Well Elena, I guess everybody’s wondering….why did you decide to put out an album with christmassongs?
Elena Alice Fossi: it’s a old dream coming true. I guess that every Christmastime to come I’ll be re-issueing such an album, perhaps including some new things, kind of work-in-progress. I wanted to do a kind of “classic”, mainly for myself, as I’m a bit bored with listening to Christmas albums made by others which sound totally uninspired and commercial-only.
I always thought christmassongs are not that cool, you know…
EAF: I agree with you, as too many times Christmas songs are just a “job” for people to make some money. People whom are absolutely alien to certain atmospheres. That’s just the reason why I want to show my own interpretation of Christmas, which sound different enough to other stories, I think.
How did you come to that idea?
EAF: I noticed that Christmas is usually seen as a one-way thing... some love it and some hate it. Christians are often turning it into a sugary event and antichristians love to destroy this period’s atmosphere by means of blasphemy, grotesque images, and same old satanic boring stuffs. My Christmas is a magic event, filled with angels, monsters, killers, saints, demons. My Christmas is “Lucifer and the Archangel Gabriel playing chess in the lost night of another universe”. My Christmas is neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s just an unearthly thing.
The sole bad thing about christmasalbums is that you can only play them then….or do you think it’s okay to play it in summertime?
EAF: well, after all, my album is not an ordinary Christmas songs container. Many songs have not that much to do with Xmas: let’s say I found them fit to the project. So, 8 of the 10 songs can be absolutely listened at 40 degrees temperature... I guess they’d help in turning hot annoying summer into something fresher, with some help from a tasty ice-cream!
Are there christmas albumsout you like yourself?
EAF: Not exactly. Let’s say I prefer making compilations which include some songs I like. Globally, it’s rare that a whole album, whether including Xmas songs or not, goes to really fulfil my expectations.
If father Christmas comes knocking at your door, what will you tell him?
EAF: I’m dead. You arrived too late.
It can be me but I think Christmas can be quite depressive as well….
EAF: it’s possible that Christmas becomes a kind of a nightmare, sometimes. As for myself goes, I must say that in the last years I find that event more positive. It’s for me an occasion to celebrate the birth of a great person I totally respect the memory of.
Any special presents in mind?
EAF: a SAR-21 painted pink would be cool! But I guess I’ll gladly shift with a bottle of Louis Roederer...
Apart from the christmasalbum, what other plans are there in store from Spectra*Paris?
EAF: well, we’ve just released 2 new studio albums, so time has come to increase the SPECTRA*Paris activity on stage. Me, Alessia, Marianna and our collaborators are ready to go and in the beginning of January we’ll be doing a mini-tour Germany and Switzerland. It’ll be a mix of full-lenght shows and short showcases, then we’re gonna make a Eurotour around April, I suppose. Some of those concerts will be filmed, as we’re planning the release of a DVD/Blue Ray including live songs and special contents. Furthermore, a single might come out in Springtime.
Thank you Elena, any wishes for 2011?
EAF: I wish both SPECTRA*Paris and Kirlian Camera had a faboulous year, the best ever!
Well, hello...thirty years in the musicbiz, thirty years in the underground...and still not giving up! Where do you find the courage?
Music is our first expression, but there are many other expressions coming into the concepts of ideas, texts, pictures etc. If you want to express yourself its mainly a inner need... and though we might work underground we still have people out there who are interested in what we do, that keep us going and there are so many stories to tell, so many impressions to sort out, it will never end.
Without any question, you must be in love with music. But hasn't that love changed with the changes in the musical landscape? (I meant from vinyl to the net)
I agree, we listen to music in other ways now... and to be honest the intensity you listened to music when you are in the vulnerable teenage years cannot be compared to later listening, but still with an open mind there are always something new and exciting going on. For myself i almost only listen to streaming music nowadays.
Sometimes you're labelled as synthpop, but it's definitely not the synthpop you hear every day! Not to mention the fact that you are a synthpopband who mentions Lennon and Pink Floyd as their influences.
When we formed the precursor to Twice a man, Cosmic Overdose, in 1978, there were a number of influences... the one you mentioned from the 60s, but also early electronic musicians, minimalistic music, Brian Eno and perhaps most of all the new feeling of punk and new wave music, as Magazine, Wire, Banshees and others. later also bands like Joy Division, Suicide and Fad Gadget. All this put together became Twice a man in 1981 and i dare say, we had something of our own too, formed out of other influences, the nordic soul, the somehow melancholic atmosphere from dark winters and the romanticism of the nordic summers.
Let's face it, over here you're not a householdname. How's that in Sweden?
People grown up in the 80s know us pretty well.
Sometimes I ask myself what the Swedish put in their water to get such a great popsound!
Agree if I say that Twice A Man are in fact pop?
Yes, among other things its pop too.
With "Driftwood" you came to the attention of the musicfanatics. After all these years it's still a fantastic masterpiece.
Thank you, many things came together in this album, starting as an experiment in sampling technique. I am still proud of it, also the conceptional thoughts about the enviroment etc. Even more experimental was the liveperformance, only showed in Sweden. It was like a theatreplay and not a concert... at the same time, after the succesful popalbum Works on Yellow, it was commercial suicide to do a thing like that, noone understood what we were up to, perhaps not even ourselves.
But then you did some stuff which was more ambient. It looks like you never choose the easiest way.
No, you never know where ideas lead you into and its important to stay truthful to your dreams.
You also did musical scores for theaterproductions, I guess in some ways that is like working on a soundtrack.
Yes, its pretty much the same, but there are differences too. I would say its harder to work in theatre then in film. With film you can "see" the result immediality, but in theatre there is a more living process together with actors, lights, scenography etc. difficult sometimes, but exciting. I think that our theatrework influence our songs and viceverse.
With "Icicles" you made a sort of unexpected return. Why did you decide that?
It was not a calculation, it just seamed that we had some good "popsongs", why not make it into a record, easy as that. So, Icicles is in the line of the 80s Music for Girls or Works on Yellow. Another influence is new collaborative work through internet, for us a new way of developing music. Our producer, Daniel Kaufeltd has definitily made a big difference for making the album sound 80s.
I compared your album with "The Ideal Copy" by Wire, now I want your reaction to that!
Though we might seam far apart in musical expression we have a lot in common with these guys i would say. I have always admire their work, especially Colin Newmans songs and the lust for experimentation. When looking through my recordcollection i still have the three first Wire albums, but not "The Ideal Copy".
You soon will be part of our BIMFest, what can the audience expect?
We have two stage programs, one for clubs and one slighly more ambient for seated audience. We will play the clubconcert with material from Icicles, some older stuff and some totally new songs, all with beats. We will also use videoprojections as we always do the last years.
I ask this to everybody : please tell your fave record of all time and why....
As you understood, this is a hard questions, there are so many... if i must say one, perhaps Unknowned Pleasures by Joy Division. It captures the times of that period perfectly and it was a big step forward for a new generation of musicians. It is a dark record and knowing what happened to Ian Curtis a few months later after the release it has grown deep into my soul. I still listen to it.
An other fave question of mine : with who wouldn't you mind to be in an elevator with for 8 hours and what would you do then?
I would like to spend it with Percy Byshe Shelley, talking about life, love, nature and spirituality... unfortunally he died in the 1820s so this will never happen.
What can we expect from you in the future and do you have a special message for our readers?
Our wish for Twice a man is to be able to play our ambient music also outside Sweden and have the good fortune to be able to keep evolving new projects, there are plenty in the pipeline...
Please be aware, of each other, of nature, of climate change and make good for the future of mankind and our fine planet, fight for human rights, equality and against the commercialism of cultural values.
HELLO JOHN, IT FEELS GREAT TO INTERVIEW A PIONEER AND A LEGENDARY MUSICIAN. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS ONE?
No. We were around at the beginning of the industrial/punk electronic music movement and continue to create electronic music today - so we have a long history and experience which means we are labelled as pioneers
IT MIGHT BE BECAUSE I’M GETTING OLD BUT EVEN IF I THINK THERE IS TODAY TONS OF GREAT MUSIC, I GET THE FEELING THAT THERE’S NOTHING NEW BEING MADE…. DO YOU THINK THAT TOO AND HOW COME YOU THINK?
I agree that lots of music fails to take risks nowadays as sales of product diminish I think this will only get worse. Groups have to rely on live performance and much music is created with this in mind. It is certainly much easier and cheaper to create music now than it has ever been which in turn creates lots of competition
IF I SEE PORTION CONTROL, THEN I AUTIOMATICALLY THINK OF ALL THOSE OTHER ELECTRONIC BANDS WHO WERE SO INFLUENTIAL…. FROM CABARET VOLTAIRE TO PSYCHIC TV TO… WAS THERE SOMETHING LIKE A SCENE IN THE SENSE THAT YOU KNEW EACH OTHER?
Yes, certainly in the early 1980’s most bands were linked in some way or other. We had a flat and modest studio at 319 Kennington Road, South London within a few miles radius SPK, Lustmord, Nocturnal Emissions, Chris and Cosey and Funky Porcini lived...and we all knew each other reasonably well
BACK THEN THE GUITARBANDS HAD JOHN PEEL. I KNOW YOU DID A SESSION BUT WAS HE IMPORTANT FOR THE ELECTRONIC SCENE?
John Peel was vitally important to the electronic music scene as well as the dub scene he played our singles and we were privileged enough to record a peel session. I discovered lots of music through his shows which i often taped and passed to my friends
BUT HOW WAS THAT FOR ELECTRONIC BANDS? WAS THERE ACTUALLY ANY COVERAGE AT ALL? I MEAN YOU ARE LEGENDARY BUT IF YOU SEE ALL THOSE OLD FOOTAGES…THAT ALL SEEMS TO BE QUITE OBSCURE, NOT?
The whole industrial, wild planet electronic music movement was always small in England with most bands playing across Europe for any recognition at all. The movement was about obscurity the music was often difficult and never translated into any sort of commercial success easily
YOU CALL YOURSELF ELECTROPUNK, SO I GUESS THE PUNKATTITUDE IS OF GRAT IMPORTANCE, NOT?
We grew up out of post punk in the UK. The idea that anyone could form a group. This doesn’t seem so unusual now at all but back then it took punk and post punk to really open the floodgates to music creativity again
YOU’VE BEEN NAMECHECKED BY LOTS OF ARTISTS WHO HAPPEN TO BE MILLIONAIRES NOW. HOW DOES IT FEEL….I MEAN IN A HONEST WORLD, YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HOSE MILLIONAIRES!
Commercial success has never been a driving aim and we do not profess to being musicians. we have aimed to create uncompromising electronic music and single mindedly set about this goal. Of course we would have appreciated being better rewarded but we also took a long break to raise families etc
HISTORICALLY SEEN YOU INVENTED THE SAMPLING IDEA. CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THAT? I MEAN, WAS THAT FOUND BY COINCIDENCE OR….?
In about 1980 we heard about a sampling system called ‘greengate’ powered by an apple ll computer and bought one of the first of these to be made commercially available. From this we learned the basic principles of sampling and the technology was set to accelerate We then progressed to the akai s900, s950 and finally our pride and main workhorse the s1000.
YOU KNOW, JOHN? I MISS THAT IMPROVISING THING THESE DAYS IN THE MUSICSCENE…. IT ALL SEEM TO BE SO MANUFACTURED NOW….
commercial pressure seems to apply automatically now. i think the naivety of the music industry allowed real creativity to occur but with that learning process disappearing creativity suffers. as was mentioned earlier taking risks is much harder now
SOMETIMES THEYSAY THAT WITH TODAY’S TECHNIQUES, EVERYONE CAN MAKE MUSIC…. I SAY TRUE, BUT IS IT GOOD MUSIC? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
i think having the ability to create music being so readily available is a good thing it is the punk spirit - but of course the downside is that it floods the market with copycat, manufactured stuff. good stuff will always be around it just takes more effort than people are willing to invest
YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE DOWNLOADGENERATION…I MEAN YOU BELONG TO A SCENE FROM WHICH THE RELEASES ARE WORTH A GOLDMINE!
again we have always pushed for the progressive edge and so we certainly embraced the software side of music production early on as we did with sampling etc. most recently i’ve looked at using apps like nanostudio and beatmaker for music creation. however many people, including many to young to have been involved at the time - still want to own the original vinyl versions from the scene. i am happy with downloading although it does undervalue the product
DO YOU FOLLOW THE MUSICSCENE YOURSELF?
not really although of course we meet other bands when we play
THE MOMENT YOU WENT ON A MAJOR, LONDON RECORDS, YOU WERE GONE. PURE COINCIDENCE OR DID THE MAJORTHING NECKED YOU IN AN ARTISTIC SENSE?
the major label thing just never suited our personalities, we were just not confident enough nor did we like the immediate concentration on commercial viability and profit we had been independent and self contained for to long... this period was our unhappiest and least productive. If you look back at the independent left field electronic acts that went to major labels few if any succeeded
I ASK THIS TO EVERYBODY…WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND PLEASE STATE WHY…
the pop group Y, when this came out we hadn’t heard anything like it before. it was produced by dennis bovell so had loads of volume spikes, low end, feedback and dub reverbs and delays along with inventive dance oriented tracks and edgy intelligent vocals. To top it all it came out of Bristol that, at the time, was a UK city smouldering with unrest....
YOU SOON WILL BE ON THE BIMFEST. WHAT CAN THE AUDIENCE EXPECT?
we have been refining our live set [threat] to be as forceful as possible so expect pure sequenced electronics with plenty of bass, deans vocals, a new set of visuals mixed live into the output.... and a few surprises, of course
XMH is the short term for Xenomorph which is the name of the alien from that same movie. Being a sci-fi fan I was fascinated by that name but having a look on the net we soon found out that there are already bands around who had the same idea. I decided to take the first and last letter and the one in the middle and that’s the sole explanation XMH has….
You just have released your latest cd “State of muind” and this could be the cd that will make it….I only see positive reviews!
And that makes us very happy indeed! The big papers like Sonic Seducer, Zillo, Gothic, Negatief and so were all wild about our release. We put a lot of work in”State Of Mind” and the positive response is like a reward for the hard work that’s been done. Of course it’s great for making our name a bit more known. I really do hope that our sound reaches as many ears as possible and that it will open new doors to us. The only way we see is the one forward!
But being part of the scene means working very hard….what motivates you?
I know it sounds like the biggest cliche there is but my biggest motivation is the love for music and my wish to become a better musician. Of course it is really motivating seeing people are reacting on what we’re doing and for achieving that you have to develop yourself constantly. The hard work is something I accept, nothing annoying at all….
Just like every band in the genre I guess you have Germany and Belgium in mind…
Especially the reactions from Germany are positive, even more as we ever wished for. Belgium isn’t that great for the moment as things go rather slowly but everything we get is positive as well. You see we’re not complaining at all!
When I was looking at some information on the net about your band I noticed some local reviews who have to ridiculize the whole scene though…. Howx do you react to such things?
Most of the times I don’t care about such reviews. But I must say that it is a shame that it are those who are complaining that the scene is dead are also those who do anything to slash it down. All they do is complaining instead of bringing up some good alternatives. It looks like they are looking for something to slash down as if they are looking for things to blame.
There are some bands from Holland which are very big from Within Temptation, Grendel to Clan Of Xymox…but it feels like there is no scene over there.
There is a scene in Holland you know. But comparing it with other countries, I tend to say the public is much younger. Honestly said it’s not that very well accepted by the big audience even if our country is famous for being open minded. Maybe it’s because of that you think there is no scene, but there is one believe me…
XMH is compared quite a lot with Suicide Commando….
Of course I can’t say this isn’t true at all. Suicide Commando is in our genre such a long active band and of course they influenced us, so I am sure you will hear some comparisons too. But we did it without wanting to but XMH is part of a scene in where such comparisons are inevitable. Having said that, if they wanna compare us with acts that has been so long in the scene then that’s fine by us!
Where do you find your inspiration?
A bit from everywhere in fact. Films, movies, news, personal things of course other music in every possible genre.
I read once that you started the band because of the love for Hocico and now you’re sharing the stage with Erk and Rasco. How does that feel?
Well, XMH came later and Hocico is a reason but of course not the main reason. I used to play in several metalbands but it was thanks to Hocico that I got into the electronic scene and so far I still have lots of respect for them. Knowing that I will be with them on stage in both Antwerp and Rotterdam gives me a good feeling, yeah……
What’s your fave record of all time and please state why….
Really too many to come up with one. I love music no matter which genre. It really depends on my mood which record I will state as my fave. If you should ask me now then I go for “Navras” by Juno Reactor.
What can the audience expect from the show you’ll be doing in Antwerp?
An explosive show at where you foot will command you to dance.
And the last words are yours….
Come to Antwerp at 12th November, be free, become fan, buy or music, send spam around the world that we’re genius…but serious now : please come and enjoy Hocico but be sure to be early so you don’t miss our show and we can drink a beer during Hocico.
Dear Greg, what does industrial music mean to you?
Hello! Industrial music stands for creative freedom and lack of musical borders. It allows me to express myself freely, to decide what is right and what is wrong for me from A to Z, be it musicwise, productionwise etc..
Everything seems to go away but industrial music seems to be standing for decades, how come?
Good question. I guess what you mean is that other genres of music usually have their five minutes of popularity and then they go back to their garages, their underground etc. Look what happened to punk rock for instance. But industrial music has always been here in the underground and has never become really popular, which is good of course. It’s the kind of art that is, so to say, immune to . And that is what makes it so strong and everlasting.
I always tend to say that industrial music is perfect for my imagination as I can create everything with it what I want….
I guess that depends on one’s own imagination, but I do agree basically. I’d say that classical music/film scores and dark ambient stimulate imagination a lot. Like I said before, it’s the music that deconstructs all borders, schemata and ‘being used to’ aspects. Long live industrial music.
How did you get involved with that sort of music?
In the mid-90s I discovered Cold Meat Industry through some metal magazine. Then a bit later I also watched a Merzbow video and that’s when I got hooked.
The industrial scene has masses of releases, there used to be a time when there was an overflood from tapereleases but now with the new techniques everybody seems to make stuff. How do you follow all this?
I don’t follow at all. I keep myself busy trying to listen to all the great bands I already know. I rarely find good music from new artists and instead of wasting my time I try to focus on some well-known bands/projects.
This might be less funny to say but if everyone is making music, it also means lots of crap comes above. Isn’t that extra hard for serious bands to deal with it?
The crap is no problem at all for serious bands. Well established artists will always find it easy to release their music and get through. In my opinion it is more annoying for label owners. Imagine how time consuming listening to all this must be.
Does it interest you in which form (vinyl, cd, mp3, tape) music is presented?
Of course. A release is not only the sound, or at least it shouldn’t be. Artwork, packaging, the way you promote the release – all these factors count as well for the overall impression that you get. I love vinyls and I feel nostalgic about tapes, they were my youth. Mp3 is fine as an introduction to the actual release on CD/vinyl/tape, but I feel it’s not a complete release if without any tangible object.
You are the man behind Horologium, I guess that’s not the only band you are/were involved with….
Horologium is the only project that really matters to me at the moment. I have lately started working with Marcin of [haven] on a more idm/breakcore oriented band and I hope you’ll soon be able to listen to our music.
Poland seems to have a quite vivid scene with lots of bands, but I guess it’s better to keep my foot on the ground : I guess it’s rather very underground as well?
It is indeed. But is that bad? What makes me more anxious is that without few exceptions people in Poland tend to play the same stuff over and over again. Dark ambient that we all heard dozen of times or plastic sound of synthetic orchestra – that’s usually the case. However, I was quite impressed recently by Polish project named K.
Honestly said I tend to follow the scene (from pop to Indus) in East Europe for quite a while, but it’s only since recently (some exceptions not counted) that there are so many good bands around.
I don’t follow pop scene, but there have been many industrial artists that appeared in recent 10 years after the inception of Beast of Prey Records in 2000. This was a great impulse for young artists to start their own projects.
When I heard Horologium’s latest offering, I got silent inside as it was rather morbid and creepy. Do you feel as such too?
I assume you mean “A Handful of Dust & Ashes”? This is actually a reissue of my music from 2005 with some additional live tracks. Everyone perceives music in one’s own way, so it’s kinda hard for me to relate to your feelings. As a matter of fact, listening to “A Handful of Dust & Ashes” makes me nostalgic and serious.
What’s the most important thing for you : the story behind the music or the music itself or are the two not to be seperate?
I can listen to, say, End.user without thinking about the story behing the music, and that’s just great, but for some artists, including Horologium, these two fields are not to be separated. So if you mean my own music, I’d say both are very important.
Apart from being musician, you also do run Ur Muzik-label. How would you describe this label?
I run Ur Muzik with my wife Olga. We release music that we enjoy. We hope people will enjoy our releases too. Let the music speak for our label. It speaks best.
How does it work. Are you in search of musicians/releases or come they knocking to your door?
It’s 50/50 actually.
Is anything possible on the label or is there stuff you absolutely do refuse?
On the one hand, I would say that anything is possible. Anything that I find interesting. On the other, it’s less probable I would publish some christian pop crap instead of some interesting neofolk release.
Who has a record company in times where the musicindustry is in crisis?
If it’s not about making money, what’s the problem? People like me still enjoy listening to CDs and some other people enjoy releasing them. Who cares about the rest? Again, it’s about fun and passion, not business. Financial crisis doesn’t have much to do with it, at least in my case. Some other labels might find it difficult, though.
Is there anything special in mind you would like to release?
There definitely are some bands and albums that I would love to release, but let’s not talk in vain. I think that dreams are supposed to come true and I hope I will one day release what I intend.
What’s your fave record of all time and please state why…..
Sorry, but there are so many of them it’s really hard to pick up only one. It would be unfair.
We leave the last words to you…..
Thank you very much for the interview, which I enjoyed a lot!
Hello, first of all thank you for wanting to do this. What’s in fact the difference between Estampie and Qntal?
Estampie is an acoustic project that was originally based in the “authentic” Early Music scene. QNTAL was a crossover project between electronic somewhat “dark” music and original melodies and instruments. The music of ESTAMPIE is created in the rehearsal room, Qntal is a computer project.
If you compose a track, how does that work. Recording something and then decide if it’s going to be for Qntal or Estampie, or do you have that in mind before?
No, no….from the beginning it is clear which project is on: practically is Estampie a band gathering in a room and rehearsing. Qntal is in the beginning Syrah, me and the computer , although at the end on stage Fil plays the synthies.
If I’m right you were noticed by Alexander Veljanov, right?
It was not Alexander, it was Ernst whom I met at the Munich theatre. We both love thatre and used to work a lot for it. He was the expert for Electronics and I for the medieval music. At that time (late 80ies) this was a very new concept. We had quit clear musical ideas and the work was rather exciting.
I guess you don’t mind if I tell that your music can be classified as classical music. How did the fascination for that genre started?
Well, the classification changes constantly. There were times in the beginning in which we were regarded as revolutionary, even as traitors towards the “authentic” interpretation. Now since we have this movement of medieval rock as well as the Easy Listening Medieval Music our interpretation is seen as more classical again. I was classically trained and so I was always in a very close contact to any forms of “serious” music. Only the Opera I never liked.
Qntal and Estampie are “specialized” (if I may say so) in medieval music. Is that a choice that’s been made for always or can it be that you do something completely different?
We already combine medieval music with a lot of different styles: Qntal with Electro, a bit of Rock and Pop. Estampie with Arab Music (Al Andaluz Project), Mongolian Music (Marco Polo) and many more. In the moment we work on a program abut Scandinavian Music)
I understood that your music is based on lots of traditionals. How do you find these?
This is just a lot of research, but everything we play is published and everybody can do the same work. There is no secret behind.
I guess you must laugh with people like me who have no idea what’s been made all these centuries ago. I guess you’re kind of archivarists, not?
No , I´m much too chatic for that. What drives me , is the creativity. I develop always new ideas. What else can you do with medieval music. That´s my main talent. Many other band just follow the road that their predecesors prepared. I´m constantly building new roads.
In the past you made some tracks that had an uptempo beat but I guess you definitely have skipped that part, not?
Our aim , in both the bands , is to show a wide spectrum what medieval music could be. So it can be romantic , hard, party and dnnce , folky, intellectual, simple or complicated.
Qntal and both Estampie are here popular among the gothpublic. Is that the same in Germany?
Yes, but not exclusively. We are known , but still not always liked, in the classical scene. The more progressive part likes us and invites us for festivals and so on, the more conservative not so much. The same is in the Gothic Scene. A part is curious to new things and interesting approaches, but not everybody.
In that perspective, hasn’t it been kind of difficult for being taken seriously by the classic audience?
I always thought : music is music, there’s only good and bad music…
Never happened that you listen to your own music?
Sometimes yes, but years after I have made it. Sometimes it´s quite interesting.
I ask this everybody : what’s your fave recotrd of all time and please state why…
That´s really hard. King Crimson , The Incredible String Band, Bruckner and Beethove,n Bach, Monteverdi, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa and thousands more.
In Gent you are part of Festival Van Vlaanderen which is a prestigious festival for classical music. How does that feel?
It is not sooo extraordinary for us. We have played in Brügge years ago. We sang with our new classical project VOCAME at the Early Music Festival Stockholm, at the Rheingau Festival and so on. I lov e the athmosphere of Classiical Festivals!!!
What can the fans expect in Gent?
A quite new experience: Estampie and Qntalin one show.
FOR SOME THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS ARE AN INSTUTION, DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN INSTITUTION?
Us an institution, really, do some see us this way, should I ask ARNO to answer this, no, not really Mr D
YOUR FIRST ALBUM HAS BEEN THE ONE WITH THE SEX PISTOLS. WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN THIS ALBUM?
Our first album was the Last Supper, followed by the four horsemen of the apocalypse, never mind came later, we choose this as we felt the bite coming from our Electro Influence, some say we were the very first, done at the studio of John Komgas, cc happy mondays etc
I RECENTLY SAW JOHNNY LYDON WITH PIL. APART THAT IT WAS A GREAT SHOW, I FELT SORRY FOR HIM…I MEAN, THIS ICON HAD TO BEG THE AUDIENCE TO LISTEN TO HIM.
John Lydon remains a genius, but living in the USA has done whats left of his nut in, and being married to NORA whos edad is the ass Chef of Der Spiegel mag in Germany, we we’re mates untill my brother smacked a polieceman in Dublin(off duty guard) rotten got caught, and banged up in Mountjoy prison
TALKING ABOUT PUNK. WHAT DOES PUNK MEAN TO YOU?
Punk means seeing the kids at Bim fest and Peter flogging his cds with his lady, and me in the bar with a nice lady from west Flanders laughs
TECHNICALLY SPOKEN YOU’RE NOT A PUNKBAND BUT IN SPIRIT I THINK YOU ARE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PUNKBANDS EVER, AGREE?
YOU WORKED WITH MICHAEL FAGAN, I AM SURE THAT MUST HAS GIVEN YOU SOME ENEMIES….
Michael Fagan, god save the queen, wow enough said here Mr D
NOT TO SPEAK ABOUT MANY RELIGION-SUBJECTS YOU MAKE PARODIES OF… JUST BECAUSE IT’S FUNNY OR IS IT A REAL HATE TOWARDS CHRISTIANITY?
Ever thought that I LOVE christianity Mr D, I do, the old testament in the bible is fabulous, Abraham with his son, Joseph in Egypt, Moses parting the red sea, Joshua, where can one read anything like this
IN ALL HONESTY I DON’T KNOW IF I BELIEVE IN GOD OR NOT, BUT IF THERE IS ONE HE CAN NOT LET AN EX-HITLERJUGENDMEMBER BE THE LEADER OF THE CHURCH. I KNOW YOU CRITICIZE IT, BUT DO YOU EVER THINK YOURSELF IT COULD HAVE COME SO FAR?
Total belief in God, absolute, might be a wild lad, but this will NEVER falter, Dieier, my dad was FIVE yrs in a camp in Poland, taken at Dunkirk, they were the poor sods that had to hold up Rommel, the French in total dissarray, he was freed by the yanks, belief in god and Churchill was got him through, Ill get to you pope question in a min
YOU WERE CONTROVERSIAL AS THEY SAY, BUT IN ALL HONESTY : I THINK THIS WORLD HAS BECOME SOOOOOOOOOO SOFT. I MEAN IMAGINE DOING NOW A SONG ABOUT ALBERT SPEER.
Albert Speer, the first person to enter Hitlers bunker after the russians had a field day there was a Irish Ameriican called J P Odonnell, related to us by Irish ancestory, got the chance to speak to him, saw his interview with Speer, that’s what made me write the song, Albert is back laughs
GREAT YOU CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION…SO MANY BANDS ARE LAME T0DAY!!!!!!!!!
Yes the bands are lame today, why, so much drugs available, once u guys clodes the borders the cartel had a field day, no more Bollocks left in the musicians, its lets say getting like football shite
AND AS UBERPUNKS, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE RECORDINDUSTERY THAT IS ON ITS KNEES AND FREE DOWNLOADING THAT IS RISING?
Well on the industry let me say this, Im suing our record company at the moment, ca va, on downloading, not such a bad thing
ONE OF YOUR ANTHEMS MUST BE “HORROR MOVIES”. SO SIMPLE AND SUCH AN ADDICTIVE SONG.
Horror movies, yes so simple true, but effective, the Dewaele are shortly re mixing it for me
YOU ALSO COVERED “HARLEY DAVID” BY SERGE GAINSBOURG, A TRUE HERO OF MINE. IF I HEAR THE BOLLOCKS I OFTEN COMPARE HIM TO YOU, NOT MUSICALLY ….BUT IN THE SENSE OF LIVING AT A MAXIMUM…..
Gainsbourg, simply this Mr D, when I needed a friend and a break in the business he was there, I reamin the ONLY person to rewrite one of his songs, the rest only re recorded, find it strange that the girl who plays Jane Birkin in the new movie Gainsbourg Killed herself after having a row with her boyfriend in Paris, wonder what Serge would have made of this???
I USED TO BE A DJ AND PLAYED “HARLEY DAVID” A LOT AND IT WORKED WITH PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T UNDERSTAND A BIT WHAT WAS ABOUT….
Harley David, a monster seller on PIAS, that made there company
I UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS SONG HAS BEEN REMIXED BY THE FAMOUS THE BROTHERS DEWAELE, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT…
working with Stephan and David will be a honour for me, those dewalle brothers are the Guvonors, they have also been so Kind to my son Kilien, we met up again in Lyon with the belgie cook Piet Huysentruyt, what have we learned today Bollocks, laughs, soon in ghent recording and remixing Pgod
THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS ALWAYS HAVE HAD A SPECIAL LINK WITH BELGIUM, I UNDERSTOOD YOUR DRUMMER WAS EVEN BELGIAN…
Drummer Patrick Pattyn is from Oostende, formely NAUCHTU NEBEL beats of love, which we will do live in anvers for Patrick Nebel
HMMMM, RIGHT IF I THINK THE UK WAS NEVER OPEN ENOUGH FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS?
re the uk now it begins to open, as u said inone of your questions we got into a lot of trouble re Michael Fagin, recently we played Camdens purple turtle fab gig, full house fabulous
AS A BAND YOU TRIED ALMOST EVERYTHING, ARE THERE STILL THINGS YOU THINK YOU WANNA TRY OUT TODAY?
As a band yes, make love to Kim Clijsters in the ladies toilet at Wimbleldon,
I ASK THIS TO EVERYBODY : WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND PLEASE STATE WHY…
Fave record wow what a choice if I was a rich man by Topol, or baby your a rich man by The Beatles
WHAT CAN THE FANS EXPECT FROM THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS AT BIMFEST?
Bim fest, wow, we show what we can really do on this one, total
Stin Scatzor is 20 years old, that’s a teen’s lifetime! How does it feel?
I guess it’s a case of getting old but we’re still alive and kicking! It feels weird that after all Stin Scatzor is known in the genre, and not only Belgium. I am not speaking in terms of songs that are known, but as a name we are. I mean, if even the singer from KMFDM asks what Stin Scatzor means….
In those 20 years people you worked with are famous, others have completely disappeared. Is it a case of being the lucky one or do you think that quality rises above in the end?
I would rather see it as a coincidence. Right, I worked with Johan Van Roy as I recorded my first demos over there, I worked with Peter from Liquid G., I know Dirk Ivens and Eric Van Wonterghem quite well. But in the end I think it’s due to the fact that it’s a small world, everybody knows everyone. For me it all started with a stupid advert about electro-music in the musicmag “Fabiola”…an ad placed by Johan Van Roy! But it still does something to me that after 20 years I might share the stage with Suicide Commando, Dive, Die Krupps, Insekt, KMFDM and now Front Line Assembly.
With Suicide Commando Johan became a sort of institution, never felt any jealousy towards him?
Yes and no. I still consider it as a hobby but for Johan it has become something that got out of hand. But that was to be expected, like he was committed with Suicide Commando. Hat of to that and I think he deserves it. Maybe if I had the same drive and character as him, we could be as big as he is…who knows.
Ben wel blij dat ik het eerste optreden van Suicide Commando en de opgang van Suicide Commando heb mogen meemaken ! En er wordt zelfs al over een eventuele terugkeer van Lescure 13 gepraat... Maar dat is toekomstmuziek, wie weet. Alleen de tijd ontbreekt ons... Maar ik ben tevreden, zoals het nu is. Ik ben ook niet dagelijks met muziek bezig.
You also are children of the so called tape-area. Technically speaking it surely was inferior but I still think these tapes meant more than the cd-r releases now.
Somewhere these tapes kind of fascinated me. You know making the covers by yourself, copying them…it was all an amateur thing. Still think it’s damn cool that there are two split-tapes around with one side featuring us and on the other Suicide Commando. We also made splittapes with Liquid G. and Notstandskomitee.
Never thought to feature all those tapes onto one cd?
In a way we did, especially with our 20th birthday. But such things take time and I need to make a good selection. Plus they all need to be remastered as well. Having said that, releasing them on vinyl appeals to me as well.
2000 was a very important time as then Kris joined. Was this meeting pure coincidence or were you searching to make the group any bigger?
Coincidence is not the word as we knew each other from the gigscene as he used to play with The Lace Of Allotment. One day one I met Kris at a vampire party I was already involved in recording songs for “Industrogression”. I asked him back then if he would like the idea to add a guitar on that. When those first demos arrived I was thinking : this is the new Stin Scatzor sound!
I didn’t ask it yet, but what does Stin Scatzor actually means?
That’s of course the kind of question that is always asked. Stin Scatzor is a word without sense, it’s like some kind of puzzle from different letters and it just seemed to fit fine. I found that 20 years ago when I had some boring times during school. The logo is also pure by coincidence, no meaning and certainly not anything to do with Nazis. One day I got a compliment from Rudy out of Wumpscut for my logo.
The longer you think about, the less concertorganisators that are around…
I kind of do understand that if you see what it all involves. I just think it’s a genius thing that there are still people around in our genre who are willing to do so. Also not forget that Belgium is a small country, I mean every time there is something going on…one event being bigger as the other.
Belgium is the country that breed its EBM-children but I still do think that this country doesn’t treat its children in a right way.
I am really happy that it is all underground as I never want this genre to get commercialised. I know others will have other opinions and I am sure it’s different for organisators or people who are earning their living with music but for me : no thanks to those mass events!
Now that EBM is being in South America, don’t you get reactions?
We get some once and a while but apart from some fancontacts that was it. I have no idea if Stin Scatzor is known there anyway….
For a band like Clan Of Xymox it’s no problem to play there for tenthousand people…
Honestly said in some way I would like to experience that once. The biggest audience we ever played for was in Leipzig at Wave & Gothik Treffen and we are talking about 1000 man only…but I really enjoyed that!
You soon will be on stage with Front Line Assembly, what can the people expect?
From us or Front Line Assembly? (Lol) We will play a short but powerful set. Nothing special, just like always! Pure “industrock’n roll”!!!!!!! I hope the audience will be as wild as the one we had in Nijlen.
Anything to add?
Well, I can reveal you that “Industremakes” will soon find its release on a European label, as soon as details are coming in we’ll let you know! And our latest mcd3” “Industruction” is still available…and follow us on Facebook!
Hello, most people will know you, of course from Project Pitchfork. I just asked myself : why does someone who plays in such a legendary band decides to form a second band?
PETER SPILLES: I guess that‘s because artistically and musically I have a lot more to give. There are many dimensions in my personality, and they generate the multiplicity of my musical projects. I am „chronically inspired“ and a cure has not been found yet! :) I love to experiment and to explore new musical ways. In Santa Hates You there‘s the female component which obviously is not present in Project Pitchfork, and that alone is a quite intriguing aspect. Also, the two projects are very different, musically and lyrically, too. So, as you can see, it‘s a thrilling and exciting new adventure.
Is there a sort of concept behind Santa Hates You? I mean is this your outlet in where everything’s possible? PS: Santa Hates You is the answer to all questions of our times. The truth in its name and lyrics are frightening and in all aspects sizzling. We don‘t limit ourselves, so everything is possible at all times without a warning sound. You have to understand, that there is no love existing in any imaginary product which is used to make you consume in a more happy mood.
“Crucifix Powerbomb” is like hearing a weird horror film in where freaks are ruling. Is horror an important part in your life? JINXY: I gotta say, I like your description of our album! :) Horror per se is of course one of the many facets of life, and it wouldn‘t be possible for us to truthfully portray the contemporary society without referring to it. But to answer your question in a much more trivial manner, I can reveal that both PS and I are huge horror movie fans. PS: Jinxy, your choice of movies really scares me shitless. :D
Maybe life is just horror? JINXY: Sometimes real life is even worse than the most gruesome horror movie. PS: And sometimes horror is just a product of human fear.
There is lots of humour too and to be quite honest I normally hate that type of horrorhumor just because there are soo many clichés being overused, but it seemed like you did a more than pretty job to avoid that!
JINXY: Well, yes. :) I think that‘s because Santa Hates You is by nature the opposite of banal: we are an „anti-cliché“ band, if you will. Our art is not created to please the masses. People may love us or hate us, but even in this second case they will have to recognize that we are not an ordinary band. We are both creative subversives and humor is our weapon of choice to fight against the ethic-less and fraudulent world in which we live. Even when we‘re being witty, we still have something to say!
You are an artist who could profit from the big German wave, in the sense that twenty years ago mags like Zillo, Orkus and Sonic Seducer were like kings. For or against, it helped to create a solid scene. Now this power seem to vanish, is that a good or a bad thing, you think? PS: In my eyes it was that the bands of that time helped to evolve a scene that was worth being reported about and so there grew some former fanzines to the size we now know as important magazines of our scene. First there was a solid scene, then there came the mags..., a magazine cannot give birth to a scene. Power is by nature not something that will last forever, so it is neither good nor bad.
Having said that, I can’t imagine that it must be easier now or am I wrong? PS: You are wrong. :)
I always wondered, how come that Germany is the country that seems to breathe goth and EBM. Why does Germany has such a strong link with that scene, you think? PS: I think it is because in our catholic dominated culture there are themes blinded out which are important to have a fulfilling life. On top of that I guess Germans have a secret love for everything that is made with electricity.
Some will say Santa Hates You is a typical club album…I’ve never been to a club (haha) and I like it a lot….. JINXY: Well, Mister, you‘ve got an exquisite taste in music, that‘s for sure! ;) PS: “Crucifix Powerbomb” is a club album, but not only. It also has the power of turning your living room (or every other environment you choose when listening to our music) into a realm of dreams.
Recently Project Pitchfork released a new album….it seems like you’re having a busy schedule to deal with! PS: Yes, in fact I trained myself to sleep only on sundays.
I ask this to everyone : what’s your fave record of all time and please tell why! PS: That changes from time to time. In the moment it‘s „Crucifix Powerbomb“ Why? Just listen to it. ;)
What would you do if Santa would turn up anyway?
JINXY: Well, the first instinct would be to run away, ‘cause he‘s one creepy, evil mother fucker who hates everybody and if he‘s coming right at us, say, in a Michael Myers kind of way, his intentions cannot be that good. However, on a second thought the best thing would be to fight back in some deliciously absurd way, for example by poisoning his cookies, or by hugging him to death, or other fun stuff like that. You get the idea. PS: I would tell a nice little rhyme to pretend I was a good boy.
You soon will be at Necropolisfestival here in Belgium. What can the audience expect from your show?
JINXY: Some wicked, fucked up awesomeness, if you‘ll excuse my French. :D You may wanna bring some aspirin, an umbrella, a couple of candy canes, shaving cream and an extra pair of panties. You‘ll never know. PS: You can expect everything...., so be prepared!
The last word is yours!!!!!
JINXY: You don‘t have to be crazy to love Santa Hates You, but it helps. PS: It is scientifically proven that Santa Hates You loves you deeper than any regular band.
YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR 20 YEARS ALREADY, HOW DO YOU SEE THOSE TWO DECADES? WINUS: Looking back through the years life has treated us good enough - at least most of the time. Somehow we survived all the ups and downs and now we are still here.
YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE BANDS WHO HAD TO BREAKTHROUGH WITH THE USE OF SELF RELEASED TAPES, I EVEN GOT THEM SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE. DO YOU THINK THE GENERATION OF TODAY HAS IT MUCH MORE EASIER? CYAN: The internet has changed the whole process in various ways. But that doesn't necessarily make things better. Of course some convienience is nice to have but the myth of making music is almost gone. Not to forget that unless you are a real big seller you can't earn a living with it anymore. You can be a big star today - and tomorrow people won't even remember your name.
IN THE EARLY DAYS THE ETERNAL AFFLICT HAD A BATCAVE-SOUND. THAT WASN’T THAT MUCH OF A LOGIC CHOICE…I MEAN LOTS OF GOTH IN GERMANY, BUT NOT THAT MANY BATCAVEFANS….. WINUS: If you try to do something special the ways you choose are never easy and seldomly logic. We always chose what we thought to be best and if it turns out that the people like it ... well done.
THE ETERNAL AFFLICT HAD A LOT OF GUEST MUSICIANS TOO. DO YOU THINK THAT’S A GOOD THING? CYAN: Don't you? It has always been a pleasure to work together with other musicians because their contributions give you new impulses and ideas. Each of them was special in their very own way.
I ALWAYS CONSIDERED YOUR SOUND LIKE PEOPLE WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR WHO OR WHAT THEY REALLY ARE….. IN FACT, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN MUSIC? WINUS: The good thing about music is that every listener can canalize his own feelings and ideas through it. Of course that also counts on the musicians side...
THE ETERNAL AFFLICT AND BELGIUM ALWAYS SEEMED TO GO HAND IN HAND QUITE WELL……… CYAN: Thank you ...
YOUR LATEST OFFERING “EUPHORIC & DEMONIC” WAS A SORT OF BACK TO THE ROOTS THING…. IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY MUSICIAN DOES THIS ONCE, OR NOT? AND YET SOME TECHNO-INFLUENCES TOO…. WINUS: Where would mankind be without it's roots?! Actually E&D is not our latest offering (that was 5 years ago)... We have since founded our own label "AFFLICT:ME RECORDS" and had two releases last year: "SAN DIEGO 2K9" (our 20th anniversary celebration which includes a rerelease of the original "(LUMINOGRAPHIC) AGONY") and our latest album "ION". In fact we are already working on the next album which is due to be out next summer.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT GOTHSCENE? IS IT DEAD LIKE IT’S BEEN ANNOUNCED BY GOTHTTRONIC? CYAN: Just because people get older and find their place in life doesn't necessarily mean they're dead. Of course the scene has changed throughout the years but without change the world would stop to turn and then we would all die....
I ASK THIS TO EVERYBODY : WHAT'S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND PLEASE STATE WHY WINUS: That is a hard question to answer. Being as old as we are... 20 years ago the answer would have been different than today. Every musician has his own very special virtues and vices. No matter which we would choose to state, it would be unfair to all the others.
YOU SOON WILL BE PART OF NECROPOLIS, LOOKING FORWARD TO ANY PARTICULAR BAND? CYAN: We are very much looking forward to seeing Dirk Ivens. He has always been an inspiration and a good friend throughout the years whom we see too seldomly...
WHAT CAN THE FANS EXPECT FROM THE SHOW? WINUS: A trip through 20 years of eternal music. Hopefully there will be something for everyone to enjoy and party on....
THE LAST WORD IS YOURS!!!!!!!! CYAN: Rock on and stay tuned ......
YOU ARE TECHNICALLY SPEAKING AMERICANS BUT YOUR SOUND IS SO FRENCH
I (Anthem) have dual citizenship USA+France. Kirti is born in France of a French father and an Indian mother. I grew up with Kirti in the same school in the Riviera where we both attended class in the Anglo-American section.
HOW LONG HAS THE BAND BEEN GOING?
Since high school really. So that’s 8 years !
I KNOW IT’S WEIRD (HAHA) BUT A FRENCH BAND THAT HAS A FRENCH SOUND TURNS UP ON SOME AMERICAN LABEL….
I think I finally realize how exclusive that idea actually is. It never came to mind as something bizarre. Pieter Scwhoolwerth, the man behind Weird records, is a very open minded person who loves European sounds. He happens to love French alternative bands from the 80s and believes that the French language is perfect to express melancholy. Despite the distance he didn’t hesitate to sign us to his record label which is somewhat of a blessing.
I DEFINITELY COULD HEAR THE INFLUENCE FROM ASYLUM PARTY…
Yeah. We discovered them years after we started FJF. At first our only influences were solely British. We came across bands from the French touching pop scene much later and realized we had a similar sound to theirs. It’s as if we inherited this French coldness unconsciously.
I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS SUCH A SHAME THE WHOLE FRENCH MOVEMENT WAS SO IGNORED, WERE YOU AWARE OF THAT THE TIME IT CAME OUT?
Sure, I think the same goes to all latin speaking countries. I only discovered amazing Italian bands recently through the ‘Danza Mechanica’ compilation released on Mannequin mailorder. Howcome I didn’t hear about these bands before, but knew all about German based DAF instead ? I don’t know.
THERE WILL BE PEOPLE AROUND WHO WILL ACCUSE YOU OF A DATED SOUND……
They’re perfectly allowed to. We can’t help the fact that there will be some people out there who will criticize our music for whatever reasons. It’s always the risk you take when your main influences were active 30 years ago.
IS FRANK JUST FRANK ALSO A BAND THAT CAN BE SEEN ON STAGE, OR NOT?
Of course. We’ve been playing in different areas in Europe and played twice in NYC. We got a few gigs planned in Italy, Norway and the USA in the next months.
WE UNDERSTOOD THAT “THE BRUTAL WAVE” HAS A SPECIAL MEANING, PLEASE EXPLAIN…..
‘Brutal Wave’ is the style of music we play. ‘The Brutal Wave’ also happens to be the name of our first album. In this case, it refers to the wave of French post-war militias that would grab girls who slept with German soldiers and shave their heads off. Unfortunately, they would sometimes do worse to these girls.
ON THE COVER WE SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE ABLE OF…. HUMILATING PEOPLE AS THEY WEREACCUSSED FOR DOING EXACTLY THE SAME.
That’s right. The duality of good and evil in men and things is a strong theme in FJF’s music. What’s happening to this girl is a perfect example of ‘good people’ doing awful things.
DO YOU CARE ABOUT SUCH ISSUES?JUST LIKE ALL COLD WAVE, IT’S MUSIC WITH A NICE MELANCHOLIC ATMOSPHERE BUT VERY UPLIFTING IT ISN’T, NOT?
That’s a way to see it. We like to express our personal concerns in our music. And life can sometimes feel like that girl on the cover. You can sometimes be a ‘victim’ of good.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND PLEASE STATE WHY…
I think it’s impossible to have a favourite record of all time caus that can change every 2 months. All I know is that Rage Against The Machine’s self titled first release turned my world upside down. Made me start listening to music obsessively rather than just for entertainment purposes. If I was to give you a modern album that is definitely one of my favourite records of all time, it would be Xeno & Oaklander’s ‘Sentinelle’ on Weird records. That album is sincerely a gift from God.
Liquid G. does exist for 25 years, seems like an eternity or not?
Time flies as they say, but yes almost 25 years…don’t really count it myself.
In those 25 years you experienced music throughout 3 decades. Do you think a lot has changed?
Yes, I do. It’s not only the music that changed but the scene too as for it fels like there was a much bigger freedom to do your own thing. Now they decide what is good or not to be part of the scene, be translated as everything has to be perfect on both cd and stage. If you ever see Liquid G. on stage you know we’re nothing like that…
How has those changes influenced Liquid G.?
I guess chaos ruled like it always had. Even our musical style changes from time to time…from electro to industrial to noise…. I think we did everything and that’s fine for us as long as the fun is there.
It seems so important that we put a point after the G. in Liquid G;, not?
Absolutely als Liquid G. comes from Liquid Garbage. We started as two bass-players with a rhythm box (Peter VB and Michel VDP). It didn’t last that long till the garbage dropped, so yes that point has to be there!
When you started in 1987, what were your motivations and which big dreams did you had in mind?
I guess I never had that much of big dreams as for me it was a hobby, even if at that time it worked pretty fine. I was involved in the tapescene and that was an international thing : America, Portugal, Brazil, Germany, France, Holland, Japan. In that time I only had one problem, I thought my stuff wasn’t good enough to be played on stage and so it happened I only was once on stage, with the 10th anniversary of Suicide Commando that was.
You could witness how some of your friends got succesfull, how did that feel?
I was always proud that I knew these people. I have a lot of respect for them and I know it’s not that simple to make it. It was great to be in the studio with them or sharing the stage : Vomito Negro, Stin Scatzor, For Greater Good, SOL 19,… Also Dirk Ivens taugt me a lot about cd recording and gig playing.
All those EBM-bands over here in Belgium, do I have to see that as a sort of clan?
Well, honestly said I never considered Liquid G. as an EBM-act in the first place, aznd I’m certainly not an EBM-man. My roots can be found in the punkscene, and I try to bring this out in an electronical way. I never pigeonhole bands in the first place.
One day the black scene in Belgium was divided in two, honestly said, this was literally the blackest period in the black scene…
I agree on that one, Belgium is such a small band and certainly the black scene so we definitely should work together.
I don’t mean it with some aftertaste but I never thought Belgium had that much respect for its musical heroes. So I guess you have to fight for every opportunity to get a gig?
Absolutely true, it’s not that easy to find a place on some stage. When you don’t sell cd’s or your name isn’t hip, you can forget it.
Do you think digitalizing of music is a good thing?
What do you mean? Digital sales or digital recording? I don’t care about it that much and good or bad, we have to go with it as it’s a sign of the times.
You did remixes for institutions like Crash Course In Science or Portion Control, something like that must make you proud, not?
It’s a nice thing just a shame they don’t do anything with it… Personally I think our version from “Being Boiled” is genius!
In 2009 Kim joined the band, how did that change the band?
Ah that’s something else as she really gave us a different vision on how we had to look on the musicscene within Liquid G. Now Kim has joined us, I can find more time to care about our music while she is concentrating herself more on the lyrics. Playing live is also totally different as we can switch places now. Everything clicks between us, we feel things that weren’t arranged before.
Your fave record of all time is and please state why…
Ah, that’s a tough one…for Belgian ones I definitely go for “Sabotage” by The Klinik which was just great and innovative and it still sounds good. On a national base I can sum up something like 100 but let’s leave it to Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Cabaret Voltaire, Skinny Puppy,…..
Soon you’ll be at the ZAPPA with Front Line Assembly. What can we expect?
Fireworks, it will be a short set but with power including one brand new song.
Being 42 I think I can say that my life has been dedicated to music, sometimes it's a pain to realise and then at other moments it's a relief. When you spend all your hours in this life to music you happen to have idols and I guess I must have more than 10.000 by now but I also have some heroes. All my heroes are musicians and I think I have enough hands to count them, must be around 10 I think and Pieter Nooten is one of them. Who is he, you say? True, it's not exactly a name that ring bells but in the 80's he did something in the 80's that changed my musical world and the whole musical universe I think. Along with Ronny, Anka and Frank he created Clan Of Xymox. Thousands of bands are forgotten today but tons of people remember how Pieter played the keyboards in a way I never heard before. Pieter's play was both uplifting and melancholic at the same time and from time to time, he even picked up the mic by Xymox to sing songs I thought they only could be performed by Gods. If you don't believe me, just check out "After the call" by Clan Of Xymox. Nothing is perfect in life and Pieter and Ronny went seperate ways. Around that time Pieter Nooten released along with Michael Brook (and the use of Brian Eno's own Yamaha DX7-synth) the immortal "Sleeping with the fishes"-album. It might be my pussy heart but I cried tons of times on this masterpiece, but as life isn't based on tears alone, I also got my pleasant moments with this one. Twenty years Pieter dissapeared out of sight, even if he worked along with Anka Wolbert and then I got informed by the man himself (what a genius thing this Facebook is) that he has a new album out. And yes, and from the very first second I felt this was going to be another album that will be played till the day I will seek my eternal sleep. In all honesty "This is why" just felt like a sequel to something of the most beautiful things I ever came across, yes...it comes very close to the atmosphere and musicsound of Pieter's debut on 4-AD. It feels like a soundtrack from dreams in where you realise things can only be formed in your imagination, the unreachable things. I never thought I would ever embrace that old feeling. I could quote here many lyrics from songs he played in the 80's but I won't do it as Pieter said it in a recent interview : "now" is the time that counts. You're a hero, Pieter, and heroes never let you down : even if the wait was long you didn't. If you can read Dutch, you can find an exclusive interview I did with Pieter on www.darkentries.be
WELL, HELLO TELL US WHAT DOES MONO ELECTRONIC DENSITY MEANS…
- JM: It’s a name chosen by Valie (Bernard’s girlfriend) which is very significant to us because it contains physical reference (chaotic concepts) and also a simple reference to “electronic” because it’s our passion. So it’s like a flag to say our aims: a passion with technology, electronics, physics…
- B: Everything has been said by JM. This is a pure electronic density.
I DESCRIBED YOUR MUSIC AS ALTERNATIVE DANCE JUST BECAUSE I HEAR A BAND WHO HAS A VERY WIDE VARIETY IN THEIR MUSIC… FROM FRONT 242 TO HARSH TO FUTUREPOP….
- JM: Thank you for the “wide variety”. Indeed what we wanna do is an electronic/synthetic music quite powerful and danceable but without any kind of conventions to be tagged as “ebm” or “dark-electro” or those categories. Electronic music is a huge area to explore. So we always thought it was very restrictive or fanatic to just try to explore one way and only one way. So indeed we are curious and we always want to explore new directions.
I THINK IT’S RATHER FLATTERING BUT I WROTE THAT “COME INTO MY WORLD” SOUNDED LIKE A FUTUREPOPVERSION FROM PAUL HARDCASTLE’S “19”….
- JM: Thanks again for the comparison Paul hardcastle was very well known indeed with the top-hit “19”. He was known to use lots of digital technologies (samplers, DX synths, …) and it’s what I try to do. I listened for 15 years analog sounds from tons of people but you quickly get the limit of this style of sounds. They are primitive. People in the 80s were haunted to raise new levels in sound research and digital synthesizers like Yamaha DX or Korg M1 or Roland D-Series were the perfect keys to help composers to break walls and explore new horizons. It’s sad to see how much digital technologies are powerful but get often pathetic results… That’s maybe why so many composers are stuck again in the sandbox with analog/vintage sounds. Because they sound warm and it’s so easy to program you can get a nice sound in less than 2 minutes. So I was very interested to get back with digital technologies to show to people digital can also be used to produce interesting sounds… Much more interesting to my opinion than vintage/analog ones.
AND WITH THIS YOU AVOIDED THE TRAP OF MANY OTHER BANDS WHO HAVE A RELEASE OUT WITH 10 SONGS THAT SOUNDS THE SAME…
- JM: Yes because it’s the typical trap I know very well for decades. When I was about 12 or 13 years old, I already did electronic music with old gears like Yamaha CS15, Roland Jupiter-8 and Juno-6. I could do a good track… But when I started to have more ideas, everything was sounding like my first track. With time I could then avoid this trap. Now it’s the opposite. I only want to do tracks always different. It’s easy when you use digital stuff. Not so easy with analog… I put some limits also to break my comfort and push myself always on the cutting edge to get new “fresh eyes” on the sound research… changing every 10 days the studio configuration is a way to help
TALKING ABOUT RELEASES. WE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE “UNTOLD WORLD” IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR THE PRESS? HOW CAN MUSICFANS OBTAIN THAT?
- JM: Actually we are in the deal process with some labels and distributors. Untold World is finished for 2 months. All the graphics and pics are also finished. It was important to do all those things before starting to deal with labels. We want to have the entire artistic control. Of course it’s less easy to deal and it takes time… But on the other hand, we are sure to deliver exactly what we want to the audience! It’s like “bio” food… No “artificial” treatments added! The album should be available pretty soon!
- B: As I answered on the web two days ago to someone who wanted to buy our first album: Patience is the key word in music industry nowadays...
IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE PIPELINE ABOUT SOME RECORDDEAL OR EVENTUALLY AN OWN RELEASE?
- JM: The second album is already half-recorded!! We work very fast indeed because the harmony we share about the music conception and artistic views! We also use a studio very reliable and easy to modify.
- B: A little scoop: We’ll have a Belgian guest featuring on one track on the second album and several remixes by well known persons... We keep this secret for the moment.
MED ARE A YOUNG BAND, BUT YOU DON’T SOUND YOUNG…I MEAN THIS SOUNDS LIKE MUSIC FROM VETERANS.
- JM: (laughs). I have almost a foot in the grave with my 40 years old! I do music with synthesizers since 1983. It was with a Yamaha CS15 and a Roland Jupiter8. Quickly I used Atari computer for sequencing with MIDI and then some MIDI synths like DX27 synth or old 8bits sampler: Ensoniq Mirage DSK. So … 27 years later and maybe 100 tracks done in various projects… I’m pretty happy to know we don’t sound like newbies ;-)
- B: As JM already said, we both started music during the 80’s and our roots are in the 80’s! We don’t try to create something completely new, we just try to put and add modern views and original sounds in our music creations. We got a feedback a couple of weeks ago saying: MED doesn’t reinvent electronic music but it sounds vintage and new in the same time, it’s an interesting paradox. We are proud of this kind of comment.
AN EBM BAND THAT COMES FROM THE COUNTRY THAT GAVE BIRTH TO EBM, HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
- JM: I’m very proud of it. To my opinion Belgium bands have a distinctive touch and specific sound. EBM was a worldwide revolution at that time. Electronic music was only the purpose of pop and new-wave bands but was not seen as a raw and brutal style of music. Belgians are very open minded and very talented in the electronic music field and EBM was a typical Belgian way to see the things. We have a natural capability for innovation. It’s sad we cannot say the same for the management of our country…. But at least in music we did lots of outstanding innovations!
- B: I received an add request on myspace from an American EBM fan, telling we were lucky to be Belgian and that he would love to live in Brussels only to have the chance to get closer to Front 242 and the EBM scene Funny isn’t it ?
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT EBM-MUSICSCENE OVER HERE?
- JM: As always… You get the paradise in a hand and the hell in the other… There are very talented bands. They dare to use electronics in new ways. Using sampling in a very clever way. Trying to mix different kinds of technologies with a very interesting artistic vision. But you have also typical electro-pop bands who do music like in 1982 or doing always the same for years… I have to say lots of good bands from Belgium and Germany are played in my iPod every day!
- B: Pretty active scene with some very good bands. And a lot of interesting new ideas on stage. And of course, but it’s life, some bad stuffs.
SOMETIMES YOU HEAR THAT THE MUSIC IS GETTING SMALLER AND SMALLER, AND THE AUDIENCE GOT OLDER AND OLDER….
- JM: Yes because we need new bands ahead and the lack of massive media interests doesn’t help. Lots of crap music makers have lots of media access and worldwide known artists. With EBM music we don’t have that opportunity. Radios and television stations are not aware of what they think to be a “minority” affair … We need new Front 242, new Depeche Mode, … big bands with new blood and massively involved into the media market. It should help to get new audience too ! Believe it or not, but lots of young people don’t even know what Front242 is ! But they know very well the latest rap crap on tv… The challenge is there and nowhere else!
- B: I agree with JM about the media involvement but I don’t have the feeling it’s getting so smaller and older as you mentioned in your question. We meet indeed old fans but young people also who like the current Indus/electro scene. Smaller: Yes and no. Think about some actual big concerts and festivals like Treffen in Leipzig, The Gothic Fest in Waregem, Mera Luna, Castle Festival in Poland, Sinner’s Day, Necropolis in Bruges, Gothic Cruise in Florida, BIM Fest and many others...
DO YOU FEEL THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SCENE IN WALLONY AND THE ONE IN FLANDERS?
- JM : Undoubtedly. Wallony is French minded. So I mean with all the bad sides of latin minded way to think. Always living in doubt, fear, … very usual, classic, without the envy to win, to fight to win. So in wallony tons of usual musics are available. Pop-music, rock music, rap, RnB, … When I go in flanders, we switch to german way of thinking. It’s more open to new things, and with a strong feeling to do things the way it should be. I’m sad to see very few people in wallony don’t even try to discover new things. It’s typical of the latin way to be: we take the food from the hand that feeds us. But we don’t fight to eat. Anyway I hope things will change with time…
- B: No doubt! The best parties, concerts and festivals are in Flanders. Wallony is more rock oriented. There are some exceptions like the ESN festival near Tournai and few others but Flanders rules for electro/indus/goth/New Wave parties and gigs.
I GUESS IT’S DEFINITELY NOT THAT EASY TO FIND PLACES TO PLAY….
- JM: Yes but excepted craps from pop and rock music… It’s hard to find places to play. But it’s like this from the very beginning. The main market is Pop, Rock, RnB, Rap music. Electronic music is seen as something “nasty” from Mister “typical people”. I have to say it’s a pity to see lots of bands always doing the same kind of music too! We need something that could help electronic music to be seen as an entire concept and then get a place to race in the media market too!
- B: The crisis is also a factor. This is why, nowadays, festivals work better than unique concerts. People get more bands for the same price. It’s almost easier to get a contract for a festival than a concert.
EVERYBODY HAS THEIR DREAMS, BUT WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM MED? SOMETHING GLORYWISE OR IS IT JUST A HOBBYTHING?
- JM: I don’t do music to access to glory or to help me to believe I’m a god. I don’t do rock or pop music I do music because I need challenges to try. And electronic music is probably the most open and huge universe to do so! I only do music for the pleasure to do sound research and to learn more and more new ways to program machines. In a 2nd time I love to play this in live to “share” (one of my most important word) it with people. I just hope some people will find it interesting and will be pleased to discover it! If it’s the case, I’d be happy ‘cos I share something with people… And that’s the most important to me. Of course I hope M3D could reach big audience but not in the way to feel myself like a god or for glory or to be famous. I really don’t care about it.
- B: Same as JM, I do music and sing ‘cause it’s a passion. But to be completely honest, I would have a fucking erection on stage hearing hundreds of people singing our songs with us. Again, not for glory/money. Just for the great pleasure of being in communion and sharing a passion for electronic music. Just to see dozens of crazy asses moving like mine on JM’s music and beat I get exactly the same great feeling when I’m in the audience and sing with the band playing on stage.
A LIFE DEDICTATED TO MUSIC, OR DEDICATED TO EBM?
- JM: You have the M that stands for Music in the EBM ;-) But I learned classical piano when I was very young during my music academy. And I’m a big lover of lots of different kinds of bands. I’m a music lover. But my sensibility is undoubtedly related to electronic music.
- B: A life dedicated to passions, pleasures, music and sins I like different styles of music but electronic music is my favourite one. And in electro, EBM is my favourite one. The body part, that’s the key! I like to share my sweat with the audience. After our last gig in Maastricht I was so wet that I had to take a shower. I was wet from head to feet. JM too, by the way...
I ASK THIS TO EVERYONE : WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL THE TIME?
-JM: “Relax” – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
- B: Too many killing hits to give you only one! I love hundreds of records from 1971 up until now. I prefer to mention bands like Kraftwerk, Skinny Puppy, Klinik, Front 242, Bauhaus, Visage, Gary Numan, And One, The Neon Judgement, à GRUMH, A Split Second, The Cure, Dead Can Dance, Rammstein, Cassandra Complex, Fad Gadget, FGTH, DM, Archive, Poésie Noire, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Divion, Covenant, Nitzer Ebb, VNV Nation, Implant, Anne Clark and many others...
YOU SOON CAN BE SEEN ON STAGE WITH PRAGER HANDGRIFF. WHAT CAN THE AUDIENCE EXPECT?
- JM: The best of M3D! We are on stage like in a fight to the finish. Our aim is to share a maximum of emotions with a massive sound. We try, during the show, to give the best of us to the audience and we try to get connexions with people.
- B: We’ll try to share the best emotions, feelings, beats and pleasure. We’re going to record this gig on video ‘cause we’ll have a well known guest on stage for one track and many friends promised to come front line to move their bodies with us.
THE LAST WORD IS YOURS!!!!!
- JM: we are very happy to get there and we will play to our best to share our electronic visions with the audience!
- B: Thanks a lot for your interest in M3D and this very good interview. And our best regards to our friends, fans and all the people supporting us. You kick ass guys!
THE MARIANA HOLLOW, THAT’S A BAND’S NAME THAT NEED SOME EXPLANATION…
Richie) It took us ages to find the right name for the band actually. We knew that we wanted something very distinct, that carried the feel of the music. We felt that we wanted something related to the sea, as the music seemed to really fit well with that kind of imagery, going from violent storms and tragedy, to hope and calmness. As soon as the name The Mariana Hollow came up, we all knew that this was exactly what we are looking for. The Mariana Hollow is the original name for the Marianas trench, which is the deepest point in the worlds oceans...
NOT THAT IT MATTERS BUT I COULDN’T DECIDE TO CATEGORISE YOU AS GOTH, METAL OR ALTERNATIVE POP…..
Adam) Well, I think that it's all three then! It more or less shows what we all like listening to... Richie) We don't really know exactly what box we fit into to be honest. We just write the kind of music we want to hear - epic, emotional and with a heaviness created by power and dynamics rather than just trying to sound like killswitch engage and chucking in a load of beatdowns.
HAVING SAID THAT, THE GUITARS REMINDED ME OF THE GODLIKE SOUND THAT I HEARD WITH ALL ABOUT EVE OR THE FIELDS….
A) I don't know those bands so much, but it's always great being compared to people who are good or great! I really like how textured Danny's and Richie's guitar work is, there's so much to get into when playing with them. It's really interesting hearing what people think we sound like.
R) We've never really looked to those bands for inspiration, but I think there's a lot of common ground between them and TMH in terms of the kind of emotions we deal with. I think people who like these kinds of bands could definitely find something they like about our sound.
IN FACT, IS IT EASY TO COME UP WITH YOUR TYPE OF MUSIC IN HIP LONDON? I MEAN WHEN I WAS THERE LAST YEAR I GOT THE FEELING THAT THE GOTHMARKET, ESPECIALLY AT CAMDEN, IS BASED ON TOURIST SNAPSHOTS…..
A) It's not a problem to actually come up with the music itself! We really enjoy what we're doing and it seems to just get better, creatively and in terms of playing together as musicians. London is very hip and possibly way too cool (and I'm essentially a foreigner saying this), and there are not enough bands just focusing on writing the absolute best songs they can instead of aspiring to a certain sound or aesthetic or part of a scene. It's unbelievable, but in such a massive city, this is a very surprising fact! I think it is less important to be cool and more important to just be good and have people relate to your work on a more substantial level. We really hope that people are going to appreciate that we're trying to create good songs here and that anyone can dig them, no matter what tags you want to place on the sound. We aren't aiming for the Goth market specifically, although we have an idea of who might prefer our sounds; but to have it as wide open as possible is the best thing for any band.
YOU ARE A NEW BAND BUT YOU COULD CONVINCE CHRIS SHELDON WHO WORKED WITH FOO FIGHTERS AND SKUNK ANANSIE, HOW COME?
A) Scott, our bassist, got in touch with Chris through a mutual acquaintance, and he just seemed to like what we were doing off the bat. Danny and Scott would fill that one in better because they actually got to go and see him! Danny and Richie have been working on the songs and sound for some time, and Danny is very educated - we're all a little older and fairly experienced in this band, so what I'm trying to say is, I'd like to think there was a confidence, focus and originality in our delivery that Chris took to - as well as what we hope are good songs, as I was saying before, haha! It gave me goosebumps thinking about our stuff being mixed by the man who mixed "The Colour And The Shape" and Biffy Clyro. I think he did real good, thank you Chris!
I GUESS IT MAKES YOU PROUD THIS ONE, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH OF A BRITISH SOUND.
A) Not? I think sometimes the vocals might have the odd inflection, but a lot of the guitars are informed by Sabbath, Opeth, Paradise Lost, Anathema and others, which are definitely British or at least European. Unless that's what you meant! :) There are American influences, of course, but they don't dominate. Maybe in the rhythm section, but no-one gives a shit about bassists and drummers anyway, haha!
HMMM BY COINCIDENCE I SAW LAST WEEK THE EDEN HOUSE IN CONCERT AND I LEARNED YOU GUYS KNOW EACH OTHER!!!!
A) Yes, we did a gig supporting them at the Scala, which was our first 'big' show actually, and they were really nice people and accomplished musicians. We are playing with them soon and think it's awesome to be associated with people of their pedigree.
IF I HEAR MUSIC LIKE YOURS, I CAN ONLY THINK OF ONE THING….ESCASPISM….
A) That's an interesting thing to say. I think that most of us are into things like sci-fi and fantasy in our own capacities outside the band, and we are all fascinated with the intangible and expressing this in one way or another. We love things that are dramatic, that send shivers up your spine - not just musically. I think the music and lyrics are influenced by this in some way, and it's great that you picked up on it!
DO YOU SEE YOUR MUSIC AS DARK OR SOMETHING THAT GIVES HOPE?
A) Both. Richie?
R) Yeah I would definitely see the music as containing both sides of the coin. We've always wanted our songs to be cathartic and we write from the darker emotions that everyone experiences, but I don't think we're a negative band. Its just all about being honest and writing from the heart. I think Rebecca's lyrics are very open, poetic and interesting and I think she does a great job of moving you though different sides of the music as you listen.
I WAS WONDERING THIS MYSELF THIS WEEK, DOES MUSIC MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?
A) That's also interesting. Getting older and getting more into playing and creating music, it suddenly becomes a different experience listening to things - in a lot of ways, it sucks, because if you make progress in your own capacity, then you look for inspiration in sources that are much more accomplished than you are; or not even related to what you're doing. This makes it harder to find new stuff that you will return to in the way you did your first metal albums, for instance. There seems to be less music I can easily relate to at the moment, that blows me away. Maybe you could call this being old and jaded! But music means so much - it defines your identity, groups of friends, ideas, so much. It changes as you get older though.
I KNOW IT’S DIFFICULT TO SAY FOR A SMALL BAND, BUT ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR EUROPEAN SHOWS OR IS THAT FAR TOO EARLY?
A) Mental plans, maybe! Nothing to report so far cap'n... but watch this space!
QUESTION I ALWAYS ASK….WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND PLEASE STATE WHY…..
A) Can't say! I will say that Nirvana's "Nevermind" changed my life, and at the moment I am still hooked on Biffy Clyro's "Puzzle," for the powerful riffs, songs, creativity and sheer naked emotional fragility - wow that sounded really pretentious! Have you got any journalist jobs there?
R) Very hard question, there are a few records I will never tire of, but '...And justice for all' by Metallica was the first record that really inspired me to want to write and perform in my own band and it still grabs me on every listen. The riffs are so precise and heavy, Hetfield's vocals are incredible and the breakdown and middle section in 'to live is to die' is still one of the most moving pieces of music I've ever heard. Nothing they've done since has touched it in my opinion.
I know it’s difficult, Vince, but try to describe your music….
I would say my music is a kind of combination of old school Dark Electro/Industrial with EBM and with new sounds and percussive elements. It's hard for me to describe my own work in depth. There has been several influential bands in my life like Depeche Mode, Front242, Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy to name a few. This can help to understand my influences.
Also, now I always say "old school" to make a clear difference with what we can hear these days. I mean, to me there was a lot more interesting melodies in the early years than all the "easy and standardized" ones we hear nowdays and it makes a big difference to me.
I was honestly surprised after hearing your stuff that ESR isn’t much more known, not even mentioning that it’s self-released.
Well, I'd like to point out that the new E.P. only is self released. usually my albums are released by one or more labels. But times are harder than ever, with piracy and sales going down, most of labels don't want to release E.P any longer...They only want albums. So at that time I decided to release it on my own as I've always wanted to do an E.P. Recently, a label manager I'm in contact with told me he would have enjoyed to release that E.P. on his label. That's the story of that E.P.
Due to do what I do on Dark Entries I hear a lot of releases on majors (I mean EBM and so…) and it’s unbelievable what kind of crap got signed. Never got frustrated by such things?
I've always been signed from the beginning. Obviously not on major labels but I've had the chance to find people interested in my music. It all started with a German label back in 2001, then the rest of my albums have been released by DSBP in north America and other labels in Europe (Gravitator in Russia and Urgence Disk Records in Switzerland). At some point I admit it has been frustrating not to be more known and not being able to get a deal with a major label in Europe. The fact that I'm not playing live and not living in a country where Industrial/Dark Electro/EBM is much appreciated are probably the keys. I agree with you, it's sometimes surprising to hear "bad" quality music signed on well known labels...I think our scene is turning into a trendy oriented market theses days, so if you're not in trend, it's harder for you even if you have released albums in the past.
The fact is that I've always enjoyed underground music which is by definition not in the mainstream. I understood that my music will probably always be part of the underground Dark Electro/EBM scene and it's no longer frustrating.
I described your stuff like Skinny Puppy, Suicide Commando and the early Project Pitchforkstuff. Can you live with that?
Sure I can live with that. Skinny Puppy has probably be one of the most innovative band in the early years and I love their old records. So I'm rather flattered to be "compared" to them. Suicide Commando did great albums too like "Mindstrip" in the past. To be honest I don't know Project Pitchfork so I can't said if I'm close to their style.
It’s all rather dark….
Yes, it's dark because I've always enjoy the dark side of electronic music. I think you can bring much more emotions playing dark melodies. Talking about the lyrics, it is rather a dark reflection/vision of the world but there is no intention to be "depressive" it's rather a way to warn people and to make them think about it.
For your latest cd you got inspired by the big economical crisis, do you care about such things?
I think we've all been hurt by the recent crisis so I needed to write about it. Like many people I'm angry to see what happened and I'm angry that we all have to pay the price for the stupidity of some greedy people, banks and companies. Sometimes I think the world is dumb, repeating the same mistakes over and over again so I think it's our duty to fight against that. That being said, nothing really changed after the crisis. The same thing could happen tomorrow... You know "money rules the world", I'm sad our leaders didn't really act to change things...It's all about power, influence and money.
It seems we’re fucked again : the poor ones lost their jobs and the rich only got richer….
I'm afraid as long as stock exchanges will be the worldwide reference and the human side of things is left behind, the poor will always pay the price and the difference between the poor and the rich will increase. Not to speak about the differences between currency and countries which doesn't help to get a stable worldwide situation.
To make it easy I will classify your music as EBM in this interview, even if I know it’s more than that. People who don’t love the genre often say the genre has reached its limits…
If we talk about the "pure EBM" (like Nitzer Ebb and all the bands in the genre), I can understand that some people think it has reached its limits. But fans of "pure EBM" do not necessarily want any kind of evolution. I mean I like Nitzer Ebb and EBM for their strong typed style and I don't want them to do something else.
Talking about ESR, I would say that I've integrated things from the EBM style (some bass lines especially) but I'd rather say that ESR is closer to Dark Electro than EBM, I've always mixed both styles because this is what I like best.
In fact, how do you find new ideas? Is that something in the head you have at a certain moment or is it after hours and hours (or days?) trying….
As a composer, things usually come with the inspiration when you're playing on your keyboards. Sometimes a sound is a source of inspiration and then all the rest of the song comes very easily. Sometimes it can take hours to arrange a song to come to a good result. I mean you start with several good ideas but when you put all together, it is not what you expected...so you need to re arrange, change the melodies, re program some sounds, and so on. There's no rules in my process of composing. You never know in advance if a song will be done in a few hours or if it's going to take days to finish it. And sometimes even if a song or a demo is finished, you may decide not to keep it for the album. What is the most important to me is the inspiration itself, I never plan things in advance.
I read that you had a lot of trouble for releasing “Distorted memories”, you even had a cd-r release in mind. I guess it’s all about the money, not?
As I told you, no label wanted to release the E.P. Because of the current crisis in the CD market. I've had a bad experience in the past with a CD-R entitled “A Passage In Time V1”. The result wasn't the one that I expected, I mean it was not a professional one. I really wanted that new E.P. To be released as a standard pressed CD in order to get a great quality CD. Obviously the problem is the number of CDs and the price to pay. Fortunately I was able to find a deal for 100 pressed CDs only and that was exactly matching the idea of a limited edition release and also matching my budget.
Genius artwork even it looks like very desolate….
Thanks! Here again, I like the visuals of industrial sites, rusted gears, desolated landscapes but that's really not what we need in the real world.
You did two covers so far on your album, “Everything counts” by Depeche Mode and “Eighty Eight” by Public Relation. Never got others in mind?
I did a cover of Front Line Assembly "Mindphaser" which appears on my third album "Persistence". That was the first cover I released. As a big fan of Depeche Mode, I took the opportunity of doing the "Everything Counts" cover on my latest album. There is probably a dozen of others songs I would like to cover but I don't know if I'll do some more in the future. Wait and see.
What do I have to think about men who are hiding themselves behind machines?
Talking about myself, I'm a synthesizer addict and I love electronic music, so I can spend hours behind my keyboards experimenting sounds and stuff. I'm a passionate you know but that doesn't mean that I try to hide behind my synths. For many reasons, I do not play live, that's probably why I may be considered as someone hidding behind machines. Since 20 years, music is my passion, more than just a hobby, but I have a full time job and a family so music is only for my extra time. One a more negative note, I suffer from Tinnitus and Hyperacusis so it has been a challenge to keep on playing music even in the studio.
Your vision of this world is a rather cold one, but would you ever want to for a warm vision anyway or is it fine like that?
I would like the world to be a lot better than it is. The truth is, the world is not as cold as you may think while listening to my songs. As I said, my cold vision of the world is a way to warn the listeners, a way to make them ask themselves “could it be that way if we don't change things?”. My vision of industrial music is not just a science-fiction oriented one, it has more depth for those who want to dig it. Obviously I enjoy the warm pleasures of life like anyone else, I'm not that kind of guy who feels good about how depressive the world can be. Moreover, as a father I want life to be warm for all the kids. But when it comes to writing, I like to point out those cold reflections.
I ask to everybody : what’s your fave record of all time and state why….
That's a hard question really...In a previous interview I have already said FLA "Tactical Neural Implant" or Depeche Mode "Black Celebration"...it has changed during my life. This time I would say DEPECHE MODE "Some Great Reward". I think that album was one of the most innovative from the band and the one that took them into the "industrial" side of electronic music. There's a lot of percussive sounds, great melodies and very catchy songs. From a technical point of view, that was the beginning of sampling and I really love the multi layered percussive sounds that DM created with the Emulator sampler. I truly love all the songs on that album, plus there is a song from that period which is a B-Side (of "People Are People) and not appearing on the album that I love, it is "In Your Memory".
I think we still miss some “cross over” bands with that sound nowdays, something rather industrial but not too harsh.
The lasty words are yours, Vince!
First, I'd like to thank you for your interest! It was my pleasure to answer your questions and I hope that your readers will be interested in discovering my music and style. Other than that, I'd say: • Fight for a better world (we all need that) • Fight to keep our scene alive and to help newcomers to have a chance to release and promote their music. • And for the composer in general: please stop using toooo muchhh distortion with your vocals, try to create your own sounds, do not fall into the trap of easy trendy melodies, keep some dynamics with your records (over compression is bad) and protect your ears from loud volume before it's too late.