“I learned the piano at 16 to sing because I found the albums of Barbara and Michel Berger brilliant”

Celebrating your 20th birthday was it necessary?
Vincent Delerm-
I wanted to mark the occasion, but until I had a formal idea, I was not attached to it. Everyone has family slides to show, but it’s very often boring. It was therefore necessary to be vigilant so that this anniversary was not boring. I’m not saying I don’t like mandatory parties. In general, those who do not appreciate them do not organize them. I like Christmas, garlands, inflating balloons, and I always have a helium tank at home. When you prepare a show, you also prepare a party.

What are you planning for your twelve concerts at the European, the scene of your debut?
Vincent Delerm-
I will be alone at the piano and I decided to rely on my first album by singing the eleven songs. But, between each of them, I will talk, tell and sing what I was listening to at the time, take up the pieces of my first parts during Thomas Fersen’s concerts. I learned the piano at 16 to sing, because I found the albums of William Sheller, Romain Didier, Barbara and Michel Berger brilliant. It’s my son of a teacher side, but I like people who make you want to do things. If I have often spoken of Alain Souchon or François Truffaut, it is because they are men who have at heart to tell you that it is playable, that you too can go there.

Would you like a special gift?
Vincent Delerm-
No. The gift is the public. I’m always happy when people are there. That’s the strongest thing, I don’t have any other desires as a singer. Often, in private life, the most symbolic gifts have come from my grandfather. It was he who gave me my first synthesizer or my first upright piano.

You are going to release a book-disc in the fall…
Vincent Delerm-
Yes. It will contain an album titled Without speakingon which I take about twenty of my solo piano melodies, without singing, as if I were in the corner of a room during an evening and vaguely playing the themes of my songs. It will also be accompanied by another disc, like a storywith all the pieces put aside for twenty years, the ones that we think it would be a shame if they went in the trash. Whether it’s the version with orchestra of a title or a song removed from an album at the last moment. I add voiceovers, and I also included a live from when I was at the university in Rouen. You will find two previously unreleased tracks, including the track With Joanwhich talks about the relationship we have with Jeanne Cherhal. We are like brother and sister. We got together and we started at L’Européen, where we each played for an hour. As for the book itself, I filled it out, among other things, with the flyer for my first concert, a letter from Eric Holder to whom I had sent the song Fanny Ardant and me, photos of my apartment in Rouen , an advertisement with François Morel, a note from Patrick Modiano…

“We have to compose songs like we would make sweets or vitamins”

Diving into your archives, did it make you nostalgic?
Vincent Delerm-
No. I never recognized myself in this term. I have a lot of affection for things from the past that I keep, in fact, but by bringing them to life. As a child and teenager, I didn’t experience any dramas and I didn’t invent any. In addition, I had a grandfather who was polite enough not to encumber others with his worries. It stayed with me and I have a problem with the “squealers”! We have to compose songs like we would make sweets or vitamins. We don’t change the face of the world, but we give a little energy. I use other people’s albums like that, like someone wondering when entering a bakery which cake will do them good.

Have you always taken your job seriously?
Vincent Delerm-
Totally! I fantasized about this job when I was a teenager. The whole scene mythology has always appealed to me. On the sidelines of my records, I had my existence like everyone else, my partner, my two children. But being on tour is part of my life, the two feed off each other. After the success of the first record, I told myself that it was not because people were applauding a lot that it was going to last. I remained vigilant. I refused to play in the big halls, I never did a Zenith because, in my opinion, it was necessary to limit oneself to places that I could always invest, which do not make you want to grow constantly. Also, my songs don’t lend themselves well to the vastness. Anyway, I don’t like to be in competition.

Is it linked to a certain modesty or a fear of failure?
Vincent Delerm-
Neither. I just wanted to be on stage for years. I have less this talk about albums. I had this desire for things to work out enough for me to create the shows I want. I first write songs to play them in concert. I have always been fascinated by the organization of tours, I like the laws of the music hall. When you arrive in a room, you quickly feel the atmosphere. It’s like a board game, you are dealt cards and you see what you have. And, whatever happens, everyone must be on their feet in the end. It is often said that an artist does things for him, me, not at all. I try to put everyone together and form a block. On stage, I go from very melancholic pieces to a series of jokes. This equilibrium also corresponds to the movement of existence. I always wanted to compose albums that reflected life.

Are you the same as 2022?
Vincent Delerm-
I have the same look, the same analysis, I continue to like the same songs of others who already touched me at the time. I am very loyal to everything. Before, I had a more closed side, I was this character a bit in his bubble. Today, everything is simpler thanks to the pleasure of exercising this profession for a long time, of having a history with the public. It’s a bit like being part of the family.

Are your two 11-year-old and 14-year-old sons following your career?
Vincent Delerm-
I didn’t bother them too much with my job and, very early on, I advised them not to be smart about it. They went beyond my goals, because they are very secretive and very discreet. They attend my concerts but, in everyday life, it doesn’t take up a lot of space, I don’t have any gold records at home, nothing that reminds me that I’m a singer, not even a microphone lying around.

After this happy birthday, what have you planned?
Vincent Delerm-
I am preparing a new original album and a second film. I would like to keep the idea of I don’t know if it’s everyonemy first medium-length film, that is to say, to build it starting from real testimonials. I like to make people talk but without it resulting in a documentary on arrival. Even if it means questioning an actress, as much as she really tells me the moment when she was most in love in her life, for example. That’s how I see things.

And then, the girls of 1973 are no longer 30, but soon 50…
Vincent Delerm-
I think it’s great to grow old, it’s a chance. I’m pretty positive about it! From the start, I knew that this song would have a kind of planned obsolescence.

At L’Européen, in Paris, for twelve concerts between April 28 and May 21. Book-CD, like a story, Sooner or later. Released at the end of October.

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