Interview Olivier Durand
June 18th 2011 - Blues à Jarnioux
Today we are pleased to welcome Olivier Durand to Jarnioux Festival, France.
Olivier you were born on April 30, 1967.
AM : In Montivilliers, in Normandy, and now you live in Le Havre.
AM : So you know some musicians from Le Havre, don't you?
Yes indeed, I've been playing with
for 9 years, one of the rock figure from Le Havre, I also know François Lebas who was in the
and the Backsliders, my friends
, Alan the drummer plays with us now.
There is also
who is a good friend of mine, we have jam sessions when he plays in Le Havre,
I play regularly with him, I also play on his latest album. There is also Florent Barbier
who lives in New York, he was the drummer of the Roadrunners, he is an important guy
for me because we started playing music together when we were at school,
he has worked a lot with Elliott and myself. There was also
City Kids ...
The large Le Havre family! There are lots of musicians, I must have forgotten some of them.
AM : You worked with Little Bob on the albums Lost Territories in 1993 and Blues Stories in 1997.
On these two albums Lost Territories and Blues Stories, I wrote half of the songs or more...
When did you begin to be interested in music?
My parents always say that when I was young I sang all the time in the car.
I kept busy singing and making people sing. I remember that I wrote a song about
cows when I was small, I had to be 6 years old and I wrote a song with cows and bells.
AM : You played various instruments? You began with the piano I believe?
My older brother played the piano, I wanted to do just like him - sooner or later
you always try to copy your older brother - but the piano was much too complicated,
there was too much music theory for me, it was off-putting but it's useful for me
now because I know how to deal with it! Then I played the drums because I had a cousin
who was a drummer in a band in Paris and he gave me pieces of his drum kit and showed
me how to play the drums. In my first bands I was a drummer and a singer. Later on I
played the bass guitar when I was 12-13 years old because it was the Police era and the
first piece of music I played on the bass was Walking On The Moon and at the same time
there was also AC/DC so I liked Angus Young and with my nylon guitar I tried to play AC/DC!
AM : And now you play the guitar.
What is your favourite guitar?
Now I play the acoustic guitar but I don't play it like an acoustic guitar!
I've kept my rock'n'roll style on the acoustic guitar, I've developed it using a
lot of effects. Elliott and I play the guitar on Taylor, we used to play on Takamine
because they were really good guitars comparing the price and quality to play on stage,
but Taylor became really good and they gave us guitars, so now we use them!
You work now with Elliott Murphy, how long have you known him?
It's been 15 years since I played with him. I started playing with Elliott when
I was still playing with Bob. I did both bands, and at one point Elliott offered
me lots of jobs, so I left Bob. Times have changed.
Yes JJ is a great friend, we always keep in touch by phone or e-mails,
we called each other the guitar section. He showed me how to play the slide guitar,
he said: If you play like this, it's good, it's okay! We are still in contact,
he's really someone I love.
Yes. Kenny I've known him longer, it was at the beginning when I
started working with Bob, he toured with Steve Hunter ...
Kenny is a great friend and I took him with me and we work together with Elliott in fact!
What do you get up to when you're not on tour with Elliott Murphy?
When I'm not on tour with Elliott I am a guitar teacher in a school in Le Havre
which is a rock'n'roll music school. There is also the guitarist of The City Kids
who teaches there, our drummer Alan gives drum lessons, our bass player Laurent
teaches bass guitar and also the former keyboard of the Roadrunners who is
now the keyboard player of
Most teachers are really musicians playing in bands, so we try to give a real
vision of music, allowing people to learn fast and find their way, what they want,
give and share the pleasure of making music, it's really the goal of this school.
Do you have personal plans for the future?
Yes I'm still trying! I write lots of songs and right now I'm a little more in the writing because I have some spare time. We also Work on other projects. I write for
, the Spanish singer who sings Piensa En Mí in the movie High Heels.
I am also thinking about doing a guitar method but it is not easy to implement.
Apart from the music, do you like sports for example?
I'm not sporty! I like to go swimming with my kids.
AM : I think you have four children.
Yes. My children help me to like the water because I used to be afraid,
and then to see them so happy in the water I jumped in! It's something I like to do.
I like to cook too, especially cooking seafood and things like that.
My main occupation outside of music is my family!
AM : Yeah! Thank you very much Olivier.
AM : Have a great show tonight with Elliott Murphy, we are very pleased to welcome you on Rock-Interviews.