Pierre Alexandre Busson of Yuksek made a whole album about being fed up with touring. The French pop artist, whom we spoke to in September, has played shows all over the world, so it’s not difficult to sympathize. After a little downtime in his hometown of Reims, France, he’s back in action and coming to CMJ 2011. We asked the artist for a little insight on his tunes and his tour.
CMJ: Your new album, Living On The Edge Of Time, came out of the exhaustion that comes with touring. Do you feel any better from working on it? Is it easier now to be back on the road?
Pierre Alexandre Busson: It’s a cliché, but of course it’s wasting time. It’s five days out of home just for four hours onstage…waiting for planes, stage setup, drivers…but I like it.
Your vocal presence on the new album is much stronger than on your first album, Away From The Sea. What made you want to get more involved with the vocals, and why did you choose to sing in English instead of French?
I don’t consider myself as a proper songwriter, so it’s easier for me to write my little stories in a different language, and English fits definitely more with indie dance/pop music. There aren’t many artists who manage to do this, at the moment only Arnaud Fleurent Didier, I think.
How did the Shoes and the Bewitched Hands get involved on the new album?
Actually Guillaume from the Shoes helped me at the end of the production process, as I write, record and mix everything alone, ’cause I was a bit lost and not totally confident with the record. I think he pushed me forward on some tracks, and I give him many thanks for that. The Bewitched came to sing the backing vocals on some tracks, alongside Alb and About The Girl, my other friends from Reims.
On The Edge Of Time has a strong current of electro but with some added pop inflections like the acoustic strumming on “Off The Wall” or the piano riff in “Always On The Run.” What inspired you to add these besides not wanting to do just a purely electro album?
I always listened to a lot of different music, and I love the way a band can write proper pop songs with the help of the electronic production, and that is what is getting me excited in the studio these days. Many people did that in the end of the ’70s, beginning of the ’80s, discovering the synthesizers and drum machine. I love the way Gary Numan did that for example, and last year I feel a sharing of the musical vision of Soulwax or LCD Soundsystem. It’s definitely not rock, not club, but totally pop.
Yuksek plays Fat Baby on Wednesday, October 19, as part of the Great Escape showcase, and at Cameo Gallery on Friday, October 21, as part of the Fenway Recordings/Modern Art/Cameo Gallery showcase.