Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A SHORT CHAT WITH FIFTYII50


from the Zappanale website:
FiftyII50 are a Z-PowerDuo from The Netherlands.
Senne Bergsma (drums/samples/vox) and Marcel Chrétien (guitarsynth/loops/vox) play Bits & Pieces from the ginormous Zappa catalog in their very own way: with Enthusiasm & Electronics, these two guys almost sound like just another band from LA (sometimes...)!

Reason enough to ask them some questions !

UniMuta: Can you tell me a bit more about FiftyII50? How long has the band been around? Have you done any concerts?

Marcel Chrétien: FiftyII50 started out as Fifty50. After I  went to Zappanale in 2010 I was completely blown away, and said to myself: "I want to come back here next year, but as a performer, not only as a visitor". I tried to get a band together --Fifty50-- but I never managed to get a complete line-up.
You know how it goes: just as you've got hold of a percussionist, the bass player bails out, you get a new one, and now the singer doesn't have time anymore, etc., etc.

I was ready to give up and abandon the idea, as I realised that the only constants had been Senne and myself, and we decided to turn the problem into an opportunity. This marked the beginning of FiftyII50, (pronounced as Fifty-fifty, to confuse the Russians) a PowerDuo that pays a trick-or-treat tribute to the music of Frank Zappa!

As a duo, we have rehearsed since late 2011, and done a couple of performances. And now we're about to play at Zappanale! So, we may not have made Zappanale 2011, but 2012 is OK too...

UniMuta: Does Fifty II 50 only play the music of Frank Zappa? Or do you perform music by other composers or original material as well?

Marcel Chrétien: Originally, my idea was to play half FZ, half original material --hence Fifty50.
(You may want to browse
 http://www.mbcembassy.net/content/view/110/57
 for some impressions.)
Currently, FiftyII50 only plays FZ stuff. We intend to play original material as well, but we are still in the process of adapting this to the duo setting.

UniMuta: How did the both of you get acquainted with the music of Frank Zappa?

Marcel Chrétien: When I was 14, I borrowed Hots Rats. I've been hooked ever since. Senne had an FZ chip implanted in his brain by aliens when he was 3.

UniMuta: Gotta love those aliens :-)
Performing the music of Frank Zappa as a duo is not a small task. What is your approach?

Marcel Chrétien: For the content, there is not really one approach: it ranges from singer-songwriter, that is, just playing and singing without backing, via 'classic' looping, so, recording and overdubbing until there is a usable backing track, to downright karaoke, in other words, we start the tape and play along. A returning element however is that somehow, we mostly end up with medleys or collages, rather than with 'complete' songs.

As far as the sound is concerned, I use a guitarsynth, so I am not limited to guitar sounds only, and Senne uses a sample pad, for contributions outside of the realm of percussion.

UniMuta: Being at Zappanale is like wandering around on a different planet. What do you expect?

Marcel Chrétien: We expect to be blown away (again).

UniMuta: Have you seen the line-up? What other bands do you want to see?

Marcel Chrétien: Yes, we have. We want to take in as much as possible. George Duke and Jean-Luc Ponty are obligatory, Magma also. But so is the rest, really...

UniMuta: Can’t wait to see you guys in concert. Thanks for your time. Have fun & see you soon.

FiftyII50 will be performing at Zappanale on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

2 comments:

  1. Wishing them lots of suc6

    Ronn van Etten

    ReplyDelete
  2. No time anymore ...?

    ReplyDelete