Artists / Bands, Interviews, Rock — February 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

A festive trip to China: Les Mauvaises Langues band


Festive French band Les Mauvaises Langues will take China by storm in March. Hervé Poinas, bass player, talks about their ‘Bad Tongues’, recording outdoors, and the challenges of touring in a far-away country.

Les Mauvaises Langues

Les Mauvaises Langues – the “bad tongues” criticizing and talking about people behind their backs – interesting name for a band! Could you tell us more about your story?

The band began in 1998. Before that, Philippe (singer), Bertrand (guitar), and I (Hervé, bass) were students in the same university. We began as a cover band and gradually decided to do our own songs. One of these first songs was a song called “Les Mauvaises Langues”. This song talks about the fact that it’s good to say bad things about people who are not around. As we are “Mauvaises Langues”, we decided to keep it as band name.


Your songs are a mix of festive music and chanson française, what is the importance of the lyrics, and what is it all about?

Lyrics are the main thing in our work. There is a long tradition in French music with famous singers who gave a great importance to lyrics, like musical poetry. We want to write songs with meaningful lyrics that invite people to think. Some songs talk about social problems, some others question the future… We also have some songs about personal experiences, like why we need to have kids (“C’est si bien”) or what happens when a couple of good friends get divorced (“Mes amis se séparent”). At the same time, we like festive music, because we are a stage band, and we love to give fun and energy to the audience.


I’ve read that you recorded your last album outdoors, in specific areas of your region in the North of France. What motivated the band to change the usual recording process, and what did you learn from the experience?

All began when we were touring in France. We always have long discussions in the bus and one day, we were talking about the way to record our next album. Max (drums) said that it is so sad to be prisoner of a studio during summer time. Why can’t we record an album outside, in the sun? At the beginning it was just a joke, but gradually we found this idea very good. As we had 12 songs to record, we chose 12 famous and beautiful areas in the place we know the most, our region: the North of France. We found a Belgian sound engineer – crazier than us – named Rudy Coclet, and a video team to film the whole adventure. We had a lot of fun while making this record and the sound is really pure compare to our previous albums. We have shown the movie in many cinemas in France and each time the audience can’t believe that the sound they hear is the actual sound that was recorded outdoors. But it is! This project “A ciel ouvert” (open sky) proved us that we can do some great things together, even when everybody think it’s impossible.



You are touring all around China and in Hong Kong in a few weeks. How did that happen? And why China?

We have been chosen by the “Chinese French Alliance” which organizes each year a festival all around China to promote francophonie – the French-speaking world and its culture. This festival, “Mars en folie”, passes by 13 of the biggest cities in China and presents 4 bands : Klo Pelgag (Canada), Benjamin Schoos (Belgium), Junior Tshaka (Switzerland) and Les Mauvaises Langues (France). We are very excited to tour in Asia. It’s like a dream for us. This part of the world is very fascinating for us and we are sure that it will be one of the most important experiences of our career.


What are your expectations? And how will you reach the audience – beyond the language obstacle?

We already have performed concerts in foreign countries. The music is a universal language and I’m sure that we will be able to make contact with the Chinese audience. We met a Chinese student in France who gave us the basic words to communicate on stage and feeling will do the rest. We have worked on a very festive set list and we hope that Chinese people want to have fun!


Are you familiar with the music scene or some bands in Asia?

It’s a shame, but no. A very few Asian artists are famous in France, except maybe Psy but it’s not the kind of music we like the most.




Mars en Folie Festival 2013