Vision Éternel Interview For The Inarguable
This interview was conducted by Shane Hill with Alexandre Julien for The Inarguable on October 13th of 2010.
Vision Éternel is a musical entity born in the mind of Alexandre Julien, who likes to describe his sounds as “melogaze”, but is in plain words ambient post-rock. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, his most recent completed work (March 2010) is an EP titled “Abondance De Périls“, which was reviewed by The Inarguable a few weeks back. His unique take on a guitar-laden concept album breathes new life into the aforementioned genres, and he should certainly be on your list of bands to keep an eye out for!
We are graced with two new songs titled “Narcosis (Thoughts Of Sonya Session)” and “Neglection (Thoughts Of Sonya Session)” that are as of yet unreleased and exclusive. In the words of the man himself:
Those two songs were tracked during the album recording session of “Abondance De Périls“. Both were altered a bit from their original conception; “Narcosis” comes from the first EP “Seul Dans L’obsession“, and “Neglection” comes from the second EP “Un Automne En Solitude“. The original idea was to have these re-recorded songs as the backbone and rebuild a whole new version of the songs. I was going to re-record all of the fan favourites from the two first EPs, and possibly even some songs from the third EP, as well as some new material and contact various musicians to play solos on them. I had already contacted a bunch who had agreed, and most of them were personal friends of mine like Garry Brents of Parabstruse, Jordan Leal of Ethereal Beauty and Bonfires for Nobody, Vincent Cassar from Smohalla, Camille Giraudeau from Smohalla, Stagnant Waters and Dreams of the Drowned, Eiman Nejad from Mutiny Within and Eliminator, Adam Kennedy from Beyond the Dune Sea, and Philip Altobelli from Darklink and Triskalyon, just to name a few. Only two people ever recorded demos with solos over them; Adam Kennedy and Philip Altobelli. But they were recorded over the original songs, not the re-recordings.
Alongside with the revealing of the new recordings of “Narcosis” and “Neglection“, Dedicated Records has also announced their latest compilation “Palms“, by a group called the Great Messengers, a mesmeric gathering of kindred souls intent on telling a story through the medium of music. Vision Éternel had a hand in this story and offered the piece titled “Start from the Beginning: The Accident” (originally titled “Thoughts As Consolation“), which is the opening sequence for the second act, “A Rehabilitation, An Incredible Journey“.
The mastermind behind Vision Éternel also unveiled to us a rare and laconic video interview, in which he answers some queries of fans. Featured at the end of the interview is a brand new unheard Vision Éternel track, as of yet still shrouded in mystery. He also very kindly answered some questions which I inquired of him.
-What are the origins of Vision Éternel?
Vision Éternel formed in January of 2007, by a pure accident of experimentation. I discovered the power of reverb in the middle of a depression caused by a breakup, and right away took to recording exactly how I felt during those moments of late January nights. At first, it wasn’t anything that I planned on continuing, as it was hidden in my many “Visions” (a.k.a. solo projects part of the Triskalyon collective, all the projects were called “Vision something“). But it was when I started working on new Vision Éternel material after the end of the collective that I knew it was something serious.
-What provides the inspiration behind the music you compose for this project?
All inspirations are directly related to a mood at the moment of the recording. In most cases I record Vision Éternel songs when I’m in a post-relationship phase; during a depression after a breakup. So all influences are directly inspired by my loneliness and hope for affection.
-In terms of musical equipment and gear, what would you say you enjoy using most?
My gear for Vision Éternel is pretty basic, and I must conclude that it is because I haven not played shows with this band and have therefore not needed to expand my current equipment. On almost every single Vision Éternel recording, I have used my Jackson Kelly with a DiMarzio X2N humbucker pickup, which I originally picked up for playing thrashened black metal in my old band Throne of Mortality. I use the Boss Digital Reverb pedal, as well as various reverb and delay presets on the computer. Lately, I’ve been having fun with my EBow, which is being used more and more on Vision Éternel recordings.
-For physical releases of your albums, what is your preferred medium? Is there any vinyl release on the horizon?
I love vinyls. I hope that some of Vision Éternel’s material can be released on vinyl someday, but who knows. I think it will be up to Abridged Pause Recordings.
-How has living in Montreal affected your artistic side? Do you reside in the downtown area?
When I started Vision Éternel, I was still living in my parents’ house in New Jersey, though I had spent the previous six months in Montreal. I permanently moved back to Montreal in the summer of 2007. I wouldn’t say that living here has made any difference in the evolution of the music. I think that it more so has to do with the fact that I am living on my own, often ending up completely isolated in my apartment. I currently do not live downtown, though I have in the past, and plan on going back to that area next summer. The North Shore of the Island is pretty boring.
-How do you go about the recording process? Is it more or less an independent endeavor?
All recordings take place at Mortified Studios (a.k.a. my computer, Jenny, yes I name all my personal belongings). I’d say that everything Vision Éternel does in the studio is pretty do-it-yourself.
-What’s the ambient and post-rock scene like in Quebec?
I believe in “Love the music, hate the fans”, so I don’t go to shows much. But I do know that we have a great post-rock scene here in Montreal. There’s a post-rock show at least every other day in the important smaller venues. We also have a lot of post-rock and ambient labels right here such as Alien8, Cyclic Law, Where Are My Records, Constellation, etc.
-We are pleasantly surprised with a wonderfully dreary and somber high-definition music video for “Love Within Narcosis“, why did you decide to remaster it?
The original music video was filmed on a beat up JVC MiniDV camcorder that my family had bought at least five or six years prior to the filming. At that particular time when I found the camcorder, the first EP, “Seul Dans L’obsession“, was almost ready to be released and it gave me the idea to make something extra for this project. So I went outside in the cold dusk of February and I started taking pictures for the album artwork. This was with a digital photo camera that my dad had. I liked the mood of the lantern and the setting sun a lot, especially since I was able to incorporate a bit of the bitter cold outside (even if this was in New Jersey, not a very cold State). The next day I got the camcorder and attempted to recreate a similar feeling on video.
That night I went on my computer to edit the video footage. It was one of my first times using Adobe Premiere so what came out was pretty choppy. In addition to my poor editing skills, my monitor was dying and the resolution was really, really dark. So the final product was a lot brighter than intended. The gamma was all out of whack. But I wasn’t aware of that at all, because from what I could see on my monitor, it looked great. Later that evening, I added it to YouTube, which was still pretty new back then and the widescreen format wasn’t an option at the time. I also must have messed up something in the encoding because when the video was uploaded, it looked horrible in quality, in frame and in resolution. But it was my first music video and decided that it was acceptable.
It was about a year later that I watched the music video again on YouTube, but this time it was on my friend’s MacBook. I realized just how bad it looked and felt embarrassed. The entire mood was off and people watching it wouldn’t have been able to get the right vibe from it. From that moment on, I always told myself that I would re-edit and re-master it some day, at a time when it would possibly get released on DVD. Now, almost four years after the making of the music video, while editing a Vision Éternel video interview, I was struck by the desire to fix this whole thing it. It was the perfect moment to get people to re-watch the video. So that’s what I did and I think the new version looks the way it was originally intended to be.
-As far as the future is concerned, what are your plans for Vision Éternel as time moves forward?
A potential fourth EP, but nothing is certain at this point…
-Any final words?
Yes, listen to Faith No More!