First of all, when we noticed the name of the Swiss CONVULSIF we were thinking about one more death metal band following the path Finnish CONVULSE have taken, but by checking it out we were basically very surprised and in the following very excited about what we got to hear. This is exactly the stuff we were searching for to enrich MORBVS MAXIMVS.
CONVULSIF’s record “IV”, just released a couple of month ago, is an output that is much soaked of experimental jazz, swinging between unregulated explosions and banned chaos. In a few moments the band is acting quite shy and even a bit prissy, but within the next step it is leading us into walls of noise, lots of distortion and improvised disorder. At all this is a very fabulous chaos. And yes, get your pants on and run away, if this is too weird for you. We love it. That’s why we got in touch with Loïc Grobéty, the founder and main man behind CONVULSIF and also one obviously overactive companion.
MM : CONVULSIF is basically brought to life by you, isn’t it? What is your personal background? There might be still some jobs you do next to CONVULSIF.
Loïc: At the beginning in 2009 it was a free jazz and rock concept. I came from extreme scenes like black metal ENIGMATIK and grindcore (DAÏGORO), then I studied jazz in highschool. I started double bass and now I’m very interested in the noise scene and all the music from underground and free language.
My work is large, from jazz to hardcore: MARC JUFER IMMERSION 4TET, MYRMEK, WOOD, CORTEZ, OLOs PRIMASH, IN GIRUM…
MM: By the way, do we name CONVULSIF as a project, a collective or a real band? The cast of the band, the number of musicians, is changing every now and then; sometimes there are six, sometimes just four members. Is there any higher plan behind?
Loïc: At beginning it was a collective band and now it‘s a real band with four permanent members.
MM : Am I right, if I guess that the background of the band’s members doesn’t include that much metal? You’re mentioning doom and black metal as issues to work with. Tell me about the influences CONVULSIF is feeding from.
Loïc: We have different backgrounds and discuss a lot about this. Maxime (drum) and I come from extremer scenes, Jhamasp (violin) and Christian (bass clarinet) from classical music. We create a music with contrasts and walls of sound. The field of influences it’s large, it’s from SUNN O))), BORIS, SWANS, NEUROSIS, ENDON, MERZBOW, YOUNG GODS, PORTAL to MORBID ANGEL, etc.
MM: Your Swiss origin makes me basically think of MONNO, a band that is en route in similar waters. And I am quite sure you know each other very well. What does MONNO mean for you, even when the band is based now to Berlin?
Loïc: MONNO is one of the most massive bands in the world and they are excellent musicians, too. I love what they do. Antoine Chessex lives now in Zürich and is one of my friends.
MM: This year’s released “IV” is the first full length record you’ve done so far. A bit short I think, but well, that doesn’t matter much. What will be the content of your performance in MORBVS MAXIMVS? Will you maybe have to present us the weirdest set you’ve ever done?
Loïc: The set evolves itself with different audiences and different improvisations. The set is never the same but we will play the piece from the vinyl „IV”. We want to create a powerful experience for the audience.
MM: Besides the stage performance, do the masks you are using have any specific meaning? The video clips you were taking are also special in a way. Is there any concept behind?
Loïc: The mask is a strong identity from CONVULSIF and for the next tour we will play with light concept. The mask came from the beginning of the project, all the musicians were changing, but the mask stays.
MM: Is there a real scene for avant-garde music in Switzerland? If yes, is there anyone you could recommend?
Loïc: In avant-garde Swiss music I recommend you to listen to Dave Philips, … (Nicolas Mounoud), DEFIBRILLATOR, Antoine Chessex, ALBOTH, VOICE CRACK, KNUT, LÉON, Gilles Aubry, STROM, SPOOK, …
MM: Lots of stuff to check out, but first thing to survive is CONVULSIF in Friday.