Jan Fossbeck, former radical communist and archivist for USOUNDS, recently took time out of his busy schedule of listening to old records and sending letters to friends back home in Potsdam to interview one of the new century’s best acts, m83…
Jan’s impressive interviewing skills got Antonio Gonzales to finally open up about his secret Panda training center, his love of the Olsen Twins, his future collaboration with Cher, and the scope of his excellent new album…
JAN FOSSBECK FOR USOUNDS: Tell us about the new album:
Antonio of m83: First, this album is much more acoustic than the previous one. I think it reflects better the intensity of our shows and concerts. I wanted the singing parts to be enigmatic, powerful, with some “earth taste”. I created the album like a homogeneous piece, built like a movie, with a beginning and an ending, as if I was telling a story.
new m83 album
JF: In this case, please list your favorite films in order of favoriteness:
m83: “Passport to Paris” with my favorite actresses, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. “Police Academy 4” because of Bob Goldthwait’s performance as a crazy hard-rocker officer. “Safe”, by Todd Haynes. “The Hills have eyes” by Wes Craven. “THX 1138” by George Lucas.
JF: Fascintating, I could tell from the song “Unrecorded” that you had a deep and abiding love for ‘twins’ but I didn’t think it would take that form. Let’s shift into other gears– I’m always seeing pictures of you in nature scenes, where is your favorite supercool exclusive forest hangout:
m83: I’ ve got a secret place, deep in the forest, where I breed some panda troopers. I try to keep contact with them, to feed them as often as I can, because I know that, without my presence, they would try to commit suicide. I’m very proud of them. These days, they’re learning rollerblade, but it’s kind of tough, especially on mud. Tim, this silly boy, even broke his leg when he tried to jump over two trees last week.
JF: It’s clear to me that the pandas represent your artistic ideals, and the rollerblades are the commercialization of your work. Or, the pandas represent your many backstage lovers, and the rollerblades are entirely real. It’s a lot to think about. Now, let’s move on to something less abstract and more hitting-hard real. Your last albums had nature scenes, this one is a cityscape. What is the answer to this?
m83: Sorry, it’s too private. Stop harassing the poor artists, you creepy journalists !!!!
JF: I take no offence because in addition to being very thick-skinned (an actual medical condition) I am not even a proper journalist, I’m an archivist and former communist. Tell me, m83, why do children love to dance?
m83: Because they’re afraid of dying.
JF: This is true, indeed. Now, tell me about some of your favorite places you visited on tour:
m83: I loved to play in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto(because it’s Shania Twain’s birth place).
JF: That’s funny because I always thought she was a country singer and from Alabrama or some such place. I’ll have to look that one up in my archives. In any case, it’s a new year now which is good luck, how do you feel about the new year? Are you hopeful that this will be a fantastic year?
m83: I’m very hopeful, especially concerning myself and my next album. It’s gonna be a house music album with some great featurings : Tom Jones, Cher, David Hasselhof and Lorenzo Llamas. The whole planet is gonna dance, I’m gonna earn some real money, and I will be able to buy some new pandas (and to buy them a lot of hats).
Is this the secret panda training area?
JF: It is true that the saddest thing in the world is a “panda” without a cool hat. In any cases, I hope that you’re having a big success in the 005! Good luck and best wishes!