November 8, 2013

Interview: The Last Chanteuse, Anne Pigalle

Anne Pigalle by Derek Ridgers (2013)
Anne Pigalle by Derek Ridgers (2013)

by C. Margery Kempe

Today I’m happy to host the enchanting chanteuse, Anne Pigalle. Like Edith Piaf , The Last Chanteuse grew up at the back of Montmartre in Paris, France. Her teenage years were spent playing guitar in an all girls punk band and watching films. Pigalle moved to London, recorded with Michael Nyman and Adrian Sherwood and then went on to sign a recording contract with Trevor Horn’s record label ZTT, with whom she recorded an album and a few singles. Hailed as the Queen of Chic Bohemia, she will tour Europe and Japan. Her self styled photo in 1985 in front of the red velvet curtain has become iconic.

1) How would you describe your music to new fans?

My music is really a mixtures of different styles – ( it has lately included poetry but remains poetic even in a classic song format ) – I am French, so you will always fins find a trace of French culture, but the good stuff you know, the black and white stuff – when people had guts – it is sexy, but also intellectual, and mainly it comes from the heart! I do believe that it is truly original and so one must experience it, It travels through darkness and light, it deals with a woman issues in a collapsing society.

2) How did your career get started?

I grew up with Punk in Paris (and skived to London to see my boyfriend who lived with Glen Matlock) I played guitar in an all girls band, and so this gives me ammunitions – My father played in a jazz band a la Django Reinhardt style, so that gives me soul and cultural background.

3) Who or what inspires you?

Then of course from Punk to classic old chanteuses, to good rap to jazz, anything genuinely created inspires me

4) Many would-be stars try to use sex for its shock value: how do you embody sexuality in your music & performances?

It’s not new that sex sells – for me it came in a natural way without thinking about it, I used to perform sex and erotic poems in London before anybody else made it trendy, then I has a photo exhibition at the very prestigious gallery Michael Hoppen in London in 2006 where I photographed myself in the nude on vintage Polaroid and then transformed and painted the photos so you couldn’t really see much – there was esotericism to the photos and romanticism ( as there is to the poems on the Madame Sex Art Cds.)

I called the show Amerotica – Ame means soul in French – everybody jumped on the bandwagon after that, it was a very successful show – and the corporate’s American popsicles pantomime bimbos have been ripping this off, my photo and my ideas since 2009 ( no names lol ) but they are truly pathetic – no beauty, no thoughts , no experience, no love, just trash

5) Our culture often seems suspicious of avidly sexual women; have you ever experienced any negativity? How do you deal with it?

I don’t feel avidly sexual, just sexual sometimes, and not always. At the beginning some people laughed – Most people who jumped on the bandwagon only want to see the sensationalist and commercial aspect of this – typical – but most of those puppets are activated my men – the point of my work is to create a debate, not to offer my pussy to who wants to see it – my work is about relationships, more than about sex – poets and real artists live in another dimension, these bimbos live in their condos – I told one of their record executive ( he was a fan, hence all the rip offs ), that their bland commercial stuff might make millions, but it will never be post mortem as it is not transcendental.

6) What are you working on next and where can people see you perform?

I want to start my next album, real beautiful songs and I want to do it my way, except the unexpected, so this time I will be careful in talking about it – I don’t want to make a habit of being ripped off by the corporates – I’m trying to raise some funds to do so – It will definitely be my ultimate album, and I know the time is right – It is hard for the masses to make their  subconscious wake up, but when all the soul will have been squeezed out of their lives , they will have to do something in order not to die. Our spiritual life (aside from our stomachs ) is the reason why the human race has kept going…

My next concert: Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms, December 8th. And always somewhere in Soho…

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