The second full-length album of this French Electro/Industrial band, is the result of 4 years of laborious work of 4 professional and experienced musicians. Laurent Kistler, Nicolas Revil, Bruno Laborde and Yoann Bourreau have definitely created with their new album “Materials And Methods” a kind of a top-notch album, which may finds its way into the history books for this music genre. With their rich layered sound constructions and the diverse drum pattern programming, they could receive several euphoric reactions by both, press and audience. So it was a pleasure to do an interview with one of the best horses out of the growing Vendetta-Music label stable. It even gets more interesting now that one member out of this successful quartet has decided to leave the band and concentrate on his projects.
Chain D.L.K.: Hello guys, since your current album “Materials And Methods” came out a few weeks ago, I’d like to ask a bit about the background of this masterpiece. I guess seldom before all press people stood that united behind a release by presenting similar high-praising reviews like on your new album. Your highly- acclaimed debut “Oscillations” came out 4 years go. What has happened in between and why did it take you so long to record “Materials And Methods”?
Neon Cage Experiment: Regarding the debut “Oscillations”, it’s important to know that most of the demo tracks were written before Bruno joined the former AW4 project, which became Neon Cage Experiment. We made a few alterations, honed the tracks and “Oscillations” came along rather quickly. We never stopped making music. The whole process for “Materials And Methods” took actually not more than two years and after that we’ve spent a lot of time to find the ideal label, to check contracts and so on. For the two years we spent on writing M&M, we had to rework several demo tracks over and over again until we were entirely satisfied with the end result. We’ve also taken control on all further production aspects of our album: mastering, mixing and artwork.
Chain D.L.K.: In between there has been coming up the sad news, that Bruno has decided to quit with the further 3 band members of NCE and to concentrate on a new solo-project entitled Normotone. Why this decision?
Neon Cage Experiment: Bruno felt uncomfortable working with 3 musicians and it was very hard for him to work in a group.
Chain D.L.K.: I have to pour salt in open wounds, so please forgive me for this invasive question. By listening to the mature and coherent sound of “Materials And Methods”, I’m quite sure that there must be obviously something more than a “wide divergence of opinion” or “atmospheric disturbance” that prompted Bruno L. to leave the band. Could you shed some light on what really happened and why did Bruno leave the band? How are you going to pursue NCE as a trio now that the main sound engineer Bruno has left the band? C’mon guys, spill the beans.
Neon Cage Experiment: First of all, Bruno wasn’t the “main sound engineer”. NCE will continue and we keep a very good relationship with Bruno and we’ll remain close friend . It was difficult for Bruno to merge his work with the other 3 members and that’s all there is to it
Chain D.L.K.: After “Oscillations” you were shopping around for a new label until you landed a record deal with Vendetta-Music. Why did you leave Cortex-Records, since they still seem to be your booking agency?
Neon Cage Experiment: It was time to move on. The nest of Cortex-Records became too small for us, and we’ve sent out a lot of promotional demos. Vendetta was interested and thanks to Nader, every details have been checked and fixed, so that we signed with them. Cortex Records remains our local distributor via their mail order. To book us, please contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Vendetta-Music in the US. We are happy to work with Vendetta-Music.
Chain D.L.K.: One of the remarkable ingredients in the NCE-sound is the mostly clear and natural sounding vocals of Laurent Krister. I guess there’s no need to integrate a huge effect machinery to perform with your voice. What does this mean to you personally, would you agree that the vocals offer a very own unique facet to the wide sound spectrum of NCE?
Neon Cage Experiment: Initially during the “Oscillations” recording process, we used some distortions and loud FX on the vocals then we then realized that Laurent Kistler a.k.a. KL had significantly improved his vocal capacities and his voice register. So we tried several ways to record voices and we played more with his ability to modulate his voice than setting some weird FX on it. On “Material and Methods”, we thought of Laurent’s voice as a real instrument, versatile and that can be fully integrated into NCE compositions.
Chain D.L.K.: Krister, I need to ask you about the real reasons behind your departure from Stigma. People can understand why Axonal Warfare called it quits after the CCP fiasco, but Stigma was signed to Ant-Zen and we foresaw a bright future for this awesome project. Why did you stop Stigma and have you ever asked yourself “Did I make the wrong decision” after the overwhelming success of your former label mates Imminent Starvation and Synapscape?
Neon Cage Experiment: No. I never thought of it as a wrong decision because we had lots of internal problems and we couldn’t agree on the musical direction of Stigma. Ok, maybe you’re right, if we had worked out our differences, we could have gone further with ant-zen , and who knows, maybe we could have become successful, but I’m not envious. Imminent and Synapscape have made great music over the years, and they have achieved the notoriety they deserve the . Some of them are still good friends of mine, like Olivier Moreau a.k.a. Imminent, Phillip Münch and Tim Kniep a.k.a. Synapscape. Unfortunately I never met Scott Sturgis, but I would be very happy to meet him one day.
Chain D.L.K.: By checking out some of the tracks featured on your new album, I would like to ask you about the inherent message behind “A Man”. Sounds like you’re voicing your opinion against overwhelming government control…
Neon Cage Experiment: “A Man” deals with some human rights like liberty, security, the right to life, dignity, basic matters which get often violated by some people. The lyrics allude to the pitiful nature of the selfishness of mankind. “A Man” was the starting point of Laurent’s fully participation as sound designer and composer. He offered us his demo previously done for his solo project, KL. We really loved it and NCEized it 😉
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve dedicated the track “The Loss” to Maud, Lucie and Lola. Would you care to elaborate? Sorry I don’t mean to pry.
Neon Cage Experiment: This song is about the loss of 3 precious young lives and we’d prefer not to dwell on that, thank you.
Chain D.L.K.: Live performances have always been an important part for NCE. Do you’ve confirmed tour dates and what is going to change after Bruno’s departure?
Neon Cage Experiment: Live performance will improve gradually: video, visual stuff, lights… For instance, we haven’t envisaged drastic changes planned, but we’ll surely miss Bruno, our great dancer! 😉
Chain D.L.K.: What does the future hold for both NCE and Normotone? Are you working on new releases and remix collaborations? I hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years to hear from you again…
Neon Cage Experiment: Regarding NCE, some new tracks are in the pipelines and we are working on several remixes. Normotone a.k.a. Bruno L is collaborating with several projects (HIV+, Brain Leisure ). He has done several remixes (Polygon, Destroid, Tamtrum, Necrotek to name a few…) and he’s the sound engineer for KL, the solo project of Laurent Kistler. KL’s debut album delves into Ambient and noise territory and will feature French lyrics.
Chain D.L.K.: Your final words to conclude this interview?
Neon Cage Experiment: It was a great pleasure for us to answer your questions. You have a remarkable knowledge about NCE and its members. We hope to meet you in the future. Thank you for your support and good luck with your project!
Visit Neon Cage Experiment on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Jean Mason]