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On the Road, for the Record: Papooz

Together, Armand Penicaut and Ulysse Cottin make Papooz: the Parisian duo that’s taking over the States. Weaving together the sweet sounds of bossa nova and French pop, the band has mastered the art of otherworldy love songs (coupled with themes of self-destruction and redemption.)  We met up with the pair before their first US show at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn to get the down-low on their packing list, what tunes they listen to, and the rider of the dreams. Stay tuned as they hop from city to city on their first North American tour.

Curious about what the band listens to on the road? Here ya go:

What’s the biggest misconception about being on tour?

Musicians getting rich!

Tonight’s NY show is your first of the US/Mexico tour — what have you done in the weeks leading up to it to prepare?

We’ve been working on our next album in and out of Paris. We rehearsed and cut a couple of tracks at our drummer’s studio in the southwest of France. It’s a beautiful place in the middle of a pine tree forest. We had a great time playing there. Our next new single will come out of that session February 17.

What’s your favorite venue?

Madison Square Garden in New York

Olympia hall in Paris

The Carnegie Hall…

I mean any place we haven’t played yet.

What’s the most fun song to play? And the most difficult

The most difficult song we play is “Danger to myself.” It’s a super slow groove with tones of vocal harmonies. Oddly enough, we often start our show with that track in order to set the audience into our groove. It’s a really good way to warm up.

We have fun playing a lot of our songs, but I guess the most bordelique one is “Louise.” It’s got a surf-rock drum pattern and we invite people on stage at the ad-lib. Things can get pretty messy with this one.

Top 5 things you must pack: 

  • Lemons
  • Good honey
  • Cigarettes
  • Zizi Repettos
  • iPhone charger

Describe your first ever show on tour. 

Our first show ever was set in a bar in Cap-Ferret, Le 44, where our drummer and our bassist used to play with there ancient rock band moons ago. We rehearsed a couple of songs we had written with Ulysse in an old barn (our drummer reshaped the barn since and it’s now a fully operative recording studio La Ferme Records) one afternoon. It was all very joyful and messy. I remember I had to sit on a stool because I had no guitar strap. I was also wearing a pink pair of trousers with MDMA written in big fat letters on my ass. Then it’s a blur…

How has your onstage presence changed since then?

We all try to be a bit more professional… Otherwise, it’s still the same feeling of “joie de vivre” we wanna share with whoever is in the room.

Does stage fright still exist for you?

It all depends on the venue, some places frighten you more, but I guess we never really cared about it that much.

What have you been surprised to learn about your fans across the world? How do they differ?

They all share the same love of music. There are a lot of good kids all around the world. Even if their culture can differ a lot – for instance, we played Beirut and Tel Aviv in the same year, two countries at war with each other for all kinds of reasons, and the audiences were absolutely the same! Good-hearted kids who just wanna have fun on a Friday night.

What would a rider of your dreams consist of?

  •  A golden bathtub with the jacuzzi thing to relax before and after shows.
  • Weed in air bong balloons so you can get high without being afraid of losing your voice.
  • Pho soup & Bobun from our favorite place in Paris (rue volta). We often dreamed to bring the chef of that place with us on the road.
  •  The wine cellar of La Tour d’Argent
  • A pair of Vietnamese twin masseuses
  • A dance teacher to warm up
  • No plastic
  •  Cashmere socks
  • Italian lemons from Procida Island
  • A white baby grand piano

What’s your artistic process like when you’re on the road? Do you write new material or are you focused on the current project?

We’re trying not to get too fucked up in order to be in shape for the next show. We focus only on performance. The rest of the day is for jokes, lifting stuff, eating bad sandwichs etc..

Do you have any pre-stage rituals or lucky talismans?

We kinda do the Power Rangers thing with all our hands together screaming nonsense.

When you get back to Paris, what’s the first thing you’ll do?

Eat like a decent Frenchman.

What do you listen to on the road:

We listed a bit more tracks and asked all the members of our band to chip in…we’ll be updating that playlist on tour. Be sure to check it out!

Stay tuned to Milk for more on the road.

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