Colombey is the 30 year old Frenchman Thibault Gondard, 1/3 of noise band Lubriphikattor, 1/2 of dark dance act Pizza Noise Mafia en completely himself as TG and TG Gondard. His latest incarnation is called Colombey, the moniker he uses to recycle teenage memories of growing up in the French countryside, destillated in raw and sentimental lofi pop tunes.
What's the worst? Smart pop music for adults. I am looking at an ad for the new Bjork album right now. Clearly photo shopped cause she used to be fattter. Anyway. Smart pop music. Talk Talk. Radiohead. I hate it. Really do.
What's the best? Shameless sentimental pop music about teenage dreams, sung by a boy or a girl with just a microphone and a karaoke machine. US Girls. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. Colombey.
Is Colombey the name of the town where you grew up?
I was born and raised in a town named Coulommiers, in the east of Paris. Colombey is famous in France for being the place where Général De Gaulle lived and died but it is about 200 kilometers away from Coulommiers. However both names share the same etymology, which is why I choose this moniker.
In what kind of milieu did you grew up?
My father is a farmer so I grew up in a farm surrounded by fields. My mother used to work in a supermarket.
The songs you make using the moniker Colombey are sung in French, but you told me a lot of French speaking people don't understand you...
Did I say that? It is true that some French people might not know some of the slang words that I use in my songs but most of the time everybody gets it perfectly. But maybe in Wallonia it's more difficult for the people to understand this typically French slang, and to know the cultural references.
Why do you divide your music between TG Gondard and Colombey?
The music of Colombey is more raw, direct and punk. TG Gondard is a lot more love songs with a more sophisticated musical background. But both of them are extremely personal.
Your Colombey concerts are almost karaoke: the music is pre-recorded, only your vocals are live.
I enjoy the fact that I can focus on the singing. It's the first time I don't have to push buttons or do complicated things while I sing. That's a nice feeling. I record the music mostly with old organ. Those instruments are just impossible to carry with you.
Are you working on a Colombey album?
I already recorded more that 25 songs for an album. So it is ready but nobody offers to release it.
You will release a Colombey 7" on Lexi Disques soon. Can you tell me what will be on this single?
The title track is called "j'ai tout oublié". It takes place in Châlons-sur-Marne, and tells the story of a man who drinks so much he forgets his girlfriend. The B-side is called "quelque chose pour moi", and is the chant of a desperate ex-raver who goes back to the places he used to party, to find a little something left, drug or poetry, to fulfill his inner void.
Something else. You described yourself as being poor.
For years now I manage to live with about 600 to 700 euros a month, which is not much.
You don't have a day job.
My only income is the money the French administration gives me every month for having no income, plus occasional fees. Right now they're threaten me to stop giving me the money so maybe I' ll have to find a job. But I hate to work. I hate jobs. I hate all of that shit.
Do you think your self chosen poverty is different from real poverty?
I know there are people out there who are having a real hard time. I don't think I can compare my peaceful and quiet life with theirs.
You live in an empty office building.
There's not so much to say about this building really. It is is my home. It can be pretty cold in winter but it could be way worse. I have no reason to complain. I live in comfort. I can do pretty much everything I want to.
Interview made by Joeri Bruyninckx/2015
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