> BURIED IN SOUND – An Interview With VOMIR by Roger Batty (Musique Machine)
Vomir (Frenchman Romain ‘Roro’ Perrot) is one of the most un-compromising & respected artists with in the Harsh Noise Wall scene. Since the projects started in 2006 he has released near to forty releases (with some of these being on multiple tape or CDR sets). Romain kindly agreed to give me an email interview.
m[m]: What was your first introduction to the noise scene & when/ why did you decided to form Vomir?
Romain: My first introduction to the noise scene was Keiji Haino and Merzbow around 1994. It was a visceral shock, deeper than any Hardcore or Industrial records I’d ever listened to. I have been hooked since then to Harsh Noise. I started to play noise guitar solo and in different improv/free noise formations and then switched onto analogue gear & electronics to produce static harsh sounds. That would have being in 2003.
m[m]: I believe your early work Vomir is less HNW based- what made you decide to start going for a more wall like sound? & can you tell what your early work was like?
Romain: My early work was guitar based free noise, solo, and with the following: Freyja w/ Fred Nipi (a great French Harsh Noiser), in Mahayoni Mudra w/ Fred Nipi and Franq de Quengo (Bimbo Tower headmaster), in Arschgeil w/ Strom_Varx and Penthotal.
Romain: As for why I went for a more ‘Wall’ like sound basically I wanted to focus deeper & deeper in on pure harsh noise, but the results with the guitar were not totally convincing. So I got myself analogue noise generators and built my sound from that up. The early Vomir material was outbursts of noise and distorted vocals, and then completely static noise. I got more & more white noise generators to make different layers of harsh noise to create a thick wall of sound.
m[m]: A lot of HNW artists are influenced by Giallo or horror movies, but your work seems a lot more focused in Nihilistic & a world hating feel would you agree with this & what else influences the project?
Romain: Well, I think it would be more about world ignorance than hatred – I have no hate – and more precisely about social refusal & not wanting to interact with Society as a whole. I really feel better alone or with my close family or friends. Nevertheless I try to be the most polite and gentle when I meet people.
m[m]: How do you go about creating your Wall’s of noise & what source material do you use to make them? And have you any favourites?
Romain: Ok, I answered this more or less in a previous answer, so I will detail my gear (which is basically the one that any harsh nosier use…): Sirkut WNG, SNB & Carpet Burn, Trauma Tone WNG & shaker box, Benfox WNG & modified electric tanpura, Roland Space echo, Big Muff (US & Russian), DOD meatbox, deathmetal, corrosion & thrashmaster, Audible Disease Rupture & Convulsion, Hughes & Heffner Warp disto, BOSS Harmonist & RGE-10 graphic eq, IBANEZ blacknoise, a cheap mixer, FOSTEX FR2-LE for recording.
From this gear, I set up particular ‘chains’ and mix them. Trauma Tone WNG is my preference.
m[m]: Were did the whole idea of you wearing a bag on your head & standing complete still or lying on the ground come from?
Romain: I think I was always interested in anonymity in noise, from the New Blockaders to the Haters etc… and another influence would be Franciso Lopez, giving the audience blindfolds so they can focus on the listening to his set & not what he’s doing on stage. Plastic bin bags are cheap, easy to find and fit well my ideas of sensory deprivation, loss of identity, seclusion from others, focus in on the noise, the noise which is the only important thing. If I stand still or lay on the ground is like being totally transparent.
m[m]: A practical question how do you manage to breathe inside the bag?
Romain: Well, the bag is not closed around my neck ! So with a slow breathing, there is no problem.
m[m]: When you play live are you always doing new pieces or do you ever take elements from older material?
Romain: Yes, it’s a new piece for every set.
m[m]: You mentioned you enjoy doing the longer & multiple release sets- have you ever considered playing a really long noise set say several hours?
Romain: I really like to be able to at some point to play for several hours in one go. The LaMonte Young & Marian Zazeela’s dream house would be the perfect live event for this.
m[m]: A lot of your tracks and work is untitled- why is this?
Romain: I don’t give much importance to track titles, that’s all. It’s the same for the covers: I always let the label take care of it.
m[m]: One of your more intriguing titled release is Au Duc De Reschwig (Homage To the Duke De Reschwig)- who is Duke De Reschwig & why is this piece a homage to him?
Romain: I was reading a book by great French author Jean-Pierre Martinet, in which an old man is named that way.
m[m]: Can you tell us a bit more about the Jean-Pierre Martinet book that features the character Duke De Reschwig & why you decided to use the name for the piece?
Romain: Jean-Pierre Martinet was a cursed French writer, who was always treated as worthless by editors during his life. He was an alcoholic, worked at a news stand, and died in 1993. His best works are Jérôme and L’Ombre des forêts. His books have now been re-edited in France. His writings were very pessimist. The duc de Reschwig is a character from ‘l’ombre des forêts’, an enigmatic blind homeless, who wants to make an impossible length movie of 73 years (!) about the life – in real time – of Holderlin.
m[m]: Is there any concept behind your first official proper album Proanomie? And how did it come about you decided to put it out as a proper cd instead of a CDR?
Romain: Well the title comes from Anomie which means: in common parlance it is thought to mean something like “at loose ends.” The Oxford English Dictionary lists a range of definitions, beginning with a disregard of divine law, through the 19th and 20th century sociological terms meaning an absence of accepted social standards or values. Most sociologists associate the term with Durkheim, who used the concept to speak of the ways in which an individual’s actions are matched, or integrated, with a system of social norms and practices … Durkheim also formally posited anomie as a mismatch, not simply as the absence of norms. Thus, a society with too much rigidity and little individual discretion could also produce a kind of anomie, a mismatch between individual circumstances and larger social mores. Thus, fatalistic suicide arises when a person is too rule-governed, when there is … no free horizon of expectation. so proanomie is pro-anomie, volunteer anomie… I did’nt decide put it out as a proper CD- It was the UK label AT WAR WITH FALSE NOISE that decided to take the risk ! Fortunately the CD had good response and reviews and it is almost sold out now. Thanks to the label, having a proper CD helped me to do some live sets.
m[m]: You say you leave much of the artwork & imagery to the labels- do you have any input on the albums look?
Romain: No. Labels send me their final design for a final ‘ok’, and that’s it. I just change a detail or two if needed. Sometimes, like for the Indecente cdr cover, I sent a pic, but that’s all.
m[m]: Like many noise artist you seem fairly prolific- how often do you record pieces & work? And how much unreleased stuff do you have?
Romain: I listen to my own HNW work every day, even if it is for 10 minutes. If I need to record for a release, I’ll adjust more precisely the details, and of course I’ll take care of the track length needed. I have some recorded work unreleased but not much, because of the fact that I precisely record when needed. My set up is always plugged; I just have to switch on to be in my noise.
m[m]: You seem to imply you only record when asked or approached by labels to make work is this correct & how long does it usually take for you to prefect the feeling you want in a track?
Romain: Yes, that’s correct. I make HNW everyday, but I only press record when a track for a release is needed. During recording the most important thing is that there is no technical problem, good sound during each session. I adjust the parameters of the set-up (with a little indeterminacy), then settle the eq, which is a very important thing. My feeling would be to balance between deep rumble and medium crunch, and I would adjust these two parameters to fit the mood I’m in during the particular time of recording.
m[m]: Can you tell us a bit more about the concept around your longer muilt disc or tape release like Claustration, Deliverance – The Living Dead Noise Box, No Content. How these came about & have you any more planed?
Romain: I just really like multiple discs/tapes sets. In the 90’s there were lots of those sets, by American or Japanese Harsh Noise artists and it was so good to get so much massive noise in one place. Also I think HNW fits very well for a longer length, so when a label said ok for a multiset, I always went for it! Split multiple sets are on their way, and also a Vomir multi tape, in 2010.
m[m]: Name your top ten noise records & why they are?
Romain: I am sorry, I won’t answer this question as I hate this kind of list… I will name you just one: AMM “The Crypt, the complete session” Matchless recordings.
m[m]: Do you have a piece or track you particular pleased with?
m[m]: Do you listen to anything other than noise & if so do you think this has any influence on your sound? For example do like ambient, drone or American minimalistic music? Which it sometimes follows a similar unchanged sonic path as HNW.
Romain: I’m listening to a lot of music. EAI/onkyo, free noise, minimalist… Sometimes ambient/drone is too gentle, beautiful, but some works – Phil Niblocks’ for example – are mandatory. I like the sound with textures.
m[m]: What are your thoughts about the HNW genre becoming quite popular of late?
Romain: I don’t think it is becoming popular, except maybe for few topics on noise boards… But of course I’m pleased when records by HNW acts are being released, and the more good noise, the better. Actually I do think that the noise phenomenon born after Wolf Eyes fame has now gone and that a lot of people doing noise to have fun or local glory has stopped. Labels also have troubles selling their records these days , when a couple of years ago, there were LPs & CDs released every month, the production has become quite scarce except for renditions maybe… Those who do noise as a part of their life will remain, even if nobody’s releasing the sound.
m[m]: What will be the focus of new & upcoming Vomir work?
Romain: HNW HNW HNW HNW. no ideas, no change, no development, no entertainment, no remorse.
m[m]: What next in the pipeline & any more plans to tour? And any thoughts of playing stateside?
Romain: I’m Always planned stuff with DIY labels, and more official releases from At War With False Noise to be released. I try to update frequently this page: vomirhnw.blogspot.com.
Romain: As I have a family, playing is sometimes uneasy, but I always try to say Yes when someone wants to organize a set. Touring would be great, with plenty of boring time, but nothing’s planned. Once again, thank you for your support and for this interview.
Thanks to Romain for his time & efforts to find about more about the project & get up dates drop into his Blog spot here.
Interview by Roger Batty