By  on October 11, 2007

Leave it to a French punk band to have the audacity to call themselves Rock & Roll — but that's exactly what this Parisian-based foursome did. So far, it hasn't hurt their chances, at least in the fashion world. Karl Lagerfeld shot the EP cover for lead singer Gricha Berekachvili, drummer Paul Louis Viguier, bassist L.A.M.F. and guitarist Matthias Cadeac d'Arbaud; they starred in ads for French label Zadig & Voltaire, and a deal with Roberto Cavalli is in the works. Now the band is out to conquer America, kicking off their U.S. tour at The Annex on Sunday, followed by a CMJ appearance on Wednesday at the Mercury Lounge.

WWD spoke to Berekachvili as he tried to navigate the New York subway system.

WWD: What's up with your name? It's a pretty bold move.
Gricha Berekachvili: Naming a band is one of the hardest things. We tried a lot of names and they all sounded ridiculous. And I really love this song by The Cramps, "God Damn Rock & Roll." But obviously, it was a bit too long — and then we found out that no other band has had the courage to call themselves Rock & Roll.

WWD: Why do you sing in English?
G.B.: I've been listening to English or American music since I was a kid, and there is only, like, one French rock band worth listening to — a band called Telephone, from the Eighties. I don't think that French language fits this music because it doesn't have any rhythm. It's hard to make it sound pretty with a fast tempo. But it's true that it's been a bit hard — no French record label would sign a French band singing in English, because we have some strange laws about the radio [station programming must be at least 40 percent French language]. It's a shame, so that's why we are very happy to now work with American people.

WWD: You've been really embraced by the fashion community. Why do you think that happened?
G.B.: At first it was a little bit strange. Our first articles were all in fashion magazines. But I didn't want us to be just a fashion band — talking only about our looks and what size our jeans are. Maybe it's because we are quite nice-looking guys and we know that style is important. Rock 'n' roll is very visual, so we try to be dressed nicely onstage and offstage. That's why the fashion people like us.

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