Interview by Jason Guest
Jason: Hi Larché. Thanks for taking time out for this interview. As some of our readers may be unaware of Neige Éternelle, can you give us a brief history of the band? How and when did Neige Éternelle form? Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to achieve with the band when you put Neige Éternelle together?
Larché: Well, the band actually started when Sti, Bg. Bjorn and me used to hang out, play music and get drunk, we eventually came up with some compositions. We decided to form a band then, more seriously, made some shows and recorded some shit. We released ‘Fier Patriote’ on Sous le Lys Noir compilation in 2011. I was at the drums at that time, and due to some complications we ended up just me and Sti (vocals), but we decided to make the demo anyway. I handled every instrument and the recording; Sti did the vocals. Everything was recorded with a very cheap dynamic microphone, the dirty and distorted sound coming out from this immediately set up the tone for Neige Eternelle. We then welcomed Faust on the drums, I moved to the guitar and BG came back at the bass. That’s the line-up we have since the demo and the one we have on the album.
Jason: Who are the band’s main influences? Are there any bands that have had a significant impact on the band’s sound?
Larché: I can’t really point out a band which could be our “main influence”, but I would say maybe some Finnish black metal bands such as Sargeist, Horna… Some old thrash metal shit could also be mentioned.
Jason: Is there a philosophy or an ideology that drives Neige Éternelle’s material, both musically and lyrically? And how does it manifest itself in your compositions?
Larché: I think this “fuck off” attitude is omnipresent in the band. The sound of the recordings does not intend to please any picky and trained ears! We don’t and we won’t care for any recommendations, or any opinion. This applies as well to the lyrical and musical composition. The main state of mind that sticks to the band is a mix of hatred, despair and nostalgia. Even if we have songs about patriotism, we don’t have any hope regarding the future. Everything is lost now, and we know it.
Jason: Earlier this year, you released a live album, the performance from March 2012. Why did you choose to release that particular performance?
Larché: We ended up with a recording of the show that we thought was acceptable. We decided to release it with the help of our friend Monarque on a limited quantity of tapes which comes with a Neige Éternelle patch.
Jason: Your début features the four tracks from your 2010 demo, Forêt Nord-Côtière and tracks from the live album. When it came to recording the album, did you make any changes to the tracks?
Larché: The songs had their evolution since the demo. The recording itself was really different than for the demo. The mixing/mastering is also a lot more processed in the way we really wanted it to be for the album.
Jason: How did you approach composition for the album? Did you have an idea of how you wanted the album to sound or did that take shape as the tracks were being developed?
Larché: I don’t think we ever had a global vision of the album prior to composing it. The first song of the album, titled ‘Cri d’guerre’ (War scream), is the first song we ever composed for the band; we had no idea at that time of what the band was even about to be. We composed these songs through years, in different times and situations in our lives, that’s why we ended up with some really aggressive and full of hatred songs like ‘Plus les jours s’avancent’, and more depressed songs like ‘Pluie de couteaux’.
Jason: What are the lyrical themes? Is there a conceptual link across the album?
Larché: There is not really a main theme across the album. There are different emotions through the songs, like I just said. I could not explain thoroughly the meaning of each songs, as it is Sti who handled the lyrics writing for all the songs, except for ‘Comme une charogne’, written by BG (lyrics and music). We talk about patriotism, nostalgia from the past, despair from seeing all the modern political crap, war, fantasies about ending humanity, deep alcoholism-related mental issues, shit like that, you know…
(Ed: you can read our review of the album here)
Jason: How does the band work to create the songs? Is it a collaborative effort or do you write individually? Do you discuss ideas about what you want of each track or is it an evolutionary process?
Larché: We all live at different places, so we have to do the work from afar. Until now, all the music composition was only by BG and myself, and lyrics by Sti. Faust will surely bring some of his touch in the composition for our future songs.
Jason: Can you tell us about the artwork for the album? Who’s the artist? Why did you choose to work with him/her? And how much direction did you give him/her in its creation?
Larché: A good friend of us did this for us; we gave her a free hand on this and she did exactly what the album needed. This cold, harsh and dirty artwork is exactly what we were looking for.
Jason: Because of music being readily available in digital formats, what’s your opinion of the digital era?
Larché: To me, an mp3 is not worth any money and will never replace a physical format. You can’t really have an overview of the product when you don’t even really own it. Don’t support this shit, buy CDs and tapes!
Jason: Some argue that black metal has become commercial in the sense that, because anyone can access the music, the true spirit of black metal has become diluted and dulled. Do you agree? And do you think black metal can ever retain the potency it once had?
Larché: I do agree. But I think there remains some real black metal out there. The one we never hear of, especially. The one that never lives, that dies at its creation, never immortalised. There is still some bands out there that still play really good and uncorrupted black metal, but they are few.
Jason: What’s your opinion of the internet and its impact on the music scene? Do you think that because of the ease of making music available, the internet has affected the quality of music?
Larché: Undoubtedly. I think, now, any little brat with enough time can record a so-called black metal demo/album in his bedroom, with software that’ll do all the work for him. I think the internet affects mentality the most. Just stop bragging on your forum or Facebook page; we just don’t care. A tip for black metal attention whores: hang yourself, everyone will talk about you.
Jason: What does the future hold for Neige Éternelle? Is there music in the pipeline? Any plans for shows?
Larché: Nothing much for now, but we will probably be working on new stock shortly.
Jason: Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Larché: Fuck off, drunkards!
And you can visit Neige Éternelle on Facebook here