First of all - could you introduce your band to the readers?
SUB-DIVISION is an anglo-french formation from Toulouse (France) with a unique musical flavour - we range from gothic rock to new wave to electro-industrial. We don’t follow any musical rules or conventions because we don’t want to be like anyone else, what really interests us is that our music should remain honest and true to our emotions.
How did things get started?
The group was formed in 2000, and originally consisted of childhood friends Lol (lead vocals, machines and synths) and Fodge (guitar, machines, synths and backing vocals). Their aim in the beginning was to try and fuse together gothic and industrial music. The first Sub-Division album “Trauma” (released in 2001 on the Citadelle Production label) was very dark and atmospheric. The sound became much more metal for the second album “Calling for Gods” (released in 2003, and distributed by Mosaic Music). The third album “Electroshock” (released in 2005, also distributed by Mosaic Music) was the first time that the band started recording without trying to sound like any particular band, or to fit into any particular category of music. Then at the end of 2008, during the recording sessions for the new album, Fodge, who is also the guitarist in Atomic Tabasco, the other band for which I am the singer, asked me if I’d like to write the lyrics and sing on a couple of tracks. We enjoyed working together so much that I was asked if I would like to become a permanent member of the band. I’ve always been a really big fan of Fodge and Lol’s music, so was only too happy to accept.
What are your main influences?
All 3 of us have extremely diverse tastes in music. If I had to list some of our influences, I would say Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, OHGR, Marilyn Manson, Ministry, Rammstein, Bowie, Gary Numan, Sisters of Mercy, among others. But we are also influenced by bands like Dead Can Dance and music that comes from very different scenes. I personally am a very big fan of Katie Jane Garside and her band Queenadreena. Other than that I like my music to be energetic. I like bands like Angelspit, VAC, Clan of Xymox, Combichrist, etc…The rather eclectic style of our music is a definite result of our personal differences, and hopefully that means that we can take our listeners on a journey through a number of different musical atmospheres.
How would you describe your music?
We’re not really into the idea of labelling our music, because as I already said, our influences are incredibly varied, ranging from gothic rock to new-wave and industrial. On this album we have also flirted with techno, trance and even a little dance! If we had to define our music, I think we’d call it “Goth Clash”, it’s a term that describes our tendency to mix up the dark and the light, the serious and the crazy.
Your currently latest release 'Ten Years Before The Dream' will be reviewed soon on our webpage, but for the readers who can't wait - what can people expect of the album?
We have such different personalities, and each of us has put our own personal stamp on this album, that’s why there’s such a mixture of styles. We could probably have created an album in one style, metal, or gothic or even electro. But this album really reflects what we each like in life, and our different traits. We’ve created a sort of dark, disembodied universe filled with acid guitars, powerful, destructive vocals and industrial beats. This album is definitely the one of which we’re the most proud, both in terms of the composition and the sound quality. We weren’t afraid to take some risks, and I feel that the final result is better than our original expectations.
What is in your opinion the best track on the release?
I don’t really have a favourite, because they’re all so different. The tracks range from sing-along electro-rock (‘Love Assassin”) to psychedelic (“Birth”) via industrial (“The Other Side”). From a vocal point of view, my favourite track to record was “Next Level”, because I had to sing in a style that was very different from my usual style, sort of quiet and breathy as opposed to loud and raucous!
What is the message you try to spread lyrically?
We’re pretty in tune with current affairs and what’s happening in society in general and we are also really inspired by what we read and the films we watch, mainly science fiction and fantasy. There is a definite theme to this album, which explores the relationship between man and machines and which looks at birth, death and rebirth, which is of course the ultimate circle… It’s a theme that’s been done before, but for us it’s the best way to look at our society and the way it’s evolving, where rules and regulations and conformity are taking over more and more from freedom and creativity. Friendship is also a major theme for Sub-Division, as at the heart of the group is the friendship that binds the three of us together.
For the release of the new album you got signed by Danse Macabre Records, the label of Das Ich. How did you get in touch with them? What do you expect of this collaboration?
We sent the album to quite a few labels and Danse Macabre really liked our sound and contacted us to see if we would like to work with them. We’ve been fans of Das Ich for ages, so it’s a really great honour for us to be working with Bruno Kramm and his team. We’re hoping that their contacts in the underground music scene in Europe, and particularly in Germany, will help our album to get heard by the kind of people who will hopefully really appreciate it.
What are your views on the music scene in France?
It’s not easy to describe the French underground scene because it’s really varied and not really known outside of France. There’s very little space given to the underground movement in the French media. Nowadays groups have to make a bigger effort than ever to get heard. The French are a long way away from the open-mindedness that can be found in other countries, like the UK or Holland! It’s a shame, because there are some really great bands on the French scene, like Punish Yourself , Atomic Tabasco, Dead Sexy Inc. , Collapse and Electro Synthetic Rebellion, among others.
What are next to music your other passions in life?
My biggest passion other than music is skating, I usually hit the ice twice a week, and I rollerblade at least once a day, sometimes twice - I’m completely obsessed with it! Lol and Fodge are both really into football. Other than that, we all really love to party.
What can we expect of Sub-Division in the near future?
We just have published our new video clip which will help people to get to know our music a bit better, you can see it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl8OTtELgLs. The next step will be to try and organise some live gigs in Europe, so we’re currently looking for a promoter, and then of course we’ll be working on the next album.
The interview ends here, thanks for your time. Got any final words to share?
If there’s anyone out there who would be interested in helping us to organise some gigs, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!
Interview by: Gerardo, answered by Dee (vocals) - May 2010