french films. interview #38

Let the sun shine and the warm breeze of summer flow into your ears in the form of new wave-ish French Film’s melodies. Five boys (Johannes, Mikael, Santtu, Joni and Antti) from Finland – yes, cold Finland – started the band last year and with Golden Sea, a four track EP released under GAEA, brought the attention to their sunny tunes (almost anthems in their intensity and addictiveness) being made in frigid suomi lands. Comparisons range from The Drums to Joy Division and The Cure.
An album is being mixed as I write and will be out this year. And pretty soon the first single will see the light of… well, the hot summer sun –which couldn’t be more appropriate.
So for the folks in the North hemisphere: wear sunscreen, shake of the ice, go to the beach and expect new French Films music soon.
Folks in the South: enjoy French Films while you keep dreaming about warmer times.
  Golden Sea EP by French Films

Here's my chat with Johannes...

1. First things first: how did you guys got together? And where does the name come from? Are you big fans of french films?
I used to play with Antti in a band before FF. Mikael also had a band that often played shows with us. That's how we got to know him. We all thought that it would be fun to play together some simple garage pop stuff. Quite soon I met Joni in a bar, both of us being pretty drunk, and started talking about music and cool bands. So I asked Joni to join. He afterwards brought Santtu with him 'cause we thought we could use a keyboardist. This all happened pretty fast in the beginning of 2010.

02. If your music was a landscape or planet or painting or anything visual, how it would look like?
Maybe a bright view of a colourful and beautiful summer island and a blue sea. Something what kids can imagine probably the best. Or then pictures of crowds of young people just hanging around parks being totally lost but feeling madly alive. I often go through pics of tropical paradises and dream me and my friends being there having a good time. A lot of our songs include that sort of dreamy escapism.

03. Since the place we live shapes us, it might be a surprise to some people the fact that you’re from Finland, a country that most people think of as cold and dark. To disprove that, there’s Golden Sea, your debut ep released last year under GAEA Records. It is vibrant, uplifting and as sunny as a summer day in Spain or Brazil. It feels almost like a gathering of 80’s punk and new wave kids at a beach party. Could you talk a bit about your influences? 
We all like 60's surf and pop, 70's punk, 80's post punk and new wave and also some new modern music. Like I said before, photography and other forms of art inspire us as well. Sometimes I see a picture or a painting and I get the feeling I wanna write a song that "sounds" like it. Though I guess that's pretty common to songwriters.
I don't think it's odd at all that we're writing the kind of music we do. It is probably one of the biggest reasons we write summerish tunes excactly because we live in a mainly cold and dark country.

04. Your debut album is finished. Do you have any release dates already? Can you tell us how was the recording process? Is there any info you can share with us (number of tracks, tracklist, any song from the ep being revisited...)?  
It's actually still being mixed and it's going to take some time since we're doing everything by ourselves and we're also somewhat busy with rehearsing and touring and such. But it's coming along quite nicely. The album is going to contain probably 9-10 new songs with maybe one song from the EP. We're releasing the first single of the album in May so at least something's going to happen pretty soon!

05. How’s the indie scene in Helsinki? Any artists or bands that you like? 
I don't know, I guess it's doing alright? There are some Finnish bands we think are good: Joensuu 1685, The Casbah, Big Wave Riders, Zebra & Snake, Shine 2009, LCMDF, just to name a few.

06. Do you get to live of your music?
Let's just say that the future may look good, but you never know. Let's hope so.

07. Any song(s) you’d like to cover?
There's so many I can't pick one!

08. Name the perfect place and time to hear your music.
Parties and long walks alone in sunrise. Though almost any place or time is good for French Films.

09. Recommend something you've been listening lately and/or a music video that you think is beautiful. 
There's a lot of cool music being released all the time. I'm a bit late here with this song, but I think "Split It Concrete Like The Golden Sun God" by Wu Lyf is cool and has a great video:

10. Anything else you feel like saying? 
See you at shows people! Look around and stay free of fascism.

buy it


Unknown said...

Thanks for the write up and interview. Good stuff here, looking forward to what these guys can bring to the table. Sounds like we should get a new tune from the upcoming album this month which will be cool.

felipe said...

Hey James!
French Films is a band we should definitely keep an eye on...
can't wait for their new stuff too!

ps: your blog is pre-tty cool!

Unknown said...

yeah love finding and hearing bands like this. So much good new music out there it is becoming harder and harder to keep up.

Like your site as well, nice mixture of content.