BUZZ Interview

Eher durch Zufall erfuhr ich vom der in Eigenregie veröffentlichten Retrospektive der franzoesischen Band BUZZ. Mit der Bestellung wurde nicht lange gefackelt, und nebenbei stellte sich der kreative Kopf hinter BUZZ als sehr netter Zeitgenosse heraus. Das folgende Interview mit Jean-Christophe van Thienen von BUZZ kam Ende Juli/Anfang August ’06 per Email zustande. English content / massive wall of text ahead…

Hello again! First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer me some questions.
How would you describe „BUZZ“ to somebody who has never heard of your band before?

Well, that’s not the easiest one you could ask. BUZZ has always been revolving around a solo project, with extra collaborators, sometimes for long periods, up to 3 years. I guess it’s a crossover of genres, mainly 80’s electro, coldish but not that dark. I mean, not gloomy or decadent, just sarcastic lyric-wise, sung in a very sleazy voice (that’s what Len from Implant remarked the other day and I must admit I have no other) in French, rather minimal lyrics or I’d rather say that every word is weighed and meant to have an impact. Something like Gainsbourg meets minimal-electro… and yet again I cannot say I could easily squeeze into a category.
I moan casually about important issues – well, important to me at least – and want to provoke a reaction by not blatantly stating things or asserting slogans but by simply hinting at things, which I think is more provocative and constructive.
The people who like BUZZ I’ve spoken to so far are also into THE NEON JUDGEMENT, FRONT 242, ANNE CLARK but also FAD GADGET, HUMAN LEAGUE or DEPECHE MODE as well as NEW ORDER and RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE… and TAXI-GIRL!
I’ve shared the stage with some of these but have never tried to copy any of them.

I understand that besides the re-release and the remixes/collaborations, you are working on new stuff as well?

Yes, apart from my original numbers – about 20 – I started writing new ones in that vein last summer (starting in late august 2005) and since then I’ve written about 35. Needless to say the technical conditions are much better nowadays (and rather cheaper) than they used to be back in the days and you can almost do it all at home… A bit of vocal-takes, remastering and mixing in other studios is being considered though. I’ve been writing songs for more than 20 years now I guess, but have only acquired a computer and a music software 4 years ago – since then I’ve composed about 80 songs.

What made you restart your old project BUZZ?

Strangely enough, I had a go at Dub, sampling vintage Jamaican singers and all of a sudden I decided to relaunch BUZZ. It must have been brewing for a while and a couple of events triggered that decision: first our former sound engineer unexpectedly popped round and dropped a CD in my letter-box in June last year. It contained a series of live sessions I’d never heard. He’d had the tapes recorded from the mixing-desk for years and had decided one day to transfer them to CD. Six of these tracks – slightly remastered but no overdubs, no nothing – now feature on the “BUZZ 1984-89” compilation that was released last June.
Then while the record was playing a couple of friends came to visit me and thought it was “fucking good!” (I quote). Some even proposed to be my backing band if I started the project anew. In fact that’s what got me working on the old numbers – not that old in fact as I soon realized, but rather avant-garde when they first had been released, or played live – but these guys never had the time to rehearse with me because they had their own project.
Nevertheless, the songs were there, rerecorded and rearranged on my computer on logic-audio and I had composed a couple of new ones as well for good measure, one of the first being “La ville” (you can now hear on myspace with three others) and it got immediate good responses. It was soon played in Gothic/New-Wave discos in Flanders, aired on X-WAVES in Montreal and several other distant places.
Then after hearing it Bertrand Siffert (the YOUNG GODS’s sound engineer for more than 20 years now) accepted to remix it he’s working on it in his Switzerland den these very days. TERENCE FIXMER sent me an e-mail as soon as he heard it on myspace, while David Harrow accepted to remix another, Gary Asquith (of RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE, one of my all-time favorite bands) did the same, so did Luc Van Acker (REVOLTING COCKS, MINISTRY) and Laurent Bergman who had remixed VISAGE’s “Fade to Grey” two years ago. More recently Len Lemeire from Belgian electro-act IMPLANT called me back to do another…
This is just mad, and I feel bloody happy! That remix CD (entitled “Bougre de son” which is yet another play on words in French) should be out in January 2007 when I’ll have collected all these tracks.
Then the “BUZZ 1984-89” compilation got released in June and one 1988 version my minor indie-hit “Kennedy” features on the “Skyline 2” compilation alongside JOHN FOXX, FRONT 242, TRISOMIE 21, CRASH COURSE IN SCIENCE, GRAUZONE and THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS…

In what way did your approach to making music and writing lyrics change since the last BUZZ-release in 1988?

Concerning my way of making music it’s pretty much the same brain working I guess but as I was telling you before the technical conditions have improved no end. If we’d had that available in those days we wouldn’t have depended on a record label that ended up ripping us off and slagging us off for good measure, judging that we were not “manly” enough because we preferred a drum-machine to a drummer and judging us “too commercial” because we didn’t brandish guitars and take rock’n’roll poses!

What are your feelings towards your old lyrics compared to the new ones?

I’m still very proud of my lyrics even more than before, because I don’t feel I will have to explain them all the time to nagging wankers who couldn’t accept my singing in French and felt authorized to criticise the lyrics simply because they were in their native language. In France, you could – and still can – sing nonsense in English with the shittiest accent and no one would/will ever bother you, trust my word. I did lots of projects in which I sang in English and no one ever bothered to ask me about the contents of the lyrics. Using French is much more difficult because it is not a rhythmical language so it’s hard to plaster it onto the music. (Serge Gainsbourg and Daniel Darc are two obvious references when it comes to scansion and diction. I do moan a lot and that kind of sleaziness is natural.)
Then I do concentrate a lot on the lyrics although they are very minimalistic: less is more!
Notwithstanding this, I do not want to resort to the typical French way of mixing the voice ahead of the music, I simply hate that. I want the voice to be inserted in the musical layers and, as the Futurist activist Marinetti once said (in 1906!), “to be just another part of the orchestra”.
I do not feel embarrassed about my former lyrics, they fit in perfectly with the new ones. When writing the 35 or so new numbers (including 3 instrumentals) I found I had a renewed facility for writing lyrics and it just flowed. I had a lot to say in a few words obviously… and a lot of subjects inspired me. I realised I had buried and accumulated things inside of me and they just wanted to come up for air.
For instance there’s one about Tchernobyl and its various impacts, but it alludes to it and merely mentions VU-meters going berserk and a cloud over the fields of Ukraine and Europe… Another one is roughly about 9-11 and in very few words, draws a parallel between the Buddhas of Bamyan, the children of Besln and the towers of Manhattan. There’s another one on the situation of the average Israeli getting daily shelled with katiusha missiles… I wrote it weeks before it actually erupted there.
Another one’s on Russian poet Maïakowski, another – “Un choc à la tête” – deals with my accident 10 years ago when I fell in a coma for 10 days after a bad fall… There are quite a number talking about electronic music, and the vibes and waves that emanate from the industrial/synthpop scene in modern society on crowded dancefloors in polluted towns amid derelict factories – bop till you drop.
Another tackles the CPE demonstrations that took place in France in the Spring and the way the extreme-left wing pseudo-student trade-unions and organisations. These guys are as bad as Pol Pot’s Cambodian Red Khmers, believe me, and they’d line us all up against the wall if they could, simply because we do think different from them and won’t listen to Bob Marley and Manu Chao – it was something to experience. They simply want to impose a new world order which is not necessarily better or fairer than the one in place, alas! So one song is called “Nouvelle pensée unique” and the other is entitled “Le nazi en dreadlocks” which says it all! They’re no better than George Bush and his gang, just another gang of would-be dictators. It’s rather sad to see.
Another song is dedicated to the YOUNG GODS and another to Daniel Darc from French synthpop band TAXI-GIRL (who’s doing a brilliant solo career after a rather dark drug-induced period) but once again it hints at this state of facts, plays on words, alludes to things and doesn’t state, assert or proclaim anything.
I don’t want to provoke in any way but simply want to air my views, which differ from the average dirge we are fed on telly and by political parties. I do have an opinion and it certainly isn’t politically correct, you won’t see me in any demonstration as in a flock of sheep, yelling some dated post 1968 slogan and, yes, when I come to think of it I hate hippies, the peace-mongers are no better than the war-mongers!

Funnily enough I was often reproached for singing in French back then and now it seems to have become oh so fashionable / accepted and sexy. I hope it’s not thanks to that Manu Chao wanker! I get lots of mails from the US, Spanish-speaking people, Portuguese-speaking ones, Italians, Germans, Russians, Poles and English correspondents on myspace and they do not mind the singing in French and even appreciate it. There’s been a real progress on that level; c’est la vie!
Veronica Vasicka of 2VM even sings in French with her brilliant American accent on one of our tracks (“(Voici venir) Les Musiques Nouvelles”) we did that thanks to the Internet, exchanging song and sound files back and forth across the ocean and I’ve just finished mixing it here!

And your old songs?

Concerning vintage BUZZ numbers, only two former songs didn’t make it into the new set. which makes me realise I’ve written more songs this last year than between 1984 and 1989, the reason being that nowadays you can achieve your project almost immediately on computer. The two deleted songs were very early numbers and quite adolescent in their writing lyric-wise, one dealt with suicide and wouija-boards, the other was “L’agent secret” and it was a tongue-in-cheek rendition of most spy films but it was very cliché, I dropped it as early as 1985 but funnily enough still Veronika Vasicka plays it regularly on East Village Radio in Manhattan. I guess the tune is likeable, which is why I’ve reused it and merged it into another new composition.
I recently rediscovered the first number BUZZ ever recorded on a 4-track fostex portastudio: it’s got a shit title and goes on for about 8 minutes… but with a bit of revamping I can already see the kind of tune it could make, looking forward to it. The former bass player found it in his attic last month when moving houses!
Among the old songs those I like best are “Berlin” and “1984”. Almost all the earlier songs I decided to shorten in their new versions. “Petite poupée japonaise”, featuring on the compilation, was 7’15 long and is now a decent 3’28! The lyrics are generally unaltered. I added one line to “Kennedy” and changed one line in “Berlin” simply because the Cold war being over the situation had changed so instead of “juste avant l’alerte rouge” I managed to squeeze in “dans les infrabasses qui matraquent dans un brouillard opaque”. And I modified the end lines as well to have an open conclusion which goes “Oh petite Juive, souviens-toi, l’année prochaine à Jérusalem” (“Oh little jewish girl, remember, next year in Jerusalem”). It’s a very tricky line and I weighed the pros and cons before keeping it. That line just makes me feel like crying when I sing it because it is so ripe with unsaid signification and feelings that can’t be worded.
The last “Jerusalem” line that was included later sums up the song in a certain way, making past present and future collide (“souviens-toi” = “remember” normally doesn’t work with “l’année prochain” = “next year”) and gives a certain note of hope. See, I belong to that generation which had and still has great sympathies for the Hebrew state and rather admire their achievements. This may hurt a few sensibilities but I don’t see why I shouldn’t voice my feelings when so many people air opposed ones as if they were the only acceptable ones. On the whole “Berlin” refers to the post-war tension I was raised in – remember that this was written in 1984-85 – but fortunately I travelled a fair amount of times across Europe, be it Italy, Spain, the USSR, both Germanies, the Czech Republic and so on, so that allowed me to see that we had some common ground to build upon and that languages were the best way to get to know and appreciate people. (I’m learning Portuguese these days, never did German at school but understand a few bits and pieces in my very own D-I-Y way). That song insists on the past sorrows and the positive vibes of a burgeoning new Europe – BUZZ was very pro-European then (still is, which does not imply I’m anti- or pro-America), singing in French, Italian, Spanish and Russian – it also alluded to the shadow of the Holocaust looming over the city and the legendary Berlin night life or so I have been told by my mate Gary Asquith (of the LAVENDER PILL MOB) who had great fun with his friends from Film 2 and Bettina Köster when he went there last year.

As you mentioned before, you have made some bad experiences with record companies in the past. Is that also the reason why you decided to release the “BUZZ 1984-89” CD on your own account?

That was just a one-off, just like your average love story: it started brilliantly but ended up rather grimly, we wouldn’t speak to each other anymore… and it took about ten years to renew contact but we won’t do business together ever.
That’s one of the reasons why I decided to re-release all the former BUZZ material that had been made available on the 12“ vinyls (4 maxi-singles only) and add most of the unreleased stuff to that, so that our die-hard fans could get another slice of the original stuff at the time when BUZZ is back on the road. It was also a way of knowing whether I was totally mad to relaunch the project but obviously, judging from the number of positive responses and people from all over France, but also Belgium, Canada, Germany the United Sates – and even Cyprus (Hi there Demised!) – ordering the CD via the Net and some of them telling me they’d been desperate to find those tracks because their records were scratched, or they didn’t have a deck anymore or they’d lost them… and they didn’t know the other unreleased tracks and were curious to listen to them, or had heard them live back in the days, or had listened to the compilation being played by Veronica Vasicka on East Village Radio in Manhattan, and so on and so forth. Thanx to the net this is made possible. I also wanted to see how far I could go by being totally independent.

How was that experience?

Well, it takes a fair amount of time to remaster tracks: I first had to transfer them from the studio-tapes, which I own, onto a numerical database and our former live sound-engineer Bernard helped me a lot, then I was helped by fellow BUZZman Bruno, whereas Laurent Bergman also helped us a lot by lending his ears and his studio. Parallel to this I designed the sleeve with Manu who runs one of our sites on nordwaves – I always designed the original BUZZ sleeves, from that of the “See You Sioux” tape onwards.
Then you must get the proper pressing authorisation from the French Sacem and that’s where the tricky part starts: it’s almost a Brazil-like situation, being confronted to office-clerks who wouldn’t know a record if they were pissing on one but ask for money (as if pressing wasn’t expensive enough) simply to allow you to do so. In fact you pay in advance to be granted the possibility to earn future copyrights, funny isn’t it? Basically it’s just another way of ripping people off, especially small bands or independent artists. But I wanted to do it the whole way… I’m not even talking about the appointments with three different post office executives: none of them was even able to tell me which way was best to send a CD but had a very good opportunity for 15 Euros each, that is to say, even dearer than the retail price, would you believe it?
Yet again, it is good fun, it’s another experience and I like its DIY kind of aspect, it reminds me of the post-punk days when you did covers with Letraset and photocopies – not simply to give it that ‚oh so raw‘ aspect (cf. the “Sioux” collector tape or our “Kennedy” and “Marinetti” sleeves) but because you couldn’t afford any other way of having it done. At the same time it gives you a pleasant impression of total control and it compels you to try your best. It’s quite the same music-wise when you can’t afford the top equipment but make the most of your cheap gear. In fact even now I’m really defiant of top software and keyboards since they only contribute to your losing time, originality and energy twiddling away at the knob that goes “ping” and trying to sound like somebody else, some famous artist which you ain’t and never will be while selling out the spirit of your original compositions. Buying too complicated equipment is like British filmmakers or rockers zooming off to California and becoming parodies of themselves all of a sudden (Steven Frears, Billy Idol, Adam Ant). I’ve seen excellent guitar-players become useless on the day they sold their Fender Strat to go for a Godin or a Charvell.
For a long time in the first BUZZ we had a slide-show with us on stage because we couldn’t afford video, it was total DIY, we were one of the rare French bands doing it and it allowed us to play in semi-darkness, saved us the use of spotlight, all the better since we had no light-engineer, and it gave our gigs a very specific atmosphere. I’d much rather work on modest equipment to push it to its farthest limits. The only thing I won’t trifle with nowadays is the computer which must be top-sausage in order not to let you down in the very middle of a gig.
By doing this type of totally independent production you get to know more people, it takes a bit of time to answer every mail and request and run to the Post Office in due time so that the guy in Canada or the girl in Cyprus should get their “BUZZ 1984-89” CD as soon as possible. For my part I remember too well having to wait for ages for some mail orders in the 80’s and being bloody upset more than once although I never got my record I wouldn’t even get a refund – so I don’t want to reproduce that. Such were the days, no paypal facilities then, we’ve never had it so good!

Are you planing to release the upcoming stuff also on your own risk, or will there be any collaborations with (worldwide) distributors, to make it a little bit easier for anyone outside of France to purchase your releases?

I’m quite sure that I will have to contact a proper distributor for the upcoming “Vaudou électrique” because it’s another story altogether and I won’t have all the necessary energy to run the project, handle the mail-order, run the site, rehearse and compose. What’s more, 12 new numbers or so won’t sell entirely by word of mouth – unlike the compilation so far – and people won’t have been waiting 20 years for it to get released so I’d better get sharp and do everything so that it should be properly distributed. That means a bit of compromise as well but you can’t escape it.
But at the same time the compilation and the myspace page are some sort of stepping-stones for the oncoming releases, to remind people – well, those interested at least – of who BUZZ was and what it stood for and let them know it’s back with truckloads new tracks. It’s also a way of testing my potential, and Thérèse from the Fnac in Lille where the CD is on sale was telling me the other day that “BUZZ 1984-89” had sold more than TRISOMIE 21’s last CD. Yet again they’ve been making almost one every two or three years for the last 20 years whereas this is the only CD I’ve ever released so I’m not certain that stands for a comparison and yet again it is a fair indication that BUZZ is still remembered and won’t go unnoticed. Additionally, the good thing about myspace is that the 4 numbers I put there are exclusively new ones and the response is brilliant.
If people want to enquire about our back-catalogue they’ll come across the “BUZZ 1984-89” CD, which will get some proper distribution in the long run I think, and repressing it is not out of the question but we’re not a greatest-hits band. To put it frankly I do not think I would have released the compilation if BUZZ hadn’t restarted in 2006. I won’t do the same mistake as Dancetaria who never repressed our vinyls in due time and thus couldn’t satisfy the demand – which must have been far from negligible, judging from the mails and feedback I get on the Net these days and the sheer enthusiasm at the news of the release.
Yet again, the fact that the next record will be more easily available to people inside and outside France – as you say very justly – won’t make it any cheaper and I’m rather worried about the potential retail price.
That will need to be carefully planned in advance so that the buyers don’t get ripped off and so that I don’t be ripped off myself for one, while the distributor will be laughing all the way to the bank…

You are also personally involved in the nordwaves-page. Please tell us some more about that project.

To a certain extent, the Internet and personal computers permit people to regain some of the DIY punk spirit – make your own music, and record it with a rather fair sound quality for a reasonable price, do your own sleeves, contact bands and buy records without necessarily going through the middleman who makes most of the profits.
Emmanuel from nordwaves is a good egg. He started the nordwaves site on his own because he was quite nostalgic of the 80’s and wanted to collect information about former bands from the area such as GUERRE FROIDE, BUZZ, NEVA or EXCES NOCTURNE to name but a few. He’d seen lots of them live and had gathered all sorts of leaflets, tapes and concert tickets. Funnily enough, some of these bands have reformed and have contacted him after surfing on the net. I did as well because – just like the guy from French New Wave who lives in Southern France – he devoted his life to music, like some mad archivist, and had extremely detailed info on BUZZ, including the original “Sioux” tape which can partially be heard online. We’re almost neighbours, which even made it easier, and therefore we’ve started seeing each other on a regular basis. I brought him some additional BUZZ documents he didn’t have which he then put online, I completed his biography page by forwarding almost all our gig dates between 1984 and 1989, and nordwaves has now become part of the BUZZ project.
Funnily enough, Rémy – the former guitarist of EXCES NOCTURNE I’d played in a band with after BUZZ’s first demise in 1990 – had also got in touch with him weeks earlier, and the former members of GUERRE FROIDE did next, while now Manu is running the NEVA and JACQUY BITCH sites. It’s a small world indeed.
At the end of the day, we compose a rather pleasant little community, not unlike hobbits, swopping info, sharing equipment (and the odd pint), helping each others out etc. One of Manu’s best friend, Sam, now plays bass in GUERRE FROIDE, we worked on the sleeve together, he helped me organise the forthcoming BUZZ newsletter via nordwaves, and we played a private gig for his birthday last June – we’ll wait a little to have kids though, neither of us can knit.

Are there any live-plans? Anything fixed?

We’ve already played live last month, on June 30th. We shared the stage with the reformed GUERRE FROIDE at a nordwaves private party to celebrate the web manager’s birthday. We wanted to thank him for all the good job he’s been doing this last year on his site devoted to bands from Northern France, a very active musical zone way back then; must have been because of the post-industrial landscapes and the proximity of Belgium and England – many of the local bands developed a real sound of their own since we stood at some kind of a crossroad.
We’re going to have a few rather secret and low-key gigs to warm up and test the new set, and the first official gig is at the Alienor festival at the Aéronef in Lille on October 7th 2006. We’ll share the stage with IMPLANT, NEON ELECTRONICS and TRISOMIE 21 on the same night, and Philippe Druillet and Giger are guests of honours so that should be a night to remember! Among other gigs we should normally play at a festival organised by Plastikkman in Bochum – he’d very unfortunately offered us to play there initially on Oct 7th with Veronica Vasicka’s 2VM but we’d just signed for the festival in Lille, so we should play there in the Spring sometime.
I take the fact that these two gigs were proposed to us on the same night for our first official concert as a rather good omen. Let’s be hyper-active!
There should be two or three of us on stage with computers and machines, it’s being fixed these very days, I’m over the moon with the perspective of playing live again… last month’s try-out gig was pure bliss.

What can we expect from BUZZ in the future?

After “Kennedy (25th anniversary mix)” appeared on the “Skyline 2” compilation in June, another track (“La ville”) will feature on a Str8line CD released around September and regrouping current industrial/synthpop/minimal wave French acts. Our “BUZZ 1984-89” compilation got released in June whereas the brand new CD (“Vaudou électrique”) which we’re currently mixing and mastering should be out around October. It will be totally self-produced and distributed via the Net, just as the compilation and will include one track on which Veronica Vasicka will feature, I sent her the demos over the Atlantic via the Net and she recorded her voice in New York and sent the vocal wav-file back, which I mixed into the final version of the song. That was good fun!
We’ll also have Kika from Columbian band ATOMIC BRAIN on another track using the same method. Gary Asquith from Renegade Soundwave also features on “Sérénade pour un renégat” which is a number dedicated to him. When he heard it he was real happy with it so when he last came to visit us he took a copy of the files back to London for remixing.
There will be a number called “À l’Est rien de nouveau” (all quiet on the Eastern front, some kind of distant reminiscence of H. Maria Remarque’s “All quiet on the Western Front” about WWI) on “Vaudou électrique”. It’s not about WWI in particular but rather a collage of all the clichés of war as shown to us through film footage over the 2 centuries, especially Vietnam, The Spanish Civil War and WWII. The story to this song is such: three lines are taken and loosely translated from SKI PATROL’s 1980 single “Agent Orange” released on Killing Joke’s label Malicious Damage. Although those three lines would have gone unnoticed to most listeners I decided that I had to settle things and decided to try and contact the former singer of Ski Patrol, Ian Lowery, who’d also fronted the FOLK DEVILS later on. Unfortunately I soon learned he’d been dead for a couple of years already. I then decided to contact his brother via his former record company and some of his former musical collaborators I managed to reach through the Net.  Everybody was extremely helpful and understanding. It took me about six months to get through to Ian’s brother David – who’s legal executor to his rights now – and explain the matter, and then send him the demo with the lyrics translated back to English on an attached sheet: I felt like passing a test but considered it as a perfectly normal and sensible requirement, you don’t want any loony on the planet to cover dead persons‘ songs without their family’s seeing to, do you? David soon replied he was really impressed by the song and the way I’d incorporated Ian’s lyrics to my own stuff and agreed immediately to let me release the song in its present form, including three of Ian’s translated lines. It will feature on “Vaudou électrique” with all the suitable credits That was also a very touching moment, I was only very grateful and sad at the same time I hadn’t been able to bring the matter to Ian himself whose songwriting and musical career I greatly respected. To my knowledge this is the only SKI PATROL „cover” that I know of and I feel real proud about that. They were a great – and very underrated – band who’d released a handful of singles round 1982 and I’d seen them live at London’s Rockgarden way back in, well around 1981 shall we say and they were really as tense live as they were easy-going, talkative and friendly during the post-gig interview I did for the fanzine I was then working for.
Then a remix CD will be issued in January 2007, it will be called “Bougre de son” which is a play on words and also the title of one of my new songs. “Son” meaning “sound” whereas the French slang expression is “bougre de con”, meaning “you fucking/bloody cunt!” – it’s quite hard to translate though, but don’t get me wrong, it sounds more ironical and appreciative than vulgar or abusive in French.
It will include about a dozen of remixes of BUZZ tracks the works of Luc van Acker, Len Lemeire from IMPLANT, Bertrand Siffert, Gary Asquith formerly of RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE and REMA REMA, David Harrow (aka James Hardway), DJ UGLI from Paris and Laurent Bergman – and others will join ranks soon. All these people I do respect enormously and had sometimes had some contacts with. I was introduced to Luc by our common friend Anne Clark when she played Belgium last year, the same happened with Len, I’ve known Gary for 3 years now and have been following his brilliant new band called LAVENDER PILL MOB in which he joined forces with Kevin Mooney. I contacted David Harrow over the Net, DJ UGLI and Laurent I’ve met through personal friends and I knew Bertrand from the time I actively followed the Young Gods around 1995. I saw them all again when they played Lille last March, he didn’t know I was in a new project but Franz remembered well my former one, named SISTER FRICTION, so I gave them a CD backstage after their smashing gig and two weeks later when they got back to Switzerland they sent me a very amiable mail saying they loved the tracks and Bertrand offered to remix not one but two. Needless to say, I was delighted and still am, it should be done by September.
They all accepted – or offered spontaneously – to remix our tracks without fuss because they simply liked the tracks and, apart from the obvious “Kennedy”, each picked a different one, which seems to imply they all have some potential.
Later on in 2007 or ‚o8, there should be another CD if I don’t die of exhaustion before, but I’ll keep the stuff self-produced as long as I can handle it – and I’ve still got more than enough tracks for an additional CD since I wrote about 40 in about a year, NO FILLERS though, ONLY KILLERS!

Famous last words, or anything I forgot to ask you?

Last words? Another tricky one… I would have loved to have done that interview in German but I did English and Russian at school, and wished I hadn’t given you all that work to translate it but yet again there’s no rest for the wicked and Plastikkman must be having the same type of work now that he’s interviewed me for BLACK magazine last week (should be out pretty soon). I promise I’ll learn ein bißchen for when BUZZ comes over to play in Germany in the near future… errr… MINIMAL WAVES = MAXIMAL VIBES… will that do for last words? SEE YOU SIOUX!

Thank you very much for the interview!

. . .

J-C war ausserdem so nett folgende Soundsamples zur Verfuegung zu stellen: Berlin, Kennedy & Lo Sai
Diese und andere Tracks sind auf der BUZZ-Retrospektive „1984-89“ zu finden, die man bei ihm persoenlich bestellen kann (zu einem sehr fairen Preis). Die Bilder stammen von Nordwaves, mit freundlicher Nutzungserlaubnis von J-C.

See you, Sioux (Tape)
Berlin ( 12“)
Sexe (12“)
Kennedy Anniversary Mix (12“)
1984-89 (CD)


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