INTERVIEW

“LIKE A PERMANENTLY JETLAGGED Doctor Who, bands’ time frames rarely line up with the everyman. Once you’ve adjusted your Casio accordingly “We’re running 10 minutes late” works out to be nearer an hour in real time. So when The Teenagers stick to their five-minute estimate when meeting us at their records company’s Dalston-based HQ, we’re […]

“LIKE A PERMANENTLY JETLAGGED Doctor Who, bands’ time frames rarely line up with the everyman. Once you’ve adjusted your Casio accordingly “We’re running 10 minutes late” works out to be nearer an hour in real time. So when The Teenagers stick to their five-minute estimate when meeting us at their records company’s Dalston-based HQ, we’re caught a little off guard.
We’ve been enjoying our downtime in Merok’s converted farm house kitchen, reading etchings, carved into the DIY label’s rustic banqueting table
while listening to Metronomy as the one-man electro band coincidently works on new material in the converted studio out house; a space he rents
from label owner Milo.

“We’re sorry we’re late,” say the band in unison as they arrive (another trait hardly synonymous with musicians – apologising that is, not talking
in unison), before joining us at the scratched breakfast bar to help us realise just why we love The Teenagers.

“I don’t know how you would define fictional,” begins singer Quentin, “but we were like a joke band at first, just to have fun and write songs and it turned out that we had a good reception so we decided to make it more official.”

We’ve all been there of course, dreaming up band names to impress the opposite sex with. Somehow, “I’m in a neon-clad Hoxton techno outfit, half-man, half-pixels, who go by the impressive name of Nouveau Vs Deco,” seems to be what we think future partners want to hear. But dreaming is one thing, turning a joke into one of France’s most interesting exports is another.

Later this month The Teenagers will finally be reunited as bassist Michael and guitarist Dorian up sticks from just outside of Paris and move to
London. It’s notable that Quentin has already lived here for two years, his fluent English thrusting him forward as the band’s spokesperson. He says: “The band kept going with hardcore working sessions. Every time I would go back for three or four days we’d just do songs and songs and songs.” Perhaps not the ideal way to create music then but these intense practice room sessions are what we can thank The Teenagers’ unique sound for.

New AA single ‘Homecoming/We Are The Teenager [Fuck Nicole]’, along with MySpace favourite ‘Scarlet Johansson’, sounds like it’s a one take release. It’s simple, void of over production that often sucks the soul out of the purest of tracks and, amongst other things, hilarious. In the
last issue of Loud And Quiet ‘Homecoming’ was our track of the month for all of its down tempo Strokesisms, it’s spoken-word verses through the
eyes of a lusty holiday romance and it’s pure inescapable DIY charm. This month, ‘We Are The Teenagers [Fuck Nicole]’ is in the running thanks to being such a danceable call to arms. But we have to ask, which member of the band is the ‘Homecoming’ stud and, more importantly, who is Nicole and why do we want to fuck her?

Of the latter we’ve heard that the lady in question is the name of the first MySpacer to message the then fictional band. Apparently we’ve heard
wrong. “Both songs are totally fictional,” laughs Quentin. “It’s time to kill the mystery. Usually we don’t say if it’s fictional or not. There are bits
that are inspired by things we’ve been through but it’s not exactly what we’ve been through, more a mix of experiences and feelings we get from
what we’ve been living.”

At the time of our meeting with the band, this trio of old friends had played live just 12 times, all of which had been in London, except for their very first gig, which was in Paris. But the band are keen to mention that it was not a conscious decision. While many of us might be enamoured with the current electronic buzzes and bells coming from Paris’ Ed Banger Records and Kitsune Maison, The Teenagers are more dazzled by our fair city – “London is better for everything that’s indie or rock, compare to Paris, where there isn’t any real scene,” says Michael.
Quentin adds: “In Paris you have a couple of good nights but in London there’s a wider offer. And it’s better quality as well.”

Taking it upon myself to be Bogart √° la Casablanca, I think this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.”

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