Three dudes who aren’t actually teenagers, this trio is making music that sounds like the soundtrack to an arty porno flick.
Irony aside, The Teenagers really are obsessed with adolescence. Laid over lo-fi electro-drone, their lyrics relay late-night walks, hand holding and snogging in cinemas. But when Quentin, the lanky lead vocalist starts reciting (in that French “I’m-so-bored” electro-talk way), of sleazy exploits with American sluts and other much ruder words, it gets funny.
The combination sniffs of that quintessential Gallic geek chic a la sexy Serge Gainsbourg. And it works. You could hear the collective sighs as Dorian (guitar), Michael (bass) and Quentin shuffled onto the stage. Girls with severe black asymmetric haircuts, braces and mini’s were heard to say: “I wish Quentin was my boyfriend!” While legions of skinny boys have adopted the tight jeans, short black hair and heavy-framed specs that two of the Parisian ex-pats sport.
With all the hype surrounding them you wouldn’t guess The Teenagers have only just released their first single - the foul-mouthed anthems ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Fuck Nicole’. The stories circulating have them pinned as a fashion band that started on MySpace. Clash burst some bubbles in the tell-all Teenagers interview.
Quentin moved to London to pursue a fashion career
“I graduated from business school, and I didn’t know what else to do. I was not a teacher or economist, so I just went to business school, which was the high road to boredom. I moved to London because it was a way of avoiding settling down in Paris. So I worked in a shop then started working for Burberry because someone I knew was working there. It was just sales. I ended up there by chance and was fired just before The Teenagers started.”
They are a fashion band
Quentin: “I think someone said that we were a fashion band but I don’t know why, just because we wear things that are matching!”
So they say, but during the fashion shoot they’re not happy with thr choice of outfits on offer. A neon geometric t-shirt is rejected as they don’t want to look like “fluokids”- fair enough. At one point the confident and camp Quentin disapproves of Michael’s outfit, saying he looks like an “office boy”. “We’re shy boys- we’re self conscious.”
They formed during Christmas 2005 with a fake MySpace page for a fictional band.
Quentin: “That’s not true. I think journalists just say that to make us sound more interesting.”
Micheal: “We made the song, then we made the lyrics and then the MySpace page.”
Dorian: “But we did write the lyrics of the first song ‘Fuck Nicole’ and created the MySpace on the same night at Christmas.”
They posted lyrics on the site as a response to MySpace messages, the first from a girl called Nicole, which started with lyrics then became the song ‘Fuck Nicole’
Quentin: “We made our MySpace and then just a minute after we got a friend request from someone called Nicole. I was like, “this is stupid she doesn’t even know me, fuck Nicole.” And then I thought it was a good name for a song.”
If it was Jet singing lyrics like “I fucked my American cunt” they would be called Neanderthal thugs, The Teenagers only get away with it because they are French.
Quentin: “We were talking about this today- we don’t sound ridiculous because we are singing in English in a French accent. If we sang it in French we would sound ridiculous. You know the band Vive La Fete? Their lyrics are actually stupid but because they are not French it’s great. It’s not our language so there is a distance between the words and the meaning for us.”
They’re lyrics are misogynistic
Quentin: “It’s a joke- it’s not serious. If they don’t understand our humour they shouldn’t be listening.”
Scarlet Johansson loved the song ‘Starlett Johansson’ and asked them to play at her birthday party.
Quentin: “We haven’t met her! We would love to - hopefully she’s heard the song, that would be amazing but it hasn’t happened yet.”