Interview With Niveau Zero
Jun 6th 2011 Jad Jawhari Interviews

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Niveau Zero is a well known dubstep act in France. He is known for his heavy tunes that are influenced by metal in one way or another.

    First and foremost why dubstep and metal?

Because both styles are not that different, in my opinion. For me dubstep is the power metal of electronic music.

    You were in a metal band before becoming a DJ. When and why did you shift to electronic music?

I shifted to electronic music when I discovered rave, party jungle and drum’n bass music. Bands like Ministry, Fear Factory, NIN or Strapping Young Lad had already enlarged my musical horizons. Roni Size, Goldie and Dylan did the rest.

    To what extent does metal influence your mixing and composing?

When I compose I try to find the same energy that I already found in Metal before. Of course I mix this, with other influences like dub, grime, hip hop and techno to create a crossover sound.

    A lot of metalheads have their beefs when it comes to electronic music because they associate all of it to mainstream music. How can you, as a metalhead and dubstep DJ, motivate them to give electronic music a try?

It’s funny! I probably know more metalheads who crossed the line and now listen to electronic music than the inverse! Tell them that « SCORN aka Mick Harris » was the first drummer of « Napalm Death », « BONG-RA » was bassist player of « Celestial Season » etc…

Otherwise a good solution is to provide an album of “Broken Note”or “Drumcorps” for their birthday; )

    In “My Roots” there is a phrase that caught my attention, “Not Everyone Likes Metal, Fuck Them!” What does this phrase mean to you?

I took this phrase from a puppet show called « the FurTV ». It means what it means! But if I were a gentleman I could say « it’ s bad to be obtuse ». Seriously, when I play my heavy stuff in electro clubs this phrase takes all its meaning.]

    What do you think about metal these days?

To be honest I haven’t bought a metal CD in 10 years. However, I still discover awesome bands on the internet like « Dillinger Escape Plan », « As they Burn », « ISIS »,« Sunn 0)) ». But I prefer to listen to my old vinyls of Pantera, Sepultura, Slayer, Meshugggah….

    You played in Lebanon about a month what can you say about this experience? Was it any different from the other raves that you play in?

In Beirut I had the feeling that everyone was really motivated to have a good time!

That’s the main difference! People in Europe are a little bit jaded sometime. It was an awesome party!!

    What can you say about the Lebanese rave scene and its local talent?

I was surprise to discovers that Lebanon hides an important underground scene. I played for the Acousmatic Crew and they looked really active. They play electronic music close to the metal aesthetic. I met a lot of local artists and there are really good DJs and producers. For example a young producer, Jad Ataoui is gonna explode soon!

    There are a lot of upcoming Ad Noiseam events, will any of them hit Lebanon?

Precisely, the 9th of July AD NOISEAM will celebrate its 10th Birthday in Beirut. You can’t miss it !!]

    How does it feel to be the most sought-out French Dubstep live act?

Hummmm …We can’t say that !!
First because the French will say I’m pretentious, and the second reason is that there are others artists that are really good like: VON.D and F, who are known internationally. Otherwise, I’m glad that you think it. ; )

    Any final words and thoughts?

“Not Everyone Likes Metal, Fuck Them!” ; )

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  • Secular

    This is what is endangering our metal scene and metal in general. the sheer amount of publicity on metal websites for dubstep and electronic music, i’m not a genre purist or anything, but this is fucking up the metal scene. The same thing happened at metalje’s website when acousmatic system started advertising for its events there. And ever since we noticed that the number of electronic music concerts’ attendees raised while on the other hand we witnessed a huge decline in the number of attendees in metal concerts. my point is to listen to whatever you want, but don’t feed on the “success” of other scenes.

  • Patrick

    I’d say it’s a close call … I mean there are only a couple of articles on dubstep/electronic on this website, and they are no different from articles tagged with experimental or fusion, since that’s what it is really … a fusion of genres, metal included (whether by playing instruments or having “Metal spirit / energy”.
    When reviewing jazz metal artists like Lye By Mistake or Exivious, I definitely didn’t think I was feeding on the success of the local jazz scene (which is pretty significant), but the combination of the two genres triggered excitement and a feeling of musical freshness. Same goes with dubstep, and although I’m not a fan of that genre, I think it would be ignorant of us all to simply ignore the dubstep scene all together, while 70% of its fans are first and foremost metalheads (I’m sure you already know some of them).

  • Ramsis

    Dubstep left and dubstep right ! and shake it all around ! And do the bougiwougi cause your dubstep all arround.

    Dubstep might be a way to fuse some rock into the electronic minds. It ended up fusing electro-shit into the metal minds.

  • fatp

    I agree with secular. Electronic is a highly commercial friendly addictive music genre that doesn’t need promotion, specially on metal websites. However metal desperately needs one.

  • fatp

    Oh another thing: “First because the French will say I’m pretentious”

    That’s a good thing in France, everyone is pretentious.

  • smart version of secular

    I admitted in my 1st comment that metal is far away from catchiness while i wanna listen to it though bcz its cool …

  • Jad Jawhari

    Don’t blame the sites for the endangering of the scene; the scene is endangered simply because of the people that make up the scene. Being a metalhead doesn’t necessarily mean a person who only listens to metal, though this of course should be apparent. Most of the black metal artists in Norway listen to underground techno, can you call them posers or not really metal enough????

    The attendees to the metal events have declined simply because there aren’t a lot of good bands these days; most are simply copies of other bands or just the same old boring cover bands. There is only a correlation between the rise of the attendees to raves and the fall of attendees to metal events, there is no causation here, so let us not fall victims to our own logic. This article is simply showing that there are electronics acts that fuse metal with electronic music. Like it or not this is a fact.