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Telefon Tel Aviv

De quoi téléphoner à la famille

Joshua Eustis et Charles Cooper, les deux musiciens de Telefon Tel Aviv ont presque réussi à rabibocher les rockeurs et les électroniciens. Venus d'horizons musicaux différents, les deux artistes ont trouvé avec Farenheit Fair Enough un équilibre musical proche de la perfection. Evoquant les mélodies post-rock érudites de Tortoise autant que les savantes programmations labyrinthico-rythmiques d'Autechre, les neuf titres de ce premier album, sorti en 2001, servent cette parfaite émulsion entre luxuriance électrique et rythmes croustillants en pointillés. On attend une suite à ce superbe premier disque début 2003.

What are your respective musical backgrounds? Have you studied music? Who plays/does what in TTA ?
Joshua Eustis : I have a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Loyola University of New Orleans. When I was 7 years old, I saw the video for Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" and I completely flipped out. I've been trying to make music ever since.

Charles Cooper : i started out singing for different bands in high school. alot of it was punk and hardcore music. ive always been interested in all styles of music. i was always seeking out new stuff, reading magazines and getting my mother to drive me to the few decent record stores in new orleans. most of the kids in my classes thought i was a nut for listening to boing boom tchak by kraftwerk. i dont really have any formal training in music. i've just learned as i went along. i played alot of different things on the record. josh and i pretty much split the duties on tracks.

How were you offered to work on a movie soundtrack?
J. E : James Hughes wrote the screenplay for the film, and was requesting his brother, John (who runs Hefty), to send him temporary music for the score. it ended up staying in, and then James asked us to score the movie.

You worked with Nine Inch Nails? How did it happen?
J : Danny Lohner, the bassist/guitarist, got a hold of some of our music through a mutual friend, and then he asked us to come in and collaborate with him on his remix of "where is everybody". when we finished, Trent asked us to do some mixes of our own.

When and how was TTA born ? Why did you chose the name "Telefon Tel Aviv" ?
J : Telefon Tel Aviv was a name that just rolled off my tongue one day. TTA was really born in january of 2000 out of a necessity to combine two different musical projects that charlie and i were working on-one that was very elecctronic, and one that was much more instrument-oriented.

What is "Benelli Sound Labs"?
J : That's my recording studio. "Benelli" is also the name of one of my solo projects.

It was quite funny to learn that you live in New Orleans, because the rock elements sound so much like "Chicago". Is there an interesting musical scene in New Orleans?
J : :yeah, definitely. lots of blues, lots of jazz, LOTS OF FUNK. if you love funk, come to new orleans. there are some (a few) people doing electronic things...

What are your respective influences in music, visual arts, literature ? Do you feel close Scott Herren's Savath & Savalas, since it is to me the only musical project which sounds as good and hybrid as you.
J : Music? my favorite stuff is mostly Dub and R&B. I'm really into what Rhythm and Sound is doing with traditional Dub forms in a new context. I'm also really into Timbaland and Dr. Dre, Aaliyah, Ludacris...Of course Scott Herren's music is the shit... right now i'm reading The Tale of Genji...Visually, Rem Koolhaas, Francesco Clemente, Mark Rothko, Issey Miyake, Tom Ford, Squaresoft videogames, Avalon Microphone preamplifiers...

C : I'm really schizophrenic with music choices. i like alot of stuff across the board. i've really been into the mark hollis stuff lately. some of my other favorites lately are the dungeon family, notwist, the soft machine, cornelius, ludacris. i've been known to rock out to journey then listen to a ligeti or penderecki piece. i'm feeling that savath and savalas stuff, he gets my full respect. his new ep is tight. i really enjoy movies more than i read or keep up with art.

What is the process of making of TTA and who does what? What comes first live instrumentations, rhythm programmings, or do you have from the beginning a very clear structure ... ?
J : we both do all sorts of things. sometimes the beats and things come first but most of the time melodies come first. we like to figure the song out in our heads or even on paper before we really start working on it::we conceptualize the song ahead of time, and then execute the ideas.

It sounds like TTA's music can be very effective live? Do you play quite often?
J : we play out from time to time, but we are going to try to play more frequently. it really is a pain in the ass for us to play live...

You started TTA in 1999 and did only one album, did you? Do you have new material ready or any more plans of releases?
J : Well, TTA actually started in the beginning of 2000-all the material we did before that was pretty much scrapped because it didn't fit with our revamped sound. we did one full length, Fahrenheit Fair Enough, and we also did about another full length of material for the Newport South film score that has not yet been released, although the film opened in October. we have an ep slated for summer release...and a very large body of side projects!

(Christophe Taupin)

Interview réalisée en février 2002. Remerciements à John Hughes.

Telefon Tel Aviv Farenheit Fair Enough (Hefty)