One debut album and more than 200 shows around the world convinced the French pop duo to extend their potential worldwide. Now add the notorious producer of their second album, Alesia, Philippe Zdar (half of Cassius and producer of The Rapture, Beastie Boys, among others), plus their record label Kitsuné (acclaimed label behind many revered acts such as Two Door Cinema Club) to the equation and it’s easy to see how Housse de Racket’s potential is propelling them to their destiny.
Housse de Racket embody the most essential artistic skills: very specific and genuine song-writing enveloped in exquisite pop-electro tunes; as well as good taste and “savoir faire”. With a tinge of psychedelia, Alesia is an elixir of the new mythical French pop. 2nd album ‘Alesia’ (Kitsuné/Co-op)
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Housse de Racket in the Press:
Housse de Racket Expore ‘Sci-Fi Romance’ in ‘Chateau’– Video Premiere (AOL Spinner)
At the Social: Housse De Racket (Orlando Examiner)
Housse de Racket Show Us How the French Do Pop (Chicagoist)
Housse de Racket: Artist You Should Know (KCRW)
France Rocks Austin: SXSW 2012 Interview with Housse de Racket
Is this your first year at SXSW?
Pierre Leroux: It’s the very first time that we’ve come to Texas. SXSW is a festival we’ve been hearing about for a long time. Each year we see the lineup and we’re like, “Ah! Maybe we should catch up with this, guys,” because you can’t avoid it. So we are really happy to experience it this year. We know there are 2,000 bands playing this festival. We are glad to be here even if we know that we are only a drop in a sea-but a tasty one!
Victor le Masne: I think in France we didn’t realize that it was this big. It’s huge! We have been here for three days and walked down all the streets. It’s huge. It’s amazing because each band, each style even if we don’t like it that much, all of the bands are good musicians and the minimum level is pretty cool. Today we were at South Congress and we saw a totally new neighborhood. Great vibe! Music everywhere!
What did you hear about SXSW before coming?
Pierre: From French bands who succeeded at playing here, we asked how did they come here and play this massive festival. So we were really impressed by it. We were looking each year for which French bands were picked to play here. As Victor said, we only saw that through the French eyes. We didn’t realize that Jay-Z played last week. We didn’t realize that there were really massive headlining acts, a lot of sponsors and brands as well.
You also have Coachella as well. Are you excited?
Victor: We’re so happy about it.
Pierre: It’s a really good way to start here at SXSW and to end the tour with Coachella. We have six weeks touring from SXSW to Coachella, from a legendary festival in Texas to a legendary festival in California.
Victor: Coachella is maybe a top five festival in the world. It’s a box we’re going to check hopefully. We want to come back here and to Coachella and be bigger in the tour posters. [laughs]
Your first US tour was in December?
Victor: We were opening for Yelle. Now it’s our first proper tour, so six weeks of touring in the US and Canada is a dream for us. We began music when we were kids. In our best dreams, we would do something like that. Now it’s happening. We feel very lucky.
Were there any surprises about touring America last December?
Pierre: Everything is so big and there is so much space on the road. It’s very cliché to say that, but it’s very different than France. It’s a big surprise. Another good surprise is the audience. The crowd is always very nice to us, very receptive. They dance a lot. They’re very expressive with their body. They clap their hands and sing. They’re really into it. In France, they’re maybe a little bit more shy. It’s only the third day of the tour, so in six weeks we’ll know more.
As a French band touring abroad, how has Bureau Export helped get you guys started?
Pierre: Actually it’s helped step-by-step. Their involvement increased as we needed help. I remember when we started this band and we heard about the Bureau Export, we were like, “Ah! We so badly want to play outside France and the Bureau Export is there to help us in this way!” But we realized in trying to reach them that maybe it was too soon and we had to work the project. The project has to be a solid one. Like have deals with record companies all over the world and then the Bureau Export would take the reins. So now it’s really, really helpful and I’m sure we couldn’t make it if they hadn’t helped us. So we’re really thankful. It’s a win-win.
Victor: We had a chance to work a lot in Japan and in the UK. Bureau Export helped us a lot.
Pierre: Each bureau in each country helps us. It is French culture, so they follow for a while and let the bands manage themselves. If the thing expands and grow, then they can work and help. I think it’s develops a certain responsibility in the band. You have to be at a certain step or level to earn this help.
Victor: And Bureau Export is here as a tool to help bands.
So now and upcoming, you have SXSW, Coachella, and then The Hives?
Pierre: Yeah, in Pomona. There’s going to be one show with Neon Indian in Los Angeles, and one show with The Hives and The Rapture. They are good gigs to be the support act for.
For any American going to France, what would you recommend for them to do or see?
Pierre: Of course, we’ve lived in Paris since we were kids. Visit Paris and everywhere. As Victor said, here everything is big and large. Large cars because of large avenues because of a large country with large roads. Paris is a village compared to New York or Los Angeles. It seems really tiny and cute. It’s the cliché of the clichés that you have to taste all the cheese and fromage, of course!
Victor: Go to the countryside as well. France is a really beautiful country. We have mountains. We have the sea. Go to Brittany. The southwest of France is amazing.
Pierre: And maybe if you visit France, you can have a chance to catch Housse de Racket live somewhere!