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Daedalus Spirit Orchestra

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Eric Lorcey of The Daedalus Spirit Orchestra from 2010


Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music?

I started learning the guitar at six and a half. I first studied classical music (Bach, Scarlatti, Villa-Lobos...) then, at sixteen, I’ve been introduced to metal and bands like Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Iron Maiden, Scorpions... At eighteen, I studied sound engineering, which tought me how to use a mixing table, softwares and hardwares, effects, how to record, and also opened my mind to electronic, electroacoustic and concrete music. After that, I’ve followed for two years the fusion rock lessons of Mathias Desmier, who teaches me the basis of the funk, the jazz and the progressive music.
MSJ: Where did the name of the band originate?
Our name quickly appeared into my mind, I don’t really know how or why… It makes think a little bit of the complexity of our music (the daedalus) and the idea of a band not only made of the “classical” instruments of rock (the orchestra). But actually, it represents us mostly by the fact that it’s long and that we constantly have to repeat it so people can understand!
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
That’s a question I’ve never asked myself! Actually, I live on music because I cannot do anything else! I didn’t have learn anything else so I’ve never wondered what to do after my studies. It was logical. But I also love cooking, so maybe I would be a cook!...
MSJ: The bands we hear about in the US from France are limited. What is the music scene like there?
It’s complicated because there is kind of two music scenes here. The first one is for people who don’t really care about music. It’s what the majors sell us and it’s awful. We have a lot of bad singers they feed us on television or on the radio making some kind of rap, “chanson française” (french song) or music for the dancefloors... But, on the other hand, there are bands for those who care about music. And these bands are very good! They mostly evolve in some kind of french rock music or electronic music, but they are very talented and they especially sing very interesting lyrics. Some of these artists start to be known, for example -M-, Emilie Simon, others are more confidentials (Raoul Petite, Ultra Vomit, Christophe Godin, Bagdad Rodeo...)
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences (both personally and as a group)?
I listen to a lot of different musics: classical, jazz, rock, metal, funk, trip-hop, celtic... But the band which gave me the will to create The Daedalus Spirit Orchestra is definitly The Mars Volta. I always loved progressive bands such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson or The Moody Blues, but when I discovered their first album De-Loused in the Comatorium it was like a revelation. I had several bands before and there always was a time, when we were composing, when we said “no we can’t do that, its not our style, it won’t fit with the other songs or with what people wan’t to hear from us.”Andm after listening to The Mars Volta, I said to myself “what can’t I have a band without limit?” I wanted to be able to play whatever I wanted.

Then I had the chance to meet the musicians I play with: Colin, Christophe, Lise and Cécile. They all have different influences. Colin and Christophe mostly listen to funk music, Lise has learned jazz and Cécile plays the blues and the classical music. Of course, we also have a mutual background, but I like playing with people who don’t think music exactly the same way. It’s rewarding.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
We are working on our second album. It’s almost composed so we are searching for a record label to produce it. We also contact prog festivals for next spring and summer.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Well I would say we are playing some progressive fusion rock music. It’s an open term so people can understand what they want!
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
There are too many musicians I would like to play with! From France I would love to play with Emilie Simon. She is the “French Bjork.” I’ve seen her several times on stage and each time it’s magical. More generally, I would like to play with Jojo Mayer and Morgan Agren, for me the best drummers ever, Maynard James Keanan, Hiromi, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez... And I would really like to meet Jack Black, cause I’m a fan of Tenacious D!
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
I think it depends on the career of each musician. For a new band, it can definitly be a help to be known, to touch more people than it could do only by performing. For a huge artist, I don’t think it can be a real trouble, because such artists have many fans who will always buy CDs, DVDs, go to the shows... But I think it can be fatal for an artist who has risen a little (for example after a first album which has worked well but hasn’t blown up) because, in that case, illegal downloading could be a real loss of money for the record label, which may be reticent on doing a second one because of that... But anyway it’s unavoidable.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
Well, if I’m not mistaken, the trade of shows recorded by the fans is not a huge black market. Personally, I really don’t have problem with that. Actually, as a fan, I love watching those videos. When it’s been neatly done, it’s great! And for bands who don’t have any live DVDs, it’s even better cause it’s the only trace left.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?

It would be the people, in the record labels (especially the majors) or in the management, who only consider music as a business, who don’t look for something good and interesting but only for something they can sell to the most. I’m not naïve. I know that it’s always been a matter of money. But it seams to me that in the past years (in the 60’s or the 70’s), the record labels thought that a good artist making good music is sellable. Now, they give us the first good looking girl or man, no matter if he or she can sing and even less if he or she can compose!

MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
First, there would be two drummers: Jojo Mayer and Morgan Agren. They each have their own way of playing and I think putting them together would give birth to something amazing. Cedric Bixler-Zavala would definitly be the singer. I just love his voice and what he can do with it, the melodies he creates. Maynard James Keanan would probably be there too, as a second singer (I know: my ultimate band has a strange line-up)! Buckethead would be the main guitarist and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez would be the rythm guitar, also bringing all the crazy sounds he can make. Hiromi would be on piano and keyboards and Victor Wooten on bass. And maybe a saxophonist too but I can’t say who. What kind of music would such a band make? I just don’t know, but it would do it brilliantly!
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
I think it would be some kind of psychedelic festival. The line-up would be Radiohead, The Mars Volta, Tool, Emilie Simon, Marc Ribot, Mats/Morgan band, and a scene for young bands.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
There are three CDs actually. The first two are the latest Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’ solo album: Solar Gambling and El trio de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. I really love the singer he works with, Ximena Sarinaña Rivera. She has a special voice, delicate and a little bit fragile. The third one is a old album but I’ve just discovered it Snot.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to read books lately... I’ve started the book of Hugh Laurie “The Gun Seller,” but I didn’t like it so I stopped. On the other hand, I regularly read a french science magazine: Science & Vie (Science and Life). I’ve always been interested by the latest discoveries of science, so I try to keep on eye on it.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
It was a concert of Emilie Simon, in the Casino de Paris, a small place where the artists are close to the people. It was very beautiful. She played with only two musicians: a drummer and a bass/keyboard player (on the previous tour there were a guitarist/bass player, a percussionist, five violinists and some kind of DJ who was making all the crazy sounds she uses). It was more electronic than her previous shows but it brought some sort of peacefullness.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Well I guess our experiences with different singers (before I decide to sing myself) were very specials. For instance, we had one who moved on stage as if he was drugged (but I know he wasn’t) so he was jumping, rolling, acting... It was very strange, but, in a way, it worked well with our music. On the other hand, an other one came completly drunk one evening and during a song, he felt down on the drums! I really didn’t know how we could keep on playing!
MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Molière, Einstein and I can’t choose between Bach and Mozart.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
I can’t see what I could add. These questions were very interesting and dug deeply!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at
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