Loïc: well, after a hiatus of approximately 10 years, I’m officially back in the band. My brother Lionel and I started together in 1998 and in 2003, I had to focus on finishing my PhD, find a job… it was a tough decision because I love playing music with Lionel, but my lifestyle had changed and was not compatible anymore with rehearsing every week, playing gigs on weekends, etc… I was never too far away because I kept on doing music on my own (garlic.wav and dark//light) and my work include quite a few remixes for [P.U.T].
Lionel went on with Alex, the guy who, funnily enough, had already replaced me in my previous jam band. Then Nico, our brother, joined on guitar (he was already the 3rd official member anyway). Then Alex went, for reasons similar to mine.
To make a long story short, my personal situation hasn’t changed, but Nico doesn’t feel like doing gigs so often anymore, and Lionel is very busy with his new band Missiles Of October (noise power trio from Bruxelles). So it seemed like a good opportunity to use modern technologies and start a long distance experience. It's very exciting to be the three brothers together: it feels like it's what it should always have been.
In 2013, LiB sent us some tracks he had demoed and Nico and I started mutating things, turning them into the little monsters you can now hear on the split CD with Grünt Grünt.
We are currently working on the 6th album. As I said, I was still creative over the last 12 years, so I have accumulated a lot ideas, riffs, etc… Having children has stimulated my creativity, because I need to be organized to have time to play music. All together we have at least 10 tracks coming from Nico and myself, and more keep coming! There’s no real deadline so I keep writing new tunes, and we’ll see what happens.
2.Recently you were a part of a split, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Loïc: I would say the major difference is the fact that we are now 3 contributors. Also, I have produced the EP and I brought a new vision to the sound that was previously handled by Nico for the 2 previous records. I used a more acoustic drum kit for each track to bring more organic sound. Because there are now two guitars, they are naturally a bit more prominent in the mix. Overall, I think we have achieved something more spacious but still very heavy and quite aggressive at times.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Nicö : On my side, my lyrics are about everyday life or fiction. I do not do politics or propaganda, I let that to those who do it better than me.
Lionel: yes [P.U.T] is not a political band but have beliefs. We are against human stupidity ahahah and lyrics are often around this. Some texts are also inspired by Lovecraft, stranger….
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name [P.U.T]?
Loïc: it’s an acronym that we have kept secret for all these years. We like that mystery and encourage people to find their own meaning. We’ve had good suggestions like “Pour Usage Thérapeutique” which means “For Therapeutic Use” in French. And it actually fits what this band is for us: a therapy, something we use to feel better, escape for a few hours from the world.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Lionel: it's very difficult to say. In 17 years I’ve done 170 shows in Europe with [P.U.T] and by luck, most of are good remembrances for me: nice places, nice people or nice bands most of the time. I have many best shows in my head.
On stage we are 100% focused on music, it’s a physical/emotional performance for us. On our last show with have add some video projection to give more ambiance to people.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Loïc: At the moment no. Again, I cannot tour and even the occasional gig could be difficult for me to be a part of. I travel a lot for my job already, so I need to spend time with my family on weekends. If LiB and Nico can and want to do some gigs, it’s fine with me. We’ll just need to think how they can present the newer tracks at their best. But you never know what may happen.
Lionel: we hope to have some few proposal for single shows in coming months, but I do not think that we will do intense touring like over last years (120 shows in 5 years). Today, we prefer to tour less but in better conditions. I’m living in Belgium and my brothers are in the Paris area so it’s financially difficult too.
7.Recently you where a part of a split album with Grunt Grunt, what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
Loïc: Grünt Grünt approached us with this idea of a split together. I had my doubts at the very beginning when Lionel mentioned they were a grindcore band (even though I like this genre). But I think this works very well in the end and I’m really happy with that association.
Lionel: Bert from GG and me are drawing for the same comic book zine “juke box”. we met through Alexis Horellou who "directs" the collective. Bert, who is a big fan of our band, proposed me to release a split together and I really like Grünt Grünt. 2 years later, the CD is here and we asked to Alexis to do the cover.
8.You worked with a decent amount of record labels on this release, can you tell us a little bit more about them?
Lionel : At first, P.O.G.O. records, which is the DIY label that I've been running since 1993, and Bonobo stomp which is Bert's Label. Since the beginning Bert and I had decided to find more people to help us do it and distribute it.
I have sent many proposal to labels and Brutal Arratia, Trashfuck rds, THC+DIY rds, vleesklak rds and Krach Macht Frei have decided to give us their help. We thank them a lot!
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge, noise and industrial?
Lionel : very difficult to know … but year after year [P.U.T]'s name continues to grow, bringing new people who like our music. We’ve got for all our albums many amazing reviews. But the most difficult people to convince / approach are live promoters or bigger labels. And this new record shows us that international labels are interested in our music and want to be a part of it by co-producing it.
10.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Loïc: we would like to be able to release the new full length in 2016. It’s always been a DIY thing and even though we are looking for labels to release it, we are not putting extra pressure on the process.
In terms of sound, it’s too early to say because at the moment all the basic skeletons we have are only the result of one person’s vision. For instance Lionel’s demos for the split CD were really different from what you can hear now. Nico and myself really brought something different, changing even initial mood sometimes. There is no limit and we are trying to experiment as much as we can. I remember having the idea of adding completely new drums and techno beats on Under Most Darkest Sea, just to give it a try. I liked it and that led me to had these guitars, with a more Killing Joke feeling... I stepped back and thought “Wow, Lionel’s going to freak out! I changed it so radically!” But he loved it and so did Nico
We are all open-minded but not afraid of suggesting things / criticizing, and we all listen to each other. So even though there seems to be two kinds of direction at the moment with more noise rock vibe (ala Unsane) or more slow moody industrial sludgy metal, I hope this will change in the near future when Lionel and Nicolas send me their contributions.
It’s safe to say though that the split CD is giving you a hint of where we are starting from. So it should be something powerful with hopefully an even better sound and production.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Loïc: That’s a very tough question for me! I personally think I am influenced by all the music I listen to, and believe me: I listen to a lot of different things, new or old, and in many different genres. It can be any kind of metal, experimental, techno, jazz, hardcore, noise…. I gather musical ideas and production ideas from all these genres.
I think our basic influences like Godflesh, Scorn, Unsane, Sonic Youth or Killing Joke are still there. There are also bands that keep coming back regularly in my player, like Helmet, Shellac, Neurosis, Nine Inch Nails, High Tone, Hint, Ez3kiel, Tool, The Yound Gods, Dälek, Deftones, Converge,… that will necessarily have an impact on the sound I want to achieve.
Lionel: like Loïc say, we listen to a lot of music in many genres. But currently, it's mostly noise rock sludge metal industrial genres that influence me for [P.U.T]'s music.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Loïc: I like drawing, reading comics and watching movies. But when you have two kids, you need to prioritize things and get organized. So my free time is nowadays focused on music.
Lionel: I’m doing illustrations or comic books for a few fanzines like “Juke Box”, “Jaja” or “La gazette du rock”. I participate occasionally to collective art exhibitions. I love reading or watching movies too.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Loïc: This is only the beginning!!!
Lionel: thanks a lot for support!