St Franck | Interview | New Album, ‘Cavalier Solaire’

Uncategorized February 3, 2024

St Franck | Interview | New Album, ‘Cavalier Solaire’

St Franck, a project by Franck Lada, recently released a fantastic electro pop album, ‘Cavalier Solaire’.

Originally from Bordeaux, France, St Franck is a project by Franck Lada. In his London days he participated in musical projects as bassist in the group Kieran Leonard (produced by Carl Barat of the Libertines) as well as guitarist and composer in his own band Bad Lungs (founded by himself, Tom Rowlett (ex Dexters) and Dominic Senett (ex Life in Film). The Bad Lungs group notably recorded two tracks with producer and engineer Nick Brine (Oasis, Ash, Super Furry Animals, The Stones Roses, et cetera) before breaking up at the beginning of 2018. Franck returned to France in the fall of 2018 where he produced his first EP ‘Gamma Wave’ published under the “Courant” label, all recorded from home with small hi-fi equipment, without wanting to really expose his productions any further. During the pandemic he further developed his production techniques by producing the project ‘Out Of The Mayhem/The Weather Gets so Close’ recorded partly digitally and on magnetic tape. Rather discreet until now, St Franck decided to clarify his compositions and his work and “take the plunge” with the release of his first album ‘Cavalier Solaire’ – sounding reminiscent of the British art rock wave of the late 80s/90s and melodies that will let you drift on a colorful electro-pop ocean.

“The vision is a profound feeling that I had”

Would you like to present yourself to our readers, how did you first get interested in music?

Franck Lada: Well, I’m a music producer based in the south-west of France. I first got interested in music, probably through my dad’s records: Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones, a bit of Phil Collins as well… But I started improving my own musical tastes when I went to England as a teenager and started off digging more: Northern Soul, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s pop. I had the Mod style back then, and I knew music was something my life.

St Franck

Your debut album, ‘Cavalier Solaire’ was just recently released. Was it a lot of work that went into it?

Quite a lot of work, indeed! Believe it or not, some ideas about this album date back in 2011 or 2012—we are talking 10 years! But it was recorded pretty fast, probably over an 8- to 9-month period after I set up my own studio.

Tell us about it, what kind of record did you want to make and how happy are you with the result?

So basically, I wanted to make something pop, psychedelic, electronic, and a bit bold, which means a record that could gather all those little details I hear in my record collection. It’s a more complete piece of work than my EP ‘Gamma Wave,’ which I released back in 2018. I think there’s much more know-how in production; all the skills I gathered over the years have helped me get more of my gear as well. I’m very happy with this one; it’s not perfect, but I’m well satisfied. This record is like a journey through 12 tracks, taking you to the world of the St Franck project—it’s an adventure, an escape out from the modern world through diverse music influences.

Books that also inspired the record…

Can you share some further words about the recording and producing process?

Recording is the fun part—experimenting with ideas and playing, of course. Producing is a bit of a long haul, but I tend to do those two things during an 8-hour shift every day, meaning I can start a song, record ideas, and then basically mold it every day until everything is organized and sounds good to me. After all tracks are completed, sometimes it’s great to have a “spare brain” beside you. That’s why my pal Petit Fantome helped me out by arranging a few songs, so we could trigger and push more intentions.

Do you also have a side project going on or is St Franck taking up all of your time?

Yes, I’ve just recently recorded a project with my neighbor Etienne in my living room – The Cazenave Artyfacts—it’s more garage rock and psychedelic! A bit more like Blue Öyster Cult meeting the Nuggets artefacts compilation. We are very excited to announce this very soon on the label Courant. Again, it’s pretty bold, and I also have a few side projects on hold.

It seems to me that you had a rather strong vision when starting the album? Could you expand on that…

The vision is a profound feeling that I had—reaching an objective, the conscious part of that stage I’m at in my life, making my own way—that’s the idea of the sun and the video ‘Am Gone’. It’s all a bit personal—a bit of a hero’s journey, chasing the dragon and finding a treasure that could free himself. But this vision started getting clearer as I gathered all the songs together. I’ve found myself talking about the “sun” and the idea of escapism and dreams. The vision is now the direction I’m taking by establishing myself as a professional music producer and artist. At all the costs and constraints involved, I’m not making a living as we speak, but I’m having fun on this path!

What’s next for you?

We wish to hopefully tour the project and connect with an audience. We also wish to get it made as hard copy, both on CD and vinyl. It’s still a long road! I’m managing this project alone, even if I have very good musicians and friends to play it live! But hopefully we will get there. I also have 2 other albums I wish to make; an EP is already a work in progress, and it will be even bolder, I think – I have a lot I wish to pursue and learn in the beautiful world of making music. Time will tell us.

Thank you for your support, Klemen and Psychedelic baby Magazine!

Before we go, what records are you currently playing? Did you find anything new that you enjoy lately?

So it’s funny, but I’m a bit outdated in music news, to be fair! Maybe it’s one of the costs you pay when making your own music! But the most recent bands I listen to are
Khruangbin, I am still eager to follow Kurt Vile’s latest releases, including Gum’s latest album, Adi Oasis…

Klemen Breznikar

St Franck Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp

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