"..the gorgeous drones are becoming more condensed and engulfing.."
The Mayerling project has been dozing in the shade for several years. It's creator just needed time to keep his musical roots (originally more codified) away. Now, that's done... Sylvain, has been playing music for more than 20 years as a drummer/singer and songwriter in bands like Second Rate, Generic, Napoleon Solo, Robespierre... and he now lets himself drift away in order to explore new sonic territories. It's been a long way to bring this fragile balance to life, and even if the original idea is to walk alone, the road is often paved with various encounters. The need to share Sylvain's universe led him to share the project with his friend Boris, guitar player and song writer for Gingko, Austin Newcomers and Robespierre. Their collaboration worked out from the start and gives the compositions a more structured definition. On the other side, Sylvain has acquired a wide freedom in expermenting through his musical past in Generic and stage performances with Jean-François Pauvros. Meeting Sebastien Lemporte also appeared as natural and oblivious. They developped their drums/cello duet as another essential side of Mayerling where all sonic drifts are welcome. Various influences such as Mort Garson, Klaus Schulze, Can, Trans-Am, Robert Rich, Peter Murphy, Marteau Rouge, Pauvros or more recently Apparat, Amen Dunes, Peter Broderick and Marcus Fischer have a branded Sylvain's musical orientation. Mayerling evolves in a minimalistic reverbarated cottony universe in wich storm is always theatening...Mayerling makes the listeners look deep into themselves so that they can see what is around them better.
Hello, how are you?
I'm quite good, thank you!
What are you currently listening to?
I listen to a lot of different things, like old soundtracks such as 'Midnight Cowboy' (John Barry), 'Amarcord' (Nino Rita), 'Phantom Of The Paradise' (Paul Williams.) These albums all have their own universe which take me away from this world every time I listen to them.
When did this project come about and did you have a planned sound you were going for?
This project started about two years ago. It took time to find the right balance before thinking about recording anything. I had planned the main ideas of the project, both musically and visually, but I didn't know how it would exactly sound in the end. I couldn't have predicted that. There was a lot of things to take into account. The music really took shape after my friend Boris joined me. He's an outstanding musician who personally got very involved in "Cut Up" so that it could sound really good. Also, the main idea was to be able to play everything live, apart from a few samples. The tracks can sound different every time we play them, depending on how we feel.
Care to shed some light on your debut LP 'Cut Up'; theme, favorite track, etc?
First, you have to know that Mayerling is a multi-shape project, the original shape is a solo version close to Ambient music that was only recorded twice. I play solo during experimental/art performance nights, and I really enjoy it. This is during one of these nights that I met my friend Sébastien Lemporte, cello player and feedback master, who is featured on the last track of the record. On the other hand, I also play with Boris in a more written version of Mayerling. I didn't feel like choosing between one or the other because boths forms are inseparable, that's why they are featured on the same record. The themes are various and also close to each other in a way, there's always some nostalgia, some past prints, lost things and souvenirs involved. That's weird, because I don't feel like I'm a nostalgic person, I always move on, this might be my biggest paradox. The track "Cut Up" is a real cut-up, we recorded it improvising with Sébastien during two days for more than four hours in order to keep the core of it, these 16 minutes that close the album. I really like the whole album.
Will you be touring extensively for said release?
We hope we can tour as much as possible, dates are slowly getting booked. We just needed a record before booking gigs and to allow us to reach more people. Now we have it, thanks to Morgan and Onito for trusting us.
If you could pick 3 artists (dead or alive) to remix your work whom would you pick?
I don't know much about the whole remixing thing, but I love everything Apparat makes, David Lynch's "Good Day Today" remixed by Boys Noize is killer! My pop side would also mention the amazing Sufjan Stevens.
Got any other projects we should know about?
Yes, I've got something in mind. It's been in my mind for several months, but the idea has yet to develop before I can really talk about it.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
A few of them: Serie Noire (Alain Corneau), La Source (Ingmar Bergman), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni) Eraserhead (David Lynch), Elephant (Gus van Sant) Nausicaa (Miasaky)....
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
That's too difficult to choose one! OK, maybe a Trans Am album, but I don't know which one since I love them all.
Are you living your dream?
Mayerling currently has a few shows lined up (unfortuanetly none of them in the US), one day soon I hope to witness this act live...