Apathia Recordings Artist- oOoOoOoOoOo Interview is up
Asphodel : answers in this color
Baptiste : answers in this color
1. Your music mixed elements of Jazz, Electronica, Triprock, R&B, Noise , Theatrical , Industrial Black metal, avant rock, electronic, epic orchestral nightmare in a dream . I know I went over the top but this duo is very much that . How did this sound could to be?
Asphodel : I think we only wanted to play music without choosing a team. You know it’s like… Accepting you can laugh during a horror film.
Baptiste : When Asphodel asked me to make a project together, she insisted that she needed to have no boundaries considering musical genres. Something metal, of course, but without any precise label that would stuck the project into something repetitive.
2. Male / Female vocal mash up work so well with the music that is oddly familiar to Kontrust meets Dog Fashion Disco did either of these band inspire you?
Asphodel : FAIL! The only “real” male vocals appear on Well-Oiled Machine. And they are very different from Kontrust or Dog Fashion Disco. We are not inspired by them.
Baptiste : I also did some backing vocals, but mostly as instruments layers than actual vocals.
3. Is there a story behind your new album Samen?
Asphodel : Samen is not a concept album in substance, but its form is. The texts deal with serious subjects like gut microbiota, feminism, marital rape, high potential adults… And a dog dreaming she’s a superhero! There is no common point between them.
BUT the object in itself has been thought as a concept album. I told Baptiste that most of times, pictures used for an album were there to “illustrate” it, and promote it like a wrapping paper… We are in front of a dichotomous evidence. Pictures for music are kind of discredited. Most of times, they answer to codes which are recognizable enough to highlight the genre of music you’re gonna listen to. Marketing stuff. The problem is that way of using images make them secondary, and don’t respect the graphist/illustrator/photographer’s work.
So, I wanted Samen not to being visually linked to a genre neither use images without respecting them as a real matter able to carry its own identity and own meaning. That’s why the artwork I made has been created like an exhibition catalogue. Baptiste highly encourages me in that way. For Samen, we made an “evening-exhibition”, and I think it has to live a bit, as an exhibition, and mainly as a live performance.
4. I know Both of you are in other projects how do they differ from öOoOoOoOoOo
Asphodel : Indeed, I sing in Penumbra. I’ve been knowing them for years and made my first big stages with them. When they asked me if I was inclined to take part of the last album after years of break, I asked to hear new material. I was not into symphonic/gothic metal anymore, they propose something more electro... I love working with those musicians, they are very important to me. Thanks to them, I had the chance to perform in amazing places. I don’t compose anything in Penumbra, nor write lyrics, that’s the second difference. I’m also invited on an american project, but I can’t say anything for the moment.
Baptiste : Besides öOoOoOoOoOo I mostly compose electronic stuff under the moniker of Zus and also slowly working on a shoegaze-like project.
5. If you were asked to explain the band in 5 words how would you do this to a new person about to hear the band for the 1st time?
Asphodel : “Call your mother first, dude.”
Baptiste : “Survive to the whole album.”
6.How did you come to work with Apathia and what are your hopes from this partnership?
Asphodel : Apathia’s big boss and I already met before, in 2013. He knew me as PUWD’s lead singer. Then we stayed in touch. Jehan is a kind person, truly honest and passionate. As he says, Apathia only signs what they like. The label works very hard to help the bands it supports. When Jehan learnt I was creating a new project, he asked me some news very often, and when he heard some tracks from öOoOoOoOoOo, he definitely loved them and made a proposal very quickly. I don’t think we have any big hope… Being in such a passionate team is already a good thing for you. It allows Samen to travel a lot and to make the caterpillar nibbles your ears.
7. Will oOoOoOoOoOo be performing live or is this just a studio undertaking?
Baptiste : Doing concerts was a sine qua non condition when Asphodel asked me about this project. Our obvious next step is to perform our songs live.
8. What music is impressing the members of oOoOoOoOoOo , What are you listening to?
Baptiste : “Anything but rap and country”. More seriously, if you speak about what I used to listen during the composition process of “Samen”, I could just answer “Anything but experimental/avant-garde/deconstructed/whatever-metal”. I avoided to listen any stuff like Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and so on, in order not to be influenced in a musical way.
Also, these last times, I’ve digged the last Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah and Neurosis albums, “Dumb Flesh” by Blank Mass, “The Money Store” from Death Grips and a lot lot of other things.
Asphodel : I don’t listen to experimental bands neither. I guess it seems very curious and paradoxical… During Samen’s process, I think I was just completely keen on Audrey Fall (my favourite post-rock/shoegaze/instrumental band), and drone music from the 60’s.
Today, I listen to… Well, difficult to say. I love Pain of Salvation, Radigue’s music is still a grey house in which I can hide. Audrey Fall, still. Chelsea Wolfe, Gnaw Their Tongues with their powerful L’Arrivée de la Terne Mort Triomphante, Warren Ellis and Nick Cave’s pieces, Shining (The swedish one), Messiaen and its Quator Pour la Fin Des Temps… It’s not easy to choose, because I love music. I can jump from Body Count or old school american rap stuff to post-rock and Brutal Djent after listening to Sigur Rós or ST4P.
9. If you could make a proper video for a track off Samen what track and what do you want it to look like and represent?
Asphodel : Hemn Be Rho Ðie Samen. I think I would choose a black and white image… Cold and harrowing atmosphere, dark and contrasted photography. Between Maddin and Lynch, I guess.
Baptiste : A slow motion pillow fight between Asphodel and me. With a lot of blood and broken teeth in it.
10. Is the digital age a blessing or curse for Indie bands of extreme styles in 2016?
Asphodel : Well, the Digital Age didn’t killed the music. It’s just a catalyst. Trivialization of music and musicians killed music. Majors themselves killed music. When you put too many horses in the same pasture, they suffocate.
The only way to survive among that packed pasture is to reconsider the way you “sell” your music.
Baptiste : I built a big part of my musical culture thanks to internet, discovering a lot of new genres and bands that I’d never heard about among social contacts only. As a listener and as a composer. Rather than a blessing or a curse, it’s just a medium to deal with. We actually wouldn’t exist without it, so I won’t complain.
11.Does Image and Ideology play role with oOoOoOoOoOo ?
Asphodel : It depends on what you mean by “image and ideology”. Baptiste and I don’t fight for the same causes, nor need to illustrate something precise at first. However, when I need to use lyrics to talk about woman rights or veganism, he respects the fact that it’s an emergency for me.
We don’t hide behind a costume, we decided to be as natural as possible. BUT we also need to discuss serious subject and insist on the fact that an artwork in not only a marketing stuff. It has its reason to be, it needs to live as a real piece of art. Samen’s artwork is currently hooked on a wall in Paris as a real exhibition. We are not gurus at all, and we don’t need ones.
Baptiste : As long as I can propose any kind of music to her, Asphodel is free to suggest any idea in any form, not only lyrics or vocals, it can be a riff, a melody, or a whole artwork. We talk about it, confront our opinions, discuss about it again and then accept or reject it.
12. If you can use your crystal ball were do you see the future lead for oOoOoOoOoOo will each album be very different or is there a thought out game plan already?
Baptiste : Next album is on. It will be a country music concept epic story in five volumes.
Asphodel : With bread. My dogs love bread.
Baptiste : And garlic.
13. Can you live off this kind of sonic art or is oOoOoOoOoOo just a wonderful labor of love?
Asphodel : It’s a labor of love and emotional emergency, I guess.
Baptiste : A labor of love and not well-paid research.
14. Social media is this the key to get underground bands known in 2016
Asphodel : It’s a huge help, indeed. Even if it has its dark side.
Baptiste : It seems to me that any kind of social connection has always been something important for a band to develop. Social media is just another form for it, maybe faster and larger than word of mouth, but it’s kinda the same principle.
15. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here
Asphodel : Thank you for your support and for that interview! By the way, as we suffered from censorship, don’t hesitate to free your nipples.
Baptiste : Thanks to you !