Jeff and Marianne are a Anglo-French sibling duo who’ve been in bands like Nouvelle Vague and Yuksek – but the pair have made it a family affair as emotive grunge pop band SAF. Wonderland chats to them about their new EP, Nailstorm.
Have you always written and played music together since a very young age?
Jeff : When we were younger, we played the songs we loved together all the time. But we never wrote any songs together until we started SAF.
Marianne : Our dad used to work for a French radio, and when he left his job he took lots of old vinyls of rock’n’roll bands. That’s why we have some common influences.
You also have worked with Yuksek, Nouvelle Vague and FareWell Poetry. How was that?
M : With Yuksek we had an electro band called Klanguage, and we released an album together. There were three of us in the band with another musician, Alb, who is a really good pop musician. On stage we tried to play all the sounds live as much as possible, all the fragility coming from that made the project quite sincere and fresh… Touring with Nouvelle Vague was completely different as it’s all about covers.
J : I’m actually still part of FareWell Poetry, and ‘fun’ is not exactly the apropriate word. It’s a collective that combines musical experimentation, performance film and spoken word poetry. It’s a beautiful project but it requires a lot of discipline and concentration. I’m also in a psychedelic improvisation band called DR(DR)ONE, and that’s a lot of fun! We never know what’s going to happen, what we’re going to play or how it’s going to sound, and it’s extremely exciting.
It’s always been really important for me to be part of different bands, it allows me to express all the sides of my musical personality.
What made you want to go from being in other bands to starting your own band between you?
M : I guess it came naturally mostly because we lived in different countries or cities, away from each other, for quite a long time. I used to live in Reims, London and Bordeaux. Darius Keeler made this clearer for us.
J : He’s the one that suggested that we start writing songs together, and it came out so naturally that it suddenly felt nonsense never having done it before…
What’s your favourite song that you’ve written together so far?
J : For me it’s hard to chose between “LOVE” (which is not on the EP but will be on the album) and “Nailstorm” which is so dark and funny at the same time. The construction and the vibe of that song reminds me of Robert Rodriguez’s movie From Dusk Till Dawn. I fucking love this movie !
Musically, who would you say are your biggest inspirations?
M : For me, it was like Jane Birkin and Gainsbourg, you know, the mythic couple: dark mysterious and so desirable…
J : You probably can’t hear it in SAF, but my greatest hero is Tim Buckley.
You have any plans to tour the EP?
M : We are working on the debut tour now. We have some gigs coming in Paris and we’re going to support Archive during their next European tour in November.
J : And we’re planning on playing in the UK very soon too.
Words: Katie Wilkinson