Interview CHRISTOPHE MARQUILLY
By P. Archambeau and Y. Philippot-Degand
Translation : Y. Philippot-Degand
RTJ : Hi CHRISTOPHE, many thanks for accepting to grant us this interview for « The Road to Jacksonville » webzine dedicated to the Southern Rock.First Christophe,I'd like you to introduce yourself to our readers,where are you born and how did you discover the music ?
Christophe Marquilly : Christophe Marquilly, born the 03-25-55 in Lille. I discovered the music via the radios of that time, pirate radios on which you could listen to the Stones, Led Zep’, Deep Purple, shortly the big ones from that time.
RTJ : At your debuts, what were your first influences ? What kind of band of artist did you listen to ?
Christophe Marquilly : I listened to all the rock at the time and the shock was the discovery of Gallagher with his band Taste and of course ZZ Top, there I was stuck !
RTJ : To play guitar is it your first choice, or did you try other instruments before, we think about harmonica with witch you make more than to get by?
Christophe Marquilly : The guitar of course, I was captivated by the instrument and I was given my first guitar at 5. I began really seriously at 13 or something... The harmonica, that's not very difficult, it sets a beautiful coulour : the sound fits good with the axe...
RTJ : Can you for our readers remind Stocks' debuts ?
How did the band set up ?
Christophe Marquilly : Stocks was created around '78 or so, with a lot of gigs in the Nord (a French department in the North of the country, T.N.) and the Youth Centers, it moved a lot at that time. With Franck Seinave on drums andGérard Mullier on bass (unfortunately deceased), it was the best line-up of Stocks by far !
RTJ : In the 80's, Stocks crossed the ocean to play in the U.S.A., how did it go ?
Christophe Marquilly : Touring in the US was magic, it's the land of rock and so I was in the right country, it feels odd when you come back to the cheeses' country... It's not the same planet, no comment. Shortly, the American audience is very musical and knows how to recognize and have respect for the people knowing how to play. Shortly, they have the good ear...
RTJ : Stocks played at the Stade de France opening for Johnny Halliday, how did you get this opportunity, and how was it ?
Christophe Marquilly : Opening for Johnny, it's further to a gig played at the Boule Noire in front of Camus, J. H.'s manager who was immediatly unable to resist and proposed us to open in all the stadiums in 2003. Big feeling to play 18 times in front of 60 000 people and Johnny is a very nice guy.
RTJ : With the years, and despite a long record eclipse during about ten years, how did you become aware to be a true and lasting reference both for a lot of amateur musicians and for French musiclovers ?
Christophe Marquilly : I don't know if I'm a reference seeing the few fame that I have, let's say that I don't rub the media up in the right way... But it's true that I get very encouraging comments from people after my gigs and that's why I have decided to go on even it's really hard sometimes...
RTJ : So 2013 sees a new record coming (« Absurde »), can you tell us where you recorded it and how ?
Christophe Marquilly : Absurde is my best album, for me well produced and for me with pretty well made songs. I've done it in Roubaix with a talented sound engineer in a great studio not to big but with a great gear... Done in a month with external and very talented musicians.
RTJ : For you the lyrics seem to have a real importance that we can notice from the tune « L’empire du Je »,
can you tell us what this song means for you ?
Christophe Marquilly : Lyrics became important because in French you have to make swing et tell things. It's hard work because I don't write easily, it has to come from the guts. « L'empire du "je" » is a wink about the masculine pretension and his smallness in the universe, that is that we are nothing in the end. The loot, the power are, at the twilight of a life, completely derisory and before to move on we think : shit, what did I do with my life ?...
RTJ : How did the title from « Là-Bas », a superb country blues come to you ? What does it mean ?
Christophe Marquilly : « Là-bas » it's the US, the wide spaces, the rock bars, shortly all the imagery that we have from this country and it's "là-bas" (« over there », T.N.) that I find out my resources across Blues and Rock.
RTJ : « Jeremiah » tells about a trapper immortalised in a movie by Robert Redford, can you tell us more ?
Christophe Marquilly : It's a cult movie and Robert Redford is magic in this role of trapper (the guy did exist, it was John Johnson). I thought « Well, write a song like a film music », so there you have it.
RTJ : Is it an ode to the nature ?
Christophe Marquilly : Yes, I love the nature, I go fishing and hunting, with all due respect to the city ecofreaks who pick strawberries in the trees ! Without hunters there is no more game ...paradoxically.
RTJ : « Stetson blues », that appeared on the first live album of the band, remains us the great moments of Stocks, and sends us back to a « topian » universe, including humour. Do you feel very easy in this universe ?
Christophe Marquilly : « Stetson blues » is a tribute to ZZ but the feeling is « Marquilly-zien » (« Marquilly-zian », T.N.) ! I wanted the same feeling that those great men, I'm pretty satisfied with the result.
RTJ : « Andalusia Dream » is a latino acoustic, where did this desire to record this tune come from ?
Do you often play acoustic ?
Christophe Marquilly : « Andalousia dream » closes the album softly with a different guitar style, it's to show my eclectism in the ways I can play guitar, but modestly because there are really big names in this style.
RTJ : Despite the very different atmospheres, did the ZZ Top instrumental « Asleep in the desert »
help you to embark on the creation of such a tune ?
Christophe Marquilly : No I didn't think of « Asleep in the desert » for this tune. It's true that the nylon string sound brings particular atmospheres that I like very much.
RTJ : This kind of musical style with latino influences seems to be quiet valued by the musicians influenced by the Blues (we can remember of the « Dame la Mano » from the Truckers, or of the Willy de Ville's universe),, what is it for you, and is it a recent penchant, a one-time desire or a longstanding interest ?
Christophe Marquilly : No it's just an incursion in richer chord scales that allow to play wider in the scale, we go out of the pentatonic ! It demands a real technique and a good ear !
RTJ : What gave you the desire to cover « Ça me fait tout drôle » that comes from the Stocks' live album ?
Christophe Marquilly : « ça m’fait tout drôle » has a great groove, that's what I think. It had to get a second chance, I think it's really a swinging tune... (So do we! Ed.)
RTJ : One of the things that made yourself close and human for your fans from the outs was this feeling that you described very well in your lyrics to have the impression to be ignored by the fair sex, or at the very least to look transparent, and because of a kind of reserve to have difficulty in making the contact with it. Is it a part of the drives that pushed you to the stage and the songwriting ?
Christophe Marquilly : Women are an eternal theme and the quiet macho side that I had was an armour because I'm very shy with them (well in the beginning !), but they are an infinite inspiration...
RTJ : And now, with the women, is it better (lol) ?
Christophe Marquilly : Well at my age we have a kind of distance, but I don't complain, I'm still a little popular !
RTJ : Except the promotion of your last album recognized in the columns of RTJ,
what is topical for you, what are your projects ?
Christophe Marquilly : What is topical for me, it's to play as often as possible. I also play acoustic, I love it, just two guitars. I set the infos on my site www.marquilly.com and the dates (when I think of it !), so I launch a call to those who wish to let me play ! (Call heard and disseminated ! Ed.)
Ah and then even though, there is not only the gigs, even it's very important. There is also the buddies. Chico asked me last summer to play two solos on the next album of the Truckers, one is on a blues in C. The Truckers play very good, and it was a pleasure.
RTJ : If you have to finish your life on a desert island, what are the five records you would haul with you ?
Christophe Marquilly : So 5 CD, it's difficult but « Requiem », of Mozart or Fauré I'm hesitant, « Deguello » ZZ Top and « La Grange » (Très Hombres, Ed.), « Absurde » ! And a"Top priority" of Rory. Kisses to the team, love to the readers.
Thanks to Christophe to have granded us those few moments and we wish all the success that it can get to this excellent album that is « Absurde ».