The idea of youth – wasted, gilded or otherwise – has always featured prominently in M83's music. "I loved being a teenager," says Anthony Gonzalez, who is M83. "That's when I discovered music and started to take drugs and party with my friends."
That time of discovery – and of course the era in which Gonzalez was a teenager – greatly impacted the making of "Saturdays = Youth." "On this record I wanted to have the feeling of a teenager mixed with this period of the Eighties," Gonzalez explains.
If the doomy synthetic romance of his earlier work hinted at a fetish for Eighties goth staples such as Sisters of Mercy and The Cure, this album's chiming astro-pop finds Gonzalez taking a stroll on the sunnier side of the decade. Main influences for the album are English bands such as Tears For Fears and Cocteau Twins, as well as classic John Hughes teen movies such as "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles" (The red-haired Molly Ringwald look-alike on the cover is no mistake).
To realize his vision, Gonzalez enlisted the help of producers Ken Thomas and Ewan Pearson. Thomas, known for his work with Sigur Ros, Sugarcubes, Cocteau Twins, Suede and Clinic cut his teeth on outré acts such as Psychic TV and Alien Sex Fiend more than 20 years ago. Berlin-based British dance producer Ewan Pearson, who has worked with Tracey Thorn, The Rapture, and Ladytron, came on board to give this album its smooth, modern edge.
The result is "Saturdays = Youth," M83's most explicit celebration yet of how it feels to be dazed, confused and 15 years old. You can hear it on the album's first single "Graveyard Girl" – in which Gonzalez and guest vocalist Morgan Kibby (of LA-based band The Romanovs) explore the innermost thoughts of a young goth girl; "The cemetery is my home, I want to be a part of it, invisible even to the night…I'm 15 years old and I feel it's already too late to live. Don't you?"
Anthony Gonzalez is 26 years old and resides in Antibes, France.