Anne Pigalle’s music has been compared to Edith Piaf’s. And while there is certainly a resonance and a taste of the smoky nightclubs of Paris in her voice, there is more to it than that. The singer has an incredible range and texture to her voice, which is part cabaret, burlesque, avant-garde and erotic. She has worked with Leonard Cohen and John Lee Hooker. She played an intimate show at Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, where a few Hollywood celebrities attended, among them Iggy Pop and Courtney Love. She is above all a singer and performer who makes you think. She has a show on at the moment in London.
Anne met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about cabaret and transgression.
How important is the erotic and cabaret in your music?
Well, My musique has been influenced by cabaret for sure, and others, there the definition of cabaret is an entire other interview on its own ,
my Amerotic poems and Amerotic photography, influenced by eroticism ( âme means soul in French )
I make a point of saying I don’t just deal with eroticism, but ameroticism.
My art and my life comes in different chapters:
first there were the songs, then the Amerotic, I mean the first album Everything could be so perfect… and now L’Ame Erotique, The Cd of poems, these are 2 different entities and periods,
even if I can say that I was always interested in both in my childhood and in my adolescence, which one came first ?
Both have a moan attached to them, only the Amerotic felt like an ejaculation
Ps : “came about with an ejaculation feelings”, meaning, very fast and unexpected, so you could of course argue : is ejaculation an unexpected experience ?
I had to explain a bit more…I never really planned the art and poetry in the way I plan the music…
Your performances occupy a surreal and ancient space, your voice is transgressive. Do you feel some audiences experience erotic thresholds when you perform?
Hard for me to tell what’s the audience thinks or feel; I do hope it is a slightly different experience for them…because that’s what I aim for
I remember a Japanese fan saying that listening to my voice had a calming effect on him/her ( sorry cant remember gender )
Do you think the modern music industry is passionless?
I left the music industry a long time ago, because the charlatans are not even entertaining any longer, too self serving…
I mean , if your product doesn’t have anything real about it, or a grain of truth at least, or not even very very clever at faking truth,( which is not the case ), where are you going?
I am aware that most of the masses these days couldn’t give a shit, they just want to buy anything advertising is selling them, they do not want to think for themselves any longer, so it is time for Miss Pigalle to come back and make a point, ALL GOOD MUSIC has always been against the establishment in one manner or another…
I have been working on a new album, it is taking some time, but then again , it is art, not just product.
“they” are passionate about money, but not about music any longer, and that just wont do.
An original, once copied, becomes a fake. Then we consume junk food rather than the cuisine of a chef. Are you tired of your imitators? There was a recent issue with Lady Gaga.
Well , I did get annoyed for a brief moment at seeing some of my ideas lifted as straight as I put them out there on the net ( she’s not the only one and you have to understand some people are in charge of gathering ideas , it is nothing new in the industry ), but I don’t care anymore, I have more important things to deal with, I feel we really don’t do the same job, and it always comes out in the wash, as we know…
What is your current musical project?
As I said, many projects, release of L’Ame Erotique – poems – but they have musique to them – on Feb 1st,
working on this new album, 10 songs, the last 20 years of my life, so not light weight…
My most precious, my inside, I can’t say too much about it, obviously, it’s taking me ages to realise and complete it, but I think it’s worthwhile, for myself and the public, the full journey of Anne Pigalle, that can’t be copied, or faked, for sure…
Do you challenge the restrictions placed on women in your music?
Well women can play bimbos if they wish, no shortage of this in the music industry, but there are no restrictions, only the ones you impose yourself…
so many fabulous female singers from early middle age troubadours to Janis Joplin, Edith Piaf, Mae west, Nina Simone, I mean I have a full collection..But today …I pass…
I don’t know why that is.. it’s not only in music, but music breaks grounds art can’t; in the art world ( and i’m gonna get screamed out for that ) it’s been harder for women, Frida Khalo, yes, but maybe men have a different kind of intellect, women are more nurturing, women have more difficulty to deal with Death..I’m not mentioning the quacks…
I try…I just keep a totally honest attitude to what I do, I cannot do it in any other ways, this is why I left the big producer, this is why the road has been tough, but God ,as Bukowski said :”I got my 5 goddamn minutes “, and he wasn’t talking about fame
Is there a particular incident that has changed your life and influenced you as an artist?
Not just one;
I’d say :
witnessing injustice and oppression of the people,
Being hit on the head for wearing eccentric clothes
Experiencing true Love
Meeting different interesting people such as Donald Cammell,
Meeting some lovely people across the world on my travels that brings you back a sense of faith
Making a promise to myself after waking up in the big earthquake in LA, that something had to be done
Is music as Orsino said, “the food of love” and is there ever excess of it?
I don’t see music as food of anything, I see music as a spiritual and physical need, a kind of interractive religion with oneself and the world,
Baudelaire said ; “La nature est un temple…etc…”
What makes you passionate?
Passion is in my music, in my art…
They say you can’t describe music,
I try to describe a bit of passion in my poems… Listen to Red like Envy for example…
What is the favourite advice you’ve been given and can transmit?
” don’t ever give up ! ” film director Barbet Schroeder on my 30th birthday …
Thank you Anne for a rich and classic interview.
The fabulous chanteuse Anne Pigalle returns with a new exhibition of artwork, Is There Life After Sex?, which will be on show at Natalie Galustian Rare Books, 22 Cecil Court, London, from February 1st-21st.
Following on from the great success of Anne Pigalle’s last exhibition (at the Michael Hoppen Gallery), Is There Life After Sex? is a must-see show which will continue her discourse on relationships and the important role of sexuality in our lives.
Anne Pigalle will also be holding one of her legendary Salons, on February 14th, where Anne will perform a choice selection from her acclaimed erotic poems L’Ame Erotique. For those who wish to experience something new, important and very special, I suggest they go along to see the Last Chanteuse Anne Pigalle. Check here for details.