Neige is the mind behind Alcest—a French band birthed in black metal, but whose wings have broadened beyond its fledgeling origins. Read about the personal vessel that is Alcest, how significant is nostalgia through his creation, and the development of Les Voyages de l’Âme.
BoM: How are things over there in France?
Neige: Everything’s okay. Preparing for the coming tour.
When I heard about interviewing, I was told your schedule is very busy.
At this moment yeah, it’s crazy. Every day there’s lots of work to do.
You just released Les Voyages de l’Âme. Anything interesting you can tell me about the making of that album?
We use the same studio as the last one. We recorded the music in Germany—the studio of the guy of Empyrium. We mixed it in France. It all went pretty well. The only thing that is really important to mention was the making of the video. It was really a higher step for me. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and it was really great.
Was the video the hardest part?
Yeah, kind of. We didn’t have a lot of money, But I was very satisfied—it was pretty much what I had in my mind.
Any changes we can expect in a future release?
I think it will have more or less the same basis, but I really want to go into something more folky and more spontaneous, and with less metal—less connections to a metal style. I think on the next one I will spend a lot of time on the composition and not make a classic rock record, because the core of Alcest will always be the same you know: a dreamy, watery music, but I want to work a lot on the next album to maybe change the style of music.
Your music seems to reflect a personal nostalgia for something.
Yeah, there is a strong nostalgic feeling in it for sure. A drifting feeling—some songs are about joy and bliss and serenity, some others are more nostalgic, maybe a bit melancholy but I don’t think it’s very dark or negative. It’s always nostalgic in a positive way.
Is the nostalgia purely abstract, or are there any past events or stories in particular?
Well then I have to tell you the concept of the band. It’s nostalgia for the places and visions from when I was a child. When I was a child I had day dreams—a magical land, you know? And that’s why I created this band. To express myself, this place, and my feelings that related to it because it’s really hard to speak about it… I needed to make music about it and get inspiration from this world. It’s a kind of nostalgia for this beautiful and heavenly dimension.
Is there anything else that drives your lyrics? Any political or ideological motivation?
No. It’s not music speaking about our world. I am never thinking about what happens here. It’s about subjects like life, afterlife, or astral journeys or immortality or faith. It’s mainly about esoteric subjects and spirituality.
What are some newer bands that inspire you?
The newest band that’s inspired me a lot is Slowdive which I had discovered after just having made my first album. And maybe a little of Joy Division but that’s not really evident in my music, but it’s a really important band for me.
[I can only imagine their conversation then dipped into a downward terror spiral of bird spit, live rats, monkey brains, and bee larvae. Anyway, Les Voyages de l’Âme is available from Prophecy Productions and it’s absolutely breathtaking. Watch the intriguing video for “Autre Temps” below. ~Ed.]