with Julian Ash of NLC
Q: When I
first heard the music of NLC it seemed very different in concept and sound than
any other music I had heard. What were the original rock or other musical
artists that you listened to and liked in the beginning?
A: My favorite
musicians at the time I founded NLC were Chrome, Coil, Again, Schubert, Bach,
Legendary Pink Dots, Pink Floyd, Nurse with Wound and Thomas Kenner. The only
concept was freedom; the sound was what we were able to do with our old sampler
and a four-track tape recorder.
Q: Did any of these early favorites influence
the style of NLC directly in your opinion?
A: Yes, I liked
a lot Coil's moods and the melodic side of Pink Floyd and the Legendary Pink
Dots. I think they influenced NLC's music directly, but as I said before, I
didn't want to do any particular style of music, because I had not enough
material to look like another real musician...
Q: When was the first production by NLC
A: Our first
release was the CD single "Lost Sand Divinities" in May 1990. This
release was quite a miracle, because we only wanted to record a tape, and as we
had a friend running a label, he proposed to do a CD. It sold about 1,000
copies, that's the reason why I'm still doing music: not for money of course,
but because some people seemed to like it.
Q: How did you decide on the name Nouvelles
A: When NLC
started, we were two (Angustère and myself). The name comes from a local
company called "Nouvelles Constructions Cosmopolites", that was quite
a silly name we thought. So we called the "band" NLC, because of the
NLCentrum, which was a great Dutch concert place, where a lot of our favorite
bands played before.
Q: Can you translate that into English?
A: The meaning
is something like "new cosmopolitan readings", that's still silly
Q: Is NLC a “group project”, or more
specifically your own unique musical vision?
left just after the double-tape boxed set "Période Taoïste", in
December 1990. I released a solo album called “Incandescent”, because he didn't
know about his relation with music and composition at this time, and after he
said he wasn't interested anymore in music, so as the solo album had a little
success too, I decided to go on and call my solo project NLC. But everyone
interested may bring sounds and ideas, so it's not really my own vision of
music. A lot of people have collaborated during all these years!
(NLC "Live in
Q: The music seems a fusion of many different
styles and ideas. Do you think there are any specific modern musicians who
influenced the music of NLC?
A: Sure, there
are. A musician is like a medium: He just re-writes what he had felt or heard
before. That's why I think the music of NLC is not mine, the best thing that
may happen to this music is to be "stolen" again and again... And
that's why I'm against copyrighting. If it were MY own music, nobody would have
Q: The music also seems to have gone through
some changes over the years. Did you change your conceptual ideas for the music
during this time?
A: No. My material has changed. I met
different people. I had children... And I don't have any real concept about
Q: Can you give a list of all the productions
done by NLC over the years?
Part I: Compact Discs
SAND DIVINITIES (1990),
INCANDESCENT (J. ASH) (1991),
ANGELS OF OïKEMA (1993),
SPIRITUS REX (1994)
OF OïKEMA (1994),
LE SANG DE LA LICORNE (1997),
LE SANCTUAIRE D'ïS (1997)
LE LANGAGE DES AUTRES (1998),
ASD 002 - The Cereal Killer (1999)
UNIS (+ 3 bonus tracks) (1999),
IN TIME (2000),
LA CARPE MIROIR (Le Lieu Noir) (3 CDs) (2000)
Part II: Vinyl LP’s
MER DES SARCASMES (1995),
LA MURE REINE (1995),
L'AMIRAL RAMIREZ (1995)
LA MORUE ENRHUMEE (1996),
VENUS DE MILLE EAUX (1996)
Part III: Cassette Tapes
TAOÏSTE 1 (1991),
PÉRIODE TAOÏSTE 2 (1991),
ECMNESIA (MAELSTROM) (1992)
DIEU EST GROS (Triste Nuit Pour) (1992),
FRAGMENTS TAOÏSTES (1995),
LE LANGAGE DES AUTRES (1997)
Q Do you make music full time, or do you have
another career and do music as a purely an outlet for your artistic creativity?
A: I'm an M.D.,
I've just stopped working now to have more time with my family and on music
too, but I don't live from music. In fact, I don't spend a lot of time really
doing music. I'm also running the label, answering (often very interesting)
questions (!!), working as sound engineer for other bands... I also enjoy a lot
photography, painting, writing, cinema, nature, holidays... That's really too
much, it was a real good idea not to work anymore! My work took all my time,
and you can't really run such a job part-time, people always want you to be
present night and day. And there is so much to do in a lifetime!
Q: What about future projects? Do you plan to
try and be more commercially successful with NLC, or keep the music more as an
artistic form of expression?
A: Well, I do
not plan anything special, and certainly not to have any commercial success,
there would be the same troubles as when I worked: I want to be quiet!! Music
is really something I need to do, it's compulsive. And the way I'm doing it is
very pleasant, because I haven't got any imperatives. I don't care about art,
but it's one of my favorite forms of expression!