Lorient – Grand Corps Malade: “I like people who are proud of their territory”

Coming to sing in the middle of fishing boats or offshore racing sailboats, close to a ship repair area, what inspires you?

It’s not an environment that I know very well. The marine environment, the boats, it’s not my universe at all but here, I think that this festival is a great initiative. Honoring the ocean, I have a green culture and green principles that are still very advanced. I obviously know, like everyone else, how necessary and essential it is for our future to preserve the seas and oceans. Just for that, a festival that revolves around these themes, I like it. And then, putting back in the spotlight and introducing everyone, people like me who don’t know this environment very well, to the trades around the sea, the port, the docks, I find that very interesting. I find it festive. It’s a universe that I don’t know but which attracts me a little bit, everything that happens around the port trades, the boats.

Are you coming to play in Brittany, a land that you said, a few years ago, that you did not know very well, but you appreciate the whole character of the Bretons?

Yes of course, I like territories that have values, character, a beautiful identity. And of course, Brittany and the Bretons are known for this. Afterwards, it’s true that I don’t know very well, but still, if only for my tours, I went to Morbihan, the Bout du Monde (in Crozon in 2018, editor’s note), the Vieilles Charrues, also in Brest and we played last year in Landerneau… Of course, this Breton public, I met it many times and I like it very much, it’s a warm public. Me, I like people who are a bit chauvinistic, who love their territory, who want to protect it, who are proud of it. I really like that mentality.

This unique date in Brittany, this summer, is the opportunity, after “Plan B”, to defend “Ladies”. In this last album, you pay homage to women by singing with them. You were talking about values, is it also an opportunity to denounce inequalities and harassment?

Yes, there was indeed a double stake with this album. The first is obviously the pleasure of making music and doing duets with a wide variety of artists that I admire. It is first of all an artistic pleasure by offering the public an album of duets with women. But, in fact, from the moment you only make an album with women – it’s not insignificant – the challenge is to talk about these male-female relationships which are still very very unequal. I think we live in a time where we still need to do that.

Doing it like you do with the song, does that make the message more audible?

Yes, of course the song is a good vehicle for conveying messages and values.

On this record, you also say – this is what “Behind the fog” is about – that music brings comfort, also allows you to rebuild yourself.

It is a text written to measure for Louane and obviously. We know a little about her career, she does not hide it. A very complicated adolescence where she found herself losing her mother and then her father, in the space of two years. It’s true that she has a relationship with music that is very special. Whenever she had very hard knocks in life, the music was there to reach out to her. Basically, I really wrote it for her, for her story. And then, in the last verse, I turn back a little on my history, even if it is incomparable. I say to myself, finally, me too, the music reached out to me to find a new life project knowing that me, at the base, it was sport.

Slightly Celtic music with binioù and slightly Breton accents, I think that would be great!

Alain Souchon set to music and sang “Le bagad de Lann-Bihoué”. Are you coming to Lorient, land of this bagad, to bring Breton sounds to your world, is that something that appeals to you?

Ah yes, that would be interesting. For a long time, I had the opportunity to innovate, to put my texts on ultimately very varied rhythms, to play on rhythms rather rock, jazz, very calm voice pianos or more electro sounds. For me, it’s quite easy to adapt and marry different music, so yeah, some Celtic music with binioù and some Breton accents, I think that would be great! I don’t know if we’ll have time to prepare it by July but, in any case, it would be interesting.


Grand Corps Malade in concert, Friday July 9, 2022, at 7 p.m., at the fishing port of Keroman, as part of the Lorient Océans festival. Prices: €39. Information and reservations on the website of Lorient Oceans.

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Lorient – Grand Corps Malade: “I like people who are proud of their territory”

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