BUXIN INTERVIEW, part 1
did you meet Roger-Marc ?
|Dominique Buxin : The story could be told in two words : Brussels
I used to live in Germany, just like Roger-Marc, and I went to the Rösrath
Athénée Royal (near Cologne). I was living in Weiden (actually
Junkersdorf, a small town in the suburb of Cologne, but everybody used
to say Weiden not « Vay den » like in german, but «
Wéden », with a real « w » just like in belgian).
The Youth Club was the place. This is where Roger-Marc and Melody played
archives pages). And some time later, when I was in the ULB (Université
Libre de Bruxelles), this is where I brought back from Brussels the last
punk singles (Sex Pistols, Damned, Clash
and Stranglers). On saturday
evening, we played those records at the Youth Club.
Then, I think Roger-Marc asked me to write some lyrics. I think he thought
I could do the job because I used to write in the Athénée
magazine (« Noir sur Blanc ») and because a bunch of friends
and I had set up a small fanzine called « Indigestion de lesprit
»- we did 3 issues only.
Roger-Marc told me you used to be in a band called Kolossal. What kind
of music did you play ? Did you already write some lyrics ?
D B : Kolossal wasn't a real band. It didn't really exist at all. We
didn't make any music, and the lyrics were only saturday talks after
midnight (when the Youth Club closed), in the streets or in the woods
around, when we were drinking wine or beer.
You've always been Polyphonic Size
man in the shadow, didn't you ever wish to get on stage with the band?
D B : I prefer shadow instead of sun.
I can hardly sing, and I have a dubious musical ear.
One day, Roger-Marc asked me to get on stage with them to sing «RDA-RFA».
It was at the Halles de Schaerbeek, in Brussels. But I just stayed in
the corner, pretending to be singing. And so my whole stage «carreer»
was just a few minutes of silence in some dark corner of the stage.
Beside PSize and JJ, did you ever
write lyrics for other bands ? Or some books ? Articles ?
D B : I write a lot and almost never publish anything.
Beside PSize and JJ, Dominique A covered « Je tai toujours
aimée » (Dominique A sings Dominique B !). But if anybody
feels interested, he can contact me via this website.
Anyway, I've been writing many texts/poems, some novels I'm happy I've
never finished, and a theatre play which is called « Le rendez-vous
de l'Esprit, numéros 1 et 2
The very first PS single was released in 1979. You wrote the 4 songs
lyrics : SAISON, SPACE REJECTION, MODE, and PLAGE PRIVÉE. Three
songs in french, and one in english. Roger-Marc told me PLAGE PRIVÉE
was about some aborted rock festival in Brussels, which eventually ended
like a riot.
D B : I think this festival must have been set up during the Brussels
millennium festivities. I mean, this is what I talk about in the song.
So it should be circa 1977. This song is about how our freedom dreams
turn to conformism when we find our «plage privée».
MODE reminds me Serge Gainsbourg's
song "Qui Est Iin / Qui Est Out". Am I wrong?
D B : Actually, I didn't think about it. But there might be some unconscious
connexions, and as Truth is a relative thing, you're probably right.
SAISON and SPACE REJECTION lyrics are much more weird, with some surrealistic
funny verses, like : "I don't want to be your driver, you fucking
happy surfing man". Could you tell me more about it ?
: This first « Space rejection » verse really sounds odd,
but I can't tell you more about it because I can't remember what I intended
to say with this. So I would say it might be some « ecriture automatique
» or « cut-up ». Sounds good. Like Brion Gyzin, or William
Burroughs. But the other verses are not that weird, even if the word «
surfing » appears everywhere.
I've just read Saison lyrics again. There must be a connection with «
Space rejection » and that bloody surfer. Actually, I talk about
some « surfeur heureux courant sur la mer ». It's about an
ordinary love song: sand, sun and love memories. But unlike Lamartine
who cries beside the lake, thinking about his died last year love, the
song ends with « Je pense à lété, où
je tai tuée » (I remind the summer when I killed you).
Different times, different ways !
What about the recording sessions ? Did you live in Brussels at this
time, or did everything have to be done between Belgium and Germany?
D B : The single was recorded in december 1979. My first year as a teacher
! As December means « exams », I was probably busy at school.
Roger-Marc must have kept me informed. The first time I went into a
recording studio with Polyphonic Size was during the first LP sessions,
with Jean-Jacques Burnel producing.
So in 79-82, you were a school teacher.
In Germany ?
D B : I began to work in Belgium, in Eupen, september 1979, Then I went
to Germany, in Düren Athénée Royal in february 1980.
I've worked there until 1990. After that, I spend my time between Düren
and Rösrath. Rösrath is the place where Roger-Marc, Martine
and I have spent our secondary studies. From 1994, I went back to Belgium
where I'm still teaching (at the Athénée Royal Baudouin
Ier, in Jemeppe-sur Sambre). Talking about Rösrath, there's a website
about Roger-Marc's « Melody » there (users.skynet.be).
Go to « Rock à Rösrath » then Melody. Johan
Van Mullem played some drums on a couple of PS tapes.
If you go to « Cabaret littéraire », then, «
nom de tous les participants » (in red), you'll see my name in
the 1972 cabaret, then Martine Bourlée in 1977. I didn't find
So everything was done through mails,
cassettes and telephone ? You sent the lyrics, then RM would say OK,
or ask for some corrections ? Or could you meet each other during the
week ends ? Or in Holidays ? I mean, how did you work together ?
D B : We'll meet together from time to time (during the week-end), send
us some letters, or telephone when we had to set up something (like
changing some verse...). There was no Internet in those days, so we
had to use what was available then. You must remember it all happened
during the last century !! No computers, no mobile phones. Everything
was recorded on cassettes, and when we wanted to get something to eat,
we had to hunt in the woods.
Anyway, as Düren, then Cologne, were just a 2 hours drive, it wasn't
very hard to see each other.
Another mathematic title, like Algorhythmic,
but it doesn't seem to be the original name of the song.
D B : Well, I'm afraid it's just like the Space Rejection surfer. Can't
remember anything. Maybe the song didn't have any title ? But there
must be a connection with the construction of the song : repetition
of sounds to play with words. Lyrics seen under different angles (some
cubist lyrics ?).
Regine K wrote the lyrics, right
D B : right.
The lyrics are not easy to understand,
because the voice is mixed deep down through a vocoder, but it's obviously
about love / sex, with an enigmatic end : "tu riais de mes paniques
polyphoniques". Was it based on a real-life experience ?
D B : It wasn't real-life. The story is about a guy who goes to some
special dancing. If you listen closely to the song, the go-go dancer
could be a man, or a mix. That could explain the client panik. The word
« polyphoniques » could be about panik screams, but it's
mostly a wink at the band name.