ETHEREAL: a noise solo project which tries to experiment freely sounds with no fixed purpose

ETHEREAL captures the mood of the places he visits by connecting sounds that inspire him with sounds recorded all around the world from Europe to Erythrea and Haiti

Hi. Tell us something about Ethereal project.
Well basically this is a solo project, one I have been developping for almost 10 years, in order to do things I couldn’t do in my bands. I am a Bass player to begin with, but I always loved to play with noise and effects and keyboards and stuff, so this is why this project was created, rather naturally and with no real plan, I have to admit. I have done ambient tracks, sometimes I even sang, I have done harsh noise, field recordings, more dronish noise stuff,… But I never used my own instrument there. I am planning on centering my next album on it, even though I will most certainly explore it in different ways, and use loops and beats and stuff.

How is being a musician from Brussels – Belgium? What’s the best live act in your area? Tell us something about it.
Well, it is tricky, because you have lots and lots of them, more and more I should say, but less and less places where you can play, especially in more underground and alternative styles. I have to admit I don’t play in Brussels a lot, once or twice a year or something, which is enough because it is a small city despite being a capital. I spend more time focusing on other countries and doing little tours here and there. About the live acts, well I really like projects like “Why the eye” (they make a kind of percussive music with self-made instruments) or some instrumental, post/math/kraut/whatever bands like Zoft or Industroika. But I don’t think in terms of a best live act. There are many valuable bands for many different reasons.

On you define your genre experimental. Can you help us and our readers understand a bit more what does it mean?
Well, it mean that it is a project in which I try and experiment freely with not fixed purpose. One album is harsh noise, one is dronish, one is ambient, one has singing, one is about field recordings, the next one is gonna include bass, like I said. I experiment with the tools that I have to do things I don’t usually do, and I see what it brings out. It’s as simple as that. There is no structure, no anchor point.

Tell us about your last album, released in june 2015 and about the direction your music is taking.
Well this album is not musical at all. It is based on field recordings I do in which I capture the mood of places where I go. Sometimes it is recorded in Brussels, otherwise it is recorded in other counties in which I travel for my job (I am a sound engineer). Some recordings were made in Haiti, others in Sweden or Erythrea… The principle is that as long as I hear sounds that inspire me, and as long as I travel, this album will continue to expand. It might never end. That is my purpose. An album that grows with no end. Here is how describe it: “The world we leave in is very noisy, way too noisy. It’s invading the senses. All the time. This album is a collection of field recordings passed through the filter of a saturated sense due to too much stimuli”. Basically I pass every recording into my effects and tweak them to express the way noise affects us. I try to depict the emotions it produces like pain, anxiety, anger,… But I think most people will never listen to complete tracks. It is kind of difficult. Some last for 15 or 30 minutes and are just random sounds distorted, for example. As for the direction my music is taking, well… I don’t know exactly. I’ll know when I’ll work on the next album. I have ideas but right now I am focusing on creating a new band as a bass player so it will not be too soon.

Where did you get inspiration for your music?
Well, for this particular project, I mostly get it from the world around me and the feeling that it is a living organism constantly trying to invade me, take control of me and use me, like a parasite would.

Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?
Well everything from Merzbow or Brighter Death Now, KK Null, Bukowksi, Depeche Mode, everything that is math rock / jazz rock or Jazzcore / Post-hardcore, post-rock, post-metal,… I don’t know really…

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
I think it was Alright the Captain from the UK. Check them out!

Are you touring right now? Do you plan to have a tour in the near future? Tell us something about it.
Well, this project has never been brought on stage (yet). When I’m done with my next album, the plan is to do gigs to defend it, but I won’t be playing any material from other albums. From now on, this has always been a solo project. But I cooperate to other projects as a noiser / drones- or soundscapes-machine /… like Törst Obborun (we play as a duo) with who I have been touring in February in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Belgium, and we go back on Tour in November in Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, the Netherlands,… for 2 weeks with our friends from Industroika and Hag. Sometimes I also play as a guest, like recently with my friend from Alone Alienz. You can find all these bands on facebook.

Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road.
My best memory on the road might be touring the UK and ending up not loosing money, haha. No seriously, every moment spent with every person I met on the road is my best memory. My worst was a show with only the sound engineer as audience. Until he left too.

What do you think of Do you think it could be a good tool to facilitate the process of booking and organizing shows? Do you have any suggestions?
I am really happy this exists, it is an awesome idea, and a great tool and yes I think it might help a lot of bands who don’t really have a network. I can’t think of suggestions right now, I did them when I was beta-testing it 😉
So, thank you so much for the interview!