Le Feeling composes and performs live soundtracks to radical, often censored, queer films. The “band” is comprised of Thomas John Roach, Jr. and Daniel Paul Boucher. Tom spent many years playing bass for Minneapolis-based band Lifter Puller and regularly collaborates with Wolfgang Tillman’s band Fragile. Dan spent an almost decade playing drums and various other instruments for Boston-based sculpture/rock/experimental performance art collective Neptune. Le Feeling sounds nothing like any combination of any of those aforementioned bands. Drawing inspiration from the films, writings and cultural contributions of Jean Genet, Chantal Ackerman, Derek Jarman, David Wojnarowicz, Kenneth Anger and Guy Maddin (amongst others), the musical arc bends closer to the light of ethereal, industrial, new wave, non-wave, possibly pretty, inexpensive jazz, psychedelic anti-music and perhaps danceable if you’re terrible at math.
Dan and Tom met at Jacques Cabaret in Boston in 2003. Soon after that chance meeting, Dan found himself stranded in Paris due to a canceled tour with his former band. Tom, who was living in Paris at that time, invited Dan to sleep on the couch for the remaining month. During that month, the two spent an absurd amount of time at the cheapest, most tragic, yet most amazing gay bar within walking distance. The bar was called Le Feeling.
AS220’s biggest event and the coolest block party in Providence is right around the corner. A day packed with art, performance, music, and community that is unrivaled in our city. Here to get you hyped up for what is sure to be a stellar day are a series of interviews with the musicians who will be performing throughout the day on our two amazing stages!
Today we spoke with Daniel Paul Baucher, who is half of Le Feeling and plays/performs signal manipulations, guitar, clarinet, electronics, drum machine, bass, vocals, toy piano, etc, alongside Thomas John Roach Jr. who is responsible for bass, guitar, keys, synthesizer, non-linear beat programming, piano, electronics/effects, organelle, and more. He had a lot to say about the project and you definitely don’t want to miss them at Foo Fest!
What year was the act formed?
Le Feeling, in its current incarnation, formed at the tail end of Winter 2016. Tom and I actually started writing music the winter before that but it was more “rock” oriented which we quickly grew bored of. We’ve both been in rock leaning bands most of our adult lives, so we were more interested in trying to challenge ourselves a bit… which turned out to be more fun.
Q: Where are you all from and how did you meet?
A: I grew up in Boston, MA and did stints in CA & AZ. Tom grew up in Bridgeport, CT, and spent over a decade living in Minneapolis where he was the bassist of Lifter Puller. We met through a mutual friend at a drag bar, Jacque’s, in Boston.
Q: How did the name of your act come about?
A: This is a long one… I found myself a bit stranded on the first-ever European tour with my old band. For some rather unfortunate family reasons, we had to cancel 5 days into a planned 4 or 5 week trek across the old continent. I had a commitment to travel to Spain with a friend at the tours completion so I couldn’t just fly back with the rest of the band. Tom was living in Paris at the time writing his dissertation for school. He was renting a tiny flat from two leather daddies near Pere Lanchiase, so I called him from Grenoble and was like “um, hey… guy who I barely know, can I sleep on your couch for the next few weeks?” His reply was “yes,” and we became old friends instantaneously. During that wonderfully debaucherous time, we were both incredibly broke. We cooked all our meals in the flat and would frequent this tragic gay bar that had massive beers for 2 Euro each. The space itself would have been much better utilized as a dismal travel agency, the music was run of the mill cringe-worthy European gay techno, they had a champion budget/busted light show and the bathroom was basically a closet with just a hole in the ground and two spaces for your feet. Not even a bar for balance. It was incredible. Empyrean even. The bar was called Le Feeling.
How would you describe your musical genre? Who influences and inspires you individually and as an act?
This is always the toughest question to answer and I’m never sure how exactly to address it. I fancy Le Feeling to be some form of non-wave anti-music that is danceable for those who cannot do math. Realistically it incorporates a bit of drone, shimmery pop, free-jazz, electronic, industrial, new/no wave, organic/non-organic… I don’t know, it’s a cornucopia of music with varying degrees of listenability. We’re influenced by everything that we come into contact with, both sonically and visually. We live-score (boundary-pushing, queer) film, because we take so much non-musical inspiration from people we both admire. [We are inspired by] the art, film work, writings, and contributions to cultural advancement from the likes of (but not limited to,) Jean Genet, Guy Maddin, Kenneth Anger, Chantal Ackerman, Derek Jarman, David Wojnarowicz and on and on. Musically, pardon the trite expression, we’re both all over the map as far as inspirational motivation.
Do you have any albums out or in the works?
We completed a record at Machines with Magnets a few months back… we experimented as much as time permitted. It was recorded and mixed by Seth Manchester and we’re really happy with the end result. Seth is an Aural Wizard. As of now, it is unnamed but mixed and mastered. We are currently trying to figure out what to do with it. It will most likely end up a cassette and digital release on my “label” Wrong Whole Archival Bureau. We released a maxi-cassingle in March with a song from the Machine With Magnets recording on one side and a collaboration we did with our dear friend Mark Pearson (from Neptune) on the other… hopefully we’ll have some available for Foo Fest. We also have a bunch of collaborative recordings in the can that need some editing, but will probably see the light of day on various cassette or small-run lathe-cut vinyl releases next year.
What are your feelings about the local music scene in Providence? If you have some favorite local acts, who are they?
Like any local music scene there is a continual ebb and flow to the amount of activity going on at any given time. I feel (and hope) that Providence is on the verge of a musical flood. I lived and played music in Boston in the late 90’s and really loved most of the bands that would come up from Providence during that time (Arab on Radar, Astoveboat, The Hydrogen Terrors, etc…) so, musically, Providence will always have a moist, pulsating place in my heart. My favorite local band these days is Infrastructure Rot. It’s Joe and Sean from Double Dragon (also incredible) on drums and cornet respectively, with Brent Frattini (of Cancer Conspiracy, formerly of Daughters) on guitar and a seemingly insurmountable stockpile of sound modifiers. They play with an alluring synergy and make me excited for the future. Le Feeling is hoping to do some sort of split release with them down the road a bit Those guys are especially inspiring to me (in my old age) because they are incessantly active. They run a bi-monthly music series at Machines With Magnets called No Power Zone that books really interesting stuff (Instagram: nopowerzonepvd)
How do you feel about playing Foo Fest this year?
We’re both quite tickled by it. It was very nice to be asked to participate this year. My old band, Neptune, played Foo Fest 2007 and it was incredibly fun. I am most happy that the line-up this year is so inclusive and varied.
Who are you most excited to see perform at Foo Fest this year?
I am particularly psyched to see Rectrix again, I saw a performance last year that was equal parts terrifying/elating and I absolutely loved it. I’m also mostly excited to check out some new stuff I’ve not seen before. I have never seen (nor really even heard, actually) Pere Ubu, so that should be interesting. I have a good Pere Ubu story, one that involves finding myself in a filthy “green-room” in an equally filthy club in Cleveland, if anyone wants to hear it….
What are some of the bands goals for the future?
Make as much sound and art as possible. Release tons of music. Spread love and light. Fight Trump, the ignorant and (obviously,) the powerful.
Find Le Feeling at Foo Fest on August 18th on the indoor stage at 9:30 PM, and online at Facebook.com/lefeelingpvd and Instagram: @LeFeelingPVD