With <em>Frenchy</em>, Thomas Dutronc offers an album of re-workings that revisits, with pride, the best of the French song.
24 June 2020
Updated on June 27, 2020 to 4h17
Thomas Dutronc : Of Trenet to Daft Punk
Thomas Dutronc doesn’t seem to miss discipline. While he was confined — just like his new album, which should see the light of day in march — because of pandemic COVID-19, the musician has offered guitar lessons on Facebook. Every day, at the same time, for a month and a half… And never put forward its own directory.
“I’ve made it a point of honour,” evokes at the end of the wire to the main party. “In fact, I am not necessarily disciplined nature, he says. But we realize that without discipline, there is not much there, anyway. If one is not a genius, it is better to be disciplined…”
The album Frenchy, a project precisely anchored in the travel and collaborations, has ironically been slowed down this winter, when the coronavirus forced us to encabaner each of our side. “I was worried, I was taken aback by the fact that my disc was released on march 20. We had already started to make a beautiful work to announce it. We did cut the grass under the foot, so I was a little annoyed,” said Thomas Dutronc, who has had the opportunity over the course of the adventure to share the studio with Iggy Pop, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), or Jeff Goldblum.
“We made this album by saying that he was going to make us travel. We wanted to get it out in the United States. There hasn’t been a cross on this plan… It’s just that it’s going to be a little repulsed.”
“We can be proud of”
The son of two greats of the French chanson — Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc —, Thomas Dutronc digs its furrow in his side since their first album to the sounds of gipsy, Like a gypsy without guitar, has allowed him 13 years ago to be sacred Revelation of the gala of the Victories of the music.
With Frenchy, the singer and guitarist, he wanted to broaden his horizons while emphasizing the gems of music that have crossed the borders of his country.
The French and the English marry in this bunch of reviews which revisit many of the jazz standards, a staple of the French song… and “new classics” such as Get Lucky by Daft Punk or “Playground Love ( of the duo Air.
“We didn’t want to stay in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. We wanted to mix eras. There are many other things French, who have worked hard at the international ces last time,” illustrates Dutronc.
“It was really a desire to shoot in other countries than in French-speaking countries, he adds. We wanted to put on a small tour of the United States, Japan, Germany, England, or I know not where. It was asked : “what is it that we have in France, of which we can be proud of and that other countries do not have?” It was the guitar of Django, but we also have this French song that has gone around the world. We have this chance and we too often forget. Often, one has the impression that there is criticism of everything and that nothing is ever going to. But we can be proud of.”
He acknowledges that he was not immediately convinced by the idea of an album full of covers, Thomas Dutronc said let himself be infected by the enthusiasm and dexterity of the musicians who accompanied him on this journey, guitarist Rocky Gresset in the head.
“I said to myself : “what good is it to redo things that already exist in versions which are so beautiful?” notes Thomas Dutronc. I did not really see the interest. Then, I talked to Rocky Gresset, who is my old friend, my old brother that I have known it for over 20 years, when he was 15 years old. He was already playing really as a god, he has a guitar level really international. He said : “It is the music that I love since always. Don’t worry, we’ll make something beautiful”. He has given me this desire. I would have wanted to do a drive like that with great musicians, it would not have had a great interest. There are musicians who are more than great. They are wonderful, they amaze…”
MIRACLES IN THE STUDIO
When he speaks of the musicians and singers who joined him in the studio to capture Frenchy, Thomas Dutronc advance a few times the word “miracle”.
First, there is the one to see the rocker in the us — and francophile assumed — Iggy Pop boarding the boat. “His manager, european spoke to him about us, tells Dutronc. It is important to know that Iggy Pop love anything that is French. On his latest disc, he sang a lot of stuff in French. This is surprising, because it has an attraction to France which is quite strong. He is familiar with Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, he knows my parents and me… All of it pleases him, so he said yes.”
A second “miracle” occurred, when Iggy Pop had the idea of bringing with him the star jazz Diana Krall, with whom he wished for a time to work together. It has materialized with Dutronc on a version of It is so good.
“They said : “Is it that you think Thomas will be okay?” You can believe me : there was no problem!” laughs the singer.