March 14, 2008: I recently have been contacted by Stephane LeClair, he wanted to congratulate me for the website and offered to duranasty.com the opportunity to host some of the pro mixes he produced for Duran Duran's Nite Runner and some of his original music. Stephane had worked for Duran Duran in 1997/98, at the time he did various remixes of Medazzaland [the song]: The Medazzamixes. In the latest weeks i have been in touch with him and I discovered a passionate and talented musician, a great music lover and a really down to earth guy. He accepted to do an interview for duranasty.com to go with the exclusive downloads he offered such as the Nite Runner professional Re-Lubed remixes EP, The Eternal Moment [featuring Warren Cuccurullo], NY in Smoke [written on 9/11] and, not less important, his memories about working for Duran Duran... from Duran Duran fan to Duran Duran remixer!: dreams do come true... Duranasty.com wishes Stephane all the best for his future as musician, we hope he'll conquer the world with his music soon. Check out his myspace page to listen more of his original music and remixes.
Salvo@duranasty.com: How old were you when you started to approach music and singing?
LeClair: I guess I probably first connected with music when
I was just a baby. As I was growing up, singing, creating and making
music became as natural and vital to me as breathing air... I honestly
need it in my life to be happy.
Stephane: Autodidact with a good hear first and foremost,
but I did study music a bit and felt like I was just trying to learn
what I already knew in a different and more complex language... it was
interresting though but not very useful.
Stephane: Because he truly is a genius! He is the most complete incarnation of music itself, I've seen him live a few times and there is something almost ''non-human'' about a man who can play any instrument that well besides singing right on tune with a crystal clear voice...
When I saw the Purple Rain movie I was just a kid and it made me cry... I felt like I was not alone anymore with such a passion for music and felt understood for the very first time in my life...I guess it was a thing about knowing what I was put on this earth for at a very early age... but I am still learning though [like everybody] , life is a long learning process right?
After looking at the credits on Prince's albums and finding out he was doing almost every single track by himself... I thought ,'' Yes!, why not?... so I got myself a multitracker and started recording all those songs an instrumentations I had kept in my head for so long, doing all the parts too, just like my purple idol...I am not saying I am as gifted as he is though, & probably not even half as good... but I certainly have more talent than some pretty big names out there though [lol]...
write a new melody almost every day and my main frustration about it
is that there absolutely no way I'm gonna be able to complete and record
every single one of them before I die... and that really bugs me out.
Definitely The Beatles, The Stones, black music in general, U2, Duran [for their darker side], Peter Gabriel, Lennon, Coltrane, Radiohead... 2 other very important ones [yet very different] they are David Sylvian and Bruce Springsteen [!]... and many others.
I am from Quebec [Cirque Du Soleil, Celine Dion, Robert Lepage -brilliant movie/theatre director who also did the art direction/concept of Peter Gabriel's 'secret world' and 'growing up' tours] which is definitely the European/French part of the whole continent... so I grew up surrounded by both cultures, plus Quebec's own rich one...
I also spent a lot of time in America, so I'd say that my own music/sound is really ''free'' and open to any good influences from all around the world.
I mean, why limit and confine yourself into one particular style, when there are so many things to explore in creation [and life]?
Duranasty: Can you tell us something about the song New York in smoke, the story behind it.
Stephane: What can I say... we all remember what we were doing on the day the World Trade Center was attacked...writing a song about what was happening, and about the feelings I was experiencing on 9/11 was my way to exorcise some of the pain and worries I ([nd so many other people] felt... so, before the end of the day, the song, words & music, was completed [listen to it & read my Blog about it on myspace for more details].
talk now about your passion and involment with Duran Duran...
Stephane: A music journalist/record label owner [for whom I produced a few albums] loved my Medazzamixes so much that he talked about them to a guy at EMI [in charge of the band's promo schedule for Montreal] who gave me an all access pass to the radio station where Duran were going for a live broadcast/interview/performance... that is where I first met them and handed them the Medazzamixes [unfortunately, Nick was sick and couldn't make it for the interview].
Since I was working in a studio that same night, putting the final touch to the mix of another artist's album, I couldn't stay for the whole interview, so I gave the Medazzamixes on cds to Simon & Warren and after a quick chat I told them I had to rush back to the studio and left in a hurry [can you believe it?] ...but both Warren and Simon seemed really curious about hearing the mixes... the next day the phone rang a few times at my appartment while I was out [in the studio again] and a certain Mr. LeBon left a very positive message about my mixes asking me to call him back...
Duranasty: did you actually work with Duran in the same studio or payed them a visit while they were in the studio in London/Privacy studios or the remixes were just done on your own and you just showed up when the job was done?
Stephane: No, not for the Medazzamixes... I did them between studio sessions, a true labour of love for the band's music really... but both Warren and Simon really loved them.
The fax Warren sent to Stephane on february 12, 1998. He gives Stephane details about Privacy studios [address and fax]
....in the message he left on my machine [you can hear an ''edited for privacy reasons'' version of it on my myspace music player], Simon mentioned that he was ''really pleased with my work and that my mixes were absolutely fantastic!'', he also gave me the information to get in touch with him... which I used of course, and we met a little later that evening at the bar of a very chic hotel in Montreal where we spoke, had a drink, and where I also had the chance to meet the rest of the band [a drummer named Steve Alexander, and also their tour manager Lewis Kovac from Left Bank Management, both very nice]... Simon was really, really cool and easygoing when we met, he told me he wanted to use one of my Medazzamixes as ''b-side'' material maybe for the next single to be released from ''Medazzaland'' [which would have probably been the powerful ''Who Do You Think You Are?''], he had also asked Lewis Kovac to send me the master tapes of the whole Medazzaland sessions for me to do more mixes for other titles of the album. We spoke about music, the tour, and also about Nick's health problems he was having at the time [in fact they had to postpone the Montreal concert because of that] and Simon seemed very concerned about his mate's health at the time.
I can't really remember if I was introduced to Wes Wehmiller, but I did see him perform on stage and he was truly phenomenal... a very tight bass player [some of John Taylor's bass lines are quite complex to reproduce and this guy was right on the beat], It was a sad thing hearing that he died at such a young age.
Duranasty: Can you describe the Duran Duran guys with only an adjective?
Stephane: open-minded-music-lovers [I cheated... but even this ''4 in 1'' adjective is not enough to express all the respect I have for these guys].
Duranasty: You told me you know Warren and you are still in touch with him, do you think the TVMania project will be ever released? Are you in some way involved?
Well... I don't know him personally but we did speak over the phone
and he told me once that he really liked my beats and that he wanted
me to work and remix some other things he and D2 were working on during
the '97/'98... he also faxed me the address of Privacy so we could send
each other tracks and stuff... it was again a real honor to receive
compliments on my work from a Duran member & such a gifted musician...
to me, he is the ultimate guitarist in Duran Duran, and truly part of
the band's musical soul [Ordinary World and Come Undone are such gems]...
unfortunately, not too long after that, the band parted from their management
co. and ended their deal with EMI [who ''sucked'' big time promoting
Medazzaland], so, no next single from that album was ever released [neither
my Medazzamixes and new ones] and a little later Privacy closed its
We still keep in touch from time to time through e-mail, I did a few tracks using some of Warren's ambient material... one of them is called ''The Eternal Moment'' [at myspace there is also a blog I posted about the song]. Warren is truly gifted, check out his website.
>> Download Eternal Moment [featuring Warren Cuccurullo] <<
About TV Mania... I heard that ''Bored With Prozac And The Internet'' might be released in 2008... I don't think they'll go back in the studio to record more tracks but I'd be glad to add my signature to it if asked [of course], that should be a really interesting album... very ''lo-fi'' and ambient I guess.
Duranasty: Being yourself a Duran Duran fan, how is working with/for the musicians you love?
Stephane: All that was a great experience for the kid I was at the time... but if I were to end up in the same room with these guys to make music... sparks would definitely fly!...I'd love to create new music with these guys someday... I mean, who wouldn't if given the oportunity?
Duranasty: After the Medazzaland experience, did you have a chance to work with them again or just met them? For example, have you seen them during the reunion 2003/2005 tour?
Stephane: Saw them during the ''Astronaut'' tour and it was great.
Duranasty: What about the Nite Runner remixes, are they official ones or they might become official if the single gets a release in the Us?
Stephane: For the moment they are ''pro mixes'', yet ''not official'', but people who heard the 2 mixes available to hear on myspace page seem to like them pretty much... I received so much mail from fans asking me to sell them copies or downloads [especially for the ''SLC Lubed House Mixxx''] but I'd never do that, I have too much respect for other people's music to do so... I could make them available for fans to listen to through your amazing site though if you want [for free]...there is 4 of them coming as an EP entitled ''Nite-Runner : Re-Lubed [The Stephane Le Clair Mixes]... as for an official release if the song ever comes out as a single...well, if they ever catch one of the Fab-Guys' ears, who knows what might happen?
I never sent any of the NR mixes to anybody else... only sent the link to myspace page for fans to listen to 2 of them... the Nite Runner Ep is exclusive to duranasty.com, the only other place to listen to some of it is on my official myspace page...NY in smoke is also an exclusive, as well as eternal moment... that makes 6 exclusive tracks for the visitors of duranasty.com ...not bad.
Download the Nite Runner Re-Lubed Ep Duran Duran featuring Stephane LeClair Ep
[ to downolad right click/save target as]
Download the cover artwork for the Nite Runner Re-Lubed Ep
click here to get a bigger and printable version
Duranasty: What do you think about Red Carpet Massacre, do you like it?
Stephane: I think it is a very strong collection of songs... it took a few listens to get used to the ''low profile guitar'' in the mix since I had heard most of the songs live first with much louder guitars... but once you get used to it [or accept it] you cannot deny the fact that RCM features some of the best songs the guys have come up with in a long time... no fillers, 12 pretty strong numbers... and again very different from earlier releases.. Very impressive after all these years in the business.
I strongly believe though that it is about time that a next single from RCM gets a proper release and some good promotion. ''Nite-Runner'' or ''Skin Divers'' featuring Timberlake/Timbaland appearing in a video with the band could do some good to the album sales and bring back the legendary band into the minds of the people who might have forgotten how much these guys make great music.
Duranasty: Where friend of duranasty.com can listen your music? Is there any plan about an album/ep release soon?
Stephane: www.myspace.com/stephaneleclair is the best place to listen to some of my work for now... but we are planning a website soon [hope it'll look as good as duranasty.com] and hopefully a complete album should also be available in the future. I've got so many songs written that I could put out 5 disc set ! lol I am also looking for a new, reliable and serious manager to help me conquer the world with my music... so if you know any, feel free to forward them this interview... I am totally free and own the rights to all of my material.
and lyrics by Stephane Le Clair [original
Duranasty: Lets talk about travels... what's the place you most like in Europe and why?
Stephane: I love London, Spain, Paris... but Italy has always been one of my favorite places on the globe & I wish I'll be able to visit and discover it really soon... I've got this fantasy in my mind, that if I ever make it real big someday, I'll get myself an Italian Villa, just like another one of my music heroes Mr. Terence Trent D'arby [now Sananda Maitreya]... I also noticed that people looked really good over there, especially women!
Well, thanks a lot Salvo...or should I say: Grazie mille e i migliori auguri a tutti i lettori.
If any of your readers would like to contact me, they can do so by writing to my email, it'll be my pleasure to answer.
click on the above artworks to get bigger size/printable single covers.