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Sebastien Schuller - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Enchanting Bittersweet Happiness Of...

February 2007

MVRemix: When creating a song, do you have a pre-conceived theme, lyrics, or emotion? Or, do you start with the music first?

Sebastien Schuller: It's always mixed or never in the same order.

MVRemix: One of my favorite songs from the 'Happiness' LP is 'Tears Coming Home'. The track captures the multi-faceted emotions of returning to a person's hometown. What town did you grow up in? What fears and frustration did you feel? What inspired the song?

Sebastien Schuller: In the west suburb in Aubergenville. It is 40 minutes from Paris.

MVRemix: How did you meet the members in your band?

Sebastien Schuller: My bassist is an old friend from the same suburb. My guitarist was in a shop where I was working. The other two came across by some friends.

MVRemix: Musically, what else have you been working on?

Sebastien Schuller: 2 soundtracks for cinema. One called 'A Summer Day'. The other, 'You And Me'. 2 cinemix. I've composed 30 minutes of a soundtrack for some old movie from the start of the century and I made some concert with them. You can understand that I've never met the directors for those movies, so it was a full experience. For one of them, I've tried to keep the spirit of those old soundtracks, when the orchestra was playing in the cinema during the movie, close to the screen.

MVRemix: What are some of your favorite instruments?

Sebastien Schuller: I'm always attracted to learn something on a new one, but I can say that piano and guitar helped me a lot.

MVRemix: Do you think that success and credibility are mutually exclusive?

Sebastien Schuller: All of that is really subjective.

MVRemix: What song are you most proud of?

Sebastien Schuller: 'Weeping Willow', maybe. At least, I felt the other pride for me for this song.

MVRemix: The track, 'Sleeping Song' has an obvious dream-like feel. What was the inspiration for this song?

Sebastien Schuller: The lyrics came after the music, in a mood when I was half-awake, half-asleep. It's a lullaby.

MVRemix: What was the last dream you remember?

Sebastien Schuller: Ah! I remember an old one. I had a love affair with Bjork, after a concert in Paris. A couple of days later, I decided to visit her in Iceland. I recognized her house. It was one of the first houses that I've seen in Reijkjavick. I slept in a room alone. During the night, some froth was coming along the windows. Then suddenly, some lava came across the ceiling. I was really scared and asked her what was happening. She told me that it was normal and that during the night, some cold lava was coming out of the volcano. She also told me that in the morning, everything will be fine. The next day, I was breathing the freshest air that I've ever breathed and walking on pure green grass in the countryside.

MVRemix: Who are some artists who you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Sebastien Schuller: I had already collaborated or had the luck to collaborate with some of my favorites. But, Bjork and Beth Gibbons would definitely be some singers for who I could try to compose.

MVRemix: In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius writes, '…It's my belief that history is a wheel…. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don't complain when you're cast back down into the depths. Good time pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it's also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away….' What works of art, literature, or songs helped you maintain?

Sebastien Schuller: The fragility and the melody.

MVRemix: How did you get the deal with Minty Fresh Records in the United States?

Sebastien Schuller: Across my publishing, Chrysalis.

MVRemix: Your album includes some instrumentals. Were those songs intentionally created as instrumentals or did you decide not to include lyrics at a later time?

Sebastien Schuller: It depends of the songs, but most of the time, the tracks were done finally to be instrumentals. Sometimes, it came to me at the end. I have spent some days trying to find a melody, but they all had evidence that I had to keep them instrumental.

MVRemix: Do you believe in God? Do you believe in a certain religion?

Sebastien Schuller: I believe as the American Indians believe, in the Mother Nature. I believe you harvest what you sow.

MVRemix: What are the 3 best aspects about living in France?

Sebastien Schuller: Liberty of thinking, a taste for the art, and the social life.

MVRemix: What are the 3 worst aspects about living in France?

Sebastien Schuller: To think that we have the best country, the condition of the flat, and the Turkish toilets.

>> continued...

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    "The lyrics came after the music, in a mood when I was half-awake, half-asleep. It's a lullaby."