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Interview: 'To touch, and to be touched' French-band La Femme's sensual philosophy

Image: La Femme. Photography by Oriane Robaldo.

Rock band La Femme was formed in in 2010 by a couple of Biarritz punk kids rejected by the art schools in Paris - and are now one of the best known bands in France as well as establishing an international reputation. They have soundtracked a Celine runway show and have been twice featured on the cover of France’s most influential culture publication, Les Inrockuptibles. Their newest album Paradigmes was released last year and is an eclectic mix of genres produced with a cinematic imagination. We spoke to founding member Sacha Got about their audacious beginnings, their controversial new music video - all ahead of their much anticipated London concert at the Forum on 21 April 2022.

Eli Goldstone: La Femme dropped their debut EP and went on an impromptu tour of the US simultaneously - how did that happen?
Sacha Got:
It was the beginning of the band, we met some Californian surfers (Colin Whitbread and Kassia Meador) and the photographer David Mushegain at the Roxy Jam in Biarritz in 2010 and they convinced us to come to California. We had nothing to lose at the time. So, we worked in a restaurant to get some money and at the same time we signed an EP deal with Third Side Records in France. Nobody knew us at this time. We began to play in the underground scene in LA with the help of Kateri O’Neil. And we started to have an audience there, that’s how the adventure started.

Click to watch 'Divine Créature feat. LeoLulu' on Youtube
Image: Still from 'Divine Créature feat. LeoLulu'. Click on image to watch on Youtube.

Eli: The most recent video was released on Pornhub - tell us about the concept.
So, we have been friends with Lulu, one of the porn actors, since we were kids. We had been talking about making a collaboration together for a while and this song was the perfect occasion. So we decided to put our censored version on YouTube, their version is on Pornhub.

Eli: Can you remember a particular moment where you felt you’d made it - escaped Biarritz and become rock and roll stars?
There were many moments, but I remember the time we did Sur la Planche I thought: OK, this song is great, it’s original, it's catchy, it’s a mix of everything we like, and we have something powerful between our hands. Then I think it was at our first show at Chez Moune in 2010, to be in front of people dancing crazily to our song made me realise that all of this was real.

Eli: Can you describe the energy at a La Femme live show?
It’s rock and roll vibes! We have a lot of synth, but we also have drums, guitar and bass, everything is played live, there is no computer. People come to dance, enjoy and leave their brains at home. It’s not something cerebral, even if the lyrics can be deep.

Eli: Your latest album Paradigmes is genre defying - did making this album feel different?
It was the same process than the other records, it was a lot of songs we recorded all over the world and over the year. Then at some point we choose together the songs that would be put on the record. The difference is maybe that the production is more sophisticated and there are more additional musicians.

Eli: If you could play a gig in any space in the world at any time in history - where would you play?
Probably in space, or at the geode in Paris, or maybe on water, the Egyptian pyramids or Woodstock in the 60s.

Eli: Finally, what is La Femme’s philosophy?
To touch, and to be touched.

La Femme
O2 Forum, Kentish Town
Thursday 21 April 2022, 7.00pm

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