INTERVIEW WITH SILLY BOY BLUE - CRASH Magazine
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Silly Boy Blue

INTERVIEW WITH SILLY BOY BLUE

By Crash redaction

On the occasion of the release of the video clip of Silly Boy Blue, The Fight, discover our interview with the artist for our issue#93, The Eletric Issue ⚡️

What did music mean to you while growing up? 

So many things! Like a lot of teenagers, I had a hard time understanding my emotions. It’s still not easy, but music helped me to understand a few things: what I felt, why I liked certain people, why I didn’t like certain things, why I had a hard time accepting myself…

Did music bring you closer to certain people or social groups?

I’ve always had a group of girlfriends who each have very different styles. I was much more goth than them and we didn’t listen to the same kind of music, but we managed to be friends despite all that. Afterwards, music still made me meet a lot of people. I grew up in Nantes and I met a lot of local musicians while I was hanging out at concerts. I’m still close with a lot of them. Unlike many people, I’m still very grateful to some of my ex-boyfriends who showed me Elliott Smith and many others…

Did Elliott Smith influence the way you write songs?

What I like about the way he writes songs is the mix between something very mainstream – with the hyper simple and effective melodies – and something very indie, which can be more niche. He would pair an absolutely beautiful melody with very dark lyrics about suicide. I like that duality. And then his story is absolutely wild. I used to be a journalist and I investigated the story of his death. I managed to find his girlfriend at the time on Facebook but she had never replied to me. What is crazy is that they never closed the case, almost twenty years after his death. I got the coroner on the phone who explained that they had a stabbed body and that this type of death only corresponds to four percent of suicides. So it points to a murder lead.

Like Kurt Cobain’s death, some details remain unclear.

Totally. But for Kurt Cobain, since it involved a firearm, it was less surprising than stabbing yourself. The coroner told me that in his forty years on the job, he had never seen anyone stab themselves. In any case, we still don’t know the full story.

Did you study journalism?

Yes, and then I worked for a few years in the field, but I stopped to focus on music full time.

Do you think being a journalist has made you more critical about your own music?

Yes and no. On the one hand it made me more critical, and on the other it taught me to accept negative opinions. I realized that it’s all very subjective. Sometimes they would send me an album that I didn’t like at all and I had to write about it and give my sincere opinion. When that happens to me with my music, I take it less personally than I might have when I was younger. Not everyone will like your music and that’s normal. I can put myself in the writer’s shoes whenever I read a negative review.

Did it change your perspective on your own music?

In addition to being a journalist, when you listen to a lot of other music it’s hard not to see how it makes its way into your own music. At one point I was listening to Frank Ocean’s Blonde all the time, and then I had a hard time writing songs because I thought I would never do it as well as he did. But I can still get over it by remembering that we’re not the same person. (laughs) It’s possible to take inspiration and also set limits so you’re not stealing anything. And I’ve definitely developed a very critical mindset about my music, which is a good thing. I can take a step back and question my own work.

What did your first songs sound like?

(laughs) I recorded them with my feet! The quality was terrible, there was so much breathing… But they were guitar/voice or Ableton productions. I think there’s still a common thread that hasn’t changed. I’ve kept the same influences and the same way of writing. With time you get to know your instruments, your chords, what you like and what you don’t like, production and mixing tricks… When you work with sound engineers, they teach you things you can use again and again. But I’m still a “pop chick” who’s devoted to the “verse/chorus/bridge” format. I listened to some old demos not long ago when I found an old computer of mine and something about it made me sad. Even at a very young age, I used to write very dark songs. It’s crazy! (laughs) At fourteen I was already saying that my heart was broken into a thousand pieces. Ten years have gone by but ultimately, nothing has changed, at least not in the way I feel.

Sometimes the teenage years are the darkest.

Yes, definitely. You understand how far you’ve come by diving back into the past.

The way you sing and your lyrics sometimes remind me of Brian Molko from Placebo. Have you listened to that band a lot?

Oh wow, that’s great! That’s a big compliment to me. I grew up with Placebo, Marilyn Manson, Evanescence… When you’re a teenager and you don’t understand why you’re mad at the world and you listen to “Teenage Angst”, you know it’s going to be with you for a while. There’s hardly anything I listened to as a teenager that I’ve left in the past. I still listen to Blink 182, The Offspring… And now there are people who are bringing that period back to life. I listen a lot to Jean Dawson and Yungblud who are updating that kind of music for the 2020s.

Your first album is coming out soon!

Yes, it’s coming out in spring. I like the two singles that have come out, but there are other songs on the album that are really close to my heart. I can’t wait for it to come out! It’s been a long time since I started writing it and I hope people will like it. It will be called Breakup Songs. It’s an album that documents all the stages: from the breakup, from sadness to anger, from the moment you give the person’s stuff back to the moment you get to know yourself better and finally move on to something else. When we recorded the album there was no question about the order of the songs. I wanted them to tell a story. I knew there was a beginning, a middle and an end. A lot of songs helped me through breakups but I never found an album that retraced the whole path. And I needed that. We’re talking about the seven stages of breaking up with denial, grief, and so on. I wanted to reproduce that in Breakup Songs: a big puzzle that you put together while listening.

The album format is slowly disappearing. With playlists and streaming platforms, people are picking their own music. Do you feel like you have to change your approach or work twice as hard to promote your full album?

Read the full interview on Crash#93, available in our Crash Store ⚡️

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Photographer : Motoki Mokito

Stylist : Pauline Grosjean

Interview : Alice Butterlin

Make-up : Thierry Do Nascimento Radjou

Hair : Natsumi Ebiko

Stylist assistant : Orianne Drouet

Editing Video : Guillaume Lemasson

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