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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Interview - Pryapisme's Nico

From the new instrumental quartet Pryapisme, I was able to interview Nico, the guitarist. I found the group's debut album, "Rococo Haulocaust," to be one of the years most intriguing releases.

Ian: How did Pryapisme form?

Nico: Pryapisme is originally a college band formed by Ben (Keyboards) and Aymeric (drums and electronic stuff) in 2000. I really think they were a bit drunk when they chose the band's name, but I joined them anyway in 2006 followed by Alexandre the year after (We are now separated with Alex since the beginning of 2010).

Ian: What was the idea to include elements like a clarinet, mandolin, and cello in your music?

Nico: I think that our goal on this record was to try every idea we had, whatever it costs (I mean that this record is absolutely impossible to re-create exactly live). We tried to include a lot of different sound textures, so we managed to record everything we can and mix it together.
For example, I play mandolin like Lars Ulrich plays drums but on one track, it was very interesting using it with a singing saw, the mix of both sounded very nice.
That's also the reason why it took us so much time to record and mix the record, we tried a lot of different combinations to get the more satisfying and original result.

Ian: How did you decide to be an instrumental quartet? Why no vocals, haha...

Nico: Well, I personally never asked myself when listening to music "Why no vocals,whyyyyy (w/delay)????".
Pryapisme is an instrumental band because the two former members didn't heard of a good singer around at the time.
From my point of view, it's a good thing for us we're totally freed of one more ego and the "verse/chorus" stuff.

Ian: Who would you say are some of your biggest influences? You've mentioned bands like Carnival In Coal, Mr. Bungle, Ulver, and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, how did they impact you?

Nico: It's hard to say cause we have very different tastes in the band. Mr Bungle's "Disco Volante" and "California" are probably the most important link between us.It's really hard for me to tell how much they impacted on pryapisme's music, but I really think that B-movies or good french food (with red wine, of course) equally influenced us.
I personally remember how "Disco Volante" rape my mind at the time, I really love the fact that you cannot guess the next riff, scream or insane break. And that's the case of all bands you mentioned.

Ian: I know you guys are big Mike Patton fans, what are some of your favorite projects or albums from him? What did you think of his Mondo Cane record where he sung 50's Italian pop songs?

Nico: About Patton, I would say that I'm not a huge fan of everything he released... to be honest, only bungle and some Fantômas stuff (damn, a few FNM tracks too); I'm more into Spruance stuff than Ferrari-Gomina-Tuxedo Patton.

Ian: You've been labeled as post-black metal and progressive black metal, would you say either of these terms describes your music, cause your sound appears to focus on other elements more than black metal? What would you label your music?

Nico: I wouldn't say we're a true metal band because Pryapisme's main instrument is keyboards, not guitar and high pitched-voice. There is a digital-cold mood on some parts that sounds black-metallish, but I don't really think the band fits in any genre - even if there are recurrent ones.
We call it ourselves "Rococo-core" cause it sounds cool, but I don't want a "post-avantgarde-jazzy-black-death-epic-gore-JamesLabrielookslikedavidhasseloff-salsa metal"..it doesn't mean anything and it's horribly pretentious.

Ian: What is your connection to the band Stagnant Waters?

Nico: Stagnant Waters is Aymeric's project with Camille (of the mighty Smohalla, check it!- also Dreams of The Drowned and others bands as a drummer) and Zweiss (Fleurety,DHG).It's a really good experimental project but the record isn't ready yet.You can listen a cool preview on myspace.
Ian: I know you guys are friends with Smohalla and Whourkr, how did you end up becoming connected with them?

Nico: Well, we got in touch on Myspace, and shared beers months later in real life. Great guys, great music, listen to their other projects (Igorrr,I-snor,the sect..). I play guitar on the new Igorrr record, "Nostrill," and I'm really proud of it, the whole record is absolutely awesome.

Ian: How did you get involved with the Ulver tribute "My Own Wolf"? What made you pick In The Red as the cover?

Nico: It's Camille and Slo of Smohalla that told us about the tribute. Aymeric is a huge fan of Ulver, I guess he had in mind what song would be "Pryapisme-able".It took us two weeks to record and mix the track (it's reaaaaaally fast for Pryapisme standards). It was really fun to receive the whole-2cd set 5 months later; aspherical asphyxia did great work.

Ian: I really enjoyed your debut album, how did the ten tracks come together into this full-length?

Nico: "Rococo Holocaust" is a mix of old but totally remixed old Pryapisme songs ("Le doryphore de Kafka" is a 10 year old track) and new tracks written directly on the computer (sanglié par un cornid,...sinistrose..). We've decided to limit the lenght of the record to 45/50 minutes because more would be too much to memorize.
Ian: What would you say is the biggest difference between the "Pump Up The Pectin"e demo and "Rococo Haulocaust"?

Nico: The main difference between the demo and the album is half of the band!
The music is more complex, more dark too and we payed more attention to the sound quality. Also the fact that I'm a sound engineer and I bring my recording hardware to Aymeric's house, we joined forces with former bass player Fymon (he gave us a good hand) and mixed the record during...one year and a half at least.

Ian: What do you think of the French Metal scene? There seems to be a lot of really good and interesting bands coming out of France in recent years, including yourselves?

Nico: French metal scene has very interesting extreme and experimental bands like Deathspell Omega, Blut aus nord, Monarch! or as mentionned before Whourkhr, Smohalla, Igorrr, Dr Ravioli, The Algorithm and a bunch of bands I just forgot.But you've got to search a little to discover those bands.. I don't feel like I belong to the metal scene,maybe because (I guess it's the same everywhere) 98% of metal bands are just awful pieces of crap that follow last trend with no taste at all.But french bands are now very professionnal, I think it wasn't the truth 10/15 years ago.

Ian: I know you guys have a lot of side-project and other bands, would you care to indulge more about them and promote them? Do you have any upcoming releases with any of these projects or bands?

Nico: I personnally have no other serious project outside Pryapisme, I prefer playing video-games or answering interviews.
The two others play together in crazy-jazz band (with balls) Senoys, If you like that kind of stuff, they're absolutely amazing (I consider them as one of my favorite bands). Ben plays also in klezmer band Bababyaga (with last Pryapisme bass/cello player,the Mighty Alex aka "louloute") stupid and alcoholic dance music Vin Rouge and four of five more projects I've never heard a note of it. Aymeric has also a lot of projects in addition of Stagnant Waters: Kodd (electro-indus), Tetradess (8-bit indus madness), Lyode (Sega-core) and probably one or two projects I also forgot.
Ian: What's your fascination with cats?

Nico: It's a very important question because Pryapisme rehearse at Aymeric's family home and his mother is a cat breeder.
At the beginning of the band, cats destroyed guitars, amps,P.A. with acid and smelly urine...that banned Pryapisme to play in some places. The fact is we are surrounded by cute animals all the time and that's something we enjoy a lot. Tabou, the cat on the cover was one of our favorites.He passed away one year and a half ago and it really made us very sad.
We really wanted to pay tribute to Tabou du Clos Du Nid ,one of the cutest and soft cat ever.RIP,dude.

Ian: I think that's about it, thanks for the interview, the last words are yours.

Nico: Smelly cheese, strong red wine, 2-players contra on a small tube tv: the meaning of life.
I'd really like to thank Nico for answering some of my questions, he has been one of the most polite people I've had the opportunity to interview thus far. If you haven't heard of, or listened to, Pryapisme yet, you're missing out. Check these guys out for sure.

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