Slow Movement

Pardon Moi: Just timeless music

In Music, Interviews, Slow Movement 1 May, 2018

Alejandro Serrano

Alejandro Serrano


The producers Thomas Freudenthal and James Brook are the band Pardon Moi, after having found in the emerging culture of clubbing in Berlin the ideal time to create without limits. To this day, there are plenty of reasons to say the talent of these two young people. To date, too many reasons to say the talent of these two young, from explosive, through his brilliant productions, up to their delicious collaborations, where they get, around theworld, make surprise, inspire and make us dance till dawn.

Where did the name Pardon Moi came from? Who thought of it, and what it is supposed to mean or represent?

J: When we were throwing around band names one day, this one occured to me. I think we liked its saracastic nature and it seemed pretty yuppie at the time.

T: On one hand, I just loved having something kinda French!  Still, we keep in that wavy double term style like a little cameo of the band names of the 80’s! On the other hand, it is such a funny thing, asking to forgive us our silly foolishness right in advance! Hehe!

How did the band come together?

J: Quite by accident it would seem. I had just been through a rough break-up and needed a place to stay. Thomas kindly welcomed me into his home and we started making music together.

T: Yeah, we just did some jams at my house. Finally, it all developed into something way greater over time! Fortunately!

Your music mixes elements from many music styles… dark wave, post punk, synth pop and so on. How would you describe your music to someone who never heard any of your songs?

J: It’s a retro hybrid of 80’s New Wave and Rock filtered through a modern take on a classic club sound.

T: We create a sound for a modern club dancefloor while not leaving retro, vintage realms!

What was the first idea on you did build the sound of Pardon Moi? Has that sound changed a lot over recent years? What is your music criterion?

J: We didn’t really have a sound in mind in the beginnning. It just sort of evolved along with our writing and live performance. However, we like to challenge and better ourselves and we see each song as part of that journey.

T: I love drawing upon elements of vaporwave, post-internet, lazer & neon. I aim at creating something new, unique and future-oriented, the rest is history!

Your latest album is your most diverse work so far. What was your concept when you started to work on it?

J: Our concept is pretty simple really… we just want to make timeless music that respects the tradition, to give back that great force that has given us so much.

T: We have a 12 inch forthcoming on Slowmotion’s Wrong Era this summer and you are right with this release and further still unsigned productions, we like to experiment more and more on tempo on groove than ever before! We have some downtempo tunes, but also some uptempo space boogie in the pipeline, of course also not to steadily borrow the cliche of around 120 bpm dancefloor music only!

Pardon Moi

And talking about lyrics… what are the main themes and inspirations for your lyrics? Are you always in some sort of writing mode or do you have to plan out when you’re going to write a song?

J: I am always in some writing mode, it’s exhausting sometimes. It’s hard to say really, some songs appear almost complete, some are pieced together while we record, others are a long struggle. However, I find that the songs that come the quickest are usually the best.

T: That’s mostly James’ department and I have large trust in him on that account, only in some cases I just like bringing in some specific ideas here and there when I’d like to add some hookyness or symbolic language, but that’s seldom the case!

Do you often get in the studio with clear ideas and everything well tied or leave something for improvisation and inspiration at the moment?

J: Everything can change in the studio, usually we go for what works, sometimes you need to be prepared to kill your darlings, as painful as that can be sometimes.

T: Of course a product becomes better the more precisely you have imagined and elaborated it before designing, but sometimes it’s all about the process itself as well as trial and error! In the best case it’s a mix of both.

We all know the digital revolution has affected sales but has it affected creativity?

J: As an analogue and musician I would say YES. With the advent of digital music suites I believe that the handcraft of making music has been seriously affected. There are many people making music that can’t actually play an instrument and something is lost because of that. Music is real and must be treated as such, Distance equals Depth.

T: Of course it does, to the good and the bad, it works vice versa!

Could you describe your creative process? How do you usually go about making a track?

J: Normally it starts with a basic idea, more often than not it’s a chorus or a riff and the rest evolves from there.

T: Yes it’s mostly all about a first hook and then we design things from there.

What are the key challenges that independent/underground musicians encounter?

J: Being able to financially support yourself.

T: Nowadays, just as in former times there is a lot of political programming going on, it can be difficult as an artist to express oneself and not to be restricted by political conventions in the same moment!

Are there any musical guideposts or influences that led you to have the sound you make?

J: I’m a Rock guy at heart I grew listening to Zeppelin and a whole host of 60’s Pop and Rock. So those rythms find their way into the songs. Besides that, I love classical music and that mentality of treating a melody also plays a big part in Pardon Moi’s music.

T: I started as retro or vintage musicians playing blues, boogie, rock’n’roll and music from the 50’s but mostly in the Berlin club scene for years! Here I learned about technoid music then, Nu-Disco became a huge influence!

Are there any live shows that stand out as being particularly memorable?

J: For me they are all memorable in some way, for better or worse. Normally it takes me a couple of days in solitude afterwards to find my zen again.

T: We have a big Berlin show coming up as support for Look, Mum, No Computer, also our latest shows in Lyon’s Le Sucre and Paris La Station surely were some highlights!

Can you already tell us into which sound directions the new songs will go?

J: A solid Retro-Futuristic direction, with stronger songs, better writing and 32% more Sex and Neon lighting.

T: Haha, I agree with James!

To you, what is the most important piece of work you have created in your life?

J: Someone once said, an artist’s greatest work is himself. Life is a journey that demands us to grow, to adapt or be thrown by the wayside.

T: Pardon Moi is definitely one of the projects I’m most proud of! Maybe next to Feinstoff my monthly party with a residency at Kater Blau, the ex Bar 25.

What are you most hungry for in life?

J: Harmony.

T: Truth.

What is one deep thought that you have had recently?

J: Pizzas are round… we put them in square boxes and yet we eat them in triangles… curious.

T: Hahaha! Good one James! In one of our last interviews, I said that one of our primary goals should be to oppose separation and division, since these aspects, unfortunately, govern our modern all day life way too often!

What would be your all-time ultimate venue/festival to play at?

J: I need a time machine for that, to be honest… I dont know, could be fun to go back in time and play our music in the late 70’s, blow everyone away… but that would be cheating.

T: I’m pretty looking forward to our gig at the infamous Garbicz Festival this summer, this could quickly become one of the highlights of the year!

Upcoming projects?

J: I have started writing and recording for my next Rock project, Sex Kino. We will be releasing a single later this summer.

T: James’ Sex Kino will rock! I for myself am busy enough with my solo project Freudenthal and my regular events Feinstoff.

Finally, where is Pardon Moi going?

J: These are still early days for Pardon Moi, we have yet to reach our full potential, yet to explore all our avenues of sound and expression and that excites me a lot!

T: I agree with James, stay tuned as there is a lot more to come from Pardon Moi!

Pardon Moi

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