Marie and Lionel Limiñana are the duo taking psychedelic garage pop to the next level. Singing in both English and French, these guys echo the 60’s French pop and the fuzzy darkness of American art rock.
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte. How are you and what are you up to at the moment?
Thank you, we’re going well. At the moment we’re touring a lot promoting our new record Malamore and we are recording the next record at home – the music is done and we are working on the lyrics.
While you’ve toured extensively across Europe and some of the USA, this is your first tour to Australia. What are some rumours you’ve heard of the country and what are you looking forward to most?
I have a cinematic image of Australia filled with adventure, sun solid and genuine people. Pretty girls too. Australia was first Mad Max which I saw as a child and I was a big fan of the first two movies. I also love the Saints which are the quintessence of punk rock (they were the first to represent this movement). For me Australia is also Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the best band in the world. I also listen all the time to the Easybeats as well as the first album by Bee Gees and Kylie Minogue, especially when she sings with Nick Cave.
One of the event’s you’ll be playing here in Aus is So Frenchy So Chic which is essentially a celebration of the French lifestyle, what are the things you love most about France and French culture?
French rock doesn’t exist, it’s a caricature. However, France has a know-how with pop and chanson, especially from the mid 60s to end of the 70s. I love it. People like Ronnie Bird, Dutronc, Gainsbourg, Les Problèmes, Nino Ferrer – they were candid, acid and funny. Today, Philippe Katerine carries on this spirit. I love the French obsession for cuisine and wine, but I like less and less the cynicism and extreme rights emerging in France, especially on TV. Then you have the French actresses – Catherine Longet is my favourite because of her song and performance in ‘The Party’.
You’re known for using quite a mix of different instruments. What’s been the hardest instrument to incorporate into your music and to learn to play?
I play with a lot of instruments at my studio but I don’t master any. We play around. Marie and I have been buying instruments for a long time. We first start recording with a Bouzoukis with Fuzz too after seeing Warren Ellis at work in Grinderman. We have included banjos and small percussions. Italian keyboard as well. But we always do this in a simple manner by working of the riff with one or two chord. I’m interested by the texture and colour of an instrument.
Your music gets quite nostalgic, how do you decide which of the stories makes the cut, is it through your connection to the memory or something else?
I don’t feel nostalgic, however like in the Orson Card novel “ les chroniques d’alvin le faiseur” all our experience, good or bad have always nourished us. The past nourish the present,. We try to build and do something all the time even if the environment is negative or violent. I have always try to use this to create my records. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger.
Our first record was very naive. We made it within the twisted spirit of the 60s . Then we recorded “Cristal Anis” after surviving an earthquake in Haiti as well as Hepatitis caught in the dirty water of Port au Prince. The disease had weakened us for two years. The song “Costa Blanc” is like a picture novel of our family, the ‘black fit’ and Spain of my childhood. Then there is the encounter with Pascal Comelade where we recorded a very important instrumental record. We owe him a lot.
We understand the experience of adopting your son led to your increased dedication to music, has he played much of a role in your music since?
My son and my wife are the reason why I get up in the morning. Two very good reasons. Even if my son causes trouble daily (in a quite surrealist way ) and my wife leaves me with house chores!
When & Where: So Frenchy So Chic In The Park, Werribee Park – January 15
Photo by Marc Delavaud