Q&A with French band of Teleferik (Eliz Mourad & Arno Vincendeau) - keeps the faith and brings the music message

"Blues is a communion with our spirituality, sometimes it is religious, sometimes it is not; it is a heart's talk (confession) or a complain, which focuses on our pain or our own experiences."

Teleferik:The Bright Side Of The Moon

Teleferik is a French rock band, which formed in Paris, France. The band consists of Eliz Mourad (Vocals/Bass guitar), Arno Vincendeau (Lead Guitar). Eliz began to sing by listening to soul and rock music since her childhood. Today she keeps this faith and brings the heat on stage. Influenced by some Rock bands of the 70s as a teenager, in the studio or on stage, Arno became a storyteller. Teleferik is a new rock combination of these two routes. The band collaborated with many artists. Lawrence Clais (Phoenix, M and De La Soul), recorded his drum on the 1 EP in 2011. Imari Kokubo was the drummer of the band from 2011 to 2013. She recorded on their 2nd EP "Louve Garou" released in 2013. Joe Babiak (Michael Angelo, Kill Hannah, Cage9) played with Teleferik during their tour in the US in October 2014. Olivier Hurtu (Jesus Volt) play with the band since 2014. He recorded on their debut album "Lune Electric" released October 2015.           Photo © by Alca Luto

Lune Electric was recorded at the Black Box Studio by Peter Deimel. The album is distributed by Modulor (France), Knick Knack Records (USA), and Chili Music (Korea). Singer and bassist Eliz Mourad brings the heat to this 10 track album with songs sung in English, French and Arabic.

Interview by Michael Limnios

Special Thanks: William Juin (Knick Knack) / Photos: Alca Lutu & Sylvia Vasseur

What do you learn about yourself from the Rock n’ Roll culture and what does the blues mean to you?

Eliz: Rock n roll authorizes me the loss of control and allows me to be insane. I can get into a trance and have sexual sensations while playing. Rock n roll allows me to be an animal, a wild creature in its own element. Blues is a communion with our spirituality, sometimes it is religious, sometimes it is not; it is a heart's talk (confession) or a complain, which focuses on our pain or our own experiences. Rock n roll speaks through our bodies, it's a contagious communion, connected to our own sexual impulses. It's a very intense version of blues. It is not surprising that it evokes the fury in adolescent; this is the period in our lives when we control nothing.

Arno: The Rock n Roll culture is very abstract for me. The definition of Rock music is very large and many people have their own definition of Rock. For doing rock music became essential. Something who can make me feel free and relieved. It's a way to express what I sincerely feel. Doing and creating rock is the right way to compose music. My life is related to the Rock music. I don't only listen Rock music but when I compose I need to include Rock. The blues is a music of heart and soul. It’s a philosophy and an essential ingredient in my music.

How do you describe Teleferik sound and songbook? What characterize band’s philosophy?

Eliz: I think that Arno and myself sound unique and very special. It is a mixture of both complex and easy music at the same time. As the songs author I can say our songs talk about my experiences as a human being, sometimes focusing on me as a woman, sometimes I like to pretend I’m a kind of conscious mind trying to understand our behavior. Sometimes I’m French, sometimes I’m Lebanese and so the taboos and questions are different. Sometimes it is just a civilian act to write songs, not necessarily politics but I believe I'm very aware of the society surrounding me. Arno illustrates these moods with his guitar and arrangements. We are a kind of music's messengers.

"As far as I know they were not a specific interesting period of Blues in France. Or maybe during the fifties. The blues was imported by the Black American musicians. The Blues scene appeared after the period of Jazz music who started during the First World War." (Photo © ALCA LUTO)

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

Eliz: Yes In March we have recorded our first album at the Black Box Studio in Angers, France with Peter Deimel. Prior to that experience I was extremely uncomfortable with the concept of recording in a studio. The whole process scares me because I have to work with machines. I can’t fail and I have to sing and play for myself. I face my vulnerability as a human being…I face my voice. Peter makes me forget about the machines. He puts me at ease and because of him I’ve learned to enjoy that dreadful process, even in an empty room with nothing more than a microphone. Having Peter Deimel as a sound engineer and a producer was a blast and one of the most beautiful experience in my life.

Arno: It's hard to remember some exact memories. Each moment in my musician career is unique and different and I try to enjoy as much as I can those moments. It's definitely more powerful when you feel the presence and the energy of people while you are playing. This connection happens at different levels and not necessarily when the crowd is big. If you are convinced about your performance you have more chance to create this type of connections.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
Eliz: I came across a joke/phrase on Facebook that really appealed to me, it said: "I really miss the days when musicians could be both talented and ugly » It makes me laugh but it is true, isn't it?!  Bands and musicians appearances became a big physical criteria. They have to depend on their looks in order to succeed and build a music career and unfortunately sometimes it matters more than the quality of their music. Any canon of beauty can make you swallow shit with your ears! I think it is going to be worst. We did not reach the end of our surprises yet...

Arno: What I miss the most is the purity of the recording. In purity I mean the creativity and the naïveté of the musicians, the sound engineer. It's hard to feel immersed by the records. My hope in the future it's I want to be more surprise by the musicians and their project. I know many musicians are really creative nowadays but unfortunately I think people who rule the business don't give them the chance they deserved to have to be more exposed. I don't have fear but I want to be more surprise by the bands and musicians and to see them in good media exposure. I'm expected people who work in the music industry take more time to listen the music and choose the artists with only their heart and their feeling. Which mean taking more risks and don’t choose the same to of genre and artists image.

"The definition of Rock music is very large and many people have their own definition of Rock. For doing rock music became essential. Something who can make me feel free and relieved. It's a way to express what I sincerely feel." (Photo: Teleferik on stage, © Sylvia Vasseur) 

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Eliz: We must not put businessmen on top of the music industry, we must replace them with artists. Businessmen have to stay at the end of the chain, as distributors and salesmen in order to sell your music. Because they have bad taste in music and they only hear the sound of money.

Arno: All the standard and code of the market. Let the artists be more free and more musical. Hear more things (have more exposure) when you can feel the musicians push themself as musicians.

What does to be a female artist in a “Man’s World” as James Brown says? What is the status of women in Rock?

Eliz: Did you ask this question to Arno? The day we will consider the woman as a human and not just a gender; this question will not exist anymore. Although I'm glad you asked me this question, because that way it shows that there is a problem. It’s a Men’s world just because some men believed that, and decided that and made us believe that too! Just like, at one point, some of them believed that it was a white men’s world! Some men get all the advantages and control our lives perception, which is wrong. For this questionnaire I’m answering first of all as an artist, secondly as a human being, and finally as a woman. Of course I wrote songs about that issue as well...

There are not enough women in rock. There are many more in the pop industry…Because as Joan Jett said: «In Pop Music you say you can do what you want to me, in rock music you say: I’m gonna do what I want to you!» Not many women are ready to play this role and not many men are ready to accept that from a woman.               (Photo: Eliz & Arno in Paris, 2015 © ALCA LUTO)

"We must not put businessmen on top of the music industry, we must replace them with artists. Businessmen have to stay at the end of the chain, as distributors and salesmen in order to sell your music. Because they have bad taste in music and they only hear the sound of money." 

Make an account of the case of Rock n’ Roll in France. Which is the most interesting period in local blues scene?

Arno: It's a very interesting which is quite hard to answer. Because I didn't listen a lot of French Rock. My only reference was the band 'Noir Desir' I listened a lot when I was teenager (middle of the 90's). As far as I know they were not a specific interesting period of Blues in France. Or maybe during the fifties. The blues was imported by the Black American musicians. The Blues scene appeared after the period of Jazz music who started during the First World War.

What is the impact of Rock n’ Roll music and culture to the racial and sociocultural implications?

Eliz: Regarding the history between the African American and white people, I would like to start with the fact that the African Americans were working in slavery for the white men and during that time blues was invented. Back in the days in USA white people were not listening to blues, they were mostly interested line dancing and country music. On the other side of the world, in UK, something completely different was happening. During the World War II the African American soldiers stationed in England brought their music with them and the English people fell heads and heels for it. The 40's and 50's were the years when everybody was listening to African American music, including kids who eventually turned into great artist such as the Rolling Stones. Even though the Rolling Stones are white and english. It's all thanks to white English men that American white men started listening to blues. Because it was the already admires musicians like Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and others who came to USA openly supporting African American artists. Therefore it's an amazing story. At the end of the day it were the white people who recognized the black people's talent which was primarily rejected by the other white people. It has come full circle.

What are the lines that connect the Blues with Indie Rock and continue to Alternative Rock n’ Roll and beyond? Photo © ALCA LUTO

Eliz: The Jazz music and the blues music are the roots of modern music…That’s it, I think...

Arno: The Rock started from many influences and the blues is one of the principal. In the history the bands created many variations. We actually don't know how to define our Rock too. Some people told us blues. Others say garage, soul or psychedelic and they are often not agree. It's a good sign that people can't really categorized the type of music we do even they try hard.

What has made you laugh and what touched (emotionally) you from your experience in United States?

Eliz: Bartenders and waiters in Restaurants are ultra-nice because they depend on your tips! And sometimes it is very weird! It’s like Mikey Mouse and Duffy Duck on acid asking you what do you please to order?…Beside of that I fell in love with Chicago, Clarksdale and Nashville. I'm a USA landscape, food, music’s etc…FAN!

Arno: It was my first trip in USA so I can't describe how I was emotionally touched. America is a country we all know trough the Medias (music, movies ...) since we are kid. And I was influenced in a positive way by this country. America make us believe everything is possible. There is this positive vibe I like to keep in my mind. And I actually felt like I was in a movie there. Especially more because I was touring with Eliz and Joe (our local drummer based in Chicago) who became an awesome friend. I actually filmed a lot there to. We still have many rushes from our tour I still want to edit. People were nice and so welcoming. I really enjoyed every moment there. I hope to come back soon.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?
Eliz: I’d like to meet Moise, Jesus or Mahomet and see if they really exist…Imagine what could be this world without religions?

Arno: For a whole day I will bring my HD camera and pass a day with Jimi Hendrix. I will film him recording and performing the same day. I will make a one shot movie of 24hours and I will call the movie 'one day with Jimi Hendrix'.

Teleferik - Official website

Photo © ALCA LUTO 2015

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