Is P.H.O.B.O.S. your 'only' project or do you play also in other bands? Is there some kind of collaboration with other musicians?
During the existence of P.H.O.B.O.S., I've tried to collaborate with other musicians, but no one could fit in terms of vision, strength, dedication and discipline, which are necessary for this music. That's the reason why I've been exclusively focused on the project so far, since I design and execute all the material. Then there is little time left for me to make music outside P.H.O.B.O.S.
Why did you choose doom as form of musical expression and how important is the influence of industrial sounds on your music?
In fact I am not a doom metal freak that much. I am simply into loud, slow and heavy music. This includes of course some kinds of doom, but not so-called 'funeral' or 'traditional' doom, where mourning chants or melodic keyboards piss me off. I prefer my doom dirty and extreme, with noise and harsh sounds. My weapon for this is industrial music, I mean the original one, pioneered by Neubauten or SPK, not electro metal poseurs which are dubbed 'industrial' by some uncultivated.
Please explain to our readers, how develops a P.H.O.B.O.S. record, from the idea to the complete release. Do you follow a special 'key concept'?
There is no specific recipe. 'Tectonics' was not a premeditated concept album, but each track was. After 2/3 of the album was achieved, I found out that some themes and sounds where unconsciously recurring. Then came the idea of 'Tectonics' as a whole and I decided to stay in the fields of nihilism and blackness to complete it, musically and graphically. I cannot foresee what will be my modus operandi for the future. I am currently building new structures from different sources: personal samples and drum loops, guitar riffs. It is not time for lyrics yet, neither concept nor artwork.
Whatís your source of inspiration? Please correct me if Iím wrong Ė but hate and anger seem to be integral parts of the art of P.H.O.B.O.S.
Sure, although these are not my unique driving forces. Those feelings were not deliberately chosen for my music and lyrics, but were revealed during the creation process. I am not an educated musician and singer, then all my inputs are very intuitive, not theory in practice. Inspiration comes from personal background, like having grown on a dormant volcano, but also experiencing hypocrisy in every dayís life. I really feel the awaiting natural and destructive powers of our planet, and I want to participate in the soundtrack, by any means.
Titles like 'Nietzschean Dynamics' or 'Nihil Credo' imply a strong connection to Nietzscheís philosophy. Have his writings somehow influenced your work?
I feel bounded to Nietzscheís work for long, when I discovered essential essays like 'Zur Genealogie der Moral' or other writings about the Wille zur Macht. Even in a parable novel like 'Zarathustra', you are prompted to get stronger to live among appearances and lies. 'Become what you are' and 'Reject the unwanted' are the Nietzschean mottos that I apply to my music.
Momentary Iím reviewing a lot of excellent French Metal. What has caused this outburst of creativity in your mother country? How do you evaluate the French underground scene and the development of the metal genre in general?
Compared to northern Europe, UK or US, musical situation in France has always been following and disastrous, but the underground is a little bit more interesting than before, especially in the electronica or dark metal genres. I cannot explain why, maybe a light resurgence of this ĎFrench syndromeí to always refuse the common sense... Although it deserves to be internationally exposed, French underground is not particularly stronger than another. Musical independence and creativity is not a matter of country, but of personal will. I donít wait too much from rock, metal or hardcore anymore. Metal had its golden age from the 70s (when it was hard rock) to the mid 90ís. Now it has become boring, with strictly defined subgenres, polluted by image and stupid codes. The style is definitely dying, and I feel closer to the electronic/industrial scene, where only music matters. Of course there are some innovative and strong metal bands, but for one Pelican, how many HammerFalls do we have to endure ? If metal is worth surviving in the future, I think it will only be through artists who will dare to firmly launch gates to other musical forms. It has already started, but too slightly in my taste. I donít want P.H.O.B.O.S. to be reduced to pure metal, or pure industrial, but in a perfect balance of genres.
Doom/death core seems to be rather popular in the moment. Is it 'the next big thing'? Do you fear a kind of sell out or have you an idea how this genre will develop?
Though it is more exposed and practiced, I donít think doom metal could be popular at a greater scale, nor mainstream. Thanks to its almost non-imagery and is non-festive character (unlike stoner rock, grindcore or death metal), it will hopefully stay underground. Doom is about musical maturity and dedicated time to catch the soul, some unknown concepts to the average metalhead. Nevertheless, one can hear audacious approaches with the likes of Esoteric, Khanate or Yob, that shows a new face of doom versus the masses of traditional followers, who still try to be Sabbath or My Dying Bride after the battle.
Is it correct that youíre from Paris? Is there something like a special 'Paris connection'? Can you recommend our readers further interesting/promising acts from this area?
Since I rarely socialize and do not perform live for P.H.O.B.O.S., I am not connected to any special Paris scene, posse, collective or whatever ... I canít see any artist from here to recommend, but there are surely some worthy to listen to. Just look for them according to your personal taste and longing.
Which styles in music, art or literature do you prefer personally? Or contrary, do you have a 'special aversion' against something?
I hate art when you feel the grasp of tradition, theory and academicism (progressive heavy metal anyone ?) over experimentation and deconstruction. I mainly look for destabilizing and questioning arts, whatever the form is. For instance in music, Iím equally into the hip-hop of Dšlek, the Japanese chaos of Keiji Haino, as well as the electronica of Black Lung, the doom of Bunkur, or some pre-Columbian funeral chants. Some other interests are books by Gilles Deleuze, Maurice G. Dantec, Timothy Leary, movies by Lynch, Hanneke, Cronenberg, art of Francis Bacon, HR Giger, etc ...
Is there a chance to see P.H.O.B.O.S. live? Or do you regard P.H.O.B.O.S. as a pure studio project?
P.H.O.B.O.S. is a solo project, about experimenting and recording in confinement, not for entertainment on a stage. I want to keep my music out of the metal standards: No band, no rehearsal, no public show off.
How do you evaluate the actual, worldwide situation? Will humanity survive?
There is no use to develop my opinion about that. Everybody knows and feel the same decay around: Man is the original problem, especially when heís put into the herd. All the signs are here, but we prefer to ignore the ugly truth, for fear this great hypocrisy called life crackles down before our miserable eyes. History repeats itself, mankind will surely survive, but reduced to a few fighting tribes of mutants, scattered on an abused and agonizing Earth.
Thank you very much for answering my questions! As its custom in our 'Zine' the last words belong to the artist(s). Please feel free to add or remark what ever you like Ö
Thanx for supporting darkness. Crush your screens and open your ears.