Unlike the artist of the same name, Facteur Cheval the band are not dead. Interviewing them was therefore a straightforward process, and it unfolded as so…
Dash Majesty: Tell us a little about who you are.
Damien: Facteur Cheval is the meeting of several musical universes: Zoft, an experimental math rock duo (guitar and drums), Carl (from Carl et les hommes-boîtes) and Christophe Rault on keyboards. We all play in different music projects, Christophe does a lot of radio work and Carl is also a graphic artist.
DM: Your work appears to have a heavy math rock influence in places – was this intentional?
Damien: Not really. But the fact that the project was initiated by Zoft, who invited Carl and Christophe to meet and play together, probably has a lot to do with it.
DM: Talk us through your songwriting process – do lyrics, melodies or beats come first?
Damien: We often just start playing together, looking for new ideas. Carl will be somewhere in the room, writing down lyrics and listening to what we’re doing. Then, when the music has been developed a bit more, we all come together.
DM: Why the choice of band name?
Damien: We looked for a very long time to find the right band name. One day, Nico wrote, “We need something like Facteur Cheval!” We tried to look for something that sounded as good as Facteur Cheval, but we never found anything, so in the end we decided that we would just take the name. We all of course like the actual Facteur Cheval very much – we feel close to his outsider art.
DM: The juxtaposition of your style of music and the softness of the French language is quite remarkable – would you ever consider performing in another tongue?
Damien: I don’t think so. Carl is naturally French speaking, so it makes sense for him to sing in French. Although, maybe one day we’ll do a song in Flemish to unite our countries!
DM: Could you share the inspiration behind Comme Robocop with us?
Carl: I imagined a car accident. The body of a woman crushed into the body of a car. I imagined a being of flesh and metal, like Robocop… but hey, it must have been a day where I was feeling bad.
DM: Can you tell us the story behind the record’s artwork?
Carl: It is by a friend of mine, Cignor Dappert, alias, Monsieur Pimpant. I am a big fan of his work. He creates computer programs for himself – tools for drawing – the images that he designs are therefore very special. A kind of vectorial minced meat. You must take a look at his website.
DM: Title track Adieu l’organique opens with quite a striking spoken word section – where did the idea for this come from?
Carl: I saw a small report about Silicon Valley, it was about ultra-sensitive humanoids who can pretty much shit like us. In the report, there was a guy who was saying that he would like to replace some parts of his body to be more efficient, to become eternal almost. This guy was pretty scary, he was eating a kind of greenish mud. This song came from that image.
DM: What does the future look like for Facteur Cheval?
Damien: A lot more cassettes, and a real album in 2048.
Listen to Adieu l’organique