When/where did you start music?
In the belly of my mom, in the 70’s 🙂
What gear / keyboard(s) are you using?
ROLAND ALL THE WAY! I used the Roland XP-80 till Hubi Meisel’s “Kailash”, but after the Shadrane “Temporal” demos I switched to the Roland FANTOM X6. This key is smaller, but useful for traveling and has an awesome sequencer too.
What are the sounds you use?
For both Hubi Meisel’s works and Oniric Metal I’ve used the XP 80’s standard “Midi Grand” piano a lot, plus tons of sounds out from the SR-JV “Session” expansion set which really defined Hubi Meisel’s keyboard sounds, like… 8 “Water Piano”, 115 “Martian Chimes”, 19 “Str+Choir1” (really the most heard in my productions), but also the “Orchestral” SR-JV expansion card which featured patch 227 “Choirs 1”, one of these mighty layers you could always hear in my music. But today I’m using the Roland Fantom X6, I sold my XP (I never thought this would happen). All in all, trust it or not but there is only one synth in my home studio!
Can you play this? (= Are you any good at keyboards?)
Well, to say the truth I’m a self-taught musician and never took lessons with a teacher (ok, it happened one time, but it lasted a few weeks and was a real nightmare for the guy LOL). I have a “weird” way to play, I use two hands to play most of the stuff a regular player would only need one… I see no problem with that! I am mostly playing my own stuff, so don’t ask me to play your favorite Mozart tune, I won’t be able to perform it. I cannot just enter a bar and start playing on the piano “Hey, look how I rox!!!”. My love goes for the deep ambientscapes made with the keys, but not this “keyboard wizardry” stuff, although I’d love to play like that. I have the belief music is NOT about Olympics, it’s open to everybody and you shouldn’t need to “shred” or be a virtuoso to be heard.
What are your influences?
My parents? I grew up listening to all kinds of stuff, pop-rock (Alan Parsons Project, Toto, Michael Jackson – he was my favourite), prog-rock (the music of Yes, Genesis, Kansas and likes), metal (Megadeth, Sepultura). This is it! METAL!!! The music of Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, Symphony X influenced me the most! Steve Vai also been a big inspiration…
Japanese VG artists too: Michiru Yamane, Michiru Oshima, Nobuo Uematsu, Hiroki Kikuta, Yasunori Mitsuda, Motoi Sakuraba, Yuzo Koshiro, Hitoshi Sakimoto…
I also enjoy “new age music” artists, people who play keyboard the way I like… Vangelis and (old-)Alan Parsons are a good example. Many score makers: Eric Serra, Jeremy Soule, Trevor Jones, John Williams, Basil Poledouris, Howard Shore, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, Jeff Dana and the list goes on…too many to mention here.
A lot of other bands/artists influenced me and still influence me everyday. I believe that it’s Picasso who said “I was so awkward at copying others that I got my own style”.
Any tip(s) about composition?
Well, don’t compose if you don’t feel like it. Don’t force yourself. The crappiest songs I did were often written on days I didn’t feel in the mood. There you have it. Biggest music tip ever!
Why the band name LALU? It’s so… weird!
It’s my last name. Nope, I don’t have any Indian roots. I know it’s weird—people mocked me so much at primary school… I was ashamed, so using it became a way for me to improve my self-confidence and self-esteem. As an “artist” I must say that I like that people to think it’s weird, because it means that it doesn’t look/sound like everything else. To see LALU’s debut album for sale in the music store I used to visit at high school was a real emotional moment. I finally accepted my name!
PS: My dad with a copy of LALU’s debut in the biggest record store of Paris
What is the funny dialog which can be heard at the beginning of the former version of "Potboy: The Final Fantasy"?
“Hello Devin, did you have a good sleep man?
– Yes, Infinity! Wassup?
– Oh, everything’s fine, but weed level is getting low…
– Getting low? How’s that possible?!!
– You smoke too much pot yesterday—sucker!
– Oh, guess we have to find some more. Any idea(s), Infinity?
– Nearest planet featuring weed is planet Earth
– Ok, let’s get there, FULL SPEEEED!!!
– Don’t know if we can make it to Earth…weed level too low…
– Hey!!! I said “GET THERE”!!!
– As you wish my lord, your words are orders.
– Stop it, Infinity! Now I’m gonna get into weedogenic sleep, but before… Shall I make one? It’s gonna be a good one! (laugh)”