With “Ici-Bas”, the Lanvins father and son compose a rock album tinged with blues, committed and touching, a chronicle of a disturbed century that continues to dream. Meeting with Manu, author, composer, performer and producer.
Your father is an actor. Were you born a musician?
I don’t know if you can say that. My mother, Jennifer, is often forgotten in this story. It was a Golden Disc in France, though. And I hung out a lot more in recording studios and concerts than on movie sets. I was caught up in the energy of the musicians very early on. My parents used to take me to concerts a lot. We went to see Téléphone, Renaud… I was in the backstage, on stage before the beginning of the shows. I was attracted to it because I had access to it. It’s my mother who is at fault, after all! And my father supported it: at home, we received much more musicians and singers than comedians, even if Eddy Mitchell is a bit of both. This vibration must have resonated with me.
How would you describe your musical style?
Blues rock, or rock blues. The purists say heavy blues, but you kind of lose people at this point (laughs). Let’s just say that I play a very very very strong blues, far from the blues of the older generation.
Tell us about the duo you form in “Ici-Bas”? Who had the idea for this album?
This album was born from a desire to do something together. During the confinement, we were like two idiots in Paris, I said to him “Here, if we do it? It’s been an exciting time, writing and creating together.
Contrary to what you might think, I don’t influence him that much. This project brings to the forefront what has always existed in Gérard’s life. I like to direct for others, like Calvin Russel for example. I like to sit in the studio, create a kind of trend book, find inspirations… In this case, I worked on Gérard’s texts, his words, his way of writing. He has a particular phrasing. It is raw in its formulations. With Coluche, he developed shocking, popular formulas that everyone understands. He has always scratched in notebooks. At one point, it was obvious to make an album of it, and who better than him to sing his words?
I knew Gérard’s colors, his possibilities to do it, his influences, his taste for The Band in particular. I thought about it when I composed. Of course, there are blues notes and guitar, but this is not my album sung by Gérard: it’s an album tailored to him. I feel like a fashion designer.
Do you know Liege? Have you ever heard of FIFCL?
I know a bit about Liege, yes. I often play in Verviers, at the Spirit of 66 : it’s a stop on our way when we go on tour, a place where I love to play. I am more often in Verviers than in Liège, but it is always a pleasure to play in Belgium. There’s something about this country! The Anglo-Saxon culture is very well assimilated by the artists and musicians. They know the codes of the music I propose better than the French public.
On the other hand, I must admit that I didn’t know about the FIFCL: since I know that we are invited, I am interested in it, and I recognized a lot of faces on the website (laughs). I think we’ll be happy to participate.