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jetaime promo2022Interview with

Dany Boy, Tall Bastard and Crazy Z. from Je T’Aime

JE T'AIME are undoubtedly one of the most hard-working and passionate artists I know. With many summer shows behind and autumn ones ahead, they do not slow down for even a moment. With the planned release of ‘Aggressive’, the angrier, harsher sister to ‘Passive’, I decided to ask for an update. And indeed, there is a lot going on! About the new release, past and the future and about live shows that may actually be quite dangerous…

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Many things have changed since we last spoke in March 2021. In the world but also, I’d imagine, for you as a band. You played many major festivals and smaller concerts, and the release of ‘Aggressive’ is just around the corner… Could you summarise the past few months for JE T'AIME?
Crazy Z.: Indeed, we have kept ourselves busy. We released ‘Passive’ in February, then ‘Kiss The Boys’ EP in May, and now ‘Aggressive’ in October. I definitely never thought I would release three works for the same project in less than a year like that one day. We also organised some new Goth evenings in Paris (also called the “Kiss The Boys” parties) where we invited some fresh new bands.
dBoy: I’ve finally found love, I’ll probably be able to quit music at last.
Tall Bastard: We can’t quit each other. I think we’re gonna get married. I spend more time with those guys than with my wife: recording, touring, meeting, rehearsal. It never stops.

RoD: In what way have the global events influenced you as artists?
Crazy Z.: At the beginning of the band, we did not want to be political, and just wanted to create entertainment and fun. But this year, we did not manage to stay reserved and had to release that EP, ‘Kiss The Boys’, and we gave back all the profits to help the Ukrainian people during the crisis.
dBoy: We really don’t deserve this planet, we should all die and leave it alone. Well, I’m a bit more annoyed today to think that, my darling is so pretty.
Tall Bastard: It is a human catastrophe and so close to us western Europe. But we remain non-political. I mean, who am I to really understand what’s really going on. It is also a communication war. I feel completely overwhelmed by what’s going on in Ukraine.

RoD: What was the most life-learning live show experience for you?
Crazy Z.: Maybe the live show when dBoy broke his ankle last year! Because we continued the planned gigs the day after; so, I learnt that day that we would keep on going on tour and playing music whatever happens! (laughs)
dBoy: Oh man, it was really horrible those two concerts sitting on a bar stool; I hope I never experience that again. I really understand what Axl Rose and Dave Grohl went through. It was a real bummer. There was also that time in Montpellier, south of France, when I fell off the stage while trying to get to the audience. I think I could have killed myself. Besides, one day, a very good friend of mine told me: your epitaph will be: he died stupidly.

jetaime aggressive

RoD: Tell me more about the new videos you produced, especially the most recent one, ‘Blood on Fire’. All your videos have that particular tint very characteristic to you. How do you plan your work on the set? To what extent is it improvised? What does inspire specific stories?
Crazy Z.: Nice transition! This music video has been shot in Belgium, in the very one bar where our dBoy broke his ankle. Thanks to the boys and girls working and partying in the bar; we kept on touring the days after, despite the broken bones, the blood, the tears. We wanted to pay tribute to the kindness of those boys and girls. So, we decided to get back to this very one bar, met them once again, and asked them to party with us while we were shooting them.
dBoy: This bar, the Warzone, is completely crazy, entirely decorated in the 80s. There’s even Jaws coming out of the wall. It was Leslie who invited us to go and have drinks in this bar where she works as a bartender, it was just after our gig in Liège, a few hours before the ankle accident. It was obvious that Leslie would be perfect in this role of a young alcoholic girl.

RoD: Tell me more about ‘Aggressive’ - one could see it as the complimentary to ‘Passive’ released in February 2022. How do you see both - as two sides of a coin or rather contrastive material? When are you planning to release it?
Crazy Z.: It actually is a unique album, sliced in two parts. We may call it a double album, but at first there were those 20 new songs together, composed in the same studio at approximately the same period. So, we thought a lot in what manner we should release it, and the idea finally came to organise them, split them, and call the first part ‘Passive’ and now the second part ‘Aggressive’.
dBoy: Passive-aggressive behaviour is a set of so-called passive attitudes that indirectly express a hidden hostility that is not openly assumed or remains unconscious to the subject. This double album closes the story where we follow this anti-hero since the first album. His wife has left him, his daughter who has grown up hates him. Even his dog has run away from home. This guy is an absolute loser. That’s why I wanted to kill him on the last song of ‘Aggressive’. I’ve been so tired of this guy for the last four years.

RoD: Would you prefer your fans to listen to them both or treat them as two separate entities?
dBoy: It’s up to them to do what they want. Personally, I very rarely listened to ‘Use Your Illusion I’ and ‘II’ in order, the same for NIN’s ‘The Fragile’. Finally, my only hope is that the public will enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed writing it.
Tall Bastard: Yes agree. Anyway, people rarely listen to a full album anymore. If they listen to three songs it’s already cool, I think. It is now so easy to jump from one song to another, from one artist to the other.

RoD: I listened to it, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot. Not even that I have any particular fav (well, perhaps ‘Winter Lake’…), but yes, I was impressed, actually. The pace is fast, emotions reach their peak, guitars are hard-hitting, and one of the first things that strike about the album is that it is very, very intensive. It's not like you are particularly melancholic in general, but the tempo on ‘Aggressive’ is remarkable, even having your usual in mind.
Crazy Z.: We guess that you mean that it is well named then (smile). To me, it is following the story of our hero in a way. Since our first album, which was the first chapter of our hero's life also, we kept on developing his mind, and how he feels during his life. JE T'AIME was a period of discover, fake joy and blindly. ‘Passive’ was more about disillusionment and melancholy. ‘Aggressive’ could be the time for despair and wrath before death.
dBoy: What depresses me are all those lyrics I have to learn; I should have called this record ‘Depression’.
Tall Bastard: Well, we play Goth right? So easy listening is ok for a while and then I guess we need to had more depth. Keeping the same up-tempo rhythm but trying to be more serious at the same time. It has always been in the back of our head I think: to become more and more dense album after album.

jetaime promo2022

RoD: The only slower tracks are ‘Gone Away’, ‘The Last Words of a Sad and Pathetic Hero’, and, to some extent, ‘Elbow Beach’. You wanted the album to mark a more dynamic, nomen omen, “aggressive” trait? Why “Passive - Aggressive”? What does the correlation stand for? How are we to understand it?
dBoy: For me the passive-aggressive character in the story is the hero’s daughter. And I wanted to pay homage to her, because in the end she suffered the most in this story. And it is clear in my mind that this young girl must know very well this passive-aggressive state. Her father is such an asshole. It’s not often said, but if you pay attention, the razor blade says: twenty sketches from hell. So, the real name of this record is: “Passive/Aggressive, twenty sketches from Hell”. As far as the music is concerned, yes, we clearly understood which songs worked best on stage with JE T'AIME in the first three years. So, we wanted to write more songs that would fit the energy of the stage. It’s very calculated actually.

RoD: At ‘Kiss the Boys’ - my second favourite song on the album - you cooperate with Alex Svenson from THEN COMES SILENCE - how did you guys meet, and what made you start a collab?
Crazy Z.: We are following their work on the Internet, and we crossed our roads during festivals and events. It always a pleasure to meet them. I really discovered their music with the album Machine and really liked it. Since, we kept in touch, and when we decided to make that ‘Kiss the Boys’ EP for Ukraine, it was natural for us to share it with several European artists, to show that being together with no borders is the key during dark times.
dBoy: I think my fav song is ‘Gone Away’, so smoothy.

RoD: In October, we will meet in Wroclaw during the “Return to the Batcave” festival (6th to 8th Oct 2022). Are there any other live dates set still for this year? I know your calendar is quite packed, to be honest. Do you like keeping yourselves busy?
Crazy Z.: Oh yes, we are so thrilled to play in a lot off country until the end of the year. I hope we will see the people at our next shows: in Hamburg on 07/10, in Switzerland and Italy at the end of October, at the Autumn Moon Festival in Germany… We also have the chance to play with SHE PAST AWAY in Nantes, France, and we will end the tour in Paris with CORPUS DELICTI on 17/12.
dBoy: I can’t wait to play at “Return To The Batcave” festival. I went there once, as a tourist, alone. Tomasz had booked me a slot for a DJ set, I think on Saturday late at night. I stayed there for four days. At the beginning I didn’t know anybody, but I had five hundred new friends. And the city is very nice; I love the atmosphere.

RoD: You interact with your audience very vividly during your live shows; I’m happy to see nothing has changed in this respect. I understand the pandemic did not make you more careful. Pandemic or broken ankles…
dBoy: I’m sure I’d get there in the end: dying on stage.
Tall Bastard: On the contrary. You must have felt trapped for the last two years. It just feels too good to be free and on stage again!

RoD: Are you working on something new already? What can we expect from you in the next few months?
Crazy Z.: We are always working for sure, but right now we are focusing on the music videos for ‘Aggressive’, and on booking the live shows!
dboy: And we have these ten new songs to put together in rehearsal. We have the ‘Aggressive’ release party on December 17th in Paris with Corpus Delicti, so we have to be ready! To be quite honest, I’m really looking forward to starting a new musical page with the band.

RoD: Thank you for your time and see you very soon!
Thank you Karo and see you at RTTB!

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