WEBSITE: Nemo official
Hi JP. I've always seen the name Nemo under the description of progressive metal band: I'm not so fond of most of the prog-metal releases, so why do I like Nemo so much, according to you ? Yes, you could answer: "you should know !!!" ….
Well, as you say : only you know ! But I can also tell that Nemo's music does not contain any Metal Prog "cliché" . Nemo is definitively not a Metal Prog band ! Some parts of our music are strong, but we are most influenced by eighties hard rock bands, or seventies legends as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or Black Sabbath. However, we do like bands as Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation, but we don't play the same music. I think they have enough clones, and I'm not sure we would be able to play at such a level of technicity. Anyway, we just want to play our music !

As a matter of fact, I've always thought of Nemo as something more than a classic prog-metal band. I'm talking about great songs like "1914", "La morte du scorpion" where I found an high rate of creativity never seen elsewhere in european prog-metal scene.
Thank you ! As I said, prog metal bands are now mostly influenced by themselves, which situation creates an impoverishment of the music I think. In the band, we listen to a lot of different music styles, and we love to play all of them. That blend makes our difference. Our music is progressive because we mix many things inside, and we love to develop themes and melodies on long lenghts. Not because we want to sound like one band or another.

Which are your favourite Nemo tracks ?
Well, I do love every song we write ! Some of them unveil defaults with time, some don't. Without talking about next studio album's songs, I would say "O.g.r.e" or "1914". But the next album contains our best songs !

How your songs take shape?
We have two ways of composing music. Jamming and structuring all together, or working on one or another's ideas. For example, I wrote "O.g.r.e." and then we worked on the arrangments together, while "1914" was written by the whole band. When all the music for the album is composed, then I write the words based on the concept imagined by Guillaume and I. Guillaume sometimes writes lyrics as well.

How about "Presages" and "Prelude a la ruine" sales ?
Less than 500 copies. It's not enough to finance the further productions, so we always need pre-orders for every new album. It's sad, but I hope it will change soon. However, "Prélude à la ruine" is out of stock now, and we hope the next album, which we will make 1000 copies, will sell better. I guess we don't sale much because we are self distributed. But the internet is magic, and we don't despair to reach the financial balance.

Which are the main differences between these albums, in your opinion ? Do you think you evolved your style ?
"Présages" is more progressive, with long suites and typic ambiances. "Prélude à la ruine" is more direct, with shorter songs and heavier sound. But it also contains long prog songs as "Tous les chemins" or "Le monde à l'envers". This is the main difference I think. With "Prélude ..", we were also more mature in composing and producing. This one sounds better for me. But that does not mean that we changed our music, we just don't want to write the same album every time.

Let's talk about the forthcoming live album called "Immersion publique"? Does it feature the entire set of your past gigs ? If not, which songs have you cut ? I can't believe you haven't played "La morte du Scorpion" !!!!
The album contains one hour of music, which is the time we're allowed to play in festivals. We rarely play longer, except the day when this live album was recorded. But we have chosen the songs we played 15 days before in Paris. We did not play "La mort du scorpion" this night, but we used to play parts I and II in 2003. Maybe we will play them again, but it's getting harder with all those new songs !

Do we have to expect some interesting news from the next studio album ? When it will be available ?
Yes you can ! It is now entirely recorded, and we planned the released date for February or March 2006. We hope we will be able to keep this date, because we don't really know if pre-orders will finance it ! We will anyway find a solution, we always find solutions !! Concerning the music, I will only say that it is the most progressive record we made until now, and that it contains some of our best songs, ever.

You also released a solo album a couple of months ago. Does it sound different from a Nemo album ?
Yes, I did, and that was my third. The two first don't sound like Nemo music. But for this one, called "Cannibales", I wanted to make an album that I really wanted to enjoy, as a listener. So it's a mix between rock songs and longer pieces, guitar-based instrumentals and soft songs. Some critics described it as a "softer Nemo".

Taking a look at the latest news on your site, I read your comment about P2P (peer to peer) and I found it really clever. I mean, you haven't condemned the so called "wild downloaders" but you've invited them to buy your albums just to hear a better sound and to make the band living. What do you think about P2P ?
It has no sense to condemn people who want to listen to our music ! Moreover we can't do anything against the fact that people put our music online or download it. So the only thing left to do for us is trying to tell them that we pay to record our music and make albums, so they have to buy our albums if they like our music ! Otherwise the band, like many others, will not be able to continue. However, it can be a fabulous way to make our music known all over the world, but people have to be honest with it : download it, listen to it, buy please buy it !

Do you think the major labels are fighting this phenomenon in the rightest way ? Don't you think it would be better to take the problem for granted and face it in other ways ? Don't you think that forbidding is not the best way ?
I certainly don't know what is right or what is wrong ! Let the majors do what they have to do, anyway they have nothing to do with the music. They just want money, like every firm in this world. The least we can say is that they did nothing to put on music within reach of all the people, just because of the price of their products. They did nothing neither to assure the choice for people to listen different kinds of music. Now, they do not seem to suffer much of p2p...It's not the same for small labels, or independent bands like us but I'm sure people who love music understand and still buy albums.

Is the self-production a definitive choice for you ?
At first it is not a choice. We recorded the first album, and sent it to labels but no one seemed to be interested. We did for every album and we still do it. But I have to admit that we are not ready to accept any condition on the pretext to be signed by a label. I think that small labels would not be able to offer us more than that we already have. I'm a bit pessismist because the few labels we'd like to be signed by won't do because we sing in French : it's not economically profitable. Maybe I'm wrong, but anyway we will continue the band, with or without a label.

I'm a great fan of Guillaume Fontaine keyboards playing which I consider (together with you) the true engine of Nemo unique sound. Can you tell me something about him ? What about his musical background ?
I will tell him ! He's a classical pianist with a high level of musical studies. As I, he's a music teacher. He began to play rock keyboards with Nemo, and he's getting very good. He is the musical arranger, the one who finds the good chord at the right place ! He is the second composer in Nemo, and I love his ideas. Moreover he's a very kind guy and we are good friends.

Do you know (and like) italian bands ?
Unfortunately no. I only know Mangala Vallis who released their album at the same time as "Les nouveaux mondes", our first album, and with the same concept as us ! I'm not a prog expert, and I don't know much bands, even in France.

Finally, what are your currently favourite listenings? There's any particular band you mostly like ?
Well, I grew up in the eighties, with Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden... And those bands made some albums that are still my favorites ! But I do appreciate "new" bands like The Flower Kings or Spock's Beard. Yes is my favorite band, and in progressive scene I think not many bands have their own style and sound. Maybe The Mars Volta or Porcupine Tree...

Your favourite guitar player ?
Definitively : Michael Schenker !

Luca Alberici