Dear sixties souls, we are very thrilled to feature a new beautiful soul on Good Morning Keith Diary. Through this interview, discover Félix Ramaën and his work with MNNQNS. He talks about how he came to music and his approach to clothing.
Bang A Gong & Get It On!
We had the opportunity to ask Felix a few questions:
Hey Felix, could you tell us how you came to music?
My parents have great taste in music, I remember when I was young we had this bookcase full of CDs (when I’m thinking about it, it was looking huge but I think in reality.. it was just me being really tiny). They were mostly listening to French music, so that’s how I discovered music with my brother, but the thing that really introduced me into the music I love now were artworks.
I can see myself really young taking out from the bookcase the Changes Bowie compilation.
As I can remember, the artwork was a collage of bowie’s faces during different eras of his career, I first thought it was creepy and this guy was looking so special..
I’ve been thinking this and looked at the artwork cover during years and years.
Around the age of 6, I saw one of my very first gig with my parents and my brother, it was a tribute band of the Beatles. Since this day I knew that I wanted to do and play music. I wanted it to be my job. I wanted to spend time in a van on tour with a band, on this day I discovered much more than music.
Around nine or ten years I saw the video of Starman by David Bowie and directly linked the fact that this guy was one of them on the CD that were surprising me in the living room during many years. I fall in love with the music, the harmonies, the strings, .. And visually because of the playback, Mick Ronson playing electric guitar but it sounds like an acoustic one. Amazed by all this Lurex, silk, boots, long hair and strange haircuts paradise.
I felt a bit ashamed about having the cd in my hands during years but discovering this only at then..
I think it’s funny because looking back.. discovering what you want to be and what you want to do at ten is not that bad (even more when your friends still want to become a knight or fireman as a job and while they’re listening to stuffs like Crazy frog.)
My music tastes were literally growing up in my head really early.
Could you give us your 5 most important records? And maybe 5 that recently caught your attention?
Adagio - Santo & Johnny
In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson
Misery Is A Butterfly - Blonde Redhead
Yeti Season - El Michels Affair
Please Please Me - The Beatles
Mercy - Natalie Bergman
The Forgotten Edge - Molly Lewis
The Archer - Alexandra Savior
The Damaged Organ - AUA
The Nightmare of J.B Stanislas - Garrie Nick
What's your relation with clothes?
I've always been impressed about well dressed people.
To me, "well" includes 'Beautiful', 'Strange', 'different' and 'fancy', there's so many different category of well dressed people haha
For me it is not a question about being seen, showing that you're cool, you're dark or excentric.
Since forever I've loved that because I have always thought that they're people who are not afraid about other's thoughts and opinons.
Which is something hard because I do think that everyone on earth (excepted few peoples) on earth are means, from the day you discover that people can be mean just because of jealousy because you are doing and looking like you want and they're not able to be themselves because they are ashamed about the idea of being different and judged...they're just full of judgment and can be means for any reasons.
It really doesn't matter and that is why I always preferred the difference and beauty than people who are doing things in the easiest way and who are more looking like any others than themselves in the inside.
If you're someone really bad, just wear things like a super villain, it's gonna be cooler than looking like a douche.. no? haha
Do you have any icon when it comes to getting dress?
I do, I'm directly thinking about the impact of Anita Pallenberg on the Stones, also thinking about George Harrison, Bowie, ABBA, The Sweet, Peter Gabriel's stage outfits, .. They're so many!
How do you approach your styling for the stage?
MNNQNS is a rock/post punk band, we used to wear simple stuffs and the cohesion was mostly about wearing black turtleneck top, black pants, and black shoes.
But we're now more going into an experimental music, also psychedelic, more 70s in a way, which is more the universe I'm coming from.
One day we played a Show in Paris at La Gaité Lyrique and I've found a whole burgundy suits, I first thought it could be amazing to wear this on stage, I played the show fully dressed of Burgundy velvet and I was really surprised how much the people in the crowd were talking about it after the show.
From this day it was ok not to wear black only and not to be like all the post punk bands.
Honestly I think things are changing and we're all wearing more stuffs that can represent our own personality better and we're still looking like a whole band, without being all dressed the same. Being in the same mould can be really amazing but it is not always a great idea.
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Black and white stripped T shirt, Neckerchief, black flare, pair of Chelsea boots or Platforms !
Which Beatles dresses the best?
Definitely George Harrison, I LOVE the combinations of patterns and colors on his outfits.
The suits are perfects, from the stripped one he was wearing during the Let It Be session and at Cannes for the premiere of the movie 'Wonderwall' to the Granny Takes a trip jacket with the Golden Lily Pattern from William Morris, the double denims, the fur coats, all those outfits are really amazing.
You recently released "The Second Principle", a new album with MNNQS. Is there anything we could know about?
Our new album 'The Second Principle' was released last month, I'm really proud of this album, Adrian who's the singer and the guy who created the band is writing and working on the base of the tracks. I do think that it is our best released until now.
The name is coming from the scientific law about the Thermodynamic, which refer that everything goes to chaos and destruction.
I think it is something quite actual..since forever and for ever..!
The album was recorded in a studio in normandy, recorded and produced by the band and Robin Plante, mixed by Jolyon Thomas (Slaves, U2, Kendrick Lamar,..) and mastered by Miles Showell (The Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones,...) at Abbey Road studios in England.
Cover photo is made by our great friend Théo Soyez from Italy and Artwork by Léo Ramaën, a great team for a new album!
As a parting question, what would you like listeners to take away from your work?
The experience, I really do think that MNNQNS is a music band that create sensations to the audience.
Even more in live! We're playing long repetitive parts that can put people in trans, playing with strange noises and disturbing rhythmics. It is always great to play and see people's reactions,
Mixing oppression and playing tunes that you could play into a stadium.. they hate it but just few seconds after, they love it.
Support your local independent record store and artists!
All pictures by @julienaussel