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Things I Have Learned

Ooh La La: French Electronic Duo Air On Sex Music
Ash O'Keeffe , March 16th, 2010 08:58

Jean-Benoît Dunckel talks to Ash Dosanjh about the politics of music and sex, what’s the ultimate turn-off and how not being the overly confident member of Air makes him no lothario

I have no doubt that Moon Safari is responsible for the conception of every child in 1998

It was a catalyst. It just helped. But it’s true, I’m sure of it, because it’s non-aggressive music and it was really fashionable. I remember when it came out in London I was shocked by the response it got. It was almost scary.

I can understand why people find it easy to have sex to Air’s music

Because we did ‘Sexy Boy’ the relationship between sex and Air’s music has been totally noticeable since the beginning. Since we came out people have been coming up to us to say, ‘Yeah, I make love on your music’. And it’s true, it is music that helps to caress. Because the atmosphere is really, like, loungey, warm and pretty easy-going. It’s the perfect music to help to seduce someone because it’s really sweet and really calm. There’s a lot of space on the music so you can speak over it too. And it’s elegant and it used to be fashionable, so it’s cool. But I don’t understand how you can do that, because when I make love I’m concentrating on what I’m doing, I can’t hear any music around me. You have to concentrate on what you do.

I often use our songs to escape to a world that I couldn’t really live or love in

We are humans and we are frustrated too. We’re attracted to girls and sometimes we can’t do anything about it because we are in another relationship. Sometimes the best way to be faithful in reality and unfaithful in another dimension is to do a song about a woman and how much you desire this woman because it helps you to stay normal, I think. The inspiration for a song, when it’s about love is always linked to something real. But I don’t mean that what is written in a lyric is true. For example you can be in love with a girl in real life and then you start to write about it and finally you can finish the song by singing the contrary of what you think because it sounds better. It’s always linked to reality but it’s not the true story. For example I could sing in a song ‘I hate you’, but it means 'I love you'.

I would never say that I’m a womaniser

Of course our music has made me more attractive to people. But I’ve never taken advantage of such situations, especially in the early days, because I had children already and I was with someone. I stayed with her for 15 years and it was a really serious relationship. I was totally not interested in going out with anybody. This is why we as a band have been successful too, because we worked so much and we’ve not been disturbed by love stories at all. We were just trying to be serious and not watch girls.

It was easy to ward off unwanted attention because I have no confidence in myself

This is my problem. When we started out I didn’t realise that some woman could be interested in me so I never noticed that something could happen. Success and shows is a really helpful way to find somebody because you meet a lot of people and you have a name. But the only thing is, when you do a show and girls come backstage you know that those girls are not the best. They are the worst because they dare to come. You know what I mean? They are impolite and crazy to come, so it creates a lot of problems. The coolest ones, the prettiest ones, the real clever ones, they have a boyfriend already, or if they are really clever they wouldn’t dare to come and meet us backstage.

You need to make sure that you go out with someone that likes you for you

If you go out with a fan, when you fall down, and you’ll always fall down, your love is falling down too. And money can’t buy love and real love is mysterious. So the equation is not solved.

It’s an abuse of power for people in bands to fool around with fans

Some people meet through the internet or friends, so there’s always something artificial making people be together. At the end of the day, if you really love this person and she really loves you then it doesn’t matter whatever way you met. But I feel that it’s not very elegant to do that.

We probably owe much of our success in Air to the Iron Lady as we do to the perception that our songs our sexy

Thatcher was really unpopular because she changed all the businesses and the economy in England and she closed all these mines. On the other hand she helped Great Britain to modernise so much so that London became a really powerful city because of the financial markets. Because Europe was a market place in between Wall Street and Asia, Great Britain became raised and the economy became really good and the pound became really powerful and the economy changed. Because of that it was a sort of a golden age for Great Britain from ‘’96/’97 to 2002. People were tired of rock and roll and at this time, musically, they wanted to have something new, not rock and roll any more. A lot of the young generation were interested in lounge music. So there was a fashion in London for clubs that were loungey clubs. So when we came out we were totally the target. The audience made us big. It was not us. We had been chosen. So I think the Moon Safari sex thing is linked and sold by economic conditions because it was a golden age and we were elegant loungey music.

I don’t find listening to my own records a turn-on

If a girl asked me to put on my record before we had sex I would say no thanks. I can’t hear Air’s music because it’s like being at work. I would feel very strange because I would be thinking that the girl would only like me for the music that we have done and not for the person that I am. So I’ll just think that she’s a starfucker.

There is definitely an etiquette to playing music in preparation for sex

You should definitely choose what music is played. To choose a record is a matter of seduction. You can see, through music, if you or the person has some resonance on the same subjects. It’s important. If I put on good music I would be really excited, so I would have some light in my eyes and she would see it and it would help.