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Americans In France, Floridians In North Carolina by Iman Lababedi

Great moments in rock and roll interviewing?
I tell Americans In France lead singer Josh Lajoie he sounds like Richard Hell and he jumps up and sings a couple of verses of  “Blank Generation”. Very well as well!
I don’t know whether to laugh or clap so I clap.
And Casey Cook, main songwriter, sometimes singer, and Exene Cervanka’s sons former nanny claps as well.
It is late when I speak to the twosome. Josh has already stood his ground during a set with his band Shit Horse. Yes, the legendary Shit Horse and now we’re knocking back Blue Ribbons and now the three of us are sitting around discussing Americans In France.
AIF’s first album Pretzelvania  was one of my faves of 2009 (I wrote about it very often) and even in the Odessa Records world where EVERY ONE IS A LOCAL LEGEND, Josh Lajoie is a local legend.
Josh  looks like a cross between Marc Bolan and  Sid Vicious, and really young (both he and casey are in their early twenties) he is the charismatic rock star in waiting on a league with Danny Mason. Casey looks like Zooey Deschanal if Zooey was a rock chick.
Both Josh and Casey are really nice guys and I  thought that at least within the confines of indie label world, Americans In France were primed to break . Josh: “We toured around and we played Brooklyn and a last minute gig at Bowery Electric.
Josh’s house in Florida got burnt down in a hurricane. “I was staying at a friends house and i got a call saying my house was on fire. I went down there there and Fox News was there.I was taking all my instruments out of the place and this reporter was in my face ‘Is this the worst thing that ever happened to you?’
“I was just like drinking a lot and my friends were like we have a place for you in North carolina and we have a job for you.”
Americans In France are like an art project fronted by Exene cervanka and Richard Hell. “we listen to X everyday” Casey says. “they are one of my favorite bands”
“Little Wolf” is one of those songs that anyone  who loves this type of thing would flip out over.
Josh: “That was the first song we wrote”.
Casey: “We were  just walking down the street and we sort of just wrote it.”
Josh: “Somebody brought up Howling Wolf after that and I hadn’t even heard of him.”
How did the album do? Did it take off? “I think I got $40. But we don’t do it for money.”
Maybe I’m old fashioned but I like money.
“I do too but I’m really bad at it, at self-advocating. I’m not good at selling myself at all. I think that’s why I can never get money.”
How do you like working with Danny Mason?
“It’s been great, the guys got music in his bones. All those words you heard him singing? We hadn’t slept for two days and we recorded it one time and every word on that tape he wrote on the spot.”
Who writes for Americans In France?
“Casey does a good part of it.”
“I usually have a lot of the words and the melody and then we’ll get together and work it out.”
“Those only like three chords on most of the songs.”
Pretzelvania was one of my fave albums of 2009 and Americans In France have the olok and have the personality and sound to go a long long long way. They are going back in the studio next month. “Three days to lay down the basic tracks”. Josh explains.
“But then we will have time to work on the masters.” Casey continues.
And then a tour in the winter which they will be setting up in the Spring.
“We just wanna keep moving”.

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