Nathalie Cousin (vocals) and Benoît Careil (bass) multiply their musical experiences with musicians from Rennes: LES PASSANTS (punk-new wave), LE KA (experimental pop).
Nathalie decides to start writing and composing a repertoire that is more personal to her. She tries ephemeral collaborations under the name of 1989, then takes the name of Billy Ze Kick in reference to the romantic character of Jean Vautrin. With his brother Bobby T. Bang and Benoît, who takes the nickname of Mr. Bing (another character of Vautrin), they form a new group entitled B. Ze Kick and release a 45 rpm on their house label Productions du Fer ( Timbres de Pop/The 25th Hour ).
A drummer, Colargol, quickly joined the band, which performed in Breton caf’conc’ and on a few rare occasions at festivals. Certain titles attract the attention of record companies: Paniac, Prom’nons nous, A vélo… Unreleased recordings from this period appear on the album Premiers Titres released in 2004.
In 90, the spontaneity and humor of De La Soul’s first album created a real trigger for Billy Ze Kick and Mr. Bing, especially since the album was badly shot down by the Inrockuptibles who called the rappers ” crazy kids respecting nothing and looting the music bins. Billy Ze Kick makes this review the founding song of a new formation: it’s Le 1er s’annonce des Gamins en folie (which will introduce the first album). Wanting to break with the classic formula of the group (drums – bass – guitar), Billy Ze Kick and Mr. Bing decide to limit themselves to a sampler as an instrument and call on their friends to form a joyful, libertarian and protesting choir.
From the rejection of TV and advertising, the songs evolve into “chronicles of ordinary marginality”: smoking ( OCB, Bons Baisers d’Amsterdam ), walks in the countryside on Sunday afternoons in search of small mushrooms hallucinogens ( Le chant du psylo which will later be renamed Mangez-moi ), life-size role-playing games ( Encraoudi Encraouda, Le Killer et l’Encraoudeur )… This new formation takes the name of Gamins en Folie, it occurs at the end of the concerts of B Ze Kick.
The two groups perform constantly in concert, mainly in bars or in alternative places. After the departure of Bobby and Colargol, new musicians arrive: Julien on guitar and Pimkie Poo on drums. At the end of 91 Mr. Bing leaves the bass to Mad Doctor to take care of the concerts.
Tired of the concerts in the bars, the group decides to stop the scene. Billy Ze Kick and Mr. Bing then embark on the production of a musical video, the ” Killer’s Trip ” (An adventurer -the killer- engages in a role-playing game that turns into a spiritual quest). With 6,000 francs and a lot of complicity, the band produced a medium-length film (27 mins) which will be shown on the big screen before concerts.
Thirties arrive and the years of RMI begin to weigh, Billy Ze Kick and Mr. Bing decide to put an end to the adventure, and as a memory collect the 9 songs interpreted with the Kids in madness and the soundtrack of the musical on an album entitled ” Billy ze Kick and the Mad Kids “.
Rather proud of the finished product, Mr. Bing embarked on the distribution and promotion of the album. Thanks to the money lent by a friend Kol Killer, hundreds of albums are sent to the media and in alternative circles, a video is shot of Le Chant du psylo and for months the band is active in promoting wherever it can the CD.
From the summer the album reached first place in the ranking of French rock radio stations (Ferarock), during the summer of 93 Radio Nova tirelessly played OCB and Mangez-moi , and in December, the Transmusicales de Rennes programmed the group, which puts his musical on stage for the first time. Once again, the D system and the complicity of many friends will pay off: the room (an old unused chapel, the Church of Old St Etienne) will be sold out throughout the festival ( see photos ). Meanwhile, the disc, recently distributed by Media 7, is permanently out of stock.
Still broke despite this early success, Billy Ze Kick and Mr Bing decided to respond favorably to a licensing proposal from a new Polygram label called Shaman.
The album re-released with a new cover and a new music video, selling during the first month at almost 4,000 copies a day, (to reach 400,000 copies (+ 600,000 Mangez-moi singles).
The song Mangez-moi s to everyone’s surprise in 2nd place in the Top 50 and Top Dance (!!!) throughout the summer. The concerts become real freak happenings all over France. The media follow willy-nilly the phenomenon, some pretend not to understand the lyrics, others laugh, in short, it’s the promised Major Encraoudment (see the Press review ).
Until the day when a zealous Nantes cop gets angry at these songs that the young people in his neighborhood sing in his face when they are lectured on firecrackers. This will be the first in a series of complaints filed against the group. Prudently, the Paris prosecutor’s office refrained from initiating proceedings, the time was still unsaid and any public debate on drugs was feared like the plague. But the damage is done, the media seizes the subject and the whole of France discovers the existence in their fields of these small mushrooms that distant peoples have been consuming for centuries for their hallucinogenic powers (see the Press Review )
After a last memorable concert at the Olympia in December 94, where the group will finish naked as a last offering to its public, the formation separates. Nathalie wanted to make a solo album with new musicians and finally resume the titles of her debut. A part of Les Gamins en folie (Zébra, Joni Bob and Arno Futur) created Les Raggamins and released their first album on the group’s label: Les Productions du Fer, which Mr. Bing is in charge of full-time (Les Raggamins, Skippies, Sloy, Tomorrow the Octopuses, The Garden Gnomes…).
Billy Ze Kick dreamed of putting groove and live sound into his music. A new group is formed around her to prepare her solo album: Léo on drums, Mathieu Chédid on guitar, Cyril Dufray on programming. The Paniac album was released in May 1996. The group toured France. The media scalded by the polemic of the first album boycott Paniac which misses its commercial exit, but whose
original quality makes that it continues to sell regularly even today.
After the semi-success of his solo album, Billy Ze Kick separates from the Shaman label. Tired of the Parisian urban life she has known for 2 years, she goes green near Rennes and finds her old friends and creates a new circle of friends. With the help of Mr. Bing for the music and Billy Billy for the texts, she wrote 12 new songs, satirical testimonies of her own history and above all of the news she experiences on a daily basis. Les Gamins en Folie quickly take their place behind the microphones.
But despite their past success, the record companies are still as uninterested in this band of anti-conformists and protesters of French song. No problem, Billy Ze Kick and Mr. Bing create a new label: Pudding (because the truth is in the Pudding). They found a distributor, M10, and released their new album ” Verdure et Libido ” in January 2001.
With few resources to promote the album and support concerts, Verdure et libido took time to become known (15,000 sales ). This does not prevent the group from making a very noticeable return to the stage with more than a hundred concerts in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec between 2001 and 2003.
After 3 years of silence and various other individual adventures, Billy Ze Kick and Monsieur Bing get back to work, with Bidou, Joni Bob, Marie Peels, Lou Castor and three new Crazy Kids: Maya, ArnoChoule and MathieuPitchou, with lots of want to share new messages and new parties: the new adventure is called Artémis Experience . It’s a real return to the psychedelic origins with a very current electro touch. The arrival in 2008 of Faab at the machines will affirm this electro-psyche dimension. The group rarely performs on stage, but each of its appearances is a real event. With its repertoire of alternative hits, its total freedom of expression and its band of freaks released on stage for unique musical performances,
Billy Ze Kick continues on his way to freedom.