Interview – Anouck Andre tells us all about her projects and what’s like to be a full-time musician in France
Meet Anouck – a girl from France, а jazzwoman, Ibanez guitars endorser, and all-around guitarist that plays music for a living. Busy between one duo, two trios, and running a YouTube channel and a blog, Ms. Andre found the time to answer some all-important questions regarding her musicianship. You will learn about her work with musicians Bernard Margarit and Alain Richou, her bustling local scene, and her all-time favorite records. It’s an interesting look into the profile of one very intelligent, musically gifted person who has a lot to say on the matters we discuss. Read on…
Hello! Introduce yourself to the world and tell us how did you grow up to become the musician you are?
I am a French guitar player. I started to play a bit of piano when I was 5 as my father, Serge André, is a keyboardist, then I took two years of drums lessons. I started playing guitar at the age of 17 and I attended the Music Academy International (MAI) in Nancy, France a few years later. I graduated in 2007 and I play guitar as a day job ever since.
Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!
I have several projects:
I play in a guitar duo with a French guitar player called Bernard Margarit. He has a big culture and a lot of various influences so it’s very interesting to play with him because he’s into Jazz fusion as well as Indian music, so I learned a lot about odd time signatures and rhythm.
We also have a trio with another killer fellow from Paris, Alain Richou. The guitar trio is very different from the duet because it’s all about space. It’s not easy to be 3 people playing the same instrument and to make it sound good.
I also perform in a Jazz trio with Alain Lecointe (Bass) and Gerald Moniez (drums). I really love to play with them and we really have some fun working on standards and tweaking them a little.
Once a year, I also play in a show named RebOrn. My father composes music for a classical orchestra (with a rhythm section) and musicians come from all around France, Europe, China, etc. We meet two days before the show for the rehearsal and then we play together.
It is not easy because we do not have a lot of time to rehearse, but it’s a beautiful human and musical experience.
Beside playing in those projects, I also try to keep a foot on the Internet side. I share guitar videos on YouTube (not as much as I should, but I will fix that, I promise) and I also run a guitar blog, GuitarUp, with my brother Vianney André.
You have been playing the guitar for a long time! How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep going?
I have the feeling that I started yesterday! My answer is not original, but I think that passion is the key. It’s important to keep the fire and to feed it. I try to stay focused on what I want to achieve, but also to keep my mind open not to miss something cool!
How is your local music scene? Do you feel like you fit in?
My local scene is inspiring and daunting at the same time. There are a lot of musicians in my city – young ones, old ones, a lot of bands and singers, a lot of people of good will. But it is not that easy to play because of the legislation in France, which is quite complicated for the musicians and for the venues that employ them. I feel I belong here somehow because it’s where I am from, but I am also very excited by the perspective of moving and making music with other musicians
What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?
It’s not an easy question and I am afraid not to be able to pick just one. I have plenty of favorite records and they are all important. It’s like love, all the stories matter, all of them will teach you something.
Led Zeppelin IV is one of my favorite records (I am a big Led Zep fan so I love all the albums except In Through The Out Door), Portishead’s Roseland NYC live, The White album (The Beatles), Eye of the beholder (Chick Corea), Quisiera (Serge Lopez), to name a few…
What are your favorite hardware and software tools for music production?
My setup is pretty simple, I use Logic X with my guitar plugged into my Axe FX II. I use Addictive drums and Scarbee (for the bass, when I don’t track it by myself). I also really love BIAS FX and Bias Amp 2 – incredible tools for guitar players, very versatile.
What is your songwriting process like?
I don’t really have a process. And, unfortunately, it’s hard to me to compose if things don’t come naturally. If I have something to say, musically speaking, It will surface and I will start to work on it. I will record the raw idea and then try to make it grow and to shape it.
What is your most memorable live show experience?
Again, it’s not an easy one! A lot of things can happen anytime, and there are plenty of things to tell regarding the fun side or the struggles side.
I would say that playing for the NAMM show was a fun experience, but also very stressful because you are surrounded by musicians. You meet a lot of people, you see your idols walking right by your side, and sometimes when you are performing, you see like a big figure who is watching you and you’re just like: “OMG, I’d better play this song perfectly!”
What is your biggest musical goal?
My goal is to keep playing music, keep improving myself as a musician, and put something on a record. I want to learn new things, grow my playing and my skills, meet people, play with various projects and have fun!
How has being on Drooble helped you as an artist?
I am quite new on Drooble, so I am still discovering it! From my experience so far, I can tell that it’s a fun place to be if you are a musician. The platform is very nice and I was impressed to see how friendly and kind people are! Drooble facilitates interaction between musicians and singers from all over the world, and I am very happy to be a part of it!