It’s been a long journey for Metropolitan Parc since they first formed in a village at the frontier between France and Switzerland during 2012. Today I am meeting them at their current London base in Kentish town to chat with the founding members, Mick, Lola and Dan. I slide myself into their comfy couch, a beautiful comparison for the warmth they give off, and press the button to record what will end up being a two hour long conversation illustrating the experiences and travels they have undergone to become Metropolitan Parc.
The band were conceived in Pays de Geix, a green enclave stuck between France and Switzerland, more known for its cows and fields that for being a breeding ground for indie music. Whilst Dan was playing in a punk bank, Mick and Lola, who are also partners in life, were getting to know each other. During this time Lola began to play piano. In doing so she also found a melody within her own vocal. A crystalline voice emerged.
With a lead singer, a pianist and a drummer, they didn’t need much more to get their first composition going, except maybe a name. Metropolitan Parc was originally brought up by their friend Long Courrier (which you can also listen to here) and reflects exactly who they are: organic and modern, a mix of green spaces and skyscrapers.
When asked where their passion for music came from and what inspires their compositions, the general consensus settled down on one thing: a road trip that led them to live together and discover Canada, California, Australia through to New Zealand. Landscapes, local culture and music all combined to feed their work. Along with their individual influences, mixing French music such as poet Serge Gainsbourg, Reggae/Ska (although this also paradoxically the only genre Lola can’t listen to) and Punk music, this 9 month trip into the unknown revealed to them new ways in which to work and the opportunity to record their first LP called Album One.
Combining music influences
This mix of Anglo-Saxon and French influences transcends through their music. A ‘fusion of styles’ as they describe themselves, that involves as much of Afrobeat and Alt-J as Latin & African music and Bjork’s basic humanity. If the original ideas are most of the time from an individual perspective, their ways of completing a composition are very different, the final result is fully collaborative.
Lola needs silence and calm to create unique melodies, Dan gets inspired by movies and just lets his hands run along the guitar, seeking out a natural progression, whereas for Mick it’s sometimes just a line of text that ignites it all. Once they have a good framework they get together, drop in their own personalities, shake it up with a powerful dose of percussion and smooth the edges with vocal harmonies.
A Live band
Where Metropolitan Parc excel is on stage. Having worked on their set for over a year, their presence on adds another dimension to their music. It is a well honed and incredibly authentically powerful display, that ultimately succeeds in stimulating an audiences movement and engages from start to finish. The subtleties between the tracks mean there is never a lull. Metropolitan Parc are one of an act that would put a huge smile on your face if you’d stumble across their set at a festival. You’d stop, listen, dance and then talk about it for hours, wandering around in the hope that you may just come across something that is even half as good.
There is something incredibly pure that only a band who have a genuine passion for what they do and a lack of concern for opinion can bring. They focus on enjoying the moment and that is instantly translated. A viral ‘Joie de vivre’ you can’t avoid.
Today marks the release of their new track ‘Change’ and their first music video, directed by Lola herself (yes she’s also a film director ;)).
Metropolitan Parc will also be touring all summer in London and in France and we hope to bump into them in one of our favourite festivals here as well. Keep up to date with their next date on their FB page here.
For now, here are a few one shot question to know them a little bit better.
The One shot Q & A
An essential for your work life?
Lola: my camera
Mick: Lola and Dan
Dan: my guitar
An essential in your personal life?
Lola: an animal
Mick: the time to live
Dan: my mum (I am a bit of a cliche no?)
A song for the morning?
Lola: I can see clearly now by Jimmy Cliff – every morning.
Mick: Le Calypso by Harry Belafonte – or – Couleur Cafe by Serge Gainsbourg – I feel from the Caribeans in the morning.
Dan: Cavalier by James Vincent McMorrow – Sad songs make me happy.
A concert you wish you could have seen?
Mick: Simon and Garfunkel at Central Park
Dan: Probably Black flag – but I’ve had the chance to see most of the artists I dreamt of seeing.
The best concert you have seen?
Lola: Phoenix + Gorillaz in New York – Lou Reed, Mos def and Daft Punk joined the stage. Epic.
Mick: Moby in 2009
Dan: This will destroy you.
If you were a movie character?
Lola: Virginia Wolfe in the Hours – she’s a bit tortured and always questioning everything
Mick: Sherlock Holmes – I am a problem solver.
Dan: Anchorman – I love stupid wordplay.
If they were choosing your movie character?
Lola: Dan would be in Megamind and Mick probably Otis in Mission Cleopatre (a French comedy based on Asterix comic books)
Mick: Dan would be Chewbacca in Star Wars and Lola the sexy and feminist redhead in OSS117 (a comedy with Jean Dujardin where he plays the role of a secret agent with the manners of Mr Bean.)
Dan: Lola would be Erin Brockovich, feminist and strong, and Mick would be the Watson of Sherlock.
If you had one thing to chose to go on a desert island?
Lola: a paper and pen
Mick: Lola and Dan
Your favourite recipe?
Lola: Norvegian soup with potatoes and salmon. Delivisous
Mick: Pizza with parma ham
Dan: Pizza 4 cheese with creme fraiche.