Five Questions with French Kicks
January 2005
by Ashley Graham

A generous mix of a variety of musical genres creates the sound of French Kicks.  Theyíve been labeled guitar rock, synth pop and post-punk, but none of those seem to fit their particular brand. And neither do the common characteristics assigned to the not-so-wide variety of bands coming from their home state of New York. They donít really buy into the hype of being from New York, they donít dress like the boys in the coffee shops and they maintain a delightfully dry sense of humor, exhibited most clearly, and hilariously, in the What Would French Kicks Do?, W.W.F.K.D., portion of their website.

When front man Nick Stumpf sat down on his end of the computer screen to answer a few questions for The Wig, he had this to say...

The Wig
:  Critics can say what they want about who and what you are; what do you think French Kicks add to the current music scene?

Nick Stumpf
: I donít think you hear other bands that combine sounds the way we do.  I think we take more chances than other bands because we donít feel limited by what we decided at some previous point we were going to be, and also because weíre not that worried about being cool.  I donít think people realize that the punkest thing you can do nowadays is let your mother buy your clothes.

TW
: Are there artists out currently that you admire or particularly like?

NS:  We admire bands that work hard on their songs and have a love for understatement and attention to detail but also know that music is supposed to be fun to listen to.  When people have labored over every note and if itís done right and hasnít degenerated into an intellectual exercise and still makes you feel something, thatís what I like.  I think The Walkmen and The Joggers from Portland come to mind, as do The Strokes.

TW:  Whatís the ideal success?

NS:  Some nice cooked food.

TW: French Kicks can play a show with anyone Ė Whose names are on the bill?

NS:  Okay, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, no wait, Tom Waits, Keith Richards, Ralph Nader, no wait, Penelope Cruz, Pamela Anderson, no, I need more time!

TW:  Whatís next?

NS:  Right now weíve had the longest break from touring in awhile so weíre writing for the next record and starting to rehearse for tours starting in January, and trying to remember what we were thinking when we started doing this in the first place.

French Kicks have dates reaching from Seattle to Southern California for the remaining days of January.  For more information go to
www.frenchkicks.com, and be sure to check out that W.W.F.K.D. section!
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