First I saw the band name, Hà; People 3 55, next the title of the album “One Bear, Two Bicycles And One Xylophone”, than the T-circle logo and last, but not least the nick names of the members, J3 and J55. Don’t you think it all sounds pretty à;Grumh-related!? Hà; People 3 55 indeed is a new formation set up by the legendary à;Grumh singer J3 (Jacques Meurrens) assisted by live member J55. But this new formation is not a surrogate to the legendary Belgian pioneer of EBM. This formation deals with good-old industrial music. The debut work released on Wool-E-Discs is a hard and creative piece of music, but still one of the best industrial releases I’ve heard during the past months.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: The name of your project clearly refers to a song of à;Grumh while the album title could have been a song from à;Grumh and the famous T-circle logo has been featured on the front cover! So what is this project all about? A surrogate to à;Grumh? Just boys who want to have fun composing industrial music? Or something much more serious?
J3: à;GRUMH… is sleeping but Hà; People 3.55. is a fucking great new project. A project we made with our blood, our heart, our flesh . A project with balls.
J55: The reference to à;GRUMH… is indeed obvious. J3 and I are part of the band and we found it fun to name our new project like this. But, let’s be clear, this is absolutely NOT a revival of à;GRUMH… or anything like that. It’s a side project J3 and myself built up together.
Q: “One Bear, Two Bicycles And One Xylophone” could gain an award for the weirdest album title of the year, but the song titles are definitely darker and less funny. Where’s the link here and tell us a bit more about the lyrical themes and content?
J55: The title of the album, as well as the lyrics, came directly from the strange brain of J3. But he can speak about it much better than I do. Initially, I wanted to make a cover album of Jean-Michel Jarre a capella, but we abandoned the idea, I do not know why.
J3: My themes? Ancient history, paganism, faith, ritual sacrifice, witchcraft, hunting, sacred animals…
Q: Guys, I really love the sound of this album, which clearly moves back to the early years of ‘pure’ industrial music. I can’t get away from the idea that the 80s and the early industrial movement both have been great sources of inspiration, but tell us a bit more about the sound creation properly speaking?
J55: Hahaha!!! It came completely by accident! We were contacted by the excellent band Akalotz to remix their song “Confront”. Then I started to work the rushes of J3’s vocals, giving a dark and noisy atmosphere. J3 was seduced by this idea, and we decided to continue this way.
J3: mEEE, mYSELFFF and III, wEEE agree!!!
Q: The album also sounds as an ‘antidote’ to the contemporary industrial music featuring too many similar bands dealing with a similar sound. What’s your perception of contemporary underground/industrial music and the evolution of this music throughout the years?
J3: My definition of pure industrial music? Watch your back! A wild and big black animal is coming to fuck you!!! If you see what I mean…
J55: I think that many so-called ‘industrial’ bands have lost the bestial side of this music. Some bands sound like new-beat with distortion, and all that shit.
Q: The production of the vocals appears to be a quite important element and especially this enraged and passionate way of ‘exclaiming’ the lyrics. It makes me more think to an actor instead of a singer. What do you think about this aspect of the album?
J3: mY bROTHER J55 gave mEEE a black diamond, sounds from Hell, a black dream from theee abyss and III took a deep breath and III was possessed.
J55: J3 is a fucking singer!!!! When recording, he was in trance! We recorded all the voices as a one-shot!
And in slippers.
Q: I think you’re actually preparing live performances so I can imagine it will be something crazy and different from the average industrial bands jumping and behaving behind their laptops. What can we expect?
J55: Nobody will jump behind a laptop! We will be 4 on stage, with sIRC on drums and nAEJ on double bass. I will play with old synthesizers. It will be apocalyptic, but I do not want to say too much about it now. Let’s keep the surprise!
J3: Ho ho ho, III got new slippers to scream like a boar!!!
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 2 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.