“It’s a tribute to what we were back then”: Indochine is releasing a compilation, “Singles Collecti…

Led by Nicola Sirkis, Indochine will be celebrating their 40th anniversary next year, looking back over the history of this mythical group who continue to leave their mark on the French music scene.

Indochine’s debut was snubbed by the trendy press, they crossed the desert in the 1990s and a key member died. Indochine survived everything, regaining their success and this week the group are launching their 40th anniversary celebrations, a unique example in France.”Indochine is the only group that has been successful for forty years, with hits twenty years apart and fans over three generations,” Christian Eudeline, author of the book L’aventure Indochine.

Nicola Sirkis, the band’s founder and sole survivor from the early days, will officially celebrate their anniversary next year, but the party starts with the release of their first compilation, Singles Collection 2001-2021, on Friday 28 August. The second instalment, 1981-2001, will be released on 27 November (Indochine Records/Sony labels) and a stadium tour – a stage in the middle of the crowd and a giant 360° screen – is scheduled for spring-summer 2021.

It’s a tribute to what we were like when we were 16 or 17 years old,” Nicola Sirkis, a 60-year-old with a youthful look, told AFP.”There’s youth, enthusiasm and the fear of not knowing where you’re going in an adult world,” he continues, “and we’ve been very well served! We were told right away, ‘The name of the band sucks! Stop it! (Laughs)’. So we signed with the only record company that would let us keep our name (laughs).”

The 1980s – 1990s: criticised by the specialist press

For those who didn’t see themselves making a career for themselves, Indochine is a reference to Marguerite Duras, whom he regularly re-reads, as well as “Rimbaud, Apollinaire, Mallarmé”, and J.D. Salinger, who was quoted in one of the group’s hits.When the single Dizzidence Politik came out (in 1981), the hipsters loved it, but when the general public picked up on L’Aventurier (1982), the hip press said ‘it’s shit’,” says Christian Eudeline, also editor-in-chief of the new bi-monthly Vinyle & Audio.

Indochina

“We got hit in the face: ‘What, no drummer? Ah, no, that’s not rock!’ and now the same journalists worship drum machines, well, that’s the game,” says Sirkis, a philosopher. The 1990s are getting darker and darker. The band is at the bottom of the wave.Stéphane Sirkis, Nicola’s twin brother and the group’s guitarist, died of hepatitis in 1999 at the age of 39, the end of a rock’n’roll life.

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