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Anthony Gonzalez of M83

Young at Heart

A product of the 80s, Anthony Gonzalez has a special place in his heart for synth-pop bands like Tears for Fears and teen-movie shtick. It shows throughout M83ís latest release Saturday = Youth (see the Molly Ringwald look-alike on the albumís cover), an atmospheric homage to the 80s and teenage exuberance and discovery. Gonzalez returns to the Bay Area with M83 for a performance at the Download Festival at Shoreline Amphitheater on July 19th. He spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from Paris.

SF Station (SFS): Why did the 80s have such a big influence on Saturday = Youth?

Anthony Gonzalez (AG): First of all, it was one of the most important periods for the music industry and I really love so many bands from that period. Most of the bands Iím listening to these days are from the 80s, so they had a very big influence on this album. Also, I was born in 1980, so I grew up listening to this kind of music. Itís really important to me, and I think of the 1980s as a part of myself.

SFS: I heard that in France there is some backlash for French musicians who sing in English. Have you had any complaints?

AG: The thing is, itís pretty hard to sell records in France if you donít record in French, especially if you are French. People donít like that because they would rather listen to an American band, instead of a French band singing in English. Because all my influences are American or English, for me it is more natural to sing in English. Itís a bit hard for me to be successful in France, but thatís OK. I can deal with it.

SFS: You took an extended break from making music before this record. Did you ever think about giving it up entirely?

AG: Not really, because music is the only thing that I can really do. I just took a break because I was a bit fed up with doing music. There are moments like that when you really need some rest, and it was important for me to do that.

Iím really at a place right now where I think itís wonderful to do music. It makes me feel alive. Itís something that is important for me nowadays and without music I think I would feel lost.

SFS: Are you approaching your music differently now?

AG: I think the most important thing is to not be bored with your music. The most important thing for me is to always try to do something different to keep it exciting. I really try to experiment a lot and do different projects. For example, I like to work on movie soundtracks.

SFS: What film would best match Saturday = Youth?

AG: This album is more of a collection of songs from different movies. The main theme is about being a teenager, so I would say this album could be the soundtrack of a teen movie. John Hughes' movies are a big influence for this album, so maybe it could be the soundtrack for The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink.

SFS: Do you feel youthful now?

AG: I feel young because I still behave like I am 14 or 15. I have the same hobbies. I play video games, listen to pop music, smoke weed and watch teen movies. I like to get drunk with my friends and hang out. I still feel like a teenager, and I love it. I donít want to be an adult. I think when you become an adult you start losing some confidence. Thatís what is really beautiful about being a teenager; you feel like the master of the world.

SFS: Is Saturday still the coolest day of the week for you?

AG: Yeah, it is a very different day for me compared to the other days. Even the light is different on Saturdays and there is really something special about that day for me.

SFS: Thatís good because you will be performing here on a Saturday.

AG: Oh, good, thatís perfect.

M83 performs the Download Festival at Shoreline Amphitheater on July 19th. Tickets are $20 and the concert starts at 1pm.