Maxime Le Forestier: where does he live?


Portrait of Maxime Le Forestier

Michael Crotto

Far from a certain blue house in San Francisco, it was in his house in the countryside that we met Maxime Le Forestier. Interview.

Direction the Vendômois. This is where the singer Maxime Le Forestier lives, in a huge house full of memories ... Seduced by the expanse of meadows around, ideal at the time for his horses, the singer settles there in 1978 and undertakes major work : break walls, dig a dam for the nearby river ...

Restored in slices over the years, this house is a bit like his life, with its ups and downs. On the occasion of the release of his latest album "The Gift", Maxime Le Forestier has just made the gift to deliver us a little of this hidden paradise, no time zones, no Internet and where laptops do not pass!

Your favorite room where you like to be and spend time?

Maxime Le Forestier: On the ground floor, there are three main rooms. Hard to choose! The huge kitchen is the central room where everything goes; next door there is the living room with a big TV, and then my studio where I have all my musical instruments.

Your furniture: rather modern, ultra design, family, pitcher?

Maxime Le Forestier: There is everything ! I have furniture that follows me since my debut and as I moved a lot ... Some furniture in the Paris apartment sometimes arrive in the countryside, not to mention the furniture left in storage by friends, until I leads them to the dump. In this house, there are all the strata of my life. She's the one who keeps ...

View of the flower garden of Maxime Le Forestier.

Maxime Le Forestier

The most unusual or unexpected that can be discovered at home?

Maxime Le Forestier: At home, nothing surprises me! My wife solves a number of problems by the plethora ... There has always been candy in monstrous quantities. Our children have never eaten all these sweets but their friends left their pockets filled. In the entrance, there is a piece of furniture still covered with these enormous packages. I do not notice them anymore but I see the astonishment in the eyes of my friends and their children.

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An object or piece of furniture that you could not separate?

Maxime Le Forestier: I could part with all the furniture, except for my two guitars, or at least one! The ones I use now are two sisters of the same wood, the same tree and made by the same luthier to nine years apart. I use alternately one or the other.

Your favorite color in your home?

Maxime Le Forestier: White, red, black, gray, ... there is everything! I even have a painted fresco on one of the walls. In 1982, I go to Brazil for several months, and I leave my house to a certain Yann Kersalé who was doing my lighting. At that time, he had no roof. He settles down at my place and when I return, instead of the wall where there were cupboards painted in gray, I discover a magnificent fresco: "You told me to do as at home and I, I painted the walls! "he asks me, seeing my head. This house is filled with memories, traces left by my friends artists. This fresco is still there ...

Portrait of Maxime Le Forestier

Michael Crotto

Your last useful or futile purchase for the house?

Maxime Le Forestier: A cook because I just redo my kitchen.

The kitchen, rather open or closed?

Maxime Le Forestier: Closed. The kitchen has a beautiful surface of 50 m2, it is dining-room and there is a huge fireplace. There were two major projects, the first in 1979 and more recently. It corresponds to two eras and two styles because I drew all the furniture there.

In 1979, I sympathize with an old blacksmith who came to shoe my horse. He sold 10 francs a kilogram of wrought iron. So, I design a whole structure in angle. He performs it and I put planks that came from an oak floor, and around which I make my furniture. It's a little heavy, too high so impractical ... but indestructible.

Then I had to enlarge because by equipping the house could accommodate more people. I meet two brothers, companions of the Tour de France, one carpenter and the other stonemason. I give them my drawings that they have nicely corrected, without telling me, and the result is very beautiful, all oak and stone of the country, with a work plan that does not risk anything! The two styles coexist, we immediately see the younger part because the finishes are not the same ... and there is no clumsiness of the first era but the whole is unique! Large tables are held there or on the adjoining terrace when the weather is nice.

A dish unexpectedly on the go for your friends?

Maxime Le Forestier: I do not cook but I help! Unexpectedly, I make noodles with the remains of the fridge! The art of accommodating the remains of which Pierre Troisgros has just spoken to me.

And the TV, which room?

Maxime Le Forestier: In the living room, I have a nice collection of DVDs. We are not very trendy news. Besides, laptops do not pass and there is no internet. We have held so far. There have been discussions with the family on the subject but we are trying to keep our house as well. It is a haven of peace. Another characteristic: here, the time zones do not pass, they make the detour! The hours are anything, we have lunch at 16 hours ... Here is a world apart. I wrote a lot of my songs in this house ...

Do you live with music or rather in silence?

Maxime Le Forestier: If it's only me, I play in my office. But when there is my son Arthur and my friend Philippe Lafontaine, the music strolls ...! We also listen to a lot of things; in my office, we listen to vinyl because I have a senseless collection. With the CD, it's the end of the breath and the arrival of the digital is an absolute happiness, but we like to agree moments of nostalgia with the pockets ...

Portrait of Maxime Le Forestier

Michael Crotto

What is on your bedside table?

Maxime Le Forestier: A picture of my wife and my youngest son. And, at this moment I'm reading Gourio's "Brèves de comptoir".

Do you dream of one more room? If so, for what purpose?

Maxime Le Forestier: I am still working in this house. The room in addition, it will be the barn ... a large building in perspective because the old oak fell on the roof and I have to restore everything. I want to make a great room for parties, a ball, a studio ... At the top, I will make mezzanines for the archives.

Do animals have a place?

Maxime Le Forestier: I do not have any more horses but I am hosting two donkeys belonging to my neighbor without forgetting Google, our golden retriever who always follows the family.

Rather orderly or messy?

Maxime Le Forestier: Bordelic but with storage phases. I bring a bucket and we throw every year.

Are you green plants, flowers, balcony, terrace, garden?

Maxime Le Forestier: The garden, I do not work there. I have a friend who is a teacher at the agricultural school of Vendôme, he is an expert and he makes my plantations ... As I have hives, we sow the goose which bees love. I have three hives (the minimum). At beekeepers, there is a real help, we come to see the hives of the other, we give each other hands, stuff against the hornets, we are all anar ...

Beekeeping is a symbol! They are real gentlemen who, speaking of bees, call them damsels. It's been three years since I made this discovery. One day, instead of bringing me a crate of wine, one of my friends arrived with a swarm accompanied by the best specialist Jean-Claude Parent!

And the blue house?

Maxime Le Forestier: I have been asked for the address of this house for 40 years. And as I had lost the address, I answered "backed up the hill" until the day when Sophie Delassein, journalist at Nouvel Observateur wrote a paper on the song.

A young French intern at the San Francisco Chronicle offers the story to his editorial staff and he calls Sophie. This one calls me and I answer him obviously "backed to the hill", except that at the same time I was in my archives and I find the notebook of 1971, with the address! I immediately send it to Sophie, who gives it to the trainee. This one goes there and there, scandal: the house has been repainted in green!

The event makes the buzz and there, the paintings "Resource" arrive and we decide to repaint it. This beautiful story has become media. I felt a moment of emotion ... and enjoyment when the French consul made his speech.

Maxime Le Forestier repainting in San Francisco, the famous "Blue House" of his song.

Jean-Baptiste Quentin

An address or a brand?

Maxime Le Forestier: The paintings "Ressource"! (Cry of the heart). I keep a very emotional memory of all that they have done for the blue house to return to its original color.

His news:

- A new album: "The Gift" at Polydor

- On tour in France until the end of December 2014.

- At the Olympia on May 13 and 22, 2014.

- See his website for dates.

Maxime Le Forestier for his latest album The Gift.