Z Overmars, francosko posadko mračnega in depresivnega hardcora, sem se
prvič srečal nekega deževnega in soparnega dne junija 2003, ko sem se
nič hudega sluteč odpravil na Mostovno in na koncu bil priča čutnemu in
nepopisno mračnemu doživetju, ob katerem sem bend takoj vzljubil. Kmalu
bo zunaj njihov prvi full length album, tako da sem se odločil, da jim
napišem par vprašanj...
-How do you do?
How do you do ?
As I'm writing those words, I'm sick and depressed... I'm in a misanthropic period and it sucks !
Not so bad, what about you ? Sad to see the days are going shorter every day with the hopeless arriving of the
-Can you tell me something about yourself? What's your part in the band?
I'm Xavier, 27 and I live in Lyon, France. I'm close to be an internerd and video games addict, go to cinema or
watching movies as soon as possible, buy too much records and comics, listening to music every time it's possible and
work without passion to pay the rent and the bills. I'm the vocalist (I can't say singer) in Overmars and I do a lot of
things in this band who don't directly deal with music.
My name is Antoine and I'm 28. I'm playing guitar but
my main function in Overmars is to remind to Xavier to learn his lyrics. Except that, the reasons why I'm waking up in
the morning are my job (sic...), having a bath with a good book and a huge joint, traveling the more I can, writing stuffs
on an old notebook that falls in pieces, my girlfriend, bars, eating kebabs with Arno... I'm a life lover, and what is
around it, but I just think that everything is really going too fast. There's no much place left for contemplation.
My name is Benjamin and I'm the drummer. I'm 30 and I got a marvellous 20 months kid who is the only thing in
which I've got longer interest in my life. Except him... no hope. Well, I guess I'm a little bit excessive... next
I'm the bass player... I'm 23 years old (well very soon), and I'm still a lazy student.
Hey, I'm Pierrick and I'm the guitar player. I think I'm here to bring a very metal and a very dirty sound...
yes, I think it's a good definition of my cast in the band.
I'm Arno, I do projections and eat kebab with Scotch.
-How do you get along with other 6 members and how did you came together and start a band?
I moved from Montpellier to Lyon in autumn 2000. I met Donefor's members at many shows. We had common friends
too. With Benjamin, we talked to start a new band, something a little bit different from Donefor. Bruno took part to the
conversation and joined us but he said he wanted to try keyboards. Very quickly, we had a complete line-up. Our main
problem was the bass player. We had 5 bass players (me included) before finding Marion. And in 2003, Arno, who was
Donefor's singer, proposed us to do photos & 8mm live projections. Now he works with video.
As I am only a part of the band since a year, I can't tell much about the beginning of this experience. I would
just say that it's very pleasant to share this trip with those six guys.
I was bass player in Donefor (in which were playing Ben, Bruno and Arno...) and when Ben asked me if I wanted
to play guitar in Overmars, I must say that I was quite excited, because in Donefor, I hadn't freedom to express my idea
(as a guitar player I mean). Composing in Overmars took my frustrations out.
Otherwise, for Xavier and Antoine, I learned to know them, both as musicians and as friends, with time and I can say now
that they had influences on me (Antoine for VICE and Xav for evil music). Last but not least, Marion is a very good
friend of mine. I was already playing with her on holidays while we were not rehearsing with Overmars.
-2 years ago you had an European tour. Could you tell us how it was? Any experience you want to share?
Both two gigs that bring me the most high emotions were, for different reasons, Ljubljana and Wien. In Wien, we
played very late in a huge squat. When we began to play, many people just ran away from the room... most of them were
there for severed head of state. But the ones who stayed bring us on another planet because of the connections created
between them and us... I didn't want to stop playing. I'll never forget the guy who make our sound. He came to see us
after the gig, crying and make us swear to come again one day. To me, That's what touring is about, short sequences
We toured Europe in June 2003. It was great and hard in the same time. Our van was an old camping car lend by a
friend. We couldn't drive very fast you know, so road trips were long. It was a great experience in the sense we had the
opportunity to visit countries we never went before, to meet peoples with different cultures, different habits.
Sometimes, it was crazy to see how much things can be different at only 50 or 100 km of distance. Between Austria and
Slovakia for example. We took conscience that as French peoples, we are kind of privileged, socially, economically and
As a band, this tour was important too. We learnt to live all together in van during 10 days. Each of us had his bad
moment or crisis. It permitted us to know us better and to try to improve inner communication. Everything's not yet
perfect but really much better than before.
About crazy experiences we had on tour, in Ljubljana, we realised we drove about 800 km with a smashed tire. In
Alessandria, in Italy, we played in a crust festival in front of one person and some dogs. I guess that most of the
peoples present at this show didn't enjoy our music, ha ha ha ! And just before to play, we have assisted to a dog
fight. Very pleasant... We also like a lot Austrian cops who are real bastards and who wanted to take our backline
because we didn't pay the Highway's taxes.
It was like going on some kind of useful holydays. Holydays in which we were doing great stuffs instead of
slacking. Playing music, meeting people, seeing different cultures, and of course, tasting local beers with friends.
You just feel alive in these moments. The dark side for me was that we toured 3 month after my son birth... so I missed
him a lot.
To me, touring is very important because it's like a cure. Travels frightening me. It's a phobia I have since I'm a
child. When I leave far away from the place I live, I feel anxious. So travelling with Overmars help me to learn not
to be that terrified by this. Crazy... no ?!?
What I remember the most is generosity of people we met. Especially people from Slovakia and Slovenia. It's
funny because I realise that, even today, those guys stay an example of generosity and kindness for me.
Very good experience, very nice people. The best show was in Slovakia near Bratislava in a small village. The
atmosphere was so sad. We though: We came here to play a not very happy music and people need maybe something more
positive. But the people where so happy of our show and talk to us a lot.
This moment was so beautiful, and is the meaning of why I'm doing this.
-How did you like playing in Slovenia? You had 2 shows here right?
Seb, a very good friend of us, booked this tour and drove us everywhere in Europe. The shows were really cool.
The club in Ljubljana was really cool. We played very late because there was a show in the club next door. We were
afraid to play in front of nobody but peoples came very lately. The show in Nova Gorica was cool too.
Ljubljana was more than this. We began to play in front of two people, and little by little, people were coming
in... and we finished the gig in front of 30 people who were asking for more... The great thing in there is that the public
is still curious of everything. In France, we are more bored with all that, because we are over saturated with gigs and
music... that's really too bad.
The girl who organise the gig in Ljubljana (shame on me I forgot her name) was one of the nicest person we met on this
tour. People in Nova Gorica were nice too... we played with a crazy band, Pizda Materna. Weird people and bad weed...
Her name is Téa.
People were not bored... all those gigs are engraved in my brain.
Thanks for Téa she was so nice with us, I hope we will come again soon.
-I really liked your video performance back then? Who arranged that? What did you want to achieve with it ? Was is there
to make your already dark show even scarier or was it more like a meaning behind it, maybe something in connection with
Arno is doing all the visual performance. Honestly, I've got no idea about what we want to achieve with it.
Arno proposed us to do these live video performances and we were ok. I know he tries to work in connection with our
lyrics but he's mainly inspired by the general atmosphere of the song.
According to me, Arno is basing his creation on one idea that is inspired by our music. Then, he has the
cleverness to build his all stuff in order to let the public making his own interpretation of it. I like this idea : let
the people do their own connections between our music and the images, regarding their experiences in life, their
remembrance, their problems and their joys...
I really think that we wouldn't play so intense on stage if we didn't had those videos. They represent, to my
opinion, a great part in the constitution of our music.
Arno does what he wants to. I think he does his visuals from what our music inspires to him, but it's to him
to answer this question.
I'm very happy that you liked the video, it means a lot to me. So to answer ,I do the performance because when I
see Overmars for the first time, I have just seen the images behind the band. And also because I love all the people of
the band, we know us since so many times.
I just want to give to the show more than music, I think the projection makes the music stronger and deeper. Like the
others says, I listen to the songs, I read the lyrics and then I start to work, so I'm influenced by but it's not a
purpose to illustrate the lyrics. It's not really important.
The important thing is to integrate the video with the band and make them just one for the show.
-What do you guys do besides playing in the band?
I'm working in a independent cinema. I'm teaching cinema to young pupils. I take picture with an old camera... oh
and I'm directing a young theatre band in the village I was living before. Between all that, I'm trying to take care of
I'm just trying to get of my bed every morning and then I just hope that I could get back in it very soon.
Most of the time I'm playing guitar (I'm a little bit autistic), except when I got to go to work. I'm a
I work in an association which builds links between unpaid students and Tsigan children or children who ask for
sanctuary. We act in many other ways but it would be really too long to explain here. Whatever, it's a job that asks me
many attention... too much maybe. Beside, I write scenarios for short films. So does Arno and then, we're working together
to shoot them. Crazy stuffs. Otherwise, I like to play football, on Sundays, still drunk from Saturday's night, I've
Check my small introduction !
I'm working in kebab factory.
-I see you put a lot of effort in your message as well. Your lyrics come with explanations and there are lots of
thoughts/essays written on your website, unfortunately all in French language. Could you tell me something about that?
Do you consider yourself as a political band? What's your main goal?
Hard question. It seems we are seen as a political band because of our lyric's explanations. For me, punk
hardcore is based on communication, whatever you can say. It has always been important to communicate with peoples
interested by our music. Lyrics are part of Overmars, as well as the music and the live visual performances. We always
wanted to go further than the classical band's scheme. That's why we write theses essays too. That's not necessary
political in the sense there are no slogans and no specific reclamations. We're not political as a band like Seein Red
can be for example. But we're political by the way we don't want to be just a musical band to consume. By the way we
manage our band, the venues we can play in, the music we do, the words we can write and say, we're political. Our music
can disturb because it's not formatted to the radio standards, because it's not necessary easy to listen to it. What we
say can disturb because we just try to think by ourselves, we talk about our feelings, about our environment's
perception, about behaviours we don't agree with. But we don't dictate things to do. We manage our band by ourselves,
booking our tours by ourselves, have no so called manager or agent or what you want who can interfere between us and
peoples enjoying what we do. About the essays, they're like the lyrics, about us. That's what we know the best. Talking
about us permits us to talk about our social environment, to question and analyse it. I think the recurrent themes are
about our difficulty to conform and feel comfortable in our society and about quest to identity. These two themes are
linked. Our main goal, if there is one beside to accomplish ourselves through this band, is to exhort peoples to simply
be themselves, whatever the social circle they reclaim to belong. Through our lyrics and essays, we often talk about
behaviour who are not natural, who are dictated by the spheres we evolve into. It deals a lot with the Punk sphere too.
There is too much peoples inside this sphere who try to gain an image, an appearance, conforming themselves to codes
they don't necessary agree with. They do that to have the illusion to have a place to stay somewhere, a circle they're
part of. And often, they lose their identity by conforming these rules. That's how we're political. I hope I'm clear.
I have let the direct message down for a long time. I don't want to give lessons anymore. We'll never be
experienced enough to impose our ideas to someone else. It does not mean that we must stop fighting and believing in a
better world... but I think it would be better to do it with trying to make people realise instead of forcing them to
change. It takes more time, but I think it works better. All great changing happen in a long period, not with a great
revolution, but with many little ones...
That's why I consider Overmars as a political band. Because we try to explain people what we believe in, by a musical
and a visual way, not with a party program (like others do). I write and I play with my brain and my guts... and for
nothing in returns, except my own pleasure. nowadays, few acts are free... ours are. Here is my politic, and it means a
lot to me.
I'm not interested in sharing political opinions. I never really consider that what is good for me could be
good for others.
I like the idea to go through the simple fact of playing "only" music. That's where it becomes interesting,
the musical mood is here to support the lyrics meaning, to support them till blood. Personally, I focused on musical
Internet stuffs are only the continuation of this idea.
-I asked some guys from France about Overmars and no one knew a shit about you. How's that? You don't play much in
France or maybe I just turned on wrong people? How is the situation with hardcore/punk shows there anyway? What about
French hardcore scene?
Haha ! Maybe you asked wrong peoples. We play quite often in France, as much as we can. But we've got that luck
to have interest from non French peoples. In France, it's always quite difficult to book shows and tours because of the
geography of this country (big country with cities on the periphery and very few peoples in the centre) and because of
its rocks culture which is close to zero. Gig organisers have to deal with pubs, squats and youth centres (MJC) when
it's possible. Most often, shows are set up in pubs and conditions can be hard because of stupid bosses to deal with.
About the French hardcore scene, it becomes more and more exciting. In fact, there is no real scene as something united
or with a lot of bands in the same styles. There is a lot of diversity with French Bands. You can find very good bands
in every style, crust, emo, metal, sludge and more experimental stuff. My favourite French bands are (in no particular
order) Tantrum, Mihai Edrisch, Comity, Blut Aus Nord, Amanda Woodward, Daitro, Submerge, the Blues Butcher Club, Dead
For A Minute (rip), Morgue, Carmina, Superstatic Revolution, Disagio, Hint, Unlogistic, Blockheads. All these bands are
great and unique. That's what I like with the French scene, for the moment we're not too much assaulted by Orchid or
Tragedy's wannabe. There are bands like that, of course, but not that much. It's not like in Germany of USA for example.
We are not a big band. Even my girlfriend and my mother don't pay attention to what I'm doing. ha ha, such a sad
situation. You know, it's only 2 or 3 years we're playing together. Like our music, we need time. Beside, we have all
jobs to live, families, occupations etc... Overmars is important for all of us, but it's not the centre of our lives.
-Last time you told me your new record is coming out on a hardcore label Alchimia and a black metal oriented label
Appease Me...how did you come across with those two?
Alchimia are long time friends. They proposed us to do this album. By the same time, Appease Me... the label ran
by Blut Aus Nord's peoples, proposed us to work together. I guess they appreciate our musical approach. It was a dilemma
because Alchimia are our friends but Appease Me... proposes a great distribution through Candlelight / Plastic Head. We
had many reunions discussing about the label's choice. Appease Me... was important in the sense they pushed us to ask
ourselves real questions about what we want to achieve with Overmars. I can tell you that discussions were really hot,
some of us arguing about our friendship with Alchimia and wanting to stay in the exclusive DIY network, some of us
arguing about the fact that working with a label with such a great distribution, and a label which is not from our
"scene", could be very interesting and open us doors we couldn't reach staying in the DIY network. I want to say we
feel very close to the DIY ethic and that having our records in shops won't change our way to manage this band. We
still and we will still continue to play for little money in alternative venues because we like that and because that's
where we come from. But if we've got the occasion to play sometimes in bigger and established venues, why not ? Our
state of mind stays the same. Alchimia were really enthusiastic and it was difficult to tell them we had another
proposition we judged more interesting. Happily, us and theme had the same idea : Alchimia will make the vinyl version.
Believe me, we're extremely happy to have our album on vinyl and very happy to work with our friends. About Appease Me...
the fact that this label is ran by Blut Aus Nord's peoples convinced me to work with them. I recognise myself in their
artistic approach. They've got nothing to do with the punk hardcore scene but by the way they deal with the music
business and by what they think about it, they're really much "punker" than a lot of so called punk hardcore label
that can exist. They're here for art and nothing more.
They're uncompromising. They mainly asked us one thing : artistic integrity and honesty. For me, Overmars and Blut Aus
Nord have a lot in common but I can't say they're nice peoples, it should corrupt their evil reputation.
What Xav forget to tell, is that on 1000 print, a better distribution means nothing. Well, you understand that I'm
in disagreement with Xav on that point. I think our choices reflecting our state of mind and I think we made the wrong
choice. It's too easy to say something and do the contrary. Most of the time, I'm ok with Xav and what he says because
his statements are wise and quite clever. On this point, I disagree.
Whatever... I'm very happy that Alchimia does the vinyl. I like those guys... they've got very good taste (in general) and I
think the layout will be great.
Ben is wrong when he says there will be only 1000 prints. There will be really much more. I can't honestly say
how much but enough to be distributed in the whole Europe and North America. Appease Me... is a subdivision of Candlelight
and Candlelight is a quite big label. Sure they're not a DIY punk label but it remains an indie label. We have to sign
contracts but clauses seem to be really good. Most of them are just questions of ''good sense'', it's simply written on
paper. And we've got an healthy and clear speech with Appease Me... We want to work freely, we want to continue to deal
with Overmars as we actually do and that's all. If we want to do other formats (7", MCD...) with other labels and bands
beside this album, we're free to do it. We're not obliged to do X concerts a year to satisfy Candlelight. We're totally
free to do what we want to do. Appease Me... does agree with us and support us in this way. And we work with them only for
this album. If we're not ok with their future work or in conflict with them, we can see elsewhere, we're not imprisoned
by a seven album contract (remember old metal label like Roadrunner or Noise). I'm very optimistic about his deal.
Future will tell us if we did the good choice.
-What can we expect of your new record? Something in the same direction like on your split-CD with Fugue or...?
I really don't know what we're about to make. Is it different or not from what we've done before ? Whatever, we
put all our energy and all our guts in it. This is really an open heart piece we'll give. Personally, I've never ever
commit myself at this point in music. I do not write lyrics. And besides the fact that I do not agree all the time with
what the others say, these are all my sentences, my neurosis and my joys that I'm playing with my fingers.
This new record will be more... More than everything we did before. You will recognise our sound, our style but
we experimented a lot, with no real intention to do this. As peoples and musicians, we grow up, we're listening to more
and other music and it influences us. And we digest better these influences. The arrival of Marion is a very good thing
too. I can say that new songs are heavier, maybe a little less "emo", and there is jazz, blues, dub and more post rock
influences. I'm particularly proud of the work the two guitarists achieved. They did really beautiful parts and I'm very
impatient to record and listen to this album.
Of course it will be different : I'll be playing on it, ha ha ha !
I heard so ! It's hard to say as we can't have the same judgement than a person who's not in the band. We are
just creating new songs, one after one, without thinking if they will sound like the ones in the Fugue split. I just
have a little pressure because I wouldn't like to deceive all the people that gave us interest on the Fugue split. Well,
in my opinion, we made something quite complete and we build it with an unity... for both lyrics and music.
I don't work in musical composition of the band, but what I have listened to is just beautiful, I think the album
will be very good. It will be an album with one CD-rom with live video and video clip of 4 remix of 4 songs of the
-Your music is otherwise pretty sad and depressive. Is that how you wanted to sound from the first start or is it more
like a mirror of what you carry inside? I've noticed many French HC bands sound similar these days. Does this have
anything to do with you country or is it a global problem, maybe both?
At first, the first words pronounced were : slow and loud. Then we turn that into depressive. In life, we're are
not very sad... we're all normal guys but I think we're not playing that kind of music with no reasons. Unconsciously, we
all have problems to adapt ourselves to the world we're living in. We do not fit... this state is sweating in our music.
That's my own opinion, and I'm the only responsible for it.
My situation is quite different as I especially joined this band for its depressive side. So yes I actually
play this music because I feel like "it is a mirror of what I carry inside", most of the time.
Honestly, I don't know other French HC bands with a sound similar to ours.
-How do you like living in France? Do you think living somewhere else would change your dark mood?
I'm ok living in France. Not proud of it but not ashamed neither. It could have been really worse. What dark
mood ?!?!? I'm not always dark and certainly less than I used to. And I'm not of these peoples thinking things will go
better by living elsewhere. You can move as far as you want, if you don't face yourself, you'll bring most of your
demons in your luggage.
I would have done the same answer that Xav. You can't escape from your demons with changing the place you live in.
France is a good country to live. But it's very far from being perfect, so we have to make things change. But I wouldn't
want to live somewhere else.
If I'd be forced, I'd pick a country in the north, where the weather is cold and where it's snowing all the time.
Hu Hu... it could be nice. Snow is washing all my dark mood, when I have some...
Sooner or later, I would like to experiment the life in north countries. But still, I don't think that I would
find anything else than snow... as Ben said so. I'm not hoping for another kind of life that could be better. I just hope
that I could experience silence some days.
As I said it before, I'm fascinated by eastern people. I really think those people have a more sincere and
spontaneous approach than French ones. Maybe they're not, but I like thinking that. But I really don't know if living
there would change my mood... We are what we are.
Gosh, what a weird question. Well, I'm everything except " dark mood ". It happens that I feel sad sometimes,
but thinking about the world we're living in must not make us feel gloomy. Well, everything is so fucked up in the world
at this moment... it makes me think to the fall of the great systems. big stuffs gonna happens within the 10 next years,
I'm positive on this. It's gonna be our turn not to fuck up with all that. To answer your question more sharply, if I
have to leave one day, it'll not be to escape something. The uninhabited island castaway trip is a too weak and utopian
way of life.
-Anything else to add?
Thanks a lot Ivo for the questions. They're very interesting. I hope my English is quite clear. If you have any
question, don't hesitate ton contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
thank you very much for that Ivo, it's always a pleasure to see that our work is interesting people.
I hope we'll meet one day in your country, watch out, we'll be on tour in your neighbourhood in April 2005.
Please get in touch for any information on : email@example.com
I just want to apologize for my English I haven't been practicing for a long while... and want to thank you for
asking us such good questions. Hope to meet you sometimes. Cheers.
To be honest, I'm not speaking English very much, it's Ben who translate my answers (ndt : you're welcome) I
expect it'll be close to what I wanted to say (ndt : so do I). So if one day you come to talk to me, don't get upset
if I don't understand what you say very quickly.
thanks to you and I hope we will see you for a show.
-That would be all. This was the first interview I've ever done so I hope I wasn't too annoying. Good luck with Overmars
and thank you for sharing this with us!
You did it well !
"It was a pleasure talking to you !".
Not annoying at all !!! This is even the first time I answer an interview with more than 2 words. Thanks
c/o Xavier Théret
21 Gde rue de la guillotiere
69007 Lyon | France