Stocks's interview
by John Molet

As Stocks is gonna release in the next weeks, such a long awaited new album, Road To Jacksonville had to get the impressions from the leader, Christophe Marquilly, of one of the most talented french blues-southern rock band.

Hi Christophe, it was a real pleasure to learn Stocks was still alive and was about to release a new album (scheduled for March, 5th).You surely know Stocks had a really big impact on the french rock music scene in the 80's, with your two great albums "Live" and "Eclats de rock", so before we go ahead and talk about the present, our readers should know or remember your history. Let's talk about the great moments and most notably, this trip to the ZZ Top's country during the spring 85.
The great moments you're talking about were mainly lived throughout our concerts, when we opened for "Whisbone Ash", "Thin Lizzy", "Rory Gallagher", "Molly Hatchet", and many more. Of course, there's also our two albums which sold about 40000 copies each. And then, there was this US tour.

How was this US tour ?
First of all, the truth has to be restored. It is true we toured the States (2 legs of 30 dates), but unfortunately, we didn't open for ZZ Top. Believe me, I really would have loved it !
This rumor has been around as I always talked about ZZ Top during interviews, and we made many pictures with them while they were in Lille for a show…I confess, I didn't deny at that time. In fact, we were touring high schools and colleges in the US.
We were a kind of an attraction : "Come and see a french band with french lyrics !!!" Of course, nobody understood our lyrics but we were seen as european stars. Things were really different when we get back to France. We really hoped this tour would have a positive impact for us, but…nothing !!!!
We were asked for an opening in Douai !! so I said "Stop it". I even didn't play my guitar for the next 6 years. Then I met and played with other people, was involved in some projects, and finally I met my old buddies, Arnault and Bobby, so Stocks is back on the road.

Many thanks for all these details. A that time, what were your main influences ?
Mainly, the "power trios" ("Rory Gallagher", "Johnny Winter", "ZZ Top", "Stevie Ray Vaughan", among others). You have to get the energy, the feeling, the melodic and technic aspects.

And what about today ? Do you see music the same way ? Did your influences and passion change ?
I'm french, guitar player and rock singer singing french. So I decided to use all the means of the french language. That's not that easy, but I believe in it, so …You have to work really hard on the lyrics, the messages and have the energy. Just rock'n roll, that's what it's all bout.

Which southern rock bands do you enjoy these days ?
I love really much the powerful guitar playing, the band's personnality is well known, but who can't tell me "Like a rock" from Bob Seger could not have been written by Lynyrd Skynyrd, so...

Stocks opened many times for great bands, such as "Molly Hatchet" (Elysée Montmartre, Paris, '90) and recently for Rose Tattoo (also Elysée Montmartre, Paris). Which ones are the most important to you ?
"Rose Tattoo", "Accept", "Rory Gallagher", "Molly Hatchet", all these bands who know what it's like to be on the road. Ask Natchez, if it was not a pleasure to open for "Molly Hatchet" in Lille.

To you, what is the future of the rock (or southern rock) bands in France ?
There is a future, but they don't have to copy the US bands. They can surely be inspired but they have to do it the "french way", with personnality, great lyrics, and may be………

Can you tell us the projects you were involved in while Stocks was apart ?
It's been really hard, you 're alone, you try to play with other people but it doesn't make it. It's such a big price you have to pay. Take it easy ! "Just Fun & Rock n roll".

Let's talk about this new album. We were recently talking together about it before the Molly Hatchet's show in Lille and you told me Stocks had evolved on a musical side and you worked hard on the lyrics.
Woouh !! Our album is a question of survival. You'll get energy, great lyrics, blues, emotion but I wanted this album to be true and sincere. I hope it's gonna be played on the radios.

Can you introduce us the members of the band ?
That's Arnaud Delbarre on bass and Bobby Luccini on drums, and me on guitar and vocals.

How was it to be back in the studio ? the recording, the mixing …
We were home, in Northern France. As you see, we're the only band playing southern rock located close to Greenland (laughs).

What are you expecting with this new album ?
I expect people will be dancing and singing on the songs, crying on the song "Fiora". I'ld also like the radios to play songs such as "Se faire la belle" or "J't'attendais pas", or any song they want…

From guitar player to guitar player, what is your prefered equipment ?
For the amps, let's say JC 60 Marshall, Fender 100w Power Tube. And for the guitars, Gibson standard and Fender Stratocaster with heavy gauge strings.

What can we wish to Stocks for 2002 ? Will you tour in France to support this album ? Will you be distributed in every record shops ?
I hope young people will re-discover the feeling, the emotion and the heat of the bues-rock music.
Yes, we'll tour as a support for the album and I hope the medias will also support us. I also hope the album will be distributed in every record shop, people from Wagram are motivated, so…

Last question. You have the choice beeween opening a show for Johnny Halliday (really big star in France) or be a part of the real TV show "Star Academy". Which one do you prefer ?
Halliday has been and is still one of the historical monuments in France, he's one of the few who still play rock'n roll, and he's able to play in a stadium. He's also able to sing with a 13 years old girl (the best and the worst…). May be that's the way to make it in France where people like Lara Fabian are not well treated, but she's able to perform rock'n roll, and can be real close to Tina Turner. Halliday would be a dream as we have the same energy in common, so wait and see…
Southern rock music will always be kind of underground over here, as it's not a part of our culture. So, let's get inspired by this music, and make good songs such as "Sur la route de Memphis" from Eddy Mitchell. It has a kind of a southern feel, hasn't it ?
You have to perform in front of people trying to get their attention with music and lyrics, (both would be ideal of course), and play with emotion and sincerity.
I'ld like to have an accoustic album with french lyrics and a southern feel. While listening to De Palmas, he's not that far…except the "girl song" side he has sometines, but with a bit of rock'n roll, it would make it !!!
Ok that's it John, I just wanted to talk, many thanks and all my friendship to the Road To Jacksonville's team.


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