La Nuit Americaine's name will already be familiar to some Pennyblackmusic magazine readers. Pennyblackmusic talked to Christian Govoni, the man behind this Italian solo post-rock band, in October, about his "late night music" and some of his then forthcoming projects

La Nuit Americaine is named after a special filter used in the film business. It gives the director the chance to shoot a night scene at day time. The band’s music has a characteristic, emotive sound that, while generally featuring Christian on his own, has also sometimes found him using additional musicians, such as Emiliano on bass, Teresa on violin and more recently Veleria on backing vocals. It uses Christian's guitar as the main instrument, and a variety of special effects and noises which all connect together in one coordinated line.

Over the course of the eight months since we last talked to Christian, he has certainly not been wasting his time and has produced a limited edition of his first album ‘Serenadze’, exclusively for Pennyblackmusic, and has recorded and released a single ‘Blue In The Mist’ on the Manchester based label Emma’s House Recordings. Tokyo's Teleran Records have also shown an interest in LNA's music and will be releasing an EP, The Mirror Of My Life’, in the autumn of this year.

If I’m counting right there is one item still missing in this discography. It is Christian’s second album, which is called 'The End Of Music’. The album will come out in July 2002 on the limited edition French micro label hinah, which has already released albums by Magic 12, Transmissionary Six and the Empty House Cooperative.

This is only very brief biography of the band. Find out what Christian is working on at the moment and what his plans for the near future are as, back for a second interview with Pennyblackmusic , he speaks to us about his plans and wishes

PB: Since our last interview in October, what have you been up to?

CG: I honestly don't know. I still haven't had the time to work out exactly what has been happening. I have had the chance to work on other two releases, a mini album just about to be released on hinah records www.hinah.com, and a 3" cd out which will come out in the autumn on Teleran Records www.teleranrecords.com. I've also changed jobs four or five times, so things have been pretty frantic. It's only been in the last two weeks that everything has become more stable, but I am still feeling pretty disorientated.. Hopefully things will become much more clear soon.

PB : Could you tell us more about the hinah release ?

CG: As I told you in the previous interview, Laurent Orseau and Eloise Steclebout at hinah were the first people in the indie music world I got in touch with. They've helped me a lot during the last two years, supporting my music, and getting me in touch with other nice people. It was planned as a live release but, because of some problems it's better not to discuss here(there are people who don't deserve a mention, even negative),we decided to release something new. The result is a 6-track-demo mini album, 'When the Music Ends', which has a rather usual structure : two instrumental tracks (the first and the last) and another four songs in the middle.

I won't ever be forced to choose between recording instrumental and non-instrumental songs, even if I know a large number of indie labels have the tendency to consider only the former of those two options. I don't care. It means they are not the right label for me.

PB: Why did you decide to call the hinah album 'When The Music Ends'? Does it express the way you feel about your future in music?

CG: Yes, but it is more than that. I try to put a theme to each of my releases. 'When the Music Ends' is basically about when you start something new or when you fall in love, the first time is 'perfect'. You are full of energy, good intentions and high expectations, but what happens after this time fades? How do you react?

These six tracks try to describe different situations and reactions, and how life alternates between escape and routine.

PB: How did you get in touch with Teleran records?

CG: After the Pennyblackmuisc interview in November I received an e- mail from Bruno Wong, the guy behind Teleran records ,in which he said he had read the interview, listened to some samples on my website and thar he'd be interested in releasing a LNA EP on his label. I was really delighted, and find the idea of releasing a 3" cd very attractive. Then, I discovered there were a lot of good experimental bands on the label , like Yellow 6 and 2 By Bucowsky, so I had the chance of putting in music all the controversial feelings that had been passing through my mind for some months.

PB: Could you say more about the Teleran release? What was the biggest inspiration for this album?

CG: From October until the end of March I went through some really hard times: I lost my previous job, which gave me and my dog some financial certainty, and then I started doing lots of daily and night-jobs, I could not sleep well for many weeks and when I went to bed I had really strange dreams about girls, dogs and my father's death.

One night I suddenly woke up and I saw my dog sleeping. He seemed to have the same troubles I was having at the moment. Then I realized there was a perfect complicity between Swan and me. That's why I decided to put in music these relationships that these difficult months had helped to quantify. 'The Mirror of my Life' (the title) is a single track of 19 minutes, divided into four movements. I have to thank again Bruno Wong for this chance.

PB: If you compare all your releases, 'Serenadze' and the forthcoming hinah and Teleran records, do you see them as being reminiscent of each other in sound, or do you think you have become more experimental with each new release ?

CG: Each release is different from the others. I think the Teleran one should to be considered differently from the rest of my material. I can also see a sort of continuity between Serenadze and the hinah album, and which I feel is well represented by the 7" which was released on Emma's House Recordings ( www.emmashouse.net ) in February.

I'd like to say some words in regard to Emma's House. I still have probably not much experience into the indie music world, but I think it is fair enough to say that most indie labels do not want to take many risks. One hasonly to look at the sites of some labels' to notice the the same bands circulating on several rosters
.
I don't want to blame the labels' attitude, but when I thought about the meaning of being independent, my first idea was of something different from what I see now and this word, 'indie', seems to have become a little bit too convenient. Take a look at the Emma's House' site and you'll soon notice that more than the half of the bands there are unknown or that this is their first release.I have read Edward Jung, Emma's House's owner, is now not sure about the future of the label. Things probably won't change much, but he has all of my respect and sympathy.

Two weeks ago I was reading a review in the last issue of Record Collector for an Emma's House release ,a 7" by Malory, and it ended like this :

"Where do Emma's House Recordings keep finding these gems? ".

Can I reply for you, Edward?

Inside your heart, where there is still the desire to listen and to be surprised by new bands and where you still have the will to help them somehow. Is Edward Jung completely crazy or he's one of the few who still embodies the real spirit of 'running an independent label’.

PB: You come from Italy but write your lyrics and sing in English. Why is that and do you find it hard?

CG: My English isn't really good yet and you'll hardly find an Italian who speaks English properly. Is it because we don't learn it at school (just 2 useless hours a week) like many other Europeans do. What I learnt of English is due to the music I had listened when I was young; I spent a lot of time translating lyrics from the Cure, the Smiths and Bowie. I've also never listened to much Italian music. So it was quite natural for me, when I started playing in groups , to sing in English. It's not easy, of course, but the more you suffer for something, then the greater is the satisfaction. If I had sung in Italian, I'd probably never have had the satisfaction of seeing my music released.

PB: Will you be playing any live shows in the near future?

CG: I actually don't have any shows planned for the future, I'd really like to play again in France or in UK, but it seems to be very hard. Let's see...

PB: You said in the last interview that music means everything to you but still you can't afford to do it professionally and have even 2 days jobs! How do you find the time to play and where do you rehearse?

CG: I don't think my situation is very different fromone of other bands and musicians. I have never considered music as a hobby, but if it doesn't give you an economical independence, then you don't have any choice but to find another financial income. Life in Italy is really, really expensive. I use to play a lot at night, but sometimes the energy leaves me, so I try to do my best to find the will to go on. I know it could seem silly, but there's a sentence from a Cure song that I often repeat to myself and it helps me a lot: "I went away alone with nothing left but faith" (FAITH).

PB: What is the situation with the musicians you have worked with? Are they still continuing to play with you occasionally and do you still work with them on the same basis or have there there any changes?

CG: Things have changed, definitely. In my last two releases there were no additional musicians, except for a female vocalist, Valeria. I'm actually playing at different moments during the day, according to my jobs' shifts, so I could not plan anything with other musicians. Valeria recorded her voice after the rest of the work was done. It was the only way we could do it.

PB: What are you working on at the moment and what are your plans in the near future?

CG: Both the Teleran and the hinah releases are now ready. With regard to my future in music, on the negative side I absolutely don't know what will happen. More positively though I don't have enough time to think about it. I'll probably let the summer pass by before making a decision.

PB: With your La Nuit Americaine career what are you especially proud of ?

CG: I am really proud of it all . Two years ago I was not sure if someone would ever appreciate my music. Then, in less than a year, I've put out in 3 different countries 4 different releases (and also re-pressed one of them exclusively for Pennyblackmusic). The main problem is I that I don't want it all to end now. I think there are two possibilities now. The first and more optimistic one is to find someone who trusts in me and to start collaborating with him or them. That's obviously what I would like to happen. The second possibility is to quit my dream, definitely. There are no other alternatives.

PB: Would you really quit?

CG: I don't think I'll ever I'll quit making music. I began and I still do it primarily for me. I have enjoyed and appreciated the chances I've had to collaborate with different people and labels, but when they say they're interested in releasing your material, they usually take your final product and press it. That's more or less, the relationship I have with them. I've almost never seen their faces. I don't know anything about them. There's nothing between us other than a CD-r and that has been enough until now. I'd like to have a constructive relationship thoughwith the people who want to release my material, talk with them about its sound, and explain why I have said what I have said in my lyrics. I want to be criticised. I want someone who is prepared to discuss with me what I've done.

PB: What new music has inspired you or have you enjoyed?

CG: My jobs and my music take most of my time away, so I don't have much chance to listen to new music. Friends of mine told me there are lots of new bands that I would appreciate coming from Germany and Iceland. I think that's great as for years the indie world seems to have been divided exclusively between English bands and American ones.

I'm actually listening to a lot of Jazz and Classic, but where I work now the radio plays a lot of commercial songs, so I'm pretty up-to-date on new House music and r'n'b. But I don't think they've influenced my music a lot!

BP: If any label gets in touch and wants to collaborate, do you have any idea what you want to do next ?

CG: I'd like to choose some tracks from my 4 releases and remix them, and add 3 or 4 new songs I've been working on lately. I think it could come out really well. By the way, as this could be my last chance to speak, I'd like to say thank to all the nice people who have supported my music till now. So, an endless thank to you Olga and John Clarkson at Pennyblackmusic, Eloise and Laurent from Hinah records, Edward Jung from Emma's House recordings, and Bruno Wong at Teleran records.

PB: Thank you very much and the very best of luck in the future!



The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Laurent Orseau. More of his photographs can be found at www.hinah.com, More information about La Nuit Aericaine can be found at www.lanuitamericaine.com















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