After it topped our Newborns chart we just had to catch Levitation Free for an interview!
Sebastien Jamet is the brain behind French psychedelic band Levitation Free. Their debut single ‘Paranoïa’ demanded our attention with its juxtaposition of otherworldly sounds with grounded, worldly problems. We managed to grab the rising star for this in-depth interview where he tells us about his inspiration, style and plans for the future.
Tell me briefly how and when Levitation Free was created?
Levitation Free was created during the summer 2015 after spending three weeks at the Reeducation center of Peyrefite, a wonderful place by the South coast of France. With other volunteers, I was helping disabled people who suffered of Tetraplegia/Paraplegia to Scubba dive. This experience really hit me like a Britain wave, they were no longer chained to their chairs nor freaky materials but they could feel free again in total weightlessness. A couple months Prior, I was attending the Austin Psych Fest called Levitation which also Inspired me the name along with a German Kraut rock Band that I loved at the time, named Agitation Free.
‘Paranoïa’ has a very distinctive neo-psych vibe; with the guitars at the opening, high vocals and change of pace in the first verse. Are bands such as early Tame Impala, Pond and Unknown Mortal Orchestra influences on you?
I’ve always been a dreamer and a travel lover, so when I discovered Psychedelic music through my step father who was a huge fan of Pink Floyd, and later Tame Impala among others, I instantly got amazed by the fact that I could travel the world by staying in my apartment. So I think the atmosphere definitely inspired me and it is the sound I’ve always been looking for.. A sound where you can project yourself wherever and whenever you want..
You made sure that ‘Paranoïa’ was released on the anniversary of the Bataclan attacks. Does this tragedy still hang over you, as a French artist, and do you use it to inspire your art?
I think it inspired me unconsciously. The day this happened I had to go to Germany for work early in the morning, I remember looking around the streets, you could read the paranoia on peoples faces. I will never forget how people gazed at each other and then in the train, I remember having the introduction bass line of the track in my head. As soon as I came back home I recorded it and started to work on that song. I don’t think it still hangs over me but I will never forget that atmosphere.
Tell me briefly about the making of the video for ‘Paranoïa’?
Before that video, I always directed my own music videos with friends of mine. This time I wanted to have someone else film it for me, and as I love taking risks I asked on facebook if anyone knew a good director with only one condition, being connected to nature. Among many recommandations I was strucked by the images of Victor Morisse, a very young laidback dude. I called him, felt a good vibe between the two of us so I didn’t ponder any longer. He lives by Royan, a beautiful city by the west coast of France where I used to camp with my Mom when I was younger. So I asked her if she wanted to join and off we went, stayed 5 days at my aunt’s who luckily lives there too and we recorded the video in couple places among which the Aquarium of La Rochelle and the Pilat’s dune. The first night, we met at a bar, scribled on a paper a scenario we had in mind and Ideas just flowed. The craziest part was the last shot of the video where I had to jump off an 8 meters Cliff with rocks bellow. We were supposed to shoot that scene the penultimate day but we arrived too late in the morning, the tide was already too low, leaving a depth of only 1m20, so we decided to do it the last day. The thing is the tide was as low as the day prior but I had no choice, so I jumped. Well, I had the choice, we always have the choice, even more considering that I’ve heard this kind of stories so many times at the reeducation center. But I guess I’m a little fucked up in my head.. it was a rough landing but we made it, I even did a second round, for fun.
You also featured on a fantastic track ‘So Strong’ by AGAV earlier this year, how was that?
AGAV is the project of Mathieu, one of my best friends. We grew up together in Bretagne and both began playing guitar in our 20s. We never abandoned music which makes us even more connected to each other and even happened to have a band together 4 years ago named Dropout. We try to help each other as much as possible and often collaborate. We worked on that track one night that I was at his place in Rennes, he wanted something in English, so I made a chorus and a verse, something that tells how together, we can be..
Can you give us any clues about the upcoming The World Is In Your Hands EP; when is it set for release, and is another single going to drop soon!?
The release should be set for the end of January and another single should be released before that.
It is going to be very melodious, dreamy and psych friendly. It will deliver honest, intimate, deep and optimistic messages that reflects experiences I had and people I met.. Something that I feel in my deepest self, a mindset that always helped me look forward and not backward. I think everything is possible, I think the world is in our hands.. Well, I’m a dreamer, but am I really?