Laughs, chuckles, and guffaws for all
Andreux from ennui talks to Sordid about the important things in life - music, religion, having a laugh and the end of it all.
Andreux from ennui is a very well adjusted, but probably misunderstood person. You see, all he really wants from life is a bit of a laugh, in fact he seems to want the ultimate, apocalyptic laugh.
"Ah... what person doesn't, in their most secret of moments, wish for the destruction of all those who PISS THEM OFF? I just wish that the world would end AMUSINGLY. You know, laughs, chuckles, and guffaws for all."
In the meantime, he's content to make music in his spare
time while working as a programmer, and judging by many of the reviews he's got, he's managed to piss a few people off with his music alone. He describes what he does as "experimental Goth-hick", but denies he's a real Goth.
"By general Goth standards (whatever they may be), I am *not* really a Goth. I just like the music. I rarely dress in all black. (Can't afford the fancy clothing.) Most of my friends, though, are Goths, and the bouncers at the clubs overlook the fact that I have the annoying tendency to wear gaudy clothing."
He is a man who takes one thing seriously - music, though not necessarily his own. In fact, according to himself, he spends most of his waking hours listening to music, including some essential bands such as Swans, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Can and Faust in his wish-list. A hint of this obsession is evident in his debut release, "Ritual and Dogma", as well as some signs that, as time goes by, his own material will reach for essential level too. He's not fixated on the big names, though; he's very generous towards bands at the same level as he is now.
"I like music that just reeks of personality and honesty. When I was running Ogyr Network as a music review 'zine, usually, the best music I got to review were by these little tiny groups that no one had heard of. I felt that their music generally was about some people saying 'Hey! We're here! This is us!' It just felt better."
His own reasons for making music are numerous.
"I could say that I am an 'artiste' (pronounced appropriately snooty) and say that I am driven to create music. That would be true. Or, I could say that I've been listening to music all my life that has moved me in some way to try and create something to give back, which would also be true. Or, I could say that it's merely truth in advertising, and that the reason I do what I do is because I'm bored. Fortunately, I've had the opportunity to work with people who feel the same as me, that we've all been touched by music so strongly that to try and do something that marks where we are in life is a natural progression."
One element that does not enter the equation is fame. Andreux claims that fame is not of interest to him at all, though, in the unlikely event that it did happen, there would be some advantages.
"All of us dream of using the music as an excuse to travel. I'd love to play Europe. I think that people over there have already had 30 years of new and interesting music. But, we all have day jobs. We do this because we love to play and we like what we do. That's not to say that if we had the opportunity to go on tour and play with a bunch of bands that we really like and get paid to see the world we wouldn't jump at the chance! "
His current album, "Ritual and Dogma" (reviewed here) can be described most complimentarily as a mixed bag, and some people have not been that complimentary about it. He himself is in two minds about whether or not he's happy about it himself. He does have the excuse that the album is a collection of material recorded over a seven-year period, during which time, he's obviously changed a lot. The songs too, have grown with him in the time since they were first done. At the same time, he feels that the album is a good document of what was going through his head and happening in his life over the years as the tracks were recorded.
"Obviously, no work is complete. However, if you listen to the real audio samples of how we perform it live, the songs take on a whole other aspect, mostly due to the influence of the others. 'Misery' in particular is a song that has been done so many different ways for so long that it's really just more of an 'idea' to us than a 'song'. That it came out as this slick little dance tune was an accident spurned by circumstance. But, people seem to like that one, so I'm happy with it. However, I like playing it more like we do live."
The current popularity of Gothic music, as inspired by the neo-glam Antichrist Superstar, is something he understands very well. While he doesn't like the music Mr. Manson makes, he has friends who do and sees no harm in a lot of younger people being introduced to music by him.
"We all have to start somewhere, don't we? I was too young to be there when, say, Peter Murphy first belted out that Bela Lugosi was dead. However, when I was 12, my cousin introduced me to the wonderful world of 4AD bands. I fell for it hard. Maybe I didn't 'understand' the whole culture that I was tapping into the time, but I would consider myself a 'fan'. It's the same thing with the current Manson kids. I say go for it.
"I was really into Depeche Mode as a 12-13 year-old and when I was in Germany, flipping through records, I saw these really weird freaks with multi-colored mohawks and black leather jackets. I didn't know what to make of them, but I was surprised that they were flipping through the same records as I was. That's how I discovered that there was a whole 'lifestyle' attached to musical genres."
The only negative side he can see with the popularity of Manson is the way the media have latched onto it, trying to exploit the fans like they did with the hippies in the sixties. Except, this time, free love and psychedelic drugs have been replaced by devil-worship and self-mutilation. Which leads neatly into his own views on religion - "religious texts shouldn't be studied... they should be smoked". Of course, there is a religious group for people of every shade of thinking, including people like Andreux. In fact, in his case there are four, the Church of the SubGenius, the Discordian Society, the Church of Euthanasia, and the Universal Life Church, and each has a specific purpose in his life.
"The first three, I actively participate in sick, depraved rituals involving sex with various household appliances. The fourth I use as an ability to legally marry atheist/pagan friends in the eyes of the state. I'm functionally a shifting pantheist / deist; I entertain different ideas depending on my mood."
Behind many that don't take religion very seriously is usually a viewpoint that takes people very seriously indeed. Andreux has no objection to religions that give people a reason to live.
"So long as one person gets turned on and it makes it a little easier for them to get out of bed in the morning, there's a future. But then again, you can say that about any religion."
In comparison, he has already been in trouble with a certain religious group, which he feels has more serious implications. His newsgroup name has been added to the Church of Scientologists version of Netnanny due to sarcastic criticisms he made about the church in their newsgroup. He is, however, unrepentant.
"Oh, that's a BIG kettle of rotten fish right there. I'm very wary of scams, I don't like to be scammed, and most people I know don't like to be scammed either. This is why I really dislike "organized religions". Scientology, in my humble opinion, is one of the most efficiently detrimental scams out there in the world. And, to top it off, they're VERY anti-free speech, something which rubs me the wrong way."
There you go, just beneath the skin is somebody who actually stands for something. But that's enough of the serious stuff, back to the really serious stuff, the music. Where do ennui go from here?
"Who knows? I've got about two-thirds of the next album 'fixed' in my mind (i.e. what ideas to work on with the others), and then we need to see how scheduling works for recording. Then, I need to talk with a few of my other friends about the possibility of remixing the songs for a 2nd CD (so it would be a 2xCD release). I'm happy with the techno aspects of certain songs. I think they worked really well. I have a good friend of mine who has expressed interest in doing a few drum & bass remixes."
Outside of the studio, there is always the live side of things. ennui, being only part-time musicians, have a lot more to work out than your average big time rock band, like time off work.
"ennui really isn't a band. It's me and a bunch of my friends and people who like working with me creating some kind of experience. So the band goes from here in whatever way that life takes us."
Girl the Goth