I saw Partikul (an electro/guitar duo from Brussels) on stage during their album presentation, reviewed it and loved it! Time to hear them out about their history and about the new album!
First thing I always ask when I interview a band is why this name: Partikul?
Aly : Hello Filip, thanks for having us, we are really delighted to have this interview with you. We were talking with some friends about the pollution in town and the way we are living. Then, the word "Particles' talked to us... But the main reason was also because it sounded good to us as a band name.
You started the band in 2019. Did you do other things before?
Aly : Partikul is my first experience as a musician, I always hang out with friends who are musicians and I always wanted to play in a band. As a couple with Stef it was easier for me to start and to achieve my dream.
Stef : I had severales bands before, but that's the first time that I have the chance to share my passion as a musician with my fiance. The good point also is, there's no problem with our agenda when we have to plan a rehearsal or some shows hehe...
Wasn’t it hard to get anything done over the past years (due to covid-19)?
Aly : For us, because we are living together, it was ok to continue to practise at the studio (thank god) at the time when we were confined at home. And we did record the album during the lockdown.
Stef : It was a chance for us, most of our friends could not practise or play, so we were lucky. The hard part was, living with no culture, no concerts and no parties.
You are from Brussels. Is it hard as a band from Brussels
Aly : We are based in Brussels but we are not from Brussels. I'm from Dour, Borinage! haha And Stef, he's a French guy from the sun ( Nice )
Stef : true! So boring that I ran a long time ago , I used to live in different capitals in Europe to finally end up in Belgium and now I feel at home in Brussels! To answer the question, there are so many venues where you can play, it's small but really alive! Like Magasin4, Cafe central, le Brass, Botanique , Atelier 120 and many more... and the good point about Belgium and Brussels is that the country is in the center, I mean, there are 4 different countries in less than 3 hours driving, so cool. For the rest, now in Brussels, New York or Paris, being a musician is about connections and having friends in the music business, it's reality. There's so many bands out there.
Would you want to migrate to another part of Belgium or to another country to be able to reach out more with your music?
Aly : As long as I'm with Partikul, Stef and we are playing some music, I don't care.
Stef : I like Gent, I could live there, nice place to play, good bands also! But Like I said before, I travelled a lot, and Brussels is my home now.
The cool thing about Partikul is that you can both sing: apart and also together and each time bring in diversity. Was it all planned like this?
Stef : thanks for that, nothing was planned, most of the time the person who sings is the person who wrote the song and sometimes we sing together on the same song, it just comes naturally with no explanation I guess.
With the diversity you reach out to fans of industrial, cold wave, minimal wave and even EBM. Are you still looking for your own style or do you want to keep it this way as it sounds fresh and divers?
Aly : Happy to know that, we don't really think that way, we don't have a predefined style I think, we are just playing what we feel and what we like. It's a mix of our influences, I mean it's almost impossible to create something new since the Beatles, right? We have no pretension at all, to create something new, we are just imitating what was the best before us.
I saw you on stage last weekend, that was only your 5th gig, right? Where else did you play before?
Stef : Yes we can even say, that was our first show in a real condition, with monitors and light, so we were a bit impressed. It was a sold out show! Before it was only private shows, but we did like it.
I noticed you played in the Mag 4, was that a private gig aka a try-out? Or was it part of a new clip?
Aly : We had the chance to have the venue for a day and we shot 2 live videos with no public, to promote the LP with 2 songs from the album.
How do you feel about creating/launching a clip?
Stef : Well, once again, now you need more than just audio, you need visuals. A friend of ours bought an old house and we were like " oh my god, we have to shoot a video here!" For the story, we did shoot the video (CURSE) before to record the album, which was a bit risky... because we had a deadline of renovation and could not record the album before. We used the demo song to shoot the video. It was a cool experience. Edouard Chandel was the director, and he came up with so many ideas, he's brilliant guy.
How did it feel playing a sold out gig and for sure after all the covid-19 related restrictions?
Aly : Stressfully! ahah what a chance we had to play in front of so many people.
I dropped the name of The Neon Judgement when I talked about your song called Curse. Does it feel right? What’s the song really about?
Stef : It's a great reference, thanks. Maybe because of the guitar sound?. The song is about a serial killer, he needs to kill people and see the blood around him to feel right. What's the reason? no idea...
What do the letters mean in E.M.I.?
Aly : Expérience de Mort Imminente .
Is fucking hero a sarcastic track and was it a bit inspired by Iggy Pop and his “Idiot” album?
Aly : Not at all, it's a personal song about someone in my family I care a lot about . ( my brother)
What are you bitching about in the song with the same name?
Stef : I hate when people talk behind my back. I like, if you have to say fuck off to me, that you spit me in the face. Hypocrisy is the worst sin for me.
Exitdoesnotexistrecords is that your own record?
Stef : Yes we did create our own record label. We didn't want to wait or ask anyone, because Labels don't exist anymore. It's in reference to one of my favorite band : Modest Mouse.
What are the reactions towards the album so far? Are you getting any airplay? Lots of reviews?
Stef : We would like to thank Thomas Stadnicki, the guy behind the shadows, who did an excellent work in the studio, the sound is so good, he's such a talented guy, we love him! Airplay a bit from internet radios or compilations, which is cool. Some nice reviews for the video and a few for the album, yes.
What will the future bring for Partikul? Any call out for more gigs or already working on new material?
Stef : Well, the future will be much better than the last 2years, for sure, no? We have a bunch of shows coming up, in Belgium, France and Germany so far...we will play a few shows with our friends from The Ultimate Dreamers. We are working on new songs of course and we'll see if they are good enough to be recorded. We don' t expect so much from the music. Playing together as a band is something we could not dream about 2 years ago. It's very special to share something like that with my amoureuse. We feel blessed, even if sometimes we want to kill each other in the practise room! haha
Thanks again Filip, we hope to see you soon in one of our shows!