MAA : Could you tell us how your work with M.A. began ? Who contacted them ? Did they react immediatly ? Your first meeting…
Jérôme Lateur : At first, we, Louis le Terrier (the film Director), Luc Besson (the Producer) and I, had an artistic reflexion about which style of music would best suit this « climatic » movie. We did consider different options : Aphex Twin, Placebo, Fat Boy, Slim, Massive Attack… I then contacted their managers and started to talk with them about the movie. Finally, it is through Luc Charles & Benjamin Chulvanij (G.M and deputy G.M. of Delabel / E.M.I) that we had a contact with M.A. and their manager, Mark Picken. We had a first meeting at Virgin’ s in London, with the managment, the record company and the director in order to explain the project. We had an excellent contact with Mark Picken, who seemed very interested and he submitted the project to the band (3D, Neil Davidge). The next step was to show them the movie… After a preview, they gave us their O.K. to compose their first original soundtrack for us.
MAA : What were the different steps of the making of this soundtrack ? How did the band started to work on it ?
Jérôme Lateur : They approached the work very artistically and very professionally Artistically first of all, as they really cared to serve the movie best, following the Director’ s advises and wishes. Louis le Terrier went to Bristol on several occasions to give them his artistic vision of the whole movie. Professionally second of all, as they really put all their ressources, creativity and personalities in their work. The movie is therefore a real teamwork. We worked for 4 months in their studio in Bristol on the writing and the composition ; we taped the chords sections in a London studio for one day as well. We finally finished the production and the mixing 5.1 (movie) at Digital Factory, in Normandy. This lasted about a month.
MAA : Did the group see the movie before and after ?
Jérôme Lateur : Yes, of course, they saw it at the very beginning of the project ; it was very important for them, and for us, that they do like and appreciate it so that they really can take possession of it… what they really did. During all the composition and productions phases, they really were in total osmosis with the movie.
MAA : What memories did you keep from this work ? What was the atmosphere like ?
Jérôme Lateur : The atmosphere was excellent. They are truly great professionals and they do know their Art… It is important to say that working on a soundtrack is a challenging and enriching exercise for a band as creative as M.A.is. One of my most vivid memories is when the band presented us the first melodies,finished, with the chords, but not yet mixed.The professional quality of the sounds was outstanding, really outstanding.
MAA : We heard some rumours saying that Liz Frazer (the Cocteau Twins’ singer)could be on the soundtrack… is that true ? Some say as well that Daddy G. Did not participate… And was Neil Davidge there ?
Jérôme Lateur : Rumours are rumours. Don’ t listen to them ! We did actually consider having a singer on the theme song (as it is often the case in the movie industry) ; that’ s true. But it did concern Dot Allison, not Liz Frazer. To tell you the whole story (and it might be « THE » scoop for you all, M.A. fans!) we do have a great recording of an M.A. song, sung by Dot Allison ! This song comes at the end of the movie, with the credits. It is about 6 minutes, and sounds very close to the band’ s « world ». It is not on the soundtrack, as it does belong to the movie itself. Concerning the other rumours… of course, Neil Davidge was there ! He is an exceptional guy : kind, available… and talented. 3D was as well quite involved on the whole project… but is it necessary to mention it after having listened to the sound track ? It is obvious ! Lee did participate as well to all the technical phases of mixing and production(he is a kind of computer’ genius !). Regarding Daddy G… that’ s true that we did not see him a lot in the studio… but saying that he did not participate would be an exaggeration !
MAA : Finally, why is there no song on the soundtrack ?
Jérôme Lateur : It is an artistic choice of M.A. ; a wish to render as well as possible the musical atmosphere of the movie, to keep an experimental approach, and that’ s quite interesting. And that’ s true for the soundtrack, but not for the whole movie. We have a wonderful song, as I told you earlier.