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INTERVIEW: Louise Aubrie

Hi Louise, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you so much. I’m great thanks – really enjoying the overwhelming response to my new music – it’s really special.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “On The Run”?

Sure! ‘On The Run’ is inspired by the classic 1963 Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn film “Charade”. It’s a comic thriller, which is how I think most of us could describe our lives. Cary Grant plays an undercover agent investigating a group of criminals, and Audrey Hepburn is the widow of one of the gang, completely unaware of anything her late husband was involved in, and also of Cary Grant’s real identity. In the movie he has four different aliases, but they are falling in love regardless – each time he changes his name, she just seems to love him more. The opening lyric of the song sets up the whole story:

“I don’t know where we are tonight; is this your other life? It’s crazy – what a way to fall in love”

The theme of the song is really about trust i.e. even when you don’t know the whole truth about someone, can you trust them, and will they be there for you? Something I think we can all relate to.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Watching ‘Charade’ one rainy afternoon when I really didn’t want to go out into the cold and wet – it was the perfect antidote! I was really drawn to it and before I knew it, I started writing about the characters.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

It was hugely enjoyable. I worked on the concept with Duncan Catterall from DC Audio Visual – we wanted to leverage the vintage style and also the graphic style from the movie. Duncan very cleverly weaved in the graphics that are used in the movie’s title sequence into our video. I had a vintage look, and each of the band members represented one of Cary Grant’s aliases in the movie!

The single comes off your new album When I Don’t Love I’ll Let You Know – what’s the story behind the title?

The whole record is inspired by Cary Grant movies, and the title comes from a line he says to Ingrid Bergman in the 1946 Alfred Hitchcock thriller ‘Notorious’. He plays a US government agent who recruits Ingrid Bergman as a spy. They fall in love but she says to him at one point “this is a funny kind of love affair. I’m madly in love with you but you don’t love me” because he doesn’t want to admit to her, or really to himself, that he has fallen in love with her. And when she says that to him, he replies with ‘when I don’t love you I’ll let you know’. I just found that such a great line.

There is also a track on the album called ‘In Your Heart’ which is influenced by ‘Notorious’.

How was the recording and writing process?

With respect to the recording process, my last album was made at Abbey Road which was a wonderful experience, and in a way it was hard to know where to go from there – maybe the most famous studio in the world. So I decided to change trajectory and almost do a 180 and make this record a lot smaller and more intimate; not in the sound of the songs, which I think are really full, but in the recording process. I definitely wanted to be more hands-on with respect to the arrangements and the recording process itself, and to be as involved as I could be, so I kept the team deliberately small.

It’s always good to keep exploring different avenues and writing with new energy. I had a slightly different approach with this record – having a jumping off point of other people’s stories rather than drawing directly from my own life gave me a different perspective and a new experience that I think really shows in the music. It’s a lot more cinematic and dramatic, for obvious reasons. Music and film are so interlinked and to be able to draw from these beautiful pieces was thrilling.

I felt very connected to the songs for two reasons: firstly, that I was much more involved in the arrangements than I ever have been before – writing not only the melodies, but keyboard parts, bass parts etc so I felt more connected to the songs. Secondly, that I was emotionally affected by the people I was writing about – this record is very special to me for those reasons.

What was it like to work with Andy Woodard and how did that relationship develop?

I met Andy a few years ago through Tom Edwards, who was my Musical Director, as well as someone I loved dearly. As you probably know, Tom very sadly passed away at the beginning of 2017 while on tour with Adam Ant. Before his passing, Tom, Andy and I had already started discussing this new record and working on it together, so after that, it just sort of made sense for Andy and I to continue.

It was the first time I’d worked with Andy on the recording side of things (although we’d played gigs together) and it was such a relaxed, easy ride. Obviously, at the start we were feeling our way around each other and what kind of sound we were aiming for but it came together really quickly. Once we’d found our footing, it was a joy if at times also rather sad as we were grieving someone we loved. I am sure Andy and I will work together again (if he will have me!!).

How much did he get to influence the album?

Well, Andy is a hugely talented musician. He is best known for being Adam Ant’s touring drummer, but he is a multi-instrumentalist and you’ll often find him playing guitar or bass at gigs around London and Europe, as well as singing and playing the drums. As far as influence, he definitely helped shape the overall direction and because he was mixing and producing, his style, along with mine, is stamped all over it and I’m very proud of that.

What role does Hollywood play in your music?

Hollywood became a real theme for this new record. I am a huge fan of cinema and whilst writing these songs, I would imagine them being played over closing credits so that I could be sure I was getting the right feeling. I live mainly between New York and London, but I have always spent a lot of time in LA (my partner at our record label, Carrot Bone Records, is now based in LA although we originally met in New York). I love this business – I love the silver screen and it is a constant source of inspiration.

What made you want to name the record after several films?

Well I became intoxicated with Cary Grant. He may not be the most obvious muse for an indie rock record, but he’s someone I admire greatly. I’m a huge fan of his movies and perhaps a bigger fan of what he did with his life off screen. He’s very well known for being a master of invention, or rather reinvention. He came from very humble beginnings in Bristol and ended up being a huge transatlantic movie star. I think every artist has a dream of who they want to be and Cary Grant famously said: “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until I finally became that person.” I found this deeply inspiring.

What were some of the films that serve as a source of inspiration?

I’ve mentioned ‘Notorious’ and there are also a couple of other classic Hitchcock films in there – “North by Northwest”, which inspired the track “What If”, and “Suspicion” which inspired the track “Hard To Bear”. And to add a lighter element, there is also “An Affair To Remember” (which inspired ‘It Was No One’s Fault But Mine I Must Confess’ and “The Awful Truth” (which inspired ‘La La Love’) which is an original screwball comedy!

What aspect of love and trust did you get to explore on this record?

Whilst watching these movies, I found the stories so engaging and so simple. I don’t mean that in a negative way – I mean without CGI, without special effects, just pure depictions of life, love and truth. There are very clear themes running through the album: identity, suspicion, misunderstanding, regret, love and truth. I started to think: ‘how many times do we hear today that people aren’t quite who they say they are or who they appear to be?’, or they spin someone a line to get an advantage, especially in this digital age of social media, where often all we know is an image on a screen that often may not mirror reality. So these stories may be from the mid 20th century, but I’m not sure anything has changed in the human condition; it’s very telling.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Although the jumping off point was the movies, they soon morphed into elements of my own life, and certainly my relationship with Tom was a big influence.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m going to New York again shortly, and then I’ll be back in the UK later this summer and I am sure we’ll have some great shows lined up!

What else is happening next in Louise Aubrie’s world?

Well I am thoroughly enjoying the promo for this album that I love, but I am also already writing the next one! In the past, I’ve given myself a decent breathing space before diving back in but this time I’ve already got some demos in the can so I am really excited about that and building on all the support we’ve had!

Louise Aubrie / On The Run (YouTube)

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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