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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:12 pm Post subject: FREDDY ON FRICTION IN TOP VICE (YEAR 2000)! Reply with quote

(Lead singer of Top Vice)
Interview conducted by Patrick Desvarieux

(Lead singer of Top Vice)

Amid all the controversy surrounding his band Top Vice and himself, lead singer Freddie has remained silent until now. In this exclusive interview, he talks about Top Vice, rumors of his departure from the band, friction between the members, the uncertain future of the group, Tuco Bouzi and more. Enjoy.

KM: Is Freddie leaving Top Vice?
Freddie: (Hesitates) It’s not a question of whether Freddie is leaving Top Vice. The question is Freddie would like some changes in Top Vice. You know that when there is an institution, it’s not easy for people to accept changes. Some people like when things stay the same. We’re in a world and business that’s changing. From my experience, I think that the band after fourteen years needs some changes.

KM: What changes are you talking about?
Freddie: I’m going to be upfront. I told the guys that I think we should have a drummer in the band. When I made that suggestion, everyone assumed that I meant Tuco Bouzi. Tuco is one of the biggest drummers in the business. He’s a friend of mine and we have a business together. Anyway, the guys thought that I was trying to infiltrate Tuco in the band.

I don’t think that it would ever take place anyway because Tuco said that he would never play in someone else’s band. He has a name everywhere from Martinique to Guadeloupe, so it isn’t even a question of if he would play in this band.

KM: When you asked for the change, how did the other guys react?
Freddie: (Hesitates) We had a meeting and the guys said that they didn’t think that the band needed any changes. When you have two guys that say that there are no changes necessary, I have to use my politeness and respect their decision until they can see for themselves that the band needs a change. Sometimes you might see something a certain way that another person sees differently.

I think it would be good if certain changes could take place. Anyway, Freddie is still an integral member of Top Vice. Not only that, (with emphasis) I’m one of the founding members of Top Vice. It’s not as if they called me aboard after the band was already in place. I’m the one who named the band. I’m the structure of the band.
KM: Are the other guys in the band trying to phase you out little by little?

Freddie: No. I will defend the guys on this one. They don’t want to kick me out of the band. Never. No. No. No. If I were to leave Top Vice it would be my decision alone. I don’t think anyone would dare ask me to leave Top Vice. If I can’t go on anymore, or if I see that things are not working out to my liking, then just like the Beatles broke up, the Eagles broke up, Lionel Richie left the Commodores (stops) and created his own band. It’s not my intention to do that.

KM: If you were to leave the band, would you allow the remaining members to continue using the name Top Vice?

Freddie: I don’t want the institution to break down. Even if I’m not singing with the band, I could always remain as an integral part of the band helping them out. I have no personal problems with either Robert Martino or Robert Charlot. It’s just that we’re having different views on certain things. We’re not on the same page.

I’ve been here in the U.S for twenty-five years. I know what business is all about. (Heated) I like things that are organized, punctual and professional, that might be one of the problems that Top Vice has. I’m fighting for the honor of the band. When you are a professional, they pay you to be that way.

KM: Some people say that Freddie shows up late for parties. What do you say to that?

Freddie: Maybe they don’t know Top Vice’s story. I’m not perfect. I’ve probably been late a couple of times. Maybe now they see that I’m late. Whenever I show up, the band is never on stage playing, so I don’t consider that as being late.

KM: Has your association with Tuco in Planet Mizik put some friction in the band?

Freddie: No, I don’t think so. It is true that I love to work. People who know me very well will remember that when Top Vice had just gotten off the ground, I was still working for the state of Florida as an employment specialist. I’m very fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

It’s not like I came to the U.S and had no other option except to play music. I can leave Top Vice and return to my old job anytime because I had taken a leave of absence because it was starting to interfere with the band’s travelling schedule. I used to be done playing at four in the morning and be behind my working desk at eight. Planet Mizik does not interfere with my duties in Top Vice. The two are separate.

KM: Has it affected your performance?

Freddie: Never. What performance? I sing and I’m just getting started. There are several things that I haven’t done yet. There are some risks that I’m going to take on my upcoming solo album that I couldn’t do in Top Vice.

KM: Is there a communication problem in the band?

Freddie: No. I communicate with everyone. I speak to Robert Martino at least twenty five times a day. That’s because we’re both acting as some sort of band managers.

KM: What about the very public argument that happened between you and Charlot on stage recently?

Freddie: (Surprised) It happens everyday in bands. After fourteen years, if this is the only thing that’s happened, it shouldn’t be a big deal. We’re not enemies. Marriages end up in divorce, you can also have a business and leave to go do something else.

KM: What do you think about what Shoubou said at the Top Vice anniversary party?

Freddie: Shoubou is a friend. He probably heard the rumors and took it upon himself to defend a fellow singer like himself. I did not ask Shoubou to say anything on my behalf. The declaration came from Shoubou, one of the biggest superstars in the business. Naturally when Shoubou speaks, people listen.

KM: Do you think it was right the fact that he made the statement in public instead of doing it behind the scenes with the members of Top Vice?

Freddie: I have no opinion on that. There are certain things that only the public can judge. Who am I to judge? Everyone reacts differently to different things.

KM: How would you feel if they were to put a singer to sing next to you as it has been rumored?

Freddie: (Carefully) I believe in myself. I have a lot of confidence in myself and God. If they want to put a singer next to me and it’s for the benefit of the band, I, will open-heartedly tell them to do it today as I’m talking to you. (Raises voice) If it will make Top Vice more popular around the world, I’m all for it. No jealousy, no problem.

I want the people out there to know that I would never walk out on the band until they have someone else in place ready to take over for me. I would make sure that the person is comfortable in the band before I leave because I don’t want the band to break up

KM: Tell us about your solo record?

Freddie: Everyone get ready to be introduced to the solo side of Freddie. It will be the same Freddie from Top Vice, but in a solo setting.

KM: Please give us a last word on Planet Mizik?

Freddie: It’s a business created by two musicians/brothers. Our goal is for the betterment of Haitian music. We’re here to produce music and at the same time give advice to artists about their rights. They should know about SACEM and everything else. We’re hear to tell it like it is. Give us a call.
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