indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background
Laetitia Sheriff: It all started when I was a kid. I’m the youngest of four children and my older brothers listened to music all the time (The Cure, Depeche mode, Prince, Herbie Hancock, music from movies). I loved so much to read comics or to draw and to listen to music.A lot of stories came out of my imagination.
I played bass in a band: we used to do covers of Led Zeppelin
I wanted to be in the brass band of my City in the North of France and decided to learn the drums.
I did it during 2 years without touching a drum…I renounced, i didn ´t know at this moment, how long it took, and how difficult it was to learn all about an instrument and to be able to play with people
Later, I had a keyboard for Christmas and had good time with it until my father in law sold it to buy wine…Then, I listened to the radio a lot…
When I was 14, a friend lent to me a guitar and all began at this time. I recorded minimal music on my tape recorder with three or four chords maximum. Then, I played bass in a band: we used to do covers of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple… (not easy, when you know only four chords).
Next, when I was 18, someone gave me a very important book: I discovered the poet William Butler Yeats and I began to sing his poetry with my guitar and since I’ve never stopped to love singing and playing music.
I did my own lyrics in English because of Yeats
I did my own lyrics in English because of Yeats and I was next to two countries which were speaking this language (Belgium and England) and also I love the way it sounds.
I felt free and liberated for the first time in my life…
I met people who attended to make me be enough self confident to be a musician as a professionnal.
I owe them a lot…
indieberlin: Tell us something about yourself that you always wanted to say but no one has ever asked you yet.
Laetitia Sheriff: I love sounds of washing machine, vacuum cleaner… they make me be calm. Maybe because my mother was a care-taker…
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you?
I need to be alone to do music
Laetitia Sheriff: I’m collecting words and sentences in notebooks. I’m hunting emotions, feelings inside me.
Those from people are very important too (feelings…). Human nature is my first inspiration.
Then, I need to be alone to do music. I still have my tape recorder which is still my best friend.
Songs are never finished until sharing them with musicians I’m used to work with and above all, when we play those songs for people…
indieberlin: If you had to describe your music to a deaf person, what would you say?
Laetitia Sheriff: We will go for a walk to discover landscapes from the City and from the sea.
I will show to this person, the Sun and the Moon and we will have a beer or two. It will be the same with any other person…
Oh my God,I seem to be very pretentious…Sorry…
indieberlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be?
Laetitia Sheriff: A movie of Jim jarmush, Ken loach, Joe Dante, Ridley Scott, Richard Fleitscher… Oh my God,I seem to be very pretentious…Sorry…
indieberlin: What music do you listen to when you’re touring?
Laetitia Sheriff: A french band from Normandy Grand Parc (go and listen to their bandcamp), Ramones, Aphex Twin, BRNS a band from Belgium, Franck Black (teenager of the year!) and Radio Nostalgie, we love to sing very old songs all together!
indieberlin: What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
Laetitia Sheriff: No electricity/electricity and no electricity/ electricity till the end of the gig…..
It was in a festival in Switzerland. It was hard to keep rocking!
indieberlin: In ten years you look back to today and think:
Laetitia Sheriff: I’m still alive…
Laetitia Sheriff plays at Kesselhaus as part of the French Night during Fete de la Musique this Sunday 21.6. Make sure you check it out!
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaries, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site. Noel is currently completing his second novel. As well as running indieBerlin, Noel is also active as web designer, chatbot creator and business communication coach.