Music Interview

Nebula-H

By Kim Mercil

KM: Why did you title your CD with the water compound H2O?

DP: Haha…you can read the title different ways! It all started with the idea of water, but finally we came up with the idea to go further with the initial “H”-concept (which was the title of our debut-album). So you can read the title as “H Twenty!” The 20 stands for the symbolic turn over from the childhood into the age of becoming an adult. I think our second album evolved towards a growing maturity in the writing and production and that’s what we tried to express with the title H20. Speaking for myself, I often read the title as “Second H!” We like to create confusion (about our name, the music and the lyrics) so everyone can read and interpret it their own way. But we thought about the possibility of H²O-title, which was directly linked to the first song we wrote for the album (cf. Mobilis In Mobile), which is about a novel of Jules Verne dealing about water and seas.

KM: The other member of Nebula-H goes by the name "Deranged Psyche." How did this come about?

Nebula-HDP: Wow…that’s a very old and long story, but to keep it short, it all concerns my taste of music. I got fascinated to music when I was 15 years old (I’m now 37 years old), just in the early 80s. I was listening to new-wave, but still to the good-old industrial stuff (like Test Dept, SPK, Swans etc.) while most of my friends didn’t like all this stuff. They call it ‘deranged’ music so I thought that I’d be even more deranged listening to it. I promised myself that if I would ever got involved into music, it would be under the moniker of Deranged Psyche. And that’s what happened when I started writing for Side-Line magazine and got involved in my first important band (cf. FuzeBoxMachine). So you know…

KM: Can you give our readers a brief musical history of Nebula-H members?

DP: I got interested by music in the early 80s listening a lot to new-wave and industrial music. After having been involved in a few progressive rock bands, I finally started working for the Side-Line Music Magazine in 1992. I became member and singer of FuzeBoxMachine (releasing the Forbidden Games CD in 1995 on Cyberware Records). Together with Johan Van Roy (Suicide Commando) we set up the Toxic Shock Syndrome project, releasing a promising demo. I came back to music as an active member when Mika got this crazy idea to start a common project (cf. Nebula-H) in 2001.

Mika: I was active with CD releases under the This Morn’Omina name since 1997, anything before that is not worth mentioning. Well so many years later after DP had done a review of my first tape we got into contact and talked about ‘just doing a track’ for fun, and while TMO continued, Nebula-H was born as it progressed really well and DP and I really connected on every level. The rest is history, what began as “a track” is continuing with now our second full length and DVD, of which I am very proud!

KM: How do you go about creating a new way of electronic misbehavior?

DP: It’s all a bit meant as fun and propaganda. Once again you can interpret it your own way…but to me electronic underground music often means “misbehavior” in the eyes of the public opinion. Underground music is hard to understand for the majority of the people and electronic music even more! That’s precisely the music we’re involved in. We didn’t want to copy the typical dark electro standards (like W:, Suicide Commando) neither becoming new Depeche Mode clones or jump on the Future-pop wagon. We wanted to create something different and new if possible. Well, I’m not affirming that we reinvented EBM, but our influences are that multiple (house, hard-tech, goa, industrial, drum’n’bass, trance) that Nebula-H is writing music without any compromise!

KM: What or who influences "Nebula-H" music and lyrics?

DP: I think I already answered a part of the question, but for the music Mika and I are extremely eclectic minds so everything we like can possibly influence us. We never wrote a song by the will of copying another band, but we sometimes pick-up some ideas. Our new album has been for sure partly inspired by the trance-tech of Talla 2XLC, but I definitely prefer to avoid giving you names… Lyrical wise, there’s a kind of concept we set up about art and especially about painters. Most of the songs deal about painters (S. Dali, R. Baes, F. Khnoppf, L. Da Vinci, E. Munch) but also about writers and novels (J. Verne, O. Wilde) or photographers (J.P. Witkin). I’m really obsessed by art and especially the pictorial side so there’s nothing more exciting to write lyrics about artists you admire! It’s also a way to get a bit different than all the bands dealing with the usual themes.

KM: In the track listing it goes from track 10 Hypnos (vs FK) to track 20 Symbiosis (extended beat). Why aren't tracks 11-19 listed even though they are legitimate songs?

DP: That’s a part of the concept…we like an album containing 10 songs and a little bonus. On our debut CD the bonus was a video clip for PC reading, while on H20 it becomes an extra song (remix). Because of the title of the album, which contains the number 20, we liked the idea to list this remix as track number 20.

KM: Mika, you have done production work for other bands such as Aiboforcen which also happens to be on the Alfa-Matrix label. I noticed the Matrix label mates help each other in different areas. How does this come about? Do you feel this benefits the label and the bands in any way?

Mika: Aiboforcen came to me after Alfa-Matrix was very pleased with the way the debut album from Nebula-H was produced, and they felt my input on a creative level as well as on the studio-level could have an impact on their sound. I think we succeeded very well in producing a good Aiboforcen album. The next level for that band, which is what they wanted.

KM: Mika, you also own Atomic Studios. How do you manage running a studio, helping other bands as well as being in Nebula-H?

Mika: Hmmm you just go with the flow I guess. I am involved in 5 projects now which all stand for different types of music which makes it interesting and new every time I work another project. The studio is more work orientated, but then again it presents challenges for me on a creative level as well. I guess I like being challenged and take up 1 challenge at a time. Also variation is very important for my creative and mental survival.

KM: Being there are only two members do you add any visual effects to your live shows?

DP: We’re a duo for the writing of the songs, but we’re joined on stage by a live-member. Goahoma is a girl who’s active in the psychic-trance (goa-trance) scene. She’s often doing some great psychedelic visuals on parties and so we thought it could be a great idea to ask her to do some similar kind of visuals during our shows. She became our VJ and is doing her show live! It creates something new that people aren’t used to seeing in dark electronic music. It’s very psychedelic and fits into our music.

KM: Since H2O’s release in November 2004, how has the response been so far?

DP: We’re very satisfied about the amazing response for so far. The regular album is selling well (which remains a very important item when you’re involved in music) and even got a new printing after one month. We already got some real good reviews about the album and the DVD. Right now we entered the French and Dutch alternative charts and we also appeared in the bullets of the German alternative charts which (for a non-German band being signed on a non-German label) is quite cool! We’re preparing a few shows for the moment, which will be the opportunity to promote our new album a different way. We thank all people for the response!

KM: At this moment Nebula-H's music is geared towards DJ's and the dance floor. In the future, do you think you will be changing your style and sound to reach a new type of audience?

DP: I seriously don’t know! As I already mentioned above, we don’t make compromises and just make the music we like. The stuff is very danceable and I suppose that will be the same for our next songs because that’s now a part and a kind of trademark of Nebula-H. If Mika and I would have the will to do something different we’ll probably release it under another name or concept and there’re a few ideas about it running through our mind. We’ll keep you informed about it!

KM: You released 500 copies of a limited edition CD which included a bonus DVD. Do you plan on releasing a Nebula-H DVD by itself in the future?

DP: I honestly don’t know, but if we’ve to answer you today, the answer will be definitely NO. It’s a lot of work (especially for Mika) and the DVD as music source still needs to grow and become more popular. The DVD was a kind of challenge because most of the time only important bands (VNV Nation, Wolfsheim, Apoptygma Berzerk etc.) are releasing a DVD. It for sure gives a bonus to our band, but we prefer to concentrate on the writing of new songs. We don’t know what the future will bring us…