Agent C∞per is an all-female electro-pop act from France/Austria that create cinematic feeling soundscapes featuring bass, keyboard, MPC & wonderful vocal harmonies. Mélisande was lovely enough to answer my questions.
What kind of music would you say that you make?
MÉLISANDE ROUGER: Electro-pop with an emphasis on vocals.
How did you first come to music?
MR: My family is very fond of music. My grandfather plays the accordion and sings, so does my mother. My parents are real fans of the 60s and 70s and I grew up to the sounds of Françoise Hardy, Gilbert Bécault, Jacques Brel, Dalida, Charles Aznavour, James Brown, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Earth, Wind and Fire, etc.
What are your songs inspired by?
MR: Movies, real or fictional places, emotions, people… A lot of them are inspired by our experiences, what we are going through at the moment. Our songs talk about finding or losing love, the difficulty of getting along with people, disappointing or surprising friendships, heroism, anguish, loneliness, the first signs of ageing, dreams, fantasies, time travel, etc. Some songs like Orion are more imaginary, they try to be short movies or at least to have some kind of cinematographic atmosphere.
When do you like to write them and where?
MR: Lyrics: at home, during the day or at night, but also when traveling. I find it sometimes easier and liberating to write with the distance. Music: either one of us writes something on her own – usually an instrumental part and/or vocals – and then we build up the rest together when rehearsing or we make the whole thing together when trying out some sounds at band practise.
How would you describe performing?
MR: It is quite challenging and exhilarating. It would be great to choose which side of you, you are going to show to the audience but often you just end up showing what you feel right at the moment. I don’t know how the others feel about it but I don’t really control it and maybe that’s the beauty of it. It’s very intense.
How do you feel when you get on stage?
MR: In the beginning very shy and uncomfortable. The worst part is the seconds before the gig starts. We are all very nervous. I’m sick to my stomach, edgy and can’t talk to anyone. Alcohol doesn’t even work. We usually get more relaxed after 3 songs. The best part is when you don’t want to leave the stage after you’ve played all your songs.
What is your favourite song to sing live and why?
MR: All our songs actually. They have nice vocal harmonies; it’s like catharsis to sing them to an audience. For me it’s still very special to sing my own lyrics to strangers.
Tell me about the music community where you live?
MR: There are many dedicated musicians in Vienna. Playing music is quite easy here, maybe easier than in other European capitals like Paris or London – renting a rehearsal space is for instance really cheaper. The community is small so you end up meeting the industry quite fast. Some people do a lot to promote and export local bands to European locations/festivals. It’s amazing to see their commitment and the amount of work they do – sometimes for very little money in the end. It would be nice to see more exchange between the different musical scenes and more cooperation with musicians and bookers from other countries.
What do you do that’s creative when not making music?
MR: I enjoy writing, taking pictures and I want to go back to acting.
Where are some places that you like to hang out?
MR: I really like to be outside and walk and hang out on the street. Anything can happen there and it’s the best place to take pictures. I also like cinemas, concert venues and any place where you can dance and party. I like the sea side too and miss it a lot.
What’s something that you would really like to do one day?
MR: Make a movie.
What projects are you currently working on?
MR: An EP, our next gig and new songs.
For more Agent C∞per.
To infinity and beyond,