the AU interview: Laetitia (France)

the AU review recently caught up with Laetitia Sadier, formerly of Stereolab, to chat about her recent appearance at the Culture Collide Festival, her latest album Silencio and balancing raising her family with her music career.

How does touring as a solo artist compare to touring in a band like Stereolab?

The 2 are so different that they don’t compare really.
Since the demise of the Lab, people have contacted me to come play in various countries. I wasn’t prepared for that so I just took off to Greece, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Chili, Germany, Macedonia, and various places.. with my guitar and played some Monade and new -at the time, The Trip- Lætitia Sadier material. This is basically what I’ve done since 2009, which has been very formative as well as fun on many levels. However upon recording the last album I felt a strong urge to put a band together. A trio has always been a preferred form of mine. I asked some friends whom I love and respect as musicians -1 american team, one european team thus far- to travel and play along with me. Both tours of Europ and the US have worked out bloomingly…

You performed at the Culture Collide Festival in Los Angeles last month – can you talk us through those experiences – I understand you performed in a Church?

In deed we were booked to play in a Church in LA. I love playing in Churches, there is often a special vibe and accoustics where the voice is carried far and beyond! It was lovely to play this gig; the room filled up and people were standing all around the chairs. The temparature rose so much, as well as the humidity, that one of Julien’s bass guitar string came undone. It was impossible to repair there and then, so we carried on with 3 strings until the support act walked up on stage -like Jesus would- with their bass guitar to save the show…
Another miracle that happened that night; a Japanese man came up to me and said he wanted to have us play in Japan! I saw a big possibility therefore, and I hope I wasn’t too presumptuous to think that perhaps that would open the way to playing “Aussieland” -as Mary would call it- as well!

Your 2nd solo album Silencio came out in August, how do you feel about its reception so far?

I don’t pay particular attention as to how a record is received; only because it is very hard to tell what a piece of work may mean to people, and how it may be taken in so many different ways. And that escapes my control completely. Besides that I am very happy that it should be talked about and appreciated by certain people in the press that have looked at it very favourably.
Generally I what I tend to concentrate on will be the process of making the record and then will be thinking how the next one could complement the last.

Can you talk us through the recording of the record – where did you record and who did you work with?

Silencio was recorded in 2 parts:

One between Xmas 2011 and new year at “La Mami”, in France near Toulouse with the Aquaserge group. Idiosynchratic bunch of musicians that I felt as being my family the moment I met them. The other part was done in Chicago in Febraury at my friend’s house, James Elkington. We also used John McEntire’s studio, Soma, in Chicago, to record drums and double bass parts.

How did this process compare to recording your first solo record?

The 1st solo LP, The Trip was also recorded in two parts, one in the country side of Oxford UK, in my boyfriend’s living room, the other in the USA, west coast, near Portland, with my friend Richard Swift. The 1st part was recorded with the extend Aquaserge family. They are my musical peers and would like to work with them again on the next record. Particularly Emma Mario and Julien Gasc, whom I recognise as being my brothers.

How do you feel your music has developed between records?

I feel that perhaps Silencio was more ambitious musically than The Trip. It is hard for me to compare the two because I havent heard the Trip in a long time. Still I feel that I’ve pushed one way of working to its limit with Silencio and would like to try out a different way for the next endeavour. Ie work with more time, be more daring -away from the patented ways which I know work and give results… I need to surprise myself more, and generally venture much more deeply into my own voice and path.

What’s been your favourite song off the record to perform.

The Rule of The Game has been a good one to open the shows with every night. It sets the tone, serious but not melodramatic!

What are the difficulties of raising a family, while making music?

The main difficulty is to have my child looked after while I’m away for weeks on end touring. I have had to be creative regarding this, but have ALWAYS managed one way or another. It used to give me major anxieties but I’ve learned that there is always a solution for things to move forward. And my son has not shown signs of being resentful for what I do, or only the times when I’ve felt very guilty for leaving him at home..

As I write this, you’re about to play two shows in your home country of France – how does the atmosphere for your shows in France compare to other shows?

We ended up playing 3 instead of 2 shows in France; all in cities that have profound meaning to us as we have many friends and family in Paris, Bordeaux and Toulouse. The shows there resonated in that special way that we were playing in front of many of our friends and family which tends to make one a bit more self conscious than usual! It was very fun tho’ and beautiful way to end the truly fun and nurturing tour. Still I must say that most show where ever they are played generally tend to be filled with love and attention. The audiences that have come out to the shows have been warm, attentive and generous. I feel extremely spoiled!

What’s next for Laetitia? Any chance we’ll get you down in Australia anytime soon?

It looks like Xmas is right ahead of us for the time being.

Next year, in February we are looking into touring places in South America.
March and April will see us tour Spain, Italy, Swiss, and Germany,

So by May we should be finely tuned to come visit you guys…