JEAN-FRANCOIS RAUZIER QUESTIONS BEAT ASSAILANT :
How do you express your interest in contemporary creation ?
For my music obviously and foremost. But I'm also a fan of contemporary culture, pop culture in
its various expressions: architecture, photography, cinematography. I recently had the opportunity to
discover the architecture of Barcelona. I am very sensitive to the design of spaces and objects, and I
try to enjoy the cultural offerings of Paris to the fullest.
Is there an image by a photographer or an artist that particularly marked you?
Most of the photographs that are embedded in my memory have something to do with
slavery or the movement for civil rights in the United States. For example, the photo of Bill Hudson
showing a black high school student being attacked by a police German Shepherd. This picture has
played a major role in arousing public opinion in the civil rights movement. It shows the power of
What does image bring to music according to you (and conversely)?
I enjoy the covers of the vinyl collection of my parents, and I grew up in the era of video with
MTV. However now visuals have taken even more space in musical projects. Beyond the covers,
images of your music come to life on YouTube for example. You really have to think about the visual
world that goes with your music, this is a key part of your project.
I also think that music may be the art form that best complements other works of art. Think of what
silent cinema became through music. Music is an art that puts the public in a state of mind that can
serve a movie, a ballet or any other artistic creation.
What was your reaction when you discovered the image City Never Sleeps for the first time ?
Wow. It was more than I could have ever imagined. It's a universe that fits perfectly with
the album and I immediately wanted to dive in and start searching for all the hidden gems in the
Have you collaborated with artist (other than musician) what does it bring to you ?
Beyond what I've done with graphic designers who are used to creating album covers, this is the
first time I've really worked with an artist who's coming from outside the world of music.
BEAT ASSAILANT QUESTIONS JEAN-FRANCOIS RAUZIER :
How do you express your interest for music ? What are your musical habits ?
It depends on the period: I intensively and exclusively listened to classical music during 10 years.
I started with baroque music and finished with contemporary, including a long time when I listened
to jazz, then no more recorded music but only lives. Currently, I have many season tickets (Bastille
and Garnier opera), and I listen to all kinds of music on Spotify in my studio.
What is the ideal playlist of your day ?
I am a little bit obsessive: this week, I only listened to Carla Bley, last week it was Bashung, the
week before the Bianca Story, Oliver Koletzki, Albin de la Simone, Mazzy Star, Agnès Obel, the Do,
Noze, Mansfield, London Grammar, Carmen Maria Vega, Paul Kalkbrenner, 2raumwohnung, Babx,
Nick Cave, Sophie Hunger, Austra, Toru Takemitsu, U2, Bertrand Belin, Gato Barbieri, and of course
Beat Assailant, as I work on this project...
What song left its mark on you ?
There are so many... I will probably refer to youth memories, as rock and pop music skyrocketed
(shot up ?) at the end of the sixties. So I would choose the firsts albums of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones,
Led Zeppelin... Oh and, one day in 1968, I heard that the hippie movement was born, and the radio
played If you’re going to San Fransisco, by Scott McKenzie... Unforgettable! One has to live this
moment to understand...
What does music bring into your work?
My photographs are dreams set down on reality. Some elements, which are repeated,
juxtaposed, reversed, as some music notes. I see chords and fugues through pictures. I need to listen
to music when I’m working. When I listen to Philip Glass’ repetitive music or to Paul Kalkbrenner’s
Techno, I surprise myself putting and moving the elements of my photograph at the pace of the
What does City Never Sleeps inspire you ?
When I listened to the album, I was working on New York. Its very urban and jazzy sound
perfectly matched with this city and especially with City never sleeps and City of millions at Time
Square. Adam had the same feeling. We were in harmony before we met or heard each other. The
stories told by Adam in his new album make me want to go further, to find what is going on behind
the windows, inside the head of people in the picture...