Click Interview with The Overlookers: ‘We Wanted To Break The Rock‘N’roll Codes’

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The French electro-pop label BOREDOMproduct doesn’t often sign new bands. So I was really wondering who was hiding behind this new name added to the label roster. ‘JB’ from Dekad and  ‘XY’ from Foretaste joined forces creating The Overlookers. After the promising debut EP “Driving Fast” (2018) they now have unleashed their debut full length “Teenage Wet Dreams”. The albums sounds in the purest tradition of the BOREDOMproduct bands, but with a funny concept dealing with aspects of the 50s and 60s American society.

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: It all looks like Foretaste + Dekad = The Overlookers! How did this project saw the daylight and what new sonic challenges do you purchase?  

JB: it started as a recreation. XY had finished his album, mine was just at the beginning and we felt it would be a good thing to try to work on new songs without any pressure, just to see if we could produce something together. We did not intend to make a full album, rather an EP. The obvious challenge was to manage to blend our two universes so that it doesn’t sound exclusively Foretaste or Dekad.

XY: As long as I remember, nothing was planned, we both often have to worry about each other’s demos and that’s how it started. As we work quite quickly, we found out that we had an album in our hands in a few weeks.

Q: The Overlookers has been introduced as a project inspired by American vintage red cars, thriller movies and electronic music. Except the electronic music it all feels like we’re going back to the 50s & 60s. What is this concept all about?

JB: Like a lot of guys from our generation, we are fascinated by certain aspects of the American culture. Nothing very original in fact… Beautiful cars, Western landscapes, movies from the 80s and the American way of life as it could be depicted in movies like “Christine”, “Carrie” or “American Graffiti”. As electronic musicians, we wanted to break the Rock‘n’Roll codes and try to imagine what teenagers from the 60’s would have listened in their jukebox if drum machines and synths had replaced electric guitars and saxophones.

XY: It was just a joke at first, but very quickly it gave the album a common thread. It was very inspiring, there is so much to write about being a teenager.

Q: Your debut EP “Driving Fast” features a wink to the 60s with the cover version of “Unchained Melody”. I rather expect you to make a cover version of Kraftwerk instead of The Righteous Brothers. I guess it was pure fun revisiting this song? How did it happen?

JB: Our boss at BOREDOMproduct suggested that we make a cover of a typical standard of the 60s. What better choice than “Unchained Melody” that everybody knows? The melody, the lyrics sound so 60s! As far as I’m concerned it was quite a challenge to sing that song as it is so far from the way I’m used to sing… Concerning Kraftwerk, even if they started their career in the early 70s playing Krautrock, it is already to recent for us !

XY: I have a real passion for these 50s and 60s torch songs. We had chosen several tracks to cover. “Unchained Melody” was not my favorite one, but we wanted people to immediately recognize the song.

Q: Tell us a bit more about the composition and global production of the album? How was it working together and who took care of what?

JB : We never met during the production of the album. We just communicated by e-mails. In fact, we are used
to work that way. And it works perfectly. It gives us so much reactivity. Sometimes, XY could send me the music in the morning, I could write the lyrics and record the vocals in the afternoon. The song was done at 8pm.

XY: It was really cool to work like that. The objective was not to think too much, we just had to turn the knobs on the synthesizers, find great sounds and record without saving our presets.

Q: The lyrical content is also an interesting item; there’re some links to 60s songs and artists, but still interesting metaphors about life like on “Driving Fast”. Can you tell us a bit more about this aspect and the artwork as well?

XY: On “Driving Fast” we really wanted the listener to be able to project himself into a car, to feel the speed
and life passing by. There’s only one chord in this song like a long straight road. The texts talk about the speed
and death that coexist and give us a good dose of adrenaline.

The artwork was made by BOREDOMproduct even before the album was recorded, it helped us a lot and
inspired us to write the songs.

Q: BOREDOMproduct clearly is much more than simply a label. It makes me think to a kind of ‘electronic family’ featuring artists sharing their common passion for electronic music. How do you perceive it as ‘artists’ and do you feel a kind of ‘label spirit’?

JB: There definitively is a ‘label spirit’ at BOREDOMproduct. We know each other for more than 15 years now. Even if we are not in contact every day, we have as strong sense of cohesion. All
this, based on  strong sense of humor as well !

XY: That’s exactly it, I even remember that the label offered to sign this album before even listening to it.
Nowadays artists can do their thing without a label, but with BOREDOMproduct we don’t even ask ourselves the question, we feel confident with them.

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