Binker & Moses Interview (2018)

A phone interview of Binker (and Moses) by three pupils in 1L, Lycée Bourg Chevreau. 3rd April 2018

Hello, who are you ? B : Oh I’m Binker ! (laughs)

S : Ok, so would you mind introduce yourself in a few words ? B : Yeah, sure. So, well… My real name is Binker Golding, I was born on the 31st of October 1985 in London. I’m a professional musician, I’ve been studying music since I was about 8 years old. And I play saxophone, and I write music . S : Ok so… B : That would be my introduction… (laughs)

S : Thanks… When did you create the band ? B : When did we create the band ? S : Yes B : Hum… 2014 ? I think ? S : Yeah, ok… B : Of… Yeah, we created the band Binker and Moses since about 2014…

S : And how long have you been playing instruments ? B : Hum… I think 22 years of something like that. I’m 32 now and I was 8 years old when I started so, yeah I don’t know (laughs) B : So… yeah 24 years ? I think ? I don’t know. So, a long time, too long (laughs)

S : Can you tell us why do you play those instruments? B : Why do I play it ? hum… Well… Originally, I wanted to play guitar, really when I was little and my parents wouldn’t let me play guitar because I liked Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana and Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and things like that. And they thought that if I started playing guitar, Then I would take drugs and things… like Jimi Hendrix and company… And, so, my parents wouldn’t let me play guitar so they… they… sent me to a music school when I was small, when I was about 8. And there was a choice between playing saxophone or violin. And I didn’t want to play violin, so I chose saxophone instead. And hum.. I don’t believe in changing instruments… I believe in started something and do it all way to the end. So, I’ve always played saxophone, that’s how it happens.

S : ok … What is jazz ? G: So, We are not well versed on jazz, how would you define this music style ? B : So, how would I define… G : jazz B : Jazz ? G : Yes B : What would my definition of jazz be ? hum…. I would say hum… That’s very difficult… My definition of jazz would be, It’s like… really an early 20th century star of American music which has improvisation, as the focus point of the music, and it has a certain feel to it, like a swing feel or it has you know like… blues harmony and all kinds of European armony and… There has to be a certain amount of interaction between the band and… yes, improvisation, a certain style of improvisation has to be predominant in the music, it has to be easily noticable in the music but it's changed over the time so it’s a little bit different today than it was a hundred years ago. But I think the essence of that is that you need to have a few of those things, otherwise it stops becoming jazz. Maybe you can say there is like 10 ingredients in the music. If you get rid of maybe five or something like that it’s probably not gonna be jazz anymore. Of what those ingredients must be I'm not really that sure. … Does that make sense ? G : yes …. B : I’ve got a bad definition, that’s is a hard question to answer to. But yes, It’s a piece of music that have some American improvisation, has an influence of blues and swing, a certain type of harmony, a certain type of European harmony…yeah, a sort of interaction between the musicians, yes.

What about your latest album ? G : Ok, and what would you tell us to discover you and your album ? B : What would I tell you to discover me and my album ? G : Yes B : You have already discovered it or (laughs) hum… What do you mean… ? What could I say to help you listen to the album you mean ? G : yes, something like that. B : Something along those lines. Really … Honestly I wouldn’t say that much, I would say nothing, really. I would say, you know, listen to it, if you like it, you like it, if you don’t then I’m sorry, yes… I would say, just be open to it and whatever helps you listen to a piece of music, if you like to listen this piece of music alone, on your own, like you know, in your house in the dark or something like that and imagine that you’re somewhere else or imagine images from paintings or films or something, that’s fine. If you prefer to be like in a party with like a lot of people or something like that, late at night in your house and dance around, then fine. If you need to like, I don’t know, ride a bike or something like that with your headphones and you like it, then, that’s good as well. I really would say anything too special about it. I’m sorry I can’t help you more (laughs). I would just say if you like it, then you like it.There’s nothing I can say that would make you like it more, or less (laughs), sorry does that make sense as well ?

What do you love about jazz ? G : Yes, it does. And what do you love about this kind of music ? B : Ok, I like answer that question.. Well, I love, principally, most importantly, I like the freedom of It, so, freedom to be able to improvise, really, it’s the most important thing to be in music. If somebody said to me, like, I could never write music again, I'd be upset but I wouldn’t die. But if someone said you can improvise again, I think that I would probably die, I'd be very, very upset. It's the freedom of improvising, being able to play like a musician or whatever make up the music on the spot, hopefully take the audience somewhere different as well as every night, you know. And I think it’s a good way to express yourself, I think improvisation is probably the best way, best form of expression outside of speaking. In fact, I think it’s better than speaking sometimes. Obviously, if i’m saying words to you like this, you know exactly what I mean, you know, but with music, sometimes it’s hard to say exactly what you mean with music. But when you do, it’s a lot deeper, in fact, deeper is a lot better. So, you guys are French, but maybe, I don’t know, I imagine you heard about Debussy’s music ? Us : Bussy ? B : No ? Us : Oh yes ! B : I don’t know, Ravel or Boulez ? Us : Yes B : Alright (laugh) There’s a lot of French classical music that I really admire, that’s hum… You know, there’s no words for it, they… You listen to their musics and… You understand what the person want to say to you with music. But there’s no words and to me that’s the most important thing and I try to do that with jazz music, I try to do that with improvising, try to say something with the music when there’s no words that could say it, you know ? G : Yes B : Yes, is that alright ? (laughs)

What is your source of inspiration ? G : Yes, and do you have any inspiration that inspires you for your music ? B : Yes, lots ! Hum.. so, with musicians, with saxophone players. Definitely Sandy Rollins, the saxophonist, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker and Kenny Garret, Josh Redman and Mike Quebec, and many, many other people like Duke Ellington the composer and George Gershwin, another great American composer, and lots and lots of people outside of jazz as well, lots of classical musicians like Beethoven and Debussy as well (laughs) the French composer and Karl Heinz Stockhausen, a German composer and I also take influence from films a lot… I think the films that have influenced the way I think about arts a lot and books as well and paintings. But mainly films, I watch a lot of films and I get ideas from them, It’s very complex to say how that works 'cause it’s not like I watch a film and then write a piece of music about it, it’s just the way that the film is constructed so… I’m trying to think of an example… You know I like… do you know Woody Allen, the director ? Us : yes B : For example, Some of the way he puts his films together and the thinking behind them, of how, yeah, how he makes the film, I try to learn from that, to make better music…Does that makes sense ? Us : yes ! B : Ok (laughs) well you’re laughing so I suppose it’s ok

What about the audience ? Emilien : You say that it’s really important to you to create a link between you and the public, why ? B : A link between myself and the public ? E : Yes B : Yeah, so.. When I said… Did I say that before, like in another interview somewhere ? E : I think yes B : Yes, probably ( laughs) ok, Yes it is important, when I said the public, what I should have said in that interview is the audience. Really. I care about the audience, I care immensely about the audience that comes and listen to our music or buys a record or something like that, the public like sort of…. As far as being famous or you know, I’m not famous or something like that, but you know, I don’t care what people outside think, really. I don’t really care you know , the person might think of me or my music. But the people who do care , that come along to shows and buy albums or something like that, I do care what they think, I really do, I care if they’re happy, I care if the music makes them happy, or I care if it tells them something. And… you know, I think it’s important to be yourself in the music and take risks and maybe do something, a lot of people think is a bit strange, but at the same time, I think it’s important to find the people that music appeals to and to be strange for them you know ? ‘Cause there’s a lot of strange or weird people in the world and they need a representation, so they need musicians to go on stage or whatever, make album and be weird. They need that, they need someone else to represent them you know, you can’t, it would be sad if you come on the radio every day and there would be only Beyonce and you know ? So, weird people need something else so it’s important to me, to be myself so that other people can listen to that or watch that and say : « Oh yeah, that guy is like me ! » you know, « we’re the same, we’re similiar ! » That's how I feel you know, this music is how I feel a lot and yes, to me that’s very very important if… When I go on stage, and play music, I try not to play music at the people, but I’m trying to play with them you know. Even though they are not actually the audience are not making any music, they’re here just listening, but you know sometimes they make noise or make some kind of expressions or respond to the music, and to me that’s good you know ? Because it’s like you’re playing with them, making the music with them. Yeah, to me it’s very important to have bonds between musicians and the audience. E : ok B : Does that makes sense ? E : Yes, it does …............... E : Ok, yes…

Do you have a message to share with your music ? B : Ok, hum… Well, in a way it’s simple actually. In a perfect world, in the best possible situation, I would like to… give a message to the audience of… What it means to be alive, what it means to be human, a human being, and to be able to think, and feel and touch and see and taste and that sort of things. So, you know, to remind them of how important that is and what that really means to them. It’s a strange thing to say for a musician but that’s really what I think. To give people a higher perception of what it means to be alive, what it means to be human, that would be my goal as a musician. And to show them how beautiful life is, or how beautiful existence is. So hum… you know, bad things happen in like, good things happen in life but if… there’s sort of beauty in everything, really ……. In life and death and pain and suffering and happiness and all of that I… some of it good, some of it bad but I think it is important, rather than being beautiful. It is important for humans to be reminded of what these things feel like and who they are. I think you learn about who you are by experiencing things,reminding yourself of those things. I try to do that for music to people, to put it in their face, under their nose and be reminded of what it means to feel sad or feel happy or… something like that… Does that make sense ? E : Yes, it does B : There’s a famous, well, a kind of famous film director, I think he is Mexican, he lives in Paris now : Alejandro Jodorowsky. He is a film maker and they asked him the same question somewhere, in an interview and he said : « The point of arts is to show people how beautiful you are on the inside » you know ? And if you could do that it reminds other people of how beautiful they are on the inside, how beautiful they can be, how beautiful human beings can be inside and that’s a better way of putting in. I agree with him. So I would steal what he says and I adopt that view as my own as well. (laugh)

Gwendoline, Solène and Emilien.

Binker & Moses will be playing live in Saveurs Jazz Festival on the 7th of July.