On the hour of appointment I arrive at the venue in Antwerp, meeting support band Thurisaz and getting to know that Les Discrets happens to be in the middle of their sound-check. I hear it and sat down with the lovely blokes from Thurisaz until everything is arranged sound-wise for the headliner this evening. Then Fursy embraces me and leads me to the van where we listen to the new album ‘Prédateurs’ and have a very nice chat meanwhile. The titles and details at this point in time cannot be revealed, but the album sounds ace. However they have new elements in their sound, that’s for sure. At least the album happens to be a reflection of this moment in time of Fursy’s life. He appears on stage with a full-bloom band, but at home he does everything himself, assisted by his wife for secular female vocals. This is a one-man-project exploding in your face on stage! After the first listening session of ‘Prédateurs’, we looked for a quiet place backstage and summarized it all in the next lovely conversation.
How was your state of mind when you embarked for this tour?
I was really excited, because this is the first headline tour for Les Discrets and it was a wonderful opportunity to do this on our own, meet fans and play the new music. It was also a lot of pressure and a lot of stress, because we put a lot of energy and efforts in it when organizing it, preparing it and also a lot of money. Of course you don’t know if people will show up at the shows and if the new band will work together on the road, So it was a mix of stress and excitement.
Is everybody who was with you at Prophecy Fest still with you?
Yes of course, this is the new live band. Only the drummer, Jean Jolie, is with me when recording.
Why did it take so long between the recordings and the release?
The album was recorded in January two years ago, in 2015. I took four months off from my regular job, making animated films, which is my job and also I really needed time to calm down and take distance while regarding every song if I liked it or what could be changed. The choice between what is useless and what is good, you know, and then we went for the mix of the recordings. Then we went on this tour. Basically it was planned to be released for the tour, but we had some troubles and could not make it, because the factory was super busy with other printings for many bands. So now we are going to release it before the Roadburn festival where we will play, a little bit earlier.
It was very remarkable that in between the European tour, you suddenly had two shows in Russia. Please tell us about that adventure…
I knew these shows would be cool, because I have a lot of contacts with the fans via Facebook or emails. I got a lot of emails from Russia in the past years. So I knew that those people would come, but I did not know that these people would be so enthusiastic. Very warm. We have been doing St. Petersburg and Moscow, these are really beautiful cities, especially St. Petersburg. There was a lot of people, coming to the shows and the organizers were very, very kind. They were very professional. The big surprise, additional to that, for me, was the food. The food in Russia is delicious! It is very tasty. I think they have French influences, it is a mix of many things. It was a taste I am not used to, but very well cooked, very tasty, a very good surprise for all of us actually. I thought it would be mainly potatoes and rough stuff, but it is really not. They really put a lot of work into the cooking.
I think they tell us a lot of lies about Russia…
Yes, we had a lot to do with police and customs, because we had our instruments, taking them across the border… People told us: you will see they are very nasty, but they were the kindest people ever. They were super cool with us, very kind, very correct.
Why did you already use the backdrop of the record ‘Prédateurs’ at Prophecy Fest 2016?
It was because we decided to start the promotion of the new album very early. We like people to get into the new music slowly. This album is all about taking time, taking time to think about life, just like me in the train going from South France to Paris every day and taking time about the music, very down-tempo, very atmospheric. We want to stretch it up; slowly we give some music. They can hear it and digest it and when the album comes out, they are ready for it. That is why we start to release some EPs, so people can get into our new sound.
You are pretty successful with your paintings. Are you going to do another exhibition?
Maybe, I would like to. But this moment I really want to change all my life. I want to move from the city and buy a house at the countryside. Maybe live with a lower salary, less money, but in the way I really intend to live my life. I am living in the city now, but I am exhausted with that. I want to be in nature, I want to have animals.
To round off for now, let us occlude with your general impression of this tour which is over after the concert tonight…
We have been in Italy. It was on a Monday, but many people showed up. So we were surprised about this. Because Monday in Italy, usually it is really tough, but eighty people showed up, so quite a bit. We played several shows in Germany and the best for me was Erfurt. That was really cool. Markus and Tobias came over too, really cool. A great venue, perfect atmosphere, I think we played very well too. Bratislava in Slovakia was fantastic! The organizers were lovely, there were 220 fans, very enthusiastic. We loved Russia, Paris was really successful, a lot of people. Many friends. A few days ago we played in my city, in Lyon, but that was not a good show. Not so much people, only a lot of family and a lot of press. And I really don’t like to play in front of family. And the Netherlands was not good at all as well. Forty people at the maximum. Maybe because we play at Roadburn in two months, so people did not show up. And now we are exhausted. The end of a tour is always tough. But I hope it will be a good show you will enjoy.