An interview with Thomas Dutronic | Paris Match Switzerland

Why not include more of your titles in the live stream?

I got Covid in April, during the week of rehearsals before my first appointment. I wanted to insist my dad do one or two more songs from me, but I wasn’t around to do it and it didn’t force much, let’s say. No one would dare say anything to him but me. Thanks to the recording, we were able to sing more of my songs. Maybe now he’ll do one or two more on stage, I don’t know. I don’t want to bother him. We are here to enjoy. We adore each other and there is a lot of tenderness, humor and love between us.

Is your dad difficult to motivate?

Above all, he wants to be at 150%. He sings superbly, he really has talent, his tone of voice is charming and recognizable among all. He already has a lot to do with his titles. The album is hard work, but theater is fun. I don’t want to overload it. If he wants to do another one, that’s great. Otherwise, you understand. We are not here to count who does what. The important thing is that we have fun.

How do you cooperate?

We go through everything together. When I’m sure of myself, I insist on imposing myself because I know you have to insist a little bit with him. I remember that when I had the good fortune of working with Aznavour, I was astonished that no one would dare say anything to him. With celebrities, with my dad, it’s a bit the same. But I dare. After that, I don’t want to do that much, I’m careful. It’s more about how many things I tell him I’m avoiding, but if I have to tell him something, I do.

Do you have a link to the selected songs?

My dad doesn’t want to do “don’t do this, don’t do that”, because it’s too fast. So I sing it. I really wanted it because it was one of my dad’s first two songs, along with “The Playboys”. The additional game that cracks the color of the boom, amuses me so much, even if I was five years old, I didn’t understand what it meant. For the album and live stream, we kept the timeless songs.

Have you paraphrased certain texts from that time?

No, everything is still working fine. Here’s the funny thing: my dad’s songs are immortal, they just haven’t aged a bit. It might just be there in “I like girls” where there is a long list of girls. On stage, we improvise jokes instead or sing “I love Geneva girls” or sing for the city we’re in.

Will you also cover the songs of your mother, Françoise Hardy, one day?

We thought about it for live streaming, but couldn’t find any really suitable nicknames for my dad and me. As a result, we give her a beautiful acknowledgment by playing the instrument “Le temps de l’amour”, by showing her a big picture. It’s going.

how is your mother?

She has had several types of cancer over the past 10 years, and they are all in remission at the moment. But his cancers, and his radiation and chemotherapy treatments really damaged his health. So she has rather fragile health, and her everyday life is not very interesting, not very funny.

What do you think of the album?

I enjoyed a lot of things. I was glad she didn’t like “Tomorrow” that much, which was the first single from my second album. She didn’t think it was bad, but she thought there was better and it was a shame to get this out first. When I listened to “Dutronc & Dutronc”, you didn’t recognize it and found it very good! Like everything happens (laughs). But unfortunately my mum has a small ear problem at the moment and I hope it will be resolved. She spends her life battling health problems…

Are you closer to your mother or father?

I am close to both, but they are completely different personalities. With my mother, we can talk about everything, we can easily tell each other everything. With my dad, we’re not used to doing that anymore. We can talk about deeper topics, but that’s not necessarily what comes first.

Do you say “I love you” to each other in the family?

Oh yes!

Also with your father?

Yes, from time to time anyway. But with my father, by the gestures we tell each other. With him, we guess things a little. The crisis of my adolescence, with my mother, I had to do it at the age of 11-12 years. With my dad, it was like 17-18! why? Because my mother, she was talking to me all the time, she came to bother me because of this, for that, normal parental stuff. While my father remained somewhat silent. We used to make jokes together and live together as friends.

Do Dutronc-Hardys sometimes have arguments?

We may get angry sometimes, but we never sleep angry. We always reconcile. Sometimes I get angry, but in the evening I will forgive or send a kind note. We love each other above all, there is deep tenderness and kindness. All three of us have a “big kid” side.

Are there tripartite meetings?

no. I have a strong relationship with both, they mean a lot to me, it’s huge. Mom, I’m very close to her, but with everything I’m doing right now, I won’t see her as often as I’d like.

Was having famous parents difficult when he was a kid?

My parents have been loved their whole lives and surrounded by people standing at their feet, but that didn’t bother me because they were under my feet, if I may say so. I grew up with a lot of love. However, I had a hard time between the ages of 17 and 19: I wanted to follow a course to become a filmmaker and I needed a diploma. I went to a college that didn’t suit me. I was a little lost. And I said, “My parents succeeded, and what am I going to become?” This is where I discovered the guitar. What I immediately liked was that the purpose in life – an idea that came to me from my mother and my grandparents – was to do something you love, to find his passion. If we succeed in addition, then of course it is better. My mother kept telling me, “Attach your plow to a star.” Also at this time, I discovered George Brassens and Django Reinhart, who were even stronger than my father! So I was able to push them away a little bit, and tell myself that, in the end, they weren’t very good (laughs).

Did starting music with your name slow you down or slow you down?

Since my name was Dutronc, our group’s first agent wanted to put us on the big stage right away! I said no. We were doing good things, but we were just getting started, and we were good at doing the opening act, the nightclub. I never underestimated myself, but I always prefer to be very humble, than to be very confident in myself. This does not prevent me from realizing my worth.

You love to talk about your parents, but about your life, we don’t know much…

(Laugh). There are many things in my life! I’m lucky, but I don’t say anything in the media, it’s true. I’m happy to talk about my parents, and I’m happy to talk about something else too. On the other hand, my private life, I keep to myself.

Are you a couple?

yes. (Laugh). Me, noI will not say more.

Do you feel remorse or regret in life?

I will be 50 years old soon. I tell myself that if I had the mind I have now when I was younger, I would have done things differently. I’ve worked a lot on guitar, but I’m sorry I didn’t do more. I spent a lot of time partying and fucking. Which is also a good thing, because that’s what I built. Over time, we see a little more of what the basics are. But happiness is precisely not seeing the essential things, and enjoying life without thinking about them. I also regret that I wasn’t between 15 and 20 at the time of social networks, because I would have done funny things. At my age, it bothers me a little. I was happy with the Facebook Live I did while in confinement, but other than that, posting to say I’m at the beach or in the studio, it pisses me off.

Are you calm as you approach the age of fifty?

Unfortunately no. We feel that the body and tubes are more fragile than before (laughs).

Did this course spur that encounter with your father who will turn 80 in 2023?

No, it’s a coincidence. I was often asked if it was a childhood dream to sing with him. It was not a childhood dream, it was more than an adult desire. It’s the right time because I’m more confident in my career, in my singing. When I first started, it was a little scary. I’m also looking forward to setting a new record, but what we’re seeing there with my dad is just amazing. I have a great opportunity to share my celebration moments with him, and it makes me dizzy. And we do an exceptional job. We are very fortunate.

To the end, Thomas Dutronic, who are you?

(Laugh). I am grateful who loves friendship and fun and good wine and good music and who the whole world would not like to be a cactus. I would also like everyone to just listen to Brassens and Django like me.

It wouldn’t be perfect for you if it was!

Already! (Laugh).

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