When you think of French Films, you may think of the delightful Amelie, the erotic Baise-Moi or even the original transexual romp La Cage aud Folles; what you are unlikely to think of however, is a Finnish indie band:
Formed in 2010, Johannes, Antti, Mikael, Joni and Santtu are the men behind French Films. This, the lead track off their Golden Sea EP has been attracting a lot of attention in the blogospere, being compared from everyone from Joy Division to the Cure. Johannes (singer and guitarist) took time out from the recording of their debut album to answer a few questions.
French Films, a strange name for a Finnish band to choose, where did the name come from?
Joni was talking to me about some French film he had just seen. Never mind what the movie was, I just thought that French Films would probably be a good name for a band.
So, what are your favourite films then?
We all like different movies. Personally I liked watching Children Of Men, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Big Lebowski, to name a few. To be honest, I think we follow a lot more TV series than movies.
You only formed last year, how did you guys get together?
I play with Antti in another band. Mikael used to be the guitarist and lead singer in a band called Yes Please! and we used to play a lot of shows together, so we became friends over time. Joni and I met in a bar where he told me that we should form a band. Me and Mikael had already thought about forming a band together with Antti, so I asked Joni to join. Joni brought Santtu (who had never even played keyboards before) with him.
How is the album coming along? What can we expect to hear?
The album is coming along quite easy. It will sound more diverse than the EP. We’re happy with it so far.
Golden Sea has been well received on the blogs. What do you think of the comparisons to other bands, such as The Drums?
Hah.. I think it’s just funny that the first song I wrote for French Films has got probably the most attention. It’s like “shit, we gotta top that…” We understand the comparisons. It doesn’t bother us, but I think the album is going to change, or widen them at least.
Finland is not known for its indie bands, Finland’s biggest musical export in recent years has been Darude…Can French Films be bigger than Darude?
Tough question. Can anyone be bigger than Darude? We’ll see.
Tell us , what the indie music scene in Finland is like?
It’s getting more interesting all the time. But there’s not that big indie music scene in Finland really. Or whatever indie music scene even means these days…
Any other Finnish bands to recommend to us, indie or otherwise!?
There’s definitely some newer Finnish bands you should listen to if you haven’t already heard them, like Big Wave Riders, The Casbah, The Wha’s, Joensuu 1685, Young Christs, Satellite Stories, The Lariots… and of course Dead Mongoloids!
You are doing a few dates in Europe in May, is this your first time to play outside Scandinavia?
We actually played our first show abroad last year at Skopje, Macedonia. It was really cool! A few weeks after that we played in Moscow, Russia, but we’re definitely looking forward to touring properly.
Your EP is scheduled to be released in Japan, any plans to come over?
We would love to come to Japan! There has been no talk about it yet though. Hopefully as soon as possible!
Words: Mark Birtles
Translation: Kaori Ishikawa
January 31, 2011