Greetings, how are things?
Everything’s OK, thanx.
As cheesy as this question sounds, what do you believe to be the meaning of life?
Cheesy answers, choose your own: “Life’s a beach” (Jon Bon Jovi) or “Only death is real“ (Tom G. Warrior).
What are you currently reading and have you been allowed to listen to any music at all lately?
Yeah, several books at the moment: “Bardo Thodol (Tibetan book of the Dead)”, “Se questo e un uomo” (Primo Levi), “White line fever” (Lemmy Kilmister), “The Satanic Bible” (Anton Szandor LaVey). Musical interests in the last efforts of DeathSpell Omega, Hyatari, The Mars Volta, Om, Red Sparrowes, Mono, Yob, In Slaughter Natives, among others.
What made P.H.O.B.O.S. different from the rest of the bands at the time?
I don’t really know. The differences are not calculated. Form-wise, it seems that being a “one-man band” is a problem and too peculiar for the average metalhead to accept my music, but I don’t give a fuck. Personally, I’ve never had to imagine Bathory, Tricky or Burzum as live bands to feel the power and the vision behind their art. Musically speaking, I think there’s a difference lying in the balance that I try to reach between guitars and electronics, between ambient and full riffing. I do not want to privilege one or another style in my music. Only chaotic blackness is the main focus, whatever the means and forms.
How would you describe the music of P.H.O.B.O.S.?
That’s a difficult opinion to share; I can just say it is dark, dirty, foul, noisy, and FUCKING HEAVY. There are guitars, there are electronics, voices are disgusting, drums are poundering. I do not want (and cannot) put a label on my music, just drop some names: Ministry, Godflesh, Skinny Puppy, Bathory, Scorn, Khanate, Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine, etc… If you’re into one of these bands (but not exclusively) and if your ears are open before your eyes, you might find some interest in P.H.O.B.O.S.
At the 15th June 2003, P.H.O.B.O.S. gave a concert at "The Batcave" in the Netherlands - how do the fans respond on that exclusive concert ?
Pretty polite answers, no boos but no frenzy. I think the audience was wondering “what the fuck is going on here ?” during one hour... Most of people did not know P.H.O.B.O.S., and it was not the best place to discover my music. Industrial or dark electronic music is not rock’n’roll or metal. People have to concentrate, listen to the pieces several times, and forget the image and labels before penetrating the purpose. I was feeling this necessity before the concert, and after the gig I was totally convinced that P.H.O.B.O.S. is not to be performed live. My project is about sounds and rhythms at loud level for non-formatted minds, fuck the rest.
What are some musicians and bands that you hold in high esteem?
Dead or living musicians that have a true and strong vision, that your ears can immediately recognize, and that stay true to themselves all along the process. To name but a few: Justin Broadrick, Les Claypool, Jimi Hendrix, or bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, Pink Floyd, Voivod, Meshuggah, Neurosis, Rammstein. I also hold Mick Harris or Mike Patton in high respect, although I am not receptive to all their works.
Have you experimented with any drugs in the past and what are your views on drug use?
Non-musical and too personal topics to be answered.
How do you feel about cultures/societies adopting traditions, beliefs or practices from cultures other than their own?
Non-musical, but I’ve got no problem with that. I don’t think in terms of society, nation, collective or whatever, but in terms of individuality. “Every man’s got the right to decide his own destiny…” (Bob Marley).
How do you view metal today?
For about 90% of today’s releases, it’s definitely a music from the past. ‘Metal’, ‘hardcore’, etc mean nothing to me anymore, since all the genres have diluted themselves into auto-parody. I think the peak was reached around mid-90’s with black metal. Metal is about headbanging, fun, horns raised, melody, solos. I hate these fucking childish traditions and rituals. Though, few bands are still pioneering the genre and are worth listening to, like Meshuggah or Dillinger Escape Plan. Or other artists who clearly dare to launch bridges between metal and other forms of music (jazz, industrial, tribal, electronic music, etc.) like Ephel Duath or The Axis of Perdition. Interesting moves in the doom field too, but for me doom is not metal. I’m simply into slow and heavy music, sometimes it’s ‘metal’, but rarely
Do you think, in times of music trade all over the world, P.H.O.B.O.S. might win fans over?
If you mean CD burning or downloading for “music trade”, that is not a problem to touch people. But commercially speaking, this is another subject, especially for the artists. I know my music is damn special, and gaining more fans is appreciated, but not the main purpose. I’m into it to share my art with like-minded people, not to feed the masses.
What would be your ideal death?
Dying when reading a German metal webzine, argh argh…
And now let us our little metal1.info "what comes you up to.." game play:
Mixture of metal and other music styles (f.e. Hip Hop): Unavoidable to keep metal exciting.
Devin Townsend: Very talented and productive, but not my stuff.
Ras Algethi: Ras who ?
Handy ringtones: Not concerned, got no cellphone.
14th July: Fireworks.
Metal1.info: Didn’t know before.
That covers all my questions, thank you for the interview and feel free to add anything you want:
Thanx for your interest. Prosit!