Purple Magazine
— F/W 2012 issue 18

Lou Doillon

Navy wool blazer with gold buttons BALMAIN over a deep v-neck t-shirt AMERICAN APPAREL with slim fit jeans ACNE, a black gold with diamonds Berbère earring REPOSSI, and Lou’s own rings and boots

I’m glad you came into my life and put your stain on me

interview by OLIVIER ZAHM
portrait by OLA RINDAL


Lou Doillon, the beautiful actress and daughter of Jane Birkin and French filmmaker Jacques Doillon, has been secretly playing music at home with her friends for years. Once she had written and composed her first few songs, everyone around her — including the French singer and composer Étienne Daho — pushed her to record an album, which Philippe Zdar found time to mix. With this first album, Lou doesn’t fall in line with all the other actresses who have tried to break into music: she wrote her own songs about her own life, her own romances, and followed her intuition. A revelation of a true musicial soul.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You’re releasing your first album now, but music has always been an important part of your life. Was this something you’ve been working on for a long time?
LOU DOILLON — I would play the guitar for everyone who would come in my kitchen. But I never, ever wanted to do an album. I think I was wonderfully brainwashed by Étienne Daho, who was kind enough to hear that I was doing music and came to my place and wanted to hear it.  He convinced me to do something with it.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Was music something private for you — a relief from acting?
LOU DOILLON — Being an actress or a model, you have to be ready to be the victim of someone else’s point of view. And to be absolutely neutral and giving of yourself. But I find that you always need to have something else in your life, where you’re the boss, otherwise you go mad just waiting for people to desire you. I needed to counterbalance that with something at home. I was an absolute little dictator in my kitchen. I didn’t need to please or seduce.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You only had to please yourself.
LOU DOILLON — I had no rules, no manager, no agent, no one telling me if I should do it or not do it, change this or change that. I started recording music with Chris Brenner — who’s a wonderful musician and also Milla Jovovich’s agent — and I was very hard to work with because I didn’t want to hear anyone’s point of view. Music was like a playground, and I didn’t want to listen to anyone.  I wanted to do it all by myself.

OLIVIER ZAHM — But you did have a few key people who worked with you to produce the final record. How did you collaborate with the French singer and producer Étienne Daho?
LOU DOILLON — Well, he himself was a huge pop singer in the ’80s. He has a lot of obsessive fans. He had a wonderful talent, which is very rare in France, to be open to international cultures. So he was one of the first French singers to go and live in London and to actually know English producers, English bands, to work with Marianne Faithful, and to bring the culture of England to France. He worked with a lot of wonderful mixers in England. And then in the ’90s, he worked with a lot of actresses in France, for whom he wrote songs. He did a beautiful song with my half-sister Charlotte [Gainsbourg] called “If.” Étienne did all the orchestration and technically directed the album. He chose the musicians. I didn’t know any of them. He’s the one who chose, with me, which musician would work on what song.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Étienne is more pop and you’re more folk. How did that work out?
LOU DOILLON — He’s pop-soul-electro-dark, which is funny because I come from folk, rock ‘n’ roll, lo-fi, independent. Coming together was beautiful. My mother told him to come and listen to my music although it wouldn’t be the kind of music he would be into technically. I didn’t know his music very well, and I think that’s why it was a beautiful story. If I had gone to a label, they would’ve gone for Americans or lo-fi guys or folk guys.

OLIVIER ZAHM — So he is part of the Gainsbourg family, so to speak.
LOU DOILLON — He is. He’s a son of Gainsbourg, in the sense that Serge knew him and worked with him and liked him very much. Serge was kind of a parent to Étienne when he started. But I think that Étienne has the relationship of a fan with the Gainsbourg-Birkin family. He worked with Charlotte from that feeling, worked with my mother from that feeling, and I think that’s why, when he suddenly saw me, he realized that this had nothing to do with the family. When I told my friends I was starting to record with Étienne Daho, they couldn’t believe it. It made no sense to them at all. Which was actually very nice to think. I like the idea that Étienne is the most French thing about my album.

OLIVIER ZAHM — And what about Philippe Zdar?
LOU DOILLON — He’s the mixer. He’s the guy who balances the volume and who also makes all the sounds go through insane machines. I had a very basic relationship with music when I started. I didn’t even know what a mix was, technically. But now I’m starting to understand what to do to give the color, texture, and width to a sound. But Philippe’s very obsessed by the bass. He works more for electro music, and so he uses all the basses and plays them  through old amps from the ’60s.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Philippe is a bit like the guy who does the layout in the magazine, putting the pictures, texts, and fonts together coherently?
LOU DOILLON — Yeah. He’s the one who finds the organic balance. He chooses the paper, if we continue that metaphor. I have made an album that is completely analog, which hardly exists today, when everything is done by computers. With Philippe, we mixed live on old tables, like an album from the ’70s, with tape, which no label ever does anymore. The layering and the order of the songs were made for vinyl.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How did you end up working with him?
LOU DOILLON — I didn’t know this at the time, but he’s a superstar of mixing. He was doing the Cat Power album and had worked with the Beastie Boys. I mean it’s insane what this man has done. People said to me, forget about it. He’s said no to everyone. He’s said no to Madonna. No chance. And I said, “Well, fair enough.” But Étienne said he’s, funnily enough, quite hippie. If he has the inclination, he’ll fuck all the rest. And so we sent the demo, which was just a voice and guitar at the time, and had a wonderful message from him that said, “Listen, I haven’t got time, there’s no place where I can put you, but I’ll find 10 days.” So we did it old school in eight days. The album is 11 songs, so a little more than one song a day. He had never done that in 20 years.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Why did you decide to record in English instead of French?
LOU DOILLON — I never wrote a song in French. It all came in English. I didn’t want to speak to the French. I didn’t want to be understood by them. My whole family is just too famous and people own us too much. And I guess that, speaking in English, I felt that people couldn’t own me as much.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It was a private thing, then, like writing in your journal or diary.
LOU DOILLON — Absolutely. Every pain has always come out in the diary first, and then it has been drawn — then there’s a song that comes out of it. I draw, and I just try to start having a melody. When you write there’s a melody with words. The words find the melody by themselves, suddenly a rhyme or sound keeps on coming back. The title track came out by itself in 25 minutes, sent from I don’t know where.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s so simple when it’s done, but before finding that transparence or that immediate effect, do you have to work on the format of the song?
LOU DOILLON — Well, I always fall in love with musicians. There was a strange point where I didn’t even know how to play the guitar. I could look at these musicians work all the time, and I’m such a parasite; as soon as I see someone do something, eight times out of 10 I can do it just after. And I’ll never show the person. I’ll wait for the person to go and buy a baguette and I’ll just take the guitar and do it. When the musicians left — it happened twice — I was alone in the house with just sadness and a guitar. I didn’t even know the names of notes when I met Étienne. I just played organically.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You didn’t know how to play at all?
LOU DOILLON — I have absolutely no structure. And even to this day, when I work with musicians they are like, “What’s that weird note?” And I don’t know. I do picking, which is a weird thing, because I don’t like electric sounds. It’s always on an acoustic.

OLIVIER ZAHM — When I’ve heard you playing guitar with your friends, was that just intuitive?
LOU DOILLON — Yeah, since it was private in the sense that it was unimportant. I know that a lot of people that I love, great musicians, have been happy about some of these songs because there’s a wonderful freedom when you’re not saturated by rules. Now I roughly know what an A, B, C, D, E, F, G are. And I would know some of the major and minor chords, but I wouldn’t know how to map it better than that.

OLIVIER ZAHM — So you arrived at the studio with a draft of each song and then you had to rework them?
LOU DOILLON — In the songs where I was too emotional, I fluctuated the pattern of the guitar too much. So we redid them with a session guitarist. And then, we had other musicians come to play drums and  bass on what I had done. So it was like a skeleton people started to put clothes on. And then we signed with a label.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Between the demo and the finished album, did you go back and write some more songs?
LOU DOILLON — Yep, the labels wanted me to. Suddenly I hated every new song that was coming out, but they’re the ones people like the most. The more I worked, the better the songs got. I was scared it would be the other way around.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You have a clear and true, but also very fragile, voice — an interesting combination of weakness and clarity. Where does it come from?
LOU DOILLON — I did a year tour of readings. And I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. I was very bad in school. I dropped out when I was 15, and I’m very bad at spelling. If I did a test it would be at the level of a nine year old. But I read a lot. I’m an enigma to my father, who says that normally any person who reads knows how to spell. I’m the proof that it’s not true.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You’re an avid reader?
LOU DOILLON — I read all the time, and I always read aloud. When
I was small my father would always want me to read. He was against television and so I had to read fucking Jack London, who I hated at the time. I don’t know why my father decided that White Fang was the one I had to read, which was shite. I was like, “Listen mate, I’m nine years old and I’m not a little boy in the ’50s tripping on Jack London.” Much later, I discovered his short stories which are divine, but White Fang and The Call of the Wild are my two worst enemies. That and Marcel Pagnol could kill me today. But it’s true that he wanted me to read for 45 minutes every night. And to be sure that I would read, I had to read aloud in my bedroom.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s a good trick.
LOU DOILLON — It’s wonderful. I do it with my son Marlowe. He reads to me every night. And I guess it’s more of an English thing to do than French. My mother was very much in love with her father, and we would go to London nearly once a month. My grandfather had been sick since he was young, quite blind, an old man with a pipe, and he had one missing eye. He looked like a pirate. He was a very beautiful man, and my mother would always sit at his bedside and read out loud to him. I’ve always known people reading out loud. In England, there’s a tradition of that, listening to the BBC and to radio shows with people reading stories, which in France happens a bit, but not that much.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s a good way to hear your own words.
LOU DOILLON — And to not be scared of words. I started by doing modern movies with my father, where you speak very quickly and you take no pleasure from words. And then, when I was 19, I worked with an old actress from the Comédie Francaise, Micheline Boudet, who had a wonderful old method of speaking French, which is only tongue twisters. I would have to stand up on a chair and read them out loud. It was out of Pygmalion. I felt like Audrey Hepburn. I would sit with her for two hours a week. It made me nearly too classical.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What was the Samuel Beckett production you performed in?
LOU DOILLON — L’Image, which is a very strange text Beckett wrote in French. It’s one sentence, 17 pages  long, with no punctuation. So my job as an actress, which was wonderful for the brain, was to imagine every word like a train. It was like working on a tightrope. I had to start and never stop. If there are no periods, Beckett doesn’t mean it to stop. In French there are generally two or three possibilities of understanding a sentence. With Beckett, I was certainly not allowed to choose for him. So every word had to have three possibilities and had to be open for the next one, which was open for the next one. It’s an insane work.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s a monologue?
LOU DOILLON — Yes, which lasts something like 25 minutes. I’ve been lucky over the past few years not to work on realistic projects at all, not doing films, but working with words. And discovering the music hidden behind every word. I was reading Marguerite Duras at one point, Hiroshima Mon Amour, which is a very interesting way of writing in repetition and where she falls in love with the sound of a sentence as much as the feeling. You do have to respect that.

Black velvet jacket with pearl embroidery BALMAIN

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you have a technique for reading out loud?
LOU DOILLON — After reading out loud so much, I now treat a page in a book like a music score. With a pen, I mark where I should breathe and find the pattern and the music in a sentence. You get used to it. On a radio show last week they asked me to choose poems to read, and I did, but I had chosen 10 minutes of poems and they needed 15. And so suddenly on live radio they asked me to read different ones. I flipped out a bit because, for once, there were things I had never read in my life that I was now reading out loud. But in the end, it all went well. They said, “We can’t believe it! What a wonderful reading.” And I laughed, thinking, please send a note to my schoolteachers.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Has noticing these types of patterns helped you in your compositions?
LOU DOILLON — For the moment I’ve written very conventional songs that rhyme. It comes out automatically. I have a lot of respect for people who can write without any form of pattern. Like Patti Smith, who writes more like poetry than like a song. There are no patterns. There’s very rarely a rhyme. There’s very rarely a chorus that makes sense in itself as a chorus. Most people know the songs not written by her that have a chorus. But the ones she wrote herself are much stranger than that. And for the moment I’m very obsessed by those types of writings.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you have choruses in your songs?
LOU DOILLON — I do. Weirdly enough, I always write in a very tight pattern that is always the same. There are always two verses, a chorus, two verses, a chorus, an instrumental, a verse and a chorus. When we were recording the album, I suddenly realized how it was always the same pattern. We wrote changes at the last moment to break it up.

OLIVIER ZAHM — I have to ask you this even though I’m sure you’ve answered the question 10 times already: Were you blocked by the story of your mother with Serge Gainsbourg, by the idea of having to deal with that comparison?
LOU DOILLON — It’s complicated. I think I always wrote in English because, unconsciously, there was a desire to escape the French fans who would know Serge. When Étienne asked me, “Would you be able to write in French?” I suddenly realized that to write in French, you want to be smart. You have to have a dictionary of rhymes and synonyms. I thought, fuck this, what am I trying to prove? The wonderful thing about Serge is he’s the best smartass we ever had in France. When you read Apollinaire you find a lot of Serge. When you read Verlaine, the same. Serge was the first one to make a very ancient style popular in France, which is a very complicated way of writing. A lot of people say, for example, that they love Rimbaud. I find a great complication with Rimbaud. He wrote when he was a teenager and a young man to impress people with words that were complicated on purpose. I actually needed a bloody fucking dictionary to read one Rimbaud poem. So there is a culture in France of showing off your intelligence. And Serge mastered it, he was a show-off, but fuck, he could do it well. And so my songs were coming out of a sincere place more than a smart place. I had to write them in English, because, for sure, the shadow of Serge was over me. English is my private language in the sense that it was the language my mother would use for us to have a private Garden of Eden. If I cry, it will always come out in English.

OLIVIER ZAHM —  Do you find Serge’s songs to be more intellectual than heartfelt?
LOU DOILLON — My father once said that Serge’s best songs were the ones he wrote for my mother. For the first time he said, “Je.” Before that, he was speaking impersonally. So his songs are not very moving. They’re good, but they’re not moving because he’s talking about things in general. When he starts to actually speak about himself and his fragility, he does it through my mother.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How did you find your own place in this family?
LOU DOILLON — I was raised by a muse, with a sister who was also a muse in her own way. As a young girl, it was very complicated for me to understand that I was not a muse. I wasn’t a fragile woman made of porcelain like my sister and my mother. I was strangely very masculine and quite tough. Serge used to like that about me, and it used to make him laugh. I wasn’t afraid of anything. He could see me as a stripper when I was six. I had a very deep voice. I would always say what I thought. I had a big giggle, and because everyone was beautiful and wonderful and talented, I would take the room that was left. The only thing that was left for me was to be funny. Most of the time he was drunk, and I would be like, “Where’s the bottle of Pacifique?” to give him his fake pastis. He liked that very much. I was always a jolly, nearly manly person. In a way, I’m my mother’s son. And I think that, strangely enough, that’s why Étienne and I got on. He has always worked with actresses who are older. He’s like a lot of beautiful, talented homosexuals who have a reverence for wonderful women of the past. We fell in love. He was surprised by what I was: a man and woman. I read a beautiful short novella, I think it’s by Plato, about the origin of sexuality and the fact that once we were double people, front and back, and we were cut in two by the gods, because as usual, we had done something wrong.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Hermaphrodite?
LOU DOILLON — Not hermaphrodite. Androgène. I think that I am a real androgène in the moral sense. I have the frustration of a woman, the frustration of wanting to be a muse because I was raised by an archetype of the absolute woman and the absolute muse. At the same time, I could see them as fragile for being muses. I wanted to be Serge or my dad. Funnily enough, the only place where I’ve been able to put my man and my woman together is in my music.

OLIVIER ZAHM — So you had to be your own muse?
LOU DOILLON — That’s what Étienne says he loves. There’s a branch of woman musician I like very much who makes the kind of rap and hip-hop that says, “I can do it myself, I’ve got my own car, fuck you.” It’s a kind of weird feminist movement. But strangely, nine times out of 10, the dialogue and the lyrics are written by men, which I find extremely funny. Then you have the strange category of women who are manly enough to accept that they’re women. I know there’s something in that. Étienne was shocked that I could write about being so broken and vulnerable while being so dominant and masculine in my way of approaching my vulnerability. I understand Patti Smith and Beth Gibbons and Lhasa. I love all these women because they have the guts to write like men about what it is to be a woman.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Your album is very feminine.
LOU DOILLON — It’s an ode to men. It says, “I can’t live without a man.

OLIVIER ZAHM — There’s a tradition in country music where women sing about how men make them suffer.
LOU DOILLON — Absolutely. Like the ’60s country singer Bobbie Gentry. There’s a song called “Fancy” —  maybe it’s written by a man — which says she was guided by her mother to fuck rich men, because that’s the only way out of the family. That is fucking brave. Or “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, which is one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s a song about a girl saying, “Please don’t take my man, even though you can.” I mean you can’t be more vulnerable. At the same time, actually saying it makes you wonderfully strong.

OLIVIER ZAHM — This is more of an American tradition or maybe the tradition of an older generation of singers in France.
LOU DOILLON — Étienne compared me to Juliette Gréco. I thought I didn’t like Gréco very much. He showed me a documentary about her and suddenly I felt a kinship because she was wild and like a boy when girls were uber-women at the time, and just so silly. You have this tough cookie who’s going out with black men in the ’60s. Not getting married when she’s with Miles Davis. She just doesn’t care what people think.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Is it fair to say that the songs on your album are sad?
LOU DOILLON — They are sad about the fact that the love is gone. My favorite woman writer of all time is American, Dorothy Parker. She’s the saddest of them all, but she will never pity herself. I hate pity. I find it very funny to have blunt humor. I’d written a song, which didn’t go on the album because people were frightened by it, about the fact that my dog was better than my man. I tried to add some humor because I’m always saddened by depressive women without humor — like Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf — who are very respected, while the ones who do have humor, like Dorothy Parker, are cast to the side because they have irony, which is very masculine. You need to have humor about yourself, which the French absolutely lack.

OLIVIER ZAHM — But deep inside, you’re a romantic. You believe in absolute love.
LOU DOILLON — Absolutely. I believe in a love that is unattainable in today’s world.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You must end up suffering nonstop.
LOU DOILLON — Yeah, but lately I’ve become super macho. I’d thought I was the victim of dark men, but now I’ve realized that, no, I’m looking for muses. I’m an artist; I dwell in sadness. And I do love to fall in love with assholes and am constantly surprised by it. I go for the least surprising assholes in the world and each time I’m surprised. But thanks to them, I go through very dark moments. I draw, I read like a madwoman, I write songs.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Is love the center of your life?
LOU DOILLON — Well, I’m the daughter of a great cheater and a libertine on one side, my father [French filmmaker Jacques Doillon] — an absolute French cheater in all its art. And of a mother [Jane Birkin] who was an openly sexual being and a femme-objet. I have a mother who’s a kind of object of desire and a father who’s a libertine. In my fucked-up mix I’ve decided to be an absolute puritan. I guess in rebellion against my father. To be absolutely puritan and at the same time to want absolute love, like my mother had with Serge, which is completely fucked-up and impossible.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You’re the daughter of the woman who incarnated sexual freedom in France!
LOU DOILLON — Only for one man, which is an interesting and important thing. Serge and my mother were openly sexual, but at the same time she was absolutely faithful. Her pleasure was for all of France to desire her and for her man to be the only one to own her. I have the same thing as her. I love, and it’s hard. The moments I am with a man are the moments when I’ll be sexier. It’s the only time when I want everyone to desire me, but for him to have the pride of being the only one to have me. Most people don’t understand it. They think I’m more like my generation, which means that I could go off with any man, but I’m not. I’m like a 19th century woman who lives in a very modern way.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You have no taboos like your mother does. Your sister Charlotte is shyer.
LOU DOILLON — She’s more intellectual about it. She puts up an intellectual protection, whereas like my mother, I’m very easy and pagan. I like to have fun, and if I’m sunning I take my t-shirt off. I don’t have boundaries, but then on the other side, I will only kiss the man I love and I will only love the man I kiss.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Your music is about the aspiration for love, which gives your songs a classic tone.
LOU DOILLON — Yeah, absolutely. I don’t like soul music very much. Étienne is obsessed with it, though, and he always tries to convince me that there is something soulful about what I’m doing, which I don’t really get. What I do get, which is wonderful, is that soul music is only about love, and on that point I understand it. It’s all about, “I want to have sex with you tonight,” or, “God I miss having sex with you.”

OLIVIER ZAHM — And also: “Why did you go?” “Where did you go?”
LOU DOILLON — Or, “Where are you, because I really want to have sex with you now?” That is our common obsession, anyway. That is the only thing we think about.

OLIVIER ZAHM — But your generation and the generation that is younger are not obsessed by love. They are obsessed by pleasure. They wouldn’t admit it as you do, that they prefer to be alone than with someone. They will go with anyone who will bring them pleasure. It’s a generalization, but is there some truth to this?
LOU DOILLON — It’s true. We are in a culture where you should never be alone. You should have friends on your computer, friends outside, you need to know how many friends you have, how many lovers you have, how many guys you’ve had in your bed. In that sense, I’m a major loser. I’ve had sex with 10 people in my life. I can count them on my hands.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you remember them?
LOU DOILLON — Oh yes! And very precisely. There is a real pride in having taken a bit from and having given a bit to those people. I believe in a very tribal exchange. I’m old-fashioned on that score. And also perverse, I guess. My father is a very perverse man. Serge was a very perverse man. So I was raised with a certain level of artistic perversion and games. My father is a great player of erotic games. He had a lot of games going on. My stepfather was the same.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How do you know?
LOU DOILLON — When my mother’s drunk, things come out all over the place, and I see it in my father’s films. They’re very perverse. All of my father’s work deals with a trinity: you, the person you’re with, and the stranger. You can only be with the person you’re with because of the possibility of the stranger. And you can never leave the stranger, because you need them.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s always a triangle.
LOU DOILLON — Always a triangle. Serge was the same: with my mother, him, and the public. And when my father meets Serge…

OLIVIER ZAHM — This is what I call the communauté des amants.
LOU DOILLON — Absolutely. And Serge is the one who fell technically, morally in love with my father. He was so obsessed that he forced my mother to meet him. They spent two years together, the three of them. So I come from threes. I was raised by a mother who was living with my father, but was with Serge every day singing, “I should have never left you.” Serge was always at home saying, “Why did you leave me?” But my mother was there in love with him and also with my dad and a bit with her brother and with her father. Love came in very strange shapes in my family and always with another person. I’m extremely puritan, in rebellion against this shit, but at the same time, perverse in the sense that I don’t need shit relations, nightly relations, like a majority of friends of mine. I have such a wonderful imagination that I don’t need it. I play wonderful games in my own head, and what happens in my head is superior most of the time to any person I would meet. I’ve been living alone for so many years now that I can’t even remember.

Black velvet jacket with pearl embroidery BALMAIN and a black gold with diamonds Berbère earring REPOSSI

OLIVIER ZAHM — You’re alone, but there’s always a man around, isn’t there? There’s always the possibility of love?
LOU DOILLON — There’s always something missing. There’s always the man who left, the shadow of the man who left, or the shadow of the man to come.

OLIVIER ZAHM — I was struck that there’s an optimism for love in your album despite the sadness and nostalgia. We believe in your songs because you believe in love. It’s not gimmicky.
LOU DOILLON — It’s absolutely assumé, as we would say. What I like is that there is no sense of regret.  My song “I.C.U.” is about someone who hurt me a lot. It’s the only relation I’ve had in my life that would be close to drugs, something that is beyond your mind. You suddenly realize that you don’t talk to anyone anymore, that the only thing you’re tuned into is your mobile, and you have ears like a wolf in case you get a text. I spent six months walking between six and 10 hours a day. I was going to all the places where I thought I could meet him, like looking for a dealer. Looking in the streets, literally like scavenging.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Thinking of him?
LOU DOILLON — Obsessed by him. But that’s what I find beautiful. It very rarely has to do with the person you’re talking about. What’s wonderful in love is what you make of people. It’s not who the real people are. It’s what you imagine. So this obsession that I had in “I.C.U.,” it’s not even him. It’s what I projected on him. It’s all my neurosis. And it’s true that it’s like dope.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Did a French singer  — whom we won’t name — talk to you about your album?
LOU DOILLON — Oh, I’ve never had a comment. I’m quite happy because that’s how the world works in a wonderful way. It’s the first time in my life that I can say I’m better than him. I loved for real, which is a beautiful thing. I’m proud to have loved him. I have no regrets. I’m happy to say in the song,
“I’m glad you came into my life and put your stain on me.” I wear him like a tattoo, and I’ll wear him all my life. I’m absolutely fine with it. What’s good is to realize that all my love relations have been chosen and have been so pure that even if they didn’t work out, they were beautiful moments. Étienne, who knows both of us, always laughs about it, saying it’s a beautiful quality to be able to love and to say it without irony.

OLIVIER ZAHM — I knew from the first minute I listened to your demo that this album would be a success. You’re singing your own history and experience.
LOU DOILLON — My wonderful love experiences! [Laughs]



“Places” by Lou Doillon is released by Barclay, a Universal Music France label.

[Table of contents]

F/W 2012 issue 18

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS






purple BEAUTY

purple TRAVEL

purple LOVE

purple NAKED

purple PHILO

purple NIGHT

purple WINTER


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