With a new album out today, The Velvet Onion took the chance to welcome Noblesse Oblige onto the TVO roster. In order to give you, the peelers, a proper introduction we exchanged a few words with the band to discuss the new release and to find out a bit more about who they were.
© Thomas Peter
Valerie Renay and Sebastian Lee Philipp are the duo known as Noblesse Oblige and they came to our attention through their collaborations with familiar TVO names Chris Corner, IAMX and James Cook. Renay and Philipp formed the band after having met at a masked ball in London in 2004 and two years later they released their debut album Privilege Entails Responsibility. The album generated a lot of buzz on the international club scene and cemented the musical success of the band. Noblesse Oblige made the move from London to Berlin in 2007 and began working on their second album In Exile, a move which signalled a change from electro-indie music to chanson pop.
The duo is constantly evolving and their fourth album Affair Of The Heart marks the end of the voodoo inspired area of Malady (2010) and welcomes a Noblesse Oblige that breathes electropop and modern 80s energy. With Affair Of The Heart, the ties between TVO familiars and the band strengthened as the album was recorded at Chris Corner’s Berlin studio Turmwerk and the duo enlisted the IAMX frontman to direct the first single Runaway.
Today the album is officially released and The Velvet Onion had a chitchat with Noblesse Oblige to celebrate the occasion.
Hello and welcome to TVO! For our readers who don’t know much about you, could you describe Noblesse Oblige in one sentence?
Sebastian: We’re a French/German, black/white, hot/cold duo that likes electronic music and red wine.
When you initially met in London in 2004, was it infatuation at first sight or what made you get together and decide to form Noblesse Oblige?
Valerie: I was looking for a musician while Sebastian was already making music with a singer. We instantly ‘clicked’ and started working on songs together. We then had our first gig, went on tour with the Dresden Dolls and got signed by UK label HorseGlue that released our first single the following year. It all happened very fast!
Noblesse Oblige is of course French for “nobility obliges” but how did you decide on that name?
V: I used to do a party called Aristocracy in a London gallery and when the gallery closed Noblesse Oblige was going to be the name of the next soiree… I never found a venue but instead I found Sebastian who instantly liked the name! Continue reading