Before playing the very first note, the PUTAN CLUB wrote a statement in some few points:
A) WE SENT TO HELL ALMOST ALL AGENCIES
Because unless you are the Rolling Stones or the new hype, your agent will only send a lousy newsletter, often with other band names, then basically he will only wait for the phone to ring. If you’re lucky, maybe you will get 20 concerts in a year (try then to pay all your rents, bills, expenses & life with these). Then no agency in the world is really working on an international scale : usually, they try to pass the band to another agency from another country who is doing exactly the same : cheap communication & waiting. Also because until you did not sign with a record label who’s really investing a real & efficient budget in promotion & press-agents, you will never work more than some little years in your country, nor even abroad. So you should forget to work only in your country: salvation -and fun- is everywhere. N.b.: a few rare agencies still have all our respect and all our friendship.
B) WE SENT TO HELL (ALMOST) ALL THE MEDIAS
Because nowadays almost nobody is writing/talking about music, it’s now a lot about gossips (exagerating : “the color of the underwear from the Italian bass-player or the small dick of the French guitar-player”). Even The Wire who used to be efficient is slowly falling appart. Appasionated bloggers & free-lancers are nowadays often better filters – just because they don’t have -or wish- to deal with the music industry.
C) WE HAD DECIDED NEVER TO PUBLISH ANY ALBUM
Because unless you are not signing with a real record label (= investing a real budget on promotion and press-agents), you may print 5000 copies that will end soon under your bed until you retire (but yes : your shitty ego will be satisfied, by further more polluting the world with a few more kilos of plastic, vinyl and cardboard, unnecessarily printed if you don’t really work on spreading this so called artistic material). But to be said : yes, some written critics/press articles of your work may help convincing some low informed & unpassionated promoters, which often will be anyway more impressed by the number of views or plays of your ejaculations. (No album released : we failed, in front of the pressure of our audience whishing to keep something from us, and so we gave our audio masters to the smallest & smartest label we knew : Toten Schwan Records, from Tuscany. It’s now the fourth reprint.) In addition, over the years, we have built up a newsletter of over 250,000 subscribers, a figure often larger than the actual sales of the major music magazines.
So the real money/living is coming from real touring (not only 30 appearances a year, but much more) - not to say that the real help is coming from the audience, maybe only 5 people at your first gig in a new city/country but much more when you will come back (and you absolutely should) if you succeed to let them dream (and after that, this will be called a reliable “fan-base”). Audience & visitors are the only ones to be respected : they come, they maybe pay, because the real (social) goal of any art is to relieve anyone from sadness, stress or taedium vitae. Never forget that art has above all a social role, and knowing how to play two chords or 20,000 notes per second or balancing sweetly your ass will never make you being superior to your shoemaker (you don't even know how to make a pair of shoes, or even build the instrument you're trying to jerk off to). We live in a society where we all need each other. You can always try to pretend that your ovaries, your boobs or your cock are the most beautiful in the world, but if you don't give & share any emotion (duende, as gipsy theorized), if you won’t help anyone flying away from morose life, you'll be just the umpteenth little egocentric wanker. Be prepared to suffer, if not die, to make their dreams come true. Transe : "You Got to Burn to Shine" (John Giorno).
Of course, you can’t loose money on a tour. You have to get organised, selling your work for relatively good money to a established venues or festivals, then performing the day after in Konibodom, Ferghana Valley for almost nothing – exclusively for your awesome audience who will ask for more the year after. It’s absolutely a budget balance, an investment for the future.
E) GETTING ORGANISED
An exemple of what the life of Gianna & François is when at home:
- waking up at 05:30;
- practising/composing music until noon (if not, you will soon propose/sell trivial and ineffective shit);
- quick lunch;
- then communication, but mainly booking (= building up a real tour, not only 10 gigs in a row) until past midnight, everyday, week-ends included, no pause or holydays.
It’s a drag, it’s awfull, hopeless because at the beginning you will maybe get 1 positive answer after 300 emails sent, but after 2 months of living nailed to this cross, you know that you will leave home for maybe a whole year, everywhere, doing finally what you love : music and eventually transcending people.
About eventual other musicians in the band : we are an anarchist band (not intended as messy-selfish-punky-drugy-dogs but more Bakunians freaks – meaning a lot of work & mutual responsabilities). Gianna is booking 60 concerts a year (Europe) and François R. is doing the same (rest of the world). So what is demanded from an eventual other musician (drummer or whatever) is exactly the same amount of work & responsability. Years ago we promised to ourselves to never bring anybody in holidays anymore. All musicians in the PUTAN CLUB should be heavy workers, responsible for the others. That’s also why, until now, we are a duo performing with computers. Moreover, it is always those who have never sweat tears and blood to mount a tour who will complain that the soup is too cold, that the bed is too soft, and that tomorrow you have to get up early to reach Oslo (not to mention the incredible torture of applying for a visa or filling out an ATA carnet). …Artists can be so arrogant.
Another point, about this dirty breed of musicians: our degree of expectation (for rehearsals or whatever) does not exceed 5 minutes, with a famous musician or not. Because we rather prefer to spend 5 minutes more with François R.'s daughter or re-read Pessoa's Ode Marítima rather than waiting for an asshole who didn't know how to wake up, brush his teeth and leave in time.
Years ago, Fabio Magistrali (a fantastic sound engineer) told us: "never follow in the footsteps of others, never go where everyone does". Artistically, of course, it's obvious, but even more when building up a tour. Everyone dreams of performing in London, New York, Berlin, Paris (furthermore cities that are paying the less) – we do prefer more adventurous : forgotten Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Oceania, Indian Ocean where the music industry will never lead you because of low profits. Strange enough, we are more proud of having performed the Konibodom National Theater (Tajikistan) than having blasted the gentle Sziget or Vieilles Charrues festivals.
H) BECOMING A MILLIONAIRE (fancy cars, mojitos, drugs & naked boys by the pool)
You must be silly if you're into music only for the money. There are so many other ways to get rich more easily: lawyers, dentists, drug dealers, politicians, traders... Of course we all need money in this ultra-capitalist society, but our first victory, more than playing Sziget or Womads as we did, was to pay our rents & bills with our work, without having to sell hamburgers at MacDonshit or running through the cities for UBERalles or BOLT-in-Misery. Today, with almost no agencies, no medias (except the rare & beloved journalists) and virtually no record company, the PUTAN CLUB does an annual average of 150 gigs a year, where we want, when we want and with whom we want. Europe, China, Central Asia, Turkey, Northern America, Africa, Oceania, Indian Ocean…and we are missing a lot more, obviously. No agency, no record label, no media coverage will EVER give you that. Your choice: you can of course continue to unnecessarily dream and hope for the arrival of the Prince Charming. Our choice : you don’t need a manager, an agent or a record label to live ( pay you rents, your bills, etc…) freely from your music.
Until today, the PUTAN CLUB (& under different monikers) has released 4 albums, 5 movies (Xinjiang, Djerid, Kurdistan, Senegal, La Réunion) and sincerely we forgot how many kilometers & concerts we performed.
Gianna Greco (I) : bass, vox, effects, computer, electronics
François R. Cambuzat (F) : guitars, vox, computer, electronics