New York, USA
“Paris By Night was originally a shoegaze / dreampop / darkwave band from Austin, Texas headed by Jeanine aka Jeanine Acquart. After signing with Seraph Records, Jeanine relocated to New York. She has been described as a “female songwriter and performer from New York, delivering cutting-edge rock, traditional acoustic folk and lush ethereal music, all with a popular musical appeal to cross-pollinate throughout several genres of music, both within and beyond underground. ” — Starvox Magazine. She released one album with Seraph titled Dawning; and then subsequently released the album Paris by night.” (From http://www.last.fm/music/PARIS+BY+NIGHT)
by Louise Bashi, November 1998
NY Rock presents local Goth star Jeanine Acquart of Paris By Night. In 1994, Texas-native Jeanine Acquart was voted San Antonio’s “Musician of the Year,” “Best Female Vocalist,” “Best Songwriter” and “Sexiest Female Artist.” Soon thereafter, having outgrown her locale, Jeanine brought her talents to New York City in search of a wider audience for her dark, erotic rock music. As of this writing, Jeanine’s visions seem to be reaching fruition. Paris By Night has just signed with independent label Seraph Records, and is about to embark on a national tour.
In addition to her music, some asides worth mentioning about Jeanine are her penchant for anything French (hence the band’s name) and her double black belt in karate.
NY Rock: Who are your influences, favorite bands when you were young? Who are your favorite bands today?
Jeanine: As far as influences from when I was a kid, I would say the first thing I listened to was the organ because I went to Catholic school. The gospel and hymns from Catholic school were influential. Some of the easy listening stuff that my parents used to listen to also motivated me. Jane Oliver I really liked. [She] had great songs. I am touched by a lot of things but I don't necessarily like a whole lot. Concrete Blond, I love them very much. I am into things where the song is number one, not the effects. Country music, when you get past the twang, there is a good song. I listen to some Pearl Jam. I love the new Hole album. She uses electronic stuff; but not too much that the songs are hidden. There is definite power. Power is very important to me in music.
NY Rock: How long have you been pursuing this dream? What roads were taken along the way (i.e., were you in many bands, did your styles of music change, was your sound always Goth, or did it evolve over time)?
Jeanine: I have been singing and writing songs since I was about fifteen. I sang in a folk group for a little while and we got to tour Eastern Europe. Then I did some solo acoustic. I had my own little acoustic tour of Western Europe. When I first came to New York I was playing in a few little coffee houses and then I formed Paris By Night. I went back to Texas for a little while, because my manager and I figured it would be cheaper for studios. We had a more light metal sound at the time. Eventually we came back to New York because there was a greater acceptance of this music here.
NY Rock: Goth has many different interpretations. What does it mean to you? What is the message you would like to convey with your music?
Jeanine: To me Goth means darkness. Willing to embrace the darkness. Looking at the dark things in life, like immortality and certain behaviors from the aspect of their morality. I try not to preach too much. My music asks moral questions, but ones where I am condemning myself not you. People who know better and still do things especially fascinate me. That is what is reflected in the music. I also talk about torment and gifts from God like certain talents. I look at the forces that bring people in and out of our lives. It reflects loss. I really like the dark aspect of the music. I would love to incorporate the church organ sounds into my music eventually.
NY Rock: What’s it like being a woman in the music business? Does it help, hurt?
Jeanine: People make a lot of assumptions. They assume that even though it's your band, the guys wrote the music and you just wrote the lyrics. I know that a lot of women do just write the lyrics and don't have anything to do with the music. Sometimes even your own band members will introduce you as “this is my singer.” I have been pretty lucky. I have a very aggressive manager, who is a woman, who works really hard with the club owners. I am shy and quiet with people, while she is the aggressive one. Sometimes after a show, people will come up to you and say “good voice” and not even realize that you wrote the song. Sometimes when you are the only female, you try so hard not to have people think of you as a bitch that you start to go out of your way for them. In general in New York, people have been great.
NY Rock: Will this be your first national tour? What have other tours been like? Do you anticipate this one being similar?
Jeanine: Well, in the spring we are going to go on a college tour that will probably start in the south. Then the record label is working on one for the summer where they are going to get a couple of their bands together and tour. Come fall, we will resume our college tour. This will be partially sponsored by our label and we have a booking agent. It's different, I think, because now we have these Goth people who have really embraced us. They are incredible people. They are very intelligent and caring. Some of them had seen us at CB's Gallery and emailed us all over the place. Hopefully, this will help to bring Goth to the forefront. Touring is fun, seeing all the new people and trying new music. I think the music has more of a message now in comparison to the music from the previous tours. The music wasn't developed, it wasn't ready and now it has improved. Music has really gotten away from the good old song and I think we need to get back to that. I am looking forward to this tour.
NY Rock: What’s the Texas music scene like, as compared to New York?
Jeanine: Texas is a very conservative state. Heavy metal, Tehano music and old style rock rules. In my opinion, nothing really new is accepted. There is a lot of blues, whereas in New York there is a punk slant. Darkness and dark music is more accepted here. The clubs you would play in Texas are gigantic with these elaborate sound systems where guitar rules and vocals don't. One time when we played in Texas they shut us down because they thought it was too depressing. The audiences here might be tougher, but I'd rather have this audience because they listen to the lyrics. It's easier to be different in New York than it is in other places.
NY Rock: Could you tell me about your label signing? I heard you had a few offers. How did you choose the one you’re on?
Jeanine: The label is Seraph Records. My manager hooked up with them on the Internet. At the same time that they were sending me a contract, there were a lot of indie labels that we were looking at, but they wanted to take my songs. There were some producers that I really wanted to work with, but things were taking a long time and I was holding out on Seraph Records. Finally I decided that signing with Seraph would give me more independence and I could retain my publishing. The label's been good to me. We are currently remastering the new CD and it should be out by the end of the month.
|1996||Paris by Night|
|2004||Paris by Night||7 Records|
Jeanine Acquart: Vocals, Acoustic
Rico Blythe: Lead Guitar
Charles Friedline: Bass
Leah Coloff: Cello
Mary Rodriguez: Drums
1999 Seraph Records
Taking pop music to a new, dark, and passionate level, while maintaining its own warm, irresistible tone, Paris by Night is the creation of Jeanine Acquart. Thought often accompanied by accomplished musicians, Paris is unquestionably driven by singer/songwriter Jeanine's own intensity. The dark rock sounds created by Jeanine come by way of minor-tinged chord progressions, edged between despairing and hopeful tones. Song lyrics deal with disguised cynicism, self-condemnation, dark hope, and mortality - all gathered together by Jeanine's powerful vocals and vision.
“Today's Gothic scene has many faces. As long as the right vibe is present, instrumentation can be blissfully sparse. Take for example Paris By Night, the brainchild of Texas native Jeanine Acquart. Electing to go with only guitars, drums & bass, Ms. Acquart's vision has arrived front & center on her latest…While her melodies are haunting and seductive, the laid back feel of the band places a delicate twist on the whole thing. But they also prove they can rock on “America (Jam)”, an early Pretenders-style number featuring some down & dirty blues licks form lead guitarist Rico Blythe.”
Now hailing from New York, by way of San Antonio, Texas, Jeanine was part of an acclaimed choral group that traveled throughout central and eastern Europe. In 1994, Jeanine was voted San Antonio's Musician of the Year, as well as Best Female Vocalist, Best Songwriter, and, not surprisingly, Sexiest Female Artist. Around the same time, Jeanine began to perform and travel throughout the United States, seeking the right combination of musicians and atmosphere in which to further pursue her music. Settling in New York, Jeanine achieved this mix and continues to compose and perform to critical acclaim.
“Quietly aggressive in her delivery,” Jeanine admits that she feels most vulnerable while performing live. As one reviewer said, it is “this vulnerability which seems to be the source of an incredible strength that she expertly weaves into the exquisite art of her performance.” (M. Busby, TGL Mag.) As Jeanine puts it, “The whole emphasis of Paris by Night is to be very passionate on stage; it's like seeing a play.”
No easy task capturing this passion in a tangible form, Jeanine has spent the last year recording “Dawning,” her latest CD, investing countless hours tracking, mixing, and mastering the album. As a result, the record blends the drive of rock, the comfort of folk, and the depth of ethereal music in an expression of agonized turmoil and spiritual ecstasy which appears at the very forefront of today's cutting-edge music.
2004 7 Records