Elysian Fields
sept 2003 - e-mail
interview with Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow by SEB WOOd

Hello, How are you ?? These are the questions I was meaning to ask you last June in Toulouse, France but your gig was cancelled because of technicians’ strike.

hi. we're fine, thanks. sorry we never made it to your town, we hope to come back to toulouse some time soon, with no cancellation.

Do you consider ‘Dreams that breathe your name’ as the logical successor of ‘Queen of the Meadow’ ??

Logic doesn't play a part in it. we'd love to know what you thought, though. 

I meant in terms of music and atmosphere. Where did you record it and what was recording this album like ??

We were in three or four nyc studios, some really nice ones, and at home, using the protools. It was a dream! 
During the home recordings, we would turn off the heat and the refrigerator, because they made noise. The 
wind howled so loudly outside our windows during "narcosmicoma" that you can hear it clearly in the mix, and 
Jennifer was all bundled up against the cold, singing with a coat and scarf on.
Did you experiment incorporating instruments you’ve never used before ??   
We're always experimenting with new instruments. The only one we actually premiered on this cd was the 
rebab, which was played so primitively, we blush to declare it. 

In France, Elysian Fields is considered as a band combining atmospheric indie-pop with late-night cabaret music and cryptic lyrics encrusted with numerous sexual metaphors. What do you think of this ??

Whatever people think is fine with us. We are just happy someone is enjoying our music.

Do you like the song ‘Venus’ by The Shocking Blue ??

There's some great stuff in that song. I think the "rockabilly" guitar solo was a mistake, however. certainly it 
was an influence on our song, "bend your mind".

What is ‘Baby Get Lost’ about ?? 

It's a love song that's part disappointed, part still trying.

When I listen to ‘Passing through the stairs’ it makes me think of Nick Cave’s duets in ‘Murder Ballads’. Do you think his universe and yours are close ??

We share some values, sure. And he's a great artist.

There is definitely a jazzy dimension in your music, be it in the chords or the atmosphere. In addition, I think Jennifer’s suave voice would really fit in a vocalist jazz type of music. Have you ever thought of doing such an album ?? or maybe just move towards a jazzier rhythmic section…??

We have been planning an album of jazz standards for Jennifer to sing for a long time. As far as "jazzy" 
rhythm sections, though, you are mistaken. You would have to leave our generation to find more accomplished
players with more credits in the jazz field than James Genus and Ben Perowsky.

I didn’t mean they are not good at playing jazzy rhythms. I just meant something inclining more towards jazz. Concerning the jazz standards album, I’m looking forward to hearing it… Did you come up against label problems again ??

What do you mean "again"? nothing unusual. It's hard to find a record company that protects the interests of 
its artists. The exceptions are rare. 

I was thinking about your problems with the second album. I know that this question might bother you so feel free to answer it: do you know when legally you’ll be able to get back these lost tapes of the second album ?? And do you intend to record these lost songs again ?? 

Six of the songs we did with Steve came out perfect, and we'll never do them over. Two of them we don't 
like anymore. The other ones were "black acres", "drunk on dark sublime", "hearts are open graves", all of 
which have been re-recorded, and a song called "red light ramble"  which remains in the can from the Dreams 
That Breathe Your Name sessions. 
OK, here comes our usual off-beat questionnaire:
"Was you ever bit by a dead bee ?"
No, but i know how to whistle. you know how to whistle, don't you, Steve?  Just put your lips together and 
What freaks the hell out of you ??
How close humanity is to blowing it! We need education, conservation, democracy, toleration in this world!
What’s your favourite chord ??
Half-diminished.  But it really depends on the moment.
How do you look like when you're wearing a tuxedo ??
What is your favourite pick-up line ??
Nice to meet you, Like to eat you.
Who is the best Lee ??
Favourite band of the moment ??
One hundred and one crustaceans
Where’s your jack in the box ??
Well, I think there's an e.f. jack in the box at the hard rock cafe in Hollywood, or did I just imagine that?
What question would you ask in this list ??
What have you been dreaming about recently?
/oct 15th 2003/