Photography & Art Direction FAINT
Interview by Sunday Frances
Sunday Frances: Yelle are such an aesthetically strong band, your music and imagery have naturally led to you working with some great designers. Has fashion always been a big part of your life?
Yelle: Thank you! Fashion became part of my life while growing as Yelle. I get the chance to meet a lot of creative people, inspiring and exciting, and it creates a synergy. If there is no human connection, I do nothing!
Which designers are you really excited by right now? Walter Van Beirendonck!
Define ‘Glamour’… Gloss + Amour
In terms of pop-industry career trajectories, who are some artists you admire and why? I love someone like Peaches, who is able to roll the dices and renew herself constantly, someone who is aware of who she is and where she goes. Same for Gonzales actually, this family of artists is amazingly talented, sincere, and smart.
What is your experience of fame? How does it affect you on a day-to-day level? I live by the sea, in the countryside, so my day-to-day life is pretty easy. When touring, I get to meet people who enjoy my music a lot, and it’s always a very sweet moment. I rarely experiment bad moments related to any kind of fame actually… I can’t complain!!
The pop music & fashion industries have always fetishised youth. Tell us about your relationship to age and ageing? I like growing up, and I love being in my 30s! You learn so you are less dumb! I am not scared of ageing, at least not for now.
How do you personally measure success? A sold out show is the best measure to me. It doesn’t only say people are excited to share a moment with you, it also means you know your capacity and chose the right venue in the right city.
You and Jean-Francois have been working together and hanging out for over a decade now. How has your connection evolved, and how do you keep things fresh, as collaborators and in your personal relationship? Movement is the best way to keep things fresh. Touring, meeting people, collaborating, balanced with some very relaxed moments, at home, by the sea. It’s all about this balance, like a verse and chorus, with some bridges. This balance is manageable when you are aware of your needs, and deal with them.
Tell us about starting your label, Recreation Center…We started it to produce our second album, Safari Disco Club, cause we wanted to experiment the production side. As, producing some videos, producing our merchandising, etc. We learned a lot and it led us to being flexible and to sign to a major label when it makes sense, or to go full DIY when it makes more sense. More knowledge more freedom!
You were touring Australia with So Frenchy So Chic, a festival which this year featured an all-female lineup. What was that experience like? We got to spend 10 days with some cool people! Cléa Vincent, Clara Luciani, Camille, this team mood is pretty rare with other bands on tour. We loved it and feeling a bit blue now! The music industry still seems to be male-dominated in many ways, especially in positions of power at record labels and other key behind- the-scenes industry sectors.
How do you think things would be different if there were more women in those positions of power? It is changing. Power can turn you crazy whoever you are though, male or female. But yeah, we need more women everywhere, it is still very unbalanced…
Yelle spend a lot of time touring. Is there a favourite venue that you love to go back to? Is there a dream venue that you haven’t played at yet? We adore going back to Austin, Texas, at The Mohawk. We always had great surprises there, and we have a special connection with that city. A dream venue… the First Avenue, Prince’s venue, in Minneapolis. Oh wait! We played there!
For the last album, Yelle created an app that translated the lyrics in real time from French to English. How did this come about? Singing in French became our signature for our English speaking crowds. We wanted to find a way to connect with them a bit more, but people also love to do their own researches, it’s funny. We receive a lot of messages from people who starting learning French because of our music!
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would it be? Flying
What is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about you?People don’t believe I am actually a shy person!
Yelle are known for energy, levity and positivity. When it all gets too serious, how do you keep it light? How do You Enjoy Life? Deep breathing, then a one minute planking ahah
What is the best piece of advice you have been given or learned that you could share with aspiring artists trying to break in to the industry? Don’t try to break in to the industry! Just do your thing the most freely possible, sincerity is the only way to go.
Stylist Georgie Gifford
Hair and Make Up Artist Andi Coventon
Shot at Big Bang Studio, Melbourne