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Interview Natchez...
Juvigny October 2007 the 6th
Interview of Dédé Dufour and Ben by Philippe Archambeau

October 2007 the 6th will be an unforgettable date for the French Southern Rock fans, because it was NATCHEZ 20th anniversary and they have recorded a show at Juvigny, near Châlons-en-Champagne, for their first DVD. NATCHEZ, the one thousand shows in twenty years band, with the famous Aeschbach brothers, could stop this evening and we got the opportunity to make an interview
of the rhythm section, I mean Dédé Dufour on bass and Ben on drums.

RTJ : Hello Dédé and Ben, thank you to accept this interview at the occasion of this special
NATCHEZ 20 years party.
Before talking about music, can you explain us where does come the name of the band ?

Dédé : The name of the group comes from an Indian tribe from Mississippi that was destroyed by the French army, and we all love the Indian people. We watched western movies with John Wayne.
We just cared about them, we didn’t care about the cowboys.

RTJ : You arrived in the band in 1992. Can you explain us how did you come ?
Did you know Natchez before ?

Dédé : Yes, yes, I met them in 1987 in Langres. I was playing with another band called Fahrenheit.
I knew their bass player since 1987. In 1992 I was playing with the band Les Indiens Psychédéliques, and Natchez bass player called me to join them.

RTJ : So you knew them before. With which bands did you play before ?

Dédé : As I just told you, I was in Fahrenheit and then with Les Indiens Psychédéliques,
already the Indian people as you can see.

RTJ : You were made to play with the American native people. Just one word about les Indiens Psychédéliques, you told me about a CD from this band. Can you tell me more about it and
what kind of music are they playing ?

Dédé : Les Indiens, it’s more psychedelic, as the name says it, more rock n’ roll sometimes punk.
It’s a kind of Hendrix with a lot of power and a touch of Blues. I’m going to remaster all the songs
and try to get something good, as the songs were recorded on a small record machine.
I want to keep a souvenir of these times I did enjoy. I’m going to try to make a good product.

RTJ : Did you go on tour with that band ?

Dédé : Yes, we played 70 shows in 18 months. After we disbanded, we were disintegrated…

RTJ : How could we get this record ?

Dédé : It’s close to be finished. See my space

RTJ : What kind of music did you like before playing with Natchez ?

Ben : I listened to different Blues and Funk bands. Not too much American Rock bands.
I listened to old Rock n’ Roll, but with the exception of ZZ Top, no other American groups.

Dédé : I listened to English Rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Cream, the Yardbirds,
all this stuff I dig it !

RTJ : Were you Black Crowes fans ?

Dédé : I know this band for a long time, before I played with Natchez.
I’m very happy they play “Hard to Handle”.

RTJ : It’s quite a religion in Natchez to enjoy the Black Crowes.

Dédé : Yes, it’s one of our favourite bands.

RTJ : And what about Blackfoot ?

Dédé : Yes, I already saw them on stage in 1981 or 1982 with Iron Maiden in Reims.

RTJ : We could notice, on the photographs, that you are looking a little bit like Greg T. Walker, Blackfoot bass player. Do you choose your clothes because of that ?

Dédé : No, in fact, it happened by chance. I had this look and the feather on my bass guitar for a long time when I began to play with Natchez. On one day after a show, a guy came and told me I was looking like Blackfoot bassist. Come tomorrow, I’ll give you some feathers…

RTJ : An what about you Ben, are you looking like someone famous ?

Ben : Yes, some people tell me that I’m looking a little bit like Allman Brothers’ Derek Trucks.

RTJ : So we get Derek Trucks and Greg T. Walker in the same band.

Ben : That’s what some people say, and I’ve seen some pictures, and it seems to be true !

RTJ : Do you enjoy Music Man and Fender bass guitars ?

Dédé : Yes I do !

RTJ : And what about you Ben ?

Ben : I’ve just bought a new drum kit Premier. With Natchez written on it.

RTJ : And you Dédé, you play on a Music Man bass ?

Dédé : Yes, Music Man, Fender. I’ve also other bass guitars, Hofner, Epiphone, Ibanez,
and an Ampeg amp.

RTJ : Who are your favourite musicians ?

Dédé : Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule), John Entwistle (The Who) and Allen Woody.

Ben : I loved Terry Bozio I’ve already seen at a master class.

Dédé : He’s not dead !

RTJ : Let’s talk now about the 2007 event, the issue of the new Natchez CD called Catch The Spirit. First question : can you explain me this name ?

Dédé : It came from something that happened in our recording studio. There is a bottle-opener kit whose label is Thunder and where it is written ‘Catch the Spirit’. You open the bottle and the capsule falls in a garbage can. We’ve thought that this sentence was perfect to fit with the CD cover with the Indian picture.

Ben : I didn’t know that !

Dédé : You were sleeping…

RTJ : For the first time, Natchez plays songs written in English.
How did you choose that, and what does it change ?

Dédé : It doesn’t change anything. Richie has written the texts in English.
He’s in charge of Natchez sound and texts.
He made the arrangements and sang the choruses on the four songs the band recorded.

RTJ : Where has been recorded that album ?

Dédé : At Châlons-en-Champagne, at the PNF Studios, like our former album “Retour à la Source”.

Ben : Fred Rochette recorded it.

RTJ : How did you record it ?

Ben : We have recorded all the songs live.

RTJ : I do appreciate you Blackfoot ‘Railroad Man’ cover. You already played it live, but the way you recorded it is even better. How did you choose that song ?

Dédé : I think it’s our singer Babach’s choice. I think this song is great for his voice.
However we were obliged to rehearse a lot before we get what we wanted.

Ben : I’ve enjoyed this song as soon as I’ve heard it.

RTJ : How did you choose the covers on that album ? Did you choose them because
they fit to your singer voice ?

Dédé : No, no, we have chosen some not so famous songs, except Black Crowes ‘Hard To Handle’ and Doobie Brothers ‘China Groove’. And we also have chosen Neil Young ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ that we worked on to get our own version.

RTJ : What is the cover you didn’t do and you ‘d have wished to do ?

Dédé : I’d have enjoyed recording the Neil Young cover.

RTJ : What is your favourite Natchez song on that album ?
It’s the first time you have recorded songs with English lyrics.

Dédé : ‘Looking Out The Window’. It’s a real Natchez song and somewhere not really. It looks like Tom Petty, that kind of songs, that’s why I think this song is a little bit different from the others.

Ben : ‘Looking Out The Window’ is very well mixed. But I think my favourite Natchez song is ‘Street Fightin’ Man’ that is heavy, tough and I dig that song !

RTJ : So how was the recording session and when did you did it ?

Dédé : In July, just before our vacations. We recorded the whole album in four days.

RTJ : And you were in a hurry to leave and go on vacations ?

Dédé : Yes, that’s exactly what we wanted, to record just before vacations.

RTJ : So let’s resume for our readers : next CD ‘Catch The Spirit’ issue,
DVD recording tonight and delivery in 2008.

Dédé : Yes, if there is no problem. And after we’ll go again on vacations. We are tired to wee the two other musicians. You have noticed they didn’t come for your interview (laughs)

RTJ : So, in a kind of conclusion, can you remind us of a little story that happened with the band ?

Dédé : No, no story about the band, but we often talk together with Ben, there are two brothers in the group and sometimes we think it will be good for the band’s fame that they fight together ; it sure will help to get the group famous… But they don’t do that, that’s boring !

Ben : Yes ! It could be good for us. But they are too close, they never fight.

Dédé : That’s pity, I’d like they fight together, maybe on stage.. after it’s cool. But they don’t wanna do that. I told Manu that his brother is looking at his wife, but he doesn’t believe me…

RTJ : Last on traditional question on RTJ. If you have to spend the rest of your life on a desert island, which could be the albums you take with you ?

Ben : One AC/DC, one Maceo Parker, some funk, the Black Crowes, but I listened to Bon Jovi before. And a Queen album.

Dédé : Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Exile On Main Street’, these two extraordinary albums.
I think I also take the Beatles ‘Let It Be’, Led Zep ‘House of the Holy’, Black Crowes first album,
Michel Krause, Cream, The Yardbirds… There are so many groups…

RTJ : What can we expect for Natchez ?

Dédé : A fight between the two brothers.

RTJ : Just remember that you can find Natchez on their Website and now on Myspace

Thank you Ben and Dédé.