Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
SA : Not much actually, we worked on new songs and re-arranged some old ones in order to perform them on stage. We booked a small tour in Belgium/ Holland in mid-February. We’ll keep on working in that direction…at our own speed.
JG: Waiting for the next tour, and composing some new songs.
2.Recently you put out a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction you have taken on the new album and also how does it differ from your last recording?
SA : To be honest, the direction we took wasn’t planned. Since J.G. joined Neige Morte, the music went more brutal and weird…but we wouldn’t be able to clearly explain why. The possibilities to explore and experiment went crazy as we felt there were no more musical boundaries.
JG: It’s the first recording with me behind the drums although I integrated the band at the end of 2010. HLC (nb: first drummer) had more punk feelings whereas I play more like a metal drummer with double pedals and blastbeats. Anyway, the idea is to stage a dark disturbing nightmare.The music we play actually is the frontal result of the instrumental meeting of SA and me, XT brings the vocals at the end, after adapting his choices and feelings to the musical orientation.
3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?
XT : There is no main subject, no kind of concept but the title “Bicephaale” is about duality in me. And duality in Neige Morte’s music too. A duality you can find in the lyrics. Some are really aggressive and violent (500 jours de haine, Eater of soul), some are more peaceful or appeased (Death shall have no dominion). If there was a concept behind “Bicephaale”, it should be that we are not simple creatures, all black or all white. We are more complex and got to daily deal with this complexity, our inner contradictions and all that things that make we cannot be described with a simple adjective. But violence is present in every lyrics, in a way or another.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Neige Morte'?
SA : There’s no real meaning, I mean, none that we would have thought about in the first place. After the years, we found loads of meanings that could fit…it depends on the mood. As for the name itself, it obviously came from the Norwegian Nazi-Zombie movie Dead Snow. We came up with this name (our first drummer HLC and me) when we started the band. But there’s no meaning either behind this name, just 2 words that sounded good together. We then translated them in French.
JG: “dead snow” in English, it’s poetry, beautiful, we are geniuses.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
JG: A NM’s show is played as one long track. The intensity level we give often makes me forget that I’m only playing music. It’s a 40-minute fear and violence fever.Incubate in Tillburg was great. The Yellfest in Lozere’s mountain in august 2012 was fantastic too.
XT : We feel ok with all our shows but I’m really proud of the one at the Incubate Festival in Tilburg. Our stage performances are honestly in your face, without any artifices. We don’t communicate with the audience, we just play, give our guts on a plate and that’s all.
SA : Yes that show at Incubate was pretty intense, in front of people who are really into Black Metal…and open minded enough to appreciate what we gave that evening.
As XT said, our performances and pretty simple. Maybe because there’s so much theatricality in Black Metal (and Metal in general) – we feel better with plain simplicity.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?
XT : We’ll do a small tour in Benelux with Alabaster in February and will play some local shows later. Because of our lives and obligations, we cannot extensively tour. So we give our best at the few shows we do.
7.The new album came out on Consouling Records, do you feel this label has done a lot to get your music out there heard?
XT : It’s too early to tell but the fact you’re making an interview with us is a good sign.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
SA : We don’t really know. We never thought about it I guess and never try to find out about it. I would say open-minded people can like our music…
JG: I won’t say worldwide, it’s exaggerated. Metal can speak to very young people, we don’t. Maybe because we don’t use theatrical accessories. Metal can refer to a type of sound, precise and surgically controlled. In matter of sound we have chosen something very weird thanks to SA and Bruno. From any other openminded metalhead, we have some good feedback.
XT : Some really like it, love the extreme and harsh approach. Some hate it, complaining about that extreme and harsh approach.
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
JG: I don’t know for the future but the latest track we’ve composed sounds a little bit more death metal.
SA : I like to believe we’ll dig deeper in this direction we took. Try to make an even more personal music, wherever it may take us.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
XT : For my vocals in Neige Morte, Leviathan, Attila, Portal, old school Death Metal, Funeral Mist and Swans are my main influences. But bands like Neurosis, Kiss It Goodbye, Napalm Death, Blut Aus Nord, Sixteen Horsepower, Quicksand or His Hero Is Gone are very important to me.
These days, I’m a lot into Beastmilk, Aosoth, Gorguts and Foals.
JG: For Neige morte I was really inspired by Antoine Hadjioannou from Aluk Todolo for the repetitive playing certainly because he is influenced by Christian Vander like me. Today, Staer and Portal have blown my mind. For now I’m waiting for the next Warsawwasraw and Daughters album.
SA : For my part, I’d say my main influences would be Orthrelm, Krallice, Portal, US Maple, Arab On Radar or even The Flying Luttenbachers. And regarding the stuff I listen to, I’d say also Foals and also Autechre, Tool, Sister Iodine, Impetuous Ritual, Jai Paul…
11.Do you have any non musical interests?
XT : Sure we do.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
XT : We don’t.