Indochine (band)

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Indochine
Indochine 2009.JPG
Background information
Origin Paris, France
Genres Rock, new wave
Years active 1981–present
Associated acts Melissa Auf der Maur[1]
Website

Official site (French)

Indochine is a French rock and new wave band, formed in 1981. The band was very successful in France in the 1980s, as well as other parts of continental Europe and Latin America, with songs like "L'Aventurier" and "Canary Bay". Following the release of several critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful, albums in the 1990s, the group returned to stardom with the release of Paradize in 2002. The band has sold over 10 million albums and singles, making them one of the best selling French bands.[citation needed]

History[edit]

1980s[edit]

Indochine (French for Indochina) was formed in 1981 by two Frenchmen in their early twenties, Nicola Sirkis and Dominique Nicolas, in Paris. They soon added Dimitri Bodianski, the cousin of one of Nicola’s friends.

They gave their first concert at Le Rose Bonbon, a café in Paris on 29 September 1981. This brief performance on stage earned them their first contract with a record company.

They recorded their first single in November 1981. It included two songs, "Dizzidence Politik" and "Françoise", but drew more attention from critics than from the mainstream media and only reached a limited audience.

Stéphane Sirkis, Nicola’s twin brother who had already performed with the band on stage, officially joined the band, and in April 1982 the group recorded their first album, L'Aventurier, which sold more than 250,000 copies. The album was well received by the press and by an emerging New Wave audience.

In 1983, Indochine released a second album entitled Le Péril Jaune ("Yellow Peril") which sold 225,000 copies. Indochine had by this stage become a major act in French music. In 1984, the band toured France. They were also successful in Scandinavia, most notably in Sweden.

By 1985, they had achieved a large following, reflected by the success of such songs as "Troisième sexe" ("third sex"), "Canary Bay", and "Trois nuits par semaine". Their third album, 3, sold 750,000 copies in Europe. Serge Gainsbourg directed the video to "Tes yeux noirs", one of the group's most successful songs.

In 1986, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the band, Indochine decided to release the recording of the concert given at the Zénith in Paris.

Their fourth album, 7000 Danses, produced by Joe Glasman, was released in 1987. It sold about 320,000 copies making it a successful album though far less so than its predecessor, 3. This is partly due to the band's efforts to produce a less mainstream, commercial album.[citation needed] 7000 Danses was also released amidst a polemic stemming from rock critics claiming that Indochine were a mere copy of British band The Cure. In spite of the polemic, the public continued to support the group.

In March 1988, Indochine began their world tour going to Montreal, Canada and Lima,[2] Peru.

In Lima, Peru sold 300,000 copies of the 33 tours Live au Zénith in early 1988, and also this is the only country in Latin America where the band was successful.

1990s[edit]

Drained after many months touring, the band took a break. Their fifth studio album, Le Baiser was released in early 1990. Fans were shocked to discover that Dimitri Bodianski was no longer part of the group, having decided to leave the band in January 1989 . His departure can be attributed to a number of reasons. First of all, Indochine’s sound had evolved over the years and Bodianski found he had less and less to do as a saxophonist. He was also feeling pressure at home having recently become a father. All this contributed to tension between him and the rest of the band. Bodianski remains a much loved member of the original Indochine line-up and since his departure has guest starred with the band on stage.

1991 marked Indochine’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Le Birthday Album was released. It was a best of compilation, including one new track, "La Guerre Est Finie" ("The War Is Over"), which was released as a single. The album’s success was considerable (it sold 600,000 copies across Europe) and rekindled interest in the group. However, the single’s title proved unfortunate in light of the fact that the Persian Gulf War had just started at the time. For this reason, many radio stations opted not to play the track.

Un jour dans notre vie, their sixth studio album, was released in 1993. It proved unsuccessful, both commercially and critically.

On 27 February 1999, Stéphane Sirkis, guitarist, keyboardist and Nicola's twin brother, died at the age of 39 of hepatitis. He had requested that the band continue after his death.[3]

2000s[edit]

Concert of Indochine, Paradize Tour (2003, France)

In 2002 they enjoyed renewed success with the Paradize album which sold 1,000,000 copies, including the chart topper "J'ai demandé à la lune".[citation needed]This album has marked a change in aesthetics and genre, moving towards a darker tone and more introspective lyrics, influenced by popular acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Placebo and Marilyn Manson.

In December 2005, Indochine returned with Alice & June, featuring a collaboration with Placebo frontman Brian Molko. On 6 and 7 June 2006, the group had a concert in Hanoi Opera House to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

In December 2007, Indochine released a triple live DVD and double CD album entitled Alice & June Tour. The album featured the full concert recorded in Lille, France in March 2007.

Their 11th studio album, La République des Meteors, was released on 9 March 2009. The album marked a change in their musical style, slowly moving away from the dark and quirky realms they had explored with "Paradize" and "Alice & June".

2010s[edit]

Indochine was the first French band to perform at the Stade de France, on 26 June 2010 their biggest gig ever, sold out and in front of 80,000 people.

In November 2012, the band released their new single Memoria, from their upcoming album "Black City Parade".

Black City Parade was released on the 11 February 2013 with much anticipation from the fans. The album, despite its almost gloomy cover art, features a much more brighter and warmer music than the last two albums. The band seemed to want include references to their synthpop and new wave beginnings. Indochine played several sold out shows during the first leg of the "Black City Tour" which kicked off on 21 February 2013. Five legs are planned for the "Black City Tour". The band stated that they will be playing around the world. They later announced that they will return to the Stade de France on 27 June 2014.

The second single for Black City Parade was College Boy, a song widely acknowledged to narrate the life of a homosexual teenage boy dealing with bashing and harassment. The video for the single was directed by Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan. The video premiered online with a disclaimer stating that it contained violent scenes and would not be suitable for a young audience. The video depicts a young male student facing mobbing and harassment from his schoolmates. The video culminates in him being brutally crucified and shot in the torso by his fellow students. Many criticisms have poured over the Internet about whether the video should be broadcast or not.[citation needed]

Band members[edit]

Current Members
Past Members
  • Stéphane Sirkis (guitar and keyboards from 1982 to 1999 → death)
  • Dominique Nicolas (guitar from 1981 until 1994)
  • Dimitri Bodianski (saxophone from 1981 until 1988)
  • Arnaud Devos (drums from 1985 until 1986)
  • Diego Burgar (bass on stage in 1988)
  • Jean-My Truong (drums from 1988 until 1994)
  • Philippe Eidel (accordion in 1992)
  • Jean Pierre Pilot (keyboards from 1994 until 2001)
  • Alexandre Azaria (guitar from 1995 until 1997)
  • Monsieur Tox (guitar from 1996 until 1997)
  • Monsieur Yann (drums from 1996 until 1998)
  • Matthieu Rabaté (drums from 1999 until 2002)
  • Monsieur Frédéric (Frédéric Helbert) (keyboards from 2002 until 2004)
Date Vocals Guitar
(solo)
Guitare
(acoustic)
Bass Drums Keyboards Albums
1981 Nicola Sirkis
Dominique Nicolas - - - Dimitri Bodianski
(+ Saxophone)
1982 Stéphane Sirkis
(+ Keyboards)
L'Aventurier
1983 Le Péril Jaune
1984
1985 Arnaud Devos 3
1986
1987 7000 Danses
1988 Diego Burgard Jean-My Truong
1989 Philippe Eidel
(+ Accordion)
1990 Le Baiser
1991
1992 Marc Eliard
1993 Un Jour Dans Notre Vie
1994 Jean-Pierre Pilot
1995 - -
1996 Alexandre Azaria Yann Cortéla Wax
1997 Xavier Géromini
1998 Boris Jardel
1999 Oli de Sat Matthieu Rabaté Dancetaria
2000
2001 Frédéric Helbert
2002 Mr Shoes Paradize
2003
2004 -
2005 Matu Alice & June
2006
2007
2008
2009 La République des Meteors
2010
2011
2012
2013 Black City Parade

"-" Indicates no member existed in that position or that there was no replacement.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certifications
BEL
(Vl)

BEL
(Wa)

FRA
[4]
SWI
1999 Dancetaria 7 14
2002 Paradize 1 2 6 Diamond[5]
2005 Alice & June 1 1 17 2x Platinum[6]
2009 La République des Meteors 31 2 2 4 Platinum[7]
2013 Black City Parade 41 1 1 3 Platinum[8]

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certifications
BEL
(Wa)

FRA
[4]
SWI
1997 INDO LIVE 13 12
2001 Nuits intimes 12 22
2004 3.6.3 1 1 41
2007 Hanoï 1 1 7
Alice & June Tour 12 15 39
2010 Le Meteor sur Bruxelles
2010 Putain de Stade (DVD) 1 2 11

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certifications
BEL
(Wa)

FRA
[4]
SWI
1991 Le Birthday Album 110
1996 Unita
Les versions longues
2012 Paradize+10
(remasterisation album Paradize)
1 3 41
Non-official compilations

(released without the band's consent)

  • 2000 - Génération Indochine
  • 2004 - Le Birthday album 1981-1996

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Certifications Album
BEL
(Wa)

Ultratop
BEL
(Wa)

Ultratip*
FRA
[4]
SWE
SWI
1985 "Canary Bay" 29 8
"3e sexe" 3
1986 "Tes yeux noirs" 8
1987 "Tes yeux noirs" 17
1990 "Le baiser" 23
1999 "Le baiser" 37 86
2000 "Justine" 14 90
2002 "Punker" 67
"J'ai demandé à la lune" 1 1 4
"Mao Boy" 20 18
2003 "Le grand secret" 35 9 37
"Marilyn" 25 22 71
"Un singe en hiver" 15 19 69
2005 "Alice & June" 2 16 52
2006 "Ladyboy" 15 19 58
"Adora" 34 20 70
2009 "Le lac" 15 11
2012 "Memoria" 6 13
"L'aventurier" 135
2013 "College Boy" 2 28
"Black City Parade" 34 31
2014 "Belfast" 18

*Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts.

Biography[edit]

  • Indochine (1986) by Jean-Eric Perrin
  • Le Septennat (1988) by Marc Thirion
  • Indochine de A à Z (2003) by Sébastien Bataille
  • L'Aventure Indochine (2004) by Christian English and Frédéric Thibaud
  • Insolence Rock (2004) by Sébastien Michaud
  • Le Roman Vrai d'Indochine (2005) by Jean-Claude Perrier
  • Sur la Muraille d'Indochine (2007) by Phillipe Crocq
  • Indochine Story (2009) by Anouk Vincent
  • Kissing my song (2011) by Agnès Michaux

References[edit]

External links[edit]