Hailing from France, Neimo emanates a sense of confidence, sexuality, and craftsmanship in their music that is impressive. Earlier in their career, they found acceptance in the Francophile scene difficult, as they have chosen to compose music written in English (as they acknowledge, rock & roll came to birth in the United States). But with the release of their album “Modern Incidental," they are starting to make waves in the music scene. In the middle of a tour, Neimo has taken the time to answer 5.
1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
We could say we love David Bowie, New Order, The Smiths, Lou Reed, Blondie, Kraftwerk, The Kinks, Elvis "The King" Presley, Talking Heads and so on… And for non-musical ones, there is Andy Warhol and Joe Dallesandro, Marlon Brando in "The Wild One," The Goonies, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dali...
2. You mention in an interview that France is a "league behind when it comes to rock." (link to interview) Why do you think this is so, considering all of the musical festivals that are sponsored in France?
Well, this has changed a bit now, but one has to admit that rock & roll is an Anglo-Saxon thing. Every time the French have tried to make rock & roll, it has been quite ridiculous. But we are trying to change that!
3. Obviously the music scenes of continental Europe, the UK, and the US are different. In your opinion, what are those differences and how has Neimo been received in each?
We've never quite felt such a gap between those countries actually. What's funny is that we've realized that the crowds prefer different songs. For instance the British like "The Hourglass" better while we can never go through a gig in NYC without "Peter And The Wolves"!
4. I've heard many people comment that your sound is very straightforward, but yet sexy, and I agree. Is this something you aim at when you are writing and producing your music?
Yes, we try to keep some form of spontaneity in our music, especially onstage, but we try to consider our work as a piece that is readable through various layers. You have the straightforward aspect of it indeed, such as the melody, and then the next level is when you hear the lyrics and if you go deeper and listen more carefully you'll discover loads of sounds or meanings in the words you hadn't heard till then.
5. What can we expect next? (Returning to the US any time soon?)
We are touring Europe a lot right now, especially France and Germany; we just had our music featured in a Karl Lagerfeld fashion show today (we're very proud) and already starting to write a new album. But we're longing to go back to the US, and see our friends in NYC.
Keep up with the band on their MySpace home.
And get their album. “Moderne Incidental” is one of those albums that cover all the dimensions of solid indie rock. The opening track, “Can You Call Me?” has that straightedge guitar playing that just hooks you. “Echo Pixels” has a sense of urgency that is addictive. “Peter and the Wolves” is an ironic poetic ode, while “Diamond Lane” is an interesting example of spoken word. Then there is “The Hourglass,” a cryptic story hemmed into some of the most dramatic music out there. The album brings your full circle by the end; “Carsick” will lift you off your seat with its classic guitar rifts and its fast tempo. And for as catchy as this album may be, it isn’t gimmicky in any sense of the word; this is solid craftsmanship that relies on ingenious songwriting, not production tricks. Run out, get the album, now!
1. Can You Call Me?
2. Johnny Five
3. Echoing Pixels
4. Peter and the Wolves
5. Something in Common
7. Diamond Lane
9. Poison the Chalice
10. The Loving Dead
11. The Hourglass
Here is the link for their video “Lines” on the Vimeo page of directors Chind and Brechet.
(Photos of the band by Mat Zazzo.)