iPod commercial helps French duo dent U.S. market.French duo Rinôçérôse -- Jean-Philippe Freu and Patrice Carrie -- formed more than 10 years ago. But the band is just finding mainstream success in the States, thanks to the song "Cubicle" appearing in a current iPod commercial.
Last week, Rinôçérôse's self-titled album debuted at No. 25 on the Top Electronic Albums chart, and "Cubicle" entered Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart at No. 40.
Indeed, the duo uses both guitar rock riffs and electronic beats throughout its music, creating a fine line between the two styles. That unique pairing mirrors the duality of the couple's personal lives: Freu and Carrie are psychologists by day and musicians by night.
Rinôçérôse's latest release is an exclusive collection of songs from four of the band's previous albums, including three tracks from their out-of-print debut that was never available in the States.
Between overseas tour dates, Freu, whose first language is French, spoke to Billboard.com about the band's current wave of success in the States.
"The iPod team chose the song, and of course we agreed," says Freu about how the partnership came about. "I was surprised because the record was not released when they chose the song. And there are plenty and plenty of new bands, so why did they choose this song? It's probably because of the lyrics. The concept of ‘Cubicle' corresponds with what they want to express in the ad -- small places with [many] songs.
"It's fun because we have had big exposure with the ad," he adds. "[Through] our Web site and MySpace there [has been] a lot of people who write me and say, 'I just discovered your band on the iPod ad, and I bought the compilation and you have a lot of good tracks.' And they also say, 'How could I miss you for 10 years?' So we have a larger audience now."
Because of the tie-in, most U.S. fans now equate Rinôçérôse with "Cubicle," a rock-tinged track that features vocalist Bnann Watts from U.K. band the Infadels. But the band actually leans more towards the dance genre.
Freu notes that the album track that best represents Rinôçérôse's is actually "La Guitaristic House Organisation" because "it's kind of dancey [with] dub and housey bass and guitar riffs. The song goes up and up and up, and the finish is completely noisy."
Now that the band is finally gaining some attention in the States, Freu hopes to be hitting U.S. soil again for a tour. "Now [that] I know we are on the rock chart, I really, really want to come," he says, adding that the duo probably won't play any shows until the end of the year.
Until then, though, Rinôçérôse can certainly be heard on an iPod near you.