Interview with Les Longs Adieux by Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)
Les Longs Adieux… A new darkwave duo from Rome emerges on the contemporary underground scene during the pandemic… Vocalist Federica and guitarist Frank talk about their early beginnings, lockdown days, new album and give an insight on what they are all about… Les Longs Adieux… By Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)
Tzina: Welcome to Absolution… Les Longs Adieux are a relatively new band emerging on the dark/goth/alternative scene during the pandemic days. When and how exactly were you formed and what prompted you to start this band/act to begin with? Who are the current members?
Federica: First of all we would like to thank you and Absolution NYC for this interview.
We (virtually) met each other again in April 2020 during lockdown days. We were long time friends but we’d never played together before. We had changed bands and genres many times in our past and we were both interested in starting a new wave/darkwave band. One day I had shared a Cure cover done with a friend and Frank wrote a comment about it. We consider that night as the birth of Les Longs Adieux. The current members are me and Frank but we’re open to every possibility in the future.
Tzina: Les Longs Adieux (The Long Farewell in French) is a rather unique name for a band. What is the story behind this title? Is there some sort of hidden message or symbolic meaning behind this name? What does it mean to you? Can you elaborate…
Federica: Les Longs Adieux is the French translation of IL Lungo Addio. It is the title of an episode of Dylan Dog, a famous Italian comic about horror themes (often with quotes of various songs from The Smiths, Iron Maiden etc… etc… ). We knew that some movie existed with the same title and we noticed that they all had the same melanchonic vibe of the Dylan Dog story. Anyway, we kept it and translated it in French to add a more coldwave appeal. Recently, we came back to the Italian original title to release our first mini album that is sung completely in Italian.
Frank and I talked about Il Lungo Addio the first time we met in 2010 and it was the first of many things we discovered we had in common. We just can’t imagine a better name for us!
Tzina: Your music encapsulates a mixture of synthwave, electro and darkwave with an uplifting eighties vibe. Who is the main songwriter in the band? How is a Les Longs Adieux creation brought to life and what inspires you most to write this style of music? Apart from the obvious what are your main musical influences?
Federica: In the beginning we wanted to play something darker than what we’ve done…but it happened probably cause our influences are many. During my childhood my dad used to play a lot of Italian rock and pop at home, my mother jumped from synth pop to opera and later my friends introduced me to hard rock, hair and classic metal, aor etc… etc… I was in high school during the brit pop, alternative and indie period and it was impossible not to assimilate these influences. Then I tried to become a music journalist and I had to listen to many other various genres I had never considered before. I’ve kept an insane love for 80’s music and culture all my life, I still spend days listening to the same synth pop and new romantic albums as I’ve done for 20 years. Japan, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, A Flock Of Seagulls… but I’ll never forget the first impact of punk ’77, kraut rock and, most of all, post punk when I was 18.
A Les Longs Adieux song can start in two ways. Often it’s me playing a synth bass, testing new sounds and following nostalgia. Then, when I have a complete structure, Frank adds his flavour with guitars and it drives me to the vocal line. Sometimes it’s Frank testing riffs, falling in love with it and it becomes a complete song in a very short time. Then I just have to put lyrics, vocals and, if it’s the case, some strings. It’s a work of fantasy and it’s easier to do it when you don’t impose any style or rule.
Frank: I started playing guitar to hard rock and heavy metal tunes when I was eleven in the early 90’s and my heroes were Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and most of the old school metal bands. I then started listening to death metal bands like Morbid Angel and early Paradise Lost and at the same time discovered classic gothic rock and post punk bands like Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy and American acts like London After Midnight. I think it was from ’93 ‘till 2000. At the same time, I loved experimental artists like Tom Waits, some guitar heroes and Italian new wave bands like Litfiba or Bluvertigo. As you can see I like a lot of different musical genres, but for most of my musical life I’ve played heavy metal. I think that the last time I’ve recorded something with a heavy metal band was in 2018. Since then I’ve tried to find different languages in music, closer to darkwave or pop music.
Tzina: As I understand you just released your fifth digital release via Bandcamp with the title ‘Veleni Dalla Carte Del Re’. A mini album sung in Italian and under the band name ‘Il Lungo Addio’. Two different directions for the band… How has this album been received by your fans and music press so far? Can you elaborate on these changes…
Federica: During these past two years our life changed many times just as our feelings and lifestyle. We’ve kept on recording and writing songs but it was impossible for us to find a quiet period to dedicate to a full album. So we had about 40 possible songs to include, some in English and some in Italian. First we decided to try a format more comfortable for us to promote: two different mini albums with 6 tracks each, one in Italian and one in English. The music remains the same but the vocals sound very different when I decide to sing in English. It also takes more time to feel comfortable in a language I’m less skilled in. Then the themes of the English songs were written to form a concept album suitable for cinema and soundtracks too.
We wrote a lot of posts on our page to clarify that Il Lungo Addio and Les Longs Adieux are the same project in two different languages and we received very good feedback from those who followed our page and social media for a long time. We captured some new fans in Italy, surprisingly we hadn’t many before, in Les Longs Adieux phase.With the press it is a bit different cause we have sent ‘Veleni’ only a few weeks ago and we’re waiting for more reviews. The few Italian reviews we have had so far are enthusiastic, we can’t wait for others.
Tzina: Your music is available on various digital platforms (Spotify etc etc) but are there any plans to release any physical copies of your music in the near future?
Federica: Of course! Especially in Italy, fans of wave are very old school minded and it’s necessary to have physical copies. But it’s important for us too.
Tzina: Les Longs Adieux have recorded a number of eighties hits including ‘Cold’ by The Cure ,’Runaway’ by Bon Jovi and ‘Nowhere Girl’ by B-Movie just to name a few. What are your views on cover versions in general? Are there any other songs in particular that you would like to cover in the future? Any in the pipeline?
Federica: I’ll be sincere with you. The covers we’ve done were one of the reasons why we decided to release the first album with an apparently different name. We’ve recorded them because we love the original versions of those songs and we wanted to acquire clichés and correct the rock attitude we are used to. When the number of the covers is bigger than the original songs though you risk to be considered as a cover band and, if you basically aren’t a cover band, reaching some attention with original songs becomes harder. Anyway, we love each one of those covers and we’re not against covering in general. We just prefer to have fun on our compositions.
Tzina: You have also released a number of music videos on YouTube over the past few years. Do you believe the visual side to a band is as fundamental as the musical side? What are your views on music videos? Can you elaborate…
Federica: We’d love to give less attention to the visual side, but we know that it’s impossible in the era of social networks. It’s very comfortable to count on a good visual impact but it will never become more important than music. A good song can be helped by a good video, but if the song isn’t good enough there isn’t any possibility to empower it even with the best possible video.
We like the fact that we do everything on our own. We film, cut, edit, we choose the concept and the sides of us that we want to show. If you do it your own the visual part can become another dimension of your work.
Tzina: The pandemic of the past few years changed quite a lot in the music industry and one of these changes was endless livestreams for bands on social media. Les Longs Adieux were a very active band/act during lockdown days with many participations on these livestreams including ‘Absolution’, ‘RedeVamp’ and so on. What are your views on these livestreams and how does it feel to be a part of this virtual world?
Frank: The world is changing, or probably it has changed with the era of social media and during the pandemic, so we’ve seen the livestreams as a new possibility to spread our music. In 2022 you can’t ignore the importance of these kind of events that allow you to reach people in every part of the world. The alternative for us could be just playing in front of the same people in our city or trying to do very small tours and so on. This is different for big bands like Depeche Mode or Metallica, with their endless tours in stadiums and arenas, but don’t forget that even Metallica played a streaming live show in cinemas a few years ago.
Tzina: Livestreams seem to still be a part of the music industry but do you have any plans for any live shows in the near future? Any particular cities you would like to play in?
Frank: Yes, we would like to play some live shows, probably some shows in Rome, but we are looking for other shows in Italy and Europe. Currently we are rehearsing with a new line up for live shows and we hope to start playing live in winter in Italy and to find new gigs in spring 2023. There are many cities we would like to play in like London, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and many more in Europe. It would be great to play in America and South America too, but I think that for now is very difficult to organize.
Federica: I dream of playing in the country where I was born in, Cosenza. There isn’t a dearest place to me. I would love to play in London too, where everything started and where I left my heart. I’d love to play in New York through its skyscrapers and in Brazil/Mexico/Chile/Argentina, places famous for their warm and friendly crowds. I’ve seen a lot of footage in Entremurhalas, that is an amazing location!
Tzina: What are your ambitions for Les Longs Adieux? How would you like to see your band/act in the next few years?
Frank: We would like to record new albums because we are the first fans of Les Longs Adieux keeping our own style and personality. For now we are satisfied with our work so we hope to keep on playing and recording the music we like and to reach new people with our songs.
Tzina: There have been a number of bands emerging on the Dark/Goth/Alternative scene over the past few years around the globe. Do you think there is some sort of goth revival happening at the moment? How do you view the scene today? Are there any particular contemporary bands or artists that you admire?
Federica: I’m a huge fan of She Past Away, not only for their music as I love the impact of their Turkish lyrics and vibes and I love the character, attitude and kindness of Volkan Caner. They were my main inspirational contemporary act. I’ve also seen another great female fronted Turkish act: Ductape. I also like The Actors, Ultrasunn and other synth oriented bands. I’m not expert enough in the American scene but I know and appreciate Red Moon Macabre, Black Rose Burning, Black Angel and Sonsombre. I’m sure I’m forgetting some other bands, but it’s ok. In Italy, we have a great scene too: La Grazia Obliqua, Eugene, Noktva, Sacred Legion, Date At Midnight and many more. I’m always amazed by bands that choose their mother tongue and currently you can find many Greek, Spanish, Russian, French and Asian great bands. I definitely think this is a great period for this scene.
Frank: I don’t know if there is a sort of goth revival, but in the past few years I’ve listened to a lot of very interesting bands from She Past Away to Lebanon Hanover. Like Federica said, I can mention some new acts from the American scene like Red Moon Macabre, Sonsombre, Scary Black and many more. In Italy, we have some very good bands too: Klimt 1918 (shoegaze, but they are active since 1999), La Grazia Obliqua (art wave) and Sacred Legion (death rock with ex members of Chants Of Maldoror) just to name three bands.
Tzina: Thank you for your time. Anything else you would like to share with your fans? What can they expect from Les Long Adieux in the near future?
Federica: Thank you, it was a pleasure answering.
We hope to be always open minded and free. We don’t feel comfortable with any kind of expectation and we can’t imagine ourselves doing something only for success or popularity. One thing you can surely expect from us is that everything you’ll listen to from us is made with love, fun and a need of expression.
By Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)
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