Interview: Rooster Keaton

We enjoyed listening to your song “Driving North”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
– Pierre: Actually, this song was a riff we initially created during a jam session in our studio. Loads of beers were drunk that night, and when it’s the case, I usually play only 2 strings on my guitar, that’s what you can hear on the intro! After that, we just wanted something short, easy to understand in terms of melody and structure. Lyrics are also quite simple, I wrote it when we were in lockdown, it describes the feeling most people had during this awful time: to leave everything, to take a car, drive to anywhere and have a fresh start. The Stone Roses had “Driving South” we chose to go to the North!

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
– Victor: We are at the end of the food chain. The Beatles were plagiarized by Oasis, and we plagiarized Oasis. We hope someone will perpetuate this tradition in 20 years! So to define our sound: loud guitars, loud drums and solos. Influences are mainly brit rock, such as The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Shame and obviously the two named previously, but there’s also American classics such as The Strokes, Jack White. We sound like this mixture right now, but it really depends on our state of mind when we are in rehearsal, when we are working on new stuff.

You have a music video for the song too. What ideas went into its creation? Is there anything you hope it represents? Or any message you hope it delivers?
– Victor: We wanted to be out of our urban environment. I was born in the East of France in Epernay, capital of Champagne, and we knew that filming there was perfectly fitting with the theme of the song. We took a car to go to a place where without a doubt no one could complain about us! In the middle of the vines, our friend and director Romain Sidan told us to behave like we are in real life. I think it’s the most honest result we could hope for, the song is about freedom, the images talk the same way and after all, we’re just 4 guys enjoying the simplicity of being together.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
– Pierre:  We had the chance to play in many venues in Paris, but also in other parts of France in Lille, Reims or Lyon for instance. Also, this is not our first single, we previously released 2 other singles and a first EP. The second one ‘French Suite’ will be released on the 11th of June. We would love to play a UK show, the real rock public is located there, it’s the promised land for us!

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why?
– Pierre: It’s a tough one. I would say Fontaine D.C, in an intimate venue, because it’s one of the best gig I’ve ever seen in Paris. It was like being in a riot in the dark…and drunk of course. If you want a mainstream answer, I will say The Strokes for a festival in Chicago. Just to verify backstage if Julian Casablancas’ voice has an overdrive on it in real life.
– Victor: Being the support band for Aerosmith, before they die. I don’t really have a reason for that… maybe because Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, looking at you from the side of the stage… You know what I mean?

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
– Pierre:  In the band, we’re not all from the same musical influences, but what is sure is that we love all the new bands that are rising now from the UK. Shame, The Blinders… Some French bands are great too, Last Train, MNNQS, The Villejuif Underground… I had the chance to collaborate for the lyrics with Nathan Roche, an Australian author and the Villejuif Underground’s singer, just for that, everyone should listen to his work, he is a real cool guy!
– Victor: I’m from the old school education, I’m not fully into discoveries but Gary Clark Jr. is for me a reference nowadays. If you haven’t listened to him, you should! Oh, and Rooster Keaton are also fucking great, don’t miss them!

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