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La Nuit Americaine - Interview

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 10 / 1 / 2002

La Nuit Americaine - Interview


La Nuit Americaine, an Italian post-rock band from Bologna, has just released its first album 'Serenadze'. The whole credit for this lies down to Christian, the central force behind the 'night' idea. What is most striking about Christian is his endless

La Nuit Americaine, an Italian post-rock band from Bologna, has just released its first album 'Serenadze'. The whole credit for this lies down to Christian, the central force behind the 'night' idea. What is most striking about Christian is his endless desire to make his musical dream true. After his former band My Blue Dome split, he began LNA as a solo project on which he played guitar and sang. With the help of Emiliano (bass) and Teresa (violin), his beautiful dream is starting to shape up. If you want to know what the whole story is behind La Nuit Americaine, don't miss this unique chance to find out. Christian spoke to Pennyblackmusic exclusively, in a rare one-off interview, about his amazing dream. PB: Until 1999 you played in My Blue Dome. Could you tell me who else was in the band and what My Blue Dome's music was like? CH: My Blue Dome were basically Emiliano (bass), Raffaello (guitar) and me (guitar and voice),and then two other musicians, Marcello (bass) and Zeus (drums), who helped us out at recordings. We made a 6-track EP, which aroused little interest in Italy, but it was maybe a little bit too ambitious and was never taken seriously enough. Four or five years ago it seemed that all debut Italian bands should have something to do with June of '44, or in general with that kind of post/punk sound to be appreciated by Italian indie magazines and labels. The main problem of the Italian indie scene is that its bands are firstly compared to American ones, and then appreciated or not depending on that. The most appreciated bands are in fact the ones who seem to be the most subjected to American sounds and trends. Now things seem to be slightly better, but not because we have finally moved away from the American style,but just because the whole indie scene is changing. Anyway, My Blue Dome's sound had nothing to do with that, I think it could be compared to the slow shoegazing sound of early 90s English bands. PB: What led you to start a solo band after My Blue Dome split? CH: When I started to play with Raffaello and Emiliano, I felt something good could happen to us. The EP was going to be released by two good labels in Italy and in the USA, but it didn't happen. The disillusion this brought made Raffaello and the others leave the project. I felt it was as my fault as I had forced the rest of the band into it and I lived with it as my whole responsibility. I decided, therefore, not to look for other bands and to go on by myself. I had the unbearable feeling I was leaving something only half completed and I could not accept it. PB: Why did you decide to name the band La Nuit Américaine? CH: LNA is a cinematographic effect, which was used by old-fashioned Hollywood. It's a special filter that can be put over the camera to give the director the chance to shoot during the day, but which obtains a night effect. I often imagine I am a movie, where the protagonist tries to come to momentary conclusions of his life, what he has lost and what he has found. It's just like a memorandum for the future. I also wanted a name that was out of keeping with usual names for musical projects. PB: How did you meet Emiliano and Teresa ? CH: Emiliano played with Raffaello and I in My Blue Dome, and since the band split he's remained really close to me and helped me a lot. I met Teresa when I worked in a record shop. She always arrived with her violin on her shoulders. We often talked about the chance to play together, but it never happened. Then, after the release of the album, I had some shows fixed in Italy and in France so I asked her to play with me. I think her violin helps my music a lot PB: The word 'serenadze' can be a synonym for a love song or just a gentle piece of music. What does the name of the album mean to you? CH: Serenadze is a play of words between Serenade, a love song, and Serenade, the commercial name for a psychiatric medicine, which is prescribed in states of unrest and delirium. They both help you to reach a sort of momentary serenity and the combination of the two words means the price you have to pay to reach that-a serenity through a conquested loss. PB: Serenadze is available exclusively on Pennyblackmusic with special artwork. Why have you chosen to make it available with this artwork ? CH: The CD is out in France on a Parisian label. I don't know much more about it than that. I don't even have a copy of my own amd I don't really know what is happening there. When I agreed for the label to release my CD in France, I was happy as I thought it could mean something good for me. I was wrong. I am going to be more careful from now on. I am a little bit sad about that, especially because I think my music could be appreciated in France. I, therefore, decided to release a limited edition of it and I discovered I like a lot the idea of releasing it with my own artwork. I feel as a result even closer to my music, and I would like to go on that way in the future. I think there are a lot of serious and correct independent labels, and I'd be happy to collaborate with them, if given the chance, but I have promised myself that I will never again allow anyone to take advantage of me because of my love for my music. PB: What plans have you for the future with regard to La Nuit Americaine? CH: I'm actually recording two songs for a 7" out on Emma's House Recordings, which is likely to come out next January. I've listened to some of their releases and I really like them, especially their Workhouse and Kimonophonic releases. Edward Jung, who manages Emma's House, also seems to be a correct and a professional person and I'm really honoured to be able to work with him. As soon as I have enough live material I will also be putting out a limited edition live release on a great French label, hinah. Laurent Orseau and Eloise Steclebout, who manage it, have helped me a lot during this last year and I'll be forever grateful to them. They're really nice people. I hope their label (live releases only) will become even more popular. They really deserve it. PB: Who are your music heroes and influences of all time and who is your favourite current band? CH: It's hard even for me to explain what bands such as the Cure or the Smiths mean to me. I don't know how much they have influenced my music, but I'm sure that my life would have been different if those bands hadn't existed. I don't know who is my favourite band now. I think it's impossible to judge a band just for one or two albums,but I like Tindersticks a lot, and Massimo Volume, an Italian band that you'll probably never know. For me they are the two best bands of the 90s. PB: What has been your best musical experience so far? CH: I don't know, but I think a show I played at la Guinguette Pirate in Paris has been really important to me. I had the feeling that people appreciated my music. There are no words able to describe what I felt. PB: What is the most important thing in your life for you? CH: The most important thing in my life is La Nuit Americaine. I don't know if anyone listening to the album could understand it, but if they judge my music they'll judge me. There is nothing else in my life, except for what is inside those tracks and lyrics. They could say it's not enough, and they'd be probably right, but I have bartered away everything else for it. PB : Thank you. More information about La Nuit Americaine can be found at www.lanuitamericaine.com. The photos that accompany this article were taken by Laurent Orseau, and can be found with many other of his black and white photographs on www.hinah.com

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La Nuit Americaine - Interview

La Nuit Americaine - Interview

La Nuit Americaine - Interview

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Interview (2002)
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Back for a second interview, Pennyblackmusic favourite Christian Govoni from the Italian post rock group La Nuit Americaine has two new EPS about to be released. He talks to Olga Sladeckova about both CDs and his plans for the future


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