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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: ROBERT CHARLOT ON TOP VICE FRICTION (YEAR 2000)! Reply with quote

Maestro of Top Vice (Part I)
Interview conducted by Patrick Desvarieux


KM: Is there friction in the band between Freddie, Charlot and Robert?
A:(Pauses) In every organization, every house, there can be friction. The opinions of the different people sometimes are not the same. It hasn’t reached the point like where there’s a war, friction, or competition like it has been rumored out there.

KM: From the looks of it, it seems like you and Robert are on one side and Freddie is on the other side. Is that accurate?

A: We don’t have these types of things in our group. There’s no such thing as different camps in the band. Maybe it’s because Robert’s ideas and mine are usually on the same page because we work harder in the band. I work the hardest in the band, and Robert is always here working with me, therefore that’s probably why our ideas are usually in line with one another. We are the ones who compose the music together. Freddie rarely comes to rehearse. He doesn’t really participate in these things.

KM: How is it that the band is rehearsing, and Freddie the lead singer of the band is not here?

A: (Pauses for ten seconds...stays speechless for another five seconds, then responds) That is my opinion that he should be here, but he owns the band. (Pauses) He’s one of the owners, so it’s a little bit difficult.

KM: Is Freddie trying to send you guys a message?

A: Well, it’s been like that forever. It’s always been like that from the beginning.

KM: Let’s go back. You are saying that the majority of the Top Vice songs are written by you and Robert Martino?

A: Freddie writes sometimes. He gives parts of the lyrics sometimes. That’s about it.

KM: Is Tantan joining Top Vice?

A: These rumors started because people on the street noticed that Freddie was a bit cold (as in losing interest) at the beginning of the year. He in fact was cold at the beginning of the year. During Top Vice’s anniversary, they saw Tantan as a guest artist and that’s when the rumor picked up. Tantan will sing on the upcoming Top Vice album. He never asked to join Top Vice. Even though it was a rumor, Tantan received some threats. People telling him that if he joins Top Vice, some things might happen to him. Shoubou (Tabou Combo) personally threatened Tantan by telling him not to take that chance. It’s unfortunate because Tantan was not even aware of these Top Vice rumors

KM: Shoubou threatened Tantan?

A: I find that odd. Shoubou is a guy that I have a lot of respect for. He’s an idol for me. It shocked me to see that he has such an attitude to see things the way that he does.

KM: What did you think when Shoubou allegedly made his declaration about Freddie at the Top Vice party?

A: He made an announcement at that party which I don’t think there’s really anything bad about it. He said that there would be no Top Vice without Freddie.

KM: You don’t think there’s anything offensive about that statement?

A: Well, without Freddie, there really wouldn’t be Top Vice because he was the first person that I asked to join me to create the band. Without Freddie there can be another Top Vice, but it wouldn’t be the same as we have right now. Therefore, I’m not against what Shoubou said. My problem is when he mentioned that Freddie had spoken to him and that he said there was a problem. It created some sort of panic in the crowd because people thought that we were going to replace Freddie with Tantan. The way that Shoubou acted made people believe that there is a problem in the band. He made it seem like we’re trying to chase Freddie out of the band. That’s not true at all. No one has that intention. Without Freddie, Robert, Joe or myself, it would not be the same Top Vice if one of us were to leave

KM: Can Top Vice continue if Freddie decided to quit the band?

A: (Hesitates) You really want me to answer that question? (As if he did not want to go there) In life, no one is indispensable no matter how important they are. He’s never told us anything of the sort when we’ve asked him about it. If he decided not to play in the band anymore, we would still continue. We have a road to continue, therefore we won’t stop because someone decides to.

KM: Would you guys be able to continue using the name Top Vice if Freddie quit? Who has the right to that name?

A: The name Top Vice is a corporation. We are all part of the corporation. Everyone is equal in the corporation. No one person owns that title. It belongs to the whole group.

KM: Now that it seems that Tantan will not be joining Top Vice, is the band looking for a singer to sing next to Freddie?

A: (Pauses) We’re discussing several things. Freddie has stated that he wants changes in the band. There are two changes that will probably take place in the band. It could be a keyboardist, a guitarist, a drummer, or a singer. I can’t discuss that right now.

KM: Does the band need a drummer like Freddie has stated?

A: A drummer is not a bad idea. If it’s a drummer that can make the band go forward, I see nothing wrong with that. I’m a little bit reluctant on that idea because we would lose our identity. You don’t play with a group’s identity. If we were to add a drummer, we would also add a horn section and that would make us lose our identity. It would be the same thing like changing the singer. It’s a major change, therefore it is not a decision that we can just take lightly. We created that style in the industry. A lot of bands have followed us to great success.

KM: Why do you think Freddie has gone public?

A: That’s Freddie. I can’t change a person. Everyone is different. If there’s a problem in the group, I think it should be handled between us, not in the public.
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