netra Interview with Doommantia Webzine [December 14, 2012]

Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Under: Interviews
netra Interview w. Doommantia Webzine
December 14, 2012

Steven Le Moan is a guy who created amazing pagan stoner-trio Stangala glorifying his fatherland Brittany and it’s ancient legacy, oh, dark forests of France which is rich with mushrooms and ancient spirits! What else can they breed if not such merry and heavy magical tunes?.. Yet, there’s another project of Steven and it shows another side of our society, it’s an urban depressive black project Netra, let speak about it tonight!

Hail Steven! We did an interview about Stangala with you and now is time for netra. As Stangala plays songs of psychedelic hooligans from deep forests of France, your other project – Netra is for urban pessimists. How did you come to idea of combination of black metal elements with trip-hop rhythms and tunes?

I think I just write music that resembles the one I listen to, no big deal. It is all a matter of perspective I guess. I never had the intention to blend genres for the sake of being original. That being said, it is always a challenge to find the right sound, melody, lyrics to depict something as abstract as an emotions. Therefore it is necessary to remain open-minded in terms of music "styles" if you want to achieve this goal.

Yet you have also jazz influences in netra stuff, are you a jazz fan?

I do listen to a lot of jazz indeed. I have a few classic albums that I cherish particularly, such as Charles Mingus' "The black saint and the sinner lady" or Archie Shepp's "Blasé". But I am also fond of more modern stuff like The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble or Bohren und der Club of Gore, their music surely is something incredible.

You played before netra in 2 or 3 black metal bands, what are the best memories of these times? And did that experience really help in your work with netra?

I played indeed in several bands in the past, when I was not yet too "mobile". There are so many memories associated with these years as one can imagine, I cannot think of any that should be mentioned here. For sure, I learnt a lot from playing with different people. I learnt about how difficult it is to actually play together, to be on the same wavelength. You see, I always thought that a band cannot be good unless it has a leader. One guy must stand out, have a vision and bring it to life with the help of others. There are of course examples proving me wrong, yet I think this theory is sound in most cases, and, most importantly, it also supports my choice to work alone in netra!

You told in one of your interviews that your lyrics are quite personal so you probably can’t describe their meaning, also you told that you compose music first of all for yourself. But what does drive you to share it with other human forms?

Now that's a very relevant question! The most obvious reason is, to some extent, fame. Although this is quite embarrassing to admit. Everybody seeks some kind of recognition in life, hoping to, one day, achieve something good, that will raise the interest of the masses. I would be dishonest if I told you that there is not a part of this in my motivation. But sharing my art is more importantly a way of strengthening my ideas, my visions, based on the feedback, like in a large-scale psychoanalisis.

What is conception of Netra? Did it change from your first album “Melancolie urbaine” to “Sørbyen”? What does inspire you to write such depressive stuff about city life?

When it comes to city life, many feelings come to my mind. First, there is a lack, an absence. You see, I grew up in a small town, not far from the sea, not far from beautiful forests. This feeling of being surrounded with places where nature still reigns is somehow anchored in me, and when you take it away from me, I tend to become scared, almost claustrophobic. Then, and most importantly, city life calls to my mind the notion of fear. The fear of social interaction, of other people's thoughts and judgement. The fear of being different, just as much as the fear of being like everybody else. The fear of embarrassment, boredom and loneliness. The fear of violence and all the horrors we see on the news.

Let me clarify this! You wrote Stangala’s stuff living in Brittany and Netra is a result of your moving to Norway?

Not really. I wrote netra's first album in France, and only the second one was written in Norway.

What are the main differences between “Mélancolie urbaine” and “Sørbyen”?

Sørbyen is, in my opinion, less claustrophobic, more open-minded than its predecessor.

What is your most important achievement as an author of “Sørbyen”?

To make an album that holds so much! It's a real slice of life, put into a bit more than an hour of music.

What are your favorite black metal and trip-hop bands?

Not sure if my favorites but Rob Dougan and Manes for instance are some artists that I have listened to a lot, and for a long time.

Oh, Manes… I see, yet I can’t say that you follow someone’s else path, do you feel that your way of self-expression through music is unique?

Not at all.

You have a video, “La Page”, did you take part in creation of it? Were you glad with how it was done?

For this video, Nick Skog of Hypnotic Dirge Records did the filming and I edited it. It was a first try, and although I would certainly not do it again in the same way, I look back at it without shame.

And look – you have two professional videos for Stangala, another one – for Netra yet it’s obvious that video clips don’t work as it was before, conception changes and you can’t see it on TV – only via Internet. Do you like these changes in the musical industry as such unification – digital formats and streaming of video and songs via Internet?

Yes, as long as it makes it somehow easier to share music, get feedback, get in touch with new people, I have no problem with these kind of change. I mean without this kind of means, I would maybe never have even thought of making videos at the first place

Both netra and Stangala have quite deep, well-thought compositions, both of the bands are original, how do you contrive to keep this balance of songs’ quality and quantity? How much time do you spend with both projects?

Thank you! Not sure how to answer this, but for sure I do spend all the time I can on my music.

What kinds of emotions prevail in your personal life – those which you express with Netra or with Stangala?

Hard to say, Netra is somehow more naive, like a contemplating child in me, whereas Stangala pertains more to a "hard truth" picture of my life.

What makes you proud of your music? Can you access your contribution in the French underground scene?

I am definitely proud of my music. I believe that it is a real achievement to go beyond the traditional communication channels and express things that my social awkwardness would not allow me to express otherwise. As for my contribution to the french scene, I have absolutely no idea! That is a really good question though, but I do not think it is mine to answer.

 Steven, what are your plans for Stangala and Netra for forthcoming future? Indeed this is my last question so you can add some words of ancient or urban wisdom for our readers.

My plans are a bit fuzzy at the moment, but I will definitely be working on a new album and hopefully more video material next year. Meanwhile, I thank you very much for your interest and wish you all the best!

In : Interviews 

Tags: netra sorbyen sørbyen alternative black metal doommantia doom metal 'zine magazine webzine interview black metal trip-hop burzum hooverphonic