Lukas Ionesco Talks Nostalgia, Vampires, & His 'PARIS TEXAS' EP
Lukas Ionesco is no stranger to the art world. Growing up with a musically inclined father and a mother in film, he always knew he’d follow in the footsteps of the generations of artists within his family. The 24-year-old, Paris-based musician and actor is gaining momentum, putting out new music, starring in new films, and there are no signs of him stopping anytime soon.
In 2013, he began playing punk music with his band “Crash”, which soon morphed into his indie grunge project, “Diaperpin.”
After selling cassette tapes from home and stripping away his monikers, Ionesco went to New York to record his first EP, PARIS TEXAS, which will be released soon. This month, he dropped the second single and video, “Burning Inside” from the project.
With a handful of movies in the works, and a few coming out next year, Ionesco is once again gearing up for the big screen. In his first acting role, he starred as Math, in Larry Clark’s Paris inspired skater film, The Smell of Us.
We spoke with the Romanian-French artist about his upcoming shows, vampires, Siouxsie Sioux, and why he’ll finish his days in a secret castle. Read our full interview below, accompanied with photos from Fiona Feder and Eline Hoyois.
When did you first start working on music?
I started working on music just after I worked with Larry Clark in 2013. My father is a musician and I always listened to good music since I was a child; I always dreamed to be a singer and compose my own music. After “The Smell Of Us,” I was feeling very alone and I decided to start a punk band called “Crash” then, I had a band called “Diaperpin” which was more grunge; I was selling tapes online.
One year after that, I came to New York to record my first EP Paris Texas (which is coming out soon), and at this moment I decided to use my name, “Lukas Ionesco.”
What was the first record you bought?
If my memories are good, the first record I bought was Nocturne from Siouxsie And The Banshees, which was recorded live in London in 1983.
I still listen to it actually. I love this album because, for me, it’s the best year of The Siouxies; they were the best live and they had the best tracks. It’s just pure magic; her voice, the bass… It makes dreams, big dreams. I bought it on my first trip alone in Berlin when I was 16. I remember a giant outdoor record market with only the best music for very cheap.
Your second single, “Burning Inside,” just came out—why did you choose to shoot the video in NY?
I was in New York with the label to record my EP. The first day I decided to make a video clip for “Burning Inside”, even though the track was not recorded yet.
What was the creative process like for that video?
I was and am always in love with the 90s aesthetic; for me, it was obvious to make my first clip with a VHS camera. I recorded the video in a few days and I edited it in a couple of nights on iMovie by myself.
With French as your native language, why have you chosen to sing in English? Will you ever write songs in other languages?
I choose to sing in English because I always listened to American music. I don’t really feel that I’m French and I want to be known all over the world!
But wait for my new EP, I do sing a little bit in French, you will see …
Where do you feel like you’re from?
I grew up in France, but my family is from Romania; all of us, from generation to generation, are made from artists. We all travel and dream a lot. I always feel like a stranger here in France, even my friends say that to me. I quit school when I was 16, and I decided to do what I like: music and acting. Traveling is very important, I think it’s better than reading a book. I don’t know where I come from; I want to live everywhere. I do know, however, that I want to finish my days in a secret castle in France.
When will you be releasing new music and where can we see you live?
Around November, I’ll have a little acoustic session in a secret mini theater in Paris. In December, I’ll play at Petit Bain, and in January at Silencio. After that, we’re out of France. I think the next single, which will be released with a video by Zack Spiger in Los Angeles, is out around December. The full EP will be released at the beginning of 2019.
You’re always reading, traveling, and soaking in the culture around you. Which books and artwork are you fascinated by right now?
The last book I read was “Less Than Zero” by Bret Easton Ellis; now I’m on Marcel Proust because I’m going to play in a movie about him, I can’t say anything more on that. I’m also really into vampires right now, I’m planning to go on a very strange trip to Romania, where my family is from, to go see the Carpathian Mountains.
You’re also an actor; your first role was in Larry Clark’s “The Smell of Us,”—how did you get involved with that project?
At this moment in my life, I didn’t have an agent, but one night I was at a party and I heard about the casting. The next morning, I went to the casting place, and there were only teenagers. Everyone was like me we were waiting for Clark, drinking, and smoking. After three hours, Clark came and kicked out everybody except me. We spoke a lot, and hung out for about a week; then he asked me to take on the role of Math …
Your mother, Eva Ionesco, works in film—have you always been interested in acting and performing?
Yes. Actually, just last week my mum said to me, “Since you were a kid you’ve always known that you wanted to act and sing.” I really love both…
What is it like working with your mother?
Working with my mum was not easy. But it’s also a beautiful gift she gave to me.
My mother and I have almost the same character, so sometimes it’s hard to speak, but at the same time we know each other so well, so we know exactly where to go, how to move together; but this can be also wrong.
You have a few films coming out soon—can you tell us about them?
On January 16th, my mum’s film is coming out in France; it’s called Une Jeunesse Dorée (“The Golden Youth”). It’s the first role I’m playing with Isabelle Huppert. It tells the story of my mother in the 80s with the Palace scene…
I have a second one coming out around spring called “Jessica Forever” with Aomy Muyock; it’s very unique, very strange, but very good; it’s another world. I’ll be in two films this year.
Any bit of advice to give to up and coming artists around the world?
Don’t go too fast; don’t choose too many things to do, maybe two things; try to put all your ideas in those things and do it well. It takes time, but it’s gonna work, for you, for all.
Photographer: Fiona Feder
Creative Director + Stylist: Eline Hoyois
Photo Location: Villa Royale / Au Petit Théâtre du Bonheur
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