LE SKELETON BAND

Le Skeleton Band is a French music group performing in France and Europe. Their concerts mix music and theater in darkish and ironic atmosphere. Condo converses with them about the role of the body on the stage.

 

Le Skeleton Band copyright J-B Senegas

1.Both your name and your sounds suggest a creepy-darkish but ironic atmosphere, is this true? How did you develop this kind of feeling? Can you describe the atmosphere you want to interlace with your music?

Le Skeleton Band is about this – about a scream, which is turning into a laugh or a smile, which is slowly becoming tears. The band’s spirit is close to traditional songs. If you sing a sad song, it means that you didn’t give up yet. Maybe it will start by a moaning but the song will struggle against it or comfort it. We try to play music, which could come from the vapours of a swamp. That’s our link to the blues spirit. But I’ve to admit that it is difficult to describe… Sometimes people write on posters that we are playing blues baston, folk noir or even rock bastringue… This is ok with us, it keeps the mystery.

 

2.You all can play different music instruments; does this require specific physical abilities? Does changing instrument make you have different feelings about music?

I don’t think you need to have something special to play one or several instruments. Everyone can learn it. We chose to play different instruments because we wanted to explore different atmospheres, to feed our music by creating a sound blowing, pinching, rubbing or banging. Our particular vision about music consists in thinking songs as something organic, something living.

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3.You all are also actors, how does this help/influence you on the scene?

On stage, we express ourselves a lot but we are not actors. It’s not our job. Some of us study theatre but that’s all. We like to put something theatrical in the structures of the songs, with cries, screams of raven or laughs. In some moments, we quit the music for the noise. Maybe it’s through the noise that we are the most theatrical! We sing songs, which can be heard like tales sometimes. The atmosphere can be quite cinematic. It influences the feeling of theatre, which comes out of our concerts. But I like to see this theatrical part as fumes from our music.

4.On the stage you move in an unconventional way, how do you build up your movements and performances? Do you usually plan it or is it about improvisation?

Nothing is planned; we just try to let it go, following the song and where it takes us. We create the sound with instruments and we reply it with our bodies. Well, I do. Not everyone in the band will say that. We’ve different points of view. Some of them don’t care about all of this. They just try tobe in and with music.

5.In your opinion, what is more important in a live music show: sound, appearance or both equally?

The sound… That’s why everyone gathers around in a venue! If appearance takes too much place then it becomes theatre. It could build up a wall between the band and the crowd. We want to talk to people with our songs and with the mood of our music- to make them dance, to touch them. So, we try to meet them with our stories, taking them in our land with our moves… Here, appearance can be interesting. I’m thinking about Buto or about Kathakali. Strange moves and weird faces can be very fascinating- repulsive and attractive all in one. It is a good way to get what we want to appeal: laughs and tears in the same eye.

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