Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MORGLBL! The CHRISTOPHE GODIN interview!

Several months back, you may remember me talking, effusing, rambling on and basically frothing at the mouth about a band I’d seen at Orion Studios in Baltimore. This band was France’s MORGLBL and what they presented me with that night, as well as on their new disc “Jazz For The Deaf” was a massive hybrid crush of jazz fusion, pulverizing distorted metal guitar, musicianship that could make any so-called “prog” band take extreme pause and a wicked sense of humor. It was via that show and repeated listening to that album, as well as MORGLBL’s previous 3 discs that Christophe Godin was very quickly raised to the level of one of my very favourite guitar players of any style. So, imagine my delight when the man himself agreed to sit down and field some questions from this scribe’s humble pen. And so it went…



RAY - You guys come from a lot of different musical directions: jazz, metal, prog, etc. You must have had pretty extensive records / CD collections, am I correct? Some Pantera discs in there along with the Holdsworth, right?

CHRISTOPHE -I have all Pantera cds as well as all Holdsworth's too ;) I have been raised as the youngest child of a family and both my brother and sister were listening to a lot of different things. Plus, my mother was a classical musician. I guess the mix in between all those influences built up my tastes. I like to describe the stuff we play as humorous jazz metal for deaf people.

RAY - Were your parents or families into music?

CHRISTOPHE - My mom played the mandolina at a high level, and she has a very large culture in classical music.

RAY - I was in France about 15 years ago in La Ciotat & Lyon. I ate a lot of lamb there, is that common or do you think the people I was staying with had some sort of sheep fetish? Is France a place where men are men and sheep are frightened?

CHRISTOPHE - Well, that is quite a deep question, and I read quite a lot of books about sheep history, and about the history of France, and seemingly, there are some intriguing things that might take me to share your opinion. Anyway, I will keep on searching and probably release a documentary about this topic very soon...

RAY - Ok, I give up! What the hell does MORGLBL mean? The “M” and the “O” (with the umlaut) look kinda “metal.”

CHRISTOPHE - No umlaut on the M sir !!!!!! Anyway, it has really no meaning. It's just the first group of letters that came to my mind when I was asked for a band's name. The strange ways of our brains...

RAY - If you were given the chance to play through anybody’s guitars / equipment, other than your own, who’s would it be?

CHRISTOPHE - Well, I'd love to have Jeff Beck's hands and brain for a few days...

RAY - Ok, the dreaded “tech” question! For the musicians in the readership, what kinds of gear do you all use?

CHRISTOPHE - I plug a Vigier Excalibur Supra guitar into a Laney amp (mostly a GH50L, a Laney VH100R or a VC50 combo), using a Rocktron Wha pedal and a small Zoom delay unit and that's it !!! I'm definitely into very simple things, and my guitar rig is not very exciting for equipment ;) When I play acoustic, I'm using Godin guitars.

RAY - Even though your stuff is instrumental, the songs seem to take on a real distinct “character” and feel. A lot of instrumental bands can’t do that and all the shit runs together. How are you able to avoid this? Are you just that good? For instance, the old one “Le Fantome De Savoie,” it just sounds like the whole mountain/spirit thing.fans ;)

CHRISTOPHE - We really try to tell a story with each song, and I sometimes even write some lyrics to have an overall mood, and the song becomes the soundtrack to those words. I think one other important point is that we all compose. Most of the time, there's one leader who gives the band his direction. In the end, it sounds a little monotonous, and very few skilled composers can avoid this like Frank Zappa for example. In Mörglbl, everyone brings his own universe into the band's music, and accept the fact that his ideas are going to be interpreted in a different way by the others. I think that's an interesting way to build up a strong musical statement, and to create your very own sound.

RAY - I heard that Hendrix, Noel Redding & Mitch Mitchell used to try to actually out-play each other & make each other screw up for fun. Do you guys ever do that or are you more polite to each other?

CHRISTOPHE - We are very polite and respectful to each other. We are very well educated persons... Well...

RAY - Are there any MORGLBL groupies? Do a lot of women like your stuff or is it more of a guy “gear / player” type thing?

CHRISTOPHE - Honestly, there are not that many women, but surprisingly, we probably have more women in the audience than most other fusion rock bands, because our drummer is gorgeous and sexy!

RAY - What gave you the idea to take classic rock songs and MORGLBL-ize them? When I saw you at Orion, for instance, you did a jazzy version of “Highway To Hell.”

CHRISTOPHE - I used to play in a cover band a long time ago when we would take a lot of rock standards and play them in a Motörhead way. It was really funny, as well as a good method to reinvent songs. Plus it was refreshing to hear new versions for the audience. You can never top the originals, so that's a cool way to pay tribute to the masters without taking the risk of comparison.

RAY - You’re over here in the USA for the 2nd time, is that right? Are you getting a good response? I hadn’t even heard of you until a friend of mine told me to go to the Orion show & I ended up being so blown away that I bought all your discs that night.

CHRISTOPHE - I played many times in the US for Laney, and Mörglbl tours for the third time thanks to Blue Mouth Promotions. We are back in August for the fourth time. What I like about the US audience is that people are open minded, and ready to listen to a lot of different genres if the quality is good. The barriers between styles are not as strong as they are in Europe. For us, it is both surprising and emulating !!!

RAY - How about France, do you gig a lot there? Europe? What about Japan, they love hot guitar stuff over there? And, of course, Oriental women are foxy!

CHRISTOPHE - We have quite a good following in France, and around Europe. UK is in the plans for next year. We toured Russia a couple of time. Asia is quite far and at the moment, we have nothing planned there with Mörglbl. I tour a lot in Asia for Laney, and in a way, I do some promo for the band at the same time.

RAY - What’s next for MORGLBL, a new album in 2010 maybe? How about your other projects, Christophe, can you give us a summary of them and what is going on with them?

CHRISTOPHE - We will release a live DVD in 2010, and I will record an acoustic guitar album with another guitarist named Olivier roman Garcia. I also reactivated my metal band, Gnô, and we will definitely work on some new material for a second album. I have my solo project, Metal Kartoon, that I am still working on. But I can do it all at the same time, so I pick up one or two projects per year, but Mörglbl is my main thing !!!

RAY - Tell us the craziest MORGLBL story ever! The wildest thing that’s ever happened to you guys, either on tour, in the studio, etc.

CHRISTOPHE - Well, we played in Georgia for ...one person !!!!!! We did a full length show (about two hours and a half), had fun, and shared a huge amount of pints of beer with him !!!! In the end, that's a real cool thing to remember ! He came to us and told us he had the best band in the world (he was really drunk...) playing for him and hugged us forever !!!!!!!!

RAY - Any final comments?

CHRISTOPHE - Well I thank you a thousand times for your interest. Thanks to people like you, we get a chance to exist and build up a fanbase. We need exposure as we have no support from the regular commercial networks, and we owe people like you quite a lot.


I would strongly advise anyone reading this site who is into purely kick ass music revolving around killer musicianship, ass-busting riffs and destructive lead guitar work to check out MORGLBL now. “Jazz For The Deaf” is right up their with the best of 2009 so far and anything with the words “Christophe Godin – guitar” inscribed on it should be considered mandatory.

http://www.christophegodin.com/

www.myspace.com/morglbl

1 comment:

Tom Dougherty said...

It is interesting that this interview was done in August 2009 and no one has made a comment. Well, in August 2009, Morglbl was unknown to me. Only in the past few months have I become aware of them and they are one of my most favorite bands. Their CDs get heavy playing time in my car and at home. Anyone who wants to hear kick ass songs by outstanding musicians should give them a listen. Morglbl rules!!!