Implant - "Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one"
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Since 1992 Implant has been playing a hybrid music, half way between techno, dance and dark electro. It took some years for them to arrive at a really personal sound, a signature of their own that they now improve on every new album, exploring each time new aspects of their musical landscape, just the two of them or with a little help from their friends. The release of their forthcoming album "Audio Blender" seems to be the perfect opportunity to have a little chat with the leader Len Lemeire… (By Olivier Noël)
SL. By releasing the album "Audio Blender", Implant seems to keep playing a darker and less "dance-floor" sound than before, just as the album "Self-Inflicted" had let us presume. How could you describe your music's evolution between these two albums?
L. I'm not sure if this is a darker sounding album. I think this album is more minimal, techno or even pop oriented. And that is kind of what I'm trying to do for a while now with Implant. Give things more a poppy feel and yet stay dance.
SL. Some tracks like "Was it always this way?" and "You Push Me" create atmospheres reminding me of some gloomy science fiction movies… Do you sometimes find inspiration for your music in films?
L. Yes, I'm a big SF fan. In any way possible. Ranging from graphical novels, mangas, books and films. I always liked the idea to emphasize current social-evolutions and project them into some weird crazy thing. "1984" remains my top-shelf SF book. "Was it always this way?" is actually part of a William Gibson novel. And I think the way Anne reads it sets the perfect mood for the album. "You push me" has a nice filmic intro but burst into industrial madness, witch I like a lot about this one. I think a track always is a little story on its own, using different elements to build up to a certain feeling. The sounds and samples used, the structure, the vocals, it all comes down to a little journey you take the listener on.
SL. Why did you choose to write lyrics in French for "Chanson d'amour tragique"? Who are the male and female singers who perform this song?
L. The male vocals is me, the female vocals is Sofie Dykmans. She does a few other essential things on the album, like the choir in "Your World", that is actually one girl… I'm not sure why we did this track in French. It makes sense to me. And it has a "Gainsbourg" feeling to it I think. And with the wave-synth type of baseline, this is also a little wink of the eye towards Vive La Fête as Jan used to be in Vive La Fête.
SL. "Chanson d'amour tragique" also contains some poppy sounds quite surprising from Implant. Where did the idea come from to experiment with this?
L. Yes, this is maybe the most pop oriented song on the album. But it sure is not the only pop track on the album. We are not afraid to use pop in our songs. I mean listen to bands like Tiga, his latest album is a pop album. But it's a mighty fine album for sure. Tracks on my album like "The Stimulator", "Your World", "The Creature", "Don't feed the robots", they are all meant to be catchy and supposed to run around in your head when you're not playing the album. (Laughs)
SL. Among your contributors on this new record, there is Jean-Luc De Meyer, Front 242's singer… How did your collaboration work out with him? He seems to be a busy man in view of the fact that he's involved in many projects these days, Front Line Assembly, Punish Yourself, Cobalt 60's comeback and so on.
L. Seba played a few tracks to Jean-Luc, and he liked this one a lot. So he came up with vocals for it. The collaboration went very well, and I think we share some ideas on music. Who knows, you might see more of this collaboration. The will is there, we'll see what comes out of it. I think Jean-Luc did a great job with this one, especially if you see what the vocals are about. The part you don't understand does make sense... I'll give you a tip: one of the words he uses is "redrum" ....
SL. On a few tracks we can also hear the voice of your good friend Anne Clark… Do you still work together as regularly as on the last album, and will she perform live with you so often? Who else will sing at your concerts?
L. What can I say, Anne has a soft spot for Implant. I'm still thanking all the ancient Greek gods - especially Bacchus - for that. We play a lot of lives together. I have remixed about 15 of her tracks, and these can be booked live. It's a very energetic mixture and I think the current set-list is a strong set. If we come near you, you should come and see this one.
But most of the times, we play live as Implant solo. That means Anne is not there, and then we just play it as if she were. We put her voice in the backings, and we hope people can live with that. If they can't, well, then they should book us together. (Laughs)
To read the complete interview, be sure to buy Side-Line issue 56 !
Side-Line issue 56
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