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NEBULA-H (MIKA/DERANGED PSYCHE)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? M: At this point I am behind my computer in Belgium typing this interview DP: Mika is always sitting behind his computer… but I’m afraid I’m sitting there as well! HOW HAS YOUR OFFICAL RELEASE PARTY IN ANTWERP BEEN GOING? ARE YOU ALL DRIED UP AGAIN? DP: You better ask this question just after the WE because the party is going on tonight. We always got a real great support from the DJ’s (of the Vampire Party) in Antwerp so we’re not afraid for tonight. People will discover some new songs of the album and I think they gonna like some of them. (Anm. Des Int.: Ich hätte nicht mit so einer schnellen Beantwortung der Fragen gerechnet HELLO GUYS! „H20“ IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? M: I am very happy with result. I think we’ve succeeded in what we wanted to do at the onset of this release two years ago, namely improve and reinvent nebula-h. Go step further and beyond our debut album on a song-writing, lyrical and production level. DP: I think there’re always points that could have been better, but in comparison with our debut-cd “H”, we went on the right way. We especially tried to improve the global production (arrangements, lyrics and vocals) while creating some new, carrying and danceable songs. Next comes the dvd, which has been totally realized in the Atomic Studios by Mika. I think we here deliver a diversified and well-crafted product! BESIDES, WHY H20 AND NOT H2O (WATER) – IS IT SOMEHOW A PUN OF WORDS? M: nebula-h has always been about playing with words and giving deeper or manifold meanings to lyrics, song titles as nebula-h are heavily influenced by the surrealistic movement. So yes H20. Where the “20” can be read as the number “20” – the coming of age or as ‘water’ (H2O) which constitutes 75 or more percent of our corporal existence. DP: The number 20 stands for the symbolic age when entering the adult world, so it means the start of maturity… and that’s pretty comparable with a band. We don’t affirm that we’re composing mature music, but it stands for the logical evolution from the 1st album towards the 2nd. FIRST OF ALL MAYBE A DULL QUESTION: WHAT DOES THE BAND NAME REFER TO? DP: It all started more than 3 years ago now when Mika and I met, deciding to set up a project just for fun. We needed a name and as I liked the idea to work with a lyrical concept, we thought it could be a good idea to find a name inspired by the lyrics. I came up with the concept of ‘art’ (as nearly all our songs are dealing with painters, film directors, writers etc…), but we didn’t know what kind of music to compose. We were like moving through a state of mist, which brought us to the word ‘nebula’. It can be perfectly associated to surrealism and symbolism as well. We realized that the name of Nebula was already taken so adding the letter ‘H’ sounded pretty cool. It stands for the ‘age’ of nebula, but it also refers to the ‘H’-bomb… I’m afraid there’ll be always several meanings behind our names and titles… what’s a bit confusing, but that’s intentional! IS IT SOMEHOW SPECIAL TO BE ON THE LEGENDARY ALFA MATRIX ROSTER? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THEIR PROMOTIONAL WORK? M: Until now we have no complaints about AM. Otherwise we would not be releasing our new album on AM. DP: AM became a kind of established label now, but we’ve been signed since the early beginning. We grow up together with the label. I think they’re trying to cover an important promotional work, which is important for their bands. THE COVER IS VERY INTERESTING AND A LITTLE BIT FLUID. WHICH IS THE MESSAGE? IS IT RELATED WITH THE LYRICAL CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON THE DESIGN? M: The design was done in collaboration with greg rolfes (www.enigma808.com) who followed the pointers and leads we gave him perfectly. The shower head refers to the “Symbiosis”-track which was inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho”. DP: It’s just a wink to one of the most scenes of this movie… the murder in the shower. You know that it took nearly an entire week to Hitchcock to shoot this scene while it only takes a few seconds in the movie. I think it would have been worse to take a picture of this part so this is just different… clean, cold, sterile… THE PROMO SHEET IS TALKING OF “NU-H-EBM”. CAN YOU LIVE WITH THIS DESCRIPTION? WHERE ARE YOUR ROOTS? M: I think no one in the band is very much concerned with ‘boxes’ or ‘descriptions’, especially not me, being part of multiple projects all very different in style. We do what we want to do. My roots can be found in the 80s ranging from old electronics like Clock DVA, rough guitar stuff like Big Black to melancholic styles like And Also The Trees. DP: Working for Side-Line magazine, I’m listening to different styles of music like EBM, future-pop, electroclash, dark ambient, industrial, gothic, medieval, ritual, trance, jungle, goa-trance, techno, house etc… I think there’s no ‘good’ neither ‘worse’ music. A song needs to catch me, whatever it is. That’s probably why our music doesn’t sound typical EBM or typical techno… but we’re just exploring all kind of ideas and styles we like and that fits into our sound. DO YOU THINK THERE IS SOMETHING LIKE A BELGIAN ELECTRO STYLE? IF YES CAN YOU DESCRIBE IT REGARDING STYLE AND ATHMOSPHERE? DP: There for sure was a Belgian style in the 80s and the 90s. Reminding bands like early Front 242, The Klinik, Neon Judgement, A Split Second, Vomito Negro, Dive, Insekt etc… the Belgian music has been always dark and cold. Suicide Commando remains in the same vein, but I think some other Belgian bands, with a different sound, are trying to emerge from the depths. Thinking to our own sound, but also to Implant, Aiboforcen, Diskonnekted, Pangea… we can’t no longer speak about a typical Belgian sound although we all remain inspired by our Belgian roots! COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS? HOW DO YOU DEVELOP SONGS, WHICH TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE? M: A song starts with an ‘idea’ which can be a theme (like Jules Verne’s novel “20000 leages under the sea” which became ‘Mobilis in Mobile’) or just a drumloop (like “Hypnos vs F.K”) or a sample. In all we try out different things to come to a basic sketch and then we work on that until it is finished. It is a natural process, it has to flow otherwise we try something else or just throw it away. DP: Mika takes care for the music while I’m starting to write lyrics when there’s a song basis and structure. We than come together in the studio, trying to achieve and improve everything together… which for some songs can take weeks… even months… but the best songs often don’t need that much time! WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR YOUR TRACKS: BEAT OR MELODY? AND WHAT IS COMPOSED FIRST? M: It is all composed together and it all falls in place or it does not. When it does it becomes a track if it does not then it gets thrown away. We’re not listening to a melody or a beat for hours on end until that is ‘perfect’ as that ultimately results into the rest being discarded. It has all grow into one fitting ‘whole’. DP: We’re that demanding with ourselves that everything becomes important! It’s just a lucky that Mika and I easily find some compromises because we sometimes have different ideas, but we always take the best one! YOU DON’T SEEM TO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH INTEGRATING TECHNO ELEMENTS. DO YOU LIKE TO RAVE YOURSELF? WHICH ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TECHNO ARTISTS? M: Because DP’s and Goahoma’s (our VJ) open attitude towards music (like mine) we are influenced by many different genres, like progressive, techno, electro, house, dnb, goa, hardtrance, …you name it – we have it somewhere in our cd-rack For me personally Paul van Dyck and Push are great artists, both pushing boundaries. DP: I’m a big fan of Juno Reactor and techno wise, Talla 2XLC inspired some elements of a few songs. We’re definitely eclectic! DO YOU LIKE FIXMER/ MCCARTHY AND/ OR AMDUSCIA WHO ALSO USE SOME KIND OF DANCEABLE CROSSOVER STYLE? DP: I’m not a big fan of the project of Fixmer and D. McCarthy although I’ve to recognize that they made some cool songs. I think that several songs sound like having been composed in a hurry. The vocals of Douglas are carrying most of the songs! It’s not because of Terence Fixxmer is a popular artist, that all his productions are cool. Amduscia is a real interesting band because they’re much more than simply copying Hocico or any other dark electro band. Amduscia is according to me one of the most open-minded dark EBM formations. They dare to assimilate conservative dark EBM elements together with vague techno influences. According to me, Amduscia is definitely one of the revelations of the past year! WHAT ABOUT THE BONUS DVD, WHAT CAN THE FAN EXPECT? DP: First, there’s a new clip of the “Symbiosis”-song. Next to live-impressions, which are like clips as well. Mika made a kind of mix between different live-shows, which I think is much more active and dynamic than just showing the recording of a song. Goahoma also added some pictures she’s playing live. There’s also a ‘still impressum’, which is like another clip, but made with pictures of the band. Than we’ve the more hypnotic and exclusive “Andalusion”-song which has been composed together with Pangea (side-project of IC 434) and the previously unreleased DJ-track (marked as “X marks the spot”) and featuring the sexy DJ Eve. AND HOW DID YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH MAYTE OF LETHARGY? DP: Mayte of Lethargy doesn’t appear on the album, but did some guest vocals on the “Portrait of a soul”-version that appeared on the Alfa-Matrix sampler “Re-Connected”. We went in search of a female backing vocalist with a cold voice… close to Anne Clark. As I personally love the music of Lethargy and that she has this kind of voice, we just asked her. DJ Eve did the backings on the album-version of “Portrait of a soul”. “WITKIN” IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST SONGS WITH INTERESTING LYRICS. AM I RIGHT TO SAY THAT IT IS POLITICAL? DP: No my friend, you’re totally, totally wrong!:-) Nebula-H avoids any political statement and/or message in their songs. I think it’s a big EBM cliché we personally prefer to leave to the others. Nebula-H is working with a particular lyrical concept, which (like I already mentioned) deals with arts. W.I.T.K.I.N. is a song about one of the most famous and contradict ional contemporary photographers, Joel-Peter Witkin. You better try to find some of his pictures on the net to understand what I mean. I’m a big fan of his work, which is quite shocking. He’s taking pictures of dead corpses, mutilated bodies and other rarities. He’s influenced by a strong Christian morality, which is a bit strange when you’re facing his work. I think it’s somewhere between life and death… but definitely illustrating the death in a very artistic way! So no, there’re no politics behind this song… which doesn’t mean that we’ve no interest in politics! I personally think that music isn’t the right forum to deal about politics! WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT EUROPEAN ELECTRO SCENE? TOO MANY BANDS? TOO MANY COPYCATS? ANY INTERESTING NEW INFLUENCES OR UNDERGROUND BANDS WHICH HAVE TO BE DISCOVERED? DP: My answer lays in your question! There’s a kind of saturation… too many bands and labels. I think that quantity became more important than quality and especially originality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming that we’re making original music, but we just try to sound not like the others. It’s just interesting to see the way underground and commercial music are sometimes melting together. Just think about what Madonna is doing, working together with an artist like Mirwais! I think that the goa-trance movement was one of the most refreshing and original ones I’ve heard in years, but it already sounds different today. Bands like Juno Reactor, Loop Guru and Rammstein are just a few names, which directly come into my mind… ARE YOU IN CONTACT WITH THE LIKE OF JOHAN (SUICIDE COMMANDO) OR THE STIN SCATZOR GUYS? IS THERE FRIENDSHIP IN SCENE OR EVEN JEALOUSY? DP: We know each other for quite a long time. Johan and I even started more or less 10 years ago now, the Toxic Shock Syndrome project. Johan belongs to the top of electronic music for years now, but he remains the same nice guy. We’re in touch with some other Belgian artists (we really like the song we did together with Pangea) from the electronic and industrial scene. Some of them became like friends and we’re supporting each other! Other ones are maybe jealous… I don’t know, but Belgium is such a small country… and some people (like organisers, bands whatever…) prefer to fight with each other than helping each other. That’s a pity, but I think it happens everywhere! IS EBM A POLTICAL GENRE? SOME KIND OF ELECTRO PUNK OR IS IT JUST FOR FUN? DP: I think you can’t consider EBM and the dark electro-movement (neither the industrial and gothic scene) as being political. There for sure are bands with political messages and statements, but you can’t compare it to the famous ‘Oi’ scene of the punk music for example. I think that if EBM would be political, it would definitely be not belonging to the ‘extreme right’ wing. EBM is maybe more about dark feelings and social topics or kinky stuff like s/m… WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS AND MOVIES? M: I am a movie freak covering a wide range of styles. But no (!) sassy tv-edit-‘family in trouble’-movies they air on sunday afternoon here in belgium – too depressing DP: That will bring me too far. Just like with music, I’ve a very eclectic taste of movies and books. Hmm… “La meglio gioventu” has been for sure the best movie I saw in 2004 while I personally enjoyed reading the novels of Dan Brown. I really love books about art and esoteric stuff like free maconnery ao… WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU LIVE IN GERMANY AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? DP: Nothing is planned for so far, but we would like to play again at the WGT of Leipzig. We did a very good show at the WGT in 2003. I think it’s important for all bands to play in Germany, but as I already said… too many bands… ANY INTERESTING NEWS OF THIS MORN’ OMINA und PO(W)DER PUSSY? HOW DO REMEMBER BELGIAN INDEPENDENT FESTIVAL 2003 AT HOF TER LO? M: tmo is doing the new album next year and doing a lot of concerts. BIM was a great experience for tmo. The crowd was really into it and so were we. Good memories of that concert. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STRONG EFFORT. Thank you, Mika and Deranged Psyche

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