And so we splash into 2013 with an almighty throb, pulse-tone generators at the ready. This is Cloud Generating, debut record of malformed electronic-pop and modular fury from Chicago two-piece Acteurs. From the chest-rattling opening kick of title track to the radon hailstorm of dub-techno epic “Freezing Fog” it’s clear that the pair, Jeremy Lemos and Brian Case know their way around a mixing desk. Both have long, immaculate CV’s with the cream of the U.S alternative scene, and here they stretch the studio to its limit. Acteurs: proponents of bass to make systems quiver, drums that punch the gloom, electronics to scythe and screech into darkest night - a psychedelic overload. Acteurs: purveyors of pop-not-pop...itchy Cluster tones...frazzled Factory keys...LCD oscillations...NEU-motorik thrust...Argabright playgrounds... repetition, repetition, repetition... Dream an Acteurs dream. Sodium streetlights, grey smoke. Chromium staircases and black-glass buildings. Acid rains. Cyberpunk racers. Dead TV channels. Amped-out brains . Come join their future-primitive world of stark and brutal groove, metallic avant-pop and precise mechanical funk.
Hello, how are you?
Doing quite well, actually. I have had some time off, for the first time in a LONG time. It's been great to be home in Chicago in the spring! I have been hiding out drinking coffee and I haven't headed back into the studio. I make a living doing live sound, and I've been on the road for most of the year.
What are you currently listening to?
HA! Should I lie for this one? I'm embarrassingly listening to the recording of our first show at the Empty Bottle! I would normally never do something like that, but we worked really hard on trying to re-create the record live... When we made this record, we were never thinking about how we were actually going to PLAY these songs! We had to completely break them all down and decide what we couldn't and couldn't get away with. Modular synths were NOT designed to be played live, they are naturally a little unpredictable! This is the first band I've played in that has had "parts" in 10 years, so it's a little nerve wracking? Anything else I've done is improvised, and little changes didn't matter, but in this one I have solos I have to hit! The challenge was to find a process with all my synths that left me the least margin for error... So, I wanted to listen back to the recording to see what REALLY happened that night... So far, it seems like we pulled it off? The next thing I'm going to put on after this is the new FC JUDD remix record from Public Info, Alex just sent me a copy!
When did this project come about, whom/what were your biggest influences?
This started about a year ago when Brian's other band (Chicago's best rock band, Disappears) was taking a little break and we would see each other in a cafe by my house. Brian is really into strange Electronic music, and I don't think he had an outlet for it with his other band... We started talking about all of these warped records we loved and it was only a matter of time until he came over to my studio to try it out. I'm always influenced by gear, to be honest with you. My other band (White/Light) was an outlet for my guitar pedal obsession, and this one seems to be my outlet for my modular synth obsession. I listen to a lot of new music, and that's always bouncing in the back of my head as well, but it's usually a new module I've recently found and that plants the seed for a new idea. Throbbing Gristle is probably my favorite band, and that's always in there too...
Why the name 'Acteurs'?
The name was hardest part of making this band! It's a good looking word, sounds good too? Not very good for googling, I suppose though... Names are important to a point, but after people hear the name it just means who the band is after that, you know? You never think of what a horrible band name the Beatles actually is, right? It's a terrible band name once you start to think about it, but you never would because you just think of what they are and their records.
Care to tell us a little bit about your debut self-titled release; themes, favorite tracks, recording snags?
It was actually really enjoyable to make it. Brian & I would get an early breakfast, then head back to my studio... Brian is a great editor, cause I have a tendency to over think things. I would tweak things out until they melted into nothing and Brian would make me stop and hit record! Each song was basically one days idea that we explored until Brian had to leave and pick up his son, and then I would clean in up a little before he would sing on it. I can't wait to work on the 2nd one when I get back from tour in June.
Will you be touring for said release?
I love making records with Brian, but I want to play! We have some shows coming up, but it's just hard to tour with a guy with kids, and another band Not to mention I spent half the year traveling on tour already... We will find a way, now that we got that first show out of the way we know we can... That was part of the reason I was checking out the live recording, hopefully someone in the UK or Europe will hear it and help us get over there to tour!
Got any other projects we should know about?
Brian's other band Disappears just made their best record yet. It's called 'ERA' and it will be released on Kranky records late in the summer.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
I've been watching La Jetée a lot lately, that would work nicely...
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Folke Rabe's 'What?' or... ZZ Top's 'Tejas'. You know that question is basically impossible to answer, right?
Are you living your dream?
I think I can honestly say yes to that question.. But it makes me feel guilty for taking any days off if you start thinking like that! I get to travel the world mixing bands I like for a living, and when I'm home I get make music with my friends. It's been working like that for a while, and I can't think of any reason to change it!
Acteurs are currently working on a follow up to their debut/self-titled LP as well as playing a few shows here and there...