Interview with THE HARDCOHOLICS
HARDCOHOLICS are based in Marseille, France and have been producing, releasing and performing their own style of Hardcore Techno since 1997. The production pair DJ LOKY and LEELOO who nowadays make up the live-act have released on a host of labels such as Deathchant (UK), BEAST (France), Psychik Genocide (France) and Epileptik (France) and run their own popular Noise Factory label as well. Saturday 29th October 2005 will see the HARDCOHOLICS making the journey to sunny Scotland to play at Twisted & Brainfire vs.Impact in Glasgow. We took the time to have a few words with themÖ
Tell us about the background of the PA and how HARDCOHOLICS came about?
LOKY: At the start, HARDCOHOLICS (Hardcore / Alcoholics) was the creation off two artists: KYO_O and myself. We began to produce hardcore tracks in 1997. We made a lot of releases together on a lot of very popular record labels like BEAST records, PSYCHIK GENOCIDE, DEATHCHANT and signed our first album to EPILEPTIK on 2001.
During this period we decided to create own label NOISE FACTORY to release the Industrial Hardcore we prefer. Quickly, we gained a very strong place in the hardcore scene, at first in France but also in the rest of the word. Many gigs later, we can happily say that we have played with the most popular artists.
LEELOO joined the band in 2001, she met us in Marseille at the BEAST records shop. With this same passion : the music, she has stayed a long time with me. LeeLoo also created her own tracks and started a live act with DJ LOKY and FABIO (FORMAT HEAD) which played with the HARDCOHOLICS's Band (KYO_O and myself) and started to use some of her tracks into the live sets. She puts her voice into a track made by ALCORE intituled ę Parisiens, Marseillais Ľ, makes the NF005 with FORMAT HEAD (DJ LOKY & Fabio) and releases her first ep alone on the NF006 ę Isterik Woman Ľ. After that, she creates her own label GODDESS OF DISASTER and releases LIQUID BLASTED and FABIO. She produces 4 really personal tracks for the GOD03. She makes one track for CANADIAN SPEEDCORE RESISTANCE 03 (with DJ PLAGUE), SANITARIUM 03 and VIOLENT 13 (with FORMAT HEAD).
In 2004, KYO_O decided to take a break with music. LEELOO and myself continued, we played in Switzerland at the BIELLA FACTORY (2HARD4U), the RKC (REBIRTH 3) or the STEAK (INDUSTRIAL FACTORY), for the SSP parties in the south of France, in Canada, Germany for the SEPTEMBER APOCALYSPE 2, the KICK HARD in Belgium, the EPIDEMIC EXPERIENCE and the MANGACORE in France.
What is the French party scene like?
LEELOO: We had very good time since 1994 to 1998 in France with enormous parties in the south of France. The Hardcore scene is still alive in the northeast of France now but we have 10 years of Free parties movement behind us and nobody wants to pay to listen to great artists in nightclubs! There are parties everywhere and every weekend inside & outside for free.
LOKY: I think the French party scene have lots of good artists for a long time, in every style of electronic music. But, as Leeloo said, we have 10 years of free parties behind us and many peoples donít really mind who is Djing, if they find sound is good and parties are free thatís cool for them. But unfortunately this movement ďinjuresĒ rave parties and the guys behind it. Many people lost money cause when they organized a big rave, a sound system made a free party close the place and nobody went to the rave. Unfortunately it happened many times. I find it stupid.
Some people have accused the French hardcore sound of not really progressing in the last 2 or 3 years. What are your views on this and how do you think your own productions have progressed?
LEELOO: Yes or no, difficult to say that for our own music. We are at the worst place to have a right judgementÖ. but I think we work to create other things. Bored by Frenchcore, we find inspirations on the new Dutch productions. Blend of Industrial mid tempo and very loud kick drums. Hard to do well, but we work on it. I can already say that I worked on my sound quality. I progress everyday because Iím curious, I listen too a very large range of music, I canít stay without learning something in the day, I need to search, to find, to install, to test, softwares, plug-insÖ itís a passion.
LOKY: Maybe because they only know most popular French hardcore labels (joke). Anyway, personally I try to progress every time I write music and if I look forward I can say I progress a lot especially in the sound quality. But, I find it very stupid to put the country on the music cause, by example, some U.K. artists already made French hardcore tracks, like Micron or Hellfish, or some French already made Dutch hardcore like Dr Macabre, but I can admit many French artists often use the same famous samples, kickdrums and way of working, see what I mean?
Do you feel there are enough new producers coming through that are doing something different?
LEELOO: Hum, yes, sure. Very interesting artists come out. They are young and they produce very well grrrrrrrÖ I think especially Ophidian, he makes very very very good things and has his own style you can recognise easily. I love his music particularly. I receive demos by unknown artists and one of them makes very great tracks we will release on Noise Factory sub label : Squadron, in October. This man is called KROME, donít forget this name !
LOKY: Itís not easy to answer this question, because every producer, young or old, always try to create something different, but I had a good surprise, like LEELOO, with Ophidian he makes real wicked stuff.
Do you write tracks in other genres of music?
LEELOO: Yes. I need that to produce hardcore music. I canít do always the same things. I like to produce, techno music, ambient, IDM, hip hop, playing pianoÖ Itís helpful to learn how write other things to produce Hardcore in another way.
LOKY: I use to do hip-hop tracks with a French band when I was younger but it takes a lot of time and I prefer keeping it for the music I prefer.
UK producers such as Matt Green and Hellfish have moved abroad. Have they told you anything good or bad about the UK scene?
LEELOO: Definitely not. Hellfish never told me anything good or bad about that. Just I know some things about Spiral Tribe movement and the problem they caused, anything elseÖ What I know, itís that there is a large part of the best producers in UK and many electronic music movements comes from there.
LOKY: I canít speak for Matt green cause I never met him, but I know Hellfish and we never talk about the UK scene, I know he has more gigs in Europe and I suppose itís easier for him to live in France.
Everyone usually says in these sorts of interviews that they're influenced by other music, films, literature etc. Is there anything else that influences you when making music?
LEELOO: Not for me really, I feel free. My first influence is my personality and the mood of the day when I compose. No book, I donít say that because I donít read, but my books donít influence my music. Sometime I steal a sample into a movie but it is increasingly rare, I try to reduce the vocal samples to their minimum.
LOKY: Iím a bit influenced by hip-hop because I like it and I find itís a good wedding with HC, otherwise I put many movies samples in my tracks to break the rhythm and create an atmosphere.
Have you got any embarrassing records/CDs in your collection?
LEELOO: What ? I canít live without my records! And I still have my first tapes of electronic music and others. Itís precious because itís a lot of pieces of my life. I buy a lot of vinylís even if I donít mix them, I take very care of them and itís really hard for me to lend them to DJ LOKY, I prefer to buy 2 copies (I know itís crazy).
LOKY: I never sold one of my own records, I maybe make some exchanges but I never regret what I bought.
So what can we expect from HARDCOHOLICS and the NOISE FACTORY label in the future?
LEELOO: I hope KYO_O will come back on music and live act with us because we miss him. But donít worry; we still have many projects for NOISE FACTORY, more than ever! Itíll release on September 2005, the NF010 by DJ TSX, our first CD release : NFCDBOX01 with 1 live set by DJ LOKY and I + 1 digital mix with unreleased tracks made by the artists of the label. Itíll be available this winter on vinyl. The NOISE FACTORY sub label ďSquadronĒ will be out in September, with the first release heavy slow hardcore by DJ LOKY and I. The second will be made by KROME, the great promising artist that I spoke about higher. Weíll also release the G.O.D 04 (http://goddessofdisaster.free.fr) by LIQUID BLASTED in September. But we are always looking for new talents! We donít receive many stuff from UK...?? We expect to start something new, never stop playing everywhere and especially in Scotland, England, Nederland, Germany and Belgium.
LOKY: I think LEELOO told everything, like every women she talks too much (joke).
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
LEELOO: I was not interesting by toys anymore, more now !! My first friends was my old organ, (HAHAHA) my violin and my Amstrad CPC464, I loved to program stupid things.
LOKY: My huge dick !!(joke). Seriously, I play on computer since a long time now, maybe for 20 years and I canít stop it.
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Interview by Paul Zykotik, September 2005
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