Date December 24, 2013
Media / Press Gala
Interview by Thomas Durand
Gala: You have just completed your Timeless 2013 tour . Is returning to normal life proving to be more dizzying than embarking on such an adventure?
Mylène Farmer: The end of a tour is always an extremely brutal moment. It’s a bit like the end of an astral journey, you have to reintegrate your body. The shock is commensurate with the emotions shared with the public… But also with the musicians, the dancers, the teams, the associates… It takes time to get back to the rhythm of everyday life. However, I am aware that I am not living a completely “normal” life. The word that comes to mind is “re-taming” time, precisely. You never get used to such a load of emotion. During a tour, the body and the spirit deploy treasures of ingenuity to find strength. Now the time has come for me to let go… And it’s not easy…
The feeling of loneliness, at the end of a tour,
It is neither a pain nor a need, but a reality. After the last show, you have to accept that you no longer have an appointment with thousands of people. This is how. But the ephemeral also makes the stage magical and the exchanges with the public exceptional. The resulting feeling of loneliness is the price to pay.
Gala: You have taken the roads of France, Belgium, Switzerland and even Russia. A change of scenery, questioning your Parisian habits: does this require an effort or is it an expectation?
Mylène Farmer: I like the idea of dating. Going ahead of others with sincerity and being received in such an extraordinary way… It’s a joy and a chance. I guess, like everyone else, I have habits, but that’s really not my specialty. I get bored quickly. Normalcy scares me.
Gala: Aren’t you one of those artists who create rituals on tour?
Mylène Farmer: I will disappoint you! There are no mystical rituals or voodoo incantations! (Laughs) But to be completely honest… I find myself putting everything away, putting everything back in my dressing room, before leaving it. The rest is about focus, work, rehearsals, sports, rest and, most fundamentally, surrounding myself with caring spirits who try to support me
Gala: On stage, you were surrounded by six musicians, two singers and six dancers. Do you feel like you are recreating a family on each tour?
Mylène Farmer: A blended family, in a way. This is an opportunity to find your family and discover newcomers. The connection between all these talents is key. Team spirit helps me a lot. As in any family, we also rediscover each other over time. It is a source of inspiration. A tour is a caravan that experiences intense moments behind closed doors. We separate at the end of the trip with the promise of seeing each other again…
Gala: What were the challenges of this sixth show?
Mylène Farmer: I have a special thought for Mark Fisher who designed the décor. He unfortunately left us before seeing the show. He was a discreet, creative and elegant man. I thanked him every evening… The main artistic challenge was to create intimacy in excess. Humanize technology. Making robots dance to music by Schubert… Integrating them into the show not as “exceptional machines”, but as game partners… Philippe Stegemann, their creator, also achieved this feat… I will never thank enough Jean-Paul Gaultier for his generosity, his madness, his humility. As well as all the teams for their talents. As for the physical effort, I thank my muscles for having absorbed all these aches!
Gala: We have noticed that you now put forward your voice.
Mylène Farmer: It is a long work on oneself. The voice is a revealer of the soul. Brel confessed that for him, singing in front of an audience is abnormal. Terribly immodest. I have always shared this feeling… And yet… It goes through self-acceptance and it takes at least a lifetime to accept yourself, if only a little. I’m not completely at peace with that yet, but the talks have progressed well…
Gala: Love, like an irrepressible “force that goes” according to the Hugolian formula, very clearly permeated the tour. Was it a bias?
Mylène Farmer: For Victor Hugo, love is an abyssal descent that ends in blood. The man in love who destroys everything in his path is moved by a supernatural force. That doesn’t leave much hope. I like to think that this great gentleman also wrote Stella (poem on the rebirth of the world, after its destruction, editor’s note). A glow perhaps? It remains to be seen whether love is of a nature to systematically destroy. I begin to understand why I preferred to disappear at the end of the show in a cloud of smoke! (Laughs)
Gala: In love, the most burning thing for you is: to hope for it, to live it or to cry it?
Mylène Farmer: Do it ! When love comes together in the present, the senses take over. In the past or in the future,
Gala: On this tour, we discovered you smiling, not devoid of humor, even almost voluble…
Mylène Farmer: Sad clowns are no mystery to anyone. But apparently, the funny dark ones remain an enigma! Humor is a precious antidote. I never stopped reminding myself of it, even in the darkest moments. A survival instinct, I guess…
Gala: Pleasure for you today is…
Mylène Farmer: Being free to share the simple emotions of everyday life with those I love or in my tamed solitude… It’s in this freedom that I recognize as pleasure. Between shadow and light, I chose light. I chose a life of freedom. Before the shadow, I know, falls at my feet…
Gala: The Timeless formula was not without evoking the idea of immortality. Is it for you: an ambition? A hope ?
Mylène Farmer: Immortality? Very little for me. Timeless rather evokes timelessness. Getting out of the hourglass allows you to look at life with more serenity and hindsight. In an accelerating world, it’s a luxury too. Immortality is the promise of eternal boredom, right? I leave that to the gods or the madmen… For my part, I live each moment as it comes.
Gala: The show inspired a journey through time. If you could, would you go back in time or project yourself into the future?
Mylène Farmer: Time is a human obsession. Probably man’s greatest sin of pride. The life of a being is an enchanted parenthesis, with long periods of disenchantment. Time is a benchmark that allows us to accumulate memories and gives an impression of coherence to what we live. If amnesiacs disturb, they are no less alive. Happiness is probably hidden in the right to be forgotten.
Gala: Is it your memories or your dreams to achieve that torment you the most?
Mylène Farmer: We have no power over dreams, even awake, they are intrusive… They do not facilitate happiness… My memories leave me in peace, since for the most part I have forgotten them… Buried… .. Lost.
Gala: Are you able to indulge
Mylène Farmer: Indulgence, I don’t think… For me, it’s a posture, a renunciation of one’s instinct. I have the feeling that with indulgence, the other does not exist… Forgiveness seems to me a necessity. To forgive is to take the path of questioning the other and oneself. The path is certainly longer, but essential to happiness. For Buddhists, forgiveness allows them to know that nothing will ever be the same again, the only condition for progress.
Gala: Several times during the tour, you brought young children on stage. You seem extremely comfortable with them.
Mylène Farmer: When I meet their eyes, they upset me… A little girl, in my arms in the middle of this huge scene, moved to tears, is a fragile and strong moment.
Gala: You attended the Cours Florent. If you had the choice: which actor would you play opposite, in front of which director’s camera?
Mylène Farmer: If I had the choice? Steve McQueen in a David Lean film… Or… Idris Elba in a Jane Campion film!
Gala: Your life has already been the subject of rather “romantic” biographies. Are you flattered, amused or irritated to be the “heroine” of certain writings?
Mylène Farmer: I don’t read any biography about myself, but I’m rather amused by the extravagances that circulate. Some people hate a vacuum, so they give free rein to their imagination. This is fantasy, not information. A sign of our time.
Gala: A Capuchin monkey, named ET, shared your daily life for almost thirty years. For more than a year, it has been the turn of a white Swiss shepherd, Liloup, who looks like a wolf. What do these two companions reveal about you?
Mylène Farmer: I consider them intimate. They are sensitive beings for whom only the look is enough. They are proof that one can love beyond words.
Gala: At the end of each of your concerts, you disappeared in a cloud of smoke. You will leave the profession with as much sweetness?
Mylène Farmer: “Please take my hand, don’t keep you waiting, it’s time to hug, it’s time to go out, one last cigarette”. As Saez sings so well… I don’t know how to answer you since… I don’t have the answer myself. Going up in smoke… Anyway… It’s inevitable.
Gala: Is Mylène Farmer an insatiable?
Mylène Farmer: “Remember that Time is a greedy player who wins without cheating, every time! It’s the law.” (she quotes the poem L’Horloge, by Baudelaire, editor’s note) Let’s play a little longer… While waiting for the end of the game.