Interview Calibre 12

INTERVIEW CALIBRE 12 ( author : Philippe Archambeau May 2005 )
Calibre 12 website: http://calibre12band.chez.tiscali.fr

Hi, here we are, CALIBRE 12 is back. This special event will take a big place in the French rock n’ roll story.
We got, six months ago, a nice compilation cd ; and now here’s the new studio cd, six years after “Toujours là”.

Philippe Archambeau : Before talking about this new cd, can you tell us what did happen to Calibre 12 since “Toujours là”, the last cd ?

John : So, it’s been a long time. We got high and low moments since “Toujours là”, because, at this moment, Jean-Marie the other guitar layer decided to leave the band as soon as the beginning of the recording ; that’s why it was hard to record and hard to get a real good hope in such an album. Happily, we three others still got the feeling and Calibre 12 went back on tour, for two years, as a power trio. We are back nowCalibre 12 with a second guitar player, that is better for the music we play.

Philippe Archambeau : Why did you decide to go back in the studio ? Your friends’ pressure ? The idea to get a new cd ? or only pleasure ?

John : It’s hard to get the right answer to this question, because I think it’s different for every member of the group. For me, I’m quite sure it is because I had the deep feeling that we didn’t finish the job last time, and we had many more things to prove !

Philippe Archambeau : How and where this new cd has been recorded ?

John : Like for our two others cds, “A bout portant” and “Toujours là”, we went to record “Dernière salve” to the studio Drakkar at Thoiré-sous-Contensor. Gilbert Thiery did record the cd in less than four days, then he made the mix, and now everything’s OK.

Philippe Archambeau : Can you tell us how do you work in the studio. Who writes the songs ?

John : I must say that, like in many southern bands, the guitar players create most of the songs. We record in a classical way, first bass guitar-drums and rhythm guitars live in the studio ; then the choruses and the lyrics. We’d enjoy to bring some keyboards parts in some songs, but we didn’t get time enough. However, the sound is like what we play on stage !

Calibre 12Philippe Archambeau : What can you say about this album ? Is it stronger, harder ?

John : Yes, maybe ? I talk about that with Laurent, the bass player, and he told “This album goes right to the main things, right to the heart.”. Everyone sees this album in his own way, but it is sure that this new cd is really different of the two others. It has a different sound, that’s what I think.

Philippe Archambeau : What is your favourite song ?

John : I think it is different for each musician. Jean-Marie’s favourite is its song « Roule, roule, roule » ; for Laurent it is « Comment tu peux faire », and I do enjoy every song, and especially the last instrumental one « Dernière salve ».

Philippe Archambeau : What are your hopes now ? To go on tour, to play in a big festival ?

John : Hmm, I don’t really know. I don’t know what is the best for Calibre 12. I don’t think that the band members want to go on tour. To play in a big festival ? I’d like to, but there is no southern rock festival in France. It is already hard for the blues, country music, hard rock music in our land, so you can imagine how difficult it is here to play southern rock !!! We are far away from our neighbours, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, etc… My only hope is that the people that buy this cd enjoy it !

Philippe Archambeau : For your musician fans, how do you find the sound Calibre 12 ? What are the instruments you play on ?

John : I think that every musician has its own sound, the sound that comes from his fingers, and it is the same for Calibre 12 and for every band.. If ever it’d be easy to take the other groups sound, I think we sure have taken the sound of a Jacksonville band, a group with four Y letters in its name ! We keep our Marshall and Peavey amps, Ampeg bass guitar, Fender and Gibson guitars, and Jack D. to help us to make some southern rock !!! So you can see we are always in the same way, always the same stuff !!!

Philippe Archambeau : Where can we find your album ?

John : Good question…for the moment, the only way is to order it directly to me. Maybe later you can find it in some good records shops, but nothing’s sure for the moment. You can copy it too, but after it’s your conscience, your respect to a band that had to pay full for everything in that stuff!!
For the people that want to buy it, send me a 18 euros bank check (postage free) at John Molet, 24 rue de Verdun 37550 Saint Avertin, email john.molet@wanadoo.fr

Philippe Archambeau : At the end, like every time in a Road to Jacksonville interview, we ask you if you have to finish your life on a desert island, which would be the five albums you take with you ?

John : First I’d prefer not to end my life on a desert island, but if I have to go….I take with me .38 Special “Wild Eyed Southern Boys”, Lynyrd Skynyrd “Last Rebel”, Molly Hatchet “Flirtin’ with Disaster”, Doc Hollyday “Rise Again” and Point Blank “Second Season”. I sure take with me some good old Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker, Bad Company or Ted Nugent bootleg recordings too !

Philippe Archambeau : Can you tell us about Charmont rock festival ? A real southern rock event in France !

John : A real southern rock festival ? I don’t know… but southern rock will sure be present !!! What can I say to you about this festival, maybe that it is one of the best festival Calibre 12 has ever played, nice organisation, good friends, many great bands such as Natchez, Plug n’ Play, the Blackberries this year. Real honest musicians, it is not so usual, so we did really enjoy to play there.

Philippe Archambeau : Thank you, we hope to see you soon on tour in France !

John : Thank you my friend. I hope (and the other musicians too) I can meet again real southern rock fan everywhere, in concerts and festivals…

Philippe Archambeau : Keep on rockin
RTJ Website: http://www.roadtojacksonville.com