When most people have only one passion, or at least dedicate themselves regularly to it at best, ChloĂ© Trujillo has always done everything to devote herself completely to all her passions and since her childhood, her life to diverse forms of art, ranging from singing to painting.
A hereditary passion, probably, maintained by a family environment swarming with artists of any kind (her grand-parents were musicians and her parents designers) and by a taste for escape through spirituality which was amazingly inspired by her science studies. â€śAmazinglyâ€ť, because we would naturally have a tendency to match art and science, whereas for ChloĂ©, both are mixed. Mathematics can make the imagination work, just like the search for an artistic alchemy can come from a logical one.
The meaning and the profound reason of her art grow on ChloĂ© only afterwards. She finds indeed sad that medias in general favour some artistically empty hits and that creativity is not encouraged. Whether it is by the medias or the French educative system, which she compares to the american one, maybe less academic, but more attractive and modern.
These human views are well needed by our Â«Â plasticÂ Â» society which is maybe discovering them again. A simplicity which makes the commercial monster that is Metallica (“the family” as she names it), which her husband Robert Trujillo is part of, more human. During this very long interview (one hour and a half !) that a really friendly and natural ChloĂ© gave us, we nearly reach the Metallica myth, but with an unconventional look, the one of an everyday wife. And, through numerous anecdotes, we discover a charming couple, a family which tries to be discrete, instead of its notoriety. An enjoyable read that we strongly recommend, hoping that some people will avoid seeing only business in a successful band.
Listen to the interview (in French):
Radio Metal: How are you doing?
ChloĂ© Trujillo: Iâ€™m fine, itâ€™s 11.30 a.m here in L.A and the air is cool. Itâ€™s nice, because for the last two weeks, weâ€™ve had temperatures over 40Â°C.
Youâ€™re almost waking up whereas we are going to sleep…
We wake up early here: I woke up at 6 a.m.
They say that L.A is a city that never sleeps and that people party all night: the reality seems then different.
Some people live that way, but when you have two kids who go to school early in the morning, you have to take them to it. Moreover, weâ€™re bossy: it doesnâ€™t mean that from time to time, we never go out, but we generally donâ€™t go to bed late and wake up very early. But I love what I do and itâ€™s nice to keep on moving forward and be productive.
You give the impression of not getting bored in your life. You do a lot of things: you paint, you sing, etc. Besides, you paint on a lot of supports: on surfboards, music instruments and scarves. Where does this come from? Is this a way to leave you mark in our world?
No, I donâ€™t know, it comes naturally. When I was a little girl, I would scribble all the time. At school, I would draw with a pencil on my school desk, and then after rub out what I had done. In higher classes, we all had an agenda: mine was full of drawings. I have the impression that Iâ€™m using an area in my brain which takes me far way, but at the same time, I manage to be right here right now. For instance, at school, they could see me scribbling all the time, and some of my teachers didnâ€™t like that, but that enabled me to absorb my lesson ten time better than if I had been doing nothing, trying to concentrate myself to listen. Itâ€™s something natural, I donâ€™t do that to leave my mark: I love it and itâ€™s simply a passion. I do the same thing at home. Right now, Iâ€™m in my office, in front of my computer, and itâ€™s scribbled all over: itâ€™s the same thing with my desk. My husband tries to slow me down because Iâ€™d like to paint our car too. (Laughs)
Does it bother him that you draw everywhere?
No, but as he likes to be discrete, he therefore doesnâ€™t want me to paint our car. We have a black Jeep, and I already imagine a big eye in front of it… If Robert didnâ€™t slow me down, it would already been done.
Where does this obsession for eyes, which are very present in your work, come from?
Good question. My painting process is really mystical and spiritual. Itâ€™s like visions that force me to express them and take them out of me on a canvas or on another support, maybe soon on our car, who knows? (Laughs) Depending on the vision, the eye has different meanings. I try not to analyze too much what Iâ€™m doing when Iâ€™m painting. Generally, once the painting is finished, I turn it upside down, I donâ€™t look at it for a moment, and then try to analyze it. Itâ€™s then, when I analyze the painting, that I discover its meaning, because thereâ€™s always a story behind it. Itâ€™s close to dreams, there are a lot of symbols, things that seem unobvious, itâ€™s a series of images, which, maybe, seem completely absurd, but when you begin to look, to analyze it, you understand what it means. The eye can be the one who sees everything, it can be a symbol for what can be called â€śGodâ€ť. I have done this painting, called â€śDyers Eveâ€ť (see below) after the Metallica song of the same name, where you have this big pupil: this is the eye which watches everything. There are different meanings, and I think Iâ€™ve got a big relationship with eyes! (Laughs) Itâ€™s not really a choice.
It seems that the way you paint is something that is beyond you, as youâ€™ve said that you donâ€™t even know what you are painting and its significance. There is apparently a superior force which expresses itself through your art.
Yes, there is an expression which says that we are like a flute and we let ourselves be played. Itâ€™s as if I were letting myself go, it flows through my hand, but itâ€™s not a choice, itâ€™s not something really conscious. I see what Iâ€™m painting, and when I put the finishing touches to my work, when I add shadows, it all becomes more rational. On the other hand, everything that concerns the symbols comes itself into the painting: itâ€™s really a spiritual experience. I come out with much more energy, as if it were nourishing me.
Has it ever happened to you to work differently? By saying, for instance, to yourself what you might do in advance or that some kind of reaction occurred before painting?
I took part in some exhibitions where the artists were asked to work on a specific subject, but even that way, there is always something that sneaks in the painting. I start from an idea, I know what to do according to the theme, so I start from there, then after, somewhere in the painting, other elements are added which surely make the identity of my works. Every artist has its personal touch, but it is true that I generally like to work with total freedom. It is a never ending flow. Iâ€™ve never faced a canvas without knowing what to do. I start without asking myself too many questions, it all comes out automatically.
You were talking about the fact that when you were at school, you drew a lot. Did you like the way music and visual arts were taught by professors? Very few people want to do a career in arts after their visual arts lessons in junior high school…
I think it was already a passion fixed in me. I was born in this: my grand-father was a professional opera singer. I was more deeply interested in metal, death metal and grindcore. It was the total opposite to my grand-fatherâ€™s style, but it was nonetheless part of the music domain. My parents were stylists and my mother painted all the time. I therefore had this passion in me already, and they didnâ€™t put me off it. Art and music are not put forward in France: even if they are part of school programs, they are a bit left aside. I was very good at mathematics, and my father always told me to work on them. I went to the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, and graduated in â€śSciences et Structures de la MatiĂ¨reâ€ť. I was always doing my drawings, being more or less happy, as I wasnâ€™t in my element. I love mathematics, but learning physics, chemistry and whatâ€™s all around them took me a lot of time, so I wasnâ€™t passionate anymore about it. Finally, I went back to arts and I felt myself at ease. Talking about visual artsâ€™ teaching, when I was at the university, I thought it great to be able to learn all the different techniques, like oil painting. I suppose itâ€™s the same in music.
I sing and continue to see my vocal coach to be sure Iâ€™m fine with my technique. However, once the technique has been absorbed, you nearly have to drop it and let your soul come out. Once youâ€™re very good technically, it is all a matter of expressing yourself through this technique.
Youâ€™ve said that in France, teaching arts was not put forward: is it something more widespread in the USA?
Iâ€™m not saying it is more widespread, but my two kids (8 and 6 years old) go to an American school: my son plays bass guitar, drums and the guitar. He has seen all that in school! Recently, my sonâ€™s school decided to start up a band with all the pupils, whatever their level or age. They accepted our youngest son. Heâ€™s very interested in it, and already knows how to play some songs. I think itâ€™s cool that the teachers, without pushing the kids, listen to their passions to start up some projects after the classes, like a rock band, so that they can use the schoolâ€™s instruments, rooms and come up, maybe, with a show. Itâ€™s so cool: I didnâ€™t have that when I was at school !
In France, we have the flute !
Maybe it is more a matter of culture differences: as the European culture comes from passed centuries, this is maybe the reason why music is taught in a very academic way, whereas as the USAâ€™s one is recent, people have grown up with pop, with rock: this must have an influence on them…
Yes. Last year, they did their own Tambours du Bronxâ€™s stuff at my sonâ€™s school… The music teacher just got some old saucepans and objects, and the kids just banged on them in rhythm with sticks. Each kid had its own part and they built up an ensemble. The parents were invited to the show and thought it was fantastic! It gives music a fresher approach: the kids have fun and learn more. Teachers play a role in what you can prepare for a childâ€™s future. It was really great, there were a lot of old songs: they even did a cover of Infectious Grooves. This music teacher is cool and the pupils are opened to a lot of things. She goes through jazz, funk, hip hop, blues, rock, hard rock, rap: everything is taught. Blues and jazz are more rooted in American culture, but their approach is more fun, so the kids are attracted to it, and enjoy their music lessons. As far as Iâ€™m concerned, I remember the fun we had with our flute classes! [Laughs]
Maybe they donâ€™t put enough forward the richness of instruments in France. Often, you only see singers on television, whereas in the USA, bands are favoured. The difference can be seen with TV shows like Â«Â La Nouvelle StarÂ Â», whose american version is Â«Â American IdolÂ Â». In France, guests are only singers, whereas in Â«Â American IdolÂ Â», weâ€™ve seen guitar players like Slash, Zakk Wylde or Brian May…
Medias play an essential role. I donâ€™t have any TV: itâ€™s more simple! [Laughs] I wouldnâ€™t have the time to watch it. Moreover, you donâ€™t have to watch TV to know whatâ€™s happening in the world, you hear it through conversations. If anything important is happening, someone will automatically talk about it to you one moment or another. It is true that In France, when I switch on the TV to see whatâ€™s going on, I donâ€™t see any profound changes. I go to France once a year and I think there is no revival. Maybe there are some new shows, but you always see more or less the same TV hosts and heads. Nowadays, we are also more into whatâ€™s short-lived. You can perceive this with reality TV where young kids do their thing during six months and are after dumped then replaced. There are no more charismatic TV hosts: they are all identical. France has also a tendency to delight itself in inviting old artists who had their time, but who are, for some of them, getting old: itâ€™s sad. We are in a disposable, interchangeable and ready-to-eat trend.
I hope this is going to change and that people will discover artists who have more profundity and a real meaning. All that is produced quickly, like â€śAmerican Idolâ€ť is quite like treating people like products. They are told what to do and what look they must have to win. They are like finished products that might be sold after a short period of time. Contrary to this, you have artists who can be poets, musicians or painters and have a deeper meaning : that is art. I donâ€™t really listen to the radio too. All that is done quickly and has for only objective to get money as soon as possible or to be played in nightclubs or on radios, looks like brainwashing. These things arenâ€™t quality, they have no meaning in them: itâ€™s only a matter of making a hit to have money. I hope we are beginning to change and that people discover things that have more profundity in them.
Entertainment has got worse these last twenty years. Musically, the 60â€™s pop music was represented by The Beatles whereas today, what sells more isnâ€™t necessarily the best in terms of quality. Maybe things are easier to produce, to format: it must be globally more profitable.
I hope it is changing. When I launched my scarves collection, I did some interviews for some fashion blogs and often, I was told that it was easy to write an article about me and my collection, because I had a story to tell. My scarves come from my paintings, there is a meaning. Journalists often have to make up things to tell a story because even in the fashion world, they have reached the â€śbig productionsâ€ť stage: everywhere, you find the same things, you donâ€™t have any more personality. Itâ€™s the same thing with food, we are getting poisoned there is always something going on: when itâ€™s not the mad cow disease, another food is concerned. Everything is treated, synthetic, so I hope we are coming back to a little more organic world where everyone can rediscover its own authenticity. One of my friends auditioned for â€śThe Voiceâ€ť : she comes from a blues background and as she didnâ€™t do what they were expecting, she failed. She noticed that those who were selected were the most tractable candidates, those who accepted to be transformed. Itâ€™s not authentic anymore and itâ€™s sad.
Itâ€™s something that we see a lot in music: more and more artists are beginning to be fed up with overproduced music and go back to a more organic, rawer sound, even if their recordings are not flawless.
I have the feeling that we are going back to this in all areas. We arenâ€™t robots. It is true that in old albums, recorded in one take, we like to hear small flaws. Maybe there will be a note that wonâ€™t be right, but it is precisely this element which gives it itâ€™s authenticity and humanity. I think we need that.
One of our listeners points out that in the polish version of â€śThe Voiceâ€ť, Nergal, a death metal singer, is a member of the jury. This proves that things are changing too.
I think that too. In any case, I have high expectations in that. We canâ€™t go any further than those overproduced things weâ€™ve done: everything is really becoming plastic… I hope weâ€™re in the right directions.
You recorded a Frank Zappa cover, Â«Â The Torture Never StopsÂ Â», what could you tell us about itÂ ?
Gail Zappa, Frank Zappaâ€™s widow, asked me if I wanted to do a cover of one of his songs. I could choose the one I wanted, but as she had already asked several artists to do so, I had to find a song which hadnâ€™t already been chosen by someone. I was really happy, but then I tried to visualize the number of titles there was in Frank Zappaâ€™s catalogue and I asked myself how I would succeed in choosing. I would have loved to do â€śWillie The Pimpâ€ť, but someone else had already chosen it. My second choice was â€śThe Torture Never Stopsâ€ť, because I love its musicality and story. I must say that this song is 11 minutes long: it was therefore a challenge. When you first listen to it, it seems simple, but when I started to learn it and feel it, I understood its complexity. When I told Gail about my choice, she was quite surprised but we began to work on it. We had now to find musicians who would be interested in doing this cover. At the time, we were living in the San Francisco area, and I was working with quite a lot of different musicians, but I wasnâ€™t sure if they would have the time to work on this cover. I then asked my husband if he could play the bass lines, because Zappaâ€™s music is not easy and because Robert is able to learn quite quickly. For the rest, Gail suggested me to call Dweezilâ€™s musicians (Dwzeezil Zappa, Frankâ€™s son), because they knew all the songs by heart and were ready to go into studio. Gail lives in L.A so the recording took place there. We flew to L.A, and in an hour we were in the place. We recorded it in one take. For the second one, there was only me recording a monologue over the instrumental part: it went all very quick. When I recorded the song, I had a cough, and I didnâ€™t know if I would be able to sing without coughing. I couldnâ€™t even talk, but Gail said to me that as I was going to sing â€śThe Torture Never Stopsâ€ť while being ill, the conditions were perfect ! [Laughs]
Finally, I managed to sing from beginning to end without coughing: it was great, but at the same time, I was restraining myself. So there were moments in which torture was really present, it was like as if it had to happen this way. Concerning the monologue part, the original instrumental part was empty, you had only torture sounds. Gail then said to me that it would be interesting to improvise a text where I would use french and german.
They switched the mic on, played this instrumental part and I improvised on it. I absolutely didnâ€™t count the number of measures before the vocals came back, but when I said to myself that I had finished, the vocals were there. It was totally improvised and I got it right. Some moments are magical and you ask yourself how they can happen. If I had wanted to calculate everything and put a written monologue on it, I think it would have taken me hours before getting it right: and here it was done, in one take! Anyway, itâ€™s incredible! I went back a second time to the studio for the mix, the mastering, and also to give my opinion. It was really something great and magical to do. I had a lot of fun, and I hope to do it again.
Did Dweezil Zappa played on this cover?
No, he didn’t.
It seems that you have a little anecdote to tell us about Robert and its preparation for this song…
As we were still living in the San Francisco area at the time, we booked a hotel to spend the night over there, before going into the studio the morning after. Just for the anecdote, Robert constantly worked on the song during most of the night, laying down on the bathroomâ€™s floor. It was quite intense.
Is the bathroom his favourite place for work?
We were in a hotel: therefore, you only had either the bathroom or the room, but as I was tired, I went to bed and he kindly went to the bathroom. While sleeping, I could hear him constantly working and I think it is the reason why the song got so well into my mind. The morning after, Robert was ready: I was blown away. All these musicians donâ€™t play only their partition: they put their soul into the notes. These notes express something: it was a great experience.
You were telling us off-air that Robert never leaves his bass…
Yes, itâ€™s always around him! [Laughs] When he takes a walk, itâ€™s on his shoulders. He can do a thousand things at the same time: bathing the children and play bass, cooking and play bass. I think itâ€™s a second nature. Sometimes, he also falls asleep on the couch with his bass. Itâ€™s a part of him.
You married in fact a man and a bass, not only a man!
Yes, a man and his instrument…
Itâ€™s said that you guys met when he auditioned for Metallica…
No, I met him when he was in Suicidal Tendencies. Iâ€™ve known him for a long time. Suicidal used to play often in France, and especially in Paris, so every time they played, I used to go and see them. I was more friendly with Rocky George and Mike Clark and I sued to hang around with them every time they came. I was seeing Robert all the time. When I moved to L.A, I completely lost contact with him: he got in touch with me again and found me thanks to friends we had in common. A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a picture of Robert and I dancing in lâ€™ElysĂ©e Montmartre [note: famous venue in Paris] just after the so-called last Suicidal gig. After it, there was this party, and the picture was taken during it. This takes us back to 1996 and I have this picture with me. Who could have thought that many years laters, we would be married, with kids and that we would live together in L.A? Itâ€™s funny to see how the universe works, sometimes.
Before he joined Ozzy and after Metallica, Robert was known because of its slapped bass line, and his funky side: he was one of the most renowned funk-metal bass players. For some time now, we donâ€™t hear him doing these kind of lines: do you know how he feels about that ? Does he miss that and would he like to reintroduce it in his regular playing ?
Heâ€™s very happy to be in Metallica. All the guys get along well together, everythingâ€™s fine, but it is true that when he plays at home, these funky lines always come out: I think he misses it. I imagine that Metallica is certainly going to write a new album, but I donâ€™t know exactly when: Iâ€™m not in the band to know whatâ€™s going on. However, every time this happens, Robert is very active, he likes to write a lot, and I know that he loves all this â€śfunkyâ€ť side. He listens to metal, to lots of differents bands, even new ones, but heâ€™s also into funk. I know that when he has his bass with him, he plays a maximum of slapping funk lines: itâ€™s something he has indeed in him.
In an interview of you guys, Robert said that for him, life was â€śheavy metal, funk and surfâ€ť.
Yes, thereâ€™s a bit of that.
We talk a lot about the influence of politiciansâ€™ wives: is it the same with musiciansâ€™ ones? Do you have any kind of influence on Robert? Do you push him to do certain things like adding a bit of slapping in Metallica?
I think we all have an influence on our relatives. I do sometimes give him some advice on music or other things. So, yes, I have a little influence. I also see that he sometimes wants to create something, heâ€™s got the funk in his heart and I think he misses it. Heâ€™s about to finish a documentary on Jaco Pastorius for which he wrote two pieces of music. That brought him back to doing more funky stuff, so heâ€™s having quite a ball. Brooks Wackerman (drummer of Infectious Grooves and Suicidal Tendencies), who now plays for Bad Religion, invited Robert to play with him for the Drums Art show to which he was taking part: itâ€™s a competition between drummers and both played for this occasion old Infectious Grooves stuff but also some other songs they had written. I think that he enjoys these kind of activities: he naturally loves to be in Metallica, but he also loves to do different things. Besides, he says to me that he considers a bit my example, to be a bit free to do really varied things and I think it influences him without me having to tell him. When there are some small gigs here and there, it allows him to break free a little bit. He also writes different solos for Metallica every time, adding to them his funky side, and often he asks me what I think of it.
Do you give him some good advice?
I donâ€™t know, you should ask him. I know when something frustrates him. Men, in general, donâ€™t confide themselves and donâ€™t reveal all their feelings. But I feel when somethingâ€™s wrong, for instance, during the preparation of his documentary. I think I give good advice, because he asks me often what he should do, for example, in this or that situation. Moreover, I think that having an outsider point of view is always beneficial.
Does he have any kind of influence on your art ? Does he give you his opinions and do you take any account of it?
Heâ€™s more a musician than a painter. He would compliment me on painting or ask me some questions on it, but above all, he gives me his advice on the music that I do. That doesnâ€™t happen very often, because heâ€™s very busy and doesnâ€™t have the time to sit down and listen.
Itâ€™s been a year and a half that Iâ€™ve been putting the finishing touches to an album, and Robert in particular has played on two of its songs, so he has listened to them and given me his advice. He really inspires me because he also follows his passions. If heâ€™s on his way to an important meeting, but has nonetheless a slot of time between what he had to do and his meeting, heâ€™ll go surfing. He enjoys life at its fullest but works hard at the same time. During his preparation for the Metallica audition, for instance, he was working on the bandâ€™s full catalogue because even if you know the songs, you have to learn the bass lines, and on some albums, like And Justice For All, you nearly donâ€™t hear them. Youâ€™ll have to work hours and hours to learn to play the notes. Sometimes, I wake up at three or four in the morning and heâ€™s still practicing. Heâ€™s passionate about this, so when you do something you like, you have the energy, youâ€™re happy to do it and that feeds you.
You painted some of Robertâ€™s bass guitars: these can be particularly seen on your website. Whatâ€™s your process when you customize a bass guitar ? Do you work directly with Warwick basses?
The first bass guitars I did werenâ€™t for Warwick: it practically happened by accident. Robert had a wooden bass guitar entirely blank, he gave it to me telling me to do something on it and as we were in Paris, I had at my disposal, in my grand-fatherâ€™s cellar, all my poker-work material. I therefore started to work on this bass in Paris with my old material, and as it was for Robert, I wanted to do something in relation to him so, like for my paintings, I didnâ€™t plan anything: I just started to think of him and this Aztec calendar just came out right away. We were renting at the time a small flat in Paris, we stayed there three months, and it was during this time that I finished my first bass guitar. He loved the result and immediately gave me another one. After that, he found that Warwick bass guitars sounded better so he gave me one and thence, he would give me another one every time.
I met the guys of Warwick at the NAMM Show (L.Aâ€™s music convention). They invited us and kindly offered a bass guitar to our son. They asked me if I would be interested in painting other guitars. They sent me two of them which had been used on the Metallica tour for the Canadian and Mexican shows. Since then, I received an e-mail from them and theyâ€™re going to send me two other bass guitars that Iâ€™m planning to paint. This adventure started by accident in Paris and was followed by a snowball effect.
Is it then possible to order at Warwickâ€™s a bass painted by you ?
I donâ€™t know. I think theyâ€™re on their website, so it must be possible if you contact them. I received an email confirming me that the two bass guitars were ready to be sent to me. I think that their goal is to make a model that will be sold on their site. I know that the ones Iâ€™ve already made are on their site, but I donâ€™t know if you can buy them. I think that if we ask them kindly, they will answer us…
One of our listeners was asking himself if one day you could do an artwork for a Metallica record…
For me, itâ€™s possible. If they ask me, Iâ€™ll say yes, but I donâ€™t want to push the whole thing. Iâ€™m not that opportunistic but if the idea comes from them, Iâ€™ll never say no, it would be a huge honour. Recently, I drew two new picks for Robert, but the thing came from his tech who said to me that they needed new ones and so he wanted to know if I could design them. It really pleased me a lot! This guy is someone that Iâ€™ve known for years, he knows that Iâ€™m an artist, but it was only for this occasion that he asked me to do it. Iâ€™ve never forced the whole thing, I prefer being asked and I would accept with pleasure: I like it when things come naturally.
Youâ€™re not necessarily being opportunistic when suggesting an artwork…
No, of course, but Iâ€™d prefer the idea to come from them. I get along well with everyone in the band, itâ€™s like a big family and sure I wouldnâ€™t feel bad if I suggested them something, but from my perspective, itâ€™s better if it comes from them. Itâ€™s not being opportunistic to suggest something, but I prefer to wait for the thing to go this way.
Have some artists already contacted you to do their artworks? Your art could totally match, for instance, what Steve Vai puts on his artworks.
Recently, it was question of collaborating with the fashion industry for shoes, buckle belts and different things that are going to come out soon. People contact me regularly but I confess to be busy with my own projects. I try to be available for the things that Iâ€™m really interested in working on. Iâ€™m opened to any suggestion. I receive all the time messages from people whoâ€™d like me to work with them on different supports and projects. I find it interesting to discover what other people do, whether it is in music or design: itâ€™s really cool.
One of our listeners was asking if music, and in particular metal, do influence you in the way you paint, draw and create?
Sure, itâ€™s part of me. I think that everything in our family and friends circle influence us. I had a period, when I was still living in France, when I used to listen to an album while painting. Now, when Iâ€™m painting, Iâ€™m almost in a trance state so when the images come, thereâ€™s no really music in the background. I think that metal music do influence me someway, as this kind of music is the one I most listen to in everyday life.
You grew up in a family of artist, and you ended up studying science, even though you are an artist yourself. Generally, artists are considered as being anti-science, anti-tangible, so could you explain us your taste for science? Is there a paradox between art and science?
I had a passion for mathematics at the moment when it became abstract. This is where it joins art a bit. We were using our imagination trying to conceive every mathematical and physics problems that we were facing. Today, for example, quantum physics really joins the spiritual world, because it makes us question what is reality. Everything has a vibration, you can create your own reality, according to your thoughts. So, what is true? Does a tree, falling in a deserted virgin forest, make a sound, or is it only because there is an ear that you can hear something? This scientific world fascinated me. Mathematics is very precise, and help to solve specific problems, but I had a certain passion for trying to conceive a reality. I have a similar approach when Iâ€™m in front of a canvas, each colour has a vibration, I use lots of symbols and they too have a vibration: it creates a sort of alchemy. That is trying to understand our universe and the way it works. Iâ€™ve read and made lots of researches on the subject and I find this aspect really fascinating. The transcendent state in which I am when I paint joins for me the quantum physicsâ€™ and mathematicsâ€™ aspect at the same time: I have a very logical mind. I loved to solve riddles and find solutions. Itâ€™s not necessarily separated. However, I hated mathematics when it was â€śOne drop of water of such volume falls every 0,3 seconds in a bath: how many seconds will it take to fill it up?â€ť
Real mathematics is abstract, but when it is applied to something concrete, it becomes physics. Teachers maybe think that students first need concrete situations so that they can approach mathematics.
As far as Iâ€™m concerned, itâ€™s when mathematics became abstract, when x and y appeared that I started to open myself to a world which I found fascinating.
The question of what matter is joins art too. Colours, for instance, have a certain vibration. Some people use the colour therapy because blue will have a certain relaxing effect on you, on your mind or because red will be exciting. Itâ€™s also under this similarity of what is nature, physics, art that allows us to open ourselves to a world which we are conscious of. A table can seem solid, hard, there are lots of objects on it, but in reality, itâ€™s the dense energy that makes it like that. That is a perception of my reality and itâ€™s possible that someone elseâ€™s one would be different. In the same way, a painting can move you, make you remember things, it can be the simple representation of a field but it will take you somewhere else, will touch something in you: youâ€™re going to love it, whereas for another person, it is only a fieldâ€¦
Some centuries ago, philosophy, art and mathematics were very linked to each other…
Of course! I think religions deteriorated things a bit. Even if Iâ€™m more into spirituality than into religion. Iâ€™m not anti-religion, but I think that in History, religion banned lots of things. There have been separations in every domain. At the time, even medicine came to realise that the mind, body and soul were connected. Everything came from The One et we are more or less getting back to it.
Itâ€™s true that with quantum physics, philosophical matters come to light again…
Can you give us some fresh news about what youâ€™re currently doing?
Currently, as Iâ€™ve already quite worked a lot in Europe on my scarf project, Iâ€™m developing it in the USA. At the same time, Iâ€™m finishing a music album. I still donâ€™t have any release date, as the musicians are recording live and as I have the final vocal lines to do. I’m so impatient to release it because even if you say â€śbetter late than neverâ€ť, itâ€™s already been a year that Iâ€™ve been working on it. There are fourteen songs, so itâ€™s quite a big album. Iâ€™m also working on certain things that will come out at the beginning of next year. Iâ€™m finishing too a surfboard collection, which I hope to exhibit soon, but as it takes two months to finish a board and that Iâ€™ve still five or six more to do, it will not be for now. That happens, but itâ€™s a job. I try as soon as possible to update my Facebook page or my two websites, so itâ€™s the best way to be kept informed about me and my work.
Who are the musicians who play on the album?
I donâ€™t really have musicians right now as I havenâ€™t got a band, so there are different people on the album: Robert played on two songs and another bass player did the rest. A friend of mine also contributed to some songs. There are different drummers: Brooks features on one title. So there are mainly musicians whom I know: it represents a range of various people to record the album. Once the moment of playing live will come, Iâ€™ll have to find musicians who will stay with me, so Iâ€™ll either do auditions or these musicians will be people that I already know, which would be cool. I hope itâ€™ll be soon, because I really miss the stage.
What can we expect musically?
My influences are obviously rock but I wanted to incorporate elements from the different cultures in which I have grown. I grew in Paris, but my mother was German and my father French. Through my parentsâ€™ and grand-parentsâ€™ work, weâ€™ve always had around us people, linked to different musics, from various cultures. So there are of course electric guitars, distortion, but also traditional instruments from diverse origins. Moreover, when Iâ€™m writing, my melodies are very bluesy, so that makes a mix of everything. I hope it will be released soon. I think that firstly, Iâ€™ll choose four songs, to release them and see what happens.
What was also really interesting and exciting was the fact of working with a French producer living in L.A whom I met following my involvement in a rock opera in San Francisco. The CD of it was recorded in his home, thatâ€™s how we met. Heâ€™s a multi-instrumentalist and has a collection of more than two hundred instruments in his studio. He can play them all. I can sing him melodies and he will be capable of reproducing them with any kind of instrument he has. Thatâ€™s also the reason why it took so much time, because we experimented lots of things: we worked good but we also had fun.
Whatâ€™s his name?
Interview conducted by phone on September, 25th, 2012
Questions: Spaceman & Metal’O Phil
Translation: Jean Martinez -Traduction(s) Net
This post is also available in: French