Thursday, September 22, 2011
Yussuf Jerusalem 'Blast From the Past' and INTERVIEW!
Just when I thought it wasn't possible to love a band any more, Florida's Dying puts out second album from France's Yussuf Jerusalem, 'Blast From The Past'. Imbuing Pop, Black Metal and Folk Benjamin Daures creates an apocalyptic piece attuning bright melodies with a dark underbelly. The juxtaposition of Black Metal with Folk has a jolting effect like being picked up by the scruff of the neck, thrown across a room and loving where you end up. These nine tracks full of solace, gallantry and loss make something altogether hexing. Easily one of my favourite albums of the year.
It's a real treat to have interviewed the man himself on his latest offering...
When did you have that ‘I can do that’ moment and start playing/writing music?
For me, it all started when I bought my first 4track. I had been playing in bands since my teenage years, but I was never really good with other people. I was always frustrated trying to write songs in bands, too shy to sing, etc. To me, recording is like drawing.
I saw you play in New York in 2009 with Thomas Function I think it was, the show was amazing – do you like touring? Are you doing any touring for this new record?
I like to play and I like to travel, so yeah, I like going on tour. It takes a lot of time and energy though, and we can't always afford or want to be living like that. The band played a bunch the last few years, and even though the new record just came out, I think it's a good time to rest from this kind of life. So, no plans of touring our asses off this winter. Right now, I just want to spend my time recording and watch my stories on the computer.
The first time I played ‘Heart Full of Sorrow’ “Gilles de Rais” made me jump out my skin, it was great! “Evil Rise” on the new record is in the same vain, can you explain mixing metal with pop and folk on your records?
I record all sort of stuff. At first, I didn't plan to put Gilles de Rais on that album, but it ended working in some weird ways. It was fun to start playing that kinda stuff live too, covering songs from Burzum or Absurd, it was refreshing to us, at least.
On ‘You Broke My Heart In Two’ off "Blast From the Past" there’s a part that sounds a little bit like Buzzcocks ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ was this intentional?
Not intentional. Never thought about it myself, but my friend Riton Lamort pointed it out when I sent him the recordings, what can I say...
The music on your records alone tells such a strong story, what is your approach to lyrics?
Different story for every song. Sometime the music comes up first sometime it's the lyrics. I try not to think too much about it and it usually comes out when the time is right....
Who makes the art-work for your records?
I unshamefully use my own photoshop wizzardry.
How did you come to work with Florida's Dying?
Well, Rich has been my friend for a while now, he was amongst the first to hear the yussuf stuff...
I read somewhere you like music from Croatia and Serbia, can you tell us a bit more about bands for that part of the world?
Shit, I don't remember saying that. There's a serbian bar near my house, we drink rakija and listen to a guy play the accordeon all night long. I'd spend more time there, but it's really not healthy.
Do you prefer playing or recording?
I prefer recording, but I never got beer tickets from that.
What kind of equipment do you like to use when recording your songs?
Usually, anything that's working at the moment. Half way into 'Blast From the Past', I had to start everything over because my 8 track broke down. I've been using both analog and digital equipment, it doesn't matter as long as I get to make it work right!
I haven’t experienced seeing music in France, what are things like over there? Where do shows tend to happen?
It's nothing special from the rest of the planet, lots of bars I guess... As far as playing or watching a show, the smaller venues are the best for me.
One of my favourite songs is 'We Ain't Coming Back', can you tell us a little bit about that track?
I recorded that one early 2008 I think? I was coming back home from touring with Turpentine Brothers in Europe, filling in on bass. Last day of the tour I drank too much and ended up at the hospital for alcohol poisoning, worst hungover ever (took me 3 weeks to recover)! I recorded lots of the first album after that tour.
Do you have any other projects going on at the moment we can check out? Do you make anything else outside of music?
I'm fixing up a house in the woods in Franche-Comté, there's a steel plate on the stairs that says "1786". It's a beautiful place with lots of soul and big stone walls, I'll send you pictures when it's done.
"I'm full of dust and guitars" - Syd Barrett, if you were cracked open what would be inside?
Right now, I'm certainly full of frozen lasagnas from Monoprix.
Yussuf Jerusalem - Through Winters Darkest Day by Clem Ollivier
Yussuf Jerusalem Facebook
'Blast From the Past' available at Florida's Dying