Singers of my generation generally bring out compilations of cover versions or re-record duets of their greatest hits with hip young singers. I wanted to do it on my own instead."
After decades of success, after having made his mark on the history of rock with Aphrodite's Child and after selling more than 50 million records in half a dozen languages, Demis Roussos is back: "Back to the roots, back to the tracks." His new album is an inveterate rocker's album that calls to mind the legendary hits of Aphrodite's Child ("Rain and Tears," "It's Five O'Clock," "I Want To Live," "End of the World") as well as the current British rock-soul revival. "I look as if I do, but I don't belong to that whole variety show world - I'm a rocker."
Demis Roussos is one of the great voices of rock and, as the 1960s drew to a close, it was he who composed the soundtrack to the revolutions taking place at the time (don't forget that "Rain and Tears" was recorded in Paris in the middle of May '68!). Aphrodite's Child were around for long enough to rack up 239 appearances on television, to record three albums (including the experimental 666, one of the key works in the history of pop music) and to bring the first two great Greek pop artists to the public's attention: the singer Demis Roussos himself, and the composer and keyboard player Vangelis Papathanassiou. Then came the excess and the intoxicated madness of so many careers in the 1970s: "A whirlwind - success, money, fame, pressure from the record companies. And the first doubts, a war almost." But Demis doesn't regret any of it: "You can't regret having made fifty million people happy."
Several times, Demis took some time out. He moved to the United States for a while and recorded an album that made it into the American Top 40. After coming back to Europe, he set about developing a style that blended new age and traditional instruments from the five continents. "That type of music suited me better, but it was less successful." It was then that he met the producer Marc di Domenico. He is best known for the huge success of Chambre avec vue, which relaunched Henri Salvador's career, but he has more recently been responsible for discovering Micky Green and BB Brunes. "He woke me up," says Demis. After several years without making a single record, the producer persuaded Demis to go back to his roots and record a real rock album.
When he met the young musicians from Little Barrie and its sister group, Dirty Feel, he not only found like-minded musicians in the studio, he also managed to form a stage band with Virgil Howe (Little Barrie, Dirty Feel) on drums, Lewis Reuben Wharton (Little Barrie, Dirty Feel) on bass, Nicholas Ryness Hirsch (Dirty Feel) on guitar and Jessica Lauren on keyboards. The album was largely written by the young French songwriter Picci and recorded in Richmond, a suburb of London, at the studio belonging to Terry Britten, who has written songs for Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz,...) with Jacques Ehrhart at the mixing console.