cyann & ben: colors and emotions of the sound    When and how you started the band?
BEN: The band started in 2001 as a duet. Cyann and me were playing in another band but we decided to split to make something personal. When we recorded our first demo we asked Charlie, our actual drummer for some help. He is a good friend of mine since a long time, and we used to play together in another band when we were young. I remember that Loic came to turn some buttons during the recordings. After that, we wanted more energy on stage, wich was not possible as a duet. So Charlie and Loïc joined us and the Cyann & Ben quartet was formed.
CHARLIE: It was very natural to play together. We first planed one week of rehearsals just in order to play on stage the songs that we recorded, but we started to compose new material together as well. I remember that we put all the instruments we could in the center of the rehearsal studio and thought "So, how could we use this now?". I still have pictures of Loïc playing two guitars in the same time! It was an enjoying and discovering period...

What can you tell us about the recording at the Vogue Studio in Paris?
BEN: It's an old place constructed in the sixties I think. The Vogue label artists recorded here. I mean Françoise Hardy or Jacques Dutronc... This place was abandoned and some old stuff lovers (vintage mics, instruments and effects) decided to try again in the same studio. This studio is amazing and perfect for live recordings. It was made for that. A kind of experimental studio. It was exactly what we were looking for. So we tried some new things. A new way of making a record. For the first time we worked with an sound engineer at every step of the recording. In that way, we could just think on the artistic side. We were more into the music and the colour of the sound. A great experience.
LOIC: This time, we wanted to do alive recording. The mood in this studio was really great. Everyone was happy to work together.
CHARLIE: We recorded the first two albums alone, in a country house or in our rehearsal room. So it was such a pleasure to have the possibility to work in an amazing studio with an amazing sound engineer. We recorded the half of the album live, like if we were on stage, except for the vocals. The second half has been more experimental. We tryed to place mikes in different weird places, or to record drums through distorded guitar amps... Vogue was the perfect place for both kind of recordings. We have also tried the studio’s whole collection of collector guitars, synths and pedals... It was like heaven!

Your new album, Sweet Beliefs, has a really unique sound... Do you keep the same sound when you play live?
BEN: We are a band that is attached to the sound; Sound it´s part of the song. When we play live we try to give the same ambient to the audience as we offer with our records. I hope that we have a unique sound on stage as well. We have old stuff, vintage keyboards and effects, computers, percussions and guitars. We try to use them in the most interesting way as we can.
LOIC: At the same time, we are not liars... Every song has been worked in rehearsals before recordings and in studio, we didn’t make a lot of re-recordings. Excepts vocals and additionnals we could have during recording. So, yes, I think the sound is quite similar on stage...
CHARLIE: As I’ve said, when we started to play together we brought the more instruments as we could and try to use as many different sounds as we could. It was a bit difficult to take everything on tour, Especially the fragile vintage stuff, that we’ve often been obliged to fix with matches and adhesive tape during the soundchecks. Our equipment evolved, we’ve sometimes had to swap digital simulations to real analog stuff on stage, but that’s the only difference with the studio recordings. We left the concert piano and the Minimoog in the studio. But the sound remain more or less the same. Anyway, most of the songs have been composed playing live our instruments on rehearsals... I think that the main difference between studio and stage has more to do with the energy. The album could seem quiet and peacefull if you listen to it with a low volume. But on stage, with the audience’s reaction it can become much bigger than the recordings, the noisy parts are more powerfull and tense.

Which is the importance of your lyrics in your music?
BEN: In a way we use the voice as an instrument. That's why they aren't at the first level. Lyrics are about stories that happen to us, hopes and things that can happen to us. Love and sadness. That's why it's important for us.
CHARLIE: I think that the lyrics have their importance in our music, we hardly compose instrumental tracks. It’s not more important than the music I think, because most of the time we start by composing music and melodies, and then come the words. But the lyrics have their meanings, that can be more or less easy to understand, more or less abstract...

Personally, yours is the kind of record which can work as a soundtrack in your daily live... Could you please add some thoughts?
LOIC: We try to keep our music open. You can feel that a lot of emotions can fit on, but maybe it’s because we compose and arrange songs all together and each of us have a personal perception of the song.
CHARLIE: Our music is the soundtrack of my daily life, anyway! The band takes an important part of our lifes. I never listen to Cyann & Ben’s records, and I confess that I can’t help buying records and searching for new music. But the music we play is the synthesis of all that we are listening to, and all that we are living... Our sound and compositions are evolving, as we are evolving to. Cyann & Ben become more confident and mature, as I hope that we all are becoming...