Groupes de musique

Interview with Caravan Palace – Electric swing band from France


Caravan Palace is a French electro swing band based in Paris. The band’s influences include Django Reinhardt, Vitalic, Lionel Hampton, and Daft Punk. The band released their debut studio album, Caravan Palace, on the Wagram label in October 2008. The record charted in Switzerland, Belgium and France, where it reached a peak position of #11. The band formed as a three-piece. Loïc Barrouk took an interest in the project and booked the band a recording studio and a series of gigs. More performers were required for the live concerts and the other three current band members were found after searching on MySpace. The band became popular on the internet after releasing a number of demos and promo singles. From 2006 to 2007 they spent a year touring around France, and their first festival appearance came at the Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival in 2007. Following this emergence, the group were signed by the Paris-based Wagram Music record label. They spent the next year recording material for their début studio album. The band’s third studio album, <|°_°|> came out on 16th of October 2016. On were giving a concert at Den Atelier on 14th of February and we were conducting an interview with them already in advance while they were touring.

Hello and thanks for taking your time! Where are you at the moment?

For now, I just woke up, everybody in the band is still sleeping, I’m having a coffee in the tourbus we made a good concert yesterday night, we’re on the road to another city in France, so I have some time to answer your questions.

Your new album „<|°_°|>“ with its nearly 37 minutes is your shortest yet. How did it come to this?

I don’t know, we did many many tracks, sketches and more. At one moment we all stopped on the selection of these 11 tracks. It’s not always easy to find a coherence beetween tracks and these fit just fine. Or maybe all the others were not good enough or simply bad.

How big is the difference between the songs during the writing process and the end product?

It depends, sometimes you start a song and you find good ideas easily, and finally, almost everything you did in an afternoon feels like the end product. On the other hand, sometimes or maybe even more often, it needs some multiple changes before we all agree, and finally it doesn’t sound like the first proposal of it. There are no rules.

Caravan Palace have been together for almost 10 years. How do you stay creative for so long?

I don’t know if we stay creative, but maybe if you’re asking, it means we do, thanks mate! Tastes in electronic music do change a lot and fast, and we listen a lot of it, so our tastes are changing too. We always try to evolve, keeping our sound in a modern way, not doing the same thing over and over again. I think this concerns every musician making their second or third record.

With all the success you have, how do you keep yourself grounded?

We know each other for more than 10 years now and we are friends, so if one of us shows some big head skills we laugh at him and it stops. We are just people who want to have fun playing good music, that’s it, so there are no reasons to lose control.

What advice do you have for upcoming artists?

It seems that people like to dance to the music, so make them dance, that would be a good advice. Being amongst friends is also important, because when your band finds success and you go on tour you’ll see them much more than your girlfriend.

Which were the first bands that really moved your soul?

Like many teenagers I first listened to rock music foe example bands like Nirvana, The Police, The Doors. Then at the age of 20, I discovered Herbie Hancocks album „The Headhunters“. I loved this mix beetween jazz and funk music: Later on I stumbled over Django Reinhardt and I fell in love with his music, and with the sound of the 30’s.

What new music are you listening to these days?

These days I’m listening to the 20’s music. A French producer who released a great EP this year. I am also listening to Andhim, their house music makes people happy, it’s fresh, light and groovy. I also admire Kendrick Lamar, his hiphop is very musical diverse and creative, his latest album „To Pimp A Butterfly “ is really great.

Nowadays touring has become more important than ever. Did it become the main element of becoming to be better known as a musician?

Yes, touring is important and that’s nice, because it’s a lot of fun and we love it.

Thank you a lot for this interview and I wish you good luck for the future. Any last words for our readers?

I hope you’ll be there, it’s going to be a great Party!

(Interview by Mike Dostert)