Old-school EBM and authentic Dark Electro is regaining ground, at least the responsible people behind the new label Electro Aggression Records/Vendetta-Music believe in this and release bands and projects offering sounds and ideals of the early 90ies, which doesn’t follow the still successful Hellektro rush. After the already presentedSlovakian act KIFOTH here comes the return of a legend hailing from France, the one-man project Brain Leisure a.k.a. Dominique Debert. Having released his debut “Mindfire” on Hard Records/Cleopatra in 1994, Dominique has taken an endless time-out due to personal reasons until he got back on track with some remix works in 2K6. After the outstanding DCD album “Methods To Madness” released in May, this interview likes to introduce this act and the man behind it…
Chain D.L.K.: Greetings Dominique, I’m sure that the very first question will be asked in every coming interview to you. What the fuck has happened that you’ve taken such a long time in hiatus? Was it to fear that you would forget all your skills, since the technical evolution hasn’t taken a pause?
Brain Leisure: Well, my life has been quite chaotic between 1998 and now. My mother died in ‘98 first, a situation that left me totally broken and the point where I started to do a lot of bad things, having alcohol problems, etc… I got married though in 1999 and thanks to this I got my life back on track. Then I divorced in 2002 and got back to where I started. I became very stable with my new wife and she encouraged me to compose new songs.
Chain D.L.K.: I hope you’re forgiving me this next indiscreet and private question. Why have you added into your CD booklet of “Methods To Madness” an obituary on your mother, since she died already in 1998? She seemed to have an enormous influence on you, so can we say that your close relation and a long time of sorrow are possible reasons for your time-out, too?
Brain Leisure: As I said, this was one of the first reasons why I disappeared, so yes. She meant a lot to me, and she still guides me through the dark days quite often…
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve started to work on your comeback in the last year, at first mainly with the production on some remixes like the Grandchaos track. How did you get in contact with Nader Moumneh and Dave of Vendetta, that you’ve decided to sign with them?
Brain Leisure: I got in touch with Nader and Dave through my friend Dominique of K-Bereit (ex-Cobalt 60) and Nader pushed me to make a choice and he wanted this album so much that I made it! I decided to sign with them also because first of all this was a new label and also because they are really nice guys, even if Nader is sometimes very demanding! 😛
Chain D.L.K.: On “Methods To Madness” there can be found several tracks like “Behind The Mask” and “Atmosfear” which you all have originally composed in your first active time around 1993. Why the decision to re-record this tracks completely instead of composing new tracks?
Brain Leisure: Nader loved those tracks and he kept telling me he wanted a new version of these, so I was so tired in the end (you know I’m a bit of his slave sometimes…) and didn’t want to fight anymore, so I agreed!
Chain D.L.K.: On the limited DCD set of “Methods To Madness” there can be heard some new and revamped versions on the tracks “Beyond The Limits”, “Never Trust A Smile” and “Deadful Hate”, which were all originally available on your debut “Mindfire” in 1994. Same question like before, why did you feel the need to re-create new versions of this tracks?
Brain Leisure: Well, at the very beginning I was feeling like doing a “Mindfire 2” with 2007 versions of my first album. Then in the end I changed my mind and kept those versions as a bonus.
Chain D.L.K.: “Crawl In Vain” is a track I tend to interpret as your statement against any kind of religion instead of your belief in your own abilities. Any deeper personal meaning behind this track for you? Oh, and how does the use of guitar riffs in this track fits with the old-school EBM infiltrated world of the “electrofreak” NaderMoumneh? 😛
Brain Leisure: This is a double-meaning song, you’re right. It deals about my uncertainty concerning life and my very deep doubts about religion. I’ve lost faith in any of the gods around here. Concerning the guitars, this is always a rude battle with Mr. electrofreak, but now I have a method, I give him the tracks without the guitars, then I add them into the mix so that it’s too late when the song is out!!! 😛
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve also decided to record the new original tracks of “Methods To Madness” as being one coherent piece, that means the album floats without track interruptions. Why?
Brain Leisure: I wanted to do such a CD for a very, very long time. As I have found the time, I made my dream becoming true. I think the result is great, it provides a huge coherent piece, and you’re in a total immersion when you listen to it.
Chain D.L.K.: A DCD set in the hands with filled CD’s clocking over 76 minutes each and still some more stuff available which couldn’t make it on these DCD set. Some insight on these tracks, please. I’ve heard of a cover on a Klinik track. How are your plans with this stuff?
Brain Leisure: No plans yet, maybe this track will be on the next DCD?
Chain D.L.K.: Why did you create a special website www.methodstomadness.com, which offers only a video file of your track “Defect”? Wasn’t there any free space available on your own website?
Brain Leisure: Nope, there’s gonna be a novelty on it, a kind of extension to the trilogy (Methods to Madness, The Aftermath and The Adam Complex) but I don’t have enough time to write on it in these days. Nader keeps the pressure high on me!!!
Chain D.L.K.: Lets ask a kid of the early 90ies about his preferences, hardware or software-based synths?
Brain Leisure: Both definitely! There are a lot of good things hardware/software-based, it just depends on the way you use them. Of course if you use only the factory presets you don’t give any personality to your sound (which can be heard very often nowadays, see that Terror-EBM hype in which all acts sound the same). And theother point is how you finally fit all this together and mix/master it.
Chain D.L.K.: I’ve heard about the fact that the biggest critic of your music efforts is available in your own family. Who is Minet Debert and why did you refuse to mention him in your “greetings” list on your CD? Oh, and we like to hear the “humid” details on this… 😀
Brain Leisure: Well, we have a problem here. Minet Debert wants to remain absolutely anonymous, and he threatened to kill me if I say a single word. I’m sorry to hear that you have heard this information, you must have a spy somewhere. Beware, you now have a contract on your head, and I will deal myself with the person thatgave you this information…
Chain D.L.K.: Your daily life besides being a musician, also regarding the fact that you’ve got a family with two sons. Please fill in details, hobbies and further interests…
Brain Leisure: Well, actually I have a daughter and a son (Sasha who is 8, and Tristan who is 6 years old) and soon a second daughter, Abigail, who is planned to have her birth for the upcoming week. Apart of this I have a very normal life, I’m a very normal person, I don’t go out to shows often, I spend my time watching movies, cooking, this kind of typical family-like stuff!
.Chain D.L.K.: Please inform us about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like to confirm here? How is it with some stage actions on which you can show us your mighty glasses? 😀
Brain Leisure: Concerning the stage stuff I’ve a few things planned to be confirmed soon, so I won’t tell you more for the time being. I will also work hard on my next releases as soon as I have a little time.
Chain D.L.K.: Some final words to our readers to conclude this interview?
Brain Leisure: Well, the usual stuff, thanks to all the people who help me everyday to accomplish this and for the nice words/reviews on the internet and press.
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]