Interview with Les Longs Adieux by DJ Jason

On October 2nd, Les Longs Adieux will be doing a special show on Twitch for Absolution.  We are very excited about it and look forward to the performances.  Thank you Frank and Federica.  

DJ Jason: Your band name, Les Longs Adieux, translates to “The Long Farewell” or perhaps “The Long Goodbyes”. It seems like such an appropriate name, since your band has both happy and sad elements to it’s music. The cover song ‘Tomorrow’ is a very cheerful dance number, yet you do it in a gothic way, for example. Was this interpretation of the name’s meaning part of how the name was chosen? …Or was it taken from the Soviet era film drama directed by Kira Muratova also called Les Longs Adieux? Tell us about how you came to be called Les Longs Adieux.

Les Longs Adieux: This is a very good question. The name was chosen to evoke both Muratova’s film and one thing that has always united us: our favorite episode of Dylan Dog entitled “The Long Farewell” (Dylan Dog is a comic born in the 80s very popular in Italy, in which features various gothic and horror elements as well as musical references to the New Wave). We are very pleased that you have caught some elements of contrast in our music. A subtle balance between sadness and happiness. We don’t know if this is related to our Latin origins, which perhaps gives this bittersweet flavor to our music. This is why we like to define some of our elements as Mediterranean Goth.

DJ Jason: Federica, you have an amazing voice that is reminiscent of the legendary and iconic singer, Nico. What Is your background in music? Was she an influence on your singing? Who are your vocal influences? …and other influences…

Federica: First of all thanks for the comparison with Nico. I believe that for any female singer, who wants to take up the genre, there is no better compliment. I fell in love with The Cure when I was 18 and have listened to 80s wave ever since. But as a singer, I have always done a very different genre from the one I listen to most. For many years, I sang in Hard Rock bands, because I could not find musicians interested in playing Dark Wave. I was inspired by low voices like Bowie, Jim Kerr, David Sylvian, Elvis, Amanda Lear, but I also love more particular singers like Antonella Ruggiero from Matia Bazar. I studied opera singing which I hope you will be able to appreciate in some songs of Les Longs Adieux that we will publish shortly. I love low voices.

DJ Jason: Frank, your cover songs afford an idea about your influences, but I would pose the same question to you. Who influenced your music and playing?

Frank: A bit like Federica, for many years I have played in Hard ‘n’ Heavy bands. In recent years, I have gradually moved away from that genre, and prefer to listen to bands from Wave to Gothic Rock. The influences are many. I especially appreciate a minimal functional approach to the song. The groups that I could mention are many from the most disparate fields. Sisters of Mercy, The Mission UK, obviously The Cure, but also a little heavier stuff like Type O Negative.

DJ Jason: Your newest single, ‘Good Bye’, is sung in both Italian and English. Do you expect that the forthcoming work will follow suit and also have both languages in other new songs?

Les Longs Adieux: Years ago there were some very good Italian wave groups who chose Italian as the main language of their songs. The same happened in Spain with Heroes Del Silencio or in France with Deux and recently in Turkey with She Past Away. Clearly, having also listened to a lot of Anglophone music, it is natural for us to combine the two. However, being the texts of the Wave genre very emotional we need to use our language to express ourselves at best. At the moment, therefore, we plan to continue along this way.

DJ Jason: Your compositional use and proportion of guitar & synth sounds is very nice, as the guitar sounds aren’t lost in the mix and the synths are not overpowering, redundant, or overdone. Everything has its proper place and there is space for the dynamic, melodious and charismatic vocals too. Please tell us about your song writing process and how the two of you merge ideas.

Les Longs Adieux: As we like many currents within the genre, each composition takes its own path. When it starts from Frank, we usually have a more guitar driven sound, while when it starts from Federica, we cross almost synth pop territories. We don’t like to necessarily follow the dictates of the genre in the compositional phase, we usually let ourselves go following the feeling of the moment. When we like something we usually like it because we feel it melancholy or it reminds us of our childhood listening.

DJ Jason: You have covered many songs from several genres… from expected things like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Mission and The Cure to innovative interpretations of disco like Amanda Lear to new wave and alternative acts like B-Movie, The Smiths and New Order. Federica even sang Iron Maiden with another band… How do you choose your covers, and do you feel that the act of covering songs influences your own writing and musical sounds/tones/textures?

Les Longs Adieux: From the first days of Les Longs Adieux’s existence we also agreed on the idea of ​​playing some covers to adapt our styles and experience the things we had learned by playing different genres even in a Dark Wave context. For example, for Federica ‘Tomorrow’ was important because with that song she was forced to go down a lot with the voice compared to Iron Maiden, finding her natural alto register. Frank likewise tried to simplify the guitar parts, making them as less intrusive as possible. In this sense, playing different covers helped us to become familiar with new languages ​​and instruments. It is no coincidence that Federica has done a lot in the use of synths and electronic pads that she had never used before Les Longs Adieux. …and we play them for love and choose them for the love of each song.

DJ Jason: Some of the best Goth of 2020 has been coming out of Italy. Your band Les Longs Adieux, Vampires of Rome and Love The Ghost are splendid and quite different from each other without being trendy or sonically cliche (like so much of the last decade’s so-called underground music). It’s really great. Do you see yourselves as part of a new movement or revival where you live? Surely, you do fit that role for the new decade globally. What is the scene like in Italy these days?

Les Longs Adieux: We have been hoping for years that the genre will make a comeback in Italy too, but the truth is that here we are very resistant to changes. Even in the 1980s, the genre was very far from the numbers that could have been in England or America. However, a crack is opening now that, with the quarantine, many have realized that the followers of the wave from the rest of the world are much more organized. Just watch the many online events and concerts in streaming; This could represent a great opportunity and a gratification for all valid bands, which unfortunately in our country do not find many opportunities either live or to create a following. It’s a shame because there are valid bands, including the same Vampires Of Rome with whom Federica has collaborated from time to time.

DJ Jason: Do you have any recommendations for other Italian bands or singers that our readers might enjoy?

Les Longs Adieux: Date At Midnight, Ash Code, Hapax, Vampires Of Rome… There many bands that your readers might enjoy and probably we are missing someone.

DJ Jason: Covid 19 has delayed a lot of things throughout the world, however it’s not likely to last forever. What are your long term plans for Les Longs Adieux?

Les Longs Adieux: We are both very interested in new possibilities such as streaming and in more classic situations. Covid will not last forever, but at the same time it has taught us that we need to know how to adapt to situations. Long-term predictions are never easy to make, but we will certainly continue to release videos and singles and plan on a full album in the near future. On the live front, the situation is currently completely unpredictable. Time will tell.

DJ Jason: Do you have anything that you would like to add… any last words for the goodbye?

Les Longs Adieux: It is very important that the knowledge of gothic music is also transmitted to the new generations and in this program like yours they do a commendable job. DJ’s, webzines and promoters are now more important than ever, as the old figure of A&R of record companies has disappeared over time. For this reason we feel very lucky of your support.

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