Rover does not fear paradox. Massive physique of a Breton menhir (he is a native of the Côtes-d’Armor) with the voice of an angel. Soaring cantor of a pop-rock with lancholic melodies worthy of Beatlemania, at the time of vociferous and triumphant rap. Retro style that gives faith in the future, to be combined with the present.
To still touch everyone’s heartstrings, the songwriter confined himself before his time. Isolated in an old cooler in Brussels, which he made his secret studio, just before the Covid era. Eiskeller (ice cellar in German), a luminous third album, with intimate and radiant wanderings. Inspiring solitude of the globetrotter to talk to everyone. Even in exclusive English. And then the stage, finally, so that the silhouette becomes lighter, forgets itself and carries the audience away in its breath. Rover came out of his lair. A big breath of fresh air.
Your first eponymous album, gold record, was composed during a solitary wintering in your family home in Côtes-d’Armor. Eiskeller emerged from the depths of a disused icehouse. Do you have the inspiring containment?
Ah, I hope I didn’t start a fad! Despite the suffering of isolation, this way of working suits me well, even in spite of myself. I tried other ways, but I feel better in solitude to compose my songs.
Why the choice of this disused place in Brussels, which also housed a boxing club?
It is a chance of life. Brussels is a city that I really like. At the end of a concert, musicians told me about this place that can be converted into workshops, and the next day, I went there by bike. What appealed to me the most there was being able to do daily craftsmanship, taking the time to make music there whenever I felt like it, at any hour of the day and night, anonymously, a bit like in Batman’s cellar! (laughs) This isolation in the basement saved me from stress and disturbances.
With your past references (The Beatles, David Bowie, Gainsbourg, Bob Dylan…) and your constant research, your music is part of a kind of timelessness, between past, future and present?
It’s all very assumed. My references are like a painter’s brushes, the colors needed to compose my music, but I’m not into musical fetishism, and I don’t forbid myself any experimentation. My music is a bit timeless and I don’t run into fashion, but the goal is still to mark the present by drawing inspiration from the past while being a bit visionary.
On the title Cold And Tired, you even used Auto-Tune, which distorts the voice?
Here again, it is the result of chance, close to accident, in a place conducive to experimentation. at one point, i found myself without a microphone, so i used my phone to record on a four-track tape recorder. I liked the result so much that I decided to keep this transformed voice.
This voice precisely, which passes easily from bass to treble, do you work on it specifically?
I’ve never taken singing lessons, but the voice is very organic, so intimate. It is the reflection of what we are and what we are becoming. This ease of bass to treble was first noticed by others. At first, I went into the treble for lack of instruments, then I got into the game because I like to sing.
The scene also allows you to lighten up, you who often felt isolated by your ex-rugby player physique?
Yes quite. In everyday life, it’s more difficult… Measuring almost two meters for more than a hundred kilos does not facilitate discretion. But making music allows you to reveal another part of yourself, hence my high-pitched voice and my writing.
Rover in concert:
Saturday January 15, at 8 p.m. Debussy Theater at the Palais de Festivals, in Cannes. First part: Pi Jama. Prices: from 12 to 28 euros.
Sunday January 16, at 6:30 p.m.
Denis Theater (12, Cours de Strasbourg), in Hyères.
Prices: from 12 to 16 euros. Information: 04.98.07.00.70.