Sometimes some things come our way by mere chance… or was it destiny that I discovered Parade Ground? I was sorry, however; that I have not discovered this great duo many years ago, but it´s never too late for some good music to reach you!
So, in 2016 I have the opportunity to have a little chat with the Parade Ground guys, Pierre and Jean-Marc, but as I say; it´s never too late and they are forever young! 🙂
1. You started your musical life quite a long time ago, I would say maybe even as soon as you started to live. Music was already in your genetic code, and you were involved in it from a very early age. Many years (not to say a few decades) later, how do you feel about music? Has something changed or do you still keep the same perspective on that part of your artistic expression?
JM. – Nothing’s changed or love even got worst .
Live performances have lifted us up and, every time, it’s like being reborn.
P. – We have always created and have always created ourselves!
We only are the future of our present.
JM. – I remember feeling like writing novels and poetry . Music is both .
I still see our lyrics as cinema images with a lot of rhythm and flickering sequences.
P. – We were so young when we started and we really wanted to express ourselves.
It could have been any art, any way artistically.
We put our skin on the table but, in order to do this you have to pay: we realized it afterwards.
The 80ies were year zero for the creation: everything was urgent, open and to be done.
3. Since you are from Belgium, how was the Belgian scene at that time? We know you collaborated with the Front 242 guys and even became good friends with them, but how about the rest of the scene there?
JM. – It was darker than we were .
We thought of music as a bright shining light from the chest.
We were apart. Little sensitiveness in common.
P. – Daniel from Front 242 was working in a music shop, so that’s where we met the people and their music. Everyone from the Belgian music scene.
We had access to all the existing gear of the time and used to work on them all day long – or short!!
Apart from Front 242, who became family for us, we knew the most talented of the time: Dirk Ivens, Luc Van Acker and Stefan Barbery, who created all of our covers.
The main figure of that time was Annik Honoré… An angel, a trace and devouring!
JM. – Colin Newman from Wire , of course .
Which is funny, because our first trip to England as teenagers was to see Wire live in London and, afterwards, we had the chance of working together and became friends.
Colin introduced us to some members of the UK scene from the time.
Also Magazine and Buzzcocks were influential for us at the time.
5. Like many others I suppose, the first track I heard from you was “Gold Rush” that is a true all time hit of yours! Even though it was written in the ´80s, it is still very up-to-date. What do you think preserved your sound from ageing as I feel your “old” stuff is very much alive and actual today?
JM. – Melodies are eternal . So is sincerity .
We still play all of these numbers live today as well as new songs composed for a new album but what makes the strength of ‘old’ numbers is that we live them out as if we were composing them again every time!
Everything that is experiment seems interesting to us.
JM. – One doesn’t ask a corpse what it is doing in its coffin !
We’re kids, that’s why!
We build castles of sound.
P. – You don’t put a label on the eyes. Only emotion and rage matter.
Putting oneself in danger.
With all the tension, the pain, the aestheticism of nausea.
7. Since your first album in 1988 you have been away from the music scene for quite some time, in fact up until 2007 when “Rosary” was released. You have been pretty busy with other things. Can you fill that time gap for us? What were you doing in the meantime? And of course you did not forget about music or 2007 would never had happened.
JM. – I was writing novels and short stories while Front 242 asked us to write and compose the vocals for their ‘Up evil’ and ‘Off’ lp’s in 1993 .
My brother was involved in creating modern art, close to the Dadaists.
We also lived for some time in a monastery.
We had bad experiences too: as psychiatric problems with claustration.
But we never stopped creating music throughout the years.
8. And about the music, I always say: If you have it in you, you can not avoid it. How true do you find this statement of mine? I feel even if you do quit for some time it will come back like a boomerang. What do you think?
JM. – Very true ! Indeed . For every form of art , you have everything from the start but you’ve got to feed it like a perpetual anxiety .
P. – You must destroy the past. That old shit and burst alive to new colours.
One must never explain: understanding or being understood, to be understood is prostituting oneself…
9. As I feel your work has been greatly inspired not only by other musical influences, but other aspects of art as well, how much is the life of art important to you and how do you feel about the world of art today?
JM. – Not so influenced in the end .
More through cinema and books. I am a great fan of the visual work of the Dadaists and French cinema from before the second world war. Also the German expressionism and Italian neorealism.
P. – Dadaism, futurism, surealism.
Writers like Antonin Artaud, William Burroughs.
The world of art is incredibly pretentious and its pretence has been decoupled by the new medias.
Life is like an open sore and art is the knife.
Today, with the new technologies, everyone is an artist.
Being inspired by artists like Marcel Broodthaers, Josef Beuys, Man Ray, Duchamp, Jenny Saville, Francis Bacon, Anish Kapoor, Jake&Dinos Chapman, has made us move forward to ourselves…
10. I am very happy to own the “Strange World” compilation released by Infacted Recordings in 2014. When I play it my heart simply jumps along with your rhythm. How do you feel about the notion that you did get to the ears and hearts of some people who dig your stuff? I think that makes it all much more worthwhile. 🙂
JM. – That’s what we keep on playing for .
When we play live it’s as if our life depended on it and we always played as if it was for the last time.
Our relationship with our audience is extremely moving and true.
We really love them. They are our family! So are you!
A part of our living body as they feel so intimately the visceral side of our music.
11. Recently your “A Room With A View” was released by Other Voices Records as blue or black vinyl limited edition (blue vinyl already sold out!) and as well on a cd limited as well to 300 copies. For those who don’t know, what can be found on “A Room With A View”?
JM. – Unreleased tracks that really mattered to us .
It’s another angle, a different colour and abscess to the side.
P. – The vocals of Jean-Marc have always been 80 per cent of the band.
He is the last crooner. Our creation has always been a transposition of modern art in music.
Automatic music, cadavre exquis.
12. As I have never seen you live, but have seen some live footage from your more recent shows, and am quite impressed, can you tell us what one can expect from your live gig?
P. – Live tearing out of guts .
It’s the most important thing for us. The stage is the art of disappearing.
To go out of tune, tear your body out.
We’re no human juke-boxes so we didn’t want to do it in the past, but now we play our old songs with the same spirit, the same wit and melodic rage and anger but with our personality from now.
P. – Yes , but we always have the same problem , as the promoters want to officialize it themselves .
05/03/2016 Dark Balloon Retie (Belgium) with Anne Clark
02/04/2016 Black-Out Festival Doordrecht (NL)
08/04/2016 Waveteef Festival (Belgium)
27/28/08/2016 Tanzritual Festival DE
We played and died 20 times last year and we wish to express our deep thanks to our sweet Béa Leblanc here for that! She is incredible, fighting like Don Quichote, we love you my dear.
JM. – It’s always a suffering and delight to meet all these people that became important to us on the road.
14. Any last words for your fans, followers, some younger colleagues or people in general? 😉
JM. – Split up and make your own thing .
Put yourself in danger.
Let love shine through the vomit.
JM.P. – To our fans and followers:
We love you, you are oxygen!