess... It's never been easy to be a
talented drummer with a significant style. What kind of material do you
like to work with?
A I actually never got a chance to play what i would like to play really
.I would love to play some real heavy stuff like 'kashmir",maybe i'l
lget a chance to do this with Nono's new band .I'd love to play funk stuff
too ,but never got a chance .my fav songs i played drums on are "box
you" and no mad nomad .what about "cities on flame" ? .That
s a song i wouldlike to play on .
Q: That's interesting. So you mean that you're still looking for more
A:Yes ,next project is puting Led Zeppelin back in bizzness with me on
Q: Yeah, well wouldn't be bad now would it, ha, ha. What about your new
with Nono? What material do you play in the band?
A:we play rock stuff of course but it's too early
to tell more about it .For the moment
we jam a lot ,record it ,then we decide
what we will use or not .Nono brings
his Mc Intosh to record stuff which
makes it very easy to sort all the
recordings ,myself i record all
rehearsals on video so i
what we played .Might be usefull
for a "makin of"
Q: Who's doing the singing in the
A:It's a guy named Patrice ,he was
a guitar player in shakin street
for a while a long time ago .
Q: Okay. I think we've it
about covered? Any
A:yes ,thnx for doing
this interview Anders .:))))))))
Q: Thanks J-Lou.
Anders Röder, Copenhagen,
Photo by Laurent Raffatin