This is an interview between me(Eko) and Fanou from Skittle Alley. Their EP called My Good Star is Available on Shiny Happy Records. Enjoy!
Shiny Happy: Fanou, How did you start liking and playing Indie Pop Music?
Fanou: Everything started when I've seen my first indiepop concert. It was a Sarah Records' festival in Toulouse. There, I was totally seduced by this kind of music. With some friends, we then decided to start a pop band with the few chords we only knew.
Shiny Happy: Do you still remember the fisrt pop song you made? What ‘s the title of the song and when did you make it?
Fanou: I can't remember quite well the first pop song I've ever written. I can be very "productive" and very often I can't remember the titles and the chords. It's because I write all my songs instinctively. So I can't answer your question exactly.
Shiny Happy: what’s your activity beside playing music?
Fanou: I listen a lot of music. I also watch TV series. I like to travel and to be with my friends sharing a good meal and a good glass of wine.
Shiny Happy: now about Skittle Alley, It would be cool if first you introduce to us who are people behind Skittle Alley and how you guys got started!
Fanou: Skittle Alley is my solo project since 2004. As I said before, I've been playing in many different bands (Caitlin, Blooming Park...). Now, Guillaume from the band Doggy also plays with me when doing concerts. He does the backing vocals and keyboards.
Shiny Happy : Lets Talk about My Good Star EP, how long did you take to finish this recording ?
Fanou: I'm a very dreamy person and I like to watch the stars in the summer sky. Everyone has a good star shining for himself or herself, some kind of good luck. I've spent only a few times to record this song, as all the other ones. When I'm recording a song, I do everything continuously. The composing ideas just come one after one. So, when I write a song I need two or three hours, including the recording and mixing.
Shiny Happy: How did you record the songs? Could you tell us more about the recording process of this EP!
Fanou: As I told you before, the song is written continuously. I record with "garageband". I start with the rythms, then the bass, the guitars, the vocals and everything else after.
Shiny Happy: what’s the story behind the lyric ”my good star”?
Fanou: There's no particular story. It's just the belief that everyone has a star shining in the sky and protecting him or her.
Shiny Happy: Tell me about the lyrics! What are your lyrics deal with?
Fanou: The lyrics... Well, I can't really explain how they come into my mind. My english is very limited and I'm conscious that sometimes my turns of phrases are not correct. But, for me, lyrics are not so important. I know I shouldn't think like that... But I believe I use my voice more as an instrument so that the song is tuneful.
Shiny Happy : What’s your favorite song in this EP and why?
Fanou: I like a lot "My dear friends" as it a very personal song about my friends who are living in the south of France. As I'm from this part of the country, these are my roots talking. But I can say that, in fact, I love all the songs featuring on this EP.
Shiny Happy: When I listen to your songs, it’s quite remind me of Brighter or even Trembling Blue star , in this EP i could feel the echo of brighter especially in the song “if only word would be easy”. How deep is brighter give you influence in making your
Fanou: Brighter is my favorite band. I'm really touched by this musical melancholy and I can confess that it's the only band that can make me cry when I listen to it. So, to me, it's a very strong feeling. But I also like a lot Trembling Blue Stars too. Bobby and Beth have fantastic voices.
Shiny Happy: I remember First time I knew Skittle Alley when you had a release on Series Two records, how did you sign up with series two? could you tell us about that release !
Fanou: The "meeting" with Chris from Series Two Records was a total stroke of luck, through Myspace. He's been listening to my songs and he really enjoyed my music. First of all, he asked me to be part of one of the numerous compilations he's been releasing. Then, I sent a demo featuring several songs to him. He offered me to release these songs because he thought it was a pity no one could listen to them and that they were worth appearing on a record. This CD was a good beginning for me and it gave me the opportunity to release other records.
Shiny Happy: Again about the releases, I found that Skittle Alley Has so many releases with different label from different country, as I know you have released some stuff with labels like Series two, anorak, hey ho, bubble tone club 7, dufflecoat and now with shiny
happy. I assume that you have been so active in indiepop scene how do you get involve with indiepop scene?
Fanou: The indie pop scene is actually as fertile as it was during the Sarah Records' years. There are more and more interesting bands appearing all over the wolrd. And I think it's really great that we can discover exciting new bands.
Shiny Happy: If Skittle Alley active during 90’s and you guys got offer from two different labels they are Sarah Recs and Slumberland recs, which label would you prefer to choose and why?
Fanou: Of course, Sarah Records. All the bands that made me want to do indie pop were Sarah bands. I most particularly think to Brighter, The Field Mice, Another Sunny Day and many mores.
Shiny Happy: what’s your goal with skitlle alley in 2011?
Fanou: Just to do some other records and so that many more people can listen to my music.
Shiny Happy: Now about the gig. Do u gig a lot?
Fanou: I don't play often live because of my work. I work on saturdays and it's the day that people often offer to me the possibility to play. But I try to do more and more gigs to gain more self-assurance on stage.
Shiny Happy: Which gig is really stuck in your mind? Meaning to say, the gig that really can’t you forget. Why?
Fanou: The first indiepop concert I've ever seen. It was a Sarah festival with Blueboy, The Orchids, Northern Picture Library and Harvey Williams. I was really impressed !
Shiny Happy: to Fanou, please list down your top 5 favorite indiepop bands!
Fanou: Brighter, The Field Mice, Trembling Blue Stars, Harper Lee and Blueboy.
Shiny Happy: lets talk about indiepop scene and It will be a coolness if you tell us more about France Indiepop scene, I just know some bands from france like Watoo watoo, young michelin, I think you have more story to tell and I guess people are more
curious than I !
Fanou: The french indie pop scene is not so fertile nowadays except some bands you're talking about and some more as Doggy, The Wendy Darlings, Anne Bacheley and My Raining Star.
Shiny Happy: What do you know about Indonesia Indiepop ?
Fanou: I'm an huge fan of the Indonesian pop scene. It's a kind of Sarah Records' revival with some great bands as Annemarie, Sharesprings, Leach Me Lemonade, Astrolab... They really write very beautiful songs and they perfectly correspond to what I appreciate.
Shiny Happy : Do you have any message to indie pop lovers in Indonesia?
Fanou: I hope you'll enjoy my music and I really hope to go to Indonesia and play live there one day or another.
Shiny Happy: Thank you fanou for the interview :)
Fanou: It's my turn to thank you too ! :-)
You can listen one of their song from my good star EP here: