Les Tambours du Bronx
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Les Tambours du Bronx ("the Drums of the Bronx") is a French industrial percussion band created in 1987.
Les Tambours du Bronx has 17 musicians on stage surrounded by synthetic sounds, samples, and singing, all in time with the powerful rhythm. It built its reputation reviving drums from rough energetic music; a mixture of indus, afrobeat, drum'n'bass, hip-hop, rock, metal, hardcore and techno.
Les Tambours du Bronx was born in 1987 in Varennes-Vauzelles, a suburb of Nevers, Nièvre, France. Its name comes from a Varennes-Vauzelles district called "The Bronx" because of its square patterned streets, and lines of identical dark houses. This district was then inhabited by SNCF (French rail company) workers, where the first drums used by LTDB are from.
The band's first performance was to be a single happening as part of the Nevers a Vif festival, in 1987. What began as a joke between friends became the urban percussion's international reference.
20 years later, the band played in the U.S.A., Brazil, Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Reunion Island, Djibouti and Slovenia and all around western Europe, on big events such as the bicentenary of the French revolution on the Champs-Elysee for Jean-Paul Goude defile in 1989, the opening of Johnny Hallyday's celebration of his 40 years' career under the Eiffel Tower, a six-week tour across the U.S.A. in 2000, the opening of KoЯn in the Sziget Festival in Budapest in 2005, the Roskilde Festival for the opening of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin in Denmark in 1992 and 1995, the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, in 2006, the Zenith, Paris, with a symphony orchestra in 2007...
In 1992, under the direction of Philippe Poustis with a philarmonic orchestra and Bulgarian voices, they recorded a disc, "Grand Mix", the only one of its kind. In 2008, they worked with Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke) on the creation of 3 tracks, still unreleased.
One thousand concerts, 16,000 squashed drums and 110,000 split sticks mark the route of this atypical band, who had more than 120 musicians in 24 years of life.
More than a rock band, this real musician company chose the autoproduction via the Sarl Tambours du Bronx Productions. It is distributed by the independent French label Naïve Records, who released their first DVD in March 2006.
In October 2009, they released a new studio album "MMIX", based on their new show. This record is distributed by the French independent label At(h)ome. A live DVD is planned for 2011.
Frequently Asked Questions
From the beginning, the musicians used 225 litre "Monostress" drums, chosen for their resonance and flexibility. The drums arrive raw by truck, then are painted by Les Tambours du Bronx to their own designs. One drum is used for two concerts, one for each side. The drums are given away every second show then end up, most of the time, in a warm and cosy living room, under a TV or as a piece of furniture.
The sticks are made of beech wood and are 40 cm (16") long with a diameter of 3 cm (1.2"). Each musician breaks about two pairs per concert. Back in time, they were pieces of picksticks. They're now delivered on pallets.
There are 14 drums on stage, two musicians on sampling stands, and one playing keyboards. One singer, or even two, perform a few songs. The drums circle arc is divided into three parts called "bases", "middles" and "rhythmics".
The band performed more than 1100 concerts and totalled over 120 musicians, all of them from Nevers and the surrounding area. Nowadays a few musicians from the beginnings are still there.
Since their creation, they have broken about 16000 oil drums and 110000 sticks !
The electronic sounds, set off by the metal pipe stands, appeared in the mid-nineties. Keyboards arrived in 2003, with the album "Stereostress Remixes". This allowed the band to explore other musical influences whilst keeping its industrial roots. Before that time, their concerts were acoustic only, with up to 28 musicians on stage. The present set still preserves straight drums songs. Occasionally the band will still play a 20 minute acoustic show, instead of the complete 1h30 usual one.
Since the new show launched in February 2009, the metal tubes have been also used to trigger real time video in addition to the sounds.
- Les Tambours du Bronx appears in the video game SimCity
- Les Tambours du Bronx appears in the party game Trivial Pursuit
- Les Tambours du Bronx has been in the credits of La semaine des guignols on Canal+ (TV channel) since 1997
- Les Tambours du Bronx played 10 times in the Szene (Vienna, Austria)
- Les Tambours du Bronx played in many unusual places such as a chapel, an ice rink, the Dubaï desert, in a swimming pool, under the Eiffel Tower, in a quarry, on roofs, on the water, in the snow, in the forest, on the beach, on the top of buses, on a barge, in Roman amphitheatres, as well as fortresses or medieval citadels...
- Three members of les Tambours du Bronx (Dom, Sid and Cece) have founded a Metal-hardcore band called "Bensoussan", with an external drummer.
- A medley of several of Les Tambours du Bronx songs was used by the University of California, San Diego Dancesport team for their formation routine, "The Tribe."
- Production manager: Guillaume PIAT (Poz)
- Technical manager: Dominique GAUDEAUX (Dom)
- FOH sound: Sébastien GUICHARD (La Fraise)
- Monitors sound: Jérôme CARTIER (Djé)
- Lights: Michaël LEMAIRE
- Samples & Electro: Yann LAVOCAT
- Musicians: Cécé, Nono, Franky, Romi, Sid, Dom, Luc, Ben, Zio, Thierry, Julien, Poz, Babass, Flav, Will
- Ca sonne pas beau un bidon? (1989)
- Monostress 225L (1992)
- Grandmix (1992)
- Silence (November 1999)
- Live (October 2001)
- Stereostress Remixes (April 2003)
- DVD Live (March 2006)
- BRONX Live (November 2006)
- MMIX (October 2009)