By José Oliveira & Rosine Alleva, Rock At Night EU Editors
Before tackling the genesis of Gaelle Buswel’s latest album “YOUR JOURNEY” let’s talk about her musical story.
Gaelle’s parents were listening to the big names of their Peace and Love generation! JIMI HENDRIX, LED ZEP, NEIL YOUNG. JANIS JOPLIN and JOE COCKER were the first records she listened to. A great environment to grow up in! She was 14-15 years old when she started her first guitar lessons. It might have been a bit late but she always played guitar and sang in some bands. She suddenly was fed up always being dependent on others. That’s when she began to compose and accompany herself on guitar.
She started her career with an acoustic album “Yesterday’s Shadow”produced by NEIL BLACK the Texan bluesman, who took her under his wing. After what Gaelle took a big plunge into this new adventure 10 years ago and, which is rare, is still playing with the same team!
It was Gaelle Buswel first time to perform on this legendary WGLIVE stage. It was obvious the name “WOOD STOCK GUITARES LIVE” took her back to the very beginning, when she discovered all the 70s music with her parents with many artists who played at the Woodstock Festival!!
“All the WGL team is wonderful and the welcome was fantastic!! Tonight, will be a nice moment of sharing! I feel it”. And it was! Taking the stage in a blue jacket and ripped jeans, Gaelle Buswel and her band proved to be in prime form and obviously loving performing again. This was quite simply a magical musical evening. With Michael Benjelloun in the role of guitar hero, both promise to burn down all the venues of this Tour! …Who said Rock ‘n roll was dead?
The Musicians :
Gaelle Buswel: Lead vocals/Guitars
JB Petri: Bass
Léa Worms (Laurian Daire): Keyboards
Michael Benjelloun: Guitars/Dobro, Sitar & Mandolin
Steve Belmonte: Drums
Rock At Night interviewed the fabulous Gaelle Buswel, just before the concert.
RAN – I didn’t know anything about GAELLE BUSWEL.With the quality of your videos, the great sound that characterizes the band, I immediately checked your contacts on your website! With GERARD DROUOT PRODUCTIONS (and Matthieu) you’re definitely in good hands!!! How does it feel to work with the biggest French Promoter?
GB – It’s just Magic!! I’ve known Matthieu Drouot for many years. He always followed me artistically and started to help us in 2018. In this professional music environment few people keep their word. But Matthieu is very sincere and involved in what we do. He never promised us anything but did everything he said! He supports this project highly. GDP is the biggest French booking Agent. To give us this huge chance, when we started, to open all JONNY LANG’s French concerts, was a major boost for any independent artist like us!! I think they’re also very proud to see our artistic development after these ten years.
RAN– When you took a look at my photo albums, you flashed on JOE COCKER’s!
GB– This voice, his energy, his character, the way he revisited certain songs. What he brought, what he gave off. I was lucky to see him live in Germany. I love it when artists transcend themselves on stage without any filter, those who, from the first song, are inhabited by their music! When I was younger, it amazed me to delve into everything that had to do with JOE COCKER.
RAN– Watching “YOUR JOURNEY” video, the first thing that surprised me was that beautiful smile you’re having throughout all the time. Did this presage the huge desire to come back on the road? How did you experience these lockdown times?
GB – As soon as we make music, whether there have been good or bad moments, it always brings a positive atmosphere! “Your Journey” tells that life is too short, that in the most difficult times, you have to be able to choose the thing that drives you. Especially after these lockdown times. We recorded it before the Pandemic but still decided to release this single, trying to bring good vibes to our fans!
RAN – A very complicated time for all the musicians…
GB – In our team almost everyone has children. They had to organize school at home and watch the children’s homework. It was complicated to see each other, to manage.We are all intermittent musicians. We did have some complicated times but our fans supported us greatly, wanted to help us by different ways like emailing us every day. People needed us! Our role was to try to give them some lightness, support and continue to dream. We then decided to organize an Internet Live Streaming concert in a Circus. Bringing the circus world back to life as well. Supporting other cultural areas than music.
RAN – Can you confirm us that the French government has nevertheless helped you a lot financially?
GB– They really helped us. In France, as independent musicians, we are lucky to still be here today. Without forgetting GDP and our Verycords label…Both supported us a lot. Many friends in the US had to find other jobs to be able to cope and thus save their music’s job!! What was complicated about this whole mess was that at one point Culture was zeroed out !!
RAN– I really enjoy “YOUR JOURNEY”. The BLUES, ROCK and FOLK sides, which belong to your style are much better exposed on this last work than on your first three albums. Is this deliberate? How would you define this work? What message did you want to give to your audience?
GB– It’s true that we had a lot more time at the recording sessions for this new album concerning the artistic part. We put all our energy into it and wanted to take a step forward in terms of musical maturity. It was a big risk taking into more Rock songs. We also wanted to work with someone who would manage from A to Z. A wonderful experience with the choice of Didier THIERRY, for producing the album. We had a huge amount of time working on the songs in the studio, the musical press as well for our fans, we really liked it.
Order “Your Journey” HERE
RAN– The album was recorded between Brussels and London. The recording sessions at the legendary BEATLES Studio are full of emotion. How did you manage these moments? How did you get the idea of going to London to record these few songs?
GB– With Gérard Drouot Productions, the years 2018-2019 were great for us. We started 2019 at the Olympia Theater in Paris, supporting the French band, TRI YANN, then followed a few months later as the support act for BETH HART at the Palais des Congrès. That evening, I was invited by Gérard DROUOT and his son Matthieu to open for the RINGO STARR’s concert in Paris!!! Well, I felt like Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds!!!! (Laughs). We play “HELP “on stage every evening since ten years. That night in Paris, Ringo STARR’S manager allowed us to play it as the track wasn’t in his set list. To play it facing all the BEATLES fans and French Rock Press was a wonderful gift. From there started the idea of going to London, to record some acoustic material at Abbey Road studios!! We had at least to record two songs but we finally ended up recording nine songs with CHRIS BOLSTER. A brilliant sound engineer, who remastered the BEATLES albums and worked on SIR Paul McCARTNEY solo works, THE FOO FIGHTERS among others. Then we decided to release a double album with eleven tracks, recorded at
Studio ICP in Brussels and six acoustics titles in London! A memorable experience and a gift for our fans!!! Being in front of the Abbey Road Studio’s door, already gave me chills!!! The greatest bands have been there. We felt a crazy energy!!
RAN– There is a perfect balance between the electric and the acoustic guitar sound. Was it wanted?
GB– Wow! You felt it! I really like to put the guitars forward. When you have a fabulous Guitar player as Michael BENJELLOUN, it’s just normal to give him all the freedom to expose his great talent. We’ve been together for ten years and he makes his guitar sound like no one else. Every musician has to develop his play in the band. I come from acoustics sets and got into electric sound, working step by step. Yes, you’re right, this balance was wanted.
RAN– Some songs sound very catchy. With a special Soul accent. Do you agree?
GB– Oh, like in “Razo’rs Age”?(laughs). Of course I agree, an album is also a warm moment and we wanted to go further towards horizons that we love. When you get to a fourth album, you have to offer something different to your audience. We wanted to jump through Rock roots.
RAN– You’re perhaps the French band who did the most opening acts for prestigious names! ZZ TOP, STATUS QUO, JONNY LANG, BETH HART, UB40, RINGO STARR and so on. What feelings have you kept from these experiences?
GB– Well, each time I lived it was an incredible dream!! It’s amazing, my parents were big fans of many bands we’ve opened for and I heard when I was a little girl! In our musical career, I never thought we could meet all these guys we’ve always admired. You know, all of them are beautiful and very humble. Seeing bands like ZZ TOP, with more than fifty years of professional career, still staying on the scene. BILLY GIBBONS is an extraordinary human being!! What to say about RINGO STARR, who came and slapped me on the shoulders during our sound check saying “Hello Gaelle, my name is RINGO STARR and I like what you are doing”!!! WOW. It’s just magic!!! Emotionally it was a great moment to open for BETH HART. A very spiritual woman! And what a voice… indulging fully from the first note on stage.
RAN– From “YOUR JOURNEY” to the future…What are the next steps of this Tour? Have you already a fifth album in mind?
GB– We are just starting this tour and want to promote this last work.In some previous tours, we had bet on a few European cities. Today we want to focus a little more on our French shows. Fifth album? We first want to live the present moment. The paradox with this album is that the lyrics were written in 2019 and the messages it delivers are still relevant nowadays!! Do you want a scoop? Next year we’ll open for DEEP PURPLE!!!
Many thanks Gaelle for this exciting interview!! Nice meeting you!!! Have a nice concert and many more dreams to come through.
Photos concert – José Oliveira for Rock At Night
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