29 octobre 2013 par Vincent
Decker and Belle Histoire. Two names I’ve talked about here and here and here, again and again and again. One band, Belle Histoire, and her solo-doing singer, Jane Decker. They who put out two of my favorites records of those last two years.
Was it a reason good enough to get in touch with Jane and organize an interview? Fucking yeah! Of course it was. Some Facebook e-mails later, here we are. With questions and answers, as usual. Music, memories, experiences, hopes, personal paths, personale views, whatever. Words and melodies.
Boys and girls, meet Jane Decker. You will love her.
Of course. I’m Jane Decker. I’m 19 years old, and currently residing in Cincinnati, Oh.
2) So, musically speaking, you’ve got two projects: Belle Histoire, in which you only sing, and your solo music, released under the name Jane Decker, in which you do about everything. Can you tell us a little bit about the creative differences, for you, between those two projects?
JD is all me. I make every decision, and do everything pretty much on my own. In Belle, we were a big team, and worked on everything together. The main difference is that their is a tad bit more weight on my shoulders in JD, which i actually like.
3) How do you know something you write is for Decker or for Belle Histoire?
Belle is definitely more happy upbeat songs, and Jane Decker is literally everything else. Jane Decker is all i’ve been writing for a while, so now everything is starting to sound like it’s for that.
4) Let’s begin with Belle Histoire, if you agree! How old is the band? What is its history? Are you all old high school friends, or something? How the band came to life?
We are about 3 years old (i think). We all met through the most random ways possible. I was planning on just releasing a solo EP under the name « The History » then Aaron, who was helping me record, told me i should start a band, and that he wanted to be a part of it. Between the two of us, we added 3 other members, and called ourselves « Belle Histoire ».
5) « Dreamers », your first album, really made me think about an american band called The Jane Anchor… Do you know them? If not, you should check them out! There is some real similarities between you two. Beside that, what did influenced you guys when you were composing for this album?
I have not, but will have to listen soon. « Dreamers » was really influenced by a lot of random different bands. Anything that was guitar-driven was probably me being influenced a lot by Jimmy Eat World. The other members all have different tastes in music, so the inspiration was pretty much everything.
6) One of the things who stroke me the most when i discovered « Dreamers » was your voice. You sing in a pop-rock band, and still, you have this incredibly lyrical voice… On some songs, it offers an incredible contrast between the genre of the band and the genre of your singing. Did you learnt to sing with a teacher of some sorts? Or was your talent naturally raised? I mean, it’s even more evident with your solo record… Your voice can blow everything around it.
I had a voice coach for the last 5 years or so. I was trained classically, and learned a lot about vocal control from studying so many different genres of music. Unfortunately, my voice teacher passed away a few months ago, and I haven’t brought myself to try and find a new teacher, because I don’t think anyone could top what my voice teacher taught me.
7) Oh, stupid and selfish question, but i just talked about the time when i discovered « Dreamers »… It was actually through an interview you did some times ago with two little girls asking questions… It was kind of fun to watch but i can’t find it back on the mighty internet! Do you remember this interview? Can you help me?
8) While we talk about interview… From France, it’s really hard to evaluate the audience of an american band. Had « Dreamers » been generally well received ?
I mean, no we aren’t raking in the big bucks, but we got a lot of great exposure on « Dreamers ». It was difficult to continue pushing it though, since I was out of town for a little bit right around when it released. Our label, Invogue, seriously helped us so much, that was definitely the main push behind us.
9) Oh, and also, from France, it’s kind of funny to read your band’s name! What is the histoire behind « Belle Histoire »? You’re all just french language amateurs?
The guy recording our EP was with us when i said i wanted to be called « The History ». He started looking at those same words in french, then helped us grab another word to add to « Histoire ».
10) Now that we’re talking about names, we can switch to your solo project! First called « Decker », you recently went for « Jane Decker ». Was it to make it clear that you were alone on board?
It was actually a man from California who also went by the name Decker. He’s been going by that longer than me, and even though Decker actually is part of my name, I decided not to fight it, I’ll always feels like a Jane, so I want people to know me as that.
11) To my ears, while Belle Histoire’s music is quite upbeat and sunny, your solo songs mostly have that tragic and dark feeling around them… First, do you agree with this statement? And if so, why this emotional difference? Is Jane Decker an answer to a creative need you lacked with Belle Histoire’s sound?
I definitely think so. I loved writing music in Belle Histoire, but I think it got to a point where I felt like the music HAD to be happy, and sometimes I’m not happy, which is why i started writing solo music. I could write about whatever i wanted with my solo music.
12) While Belle Histoire’s album is one of my favorites of 2012, your solo EP is already one of my favorites of 2013. Six songs, six heart-killers. I’ve just seen on your Facebook page that you will soon release a new version of it… Can you tell us what there will be on it? Some of the covers you sometimes post on the internet?
It’s still all coming together, but within the next few months, I’ll be re-releasing the EP under Jane Decker, with 2 bonus acoustic tracks. After that I’ll start writing for my next release.
13) A thing i never thought i would say to someone on this blog: you appeared as an auditioner on the american TV show « The Voice ». What was this for? A serious attempt? A way to get the audience interested by your pre-existent music? Just an experiment?
It was mainly a « just see how you do » experience. The most i thought about it, the more i got into the experience.
14) Totally unrelated and out of the blur, but i like to ask this question to the artists i meet… I know you’re from Cincinatti, Ohio. Is your hometown of some importance for your art? Or is it just the place you happen to live, and nothing more?
I really love Cincinnati, I’ve lived here almost all of my life, but I’m also only 19. I plan on moving in a couple years to a city bigger than Cincy, but for right now, this is where i want to be.
15) Ok Jane, we’re near the end… Can you tell us what are the next steps for you? I know about the 2.0 version of your EP, but is there something else? Some Belle Histoire? Some more Jane Decker?
Definitely some more Jane Decker. I’d say Belle histoire is currently on the back burner. Wes is getting married, Mitch is in school, and Austin has a solo project he is working on. We all still love each other, and will play shows if we want, but right now Jane Decker is what i’m passionate about.
16) Ritual question! What are the last record, last book and last movie you really loved?
17) Thank you Jane, we’re done! If you feel like i’ve forgot something, these last words are yours! Thanks a lot, again, and take care!