We had a chance to catch up backstage with Hugues Payen and Zoe Colotis after their amazing performance at Bestival last Friday. After touring around the world for the last few months, fans are now eagerly anticipating a third album. We chatted to the Parisian electro swing and gypsy jazz duo, and asked them some questions – with some very interesting results!
How was the performance?
Zoe Colotis: Very warm!
Hugues Payen: It was very cool! Very early in the day, but very cool. It was the first time we have performed at Bestival. It is such a big festival to perform at in the UK.
You have also recently performed in London…
HP: Yes in Brixton. We had a British tour. But not much time to explore unfortunately. It was the hotel room mostly. We are trying to spend more time in the UK though.
ZC: We played a lot on tour last year so now we have to stop and complete our third album. Our priority is not to play anymore, it is to create new sound and then come back. And to kill it!
HP: Maybe we will have a chance to come back soon because the album will be re-released in the UK in December. We will see.
You’re influenced by swing and jazz. If you could live in the past, which decade would you choose to live in?
HP: I am not sure I would want to go back in time because we would not be able to do what we do musically, because of how times are at the moment. If not, we would not be able to make our music.
ZC: Let us just say that we like to live in this decade that we are in now but that we would like to take a vacation to the past – to say hi to Billie Holiday, but not necessarily live all our life there!
HP: Plus it is very good to have computers.
Are you working on the next (third) album? What is going to be different?
HP: We can’t tell! Not because I don’t want to tell you but because there is nothing to say – we are just at the beginning!
ZC: We have been on tour for months in Europe, the United States and Canada – then we go on to record the album. It is time to work now!
HP: Every day you have a different opinion about what you have to do. So it is hard to say what will happen.
How do you start the process of writing a new album?
HP: We have four good composers – she is not one of them [nudges Zoe playfully] – sorry! We all have our own opinions, then we send it to each other and if we don’t agree then your track must go in the garbage! That is how we work. It can take months to work on a song. To have the exact song we want. When just one of us does not agree with the artistic direction, we have to change it. That is part of the composing process.
What is the weirdest place you have ever performed?
ZC: We once played in a zoo in Portland with lots of giraffes around.
HP: Secret Garden Party was the craziest place we have been, people are very strange there.
ZC: But it was also about how we felt being there. Enjoying the festival… Oh yes, actually I remember the weirdest time. I remember! It was a cool concert in Germany: we had come back three times to do an encore and we didn’t have any more songs; so we started to get naked to have our showers but the crowd was still cheering outside “We want more!” We were like “Oh my god are they never going to stop?!” So we just put towels on and did another song naked on stage. Then people in the crowd took off their clothes too and came on stage, and everybody was naked – it was so funny! It was very special…
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio