Punk ferocity, bloodied knees, ripped stockings, smeared lipstick, frenetic energy, hard driving synths, a devil-may-care attitude, and a DIY ethos—are the hallmarks that make this French duo, Kap Bambino so great! Once described as having “a party or die kind of vibe, like Crystal Castles, just a bit more evil!” this pair know how to have fun. Whenever I put on their records I can’t help but dance. I first caught the Kap Bambino dancing fever when my Jhonny showed me this:
Here’s my interview with très cool frontlady Caroline Martial doing her best to answer my questions in broken English.
Kap Bambino originally started as a 4-song project Orion was working on solo; how did you come to be a part of Kap Bambino?
CAROLINE MARTIAL: I remember, it was in 2001 during the first Kap Bambino show—Orion in a little Irish pub in Toulouse south of France. I joined him with a mic to try a few songs, and we had a big time together on stage! After that we decide quickly to do music together. Less than one year after we released the LOVE LP (in 2002).
You’ve been a band for a decade now. Congratulations! That’s certainly an achievement; what else are you proud of that you’ve achieved?
CM: Thanks! Yeah we can’t believe, we still alive! We continue to trust in our shit.
What do you love most about collaborating with each other? What strengths do you each bring to Kap Bambino?
CM: It’s chemical like the fries and the ketchup. It worked since the first day we met. It’s a big mix of both personalities: energy, craziness, tenderness, stupidity, melancholy, sensible as fuck and addiction to cigarettes and coffee; completely real people, raw, direct, and burn by this crazy world.
How did you first discover music?
CM: For me, since I was born. My Mum played Janis Joplin, and my dad, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Serge Gainsbourg. My parents were simple people, but really into records, and listening [to them] a lot at home. I am lucky.
What was the first concert you ever went to see? Can you describe your experience of it?
CM: It was L7, at the door [they said] it was an underage show. I was 16 and my best friend lied [about my age] to help me get in the club. Trust me, it was a blast to see these girls performing! At the end of the show they jumped naked into the crowd, and fought people with French baguette bread. They opened my mind, like Sonic Youth, Nirvana at this period.
Kap Bambino has been touring a bunch this year. What’s the most fun you’ve ever had performing?
CM: Lots! ’cause Kap Bambino shows are always adventures everywhere in the world, in a good or bad way—fun or fuck. One I can describe for example is the Osaka show in Japan. We were like little French kittens for the first time in Japan, completely disconnected, jet lagged, lost, and really scared no one’s heard about our shitty band in this part of the world. After losing a few hours around the venue, drinking some beers and buying stupid Pokemon stuff, suddenly [at the] front of the club a massive fan club was there, completely excited! I was impressed so bad….and the show was hysterical…so much… I can’t remember I have sing (!) but the crowd sang our songs with a Japanese accent on “French Glish” lyrics…I let you imagine. They were too shy to crowd surf at the start, but after five songs, trust me, they all flying in the air and do the chaos. The bruises and the emotion to realize we play for real in Japan was so big after that, we have crying and laughing at the same time.
At the end of last year you supported Blondie in Santiago. How was that?
CM: INTENSE. Blondie fans are our child for sure, they know, they understand what we doing like everywhere.
I know that your fans are very important to you, other than live shows are there other ways you like to connect with them? I love your blog/site by the way!
CM: Thanks yeah I love running this stupid blog and share our normal life with my fans. Yes, the only thing we have is our fans—I love them so much. They are the most important thing for our mojo. We don’t do commercial and mainstream music, so it isn’t the money that keep us alive you know, believe me, it’s our fans!
A recent post (for your Italian shows) had a picture of a kitty with a marijuana leaf on its head (I’m assuming you like to party?); have you found an altered state of mind is conducive to your creativity?
CM: Ahahha for our creativity not really, we are already sicko. But, sometimes yeah we like to smoke, but ndlr: I love to do rubbish visuals, and this one is just another bad one I do when I can’t sleep and laughing front tumblr or blingee; it’s the cannabis kitten king of the streets!
I’ve read that you enjoy making your records at home as opposed to in a traditional studio; what do you love most about working from home? Is the environment you create in important to the process?
CM: We’ve never been in a studio, ’cause the coffee is better at home. And we can do how we want, no times, no regrets to have a shit talking sound texture with a dude fan of U2.
Why did you choose to sing in English rather than French?
CM: To get out of France! And, to not be a cool French band and only play in dad’s festival with ugly pop band or play only in basement with six people and wanna die after 15 shows. To sing in English is a passport.
Your album Devotion came out last year, have you been working on any new music recently? What are you currently focused on?
CM: Yes we’re working on new stuff actually!
Lastly, what are some things that Kap Bambino is passionate about?
CM: The Ocean. Old horror movies. Listening to records. Thinking today is the last day, let’s do all in one night, and wake up the day after and feel it’s not over yet, but we get a big headache.
Photos: courtesy of Kap Bambino’s fb and Caroline’s blog. If you see a pic you’ve taken get in contact so I can credit and link you, or alternatively take it down.