Daniel Menche


Why did you choose this kind of music, that we could define as a music on the fringe of music?

I was attracted to create music as an ideal form of personal expression. No other medium (painting, writing, film etc) is appropriate for myself. Working with sound is the most natural form of personal expression that I feel represents the emotions and drama that I wish to convey. My music is really a part of my blood.

You published your first releases 10 years ago. These releases are strongly noisy (almost cathartic?) Like wall of sounds, and they have something purely physical, as well as your performances, conceived with your body. At the time, what was your aim? What did you want to spread through this use of the body and the more physical extremities of the sound? I could feel it as a pure fury, but i also feel there was a concept, something more spiritual in this noise? Can you tell me more about (if I am right)?

It's always my intent for my work to be as emotional as possible and compositionally very intensely dramatic. I do not wish to have my work presented in any academic manner or with lengthy intellectualism. My work stems from more of an spiritual and emotional side. My hopes with recordings is to have the listeners mind to stop thinking and start feeling. There's a relationship between the speakers and the listeners ears and then there's another relationship between the listeners ears to somewhere inside that person. These relationships is what I rely on as my platform or canvas to work with metaphorically speaking. Its a fascination to myself the space between these points and using sound as a bridge. As far as physical sound performances its just the most natural manner for myself to perform. I don't wish to have my work displayed as simply as myself being a operator with technology. So yes many of my performances are as physically intense as possible and highly emotional.

When do you feel a piece is completed?

When there compositional balance and consistency. A solid structure of sound throughout and a full spectrum of frequencies from very lowest to the highest sounds. And if there is the fullest amount of drama presented in the piece. Its a difficult balance sometimes because its easy to ruin the drama contained within sound by technology. So when the piece can convey the most amount of life to it is when I feel its completed. I am very critical in the studio and many tracks get thrown away and much time and money has been lost from tracks not working out. Whatever gets released is work that I have worked very hard so that there's a full potential of sound presentation. I am very respectful to the listener and I always promise the very highest potential from myself whether performance or recordings for the benefit of the listener.

In a parallel direction to your music, there's some words which seems to pass through your music, like beauty or vehemence. Can we consider them as concept you try to achieve with your music? Is the vehemence a word that could define your music? Or a word that could define you?

Vehemence is a choice word for my current energy presently and in the past few years and I will go in different directions in the future and there will others words to describe it. But beauty is a subjective word to the listener so that's a word that is constantly in debate with any music or art. So I will not say my work is beautiful tho much of the time I strive towards something beautiful even in the most harshest noise to the quietest sounds. But the word "beautiful" is a common word I hear from audiences and listeners about my work and I regard that interpretive word as the highest compliment towards my work.

From this point, do you think there's a main idea who linked all your records, despite their differences?

I don't think words can explain, it is something connected to me and maybe I could try or attempt to explain but really my music speaks much louder and clearer than my own words ever could. I feel that I would cheapen the music if I tried to explain. There is an consistent essence contained within the music and in a metaphorical way I can say my work is the sound of blood being amplified. I frequently remind myself of this.

Could you explain the title of your discs? Some are like picture (Garden), others like guidelines (The Face of Vehemence, Vent)... Are they important for you and how do you choose them?

Many titles simply fall into my head from nowhere, some are just a personal haiku so to speak. Sometimes titles are chosen after the music is done and its simply a costume for the music to decorate it bit and other times the title is made before the music and I'm decorating the title with music. And then there are titles that are just simple words that the definitions are interesting to me and the definition fits the music the best. It is a lot like how a author titles a book and then there are chapters contained within and or an painter titling one of his works. That's how I've approached titling my work since the beginning.

You used to record with a sound engineer? Why? How do you face the studio work? In your opinion what are the main difference between a studio and a live music? How does it influence your work? For example, do you use the studio as an instrument? And with the domestic studios, does it change your way to face the sound editing?

I still use a very good sound engineer and I rely on his expertise to strengthen my work so that I can present it the highest potential possible. It is important for myself to not focus so much energy towards technical endeavors and to put all the energy in the creative process. So yes I do use the highest technology possible that my engineer can offer to me so that when someone buys my albums they are getting the highest sound quality possible and that is very important to me. The difference between studio and live is very great. In recordings I am extremely idealistic in composing and in live performances I am least idealistic. I've been having more fun performing recently by just being natural with the sound and not concerning myself with competition with my studio work. I have stopped trying to recreate my recordings live. Its a totally different world yet the essence is still shared. And its mostly vocal based and that is never in my recordings. Many times at performances I have no idea what will happen and or how intense or loud it will get and that's fun for me. Recently some people have told me that its difficult to listen to my recordings after seeing me perform live because its such an extreme experience and that can never be captured in recording. So that inspires me to keep on performing and it looks like I will be performing more in the future especially if the recording world is declining yet performing live will never go away. I urge other musicians to put in more energy in performing than recording because that's what will be the strongest in the future and most times performances create a stronger impact for the audiences memory than an recording.

Through the years you have been settled in multiples collaborations works with the international noise scene. What does it bring to your music and your method? Some of these collaborations dragged you in very different musical territories? How do you link this work to your solo work?

A "challenge" to put it one word and a very progressive challenge every time. I learn a lot and its good discipline to work with others to balance their musical essence with my own. Obtaining a harmonized relationship with sound and ideas is very positive. And it's good for me to stop focusing entirely within my own work and to work with others is actually a nice break for me to work with others as in half the work is done and the rewards are always great especially in strengthening artistic friendships.

You have an important discography. What are, amongst all of them, the ones that seems to be the most important? Or do you feel that only the listener can feel what is the most important?

I really don't think any of my recordings could be considered "important". That is a word that myself I really can't use for my work. So to answer your question, I wish to keep all my work as focused as much as possible so that all of my recordings have the same shared value between themselves.

A simple (but a little provoking) question: What is your aim? Is it a music that we have to flow with, that the listener have to push on, in a way?

Well I never really concerned myself with a aim, I say this because I do not wish to set up an idealistic aim for the listener, I do not believe in giving the listener instructions to listen. It is my hope for the listener to embrace the music themselves and absorb and interpret it their own unique way. This is where I am critical of the common manner of intellectualism towards music. But possibly to sum up my work and intention is put as much emotion into the music as possible. To be as intensely spiritually driven to create music so that the listener can receive the music as spiritually intense in return. I am firm believer in action/reaction concept and I wish to always be aware of this balance. In other words, creating music is as important as the listening process. It is a goal for the the giving and recieving of music is at total balance. And yes it is music that I wish the listener will flow with and in an individual manner and to generate imagination and energy for themselves.

In a word, could we define your music as a transcription of pure emotions? From this point, don't you think that it has a political dimension? Your music is free of external references, cultural or whatever else. Do you think your music can have a kind of universal sense?

Yes my work is definitely a transcription of emotion but I don't believe my work has a political dimension because for my work to be political it must be a part of a particular group or party that is against another. and it was my hope and intention that my work can transcend beyond my american identity and notably this musical genre. What I mean by this is that I see other countries using music to define their own culture and my work simply doesn't define my culture here in America or any country for that matter and I certainly don't take any pride in my country or culture so hopefully my work does not reflect that. And I do notice the term "political" in reference to noise music being a resistance towards conventual music but I really don't care about that either. I am happy that's my work can be appreciated from other musical genres and mostly I am grateful that my work can be appreciated in other countries and cultures.

What are your project for the future?

My recordings will be much more adventurous and I am putting much energy towards new recordings that will be much different from my previous releases. Personal musical progression is more important and crucial to me now than ever so I am focusing now on recording work in 5.1 surround sound for future DVD releases and then it is my highest desire to applying my compositional approach towards vocal groups, preferably with an children's choir. I am greatly thankful for all of the supportive listeners and so I am very dedicated to keep on creating new music for anyone who are grateful to listen to my music.

An interview from French magazine Fear Drop