Interview

THE LAST INTERNATIONALE (English Version) - Delila (Vocals) & Edgey (Guitar)

Our two enraged New-Yorkers are back into our capital to straight things up! No mercy for Parisian club ď1999Ē. But we have the chance to anticipate it as we had the opportunity to talk to Edgey and Delila the day before. Who are THE LAST INTERNATIONALE? Two people with a lot of things to say, a true background and messages. True rock Ďn roll spirit all the way through!


Thomas: Hello! So you're here with an album, the second one. I saw you opening for The Who in 2015, it was a blast! What took you so long?


Delila: I think we did one festival after that in Paris, we are trying to get an agency to book a tour. I think they're waiting for the album to come out. But now we have a team we'll come back more often.

You're playing live tomorrow with a French band.

Delila: Yeah The Blind Suns.

How is it going with your French Drummer?

Edgey: Oh Yann? heís a man! Love that guy.

Delila: Heís really cool.

Edgey: Heís awesome! We have two drummers tomorrow night but once: watch it!

Actually itís one of my questions: what do you do with drummers?

Delila: (Laugh) Yeah we get that a lot! I havenít counted but weíve had some great drummers.

Edgey: ďWe Will ReignĒ is our debut record and on that album we have Brad Wilk from Rage (Against The Machine) and he set the bar pretty high. And for the second album we needed a drummer who can bring it like Brad and we tried many drummers out and didnít know what to do. Itís not only about the play, itís also the energy, the connection. And we had a connection with someone on tour once, and that was Joey Castillo. It just seemed right so we called him up, I knew he was a talented drummer, I had no doubts but I didnít know if he would enjoy playing some of our music or if he wanted to play hard or soft, I donít know.
So we booked him in the studio, we were excited and of course it was three or four songs and he brought his feelings to the songs, he added his own flavor, sometimes like Iggy Pop and the Stooges so without him the album would be completely different.

So here we are: album #1, album #2, two incredibly talented drummers and now the got to take the shit on the road, who do we have to fit in our shoes? We have ten drummers who can play but we donít want to compare the drummers we just want a drummer of a high caliber who can do that and there are many. So we met Yann finally whoís been drumming for us for a long time now, like six months but for us itís a long time. So heís permanent as long as heís available but heís in a big French band so another homy of our is Thomas Pridgen and heís fantastic. All the drummers Iíve mentioned have completely different styles but theyíre all great and so thatís what we need on stage: greatness. And they all satisfied that criteria, weíre blessed.

Listening to the album I thought about Patti Smith for different reasons.

Edgey: Thatís probably the number one influence on ďSoul of FireĒ, for me at least.

I was gonna ask later but Iíll do it now. Youíre a band with music and a message.

Delila: Yeah most bands that were great had music and a message

Edgey: MessageS

And I was thinking about artists who were big and still had real messages like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Bob Marley who were part of this big music industry and still managed to remain what they were. Is that important to you to keep your difference even being a part of something big?

Delila: Yeah I mean the whole thing is the blending, we are not inspired only about rock, we go into soul and blues. So songs I wanna talk about are not just whisky or whatever the great bands talk about, I donít know what the lyrics areÖ

Edgey: There was poetry back thereÖ

Delila: I wanna find the meaning of things, I wanna go deeper, I wanna get to the ground, to the bottom, the gutter. I wanna see the real world, I wanna sing about that because it speaks to me, to my soul!

Edgey: I got chills on my spine when you said that. I gotta be honest, when you said gutter it hit something. Maybe I didnít realized before, maybe I did or it was unconscious butÖ You wanna get to the gutter, youíre coming FROM the gutter and the whole point is to get out of the gutter, you know what I mean?

Delila: When you get out of the gutter you wanna still remember! (Laugh)

Edgey: And that was the thing with all the artists back in the day, what motivated them as musicians, itís not just to change the world but to improve their situation, they wanna get the fuck out of wherever they are, and for us itís been the situation the past few years. So thatís the driving force behind this band.

If you had to sum up your country situation in one song, what would be that song?

Delila: I think people have always been motivated. Before the Irak I remember a million or over a million people in the street, and we were there, trying to stop the Irak war back in the day, but now thereís many different movements so now hopefully weíre focusing about the hope, and people will continue to rise and the whole thing about people getting in the street and being a part of the community and working together is growing in the US and itís getting more than a regular thing as I think it is in France, itís like ďOk weíre gonna show them we donít want that and weíre all gonna rise up togetherĒ.

Edgey: Thatís the thing with the world: you canít predict it. You donít know whatís gonna happen and so we donít hold our hopes on any one thing because weíre not looking for an overnight change, we know thatís a long struggle: what is so difficult about changeÖ And as a band weíre not getting far there, weíre getting far in South America, in Europe.

Delila: The beauty of rock Ďn rock is the dirt, I always talk about dirt for some reasons lately. But it comes from a small group, itís not a huge thing, like the beauty rock Ďn roll is a glowing community and for the most part, rock Ďn roll now with the whole lyrics is not about whatís happening in the world and another problem with rock Ďn roll is that maybe thereís too much rich people in it. It just feels like itís coming from a higher placeÖ

Edgey: Like a bourgeoisie

Delila: A place with more money, itís like thereís too many suits involved, trying to make a sound, or turn the sound like this. We always talk about community, like hip hop has a community, like Dr Dre or letís say Prodigy.

Edgey: In hip hop you canít name one artist, itís like a tree, it grows. You canít mention Dr Dre without talking about Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Dogg Pound, without Eminem, Fifty Cent, G-UnitÖ
Kiss tried starting a label and when a rock band tries to do something for other rock bands, theyíre isolated, theyíre buying themselves. I donít know for that label but I donít think it worked, Iím not sure.
Tom Morello is really helpful and supportive but itís not an entire culture, it doesnít embrace the communal, itís not a communal thing in rock, thatís why it suffers right now.

You talked about Tom Morello, is he kind of a Godfather to you?

Delila: Oh yes.

Edgey: He does so much for the musicians, the social movement, everything.

Delila: Heís always working, he always does something new. He has that spirit though, he is very passionate about the workers right, the homeless, but heís also passionate about music, about the next generations.

Edgey: And he brings people together.

Do you think that now the lessons for rockers might come from hip hop?

Edgey: Absolutely, we have so much to learn. Creatively, lyrically, especially politically, I mean Cardi B kicks every bands ass with her lyrics, she writes better lyrics than one of the biggest pop/hip hop artists, is writing better lyrics than every single nation rock band.
Dude one verse from a hip hop artist destroys the entire rock catalog, of every successful rock album, thatís insane. One Kendrick Lamar verse is stronger than a hundred rock albums. Itís crazy, itís nuts, it was never like that back then. Back when we had Patti Smith and Neil Young. Bob Dylan, we had Nina Simone and ďMississippi GoddamĒ! Where the fuck is that today? You donít have ďFerguson GoddamĒ, where is that?
In hip hop thereís plenty, how about that song ďThis is AmericaĒ by some rich actor Childish Gambino? I donít like his music, you donít have to, but yo! That video? Itís one of the best video Iíve seen in years.

Thereís a lot of band in rock if you dig at a lower level that no one knows about, band that are carrying amps with their own hands into the club. And they got to carry back home after a three hour night playing cover songs. These bands are really keeping rock alive in the spirit they have. There is some greatness there.

Do you think internet dissolved talent or is a way for people to get to know stuff they would not have seen otherwise?

Delila: Iíve seen both, I discover artists all the time on Instagram. Thereís a lot of stuff in the internet that isnít really big but itís really cool. But I guess itís hard to find it.

Edgey: Itís true. Itís something that was different in the 70s. People and fans pressured the bands to take a stand on something. If you donít thereís gonna be a problem likeÖ ďYou need to say somethingĒ, ďYou need to get behind this causeĒ. Artists back then, all famous rock stars would show up in the street, play their acoustic guitar and lead a march, they had to. But itís not like that anymore, itís just a competition where we need to do better music and that goes for everybody, our band, every rock bands, we just step it up and we need to keep making better music. Thatís the point.

Delila: Or experiment more and itís ok to. Because a lot of times people are playing and they say ďOh itís not rockĒ. Who cares? Be as creative as you want to be.

You were referring to gospel artists as it has more feeling in fact.

Delila: Yeah and the freedom of that, to get emotional and dig deep, itís actually rock Ďn roll to me, to uplift people, to know their pain, like ďIím there with you to the bottom and weíre gonna rise up togetherĒ.

Would you say that thereís an inhibition as artists donít wanna do that? Or are you saying that they donít know how to do that because they donít come from from working class, they come from school or whatever...

Edgey: Iíve looked at the biggest rock bands, Iíve looked at where theyíre from and thereís something like 0,09% of black people in their community. So are you saying you have to come from pain and suffering in order to do that or theyíre just inhibiting themselves?

Delila: HumÖ could be both

Edgey: Both?

Delila: Maybe. I meanÖ You can not come from there but still have empathy.

Youíll be touring in a lot of clubs. Is it important to be close to people while playing? What does it bring you?

Delila: I love clubs Ďcause you can make people sit, I like to be in the crowd, I love to be with people, bringing them on stage, itís cool!

Edgey: You do that at festivals too though. We did that at a festival in Italy, I saw the crowd turned into a sit-in, hugging each other and thatís the point!

Delila: Canít do that at a metal fest, but thatís my next mission.

When you compose music, do you think about live or just the moment when doing it?

Delila: Now weíre starting to think more about the live, weíve been playing so much live now and I can feel the sets are getting longer Ďcause we have more music and Iím really excited about it. I wanna be like Bruce Springsteen and play a four hours show.
So we do think a little bit like that and weíre influenced by the fans and what they want to hear, what songs they like the best, the songs they wanna hear live and the feedback goes in there.

What was the starting point for you as a musician? The moment you said: ďOk this is my lifeĒ!

Edgey: I think I was two years old. Of course I didnít make conscious decisions but my favorite toy was a little radio and when I was something like three or four years old I was learning how to record over my mumís tapes I didnít like. And someone brought a guitar over, I didnít even know it was called a guitar but it was the most incredible thing Iíve seen in my entire life and that was it. I played on it for hours or something and when the guy left he took his guitar with him and I havenít seen a guitar for years.
I didnít come from a musician family I didnít know the word for it it was the box who made noise. And later on when I saw a guitar I said ďWhat the fuck I wanna play itĒ and so for me Iíve always known I wanna do music.

Delila: Mine came pretty early too, I was singing when my mum bought me a microphone, I donít know if it was connected to anything, I was just singing around the house and wrote songs, kinda kiddish but I loved music.

Edgey: Can I say something about that? I donít know if youíve noticed somethingÖ The kids that grew up in urban spaces without technology, are forced to play in the streets and they grow up and mature much quicker. So when people see this video and there are like ďCome on you werenít doing much at four years oldĒ well listen to that: we were doing a lot at four years old! So much so that kids now when they reach ten, havenít done what we were doing at four years old. No one can even imagine this. People would think Iím high right now or on crack saying that!
Kids now can barely speak, they canít fuckiní say three words, we canít leave the house without supervision! By four we had our brothers hanging around, we went to the park alone, you donít see that now. I think that has something to do with why music was better back then: we had more freedom at fuckiní four years old. You canít conceptualize the shit kids were doing at four years old back then.
Thatís why I think when you had your microphone you had more freedom.

Delila: I figured that out yeah! I remember when I was three hanging around with my microphone

Edgey: And what would you sing at three years old ?

Delila: Mostly Bob Marley when I was young. Me and my dad used to do ďJamminĒ and later some kids songs, I donít even remember!

Edgey: So when did you know you wanted to sing when youíll be older? Then?

Delila: Yeah! I know my voice is much better that what it was. I was just singing all the time.

Edgey: Did you know there was this option like doing this as a career or no? When did you first realize that you can get paid to do this?

Delila: I never realized thatÖ not even now!! (Both Laughing)
I knew music was this crazy thing, I remember hearing ďHave you ever seen the rain?Ē when I was little and I could see the sky, it was Creedence Clearwater, I remember the feeling, this voice that was so raspy, I thought ďOw where this is from?Ē I thought he was black actually, I imagined a black dude with an old looking like 1800s outfits.

Edgey: How old were you? Like five?

Delila: Just before I was five Ďcause we moved. I have a lot of music memories, just like people might haveÖ well other memories. My memories are music.

Edgey: Iím the same way though.
 
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