Sunday, May 8, 2011
Nuit Noire Interview 5/08/2011
Most of you who know me well and my taste in music, also know that I've been enthusiastically following the trail of fairy dust left behind Faerical Blasting Black Metal Punk band known as Nuit Noire for nearly a decade now. I absolutely adore this band, and continue snatch up everything Mr Tenebras and co. release. When I first heard Lunar Deflagration, so much of what I looked for in music was found within this one band. They are melodic, raw, fantastical, epic, effeminate, innocent, youthful, one of a kind, Black Metal but on the outer fringe....etc. They are a pentacle in my life and am honored to be able to lay down an interview with main Fairy behind the band, Mr Tenebras.
Mithy: The first and an all around basic question: What do we have to look forward to with Nuit Noire in 2011? Plans, recordings, upcoming releases, live shows, etc??
Tenebras: The brand new album called "The Gigantic Hideout" has been finished recently and i hope i can release it soon. Then hopefully Nuit Noire will get on stage again, with what was going on in my personal life this past year it has been to hard to deal with it, but it should be better in the months to come.
Mithy: What happened with the Nuit Noire Demos 2CD that was supposed to come out on Todestrieb, and is there still plans to release this?
Tenebras: I honestly doubt that Todestrieb will ever release it, it seems that a lot of chaos went in the label owner's life those past years and i don't have any hope anymore about it. But the french label Those Opposed Records and i are being working on a triple-lp version of the demo tapes right now.
Mithy: I also recall a split with Trist was in the works as well as a tape called Pleine Lune, is this stuff still in the works or have these tracks been siphoned off to other releases?
Tenebras: Jan from Trist told me not so long ago that there was a big delay but our split-ep is not an abandoned project, and for the "Pleine Lune" tape i haven't had any news from "Drug Money Records" for a very long time, i don't know what to say about it for now.
Mithy: I as well as others really loved the Lady Gaga cover, it was
completely out of left field yet oh so appropriate for NN, any
particular reason why you chose to cover "Paparazzi"? And any other obtuse cover songs you might have plan to spring on us?
Tenebras: I just really liked this song from Lady Gaga, and it was a good
occasion to schock people and eventually get insulted, but
(un)fortunately i just had good direct feedbacks, and more than that
many people finally felt confident to assume their admiration for
Gaga after it, i thought i was the only one... Let's see if i do more attempts like this in the future or not.
Mithy: Nuit Noire has always been a unique entity, when I first heard your band in 2003 with "Lunar Deflagration" not only did I instantly fall in love with the band but I was trying to figure what other bands you might have been influenced by, a lot of it seemed outside the realms of Black Metal...stuff that I could almost put my finger on but could never place completely. So tell me what were your musical inspirations when you first started Nuit Noire, and what are they now (if any.) ?
Tenebras: When i got into black metal in the mid 90's, i wasn't especially into the classic "inner circle" ones, but i got into them later on. In the beginning i was very into the austrian scene, Abigor, Summoning, etc, and also bands like Ancient, Master's Hammer, Nastrond, Mütiilation, Arkham... Besides it i have been listening to classic cold wave like The Sisters Of Mercy and Fields Of The Nephilim. Also the 80's music i was listening from my parents vinyl records when i was a child has been capital for sure, this coldness, this melancholy, this transcendental aspect in the ambiances, the melodies, something that disappeared later on and finally reappeared those last years in the mainstream electro-dancefloor music especially, see some works from David Guetta, some Sophie Ellis Bextor's featuring, some Nelly Furtado's, Nadia Ali's, Greg Parys'... I also love the old pioneers of punk rock, and Nirvana. Anything could catch my ears, i cannot plan what i will like or not.
Mithy: So tell me, how do you get that otherworldly guitar tone and a set of dreamlike riffs to match the mini-Epic nature of each fairy anthem you write? Does each tune take a while to conceive or does it just come to you in a dream by the visiting fairies of the night!?
Tenebras: I have a self-modified cheap Jackson guitar that has, very important, a NON-agressive-loud-metal sound, then a chain of Boss pedals (Noise Supressor, Metal Zone, Super Shifter and Digital Delay 6) and some transistor Valvestate Marshall amps from the 90's. In general melodies or words with melodies arrive from nowhere in my mind, it gives me the main aspect of the song, and then there is a big work of thinking how i will settle the structure of the song for it to just flow like a shooting star.
Mithy: Is there anything else that inspires Nuit Noire outside of music, like for instance, Art, Film, Literature, Politics, Religion, Nature, Drugs, Sex, etc, etc....?
Tenebras: Anything could inspire me, really, but it is always transcripted into the Nuit Noire "mythology". Also it happens that i write things coming from nowhere, innocently, just night fantasies, and then i realise that they could be metaphors for real things of the everyday life, and sometimes they are embarrassing...
Mithy: The running theme for Nuit Noire has been Fairies and the mischievous essence of the night, but is there any underlying political or philosophical motive behind Nuit Noire's music? And on the subject of Fairies in your music, could you explain the deeper meaning behind such ideas and motifs?
Tenebras: Initially there is absolutely not any underlying motive, i just wanna put in words some visions, some nocturnal fantasies with moon and fairies, in order to go away from this disgusting human world we live in. But somehow i hope that what i write encourages people to dream and to stop being stuck to their material world, to stop relying on their human senses to judge things, and instead trying to perceive the pieces of fäerie hidden everywhere. Fairies and Fäerie are those little things that make you being more than a simple human, and more you spread your Fäerie more your Fäerie gets big, it is an unlimited resource.
Mithy: Nuit Noire at this point in time has built up a healthy discography over the past decade or so. Nuit Noire started as a quaint and quirky melodic Black Metal band, but throughout the years you've blossomed into something wholly a style all your own. Was this always your intention with Nuit Noire or has this just been a natural progression of your creative spirit?
Tenebras: It wasn't at all my intention in the beginning, i would never have imagined that Nuit Noire would turn into this, but it happened. It just happened. I don't know how, i don't know why. It wasn't planned or decided and i like it.
Mithy: Do you still consider Nuit Noire to be a Black Metal band, be it on the fringe?
Tenebras: I never claimed that Nuit Noire is a black metal project, it has some attributes that you can find in black metal, but it is the case for many old school punk bands. Nevertheless, my band sounded like that in the beginning a lot because i was very into black metal, but i also wanted to be myself and not part of a brotherhood.
Mithy: As I'm sure you know, your music isn't for everyone, and has undoubtedly been a polarizing band especially amongst Black Metal fans. Any thoughts on this?
Tenebras: People into black metal are very divided on Nuit Noire, some love it like crazy and some think that it is the worst thing ever made. This last decade has appeared a new genre of listener who listens to black metal and also a lot of other things, some music lovers in fact, and i think that my band has a lot of followers among them. But also some pure black metallers like it, why? I don't know. I think that it is very hard to guess who will like it or not, and i'm proud of that.
Mithy: I believe BM to be the most malleable from of Metal there is, while there will always be room for tradition, I've always found myself attracted to bands who stretch the boundaries and defy conventions, dating as far back as Abruptum, Necromantia, Root, Arcturus, Ved Buens Ende, and so forth. Any thoughts on this?....do you have any staunch positions on what defines Black Metal?
Tenebras: I like to be surprised and even schocked by what i'm listening to, and among all the forms of metal, black metal is for sure the one comporting the most surprising bands and the one that has the biggest number of forms, that is the most evolutive, but... what is black metal? Everytime i was asked this in an interview i had to give a different answer because my definition of black metal always evolve, it is something so huge and that goes so much above the sound itself... In the beginning this term "black metal" was created by Venom but it was just for the fun, and years later Euronymous appropriated it to himself to tag his music that was filled with darkness and evil, and then a whole scene emerged being very serious about it, it wasn't for the fun. Then the scene evolved, many branches appeared, and really, i am still torn in two. On one side i wonder if black metal is those pioneers around Euronymous and all those who do exactly the same thing now to perpetrate the tradition, on the other side i wonder if it is a form of metal made by evil sick-minded people, however it sounds. I just don't know.
Mithy: France has a strong Black Metal history, France has also
produced some of the strongest and most unique Black Metal bands over
the past decade or so. I'd also say even outside of BM, France has an above average track record for great music in multiple genres. Is
there something about France that births individuals who have a knack
for creating such great music? And just out of personal curiosity
I'd also ask if you are familiar with the godly band Magma and the
Zeuhl style of Progressive Rock?(which is a huge French musical
Tenebras: France also has a lot of uninteresting bands who just make music to
imitate the ones they like the most, those bands start with ads like
"guitarist and bassist search for a drummer and a singer to make music
in the same style than..." and then you see written a list of
well-known bands. Believe me there are a lot of them here, they are the
most numerous. But fortunately, here and there you have some musicians
who start with an original idea, a different feeling, and they put it
into music with their own competences and musical heritage. Just in my
area, Toulouse, we have the mighty Punish Yourself, the transcendental
Call Me Loretta, the amazing Cats On Trees, the eccentric Kakavolante,
the crazy Miss Edith, the stunning Artemisia Absinthium... and farther
in France we have things like Suricates, Cocorosie, Diapsiquir...
France is a country where people are not patriotic at all, we hate our
system and our government, and our traditional religion, christianity,
is almost inexistant, some people just use churches to make marriages
and baptisms prettier. You'll never see french people raising a french
flag and screaming "God bless France". This context maybe encourages
the emergence of free spirits here and there, and when one of them
strongly wants to make music, then an interesting non-formated project
may appear. But France has its big lot of people watching stupid TV
shows, do not think that France is a land of philosophers and
Concerning Magma, i'm sorry to tell you that i really didn't click with
the few things i heard from them, i'm totally conscious of their
amazing musicianship and creativity but it is not my cup of tea.
Mithy: Interesting answer, and I shouldn't have expected anything
different. Other French folks that I know aren't very nationalistic
either, and usually don't toot their own horns in regard to their
musical exports. "No man is a prophet in his own country" ...eh? I
tend to gravitate towards a lot of French bands (BM and beyond) but an
outsiders perspective looking in will always be different than the
natives. Some people have said New Mexico has a lively music scene,
but aside from a few bands, I think it stinks here....and so it goes,
Tenebras: Oh but i want to precise that, even if i don't especially like Magma, they fill out the concert venues here. But it is true that when Nuit Noire plays somewhere in France, the organizers and their friends are the only ones who know us. And when it happens that we play in a foreign country, we almost sell out all the merchandizing we have with us each time.
Mithy: You mentioned Old Punk a couple times, are there any
particular bands that are your favorites? And with that are there any current bands (BM or otherwise) that you'd highly recommend to followers of Nuit Noire?
Tenebras: It would be hard for me to quote some bands that i was talking about in
those previous answers, i'm mostly into the pionneer ones like the
Stooges or the Ramones, but it happened to me to be in parties where
old school 80's punk bands were played on the stereo, or friends having
me listening to some music, and it just sounded like some old school
black metal, fast rythms, insane chords and scorched hatred vocals, but
could we call it black metal? That's why it is really hard to define
Let's quote now some random bands that caught my ears lastly: Total
Racoon, Tenek, Ruth Veln Kiss, Duflan Duflan, Le Prince Harry, Il
Fulgurante, Shiva And The Dead Men, Fosse Commune, Dissiped, Grand Popo
Footbal Club, Les Soldes, Danse Of The Dead...
Mithy: I used to imagine you as some eccentric, androgynous dude who runs around in a red cape and in your underwear, carrying around a wand pretending to shoot fairy dust at people all day long, but I know thats not true. So to shed a bit of mystery behind the persona known as Tenebras, what is it you do for a living? Are you married or in relationship? What is your average day like? Would the people that know you best consider you eccentric or weird? Or just a regular friendly kind of guy?
Tenebras: I'm married, have three kids at home and have the same job since 1999
at the Airbus factory. Nothing particular at the first view but we are
the type of family eating at exotic restaurants, bringing the kids at
the playgrounds late at night, sometimes the dad (me) plays guitar in
his bedroom, isolates himself to write lyrics, mixes his songs in the
middle of the living-room, and he loves his texan wife a lot. Let's say
that i am an eccentric friendly guy.
Mithy: Oh, so your wife is from Texas? neat! (My neighboring state)
If it's not too personal of a question, how did you two
meet?...considering the huge geological gap. And is your wife a fan of
Tenebras: My wife has a myspace and, one day, a french myspace-friend of her advised her to visit the Nuit Noire page. She did, she liked it and let me a comment, that's how we started to talk. She is the only one girl i got thanks to my music, funny isn't it? She already had two kids and we made another one. We all live here in France.
Mithy: Give me a thought or two on these bands:
-Public Image Limited
-Siouxsie and the Banshees
-The Velvet Underground
-Rites of Spring
High musicianship but i don't feel soul in it, i find it boring and, when i want to hear music like this, i rather play "Wolf's Lair Abyss" by Mayhem.
I'm just discovering it, the one from New York, and it is impressive, really, i'm quite stunned!
I just know the early era and it is still very good.
-Public Image Limited
Never heard before but very good!
-Siouxsie and the Banshees
The old songs i know are great.
-The Velvet Underground
I have the debut album and i love it, it was even planned that Nuit
Noire plays "Sunday Morning" on stage, we practiced it but never
decided to make it during a show yet.
The few i know from them is really nice.
Amazing crazy man!
I'm just discovering them, it reminds me some Black Sabbath among
others and it's good.
-Rites of Spring
Discovering this too, big energy, i like it!
Mithy: Yeah, I just threw some random bands out there. Great to
see you know of the childlike genius of Daniel Johnston. And I mention
Liturgy cause they seem to be the most controversial BM band at the
moment. Their new album is pretty good IMO, they've really developed
into their own sound from their previous record. HHH (Hunter
Hunt-Hendrix) is a controversial guy with strong (and at times naive)
statements on BM, and while I don't agree with much of what he says, I
appreciate when someone comes along and rocks the perpetual boat in the
world of Black Metal. After all BM is built on the backs of
controversial and eccentric personalities, am I right? ...dating back
to Euro and Varg, and even dating back further to Quorthon, who never
completely played with a full deck.
Tenebras: Oh yes the pionneers of black metal were not the formated black metallers that appeared afterwards having the typical black metaller life, Euro and Varg were themselves. Just like Christian Death and The Sisters Of Mercy had no idea that they would become the pionneers of this gothic/batcave fashion, they were something unique in their time and invented something without knowing.
Mithy: Are you involved in any other musical (or artistic) projects? And on a side note do you ever see Nuit Noire calling it quits? (I
hope not!) Or will you exist forever!
Tenebras: Nowadays Nuit Noire is my only one active project and, and as long as
i'll be able to handle a guitar i'll continue. Nuit Noire is me, i am
Nuit Noire, it cannot stop if i'm still alive.
And finally, if Nuit Noire were a dish, what would it be?
Tenebras: It would probably be a vegetarian sweet and salty plate with tofu,
lentils and some spices, something original, that makes you feel really
good and doesn't upset your stomach. Some people would love it and some
others would prefer to have a classic stupid steak with french frites.
Mithy: It's been an honor and thank you very much for this great
interview, I along with many other followers of the great Fairy will
always be looking forward to new Nuit Noire material...!
Tenebras: Thank you very much for this conversation, and hopefully the brand new album will be released before this summer. May the night surround you!