Here is part two of an interview with Conor, from two-piece Irish electronica act Nouveaunoise. The first part is here.

Nouveaunoise is about six years old. We think. Even half of the band doesn’t know exactly when they began. Conor initially says four years, his girlfriend in the bankground corrects him and eventually he thinks he and Niall have been together “off and on for the last five years, maybe, five or six years”. It’s a simple story of how they got together though: “We were just messing on tracks and learning how to do stuff. We never really had any intention of releasing any of it. And then a couple of friends liked a couple of tracks. And I think a really old version of ‘Cinnte’ went up on Myspace one day and somebody really liked it. Nialler9 blogged about it after that then we worked towards released music together rather than just messing around,” Conor says.

But now that Niall and Conor are based about 15,000km apart – Berlin and Melbourne, respectively – how does Nouveaunoise work? “We mostly work over Dropbox and Skype. Dropbox is just so good that you can bomb files over and back. The way we work on things anyway is so, you couldn’t really sit in a room together and do it. Even when we were still living together in Dublin you’d still be having headphones on and your own buzz and swap files over and back, so it actually works out perfectly. The only thing though, is gigs, obviously. I used to do a bit of DJing around Dublin just on my own, but it wasn’t really the same without Niall.”

Conor also says that Nouveaunoise function like a ‘traditional’ rock band. He focuses on the mixing of the songs while Niall takes charge of the actual structures of the songs. But how does an electronica song actually begin? Usually don’t songs come from thinking out ideas on acoustic guitar? “For the first album, Paraphrase Accolade, it was kind of similar to that,” Conor says. “We were both in four-piece bands when we were kids and stuff. Guitar would be my first instrument and Niall would have a mix between that and the piano. So for that album a lot of the stuff was recorded just from jamming and stuff. Like, a lot of people think most of that album is based off samples but in fact there’s only one sample on it and it’s the vocal for ‘Goni’. The rest is just recorded and put on tapes and reel-to-reels and stuff. So that’s one thing that people don’t really realise about that. So for that one it just started with playing riffs on the guitar. Most of the stuff you can hear is actually from a guitar or some sort of stringed instrument, and bits and pieces here and there.”

But that all changed for the recently released Sequence Consequence EP, which was all recorded on laptops as the band wanted to compete more with the sounds coming out of the UK scene (more of which in part one of the interview). Nouveaunoise worked on the EP for about a year, getting sidetracked by creating music for a Canadian film project along the way. There is a vast difference between the first album and the new EP. There’s a much bigger sound and it’s not impossible to imagine the likes of ‘Believe’ and ‘Rizzu’ getting played in the clubs. But is there a fine line between what Nouveaunoise are doing – or at least trying to do – and what the likes of David Guetta is doing? Conor admits there is and that “sometimes, we don’t even know where it crosses”. “But I think it depends on the producers, really. Somebody that’s going to make a commercial dance track, I think that’s just the style, the way their brain works, the type of music they digest and the type of music they love dictates what they’re going to produce. I don’t think David Guetta could come in and make a beatscene track… I don’t think he’d be capable of doing that; whereas I don’t think Flying Lotus could come along and make a dancefloor hit a la David Guetta. It just depends on the person. We like to think that, hopefully, we won’t end up making David Guetta tracks, but you know, he’s getting paid really well so it might be a good idea. “

Nouveeaunoise recently made their entire digital catalogue available for free – or pay what you like – and say they won’t be releasing anything physical again, at least not until they get picked up by a label. “The whole self-release stuff can be great, you can do whatever you want,” Conor says. “But there’s not a whole pile of money in it. I suppose it’s not really about the money, but it’s a hassle to release something on your own. For Paraphrase Accolade, that’s something we’ll probably never do again, like, release a hard copy of our own stuff. Because it’s very hard to market it yourself and you don’t know how many units to buy and you always end up with loads of surplus.”

Conor is not ambiguous about Nouveaunoise’s goals for the future. They are working towards getting picked up by a label (In part one of the interview he said getting picked up by the likes of Planet Mu would be a dream) and trying to break into the UK scene. “I always have [the idea] in the back of my head that I’ll end up back in Berlin with Niall for the next while and work from there. If anything was to ever happen, if we were to release the next EP and someone really likes it and decides they want to do a release, like if a label wants to pick us up, then I’ll drop everything and so will Niall. And we’re working towards that I suppose, in a quiet way. We’re just going to keep releasing music and try and train ourselves to get better at this until we’re good enough to get picked up by a label.”

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