How did your musical path cross Peter Dohertys?
Frédéric Lo: “Almost 20 years ago I made an album called ‘Crèvecœur’ with Daniel Darc. And just like with Peter, I made music and played instruments, and Daniel wrote and sang. And a while ago I got the idea to make a tribute album to Daniel, I contacted a couple of artists for this album not yet finished, Jane Birkin, Étienne Daho, Dominique A and Michel Houellebecq I asked Peter if he was interested, I met him and I played him the song “Inutile et hors d’usage”. In English it became “Without Use and All Used Up”. It touched him a lot and we immediately became friends. When we met again in Étretat to record the song, it went very good! Then afterwards we opened a bottle of champagne and he asked me if I would continue to do things together. That’s how the adventure began ”.
How have your artistic journeys with Peter Doherty fed each other?
“We already have a kind of common background. I have always asserted my love of English pop, from the Beatles to the Smiths via Blur. Then I really like literature and poetry. I have often worked with artists who had a good literary background, be it Daniel, Alex Beaupain, Stephan Eicher with Philippe Djian, for example. Peter has lived in France for a long time. He likes literature a lot, he likes Rimbaud a lot, like me I like Oscar Wilde … And then it was also a meeting, a bit like a thing with children meeting in a schoolyard, except that we both had our background. When he is fifteen years younger, he was produced by Mick Jones from The Clash, but he has never seen The Clash on stage. I’ve seen them several times. It took place in a completely natural way and without charge.
The four weeks in a mansion in Étretat resulted in a record, certainly melancholic, but which above all contains luminous and inspired melodies. Is it due to the atmosphere in the year 2020?
“Yes. The incredible thing is that Peter lives near Étretat, and I borrowed a house in Étretat to record the cover of the album with him. We were in an enchanted bracket at the time of the second wave of the pandemic. “At the same time he was calm because he did not have a tour, everything was stopped. And at the same time we lived a musical and friendly adventure, intense and joyful in a somewhat dark moment. It was both extraordinarily rich and at the same time strange”.
On this disc, “The Fantasy Life Of Poetry Crime”, perform, in addition to you and Peter Doherty, eight musicians. What happens on Sunday on the big Art Rock stage?
“We kept changing the formula. In Saint-Brieuc we want a pretty intimate version. I want to be on acoustic guitar; Katia, Peter’s wife, on keyboards; a violinist, and Peter sings and maybe he plays guitar on a song or two. We made versions where we were ten. There we will be two boys and two girls, a more acoustic version that can also be interesting. We wish it would never be the same. We like when we can send a little, and also when it is on the edge ”.
Have you ever played in Saint-Brieuc?
“I played at Art Rock, with Daniel Darc, in front of Miossec, in 2004. And then I also played at Y’a Skiff in 2019, with Filip Chrétien, musician and singer from Rennes. We became friends because he loves “Crèvecœur”, and he sent me his records. That was the beginning of our friendship and we still see each other.
What do you think of this trip?
“We had an insane welcome everywhere! Every time I think it’s crazy. In Paris we were” sold out “three months before when we had already played in Studio 105 in front of 1,000 people. We did it again three days after a” sold out ” Cirque d’Hiver, and then in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, I thought it was amazing! ”