Daft Punk, Air, Yelle, Justice, M83, Kas Product, Die Form and Sebastian Tellier – all popular French bands with lots of talent. Another French group that is starting to make waves is Neon Lines. The band was recently formed, and its five members have diverse musical backgrounds, making for a great musical cocktail. This intrigued us to find out more about Neon Lines, so we called them to ask a few questions.
On the line were Michaël Pierre (vocals), Michael Dodin (bassist), Christian Ohrel (guitar), Lionel de Fontenoy (keyboards), Rémy Huck (drums) and the band’s communications manager, Maxime Silinski.
How was Neon Lines formed?
Rémy: Neon Lines was formed this year- in February. We all played in other bands, but me, Christian and Lionel used to play together, and we knew Michaël from before. Then we met Michaël, who enjoyed our music, so he joined our band four months ago.
How did your journey in electronic music start?
Maxime: Lionel has been playing electronic music ever since he was a kid, and he was previously in an electronic band called Reset, who did much more electronic music than Neon Lines.
Rémy: I used to play electronic music, too, but played more pop and rock in my previous bands. When Lionel became a member in the band, he brought his electronic sound, and we put the sound of Neon Lines together.
Where does the name Neon Lines comes from?
Maxime: It was more of a random name. It sounded good.
The name reminded me of the 80s for some reason.
Maxime: Yes, well they are all inspired by the 80s and they all share an 80s background.
What artists are your music influenced by?
Maxime: Depeche Mode, Radiohead and Neon Indian among many other bands.
No French music? Like Indochine?
Maxime: Yes, and M83. The members share a more Anglo-Saxon musical culture, like New Wave and Visage.
Are many French artists inspired by Indochine?
Maxime: Yes, and they are very popular here in France. We enjoy the music, but we do not like the singer. We think he can’t sing very well [laughing].
If you could do a collaboration with another artist for a single, which artist would you like to work with?
Maxime: M83 and The Avener.
Where do you get the motivation and inspiration for your music?
Rémy: I write most of the songs on the new album. When I’m songwriting, I have to be alone, and all I need is one word and the lyrics always come to me.
I bet many song writers envy you.
Rémy: Yes [laughing]!
Lionel: We don’t focus on the lyrics, but more on the general atmosphere of the songs and music. We like to make the lyrics abstract and interpreted in different ways, on purpose.
Maxime: The two songs on Soundcloud [“Purity” and “Surrender”] are demo versions, and they are now working on a heavier sound for these tracks, to be on the new album.
Lionel: The band have their own studio and I’m a sound engineer, so we try to make the album sound way better [laughing].
What is the name of the new album and when is it out?
Rémy: it will be out end of November and the title is Purity.
Maxime: The is the first album, and the band just started their own record label – Ultraviolet Records.
Did you choose Purity as the title because it is your favourite song on the album?
Rémy: Yes, it was [laughing]! We have recently written new songs, and we love the three last songs we have recorded. Purity is though a good name for an album – it is short and simple.
Are you all based in Strasbourg, France?
Rémy: Yes, we are all based here in Strasbourg.
Any chance of seeing you perform in Europe soon?
Rémy: Yes, we are starting to do some planning now and will do some touring with our new album in 2016.
Where will you be playing?
Rémy: France, Belgium, Switzerland… and hopefully Sweden [laughing]!