A hot June day in Paris brings the kind of sweltering heat that can make you feel a little bit drunk (not necessarily a bad thing). I’m at a café near La Madeleine, tucked away in a corner and trying to be discreet. You see, I have a rendez-vous with Sébastien Tellier, France’s electro-pop playboy, and I have arrived early to cool off, quite literally — my shorts are stuck to my legs. “Not to worry,” I think, sipping on my Perrier, “he’ll be late.” At 4:30 pm on the dot, however, a tall, very hairy man breezes in and talks amicably with the waiter, before heading back outside to sit down. I sigh (shorts and legs are still as one), knock back the rest of my drink and walk over to introduce myself.
The first thing of note is that Tellier is much more attractive in the flesh than I had expected. He’s stylish — not in an ironic way like in his videos — and behind all that hair there is a very handsome face, with a pair of extraordinary blue eyes that light up when he is amused. This happens often over the course of our two-hour chat, though I can’t take any credit. No, Tellier is one of those wonderful people who can laugh at themselves. Perhaps this is too obvious a point to make to anyone who’s ever watched his clips or seen him perform, but for those who haven’t, let’s recap: for his Eurovision entry in 2008, he decked out his female back-up singers in fake beards, gyrated around on stage and sucked on a helium-filled ball, all while an off-camera wind-machine fanned his locks. This was, however, a toned-down Tellier for the masses. While conducting my research, Vincent Vendetta, of the Midnight Juggernauts, relayed a more typical performance: “We once played a gig together in the north of France which concluded with him rolling on the floor and making love to the monitors on stage. It’s funny watching an audience respond to a man caressing a large, inanimate speaker-box for five minutes.”
Read the rest here or in my published section.