Pierre- and Jean-Marc Pauly set up Parade Ground in 1981. The Belgian brothers were part of the early new-wave and EBM movement. During the 80s they released several noticeable maxi’s and finally released their successful debut album “Cut Up” in 1988 on Play It Again Sam. We next had to wait till 2007 (!) to welcome their second album “Rosary” released on Sleep Walking Records. A few more new releases saw the daylight, but always at irregular basis. Parade Ground is now back on track with a ‘live’ album, which brings some of their most famous songs alive next to a few new cuts, which can be seen as an appetizer to the next full length. Here follows a chat with the Pauly brothers and the least I can say is that they’re not afraid to speak their mind.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Parade Ground has been set up nearly 40 (!) years ago now! What does Parade Ground anno 2019 stands for and do you still have new artistic goals and dreams you want to purchase?
Jean-Marc: We feel new. Our artistic goal is still the same; turning the people upside down with music as a wild, wild dream.
Pierre: We are a young band, with all the specificities of a young band. Creating is de-learning. We are like the futurists: we have to drive fast and catch the moon. Our main aim artistically is to release a new album that would be better than the one we released 30 years ago. Never a band does succeed in doing that… We, ourselves, determine our meaning.
Q: You’ve just released a new album entitled “Life”, which also is the band’s first official live album. What does this album mean to you? What’s the impact of a lice-CD today and how did this album came through -regarding recording, mixing, mastering…?
Jean-Marc: It means everything to us. We wanted to leave a trace of this repertoire we’ve been fighting for during the last 4 years. The re-mastering of our live backing-tape by Patrick Codenys has brought a lot of punch and energy to it. We feel boosted on stage, ready for the ‘Choreography of chaos’.
Pierre: It’s unbelievably important for us. It’s amazing the amount of fantastic and true great live bands which never succeed in catching their savagery on a recording. We achieved that! All of our energy, the tension, the melodies are on this recording “Life” . We create what cannot be created.
Q: “Life” is a live album, but how do you consider Parade Ground as a live band and how did you evolve throughout the years?
Pierre: I do believe Parade Ground are the best live-act right now! We put our skin on the stage. We have to pay for it. We are the most under-rated band. We forgot to be re-born. Our life is avowless.
Jean-Marc: I think we’ve always been a live band, but we really tend to play better and better. It becomes close to Artaud’s “Theatre Of Cruelty”. Before, we were more of a guitar band, especially at the time of “Rosary”, our second studio album. Today, we play a mixture of both styles, cold-wave and old-school EBM, even though we always feel a new band.
Q: I think it’s interesting to get some of your very early ‘hits’ from the 80s next to new songs. How much of ‘early’ Parade Ground do you recognize in the ‘new’ songs? Tell us a bit more about these new songs, which are supposed to get featured on a new full length album?
Jean-Marc: To us, it’s the same Parade Ground, with all the rage, the grace, the passion, repetitive melodies and Pierre’s personal touch of madness. The new songs are meant to be hammered on a log. On a full length album they would be worked out differently, with more accuracy and edge .
Pierre: All of our 80s songs have been boosted and uplifted, but we kept the charm of their analogic sounds. The new songs are part of 15 songs ready and recorded except the vocals. The Ariane’s wire is the same. The melodies and the vocals. Jean-Marc’s voice is still the same. It’s 80 percent of the band’s touch. We’re not transparent through pain.
Q: What can you tell us about a new studio album when considering important aspects as composition, equipment, lyrical themes and finished songs?
Pierre: We want an anti-art; anti-music! As far as the equipment is concerned, we are working without a computer.
Only with the samplers we used to work with for ages. You know, nowadays with a computer, everyone is an artist, a little genius. It’s much more onanism than creation. We become ants for the cruelty of becoming ants .
Jean-Marc: To us, a song is never finished. It really stays alive in the people’s hearts and minds. Our main inspiration remains the stay that I made in a psychiatry unit and the recording of “Rosary” in a church in France. Faith pours out of every light .
Q: Do you think people are still waiting for a new album, especially in times physical releases no longer sell and ‘music lovers’ are using streaming platforms? What’s your perception on this (r)evolution?
Jean-Marc: Vinyl and cassettes will be back soon. We have a very faithful public that will truly love a new album. We owe them all. I don’t think things have changed that much. It’s still to and from enjoyment .
Pierre: One doesn’t ask a corpse what it is doing in its coffin…
Steaming is fast-food music for sure. To be understood is prostituting oneself. Through this we don’t belong to music anymore.