Exo-planets of noise-rock : an interview with YC-CY

Swiss German band YC-CY totally blew some of us out last year with their Todestanz Lp (including a song that is compulsary listening). So their show in La Makhno (Usine, Geneva) in May was a chance not to be missed. « It’s the first time we’re doing an interview », says YC-CY guitarist Mike, almost shily, with no suspicion of what a pleasure it is for the interviewer to record the carefully thought-out answers of the young band – kind of felt like taking the pulse of a sportsman. This conversation took place on the upper floor of l’Usine. Mike, Rune (voice) and Gregor (drums) were sitting on the beds. Remo (bass) was on a ladder breathing the smoke of a cigarette out in the night. And this is what we said.

Is there any special meaning behind the name YC-CY ?

Mike : No, we like it because it is symmetrical. I think it is interesting because it doesen’t mean anything but it makes you think about what it could mean.

I thought maybe it meant « Why see ? See why ! »…

Rune : Nobody thought about that.

Mike : I thought about it ! That’s my favourite version of the name, actually.

Is there a will from your part to make something a bit obscure, not so easily accessible ?

Mike : We don’t necessarily look for it but we are probably like that so it just automatically happens. Like for example on the first record all the names of the songs are animals in German. We didn’t have any lyrics at first so we just named the songs by the animals that they reminded us of. And then we thought, cool ! Why not ? A lot of stuff about the band seems really planned out but it’s really spontaneous.

Remo : And on the second album it’s all exo- planets.

Mike : Planets that are not in our solar system.

There’s always this notion of distance. Exo-planets, it’s… far away !

Mike : Exactly. And then the cover looks like space with an an explositon but it’s really a photo of the ocean and the thing that looks like an explosion is a jellyfish.

It’s not really easy to label your music. How do people react to it ?

Mike : People who like punk music think it’s interesting but also a little weird. And then there’s some people who are looking for that kind of music.

Remo : There is not really a scene for this kind of music and when we started we were really wondering if people would like it. When you’re writing punk or hardcore you know people will like it.

Are you talking about your local scene or in general ?

Mike : Some of our worst shows are at home. I honestly just think they don’t like that kind of music that much. Which is totally understandable.

Remo : And playing more shows and finding people that are interested in that kind of music or playing with other bands that do similar type of music outside of Switzerland made us realize yeah there is a scene we didn’t know about !

Rune : People walking out at shows. It’s always funny. It’s not really a thing that you would wish to yourself. We sound so weird that people don’t know what to do with it. At least you can protect yourself with that kind of thought.

Mike : It’s a reaction at least !

Rune : And then you discover that there are actually some people who listened to it, who actually know some songs and have come to the show and you don’t have to protect youself anymore.

Mike : When we go on tour, we never expect too much. One night it’s crowded and everybody’s dancing and the next it’s ten people and they don’t care !

So do you find punk music too conservative ?

Remo : We all wanted to do something new but we all like punk bands as well.

Mike : All these conservative – if you want to call it that – punk bands, we all like them. But we’ve played in a lot of bands already so we wanted to try something new. But we like the Ramones !

What is a good concert for you ? What type of contact with your audience are you looking for ?

Mike : I really like when people dance cause to me the music is really dancy. But I don’t know if it comes across like that always. I don’t see it as hardcore at all. I see it as just dancy but really dark and spacy.

Rune : We played our first concert in April and – we had that in Milano before – people really engaged with the music, pushing the stage, almost pushing me off the stage. It’s a really infectious thing, this excitement, this vibe that everybody gets into, where you will do some stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily do normally.

Mike : People kind of forget about themselves and just let loose. And then when the band stops everyone is normal again. It’s cool, I think. It’s interesting.

Rune : It can also be a good show when people just liked it. Or they didn’t like it but you just had fun.

Are there any bands that you saw and that inspired you to cross boundaries and do your own thing ?

Remo : We talked about it before a little bit. Some yeaurs ago we came here in l’Usine to see Retox. I didn’t know them and didn’t expect anything. It was different, really powerfull and the audience had this punk spirit but the music was not something that usual punk bands would play. It was weird but really intense. That was one influence. Punk but different.

Rune : I admire bands that can put on a really crazy show even if not much is going on. Just doing their thing. I don’t really understand how you do that.

Mike : They’re just really confident. About your original question, I think we all really like The Cure. Heavy but not melodic and not hard. A little funky, a little dancy. that’s what we’re trying to do as well.

Do you think that local scenes still have a relevance in our internet age ?

Mike : Yeah, definitely. We live in a really small town but the scene there is really good. There are record stores and studios, places to play and a lot of bands. Even an independent radio station and they play our songs ! Nothing to complain about, really. I just believe that it’s really not the kind of music that people who live there want to listen to.

Are you active in any other ways in your local scene, apart from the band ?

Remo : Yeah, we are setting up shows, playing in a lot of local bands as well. (Remo has also started a label called order05records and Mike is playing in the experimental band Tumortumor. – Ed.) We were doing shows in our practice space for a while. When we did the first show, we were kind of expecting the police to turn up because the place is like an apartement in a basement but then we ended up putting up shows there regularly !

Mike : There are also clubs where we know the people and where we sometimes do shows.

Do you like reading about music ? Do read any special website or magazine ?

Remo : Yeah, I really like to read interviews when they go a little deeper than the usual questions. And also band biographies and books about music.

Mike : I really like Ox fanzine. I check that out for reviews mainly. And I just discovered Perte & fracas. He reviewed one of our records and now I check that out too. We’ve all done French at school but we never use it. So I can read in French, even if it sometimes take me a long time to understand. I feel he’s always spot on and knows a lot about music. I’ve discovered a lot of records. He’s probably my favourite… I even like Noisey and Vice and all that stuff.

Remo : The book that I’m going to read next is called Fight your own war. It’s about the noise-punk scene. And we talked about Retox. I read two of Justin Pearson’s books, too. The first one was OK but then the second one I hated.

Mike : The second one made me dislike him a bit too…

OK, next question ! Your two records have come out on X-Mist records. Can you tell me how it happened ?

Remo : We released the first record by ourselves – 100 lps, we didn’t know if anybody was going to buy it. Somehow he heard it, made a review and really liked it. So he ordered a lot of Lps. Half of them I think. When it sold out, he did a repress, and then another repress. And then he told us that if we were going to do a new album and he liked it, he wanted to have us on his label.

The sound is a bit different on the second album. Did you go to a different studio ?

Remo : (Laughs) We didn’t go to a studio for the first one! We recorded in our rehearsal space. We did it all by ourselves. We didn’t know what to expect and then when we were mixing it and it was coming together, I was like « Wow ! This sounds really good ! Who knows, maybe someone will like it ? »

Mike : We didn’t know what we were doing. It was a lot of work to do it ourselves.

Rune : Insanely stupid !

Remo : We lived in the studio during five days for the second album. Became kind of friends with the guy who recorded us, who was really into it.

Mike : He was super sweet. We’ll probably go there again for the next album.

Which should be on your label, Remo ?

Remo : Maybe, we’re not sure yet.

Did you play some new songs tonight ?

Mike : Yeah, two. We’re trying them out. I think, just like the second record is more dancy than the first one, the next one is going to be even more dancy.

You’re very much into dance (laughs). Do you like dancing ?

Mike : A lot.

Remo : We wanna do horror disco !

Mike : Even, like, gothic… I love it.

You guys have very lively and rythmic parts and other that are more ambient/noisy stuff. It makes the songs quite long – that’s good – and during the shows you don’t have a lot silence.

Remo : We try to have one long song as the whole set !

Mike : When you’re watching a band and you’re really into it and after the songs it’s like « CRRRRR… » and it’s quiet. I think it’s nice when it’s more like a movie. There’s always something happening and you’re never getting out of it. And if you don’t like it, it’s like torture ! (Laughs) It’s good because of the contrast. The long parts seem longer and the fast songs more chaotic. It’s like a rollercoaster. Only long songs would be boring but the two different parts kind of charm each other… I think.

Plans for the future ?

Remo : This year we’re going to try to record a new album and then play a lot of shows.

Mike : We have a lot of songs already.

>>>>>>>>>> YC-CY

>>>>>>>>>> ORDER05RECORDS

>>>>>>>>>> TUMORTUMOR

« L’oeil du cyclone » (MoE – Cave 12, 20 juin)

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« Imagine un mélange entre Napalm death et Shellac. » C’est la comparaison rapide que j’avais trouvée pour décrire MoE à un copain qui ne connaissait pas. « Pas facile. », il avait répondu. Et pas tout a fait exact non plus, mais ça donne une idée de pourquoi ça valait largement le coup de faire le trajet jusqu’à Genève et Cave 12 ce mercredi-là.

Quasiment déserte et très tranquille lorsqu’on arrive. En fait, je crois que Cave 12 ne se remplit qu’à la nuit. Les Norvégiens – qu’on veut rencontrer pour une interview –  sont déjà là. Mais, fatigués par un trajet depuis Oslo beaucoup plus long que prévu et parsemé d’incidents de sécurité inquiétants, on ne les croisera pas trop avant le concert.

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Il débute devant une audience assez restreinte. On est mercredi et il fait très beau et puis c’est la coupe du monde, hein. Pas grave, le trio est là pour nous en mettre plein les oreilles et les mirettes et arborent des éléments de costume à paillettes. Batteur imperturbable sous sa cagoule fourrée qui lui donne des airs de teletubby gothique, qui casse sa caisse claire dès les premières secondes mais continue sur les toms comme si de rien n’était. Rien n’arrête la machine MoE quand elle est lancée.

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Relents de doom/stoner lourdingues. Pics de tension punk hardcore. Crise noise aigüe, soubresauts schizo, tension qui s’affole. MoE brouille les pistes, orchestre un chaudron brûlant où se fond tout ce qui est sauvage, tout ce qui se tend, éructe, se déchaine.

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Cette tension de malade, ces éclats de folie en rafales  sont servis par la technique irréprochable des trois musiciens confirmés, qui sont tous actifs dans des projets très différents, jazz, improvisé ou autre. Faut écouter sur disque pour comprendre – quoiqu’au final l’expérience en live soit assez différente, très organique.

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Pas de pit formaté ici. Pas de violence ritualisée. Sans forcer, sans rien imposer, le groupe communique juste une folie qui infuse progressivement dans le public présent et le concert se termine dans des danses sauvages et des cris enthousiastes.

La soirée se terminera pas des rencontres et discussions bien agréables, au son de la sélection « pre-summertime » des DJs locaux. Black flag, c’est en effet totalement pre-summertime. Cave 12 ne ment jamais.

>>>>>>>>>> MOE

 

 

A night with The Ex : an interview with Arnold de Boer (The Ex)

 

 

Oh, damn ! Pretty stoked to present our first collaboration with David « Almighty » Livegeneva TV : a lenthy interview of The ex’s singer Arnold de Boer, mixed with live footage. It’s not perfect but it’s cool. Enjoy !

Oh, bon sang ! Bien contents de présenter notre première collaboration avec David « Tout-puissant » LivegenevaTV : une longue interview du chanteur de The ex, Arnold de Boer, mixée avec des extraits de concert. C’est pas parfait mais c’est cool. Enjoy !

>>>>>>>>>>> THE EX

>>>>>>>>>> LIVEGENEVATV

« La branche déviante de la famille » (Pilier, YC-CY – la Makhno, 10 mai)

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A proprement parler, on peut pas vraiment dire qu’il y ait d’organisation consacrée au noise-rock dans la région Annecy/Genève. Ca reste un peu le vilain petit canard, la branche déviante de la famille. Le cousin pas sortable. La cousine transgenre. Mais, au final, il n’y a pas trop à se plaindre car, dans la programmation des uns ou des autres, il y a régulièrement des noms inespérés, des coups de folie.

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La soirée commençait avec le hardcore-punk des locaux de Pilier. Eruction continue de rythmiques rapides et de riffs rentre-dedans, sans temps mort, dans un esprit très proche des Annemassiens de Wrensh. Hardcore droit au but, sans le métal en quelque sorte. Bon sang, heureusement qu’il y a encore des groupes comme ça.

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On sent le groupe habitués du lieu. Et le public, qui assure l’ambiance joviale. Ils se laisseront même convaincre par un rappel.

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Les Suisses allemands de YC-CY  ont peu joué par ici. Ils viennent de sortir leur 2e album sur le label allemand X-Mist et faisaient une courte tournée de trois dates dans l’est de la France.

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Leur musique semble provenir d’un lieu non-cartographié. Atmosphérique et bruitiste, violente et émotionnelle, dansante et expérimentale. A équidistance du post-punk, du hardcore, de la noise. A l’image du génialissime Kepler-186f, qu’il joueront en deuxième et qu’il faut absolument écouter. Ce morceau mérite à lui seul le nom de Todestanz – Danse de la mort -, le titre de leur album.

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Pulsation puissante de la batterie, réduite à sa plus simple expression, qui capte les regards. Bassiste en retrait, les yeux clos – des images de Joe Lally de Fugazi reviennent en flash. Sonorités incongrues que le guitariste tire de son instrument. Des airs de synthé vérolé. Chanteur coincé aux abords du public, plié sur son micro.

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La charge fût relativement brève mais intense. Comme leurs copains allemands de YASS, YC-CY dessine un noise-rock du futur – ou du présent, tout simplement – qui donne grandement envie de continuer à suivre ce que donne ce groupe.

 

>>>>>>>>>> PILIER

>>>>>>>>>> YC-CY

 

L’Orchidée cosmique + Spanked (Brise-Glace, 18 avril)

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La petite salle du sous-sol du Brise-Glace – dite « club » – propose régulièrement des concerts de groupes locaux (ou pas). C’était le tour de L’Orchidée cosmique ce soir-là, suite à une résidence qui a d’ailleurs donné lieu à la réalisation d’une vidéo.

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L’Orchidée attaque déjà son dernier morceau lorsque j’entre dans la salle. Dommage, toujours un plaisir de se laisser emporter par les sonorités aériennes et les constructions étonnantes de sa musique, somme toute très ludique et accessible.

Plein de bonnes nouvelles du garçon, en tous cas. Un enregistrement prévu, avec une sortie sur un label parisien.

spankt 2.JPGOriginaires de Besançon, Spanked étaient les invités de L’Orchidée. Le duo vient de sortir son deuxième album. Si leur musique évoque des références assez évidentes, du côté de Seattle par exemple, elle n’hésite pas à sortir aussi de sa zone de confort.

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Jeu assez technique et hyper dynamique pour le batteur et atmosphères parfois plus lourdes et lancinantes du côté de la guitare ou du chant. Spanked propose une musique rentre-dedans et variée qui tiendra bien en haleine les personnes présentes.

Les discussions post-concert révèleront des personnes humbles et très accessibles. Malheureusement, la convivialité du lieu est limitée et il a fallu y mettre un terme plus tôt que ce qu’on aurait souhaité. A une prochaine !

>>>>>>>>>> L’ORCHIDEE COSMIQUE

>>>>>>>>>>> SPANKED

The non-philosophy of noise-rock : a (posthume) interview with Buzz rodeo

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We all love it when a plan comes together. Such was the case when Stuttgart-based trio Buzz rodeo said they were available to play with local emo-rockers Nurse at their album release party in Le Poulpe. Meeting Ralph, Daniela and Helge was a blast and, on stage, the dry, angular and yet melodic noise-rock of the Germans seriously kicked asses. It came all the more as a surprise, then, to learn that the band had disbanded a few days later, putting their west-European tour to a brutal halt. So much for rock’n roll. Anyway, they let none of that out on that night and were happy to answer some of my usual questions. Here is what they had to say.

OK Buzz rodeo, let’s go  ! Your songs are really well built, noisy but very coherent, so I guess this is not your first band experience… Could you tell us a little bit about your musical pasts ?

Ralph (guitar/voice) : We played in a band called Are we electric ? It was instrumental surf-punk-math-rock (laughs) ! And I played before in a band called Mink Stole et Helge played in Craving, I played in Bhang dextro. We had four 7 ‘’ out in the 90s.

Helge (drums) : The drummer of Bhang dextro left and then I came and we formed Are we electric ? together.

Ralph : Are we electric ?, Mink Stole and an unknown band called Lightning ships… And Tiger Shower Caps !

And you, Daniela ?

Daniela (bass) : I played in an all-girl band. A cover band.

How is the integration in Buzz rodeo going ? (Daniela has been in the band for one year)

D : Very good ! I love the music, I love the songwriting…

R : The guys ! (Laughs)

D : Yeah. Ralph is a bit special…

R : (Funny voice) Very special !

D : Helge is my flying teacher ! He is such a good drummer that playing bass with him is like flying ! And Ralph, he is…

R : … (Unidentified german word, better not to translate.)

D : No, an endless source of songs… In three days, he can do…

R : … one album ? (Laughs)

That was actually my next question : what is the writing process to achieve these songs that you recognize almost immediately ?

R : I just come to the rehearsal and play some riffs… and the others build it up !

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Your last album was published on a polish label – Antena krzyku -, can you pronounce that name for me ?

R : We say « Antena Kryschkou », but we don’t really know…it might not be the exact way… (Laughs)

Can you tell us a bit about this label ?

R : Its is 30 years old, at some time it was forbidden in Poland. Too political, or something like that… It’s a really cool guy who runs the label !

How did you meet him ?

R : He wrote to me on Facebook and we talked and talked and talked. I hadn’t noticed that he had a label. Three weeks later, he was like « Hey, I’ve got this label » and I was like « WHAT ?!! ». He has many bands on his label from all over the world. And not only noise-rock : hardcore-punk, balkan rock, he has all… But he loves noise-rock and post-punk ! He was the roadie for The Ex in the 80s and 90s, he was all over Europe with them.

D : And the best thing is that he doesn’t tell us what we should do…

R : Most of the promotion we do by ourselves, on Facebook…

Yeah, I’ve seen it once or twice… (Everybody laughs out really loud, Ralph being a serial Facebook poster.)

R : But you have to do this ! There are so many bands out there ! Many bands say fuck self-promotion, but it’s not my opinion…

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Do you think this has changed ? In the 90s, there used to be quite a lot of fanzines that bands would use for their promotion…

R : Yeah, I personnally read Maximum rock’n roll, Flipside, Heartattack and the German ones : Ox fanzine

H : And Trust. Trust is better !

R : And Skyscraper magazine and Copper press. And Magnet magazin in the 90s. And another German one in the 90s : Spex.

D : But the change is that you have more direct contact with fans. With social media, you collect them step by step, you talk with them directly. We send the teeshirts, the records by ourselves…

R : We write little messages, include them in the package. We built this Buzz rodeo thing mostly on Facebook.

Then do you think local scenes still have a relevance when you can be in touch with a guy in South america and organize a tour…

R : Local networks yes but not with the local scene… Not so many bands and they are much younger than us. But we have connections all around the world. The guys call us : Hey, come to Russia, come to Australia ! The next step would be to tour the US but… we are afraid of Trump ! Could be a horror trip !

Are these easy connections all good experiences ?

R : In general, you can rely on people, yes.

D : Things happen…

R : Yeah, but I would say 90 % is good. No assholes ! It works !

You seem to be very active : writing, recording, touring. Do you have music-related jobs ? Or flexible jobs ?

R : I’m a landscaper. Self-employed, so when we play, I have no money. But I can do what I want.

D : I’m in a sound studio that does advertising : radio spots, TV spots and videos… The day has 24 hours and it’s always full. When I do stuff for Buzz rodeo, I can’t work so much. But it’s OK.

H : I’m a teacher for fair-trade shops…

R : We can’t live from music only ! So far but… it can change ! (Laughs)

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Can you tell what bands are worth listening to in Germany right now ?

R : German bands ? That’s the hardest question ! (Laughs) Heads…. Not many that I prefer listening to…

H : You have to take a few minutes to think about this… Kurt… Ten Volt shock is cool ! Yass…

R : Party diktator. They have a new band called Waran… I personnally listen to American or UK bands : Blacklisters, Usa nails… And all the 90s stuff : Touch and go, Amphetamine reptile, Dischord, Trance syndicate… This shit… And I love Peru, from Poland. they’re great !

H : Frana… Porch… We toured with them in the UK.

You – especially Ralph – seem to be real noise-rock freaks, how would you define the essence of it – the philosophy of noise-rock – to people who don’t know about it and surely want to know ?

D : Good question…

R : We are really loud… and dirty. Well, … I don’t know ! (Laughs)

D : In the end, it’s just music. A matter of taste…

R : My roots are more in the UK post-punk scene. The Fall, stuff like that… Television personalities, Gang of four are my personal favourites. The guitar-player is god !

D : Music just makes peole feel something. You can say I love that but you can’t say what the philosophy of it is !

(Follows a discussion on how music can touch people in different ways…)

R : A new record is in the works : fifteen new songs ready to be recorded. We hope we can go to Blackbox studio, in France. We have contacts with Albini too but it was too expensive for us. But it would be a good thing, recording with him in the near future.

So you’re planning to have the new album out this year ?

R : Yeah, on the same label, Antena Kryzku. Of course.

 

Post scriptum

On latest news, Ralph has started a new band project with Sasha (ex-Frana) on drums and Daniel (Buzz rodeo sound guy) on bass. To be continued…

 

All black and white pictures are from Dylan D. Breed. Thanks to him again.

 

>>>>>>>>> MINK STOLE 1, 2

>>>>>>>>> BHANG DEXTRO 1, 2, 3

>>>>>>>>> ARE WE ELECTRIC ?

>>>>>>>>> TIGER SHOWER CAPS

>>>>>>>>> LIGHTNING SHIPS

>>>>>>>>> BUZZ RODEO

>>>>>>>>> ANTENA KRZYKU

>>>>>>>>>> LE POULPE

 

 

« Le noise-rock est un sport de combat » (Buzz rodeo, Nurse – Le Poulpe, 17 mars)

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Parfois les rêves se réalisent. Parfois les hasards coïncident. Nurse qui fêtent au Poulpe leur premier album, un des disques de la scène locale les plus attendus, de ce côté-ci en tous cas. Et Buzz rodeo en rade de date sur la route de leur tournée italo-franco-espagnole… Alignement des planètes au-dessus de l’auberge supersonique de Reignier. Bon sang.

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Pas sûr que qui que ce soit ait entendu le nom de Buzz rodeo avant cette soirée du 17 mars. Pourtant le trio de Stuttgart a déjà deux albums, une poignée de formats plus courts et quelques tournées en France au compteur.

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Buzz rodeo, c’est un noise-rock tendance ligne claire. Guitare tranchante, aiguisée comme un scalpel. Rythmique roulante, lourde mais sans excès. Pas de de graisse aux entournures. Juste ce qu’il faut de gravier dans la bouche et la peau(st-punk) sur les os. Et un certain savoir-faire dans la mélodie narquoise, aussi.buzz_rodeo-12.jpg

Le trio – Ralph à la guitare, Helge à la batterie et, last but not least, Daniela et ses magnifiques santiags rouges à la basse – execute son set.  Deutsches qualität. Et le mot exécution prend ici tout son sens.

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« Arkansas », « Underground luxury », « Jordan’s walk »…. Coups dosés, calibrés, méthodiques. Faits pour atteindre leur cible et qu’on fasse comme Ralph. Qu’on tombe à genoux.

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Le public était plutôt stoïque. Mais attentif, c’est déjà ça. Et il s’est encore densifié pour le début du concert des Nurse, qui fêtaient donc la sortie de leur premier album, dont on reparlera très bientôt par ici. On pouvait se le procurer en CD ce soir-là, pour la version vinyle va falloir attendre encore un peu.

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Pop sensible et ciselée ? Post-hardcore furieux et explosif ? Qui sait… Nurse trace sa ligne entre émotions contradictoires. Corde raide tendue au-dessus des à-pics.

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Sur la scène du Poulpe 2.0 (qui, d’ailleurs, vient du Macumba, si, si), avec un son peut-être un peu moins naturel que lorsqu’il sort directement des amplis, on retrouve ces morceaux qu’au fil des concerts on a appris à connaître presque par coeur. Qu’on devine composés à l’instinct. Taillés pour la scène.

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Quelles que soient les conditions, le lieu et l’heure, le groupe carbure toujours à l’énergie explosive, la transe dans le feu de l’action,  la purification par les flammes. Prêts à tout pour faire vivre l’instant. Quitte à se retrouver lui-aussi sur les rotules à la fin du concert. Certainement une des expériences les plus intenses de la scène locale en ce moment.

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Vous avez dit Noise rock freak ?

Toutes les photos sont de Dylan D. Breed, un grand merci à lui !

On peut déjà voir – bon sang, quelle rapidité – quelques images de ce concert, au flou dosé, calibré et méthodique, sur l’excellent site photo d’Olive, que je ne saurai trop vous recommander.

>>>>>>>>>> BUZZ RODEO

>>>>>>>>>> NURSE

THE TURIN HORSE : Interview

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Take a look at this picture. A very close look. Enrico Tauraso (guitar, voice) and Alain Lapaglia (drums, samples) are The Turin Horse. They are here to make a hell of racket and are not going to have it another way. That’s the impression you get, anyway, when listening to their first brand new untitled EP. Only three songs, including a cover of Unsane’s Blame me. Short, but intense by all means. And certainly enough to feed the desire to send them a bunch of questions and get to know more about that Turin Horse. Plus the fact that they’re close neighbours to ours, being based in Torino. Plus their rehearsals take place in the same basement as favourite turbo garage-punkers of ours, Sloks. Plus… Plus… Oh well, let’s get on with it.

If I’m correct, The Turin Horse rises from the ashes of Dead Elephant. What’s the relation between the two bands? What were the main idea behind starting The Turin Horse?

Enrico : Dead Elephant are still in my heart. I think about them with a bit of nostalgia, exactly like when you are looking at an old photography of a moment that you loved. This feeling isn’t related to the music (I’m happy with what I’m doing now) but to the human experience I lived playing in my past band. I’m conscious that this phase is gone now.

Except the fact I played guitar and sang in DE and now I do the same in The Turin Horse, there’s no relation between the two bands for me. I was just 1/3 of the DE. I try to play in TTH with a complete new attitude without thinking too much about what I did in my old musical projects. When I met Alain I was crushed by my past for various personal reasons. I think I was at a dead point and I needed fresh air in my mind. Alain has much influenced my way of play and think music. Sincerely I never accepted that DE were finished until he showed me that together we could get involved creating a new musical identity with its own sense.

Another aspect where I changed my role is that I built the main part of the gear I use in Turin Horse and I never did this kind of thing for DE.

For me the idea behind the Turin Horse was « Let the past go and drive the music over it. Let wounds/insecurities bleed again and try to play the music that is able to make you feel that fuckin shiver down your spine ». In other words I simply tried to express myself making a step forward. As a musician and as a human being. I don’t know if I’m succeeding but I’m trying to do my best.

Does your band’s name come from hungarian director Bela Tarr’s film? Are you interested in experimental art, music or otherwise?

I have much respect for Bela Tarr’s works. In an era where tv series, social media and youtube give a new aesthetics of images, Bela Tarr’s works are there to draw attention to the original powerful visionary meaning of cinema. We were fascinated about the backstory of the movie plot: the whipping of a horse in Turin which is rumoured to have caused the mental breakdown of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Nietzsche saw in the violence of the coachman the desire of the human beings to dominate the world and crying rushed to stop him.

Turin is also the city where we live since we began this band and we liked the idea of having a territorial reference in our name connected to a such controversial event…

Regarding my tastes sincerely I’m not interested in a specific genre of film, art or music. Good things and bullshit are everywhere (not in a specific genre) so I try to keep my heart open and I go deeper if I receive good vibrations.

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You’ve just released your EP, how do you feel about releasing music on vinyl in a more and more numerical era?

It isn’t too strange release a vinyl in this era. In a digital world it’s normal that people have a sort of fetishism for the oldest physical music medium.

A guy in the ’50 bought vinyls and a guy in the present does the same. We need rituals to give sense to our actions. It’s a cool thing, don’t you believe?

Your cover of Unsane’s Blame me is on the « Flattered, Shattered and Covered » Unsane Tribute comp. Can you tell us the story of how you ended taking part in this project?

I’m a big fan of Unsane from the 90s. Manuel Veniani asked us to take part in this project because he believes in what we could do for this operation. I’m grateful to him for taking part of the project: for me it was a good opportunity to show my gratitude to the Unsane for what they gave me. I’m proud to take part in that compilation. It’s an operation coming from the below made just for passion. This is why it’s great.

Enrico, I believe you use an EGC guitar or at least an alluminium neck guitar, don’t you? Can you tell us a little bit about that instrument?

I use a Travis Bean. I bought it in 2003 when fortunately guitars with aluminium neck weren’t as fashionable as now and didn’t cost so much. They were considerated guitars of the hippy freaks era. I was fascinated by this kind of guitars because I love Jesus Lizard and PIL guitar tones. Whem a friend of mine went to Chicago to play with his blues band, I asked him if he could find one for me. This friend came back in Italy with a Travis Bean 1000S and since that time I never thought about selling it because it became a part of my guitar sound. I only substitute the neck pickup with a new custom one because I need to use in a creative way the lack of the bass player in the Turin Horse.

I love this guitar because I can mount on it very thick guitar strings without problems with the neck stability. Sustain for days and a very transparent sound. It’s the only instrument I have since I bought it.

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Do you read about music? Books, magazines, webzines? Any that you follow in particular?

I was an avid reader when I was younger, when I didn’t have internet. I devoured magazines and books for years. In the last few times I took a little distance from the words about music. Frank Zappa said  » Talking about music is like dancing about architecture », I think it’s true. Especially in these days where there are a lot of experts in every kind of matter and I read a lot of opinions about every kind of things. Personally I take more care than in the past about what I read and « who » I’m reading. From my point of view as a music reader, it’s important to have an explanation about why an album/band has a value. In a sea of reviews that glorify records without giving a grounded merit, the risk is to no longer understand what has a real value and what doesn’t. This creates a lot of confusion. I don’t follow any specific magazine or website.

What’s worth listening to in Italy right now in your opinion?

I recently listen « Ere » from the band Stormo and I like it. Other italian bands that I love are Demikhov, Nudist, Hate&Merda, Carmona Retusa, Ruggine and Io Monade Stanca. They are all great bands, especially live.

And Finally, if you had to make a selection of three albums that are absolutely essential to you, what would they be?

This is a very difficult question…I think they can vary from a moment to another. 3 is a very small number!

In this moment I can say: Wipers – Over the Edge, Dickie Landry – Sixteen Saxophones, Pentagle – Basket of Light.

Thanks Tom!

See you Enrico !

>>>>>>>>>> THE TURIN HORSE

« Racaille du DIY » (Catalgine, Deaf lingo, Smutt – La spirale, fév.)

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La Spirale, c’est un peu le centre névralgique de la scène DIY d’Annecy. Un lieu que les groupes gèrent eux-mêmes pour répéter et organiser des concerts. Et ces murs en ont quand même vu quelques-uns. Même les Hard-ons ont joué là, apparemment. Bon sang, les Hard-ons.

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Donc c’était plutôt super cool de jouer là-bas. Malgré le froid et des problèmes de larsens récurrents.

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Bon, on nous a payé des bières dans le public après le concert donc ça devait pas être à 100% mauvais. Bref, tout le monde a été bien terrible.

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Ensuite ont joué les italiens de Deaf Lingo. Milanais pour être plus précis. Ce qui a suscité quelques blagues sur le fait qu’ils auraient dû être lookés comme pas possible, venant de la capitale de la mode.

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Mais ils étaient plutôt normaux, en fait. Avec un disque tout frais dans leurs valises, ils ont envoyé un punk-rock mélo oscillant entre pop-punk plutôt fun et émo-rock chaviré. Pas sans rappeler Hot water music par moment.

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Aux locaux de l’étape de clore la soirée. Smutt et son punk-rock sans sommation. Sacrément rentre-dedans et charpenté, avec toujours cette voix hargneuse. J’en ai même entendu au fond qui faisaient des comparaisons avec tel groupe des débuts du hardcore New-Yorkais. Mais je tairai les noms, hé hé.

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Une autre spécificité de SMUTT c’est une deuxième guitare bien alerte. Tout vrai rocker se doit de haïr les solos mais là il faut bien admettre que ça passe vraiment bien.

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Sûrement parmi ceux qui se bougent le plus en Haute-Savoie, ils avaient joué à la Nano-punk party la semaine d’avant et accompagnaient les italiens au Trokson à Lyon le lendemain.

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Comme beaucoup de lieux de ce type, la Spirale est précaire et ne fait quasiment pas de communication, si tu es intéressé par ces concerts, le mieux est de contacter directement les groupes (voir les liens ci-dessous). Tu peux aussi consulter cet agenda que je tiens à jour.

On peut voir aussi quelques images de cette soirée sur l’excellent site d’Olive, Lowlightconditions.

 

>>>>>>>>>> CATALGINE

>>>>>>>>>> DEAF LINGO

>>>>>>>>>> SMUTT

The Turin Horse, untitled EP

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Avis de tempête de l’autre côté des Alpes. Trois titres. La salve est brève mais intense. Les membres de The Turin Horse officiaient auparavant dans Dead Elephant, combo qui pratiquait un post-hardcore massif, apocalyptique, dans le sillon de Neurosis. Les ingrédients sont toujours là, mais le propos est resserré, condensé, épuré pour un impact maximal. Tout comme le personnel réduit à sa plus simple expression : une guitare, une batterie, un peu d’électronique. « Uncompromising noise-rock designed to break your heart », qu’ils disent. Pourquoi pas.

Avec sa disto old-school et sa voix erraillée, The regret song, le premier morceau, commence même un peu comme du Black flag. Mais pris dans un tourbillon de breaks nerveux, millimétrés, de subits revirements d’intensité et tous les éléments du post-hardcore de compétition maniés ici avec maestria et la bave aux lèvres. En ce qui me concerne, dès ce premier morceau, le groupe a tout bon.

C’est un peu le même topo avec Blame me, reprise d’Unsane qui figurait déjà sur la compilation « Shattered, flattered and covered », brulôt chaotique s’enflammant en à peine plus de deux minutes qui leur va comme un gant. Ce n’est qu’avec le troisième morceau, The light that failed, que le duo ralentit un peu sa course folle. Mais c’est pour mieux insuffler une dose supplémentaire de tension venimeuse et lancinante. Un arpège trempé dans une réverb moite. Suspendu comme une respiration avant de replonger au coeur de la tempête, dans l’oeil du cyclone, qui finira par se dissiper pour ne laisser que des ruines et des sifflements.

Fort de ce premier méfait, le groupe tourne actuellement avec la même énergie que celle que déploie leur musique. Ils devraient passer la frontière en mai. Peut-être aura-t-on la chance de les voir par ici ?

The Turin Horse, untitled EP (Sangue Dischi, Shove Records, Vollmer Industries, Hell Comes Home, Rodomonte Dischi)

>>>>>>>>>> THE TURIN HORSE

>>>>>>>>>> SANGUE DISHI

>>>>>>>>>> VOLLMER INDUSTRIES

>>>>>>>>>> HELL COMES HOME

>>>>>>>>>> RODOMONTE DISCHI