Annelies Monseré

Annelies Monseré is one of the strongholders of post-millennial slowcore. Surviver of the nineties, she molded her song crafts careful during the 00ties in the cd-r and tape scene. Debris (Morc) is her 4th full album up to date, showing a master on top of her skills. The record is a hidden gem in minimal folk song writing that easily equals the British bards.
15 February 2017 | AG 9
Niels Latomme

Annelies, do you see yourself as a cynical person?

Annelies Monseré

Well, some people certainly seem to think so… In one of those (surely very reliable) Internet questionnaires ‘Which Twin Peaks character are you?’ I came out as Albert Rosenfield.  So, ‘I admit to a certain cynicism’. I guess I might come across (a little) cynical, but I think the fact that I am usually quite silent and timid make my cynical remarks more harsh, unintentionally. Not sure. I guess I’m easily amused, for example by certain kinds of music or art. But I don’t intend to judge or to be mean. It’s not a character trait I am especially proud of.

NL

Are you happy with the Debris album?

AM

Yes, very!

NL

Can you tell me how it came into existence?

AM

The record has been a very long time in the making. Actually, I think I started recording around 2009 (I always record tons of different versions of the same song) and it was almost ready around 2010. But then I wanted to involve some friends and after a year of waiting, they decided not to work on it. Then I kept on changing my mind about the final mixes.  In 2012, Steve Marreyt and Yumi Verplancke sang on a couple of songs. Which was good, not only because it sounds great, but also because I then felt a bit obliged to finish the record. Then I needed to find a label (which is the worst part of playing music, I think). After a year, I found one. That label kept me waiting for 3 years. Which was too long for me. So I was very happy Morc did the release. And I am also very happy about the fact that I still very much like the record.

NL

You worked on a PhD in art-philosophy. How does that influence your own music? 

AM

I obtained my PhD in 2015 and – unfortunately – not doing much research these days. Actually, for me, philosophy and music are two totally different things. The two do not seem to be related at all. I guess my philosophical interests are (broadly conceived) political. My research started from worries about cultural exclusion and cultural appropriation: why is the canon of art history so narrowly ‘western’? How should we approach aesthetic artifacts from ‘other’ cultures? Etc. (But in the end my PhD turned out to be a highly technical and metaphilosophical study of definitions of art. They call me ‘miss meta’ at the University). Anyway – this seems totally unrelated to my music, which is a highly ‘intuitive’ and a not very reflective practice for me. 

NL

It seems that you tend to make rougher songs with Luster, how come?

AM

Yes, well, it developed into something ‘rougher’, I guess, because other people in the band contribute rougher parts to it and I feel more confident to – say – push the Big Muff (cause solo, that might get a bit ridiculous). I mostly write the main melodies, but we develop the songs together. I’ve always wanted to play in a louder band (partly because you can hide behind a wall of sound), but not in a kind of traditional rock band (which would not fit with my vocals anyway). So, I am very happy with the band. 

NL

You music has a very homely feel to it, is it something you’d aim for?

AM

I record everything at home, so I think the homely sound comes natural (that, and the fact that my recording techniques are more or less self-taught). I do think that my music does not need a big shiny production (it might at some point, but I doubt it). It would make things bigger than they need to be. My music is not about big statements or feelings or whatever, it’s pretty ‘small’. Although I am paying attention that ‘small’ doesn’t turn into ‘precious’ or ‘cute’.

(c) Jessica Bailiff
NL

You’ve been around in the Ghentian scene since long, have you seen it change?   

AM

Not sure if I ever saw myself as part of the ‘Ghentian scene’. But I guess I am… (which is nice of course). And more than ever, I guess, as I play with many other members. Maybe the scene used to have a more solid core? Which is not necessarily a good thing. This question actually makes me realize that I should get out more and see/hear what the scene is up to.