Sunday 7th July 2013
"Nuits de Fourvière" (Lyon)
AM : Hello, it's a pleasure to welcome you on rock-interviews.com
Hervé : and for a radio station called
Pluriel in Lyon too.
Kix : The feeling is mutual.
AM : You have all nicknames.
Chris : Yes. I am Pierre, my name is Pierre! (smiling)
Suggs : My name is Suggs.
Kix : My name is Philippe Fallop! (smiling), No I am Kix.
AM : Where do they come from?
Kix : If you promise not to tell anyone!
AM : I promise. (smiling), no I don't!
Kix : In the past days, we used to draw graffiti a lot and Chris name
was Chrissy Boy, and my name was Kix originally Kyx, and now Kix.
Suggs : Yes, we were writing on the walls and we obviously didn't
write our own names or we would get arrested, so that is how it started.
Kix : Recently my son, his nickname was Clay, it's his middle name,
he did spray art, stood next to it, took a photo and put it on Facebook...
The three of you are from the band, M
Suggs : A
Kix : D
Chris : N
Suggs : E
Kix : S - S
AM : Why did you name your band Madness?
Suggs : Originally we were called The Invaders. Then we found out that
there was another band called The Invaders, so we thought we could pick
the name, for the band, from one of the song we were playing and Madness
was a Prince Buster song we were covering at the time. Now, it is lost
in the midst of history, but I think it was Chrissy that said Madness
and we all said that sounds a good name, then Chris said he didn't
like the name, but it was too late, we were already called Madness!
Hervé : And it was also a punk spirit.
Suggs : I suppose, I mean we would have been a bit anarchic,
there is a certain anarchy to the own band. It was strange really
because we were not a Punk band, even if Madness sounds a bit kind
of crazy, but over the years it seems to suit us very well.
You are a Ska music band, your first album "One Step Beyond"
was released in 1979. It was the time for teenagers, like you,
to wear bowler hats, sunglasses, and checked black and white clothes.
Kix : And fezzes. They might come back on me. Hugh, our manager,
is going to superglue one on me!
Suggs : Fashion was a big part of those time, you know,
specially in London. There were lots of different things going on,
Psychobilly, Rockabilly, Punks, Teds, Mods, Skinheads.
In London, if you like a certain kind of music you wear a
certain kind of clothes, in the same way that hippies have long
hair and flowers. So, people who listen to our music dress in a
certain kind of way you've described with a suit and a bowler hat or whatever.
Nowadays in London there is also a new kind of music like Dubstep,
Grime, all that kind of things, are you listening to that?
Chris : Fucking no!
Suggs : Not on a daily basis, no. My daughters listen to that kind of music.
They did anyway. I mean it's interesting, the whole music develops and goes on,
doesn't it? You can't always understand every piece of modern culture.
There is not enough hours in the day!
At the beginning of your career did you imagine and think of
having such a long career on stage and in the music business?
Suggs : No we didn't. I don't know about every other bands,
ask Johnny Langer, he is the son of our producer
No, we didn't have any idea, you know you make a record,
you are happy to make a record, to have a gig. I don't think
we really thought about too far into the future.
Chris : I always wanted more, more women!
Suggs : It's been remarkable that we are still here and we are very grateful.
AM : We are very happy to still see you on stage and that you are
releasing new albums.
Suggs : Good, and we are still enjoying it very much, of course.
Hervé : When you look back at all these years, what are you the most proud of?
Chris : Our first single.
Suggs : Making our first record, probably.
Kix : Having it in our hands. Do you remember the 45?
Suggs : But also there were so amazing things happening in our
career and it is still happening.
Chris : Tonight's gig.
Suggs : It's going to be the best gig!
Kix : Look at the stage.
AM : Yes, it's a beautiful place.
Your latest album is called Oui Oui
Chris : Si, Si
Suggs : Ja, Ja
Kix : Da, Da.
AM : Yes, the latest, not the last, we hope it will not be the last one!
Chris : In Spain, it's called Si, Si.
AM : In French it's Oui, Oui.
Chris : In Germany it's Ja, Ja
AM : And Da, Da in Russia.If you had only three words to introduce
it what would you say ?
Suggs : Really, Great, Music, how about that?
Chris : Très Bonne Musique !
Kix : Really, uplifting tales.
Suggs : Of everyday life.
Kix : Yeah.
Suggs : It's a collection of good songs.
AM : Yes, there are 13 tracks + 2 bonus on it.
I want you to play a game with me. Here is a little
box and you can choose one of this piece of paper and explain
to us what is it about!
Kix : Anyone? Can I look at them all?
AM : Of course, you can choose.
Kix : Crying. It is a song about a dog who wanders the streets of London.
He gets lost and he cries for his home, his family. They can't hear him,
his bark is like invisible. (Kix is miming the howling dog), that's it!
Suggs : Very clearly described.
AM : Suggs what have you chosen?
Suggs : Powder Blue. It's a song about, I don't know if any of you people,
when you were younger, stayed up at night with a few people around in your
house and ended up on the sofa with someone you didn't realize at the time
that you would fall in love with. It's just about that, messing around
when you are young and staying up all night.
AM : Please, Chris, pick one!
Chris : La Luna. I wrote this one with Suggs. It's a very nice song.
Suggs : We did a few different versions of it, Chris did one, and we did
another one with El Bronx a mariachi band.
AM : Will you call your next album, Non Non, No No, Nein, Nein, Nyet Nyet
Chris : Ah yes, it's a good idea.
Suggs : Not yet, I don't think we are ready. I mean, it's a very simple title
but I also think there is a lot of no, no, nyet, nyet around at the moment,
so maybe it's good that somebody else is saying yes, yes.
AM : You're right.
Hervé : It's positive music.
Suggs : Thank you.
Chris : You can say no to drugs, no to racism.
Suggs : You can say no to work with Madness as well, as I probably should have
done some time ago.
Hervé : Do you consider that it is a pop record?
Suggs : Yeah.
Hervé : Because here in France you are known as a two-step band.
Chris : No, no.
Suggs : Two-step. (laughing). We can say that we had a lot of influences, anyone
who really understands the band or bought any of our records would know that
there always had a mixture of different influences and they still do.
Kix : Motown, Rockabilly.
Hervé : Even the Clash, in some way, you've got something of it.
Chris : Of course, anything.
Kix : A kind of Brixton style. You are quite right.
Suggs : They were at the same time, as us, that's for sure. We have probably
been influenced by the same things as them.
Chris : Excusez-moi, je suis fatigué...
AM : Ah oui c'est un métier difficile !
Suggs : Chris has been on a, how do you say?
Kix : Do you know what stag night means?
Suggs : Before people get married, the man goes out with the other men and they
drink a lot of beer, maybe it's just an English thing.
AM : No, we do the same here, it's called, enterrement de vie de garçon
ou de jeune fille. The girls are going out with their friends, and the boys
are going out with their friends too, and they can do whatever they want
before they get married.
Kix : That's why Chrissy Boy ended up in a knocking shop!
Chris : No I didn't!
Suggs : Is it Johnny Langer on now?
AM : Yes, we have to end the interview.
All of them : Thank you very much, au revoir.
AM : Thank you very much for you time guys. Have a great gig.