Anthony Gonzalez, the man behind M83, the band that helped define electro-pop, is concerned about the music industry’s desire for musicians to be influencers.
M83 has had a string of global music hits and highly acclaimed albums, with the 2011 single “Midnight City” receiving over 800 million Spotify listens.
The group’s blend of dreamy electronica and emotive rock has “become the base stock of most popular indie acts,” according to music website Pitchfork.
“Fantasy,” M83’s new record, is another ecstatic slice of electronica that combines futuristic sounds with nostalgic feeling.
It’s about “escaping the daily routine, the macabre news environment, and leaving some space for imagination and dreaming,” Gonzalez explained
The B-movie horror mask on the cover emphasizes Gonzalez’s preference for remaining concealed behind the controls, rejecting the online culture of over-sharing.
Change in Music
“The music business has changed in the last six years (since the previous album, ‘Junk’). Social networks have taken up an increasing amount of space. “You basically have to have no modesty,” he explained.
He created his own label in response, Other Suns, designed specifically for artists “who can’t put out records at the moment because they are asked not just to produce excellent music, but also to be influencers.
“I hear from a lot of artists who are unable to find a label because they do not have enough followers,” he said.
His sporadic forays into social media do not comfort him.
“There are people who follow me probably because of ‘Midnight City,'” said the French-born musician, who now lives in Los Angeles.
Gonzalez added that the entertainment business is increasingly resembling a rat race.
“Artists are losing their enigmatic side. It’s as if you’ve vanished unless you issue an album every year and headline festivals every summer.
“When I create albums, I take my time. It’s partially due to shyness; I don’t want to constantly force my music on people.”
That caution may explain why he is less well-known in France than in the United States and the United Kingdom, despite being a pioneer of the dreamy “French Touch” scene alongside Daft Punk and Air.