Jun 2018 12

In a special three-part series, ReGen Magazine speaks with the three primary members of legendary industrial “supergroup” C-Tec on the eve of the band’s reformation at this year’s ColdWaves events.
 

 

An InterView with Jean-Luc De Meyer of C-Tec

By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

By the early ’90s, the landscape of industrial and EBM music had changed, and the pioneering Belgian act Front 242 had already begun to experiment with different sounds to move into a new era. However, with the departure of vocalist Jean-Luc De Meyer following the release of 06:21:03:11 UP EVIL, the band had effectively entered into hibernation as De Meyer embarked on a series of collaborative adventures. The first and still most prominent among them was Cyber-Tec Project with Ged Denton and Jonathan Sharp, releasing the Let Your Body Die EP in 1995. A visceral onslaught of pulsating EBM beats and De Meyer’s distinctive voice, the EP has become one of the industrial scene’s most celebrated gems of its era. After Sharp’s departure, Cubanate’s Marc Heal entered into the fold, and the band began new life as C-Tec. Releasing the Darker album in 1998 and Cut in 2000, C-Tec displayed a dynamic new style of industrial, blending arresting breakbeats and driving techno rhythms with darkly melodic atmospheres, all with De Meyer’s engaging lyrical and vocal presence. For the next 18 years though, C-Tec wouldn’t be heard from again, with De Meyer still working with various other bands and artists along with a reinvigorated Front 242. Now in 2018, C-Tec will be reuniting for this year’s ColdWaves events in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and ReGen Magazine is proud to present this second of a three-part series speaking with the group’s principal members. Here, Jean-Luc De Meyer offers his perspectives on the band’s past, his working method in relation to his other projects, his thought process on the stage, and touring in the modern world.

 

What can you tell us about why C-Tec ended? Did you feel that there was still more to do with C-Tec?

De Meyer: C-Tec never really officially ended. We just all went on with our lives; each of us departed for another country where everything had to be sorted out and started again.

While it’s still early, what can you tell us about your interaction with Marc and Ged now? How much do you feel things have changed since we last heard from C-Tec?

De Meyer: Between us, nothing has changed. The spirit is the same. It feels like we waved each other goodbye three days ago.

What sort of themes or emotions do you draw upon when writing lyrics for C-Tec, and in what ways is this different from what you write for Front 242 or any of the other bands you’ve been a part of (Underviewer, Cobalt 60, Lederman/De Meyer, 32Crash, etc.)?

De Meyer: With C-Tec, I tend to deal with spiritual, higher level, conspiracy theories, paranormal stuff. Theoretically, 32Crash is about science fiction and what life will be like 100 years from now, Underviewer is about what it means to be human, Front 242 is about the struggle to be alive and the difficulties of being heard and recognized, etc. But lyrics that really match the music have an absolute priority on anything. I am currently writing lyrics for the new C-Tec songs that are quite far away from the previous grounds that we visited.

No matter what band you’re performing in, you have a very singular and dynamic stage presence. What goes on in your mind when you’re onstage performing those songs in Front 242?

De Meyer: Not much. The stage is not the right place to think. I am generally focused on counting the beats in order to be in the right timing of the song.

In what ways is playing live and touring different now from when Front 242 began in the ‘80s?

De Meyer: Electronic music has established itself in the meantime, so today, the audience and technical crew generally know what they have to deal with. And the in-ear monitoring onstage is also a major change; it really makes life way easier while performing. In the opposite direction, the sound limitations that are enforced a little everywhere in the world (in Belgium soon – max. 85dB!) are really detrimental to several musical genres in which the music needs to be played really loud, like ours.

Also, how is performing C-Tec live different from 242 for you – again, what goes on in your mind, what are you feeling that is different from 242?

De Meyer: With C-Tec, there is more space for the vocals. I don’t have to fight with the music to find my own vocal corner, so I feel more relaxed and natural.

Having been a vocalist since the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, what do you think you’ve learned that has had the most impact on you? How do you feel you approach music, vocals, and lyrics differently now?

De Meyer: I never stopped learning new stuff in all the sectors of my life. I had half-a-dozen full-time or part-time jobs in various disciplines outside music, and I kept on feeding my lyrics with what I thought was the most inspiring among all these new things. I improved my singing only a little, but my writing a lot, I think. But I still feel far from having reached my top limits.

 

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