Wednesday, June 10, 2009

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHEL DELVILLE

Writer and musician Michel Delville is probably best known to you as the mastermind behind The Wrong Object.

Other musical projects that Michel lends his guitar to, include collaborations with Markus Stauss (entitled "Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese?) and The Moving Tones project (with Frank van der Kooij, Guy Segers, Dirk Wachtelaer and Catherine Smet).
His most recent collaboration is the power trio Doubt, with Alex Maguire and Tony Bianco. Doubt is scheduled to record its first album early August.

Later in August, Michel will be joining Doot! at the Zappanale festival.


Hello Michel,
I heard about your scheduled Zappanale gig with Doot! Tell me a bit about it. How did it come about?


Michel Delville: I met Steve Chilemmi at last year's Zappanale and spent some time with him, comparing notes and sharing our influences and experiences with other artists. He emailed me a few months later and asked me if I wanted to be one of their guests. I was very happy to say yes and look forward to this new collaboration.

You have performed twice at Zappanale, right? Did you see Doot! perform on any of these occasions? I think Doot! performed in Bad Doberan in 2006, although both Pete and Steve have been on the Zappanale stage more then once.

Michel Delville: Yes I actually played 4 gigs at 2 previous Zappanales: the first one took place in 2004, with The Wrong Object. I also played with "Ed Mann & Friends" in 2004. Last year The Wrong Object played a live set based on our last studio album to date, _Stories from the Shed_ (Moonjune Records, 2008) and I also took part in Stanley Jason Zappa's panchromatic extravanganza, "The New Texture Pan Tonal Fellowship".

I wasn't there in 2006 to see DOOT! but I did have a chance to listen to an audience recording of their show and I saw Steve play with a different line-up the first in the Summer of 2008. I also heard and enjoyed the early Doctor Dark line-up.


I'm familiar with The Wrong Object, with The Moving Tones and with Trank Zappa Grappa In Var├Ęse. All of these bands use jazz or rock compositions to improvise on. This might be original material, or a coverversion. With Doot! this might be far more experimental. What do you prefer, and what's the most challenging thing to do?

Michel Delville: Although I am not allowed to divulge the details of our "masterplan" (LOL) at this stage, I'm sure that there will be a lot of "controlled improvisation" involved. The set will follow a blueprint to which each member of the band has been asked to contribute a piece and some ideas for arrangements. Maybe there will be some kind of happening as well. Maybe one of us will talk to the audience. Maybe there will be trouble (LOL). Be that as it may, the most exciting and challenging thing about such gigs is that you are supposed to connect with people whom you've never played or rehearsed before. I suppose we all like a bit of adventure.

I know that you're a big prog rock (and Zappa) fan. What do you think about this year's line-up? Who do you definitely want to see?

Michel Delville: This year's line-up is very strong and diverse. Of course, I won't miss Terry Bozzio and the Grande Mothers. But I am also a big Gong and Steve Hillage fan and look forward to seeing my good friend and "Moving Tones" ally Guy "Univers Zero" Segers perform with Acid Mother Guru Guru Gong -this should be one one of the highlights of the festival! I have also heard great things about Sebka Chott.

I don't need convincing. I'll be there anyway. But what would you like to say to the U.M. readers about the Zappanale festival?

Michel Delville: As I said before, I love the idea of using unusual guests and urging band and musicians to collaborate and take risks. This has been the philosophy of the festival for some years now, and great things have come out of such unlikely combinations.

Excellent.Thank you & see you soon.

-- peter van laarhoven

Doot!, featuring Michel Delville, will be performing at the Zappanale festival on Thursday, August 13, 2009, in Bad Doberan at the Kamptheater!

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