bleistiftrocker.de asked Élie Raymond, singer in Foreign Diplomats, some questions via e-mail. These are the original answers in English.
bleistiftrocker.de: You are currently on tour in Germany. What do you expect from your shows?
Élie Raymond: I think it’s important not to expect too much. Still, we can’t wait to discover new cities and venues. With the album coming out, we’re eager to know if the people like it and if they will show up to the shows. We’ll see.
What can we expect from your live performances?
We try to give the most energetic performances we can. We love to jump around, especially our keyboard and trombone player, Thomas.
How would you describe the style of music you are playing?
We like to think of it as art pop but it’s a bit pretentious! It’s rock pop, danceable, easy to sing along to but we still try to put interesting elements in the arrangements, in the structures of the songs.
Your debut has been out for a while in your home country. What feedback did you get?
Pretty good. We started feeling that people liked it when they started to sing more and more at the shows. It’s a great feeling to play and see some people in the crowd singing all the songs. Our shows are attracting always more people and that’s a good sign that the album is doing well.
Which song on your album is your favourite and why?
That’s a good question. They are all really personal songs for me, so it’s hard to pick my favourite. „Lily’s Nice Shoes!“ is a song I really love. The groove is great, it’s really fun to play live and there are a lot of small artistic elements that we added while experimenting in the studio. I also like „Drunk Old Paul (and His Wild Things)“. It means a lot to me for various reasons and at the end, you can hear the noises of a party we did in the studio. It’s a nice element that ends the album on a high note!
In our review, we pointed out that we especially like the song „Beni Qui Qui“. What is it about?
„Beni Oui Oui“ is a really dark song. The whole album is kind of about heartbreak, the end of a relationship. Some songs are more bitter and angrier than others but I would say that this song is the most bitter and the angriest. There is not a lot more that I can say without entering in personal details. It was a fun song to record in the studio, though. We experimented with a pedal steel guitar, and none of us knew how to play it. We ended up being three guys on the instrument just trying to get a cool sound out of it. You can hear it in the second verse, that weird, throbbing and strident sound.
What is the canadian indie-scene like?
I can only talk about Montreal. It’s really diverse. Electro pop, hip hop, heavier bands all share the scene. The vibe is great and we have a lot of friends in other bands. It’s always fun to do shows with people we know and it’s easy to do.
What other bands can you recommend to music lovers in Europe?
Choses Sauvages. They are great friends of ours and their music is really cool. Pif Paf Hangover are awesome too. Dead Obies and Alaclair Ensemble are great hip hop bands. Chocolat, psychedelic garage rock in french. Les Deuxluxes. Gazoline. Do you know U2? They’re really good.
How did you get together as a band?
We all knew each other in high school. We weren’t really friends when we started this thing. More like dudes who wanted to play music. We became brothers in arms afterwards.
Why did you move to Montreal?
We’re from a region an hour north of Montreal, it’s really close, and this city’s music scene is alive and great. It was easy and important for us to move there and work there.
According to pictures on your Facebook-page, you’ve been around touring a lot. Which place do you remember most and why?
We went to Mexico in the fall of 2016 and it was aaaaaaaaaawesome. We played in a festival in front of 5000 people who came to see us. They didn’t know us, maybe it’s just that mexicans go out to see shows. We did a great performance and they absolutely loved it, asking for photographs and pictures for hours after the show. That was a weird but absolutely great experience.