As Les Dupobs were mentioned in the previous post, I have decided to post an old interview I did with them in 2009.
From ReverbNation: "Dupobs is a satirical noise duo based in Vancouver, Canada. Originally formed in 1988, dupobs’ sound is somewhat reminiscent of early DAF, or Violent Onsen Geisha. The group takes elements from noise and industrial music, and have labeled themselves “regressive”. According to their Manifesto, “Regressive music is the act of vomiting the world back onto itself”. One of the group’s members, Jean H., is also a member of A Spectre Is Haunting Europe, a death/gothic-rock group. The other member, Patrik Sampler, also records as Splattertron."
And now, the interview.
Certain aspects of the regressive movement remind me of DADA and surrealism. Were you partly inspired by those art movements when you wrote the regressive manifesto?
Patrik: That's right. We were inspired by DADA and surrealism, and, more specifically, absurdism. The manifesto, incidentally, came after the music. Speaking for myself, I wanted to know why I wanted to make music like that, and intuitively I felt there was some purpose to it -- not simply to make the worst crap imaginable. Jean put me on to Eugene Ionesco. I wanted to know more about what it means to be absurd, read Camus' Myth of Sysyphus...
I, for my part, am strongly convinced that regressive music is the music before the last global decadence because it just shows how old this world is by now and how all the past and present music is inadequate when it comes to the search of the current truth. Do you agree with that?
Patrik: I would agree with that. Objectively, we live in a very decadent time -- especially in a material sense. This may sound trite, but the destructive capacity of our species is greater than ever before. We may be, in fact, on the verge of "the last global decadence". Most popular culture, as far as I can see, celebrates a society based on crap. I can't say I'm not sucked in by it to a certain extent, but I try to live truthfully. The problem is that people seem to be unwilling, or too afraid, to take action. This gets exaggerated in Canada. Things happen here that would cause riots in normal countries, so I feel especially oppressed by the environment. Getting back to your question, I do believe that mainstream music is inherently inadequate as a reflection of the truth because it accepts and reinforces fake sentimentality ... dupobs is just throwing it all back in mangled form. Because what's behind it is already mangled, and we're just showing it for what it is. This might sound nihilistic to most people, but we're rejecting only what is truly worth rejecting. Really I think we're doing everyone a huge favour. I mean, we want to educate people. And we want to reach out to people who see the world more truthfully.
As one can read in your blog, “the language of DUPOBS is free of constraints: a signified is rarely referred to by the same signifier twice. This allows speakers to more accurately express the inner sound” I really like this. If everyone would adopt this method, we wouldn’t probably understand one another. However, a personal instinctive language seems priceless to me. How would you personally say ‘unfortunately my cat is dead but I bought another just yesterday, now I’ll have a beer’?
Patrik: Personally, I would say it, "Heuxgleughdokalskdeurfjongleuuu!" Most of what I say in regressive-talk is quite excited. The 'inner sound' is taken from Kandinsky, from On the Spiritual in Art. The point is about aesthetic liberation, and it's a joke, too. There's a lot of nonsense out there even with 'real' words. Talk about a war for peace. At one point we considered giving a regressive vocalization workshop...
Jean: I wouldn't say that at all. I'm not sure that it's a justifiable expense of breath; the amount of things I can say is finite.
When I listen to your music, I realize it’s even more ‘outsider’ than what is ordinarily considered ‘outsider music’ because what you do must be mostly random and not even inspired by any real musical logic. Do you think regressive music is the real way to express oneself since you’re not limited by any musical rules and the demand to write sensical lyrics?
Patrik: Well, that's how we like to express ourselves. It seems that 'outsider' music is a genre with its own rules -- so I don't really think 'outsider' is a helpful label. dupobs could fit within the realm of outsider music, improvised music... but a lot of these terms -- and the people behind them -- don't really mean what they say. We once approached an improvised music festival -- because we make improvised music -- but they didn't want us. What they wanted was a certain kind of improvised music, which doesn't seem very improvised to me. To be fair, we have a certain idea of what regressive music is. But I'd like to invite others to make their own regressive music, to expand the genre. Maybe one day there will be a regressive festival.
Jean: No, regressive music is just as convention-bound as any other formulaic music. For example, there are verses and choruses that must proceed in a certain order, must be announced, and both forms have distinct characteristics according to the rules of regressive music - see the manifesto.
Do you want to recommend us some regressive bands from all over the world?
Patrik: A lot of those bands can be found through "connections" at the Regressive group page at Last FM <http://www.last.fm/group/Regressive/connections >. It's really too bad that Last FM has started charging for access. We're probably going to start promoting ourselves elsewhere. On the regressive group page, we've been collecting anything we come across that has something in common with regressive music. There's a lot of crossover with noise and industrial, but not only. In terms of combining sloppiness and satire, I think Violent Onsen Geisha (from Japan) is quite typically regressive. He's one of the 'classics'.
Jean: There are very few that fit the bill, and understandably so, since Dupobs invented the form. We're (meaning the fans of Regressive) trying to put together a list. See http://www.last.fm/group/Regressive/connections#artists, and related discussions for that group.
A friend of mine would like to ask you if you ever listened to Demetrio Stratos’s ‘criptomelodie infantili’ (http://www.last.fm/music/Demetrio+Stratos/+videos/+1-6kxIWWW1_GQ) which is an effort to reproduce the subconscious musicality of children. He thinks there are some similarities between that and your music.
Patrik: Thanks for passing that on. I do think Stratos was getting at the same thing. It's humbling to know that someone was making this kind of music long before us. Subconscious musicality is certainly a part of what we do, and then we bring in elements of satire and social commentary...
Jean: No. I’ll check it out.
This is the last questions. So, "crappification" is equal to catharsis. Did you guys feel it was necessary to make regressive music to set free?
Patrik: For me, personally, crappification is a kind of catharsis. Musical regression helps me feel more free. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, I'd like everyone to feel free to express themselves however they want... wear 'regressive' fashion or no fashion, run around screaming, curl up and roll on the pavement, make choking and grunting noises, walk with contorted movements like butoh dancers... whatever. We're far too constrained by rules. Regressive music is all about subverting or ignoring rules.
Jean: No. There are far better ways (than music) of liberating people from the things that imprison them - pamphlets, boycotts, protests, labour action, revolution, etc. We're simply confronting a prevailing symbolic code and inventing/promoting our own in its place. I actually disagree with the cathartic theory regarding Regressive music. To me, Regressive music will succeed best if it becomes a form of music people use to decorate their aural environment - I look forward to a world in which regressive music occupies the same space now occupied by albums such as Eno's Music for Airports, music designed to enhance inhabited spaces. & it's not that I necessarily want to hear Dupobs played in airports with the intent of calming down air passengers. I would simply be interested in observing a world in which something like that is conceivable, and perhaps even discussed on television.
So that was the interview. Now go listen to Dupobs, you owe it to yourself. You won't regret it or maybe you will but it's simply something you can't ignore.
Official website: http://www.dupobs.ca/