Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ French Films

French Films
Photo by Lari Laakkonen

With distinct vocals, ethereal keyboards, catchy guitar riffs, powerful bass lines, and driving drums, French Films capture an amazingly unique sound with their music. This five-piece coming from Finland have recently released their second studio album White Orchid which is filled with memorable and addictive tunes. Their first single release from the second album, Latter Days, has a celestial melody with relaxed vocals that pleasantly break into an energetic chorus. So have a read as AMBY had the pleasure of speaking with Tuomas Asanti from French Films about some gigs in New York, a  legendary Finnish bass player, and Chinese food.

Hello French Films! Thanks for having a chat with AMBY, what have you been up to lately?

FF: After we released our new album in Finland on April 5th we played eight shows there and then head for China to play at Strawberry Festival both in Shanghai and Beijing. Those were our first shows in China and we were received really well so we definitely want to go back there! After China we’ll play few shows in Liverpool and then we’ll start our tour in mainland Europe. We will also get to play our first shows ever in the U.S. in the beginning of June when we’ll go to New York to play four shows.

AMBY: How would you describe French Films’ sound to those unfamiliar with your music?

FF: It’s catchy music with post-punk elements. We all like rock and pop music from the 50’s, 60’s and 80’s (among other decades) and I think that can be heard especially on White Orchid.

AMBY: White Orchid is released May 3rd in Europe! What was the best moment you had while recording it?

FF: We recorded most of the album in a small Finnish town called Porvoo. The recording studio is in an old wooden mansion that has a big hall that can be rented for private parties. When we were done with recording for the day we went downstairs to the hall and there was a party going on. Turned out that a legendary Finnish bass player was celebrating his 60th birthday. He invited us to his party and suddenly we found ourselves jamming with him and his buddies, many of whom were great Finnish guitarists, drummers and pianists. Truly a great evening that inspired us.

AMBY: Does coming from Helsinki, Finland have an influence on your music? And if yes, how so?

FF: I guess the Finnish tendency to melancholy can be seen and heard in our music, mostly as a counter reaction in the form of catchy melodies and longing for summer.

AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?

FF: There are not that many accidents or anything that would have happened to me and none of them are actually that funny. I am more of a chill kind a of guy on the stage, I usually leave the crazy stuff for Joni and Johannes. Did not think about it before but I guess I’m kind of boring to watch on stage, really…

AMBY: If you could hang out with any of your influences for a day, who would you choose?

FF: Nicke Andersson from The Hellacopters.

AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?

FF: Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are you experienced? and Rauli Badding Somerjoki’s Ikkunaprinsessa.

AMBY: Where did the name French Films come from?

FF: Johannes and Joni had been thinking about a name for the band and when they were talking about French movies they had seen Johannes commented that it would be quite stupid and lame to name a band French Films. So they did.

AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?

FF: Touring is always exciting of course! But probably the most exciting single thing will be the band’s first shows in the U.S. It has always been very hard for Finnish bands to make it there and get name but we are more than willing to work hard to get there again.

AMBY: What would a movie based on the band be called?

FF: Endless adventures of Johnny Säteri and Concrete Virtanen.

AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about French Films that nobody knows?

FF: It is a quite delicate matter but all guys in the band have an addiction. We all are addicted to Chinese food. I mean really, really addicted.


Thank you French Films, for giving us your answers!

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Madison Atout

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