- 1) We know you design tattoos and have some yourself. Is there anything different about coming up with a design that will be printed on somebody forever?
The tattoos that I draw are quite symbolic. They are more suggestions… The question is not to know whether the design is ephemeral or forever, but if it has enough content to stand the test of time. I make it, but the drawing is not for me, I respond to a request, same thing when you’re composing a movie soundtrack: I’m adapting myself to the constraints. My drawing is a unique thought for the one who asked me for it.
For more on tattoos designed by CharlElie: CharlElie & Tattoos
- Can you share an anecdote about any of your tattoos?
Last winter, I went to San Diego to visit my daughter. In the street leading to the beach, there were a lot of lit and colorful tattoo shops, pretty far from the greasy dark side of the evil bikers mythology. It seemed as natural to get a tattoo there as to go to the hairdresser. And, by the way, they have an extensive experience on the thing. I had a design in mind that I wanted on the shoulder. One day, when I had some time to waste, I decided to take my chances. The guy was free right away, so I did it. No premonition, no presumption or divination, it happened like that: you want it, you have it! A tattoo is like a scar, it tells a story. A tattoo is a solid link with one’s own origin. Every time I look at this tattoo, I think of my daughter in San Diego…
- 2) Roland Garros, the tennis French Open, is approaching, and we often see you there. Which player will you root for this year?
Well, it is a sensitive issue, a tricky question. There is a great clay court specialist called Nadal, but this guy is as fragile as a precision engineering. He was very disoriented in Madrid because the organizers decided to change the color of the surface, turned to blue this year. Djokovic also was not happy about it, but then, Federer took the opportunity to win the 74th title of his career.
He just got up to the second place of the world ranking, and he is on the track to becoming first. Maybe, it could also create (again) a big surprise in Roland Garros …
- Compared to other big tournaments, what do you think is so special about Roland Garros?
First, the clay of Roland Garros is the slowest of all surfaces that count for the Grand Slam. Players have more time to organize their play. Exchanges last long. It’s a matter of physical strength; it takes a lot of endurance. Plus, it happens in Paris, a magical city that fascinates those who haven’t been there. Winning in Paris is like stepping up in the history of tennis.
- 3) The Fort Reveur Tour ended a month ago; can you share one of your favorite memories?
The tour ended with a somewhat abrupt ending, like a film that breaks in the middle of projection, except that it was on purpose. We got along very well together, and for the latest dates there was as much excitement as for the first ones. The theaters were full and hot. Sure, we could have done a couple more dates, but they would have been stretched out from mid-May to mid-August and I didn’t want to feel like a wave that, despite all momentum, slowly goes on to die on the beach. That is why, I decided to stop at the high point of the Tour.
I remember a lot of dates. Every night was special. Let’s say… The second night at the Casino de Paris was extra-special as Yannick Noah, Louis Bertignac and Benjamin Biolay came to perform on one or another song with me on stage. I also remember Brest, in front of 15 000 people, and Nancy, which was filmed for a DVD that might come out this winter…
There was also a concert this year in March for a music festival in Gaillac/Albi. That night, I was sharing the stage with Sansévérino. I guess he knew my music, but I’m pretty sure that he had never seen us on stage. When the musicians started the sound-check, he was on the side of the stage, tuning his guitars. He didn’t really pay attention to them. Then, I arrived and things were put in place. Suddenly, Stephane (Sansévérino) stopped what he was doing, and went down to the empty hall. I could see him standing in front of the soundboard, and saying: Damn, whaa! That sounds heavy…!
In the evening, the hall was crowded, completely sold out. Sansévérino was playing for the opening. I went on backstage to see him during his performance, and I felt that he had really put all in. Then, we played a magical concert for a white-hot room. We also had a raging set. When I came down, it was late but Stéphane waited for the concert to end to give me a hug before hitting the road with his big bus … Next day, facing the medias, the producer of the festival found graceful words to celebrate that night. Moments like that warm the heart. These are some dates, but we have tones of other memories. This tour was one of the best ones.
CharlElie, May 18th, 2012 – from New York, NY.