On Dec 14, 2012, Chilly Gonzales paid a visit to the French radio station Le Mouv to give an in-depth interview and piano lesson to Christophe Crénel; host of the “Rodéo sur le Mouv” show. Over the course of the one-hour interview Christophe and Gonzales cover a very wide range of topics, and play a few songs:
- Why “Chilly Gonzales” instead of just “Gonzales”
Rundown of piano dynamics
His Guinness World Record performance
The world of rap and why collaborations work in that genre
Composing Solo Piano II; trying to break some piano ‘rules’
Plays “White Keys”
How his Grandfather influenced him in Montreal
His early influences (Morrissey, Heaven 17, Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
Why he finds children’s music too ‘sweet’
Gives a piano lesson to Christophe and plays a minor key duet of Freres Jacques
How Chico Marx used the piano for comedic effect
Gonzales’ thoughts on Leonard Bernstein, Survivor, Wagner, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel and the Bee Gees
Moving to Berlin in the late 90s
His career with the group ‘Son’ in Canada
How the Chilly Gonzales persona came about
His musical family (Feist, Peaches, Mocky, Tiga, etc.)
Plays the intro to “Take me to Broadway”
Percussive piano in “Night Moves” from Ivory Tower
Working with electro producer Boys Noize
How PianoVision helps connect with the audience
Plays “Epigram in E”
Feist and his contribution to her albums
His upcoming tour of France
How the original Solo Piano reflects an exaggerated sense of solitude as a newcomer to Paris
Thoughts on: Maniac, Ride Like the Wind, Chariots of Fire, Daft Punk
Contributing to Daft Punk’s new album
Concertgoer’s comments on Gonzales
Plays a funky version of “Escher”
Phew – all in an hour (Christophe speaks quickly)! Gonzales is very dynamic during the interview and delves into some interesting details about his time with ‘Son’ in the 90s, contributing to Daft Punk’s album, and so on.
Although the entire interview is in French, it’s worth a listen for the performances even if you don’t speak French. Gonzales’ playing is in great form, which is remarkable after pretty much non-stop touring since November.
“White Keys” shines as Gonzales alternates between a delicate touch and a pounding syncopation, with a bit of a “remix” at the end.
“Epigram in E” starts off with a nice open damper pedal thump to set the strings resonating and pretty much follows the album track with a few interesting detours.
“Escher” starts off with a funky baseline and is more of an abbreviated live version. Christophe must have felt the bass resonate in his gut!
If this interview session was any indication, Gonzales’ upcoming tour of France is sure to be a sellout!
Podcast (interview starts at 56:00)