Hard to believe that not that long ago I was in Paris, France… the city of love and it might be said, “of a not ridiculously small punk scene”, at least by today’s standards (though I admit that slogan probably won’t fit on a t-shirt or hat). In fact, I was pretty impressed by the level of musicianship and diversity going on in the Paris punk scene.
Of course, I was only there for a couple of days, but I plan to be back. I considered this first, sort of last minute trip, my Paris Punk Starter Kit if you will. I just wanted to get a taste of things so I could return and do it the right way some day soon.
Of course, you never know what the future may bring, so I tried to make the best of my time there and cover as much punk rock as possible in the 2 days I’d allotted, foregoing the touristy stuff most people do in Paris. Though I did peek the Eiffel Tower through some buildings just to remind myself I was in Paris and not in some French speaking, alternate universe version of NYC.
I had wanted to catch up with a few other punk bands, most notably Gasmask Terror and the Lipstick Vibrators, but time was too tight and in the Lipstick Vibrators’ case, the guys were on tour in the north of France when I was there.
But lucky for us all, Tom, one of the band members was kind enough to do a little online interview to give us all a bit more insight into the French punk scene. The interview is below and stay tuned for an exclusive video interview with Paris Punk Pioneers “Burning Heads” coming up real soon.
Punk Outlaw’s Interview with Paris’ Lipstick Vibrators
PO = Punk Outlaw, LV = Lipstick Vibrators (Duuuh!)
PO: Tell me about Lipstick Vibrators. How long have you guys been around?
LV: We are formed since 2006 …
PO: How do you describe your sound
LV: I think our sound is a kind of mix between garage rock and 77 punk rock. We listen many stuff like 60′ garage, soul, early punk rock …
PO: What are some of your musical influences
LV: Our influences are pretty large. But we are close to bands like New Bomb Turks, Devil Dogs, Stooges, The Heartbreakers, dead Boys … But we also like other stuff like blues or cold wave …
PO: Where have you guys toured?
LV: We’ve toured in France (of course), Italy (as we have a 45′ on an italian label), Spain, Belgium, Germany (twice) and UK. We are open to tour all over the wold.
PO: Do you sing in French or English? Why?
LV: We sing in English because we think that rock’n’roll sound much better in English than in French. French is a good language for poetry or for French folk songs, not for rock’n’roll. It’s just a question of sound. We can sometime hear French bands playing rock’n’roll and singing in French and I think it sounds awful hahahaha! And I think it’s much easier to play outside of France when you sing in English.
PO: What are some of the old French Punk bands who started the scene?
LV: The French punk scene has started in late 70′ with bands like Starshooter, Metal Urbain or the Dogs. They were influenced by bands from USA and UK as we didn’t have punk bands in the 70′. One of the biggest band who brought punk rock to a large audience in France was les Berrurier noir. They were really famous in France and they still are since 1980.
PO: What is the French Punk scene like today?
LV: The French punk scene is not so big in France. Sometimes you can see a very good and famous punk band playing in Paris and there are only 150 persons …
We have many bands, good or not … But not so many places to play. We met very good bands in France but not enough. We have more bad bands than good ones hahahaha! That’s too sad!
I think it’s like everywhere, there are some guys who seems to be punkrockers but they’re just during the week ends. I think rock’n’roll is a real way of life.” Be Rock’n’roll or be nothing”.
PO: Do you think French punk is influenced by North American or UK Punk? Which is more influential or is it neither?
LV: Yes sure! The punk rock is not born in France so we are influenced by our dads in USA or UK. Bands like Sex Pistols or Exploited has really influenced the french scene but also the Stooges or MC5 which are more rock’n’roll.
PO: What does the future hold for Lipstick Vibrators?
LV: We plan to record a second album in early 2013 and we need to find a good label as we want to tour a lot everywhere. We are actually on a Japanese label “Attitude record” and we are planning to go on tour in Japan in 2013. My friends from Guitar Wolf will book the tour for us. We want to make many tours and albums in the future !
PO: Anything else you want to add?
LV: Keep your soul free and Rock’n’roll Motherf@*ers!!!