High school mates, Jules Paco and Loic Fleury, knew from early on that they would probably be bros for quite some time. Years after meeting as teenagers, the duo now make up French indie outfit, Isaac Delusion, making music inspired by life, travels, love and experiences, all wrapped up in their 2012 EP release, the very dreamy, ‘Midnight Sun’. ACCLAIM caught up with the pair to talk the school yard, travel, musical influences and what’s up for Isaac Delusion in 2012.
You’re two dudes, not one dude called ‘Isaac’. What’s behind the name?
JULES | An evil plan.
What’s your history? How did you get together?
LOIC | Jules and I met in high school when we were 14. Jules was the good looking and popular guy, and I was the tall weirdo one. We met randomly at parties and stuff, we had friends in common and we immediately found out that we shared the same sense of humor, and then we started to hang out and have fun long before we started to play music together.
J | He was the funniest guy I had ever met, not everybody is able to understand his weird humor and I had the gift to do so. He literally made me cry sometimes.
What about your musical backgrounds—are you trained or is music one of those hobbies that became a career? How long have you been in the game?
L | Lucky for me, my father has very good musical taste so I spent my childhood rocked by great artists like Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Dire Straits and plenty of others, including French [musicians]. I then sharpened my musical taste when growing up. I was completely obsessed by the Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead whilst all of my friends were more into rap and reggae music, I felt really alone in my musical planet! All my friends would keep asking me questions like ‘Why the hell are you listening to this kind of suicidal stuff?’
At the age of sixteen I touched my first guitar and I knew immediately that I wanted to become a musician. Two years later, I started to sing crappy romantic French songs that I wrote myself, then I had the idea to move to England and I immediately felt the folky influences of my father’s discography.
I was also strongly influenced by indie rock music. After two or three unsuccessful attempts, I started my first real band Lucky Lindy (still in activity) with my mate Thomas, whom I met in a Parisian sound engineering school, and two other very talented guys. Isaac Delusion came a little bit later. The fact that we are only two musicians in Isaac Delusion, gave us more freedom to express our creativity. Also, the electro part in it opened the door to much more creative possibilities.
J | I learned drums for two years when I was a kid but I stopped. A while after, I started to play guitar but it had never been serious for me. I really began to make music when I discovered sampling and music software five or six years ago.
I remember we made fun of Loic’s crappy romantic songs; it was hard to believe he would become so talented.
A few years later when he was starting with his band and spending days and nights playing guitar, I was making beats on my own. One day we tried to make a song together and that’s how Isaac Delusion began.
There’s a lot of rad electro music coming out of France right now—and much of the music is ‘definitively French electro.’ What do you think about today’s electro scene? Does it excite you or do you tend to concentrate on your own thing?
L | I find it a bit frustrating that the only kind of music coming out of France and getting international recognition is electro. As a matter of fact, we have a lot of other stuff that would deserve international recognition. At the same time, I have to admit that we have a few great electro artists over here. For instance, I have a huge admiration for Air. Their music is just different from the rest and just listening to it, you can immediately feel their whole universe. Same with Daft Punk…
I don’t actually listen to a lot of electro music, but strangely enough, I love to play it! I’m more into indie rock and folk music or even electronica bands like The Postal Service, Lali Puna, The Notwist etc… I just keep an eye open on the electro scene, but I think there has been some real interesting stuff coming out recently like James Blake for example… I recognise myself more in this kind of thing.
J | We don’t use the term “French electro” in France but I think “electro” is more a way of making music than a style in itself. It gives us so many possibilities that we can try pretty much everything, and we don’t want to stay into one kind of music.
One of the things I particularly love about your music is that it’s so universal and evokes a spirit of freedom. How would you describe your music?
L | I think our music is a mix of various influences, and also the combination of both (Jules and I) our musical backgrounds. There is a chilled part in it but also has a good rhythm. It can be relaxing, or dancey, or whichever way you want to interpret it. The songs’ themes are mostly about positive energy, evasion and freedom.
J | I guess we enjoy listening to and making music so much that we try to express these positive emotions and feelings with ours.
Can you tell us of any stories or experiences you’ve had that have influenced your sound?
L | The strongest influential elements for our music are the travels that Jules and I made all around the world. This summer I went to China and Tibet and when I returned I wrote a lot of songs. I’ve also been to Iceland several times and everything I saw inspired me tremendously.
J | As I said, I began to make music with samples and I still use them a lot, for me sampling is a real tribute to the artists. By sampling I don’t try to copy something, I use it to make something else. My own songs are a part of those that influenced them. I like this idea.
Tell us a bit about Midnight Sun. How did it come about? How long have you been working on it?
L | We have worked together on the EP for about five months. First I started to write Waiting and Iron Man alone as Jules was in Australia for his job at the time. When he went back to Paris we started to work together on Midnight Sun.
Jules is a bright guy with strong creative energy and he adds quality to everything he touches. We also created a few more songs to be released in our next EP.
The lyrics of the song Midnight Sun came up one night I was walking in the empty streets of Reykjavik. The atmosphere was unreal and I thought I should try to make something out of it. It’s always difficult to comment on the meaning of our songs. Let’s say it’s a combination of personal emotions and dreams buried somewhere in our heads which pop up occasionally as soon as we start working. We try to bring positive energy related to strong personal experiences.
J | When I came back, he randomly heard a loop I had made using samples from an old hip-hop beat of mine and he decided to record a voice on it. He came back with this same repetitive loop, plus voices and a synthesizer line and that was Midnight Sun. We almost didn’t change anything since then.
A lot of our songs come out this way, almost randomly.
It’s your debut EP—how are you feeling about it?
L | We are feeling free to evolve the way we want, grow up and take maturity in our creations. We are happy because people already seem to enjoy our new songs more when we play them live, I can tell you that we’ll do better in the future.
J | We already have enough to make two or three more, it is just the beginning, the new songs are different, we still don’t really know what music we are making.
Have you done much touring yet or will that be coming up?
L | I’ve been touring for several years with my other band Lucky Lindy. We have been playing mostly in musical bars in Paris. It gave me a good insight of what being a musician means, and also a kind of self-confidence on stage. I will never deny Lucky Lindy as I really love the stuff that we play, but I try to take the benefits of this with Isaac Delusion as we are just starting to make gigs.
J | It is brand new for me but it feels good! A lot more gigs are coming, our label (Cracki Records) is doing a great job.
Oh My Garden looked like a heap of fun, why did you take part in?
L | Oh my Garden was a lot of fun. I really fell in love with Brussels, where people were incredibly friendly. I never had such a steady and respectful audience since I was touring in Paris. I made the gig alone because Jules was still in Australia, so I just brought my acoustic guitar and my loops pedal.
It was very minimalist but the ambience was outstanding. Initially the gigs was supposed to happen in the garden of the house, but finally a big storm came in and we had to rush into Pauline’s room. There was a kind of tropical ambience in the house, everyone was sitting down and I was sweating like hell under my stupid hat…
What does 2012 have in store for you? What’s next for Isaac Delusion?
J | We played in London in February, in Paris, we’ll play at the Artenou festival in Barcelona in June, probably in Copenhagen, let’s see where it’s going to lead us…
How are you feeling about where you’re at right now?
J | We’re feeling excited, we have a label that supports us, we get good news every day, we’re going to travel…it is the best thing that could happen to us.