Police des Moeurs Interview

Here is the original French interview.

The content of your texts, your name Police des Moeurs, you can tell us more about your evocative universe?

I am fascinated by everything related to control, not in a strict police sense, but by everything guiding our habits in a way to adopt a so-called “normal” and “useful” behavior for the society. The Police des Moeurs, for myself, is the insidious one in our heads that is unconsciously driving us do not deviate from the norm, be it a social norm or a norm in a more marginal group.

This fascination is also expressed in our texts, along with other topics: nostalgia and the passage of time, the illusion of rebellion, loss of ideals, the absence of emotion.

How did you start composing / songwriting in duo?

In fact, to date, I wrote all the texts and composed all the music. But I do not like to sing and I do not sing very well. Anouk is a very good long time friend and we had worked together in another project. So I asked her to join for vocals.

After, Fred joined us to get ready for concerts. I wanted a geek that can deal with machines and stuff because I have less interest in this technical aspect. After a few concerts, Catherine joined the three of us. Eventually, the fact that I now work with other members will probably affects the way the songs are written.

What equipment are you using and how are you recording your music?

At first, I produced everything digitally with a computer for practical reasons. Many people into minimal synth believe that the interests of the analog is the process itself, very different from digital. I fully respect, but personally, I don’t care that much. I just want to record songs that I love and it was easier for me to do it digitally. It is the result more than the process that interests me.

That said, I started slowly to integrate more analog sounds into the recordings. We are in 2012 and I’m not a purist. I want the best of both worlds, but who knows, maybe one day we will record on tape with only analog equipment… or record stuff that is 100% digital. But for now, I like to mix both of these technologies.

But from the start, it was out of question for me to play live without using “real” sounds, that is to say analog. This is why for the live we use analog synths only.

Can you tell us about your support (fanzine, organization, label, radio, rooms etc..) in Canada?

I think interest in the music we make is much lower in Canada than in Europe. The vast majority of our records are sold in Europe. In Montreal, things seems to change rapidly, though. Some promoters are quite active, be it for booking touring bands or to promote small nights that play this kind of music. Some small labels seem to do great as well, such as Visage and Electric Voice. Obviously, there’s also many interesting artists : Automelodi, Spastic Joy, Femminielli, Chevalier Avant Garde, DKMD, artists on Visage like Brusque Twins, Tony Cops, Gold Zebra, some daker and post punk influenced punk bands such as Dekoder, Complications, etc. Ironically, most of them release stuff on labels based outside of Montreal.

Recognition is mainly for you now, it seems, from Europe… are you feeling inspired by some current or older European bands?

It’s obvious. In fact, the inspiration comes mainly from Europe because that’s where this kind of music was developed. I’m pretty old and I grew up in the ’80s. I come from the hardcore scene, but even then, I liked what I could hear in the genre and occasionally playing on the radio, in clubs or friends: OMD, New Order, Rational Youth, Visage. The Web then allowed me to know a lot of other such bands, but less known. This avalanche of  bands that I’ve discovered in the 2000′s gave me the impulsion to start PdM.

Currently, I listen to stuff like Xeno & Oaklander, Staccato du Mal, Automelodi, of course, and many other obscures and not so obscure artists. I also like minimal techno like Byetone and I am surprised it does not seem to be any links between minimal synth and minimal techno.  I like a bunch of other stuff too and my tastes are not limited to ”synth” music. I can’t see myself only listening to music in the same genre as Police des moeurs.

What do you think of the growing interest in “Synth” music in the world? Is this a motivation for you?

I suppose we taking advantage of it. I am glad that this kind of music is gaining popularity. It is not that there was no electronic music before, but I think people are looking to return to basic, something simple but melodic. I also think that some people have turned away from the false authenticity of whiny indie rock and they find feelings in synth music is in the that correspond more to their own.

I don’t remember where I read this, but someone was saying that the original synth music, the one that happens in the early 80′s, was some sort of aborted tendancy, meaning that because of the arrival of digital technology, it stopped abruptly. People were really prompt to sell their analog gear and to embrace the ”digital future” back then. But now that we had 30 years to put digital in perspective and that more and more people are rediscovering analog synths, maybe it’s time to start back and move forward. Sure there’s a part of nostalgia in what we do, but it should help us on a creative level and not keep us in conservatism.

Original French Interview

Le contenu de vos textes, votre nom Police des Moeurs, vous pouvez nous en dire plus à propos de votre univers évocateur ?

Je suis fasciné par ce qui touche le contrôle, pas dans un strict sens policier, mais par tout ce qui oriente nos habitudes de façon à ce que nous adoptions des comportements soi-disant ”normaux” et ”utiles” à la société. La police des moeurs, pour moi, c’est celle insidieuse qui se trouve dans nos têtes et qui nous pousse inconsciemment à ne pas dévier de la norme, que ce soit une norme sociale ou celle d’un groupe marginal.

Cette fascination s’exprime aussi dans les textes, en même temps que d’autres sujets : la nostalgie et le passage du temps, l’illusion de la rébellion, la perte des idéaux, l’absence d’émotion.

Comment avez-vous commencé à composer/écrire des chansons ?

En fait, à date, j’ai écrit tout les textes et composé toutes les musiques. Mais j’aime pas trop chanter et je ne chante pas très bien. Anouk est une très bonne amie de longue date et nous avions déjà collaboré ensemble dans un autre projet. Donc je lui ai demandé de venir faire des voix.

Ensuite, Fred s’est joint à nous en prévision des concerts. Je voulais un geek qui s’occupe des machines et de ces trucs car cet aspect plus technique m’intéresse moins. Finalement, après quelques concerts, Catherine s’est ajoutée à Police des Moeurs. Éventuellement, peut-être que le fait de travailler maintenant avec ces autres membres transformera la façon dont les chansons sont composées.

Quels matériels utilisez-vous et de quelle manière enregistrez-vous ?

Au départ, je faisais tout à l’ordinateur en numérique pour des questions pratiques. Beaucoup de gens dans le minimal synth jugent que l’intérêt de l’analogique est le processus lui-même, très différent de celui du numérique. Je respecte ça à fond, mais perso, ça ne m’intéresse pas tant que ça. Je veux juste enregistrer des chansons que j’aime et c’était plus facile pour moi de le faire en numérique. C’est le résultat plus que le processus qui m’intéresse.

Peu à peu, j’ai ajouté des sons analogiques dans les enregistrements. Nous sommes en 2012 et je ne suis pas un puriste. Je veux le meilleur des deux mondes, mais rien ne dit qu’un jour on enregistrera pas sur bobines avec du matériel 100% analogique… ou qu’on ne fera pas des trucs 100% numériques. Pour l’instant, J’aime bien mélanger les deux.

Ceci dit, il est hors de question pour moi de faire des concerts en n’utilisant pas les ”vrais” sons, c’est-à-dire l’analogique. C’est pour ça que pour le live, nous utilisons des synthés analogiques exclusivement.

Pouvez-vous nous parler de vos soutiens (fanzine, organisation, label, radio, Salles etc.) au Canada ?

Je crois que d’une façon globale, l’intérêt pour la musique que nous faisons est beaucoup moins grand au Canada qu’en Europe. En tout cas, la très vaste majorité de nos disques sont vendus en Europe. À Montréal, les choses se développent rapidement toutefois. Certains promoteurs sont assez actifs, que ce soit pour faire venir des groupes de l’extérieur ou pour mettre sur pied des petites soirées oû ce genre de musique est diffusée. Quelques labels fonctionnent bien aussi, comme Visage et Electric Voice. Évidemment, il y a plusieurs artistes intéressants : Automelodi, Spastic Joy, Femminielli, Chevalier Avant Garde, DKMD, les autres artistes sur Visage comme Brusque Twins. Tony Cops ou Gold Zebra, des groupes plus punks à tendance noire et post punk comme Dekoder ou Complications.

La reconnaissance vous vient principalement pour l’instant, semble-t-il, de l’Europe .. vous sentez-vous inspirés par certains groupes Européens actuels ou plus anciens ?

C’est évident. En fait, l’inspiration vient beaucoup d’Europe car c’est là que ce genre de musique s’est surtout développé. Je suis plutôt vieux et j’ai grandi dans les années ’80. Je viens de la scène hardcore, mais même à l’époque, j’aimais bien ce que je pouvais entendre dans le genre et qui jouait occasionnellement à la radio, dans les clubs ou chez des amis : OMD, New Order, Rational Youth, Visage. Le web m’a ensuite permis de connaitre un tas d’autres groupes du genre, mais moins connus. Cette avalanche de groupes que j’ai découvert dans les années 2000 m’a fourni l’impulsion pour débuter PdM.

J’écoute aussi des trucs plus actuels comme Xeno & Oaklander, Staccato du Mal, Automelodi, évidemment, et un tas d’autres trucs plus ou moins obscurs J’aime bien aussi le techno minimal comme Byetone et je m’étonne qu’il ne semble pas y avoir de passerelles entre le minimal synth et le techno minimal. Ceci dit, mes goûts sont très larges et je me vois mal écouter que des groupes qui font des trucs dans le genre de ce qu’on fait.

Que pensez-vous de l’intérêt croissant pour les musiques “Synth” de par le monde ? Est-ce un moteur pour vous ?

Je suppose qu’on en profite. Je suis content que ce genre de musique gagne en popularité. Ce n’est pas qu’il n’y avait pas de musique électronique avant, mais je crois que les gens cherchent à revenir à la base, à quelque chose de simple mais mélodique. Je pense aussi que certaines personnes se sont détournées de la fausse authenticité pleurnicharde de l’indie rock et trouve dans la musique synth des sentiments qui correspondent plus aux leurs.

Je ne sais plus oû j’avais lu ça, mais quelqu’un disait que la musique ”synth” originale, celle du tout début des années ’80, était une espèce de tendance avortée. Elle a pris fin abruptement en raison, notamment, de l’arrivée du numérique qui a fait en sorte que les musiciens ont largué leur matériel analogique. Or, maintenant que nous avons 30 ans de recul face au numérique et que nous redécouvrons l’analogique, peut-être est-ce le moment de reprendre là oû tout s’est arrêté et d’aller vers l’avant. Bien entendu, il y a une part de nostalgie dans la musique que nous faisons, mais celle-ci doit être un moteur créatif et ne pas nous figer dans un certain conservatisme.

 

The content of your texts, your name Police des Moeurs, you can tell us more about your evocative universe?

I am fascinated by everything related to control, not in a strict police sense, but by everything guiding our habits in a way to adopt a so-called “normal” and “useful” behavior for the society. The Police des Moeurs, for myself, is the insidious one in our heads that is unconsciously driving us do not deviate from the norm, be it a social norm or a norm in a more marginal group.

This fascination is also expressed in our texts, along with other topics: nostalgia and the passage of time, the illusion of rebellion, loss of ideals, the absence of emotion.

How did you start composing / songwriting in duo?

In fact, to date, I wrote all the texts and composed all the music. But I do not like to sing and I do not sing very well. Anouk is a very good long time friend and we had worked together in another project. So I asked her to join for vocals.

After, Fred joined us to get ready for concerts. I wanted a geek that can deal with machines and stuff because I have less interest in this technical aspect. After a few concerts, Catherine joined the three of us. Eventually, the fact that I now work with other members will probably affects the way the songs are written.

What equipment are you using and how are you recording your music?

At first, I produced everything digitally with a computer for practical reasons. Many people into minimal synth believe that the interests of the analog is the process itself, very different from digital. I fully respect, but personally, I don’t care that much. I just want to record songs that I love and it was easier for me to do it digitally. It is the result more than the process that interests me.

That said, I started slowly to integrate more analog sounds into the recordings. We are in 2012 and I’m not a purist. I want the best of both worlds, but who knows, maybe one day we will record on tape with only analog equipment... or record stuff that is 100% digital. But for now, I like to mix both of these technologies.

But from the start, it was out of question for me to play live without using “real” sounds, that is to say analog. This is why for the live we use analog synths only. Our basic synths are : Roland Juno 6, Alpha Juno and SH-2 and Moog Source, Prodigy and Minitaur (just replacing a SH-101 for bass).

Can you tell us about your support (fanzine, organization, label, radio, rooms etc..) in Canada?

I think interest in the music we make is much lower in Canada than in Europe. The vast majority of our records are sold in Europe. In Montreal, things seems to change rapidly, though. Some promoters are quite active, be it for booking touring bands or to promote small nights that play this kind of music. Some small labels seem to do great as well, such as Visage and Electric Voice. Obviously, there's also many interesting artists : Automelodi, Spastic Joy, Femminielli, Chevalier Avant Garde, DKMD, artists on Visage like Brusque Twins, Tony Cops, Gold Zebra, some daker and post punk influenced punk bands such as Dekoder, Complications, etc. Ironically, most of them release stuff on labels based outside of Montreal. 

Recognition is mainly for you now, it seems, from Europe… are you feeling inspired by some current or older European bands?

It’s obvious. In fact, the inspiration comes mainly from Europe because that’s where this kind of music was developed. I’m pretty old and I grew up in the ’80s. I come from the hardcore scene, but even then, I liked what I could hear in the genre and occasionally playing on the radio, in clubs or friends: OMD, New Order, Rational Youth, Visage. The Web then allowed me to know a lot of other such bands, but less known. This avalanche of  bands that I’ve discovered in the 2000′s gave me the impulsion to start PdM.

Currently, I listen to stuff like Xeno & Oaklander, Staccato du Mal, Automelodi, of course, and many other obscures and not so obscure artists. I also like minimal techno like Byetone and I am surprised it does not seem to be any links between minimal synth and minimal techno.  I like a bunch of other stuff too and my tastes are not limited to ''synth'' music. I can't see myself only listening to music in the same genre as Police des moeurs.

What do you think of the growing interest in music “Synth” in the world? Is this a motivation for you?

I suppose we taking advantage of it. I am glad that this kind of music is gaining popularity. It is not that there was no electronic music before, but I think people are looking to return to basic, something simple but melodic. I also think that some people have turned away from the false authenticity of whiny indie rock and they find feelings in synth music is in the that correspond more to their own.

I don't remember where I read this, but someone was saying that the original synth music, the one that happens in the early 80's, was some sort of aborted tendancy, meaning that because of the arrival of digital technology, it stopped abruptly. People were really prompt to sell their analog gear and to embrace the ''digital future'' back then. But now that we had 30 years to put digital in perspective and that more and more people are rediscovering analog synths, maybe it's time to start back and move forward. Sure there's a part of nostalgia in what we do, but it should help us on a creative level and not keep us in conservatism.

Posted on November 10th, 2012 under Interviews,

2 Responses to Police des Moeurs Interview

  1. Since the interview was conducted in early 2012, here’s a few update as late october:

    -We now use plenty of analog gear on our recordings, which wasn’t the case in the beginning.
    -We are now 4. Catherine Joined us a few months ago.
    -The synth scene in Montreal seem to be more and more happening.
    -For nerds : our live gear now also includes a Roland SH-2, a Moog Prodigy and, probably for the next show, a Moog Minitaur (replacing the SH-101) and a Roland Alpha Juno.

    Thanks,

    -Police des moeurs

  2. Tu l’as dit toi même : ce qui compte c’est le résultat final ! J’ai 8 synthés moi-même, 2 hybrides, 3 VA et 3 analos et je te jure que j’étais très convaincu par vos basses et vos leads.

    Ça ne sert à rien d’embarquer tous ce matos de collection dans l’avion. Ça va vous coûter la peau du cul car c’est lourd et ça peut rendre l’âme n’importe quand. Quelques VA jumelés avec de bons effets peuvent être aussi convaincant.

    Il faut arrêter ce snobisme avec le matériel car décidément, tout ce compte c’est le son !