Vava: My name is Vava Dudu as in French “Ca Va”. I’m the singer and writer..
Stephane: I am an artist and musician. I compose and perform the electronic parts and beats of La Chatte.
Nikolu: Hi! I’m the guitarist!
“Bastet” is an interesting album mixed with soundscapes, jerky synths and almost animalistic vocal arrangements. When listening to it, I felt like I was in a fantasy world run by haughty cats and nintendo characters. What can we expect from your next album “Crash Ocean”?
V: I expect to give a Tsunami of love all over the world.
N: “Bastet” was our “black” thing…. “Crash Océan” is our blue one!
S: “Bastet” was a collection of titles that we experienced on stage for many years. The sources of sound and inspiration were very diverse. “Crash Ocean” on the contrary was composed and recorded in a much shorter time. It is more condensed, but still very rough and epidermic. Most of the songs came out from improvisations during a stay of Vava and Nikolu at my place in Berlin, with very few material. A beat box and a line of synth, a guitar and a great quantity of white wine. Some of the songs were made in just one take. Blue synthetic tears on waving crystalline furs… That’s how I see the songs of this album.
I understand that you guys give a rather improvised stage performance and that songs you’ve written and recorded have a tendency to get altered when on stage. Is this something you planned to do? Or are you so involved in the moment that you let the sounds take you where you want to go? And how did this come about?
S: Since La Chatte was created, we have developed a very personal way of working together. Basically we never rehearse. We composed a very large number of songs since we started. Some of them were only performed once or twice. Most of them change lyrics and arrangements progressively. Some were completely forgotten and reappear when we discover a footage of an old concert. Our albums are just one possible version of songs that essentially can evolve or change with time. The atmosphere of the venue and the reaction of the public is also very important.
V: I think we like improvisation of live every day, every night, so on stage, I like to go where the wave of the music goes and play with my voice to give my heart “moon amour ou ma haine”.
N: On stage, we take the energy we have in the moment. Also, we don’t really rehearse our performance, which gives us a lot of freedom.
Your band is made up of three people, all with very interesting backgrounds. How did you meet?
N: At night in Paris.
V: Stephane and I met at the Parisian club “The Pulp“. Niklau joined us at another party soon after.
S: We first met with Vava during Paris night life in the 90’s. We wanted to transform the energy of our nocturnal adventures into sound and spectacle. The name of the group was found and we immediately composed our first 5 songs, some of them we still play in concert. What interested us was to mix a very cold and clinical sound esthetic with extremely hot, volcanic singing. We then met Nikolu, who performed with us at our first concert. He immediately understood the energy with great intuition and inspiration. His very personal guitar sound contributed to forge La Chatte‘s final sound.
What made you realize that you were meant to work together and become La Chatte? And how does your individual backgrounds influence your sound?
V: The fun and “folie” of life and the idea to make your own wave music to dance cry love. A style of cocktail of energy.
S: The three of us have a quite different personalities. What makes La Chatte still interesting, for each of us, is that we have very little control on the final result of our collaboration. We certainly have a lot in common when it comes to the taste in music, but let’s say that there is maybe something more volcanic and eccentric in Vava‘s personality, whereas Nikolu and his guitar have something very aquatic. I would define my machines as maybe more architectural but also very playful with stylistic codes and sonorities.
N: We love mixing our universe. To my mind, the world goes better and better from this mixing process. We are all the same age and all of us listened to the same kind of sound. The result is different for our personal works, but naturally comes together when we are together.
All three of you seem to be very busy with other projects as well; Vava Dudu is fashion designing, Nicolas Jorio is working on a solo project called “Take” and Stephane Argillet started a music label and shop in Berlin called Uni+Form. How often does La Chatte get together to write new material and how does working on your solo projects help inspire the band?
N: We trust our “community”!
S: Our concerts are really the moments where we can escape our other activities and concentrate on us three. They are very intense moments. We also try from time to time to arrange some kind of intense work sessions like lately in Berlin. I am also involved into the artistic group France Fiction and the music project Peine Perdue. Nikolu is also working with contemporary artists or for theater. Vava is also making exhibitions as plastician. What we lose in time of actual work or rehearsing is certainly reinvested in some kind of intensity, inspiration and joy to reunite in concert or short work sessions.
V: I like to mix different projects which are exciting such as art design and music. It’s life. C’est la vie en bleu.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
N: Blue is the new color.
S: Maybe just invite them to come and share a moment with us at the occasion of our two concerts this week in Berlin at Chalet on Wednesday 24th and at the occasion of our release party at Urban Spree on Saturday 27th. Vava’s clothes, some of them customized with her lyrics, will also be presented for a special sale at Uni+Form on Friday and Saturday. Maybe a good way to experience the crossover sensibility of La Chatte? At Urban Spree we also invited our friends from Aniaetleprogrammeur, who are also involved in the fashion project Tata Christiane, also presented at Uni+Form. We share with them a way of mixing fields of creation and inspiration. Extreme and poetic performer artist Voin de Voin, with who we sometimes interacted on stage, is not to be missed, as well as Joris from Notsocöld.
V: DON’T FORGET L’ AMOUR!!!
Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to catching your show in Berlin at Urban Spree.