‘Arnaud my old friend! (interview with Arnaud Barbe (Pollux) by Justin Thomas Squires

arnauArnaud my old friend!
How are you today?

I’m excellent, day has been good and I feel like maybe I have never been so happy in my whole life! Everything’s fine!

I noticed you have been pretty active with Pollux lately, putting up all your releases on the bandcamp,
and coming out with a few new ones. What should we expect to see from Pollux this year?

I have been very active in the beginning of the year but a little less since because of the lack of time and not really being in a creative mood.
Putting all my stuff on bandcamp was a challenge… it took me ages but I’m very happy to have done this because it’s a little bit more easy
for people who discovered my stuff recently to find my whole stuff (or close too, cause i’ve some inedit releases in physical edition).

I’m restarting making sound very slowy and I just started to work on a lobit ep (not sure of the format right now) for a floppy on the
great DIY label Floppy Kick! I’m also working on a 8kbps lobit track for a compilation which comes sometimes in September or October called “Extreme Lobit“.

I’m also since more than one maybe two year, a big lover of the ASMR scene (just write ASMR on youtube and you will see). This is something which relax me a lot and I wanna try to make an ASMR album or EP full of relaxing field recordings and a lot of whispering (in french), and maybe some ambient drone background,
but i’m not sure yet about that!

BTW. I really enjoyed your Medusa ambient/drone ep!

^ the magic artwork for Pollux’s Medusa. (if you click it you might actually be transfered to this release..

Oh thank you, these 2 tracks been recorded live. At first I recorded something like 5 or 6 tracks on the same vein but I felt like the other (tracks) sucks and the audio quality wasnt good,
so I choose to only release a very short format with a coherence and a correct sound. I like to record thing in a punk way and I also love short format, so
that one follow this logic!

If anyone were to check out your discography, they would see that you create a large variety of electronic sounds.
What is your favorite genre to work with?

Yeah I’ve work on different genres with my project Pollux, Ambient, Drone, Electronica, Noise, Experimental, Field Recordings… etc but I must
admit that my favorite genre to work with is Ambient Drone mostly because I feel like the minimalism of drone music makes it even more emotional!
It goes to the essential, the most important point to me and touch the essence of what I’m searching for, for my sound.
It’s kinda hard for me to explain but yeah definitly drone!

Do you ever play any live shows? And if not, do you plan to in the future?

I only played one live show for the moment at the Lobith festival in 2012 and it was amazing, the ambience was great and it was recorded inside
a church which ,is totally perfect to record drone ambient sound!

The Lobit Music Festival has been succesfully recorded for everyone who had missed it. It includes the very first ever live performance of Arnaud Barbe (Pollux) and also a good friend of him (Pogohm) .. download free available when you click the above picture..

I havent played any live after that but I would love to, I just feel like I have
to work on this and buy more material to make a real performance that could offer even more than just listening to my records. I must also admit I’m affraid of the reaction of a public and this is something stressfull for me. So nothing for now but I would definitely like to play some liveshow, particulary
with some open minded artists I love. My secret plan is to pay and travel to USA and play some gigs with RedSK, Graffiti Mechanism, Master Toad,
Flat Affect, Doomettes…etc which would help me to feel more confortable about concert in a friendly ambience and make me acquire a bit of the experience of everyone. Unfortunately, here in France I feel alone about that and I have nobody to practice and give me advice (and France is a terrible country for experimental music) so I will continue to prepare myself and dream about this little tour in USA.

Walk us through your creative process, how do you go about making new music?

I generally think about nothing and don’t prepare myself in any way. I have no ritual and I just start recording and everything flows!
I’m sometimes really surpised about what I’m hearing and I’m like “did I just record that?” It’s quite rare that I have a plan about what I record,
all I want is to make sound in adequacy with my emotions at a specific time, nothing more have importance!

Sirona is as busy as ever! How many releases do you have out on your net label now?We are at 732 releases… so yeah that’s a lot of stuff, and a lot are still in waiting since months (I’m sorry for that)!
I have no idea when it will stop and I hope it will never but what is sure is that I love every of this 732 releases and
I will enjoy all the coming albums and eps here!

Downloaded em all? impossible! more popping up!

Do you ever plan on expanding Sirona to physical releases?

Really, NO, the netlabel part is actually a really big work for me (maybe too big) and I wouldn’t be able to make a physical section.
Also I feel unable to delegate the work and all must be exactly how I want, so it really is a nightmare for me to not do everything.
I feel like it’s like my baby and I can pass it to anyone… yeah it sounds really selfish said like that but, yeah whatever, it’s a fact!
And also I don’t wanna deal with any form of money and prefer to put everything for free because this is something I love. Even if I respect DIY labelsa lot for what they do and I buy physical releases, this is just not the vision I wanna work on.

What Do you plan for Sirona’s future?
addd
I havent a real plan for it, the only thing I want is in the continuity… more releases, more compilations, more artists involved, …etc
But if I had more time I think I would also work on a radio section for the website! This is something I would like to do but this is actually too much work and I have no idea how to make it work without being connected 24/7.

I also love the new interviews section on the website/blog, this is something I find really great to know a little more about some artists involved,
so I think you can expect more and more progressively!

A Sirona Festival would be the coolest thing ever, even a very small one… but I cant think about that now and we will see that later, for sure!

How do you find time to do all the great things that you do Arnaud, with the label and your music? Do you ever get burnt out from it all?

I have no idea! I imagine it’s because Sirona & my music became obsessions! At the beginning of Sirona, I worked 20 hours by day on the website.
I’m not an hyperactive guy in life, i’m more someone lazy but not for my passions and the biggest one is the underground so… I think that’s why!
But yeah I’ve actually less time for all of this because I’m not single now and sharing life with the person I love take a lot of time and same for my work
and everything related. Also I lost a little bit motivation recently because of different war on social network between some artists and the pressure put on by people who don’t want to wait and ask me every 3 days when their release will come! Some people don’t understand all I do with Sirona is on my free time and I win zero money with it and it takes a massive part of my life. I love that but it’s a lot of effort!sironaaaaWhat is your favorite thing about running Sirona?

I love everything about it but what I love the most is to stay in connection with the artists involved and follow them in the creative proccess
but also a little bit in their lives. The other thing I love is dropping a new release, everytime, I feel like I’m dropping a little bomb on the internet!
siroojjI would also say organizing massive compilations, which is something hard to do (and I’m always affraid to forget tracks) but the result is always
beyond my hope! And for finnishing, just watching all what we’ve done with Sirona these years… and rethinking and when I started it and expected nothing more than a few releases, a hundred downloads and not so much interest.sironadThrough Sirona, you have created a community of artists (with your facebook groups ect.)
I personally think it is awesome to see the relationships that have been formed by such collaborations!
What are some of your favorite things that have happened because of these friendships?

A lot of great things happened, some fantastic collaborative effort or split, but I think the best one was Siro200, Your Name’s album!
For people who have no clue, Your Name is an anonymous project we created in 2011 where people put music on a soundcloud without saying who made it and we compiled everything under the alias “Your Name”. The result is really fantastic and I recommend to anyone this diversified album full of pearls!
And what is even more awesome about that project is that we even created a megalomaniac character, cause yeah Your Name is now a real person with
a gigantic ego! Now my hope is about a second Your Name’s album, I will speak with him about that!

^ [Siro200] Your Name – The Greeatest Hits (click and download the album to enjoy it for free)

Well, that about raps it up my French friend. Is there anything you would like to say before we close this interview?

Yeah I would thank the whole underground scene, the netlabel scene, the DIY scene, everyone involved on it!
I wanna say a BIGGER THANKS to 5 person I consider like brothers even if we never met (but I’m sure we will):
Adam Crammond aka Graffiti Mechanism, Patrick Doyle aka Redsk, Kai Nobuko aka Toxic Chicken, Shaun Phelps aka Flat Affect & Christopher Arnett aka Consistency Nature.
These 5 guys changed my vision of music and life some years ago and I wouldn’t do 5% of what I do now without them.
I would also like to thanks some other great artists who inspired me a lot with there music and humanity:
Master Toad, Swin Deorin, Rainbow Valley, Doomettes, Joel nobody, The Merricks, Alex Spalding, Razxca, The Captain Kirk On LSD Experience,
Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, Hlo, The Musk-rat Cult, Hectic Head, 2nnt, … etc etc etc etc
I can add hundreds of name here but it will take an eternity, if you read this, you’re probably on this list
… I’m sorry to not name everyone but just THANK YOU!

Thanks for your time Arnaud. Great to hear from you, and as always, thanks for everything you do for the underground.

Keep digging that tunnel friend, you are one of the masters ❤

Justin Thomas Squires is ‘Master Toad’ and also the brains and mind behind the Tunnel To The Underground Compilation series.
You can find the tunnel over here: http://digthetunnel.wordpress.com/
or on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tunneldigger

Arnaud Barbe is ‘Pollux’
his bandcamp acount with music http://pollux0.bandcamp.com/
and his Pollux website is over here: http://www.pollux0.net/
next to making tons of music,
he is also the proud father of probably the biggest netlabel out there:
www.Sirona-Records.com

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2 Responses to ‘Arnaud my old friend! (interview with Arnaud Barbe (Pollux) by Justin Thomas Squires

  1. Linda says:

    Such high productivity… you’ll have to give me few light years to travel through this… 🙂 Thank you for bringing together your releases. As much as I like to search through obscure corners of the internet, I simply have not enough time to do so (thanks yikis!). Plus, search engines aren’t what they used to be; I’m finding less and less. It’s good Pollux creates these soundscape drone worlds. Much better roaming around there, bringing minds to peace 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    And when is the next festival?! I want to wait in line for tickets and camp and get coins and paaaaaartyyyy!!!!

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