Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 8th 2010 8:59AM by Linda Laban
Balthazar chatted with Spinner ahead of their SXSW appearance, as the band headed from a show in Seattle to one in Spokane, Wash. Driving through the beautiful scenery of Washington State, Balthazar and Co. had just taken a break for lunch at the 'Twin Peaks' diner and saw the famous falls captured in David Lynch's iconic TV series -- a must-do for the band because, as Balthazar puts it, "We're massive 'Twin Peaks' heads."
How did your band form?
It started out as a recording project while I was still living in Sweden. Then I moved over to London, and got to know a bunch of people who put on clubs and shows and put out singles. It grew out of that really. I had songs and I needed a band. It was mainly people I met at shows and clubs. Some early shows were half band, half backing tracks. The drummer and bassist came to see us, and we chatted a bit and they ended up joining the band.
What are your musical influences?
Wow, a lot. Post-punk; good pop music from any decade; '90s indie. A lot of American music and folk music, too. Anything and everything from folk via post-punk to '90s American indie.
How did you come up with your band name?
It was stolen form a novella by Charles Baudelaire, a French 19th century writer. I like how it sounds like fanfare and it's sort of language non-specific. We like the images it brings to mind. Fanfarlo is the name of the main character in the book. For me, it has a lot to do with what it makes you think of. It triggers your imagination. It's a reference to a time and place -- when I started recording those songs. And Baudelaire's debauched intellectual era, it's very romantic.
What's your biggest vice?
I'm not sure if that can go on the record. I don't know, what is a vice? At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, or maybe I can put it a different way, but I think the only real compulsion in my life is actually music. That's the one thing I can't help doing. I'm really unhappy if I don't do it. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a vice. It's not necessarily healthy, lets put it that way. Well, the lifestyle.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Well, one thing we like to have with us is a blender. We like blending things, like making drinks -- like smoothies and cocktails. That could be hard to use at a festival if there isn't a plug in the tent.
But if you are a band and you're in a trailer...
Yeah, that's what we normally do. We can make soy milk and banana smoothies.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I don't have any guilty pleasures. I fully embrace all my musical pleasures. I don't understand why people feel guilty about their pleasures. Either you like something or you don't. We've been listening to loads of ELO and Fleetwood Mac in the van and we don't feel guilty about it.
Beatles or Stones?
Beatles. Well, can I have both? Let me take both. I probably have more admiration for the Beatles -- they were more progressive in what they were doing and they were wise enough to get out of the game while they were on top. The Stones are a bit embarrassing these days. But they were inescapably cool, so there's something to be said for that. Beatles were a total commercial band, a boy band. But their musical legacy has endured; there's more substance. There's something be said for both.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
The 'Twin Peaks' diner was pretty good. What do you mean by crazy? There's so many ways of answering that question. The CBS orchestra on the 'Letterman' show -- that's probably the craziest thing. They're a bunch of amazing freaks. They're like a time capsule from the '80s or something. I don't know when, actually. They were crazy and very scary.