... ... a letter for the stars: Knowing... Soy Un Caballo

05 enero 2008

Knowing... Soy Un Caballo

Soy Un Caballo are sweeter than any belgian chocolate. Thomas and Aurélie are a couple of artists that can create the most beatiful melodies we could imagine.
Some months ago they released the great "Les Heures de Raison", that it is going to be released by Green Ufos this 2008, but they are more than musicians that, apart from making an excellent artwork (created by Aurélie), they have done a short-film, played in The Take Away Show, collaborated in a lot of bands,...
We have had the pleasure to talk for a while with Thomas about the past, present and the future of Soy Un Caballo. This are his thoughts... (Ir a la versión española)

To start with, could you tell us something about the beginning of Soy Un Caballo?
- Aurélie and me (Thomas) started soy un caballo 2 years ago. We live togheter since 9 years but we were busy working with other bands before.
2 years ago we thought it was the time to take care of our own project and music.

So we've start working on those songs when i get my legs broken (playing badminton so hard was a bad idea). When we get the songs we decided to work with some friends of us. we first work with Jesse from the band Morning star. He came to our house for two periods os works and we've done a lot of works together.
Then we've work and record most of the basic tracks with Boris and Cédric.

Boris and Cédric are on the same label (matamore) as Aurélie and me. Aurélie plays with Boris and Cédric in another band called "raymondo" (you should listen to the amazing second album). Aurélie, cédric and me also plays in a band call V.O. where Boris is the leader.

It's quite complicate but we all have a band where we are the leader. Raymondo, V.O. and soy un caballo (all bands end up with a "o").

After that recordings session we've been recordings the voices and done a lot of editing at home.

We finaly went to London to mix the records with Sean O'hagan (high llamas) and Charlie Francis.

We've been very lucky to work with all those great musicians....



Why did you decided to have an spanish name? Is it mean anything special for you?
- We first used "i'm horse" and we released one song under that name on the compilation. With our friend José Rojo we found that it sounds beter in spanish.

What are some ideas you wanted to develop in "les heures de raison" ?
- It's quite a long a complicate question and it's hard for me to answer in english...
But Aurélie and me had this idea of making an album at home. Each song could report to a room in our appartment. That's why there is a song called : La chambre, La bibliothèque,.....

We wish to make songs that we could play and record and home. it means not a lot of noise and something quite simple.
Our first idea was to create songs with just a guitare and some voices.
We finally decide to add a lot of stuffs an instruments as overdubs.

About the lyrics it also talk about relationship.

Did you ever expect the great reviews of the album? What does it mean to you?
- We dind't get a lot of reviews for this records but we are quite happy with this.
We did not pay a lot of attention to criticism because we know how hard it's to do a record.

We were so happy to work with Sean, Charlie, Boris , Will, Cédricn Jesse and Kate and it makes our heart really happy.

Even if we've spent some times to promote our records we do prefer to continue to make music and work on our video too.

We wish we could finish the short movie we've start early next year.



Do you think in terms of individual melodies, or do you conceptualize a whole song at once?
- Each songs has it own laws. You've to take care of that. Each songs is a diiferent country and you can do the same tip....

So some of the songs were born with a concept (like la bibliothèque) others like Robin begins with the melody.

Do you find songwriting to be something of a therapeutical process or something similar to writing fiction, in a story format?

- It's more therapeutical. I mean for me i'm not sure that aurélie feels the same about that. More i get older more i'm close to me (?). It's a strange feeling but when i was playing with others bands and when i was not the leader i spend more time to take care of what the people thought of our music.
When we get bad reviews it hurts me more than it hurts me now. Deeper i get the less i take care of the external opinion.




In our opinion, one of your best songs it is "Robin", could you talk about it and explain the feeling of the song?
- This songs talk about our relationship (Aurélie and me) and the feeling we had when she went to Nebraska to mix her album (Melon galia : les embarras du quotidien) with Mike Mogis (Bright eyes).
The songs is about the fact that when one stay at home and the other go, the one who stay wish that the other do not change too much. When you're used to see a personn every day you also have his face on our mind. This image dissapear slower day after day.
So about the melody : we had this melody but we used to play that song faster.
We've been recording in a country house during the summer 2006. It was a big house and everyone had a room to work and i remember Cédric was working outised near the swiming pool.
He called me and say "thomas, i think i found something cool for the intro on Robin". That's the vibes shake with guitars that you can here. Jesse also add some "beach boys" backing vocals. Before mixing the song in London we thought it could be a nice idea to add a pré-intro with those voices.
Mellow and smoggy voices with strange hamonies. It's a relly movie-song.
That's the concept of Robin : Two people in love saying goodbye at an Airport, take the airplane, One get back at home, finaly the other came back...... Am, i clar enough?

French seems to be the language that best fits in the music you play, have you ever thought about singing in English or even in Spanish?
- Belgium is a very tiny country and we get the influence (in music and art) from all the country around us. So, it's so easy to choose to sing in french because we listen to a lot of music from England and America. Exept "melon galia" we always played in band who choose to sing in english. When we start working on soy un caballo we thought that we had to sing in french. We should sing in our mother tongue and even if we do love english music we're not born in the right side of the sea......

We also did not want to have a band "chansons française" were the lyrics is more important than the music.




We think that your music has something related with cinema, did you ever get inspired by films?
- Did you knew we've made a short-movie? You can watch the first part on our myspace, site or on youtube. (www.myspace.com/soyuncaballo). We've made a strange movie with photo, animation and finaly some real shooting session. The story os that short-movie is to explain what's happen to that men with this horse head. Why do he have this horse head? when.....
Aurélie has been studying editing in a movie school so we can do eveything at home....

It seems that you could be influenced by sixties french pop but... could you tell me what have been your main musical influences and some bands that you recommend right now?
- Sure : Belle and sebastian, Stereolab, The high llamas, electrelane, Burt Bacharah, Henri Mancini, Tortoise, Bonnie Pince Billy, Tunng, Robert Wyatt, Yo la tengo, Pixies Neu!,....

Right now we love the band from our label : V.O., Raymondo, Some Tweet Love, Half Asleep.
You listen to Berg sans nipple last records, We love the sound of bailey (myspace), The first José Gonzales, .... We also love a belgium pop band called "Austin lace" so you should listen to Easy to cook. We're also big fan of "this is the kit" last album....

You have make a performance for one of the most interesting musical projects right now, The Take Away Show, what could you tell us about this experiencie?
- We were talking earlier about the reivews we had and what it does on us, you remember?
To be a part of the take away show : that's really matter for us.

Those shows are really great to do and to watch. Music should always sound like that: Normal with no additive. Organic! Music could be so simple and that was really a gift for us to do that show.
They shoot so fast that you do not have the time to think about how you should be.
We were in a old market with our friends Kate, Jesse and the little Mosey.

Talking about live shows, When you're performing what goes through your mind?
- Pick up the right cords thomas, pick up the right cords please!
- Smile and be polite
- Look at Aurélie to give her confidence
- Thomas, are you sure you know all the lyrics of that songs?
- I wanna a beer, please someone could bring me a beer?
- .......

Are you planning a future tour around Europe and, obviously, Spain? (I hope we could see you in Valencia)
- We should tour during february and March 2008. We do hope we could come to Valencia. Really.

What are your plans for your near future?
- As i told you we should tour during the first month of 2008. We should hit the studio this summer to record a new album. We also have to finish the short movie and we hope tht we could release it with a bonus cd with remixes as soon as possible.

We're also finishing to give a hand to Boris solo band (V.O.) and his album will be mixed by Charlie Francis in February. So we should do some shows with V.O. from March to June.

Finally, Could you tell us something in Spanish for your Spanish audience?
Just click here to listen a Soy Un Caballo´s exclusive clip

More information:

Website : www.soyuncaballo.com
Myspace : www.mysace.com/soyuncaballo
Soy Un Caballo en The Take Away Show: http://www.blogotheque.net/article.php3?id_article=3687
Green Ufos: http://www.myspace.com/greenufos