'Where You Are and Where You Want to Be was a strange album to make.
It was a strange experience watching it unfold; a happy one, too. It happened fast, but came together late. The period itself was strange.
Nicolas and I are very close and always have been, despite the occasional tuning process. We started working on Grünezeit right after we met, and worked on it non-stop, day and night. Naturally, things changed. We couldn't maintain that pace forever. I moved to Germany for a year, and we had to finish the record via the internet, wherever we could find the time. After I returned to France there were further complications, and then Nicolas went to Germany as well. We did make some music in between (most of which remains unreleased) but these tracks were more like isolated statements; they clearly didn't form anything when viewed together. Yet we felt the need to bring our musical experience to the next stage, and to correct what we saw as mistakes in an album that was starting to grow apart from us. At first, though, it seemed that there wasn't much to be said. No shared experiences were to be found; there was no apparent link between us.
It hit me eventually, that the link was distance. This is what we had in common. A gap. And then, all the gaps we had in ourselves. I started seeing things in terms of distance: How the distance separating me from my father had diminished, only to grow again later on. How I had erased the distances that separated me from certain friends -some of whom I had never met - as well as the gaps that separated me from places I feared, where I had been humbled. Places I was compelled to revisit despite the dread; erasing the physical distance to confront feelings that had been eating me from the inside out. I was bridging the gap that separated me from what I feared and what I loved, and in the process I was capturing precious moments of introspection and growth. Carefully, almost scientifically, I felt I was extracting samples of my life at different stages of its development. I bottled not only places, but also events I was coming to terms with, or ones I couldn't fill myself enough with, as I met people that healed me by simply being there. Elation filled me when I walked in the woods with them at night, remembering a cold reality in which I dreamed of the very moment.
Renewed, the once stale diary was now fresh and up-to-date. The next step was to erase the distance between Nicolas and me so we could gather more ingredients, together this time, and get down to work cooking them. While my personal gathering had been a pleasure as well as liberation, our common gathering was pure bliss. During ten whole days, we captured the distance, tortured it, mocked it, slept on it and played with it at will. We played it on the guitar with huge, slow and sadistic smiles on our faces. We stole locks of hair from the ones we love, ones we met, and made a love-wig out of it, in sound.
We missed night trains on purpose so we could own the entire station, lay in it, walk around it, see it bare and let it give us what we could never have found otherwise. Meeting the sunlight as it came up, half delirious, and watching the empty streets as they woke. Breaking into abandoned buildings and spending hours diving into a lost world waiting there. Room after room, building after building, decade after decade, contemplating the deafening silence of what once was. Ruins became churches where the only soul to be found was a bird on the edge of a broken window. (We'll take care of the hymn.) We let it out. Breathed in. Drinking, smoking, laughing, sleeping, wandering streets at night, following orders from our hearts with the purest of disciplines.
It's all in there.
And there's a whole lot more.
And there's plenty of room left for you to garnish these places just the way you like them, to make them feel like home. Where you are, or where you want to be. Or both.'
released March 1, 2007
Composed, recorded and produced by Julien Demoulin and Nicolas Lecocq. All field recordings were taped on location.