Y2112Y, 32CRASH is a real band. A lot of work is done together. We all share what we do best
20/10/2011, Filip VAN MUYLEM
photos: © MarquisπX
32CRASH has released a new album 'Y2112Y', a perfect alibi to interview people I know and follow since ages (Jean-Luc De Meyer and Len Lemeire). I'm sorry if i only asked Jan D'Hooge a few questions, but the future will surely give me a chance to catch up through hyperspace and timetravel.
PAB: What do you think about 32crash being the natural heir of Cobalt 60 (why did you have to put an end to Cobalt 60)?
J-L: Dominique Lallement and I agreed to stop working on C60 together when, after not being able for years to finish a single song we both liked, we discovered that we no longer agreed about what we wanted to achieve in this band. On the other hand, I don’t see much of a parenthood between C60 and 32C – except for the fact that they have the same singer, are both electronic and have a number in their name.
PAB: If I take a look at the subjects, style and so on I can't stop thinking about the last song on Cobalt 60 'That Day... We Will Leave The Earth' (Twelve)...
J-L: I wrote ‘That Day’ with Robert Wilcocks with the idea to evoke a sort of future global spiritual elevation. In 32CRASH we state the exactly opposite evolution, and I don’t even think that That Day was totally representative of C60 general orientation… C60 was in a way very naïve and optimist.
PAB: Len, you share a certain vision on aliens (reminds me of 'UFF', a great album from Implant) and now 32CRASH. Tell us more about this interaction between your personal vision and JL's.
Len: There is a common interest in Sci-fi stuff. But not on a geek level. Just a mutual interest in the creative visions of what might come next. I read a lot of comics, but that is just a way to sit through a visit to the toilet.
PAB: Len, what is your correct input in 32CRASH and the making of this new album?
Len: I’m responsible for the coffee and the massages when needed. (laughs)
No, 32CRASH is a real band. A lot of work is done together. We all share what we do best. I focus on the sound and structures, Jan on melodies, Jean-Luc on vocals. But the process is a mixture of all 3 on all levels.
PAB: JL, did Greenpeace call you yet or haven't they noticed your lyrics yet? Could you work out something for a good cause and what would it be like?
JL: I sometimes receive a mail from one or another ecolo/green politician telling me that he liked the lyrics of one specific song, but I never heard from Greenpeace. I’m quite reluctant to take a stand for any cause at all with music, I’m nor a preacher nor a prophet. I’m not even sure to see things as they are, so I don’t feel qualified to tell anything about the way to better them. I take stands, but that is in my private life as an - I hope - aware citizen.
PAB: JL, do you feel the need to wake us all up with calls like on 'A Tiny Foil Of Oil'? What is the correct story of this song?
JL: I read that report (and saw a few videos) about recent petrol rains in the Mexican Gulf : people said that it rained petrol, and that the rain covered entire fields with a sort of petrol film preventing the vegetation to breathe and killing it. This seemed exceptional, but I just thought it might become usual and ordinary in the future, and made a song out of it. In my mind, it is just a snapshot of the world showing where we might be 100 years from now : today …
PAB: What kind of relation do you have with the elements? Referring to Cobalt 60, 'Elemental', 'Human Decomposition',... ?
JL: I am convinced that a human being is a very complex alchemy based among others on chemical components, and that each small part of us deserves a very devoted attention in order for the whole to work correctly. In that sense, every particle is important, and every exercice of (de)composition is useful.
PAB: JL, do you think our children can save our planet? I personally don't think we can. What can we do about it, knowing decision makers see first dollar signs and most of the time forget our planet and the fact we are exploiting it.
JL: I used to think that the younger generation were wiser than ours, but the more I see them at work, the more I feel they are as bad as - or perhaps even worse and more blind - than ours. I see individualism and materialism rise everywhere, and they the are worst enemies of mankind and harmony.
PAB: Len, you started low profile with Implant years ago (1992). Found yourself working with Anne Clark (live and in studio), Luc Van Acker and now with JL for quite some time. How did you do it? How does it feel?
Len: The list goes on. I recently did a remix for Ministry. Kind of incredible they ended up asking me. I’m not sure how comes. I read a story of a Spanish family that won the lotto 12 times (this is a true story). Maybe I won the musical lottery a few times..
PAB: And Len who is on your to get list, Gary Numan (for remixes and other studio work)? Did you have any remarks from Primus on your remix 'Too Many Puppies'?
Len: If I can go wild, Trend Reznor would be on the top of my list. But Gary Numan would be cool too.
And yes, we got contacted by the Primus management that they are aware of the cover I did. I think the mail was more like a check to see if we paid royalties, but being the good soldiers we are, we did pay them.
PAB: Len, i know Red Zebra is looking for a good remix, as they received lately an uninspired version on their cult hit 'I Can't Live In A Living Room' (the song hasn't been released yet). Peter is complaining about it (and the quality of some other versions), feel the need to make an inspiring remix (of any song from them)?
Len: Sure, send me the sources. I’ll put red zebra’s music in the Implant blender anytime. So Peter if you read this, send me a PM. I'm open to anything he throwes to me.
PAB: Jan tell us: what is more fun: Vive la Fète, Implant or 32CRASH? How do you see the difference between all 3? What is your personal touch on this album? What is your opnion about Aliens, our future and finally: can we save our planet and how?
Jan: Well, I only played the drums on VLF's 'Grand Prix', and did a couple of live shows with them. Danny racing around on a Honda DAX on a too small stage DURING a concert was pretty much fun though.
Len also hired me as a live drummer in the first place, but pretty soon we started writing together, which resulted in 'Audio Blender', an album of which I still think everybody should have at least two copies (laughs). As you probably know, 'The Creature' is on that album, and this was the seed for 32CRASH. Shortly after that, I took a not so easy decision to leave Implant and focus more on 32CRASH, because it connects more to the musical planet I come from: 80's new wave bands with people who at least TRIED to play an instrument, and punk, hardcore and metal. As Len already explained, I'm responsible for most of the melodies and harmonies in 32CRASH.
Wouldn't it be cool if aliens looked like Joan Baez? Because the radiation of their spaceship accidentally took out all of our power plants, we have to sit around a campfire with them, and communicate by strumming 32CRASH songs on a acoustic guitar and sing along.
But I guess we all know what should happen with humanity to save this planet, don't we?
PAB: Is 'Kryptonically Yours' a joke about superman? Can you give us some more details about the lyrics?
JL: This song is about the comments an alien commander makes while his troops attack and destroy a human space colony. There is another on the album pesenting the same situation from the humans’ point of view.
PAB: JL, do you still hate ipads, earplugs and co? Now you can even listen to music on mobiles & I know you told me once you hate the loss of quality or did you find something that gives you what you need? Not all new technology is good, but what did you discover lately that you love?
JL: I listen to less and less music with the time. I moved to the country side 2 years ago and never reconnected my home hifi system. I like the fact that I can take my home studio and an entire library with me everywhere in a small backpack.
PAB: Referring to the song 'The Man Who Came From Later': what would you change in the past and why?
JL: If there is one thing we should change in the past, it’s the crusades. When men departed to the crusades, they put the women in covents to prevent them from cheating on them. That’s when women started to read and to write. From there on, it all went downhill.
PAB: According to most idea's we won't survive 2032. You choose to pick out 2112, any reason?
JL: We describe the world in the year 2112, which is rather optimist. Mankind survived large scale disasters many times, and will do so in the future.
PAB: Who does the guitar and bass on 'Elegy For Himself'? love it. Why is his life done, what has the character done exactly?
Jan: I plea guilty! Actually there's a lot of guitars on the album, but if you fuck 'em up in the mix and you also distort the synths and effects, it sometimes becomes difficult to tell what's a guitar and what's not. But I like it when sounds connect.
I like to compose on a guitar. I'm not even a mediocre guitar player, but this handicap forces me to come up with simple things that work.
JL: It's a classic poem from the 16th century written by a young guy who was sentenced to death (for his assumed devotion to the catholic chuch and the pope) and would be tortured and executed in public the day after. I find this poem incredibly modern and we put it on the CD imagining that it would be distributed to and read by all the settlers on the planet ZA4 who knew they would be killed by the Ol-Lesar within the next 24 hours.
PAB: What are your visions on the 32crash tour? Any favourite ones and good memories from the past?
Len: It’s always fun on the road. My top rock-and-roll story is the 32CRASH trip to Poland to play Castle Party. But I won’t go into details. Just a small hint : our driver managed to go to 3 after parties, too drunk to realize there were only 2 in town.
We recently joined PLUSWELT as our new booking agency, we are confident it will result in a lot of concerts in Europe and maybe even overseas.
PAB: Jan i think not much people know how great your input is on this album, seen the CV of your friends... (plz comment)
Jan: Someone has to make some coffee and set up the speaker system in the rehearsel room. When I go to sleep i think: 'Hey, I'm the real genius here'. Serious, 32CRASH is one of the best examples of synergy. Last time I checked, there were at least 5 people in the band.
PAB: Jan, i loved Robert Wilcocks guitar play and despite the fact you give yourself an handicap... some could wander if he still plays on this album.
Jan: Cool, thanks! I will not take those guitar lessons then, and immediately sollicitate for his position with Deine Lakeien. I remember seeing this guy a couple of times in a backstage on a festival. He sends out a warm and positive vibe. So, even better, we ask him to join 32CRASH on stage.
PAB: Jan, can you tell us more about your past activities (even before you met with Danny and Els)?
Jan: I studied drums/jazz in Antwerp, and after that i toured and recorded with Orgasmaddix, a punkrock band. I still play rock with some friends and set up occasional jazz combo's for the rich people. I made some kind of a tribute cd to the Neue Deutsche Welle with Ringel-S.
PAB: Jan, which artist are you looking forward to work with and why?
Jan: Traci Lords? No, that would be the belgian composer Luc Brewaeys. I saw him writing spectral music for a big orchestra. He used only a mac and notation software, no sound on the mac, no piano, no guitar.... When the orchestra played the piece the first time, he only had to make a couple of small corrections, which were mostly due to the fact that musicans suggested to him that some intervals were easier to play in a particular way on that specific instrument. If you know what spectral music is, then you know this is simply hardcore! And right after he completed one of his opera's, in which the main character has some sort of lip cancer, he was struck bij exactly the same disease. That's scary stuff and makes you think about the power of art.
PAB: Len, giving ‘Hyperreal’ a 'Flash' touch in the remix, getting the same kind of vibe as 'Flash' (tribal versus techno sound), could make you go loose on it. Could it be done?
Len: I think hyperreal is closer to a rock track then a techno track. But hé, it’s music. To each his own interpretation of stuff. The most import part is that the song grabs your attention, and so did flash. Come to think of it, flash is about an acid flashback, hyperreal could be about some future designer drug …
PAB: Len, i couldn't listen to the remixes, but what are the most special remixes (i ask you as you are used to make remixes)?
Len: I think all 3 of us will agree that “the man that came from later - autostrade remix” is a good remix. This is really a tribute to Kraftwerk. But a lot of remixes ended up very good. It was fun doing too, revisit your own tracks is different than doing a remix for another band. It’s harder in a way, because you know the original track so well. As with the rest of the album, all was done together and that too is different then what I’m used to do when remixing.
PAB: JL, would you accept if one asks you for a narrative role for a movie or even in a game (i know you made music for a game in the past)? If yes, any paticular title's in mind?
JL: I am globally interested in working with anyone interested in working with me, provided that the person is cool and the project interesting.
PAB: What is your favourite SF author and why?
just to catch up with you: i recommend Isaac Asimov (the 4 robot laws, the logic in it and his vision on our future and lazyness of mannkind) and Brian Herbert (exploiting a planet until it's no longer of any use and using the knowledge to look further forward, the way he creates a world and take us out for a space travel that takes ages). I loved Keith Laumer too (the Bolo's stories and the stories about the diplomat Retief).
Jan : I read a lot, but no SF. Or does Michel Houellebecq also count?
JL : definitely John Varley for the mix of imagination and great humor, and Enki Bilal when it comes to comics.
Len : Books : Wiliam Gibson, commics : Enki Bilal, Alejandro Jodorowsky
PAB: Last one: have you thought about a collaboration with Anne Clark, thinking about a song that could wake us all up, as a last call to save our planet? Do you think a good song can save our planet or is it too late to save it?
Len: Buddhists have created a few chants that are supposed to heal the planet. So far it didn’t work.
Jan: Do you really want to put your future in the hands of Anne Clark? (doesn't laugh)
PAB: thx for the long chat & may the force be with you!
Filip VAN MUYLEM
DROID SECTOR DECAY • You will hear sounds from my twisted point of view. This is how I see & realise things about music creation. There are no boundaries, there are no limits.
THE ANTI GROUP CONSPIRACY (TAGC) • Sometimes improvisational techniques result in very complete and interesting results.
CLOCK DVA • The times I ignored my intuitive feelings are the ones where I made mistakes.
DEADCIBEL • You simply can describe it this way: [de:ad:cibel] signifies loudly mixed and aggressive music!
CONTAINER 90 • When I describe our music for grandma...I say we play punk on synthesizers.
RELIGIOUS TO DAMN • I'm about pushing moods now, really intense ones, less timorously.
EVI VINE • That’s the story.… the reason we do this
WELLE:ERDBALL • They suddenly played Milli Vanilli and we just looked at each other and knew we had to do the music we wanted to hear ourselves...
PANKOW • All those people trying to achieve an eighties sound show have an appalling lack of creativity… trying to revive ghosts from the past !
PARADE GROUND • Body Farm are offering gigs of another dimension : the tearing off of one’s body to achieve some sort of choreography of chaos