Exclusive Interview: Michel Anoia talk writing and recording “Nervures”!

[Warning! Spoiler Alert!] Having revealed that despite it’s billing as their third and final album Michel Anoia will be continuing on in some way, shape or form after “Nervures” in the first of two exclusive interviews we have with the band last week, this second one is shall we say something a bit less dramatic despite having equal Oscar winning potential. Naturally the French Power Violence trio make fun at our expense (as you’ll see!) but we love a bit of banter! We recommend a hot cup of coffee from a hot coffee cup to accompany this one…

What did you learn from the studio time spent on 2016’s “Plethora” that helped make recording “Nervures” a better experience? “‘Plethora’ was a unique studio experience in way that we didn’t record all together in one place, even in one country ! Bass and drums were recording first in Rennes, France, guitar in Lausanne, Switzerland and vocals in Prague, Czech Republic, where the singer was at this time! It was our first studio experience, and we cannot say that it was a big full studio one! But we approached needs and difficulties of studio recording, and to make ‘Nervures’ a better experience, we focused on song writing by renting a house in south of France for a week where we played, again and again, until we where satisfied and aware of each tiny riff and sound”

What made you switch from English song titles to the mix of Latin and French on this one? “Charles wrote all the lyrics in French first, starting form either is own experience, what he was going through at that time, or people’s experience he met. The Latin name are a reference to the different stage of the alchemist’s way according to Carl Jung (Charles like very much psychoanalyst stuff). He then translate all the lyrics in English (way easier for him to scream) and keep the French and Latin titles as a mark of theirs origins. I think there was also a mix of French and English titles as well on Plethora.  It was also a big step for Charles to do screams, with very personal message, the French titles were also a symbol of this, of him being able to speak out (in French) about some matters of his life”

How does the writing process of a new Michel Anoia track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? “It always start with a guitar song in the tortured mind of Charles, who brought to the rest of the band sometimes 5/6 minutes of black/death/tech melody and ambiance. Then we start to crack it together, destroy the melody by moving parts, adding riffs and changing rhythm to create a new born child from our 3 minds. It’s like bringing a great, shiny piece of Lego already assembled in a room with 3 kids and see what happens.”

There is footage of you playing “L’ombre Et L’errant” online from 2017 so how long have you been working on the album and how long have some of these songs existed for before being committed to tape? “The two oldest are ‘Suture’ and ‘Ibliss’ who where composed in 2015, followed by ‘L’ombre et L’errant’ in the same year but fully completed in early 2018. So it took 3 years to fully compose ‘Nervures’, who was recording in june of 2018 two riffs were composed during the recording as well), and 3 years to achieve the release!”

Does the title track “Nervures” have a trumpet on it at one point or is that just in our minds? There are some really avant-garde moments on the album that are a real pleasure, what led you to incorporate such freeform style that is usually reflected in Jazz to Power Violence? “Not trumpet or other instruments on this album, if the syndrome persists, please see a doctor. We really want to play with colours and ambiance, but it’s only through instruments. Weird utilisation of the low strings of the 7 String guitar, effects on guitar and bass. We’re quickly bored and we don’t want our audience to be, so every little moment should bring you something whether it be by riff, power, colour, ambiance or feeling. Charles spent a lot of times listening to music over and over, albums like Ghost of Perdition or Planetary Duality, Necrophagist stuff, and just don’t care about the distinction about genre. When he came with a riff, as soon we make it ours, he tried to sing what he wanted to hear next. It’s like thinking music like a movie or a book I guess, trying to translate feelings, some without words, to music. If people can do the translation back, I guess, we can’t be more happy than that”

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “For this record, the drum parts were taken on an old DW kit find at the record place, we don’t know the name of it, Ugo isn’t a gear nerds so we can’t lists all cymbals and snare name! For bass, Simon plays an ’94 Warwick Thumb BO5, in an old Mesa Boogie Basis M2000 and Powerhouse 4×12, and only a Zoom B3 pedal for distortion and fuzz/bitcrusher for weird doom/avant-garde moments. Charles plays a Schecter C-7 Blackjack with a M7 Lundgren pickup, in a Laney GH50L and a Viking Super 60 (a custom amp made by Kabanas amp in Seville, Spain) and a 4*12 Trace Elliot guitar cab and 1*12 homemade Thiele cab, a whammy, a Green Rhino as an overdrive boost, a Clone Theory, and a DD-6 Boss pedal for the bug sound on Suture. He doesn’t stick to a special brand of strings, even if he likes a lot Dean Markley’s and D’addario’s one”

Nervures” by Michel Anoia is out 17th September 2021 and available over at bandcamp.

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