Laetitia Sadier is a French musician best known for being the singer with the experimental rock group, Stereolab.

Stereolab was formed by Sadier (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and her then boyfriend Tim Gane (keyboards, guitar) in 1990, shortly after the break-up of his previous group McCarthy. Sadier sings in both French and English in Stereolab, which combines a post-rock sound with elements of 60’s pop, ambience and lounge music.

Stereolab have to date recorded eight studio albums and also, usually releasing them on vinyl, many EPs and singles. The majority of these records have come out on their own Duophonic label, which has a distribution deal with Too Pure and also released in 2001 a Broadcast single.

In 1996, Sadier formed a second project, Monade. Monade has a surface resemblance to Stereolab, but, with Sadier singing again in both French and English, is more symphonic in its sound. After putting out a string of singles, it has since released three albums, ‘Socialisme ou Barbarie’ (2003), ‘A Few Steps More’ (2005), and this year’s ‘Monstre Cosmic’, all of which have again come out on Duophonic.

Pennyblackmusic met Laetitia Sadier at a Monade gig at the London Borderline and talked to her about her work with both bands.

PB : How did you get involved with music in the first place. I believe you originally met Tim Gane at a McCarthy gig in Paris in 1989. Is that true ?

LS : Yes, exactly.

PB : I saw McCarthy, too, a great band.

LS : They played too short though (Laughs).

PB : You have played in Stereolab since then. When Monade started, did you consider it to be just a side project or something more ?

LS : I don't know,.It's just an outlet for my songs. I don't call it anything.

PB : Why did you form Monade ? Is it because Stereolab involves lots of people’s ideas with everyone adding to the pot, whereas in Monade you wanted to do something more of your own ?

LS : No, Stereolab is in fact mostly Tim. It's basically Tim's ideas, I have been at his school of how to make music. It's good but at the same time I like to write songs too and I was at a time of my life in 1996 when I formed Monade when I wanted to do just that.

PB :. When Monade first start putting out records there were some singles before the three albums, weren’t there ?

LS : Yes, the first one was a split single with a band called Papa M. I thought it was a great little single too. There has been quite a few of them now. I can't remember them all.

PB : Does Stereolab still have its own label Duophonic?

LS : Yes, but we are at a time period, where climates have changed, and most of our fans know how to use the internet and download our music for free and we get paid less and less each year.

PB : Yet, having said, that you do release a lot of vinyl. Is that something that you really care about ?

LS : The vinyl releases are always limited anyhow, but they are is important to us. Vinyl is an object that has a certain value. Even with this Monade album, ‘Monstre Cosmic’, there is a vinyl pressing that is limited to 500 copies.

PB : It has been rumoured that the last Stereolab tour was the last one. Is that correct ?

LS : No. Stereolab have never stopped. I don't know why people come out with this sort of crap, We have never said that we would stop touring.

PB : Is it only Stereolab and Monade on the label ? You also have released a record by Broadcast on it in the past.

LS : We are not into putting out releasing by bands as career builders, but sometimes we put out releases by people that we like. We have put out singles by bands like the High Llamas, Pram and Tortoise as well

PB : Both Stereolab and Broadcast came from a very similar direction at the time. Most of your material has a big retro feel. What attracts you to this sort of sound ?

LS :. I personally like within the right sort of range the sound of guitars and keyboards. I just respond to that. I think that life is too short to be working with new technology. It is not that I dislike it or anything, but I don’t have the time to explore it. I like drums as well.

PB : Do you live here or in France now ?

LS : I live here now. I moved back to London six months ago.

PB : Do you think your surroundings influence what you write about?

LS :No.

PB : Do you prefer studio work or live work,?

LS : I like both. Making ‘Monstre Cosmic’ in particular was fun. I really enjoyed it.

PB : What are your current and future plans? ‘Monstre Cosmic’ is out now, so will you be promoting it ?

L. Well, Stereolab was meant to go to America and to tour there, but that got cancelled, so everything else got postponed too,. We are going to do the promotion for this in bits. Hopefully it will still have relevance in six months time. I think it's silly trying to be professional. I like to do things well, but I'm not going to push it in this case because the other members of Monade have other jobs as well.

PB : You sing in two different languages, French and English. Do you just choose which sounds best for each song ?

LS : . Yeah.

PB : Does Stereolab have a big audience in France because you sometimes sing in French?

LS :. No, we don't. We don't have an audience there at all. We have a bigger one in Italy, England, and America but in France they decided they didn't like us. They are anti-Stereolab.

PB : Thanks for your time.

LS : Thank you.

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