Front 242

Date: Nov 21st, 2005,
Venue: Irving Plaza,
City: New York.

Front 242

is a Belgian based electronic/industrial band. They have amassed a world-wide underground fan base, and play to packed stadiums in Europe. Some of their memorable classics include Tragedy for You, Head Hunter etc. but their entire album is a listening experience unlike no other.

Video Interview

This interview with Front 242's Patrick Codenys (keyboardist) and Jean Luc De Meyer (vocals/lyricist)took place before the show at Irving Plaza, New York, Nov 21st 2005.
Jean Luc De Meyer, Ms Divine and Patrick Codenys during the video interview for Ms. Divine's Tee Hee Heure Front 242 is laughing.. Jean-Luc Demeyer (vocalist) and Patrick Codenys (Keyboards) of Front 242
The video is 40 minutes long, so I have broken the video up, into 3 parts to make downloading easier. To view the video, you need to have Quick Time installed. If you have any trouble viewing the video, let me know. Much thanks to the arms of my strong friend for she held the video camera a good 40 minutes straight.

MP4 (Mpeg 4) Version available: If you are interested in this interview, feel free to download the mp4 versions of the interview here by clicking here. The MP4 (Mpeg 4) versions are for downloading only, and are about 80 Megs each. These versions are clearer, less grainier with hardly any loss to the original quality.

Ms. Divine's Tee Hee Heure

This video interview of Front 242 was aired on my weekly comedy variety TV show called Ms. Divine's Tee Hee Heure. It airs in New York, in the boroughs of Queens and Manhattan via Queens Public Television and Manhattan Neighborhood Network TV. If you are a resident of either county, send me an email and I will let you know when the episode of Front 242 airs. For showtimes click here

My show is a collection of short sketch comedy films that I do, and if you are interested in finding out more, I recommend downloading my latest sketch film " A Most Particularly Peculiar Bank Heist", that is if you are in the mood to see something peculiar....

Interviewing Front 242

I am happy that the band, Front 242 gave me this video interview considering the fact, that I am pretty much an unknown. (But that is slowly changing) There are many bands that shun local media and pathetically beg to be interviewed by the bastards of Vh1, Fuse and MTV for they crave the whore-like attention that these greedy conglomerates of MTV can give them. Front 242 are no whores....

I was a bit unsure as to what kind of guys, Front 242 were, and figured that no matter what, I will try to have fun, even if its by myself. But I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how amicable they were. While I was setting up before the interview, Jean Luc asked to see my list of questions. It was just a paper, where I scribbled questions along with some personal notes and things I needed to remember. It was embarrassing, and I reluctantly gave it to him. He carefully scrutinized my questions. Then as he turned over the sheet and continued reading, he let out a raucous laugh. This strange evil-like laugh continued as he read. I don't know what was funny and just hoped that the personal notes I scribbled were ineligible. After a few more chuckles, he gave it back to me without saying a word. So much for communication.

During the interview, I felt a bit scared of Jean Luc. It was his awkward silence when I asked certain questions, then his ultra deep voice that intimidated me a bit. Patrick, on the other hand was very easy going to speak with and had lots to say.
Jean Luc seemed like a stiff robot, I wasn't sure if he found me annoying, and at any given moment I wondered if he would attack me... though that might have been quite exciting.
But I pushed these weird thoughts to the back of my head, and continued with the interview.

As I spoke to Jean Luc after the show, I realized he is actually a very intriguing and funny guy to talk to.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge
Why does she keep speaking?
ooooh she's cuckoo... At one point during the interview, Patrick signaled to another person doing the "that girl is cuckoo" gesture. I didn't realize that Patrick was doing this gesture, until I was editing the video and put it in slow motion.

Personally, I've always felt quite normal. Perhaps I didn't have many friends when I was small, but I have always enjoyed talking to little animals and plants in the yard.

But ironically Patrick looks quite cuckoo in this picture. Hahaha. Move your mouse over the pix to see.
If you look carefully, you will see Jean Luc trying not to laugh. Imagine, if they were to see my sketch comedy films, they both will think that I am truly mad !!!

Front 242 Music Video

One of my over-all favorite music videos is "Tragedy For you". It was centered around an interesting concept. A fat lady pushes a shopping cart in the middle of a desert and orders this small guy(Richard 23) to put into the cart, a variety of vegetables, that oddly enough happened to be growing in the sand. I found this entire humourous sequence of events, all very interesting to watch.
Anton Corbinj was the director of this video. He is well known for doing videos for Depeche mode and U2,but for some reason they never stuck in my head as much as "Tragedy for You".
There was something about this particular Front 242 video, perhaps the simplicity and humour of it, that makes it stand out as one of the best music videos that I have ever seen. Not only was the song really nice, but the video created a mysterious aura and cool vibe of the band, Front 242.

Nowadays, at the rare instance a song is good, sometimes the music video can be quite horrible, with just tons of blockbuster kind special effects without any kind of creativity or originality. Forget about the current garbage music that I see on MTV. A fitting video for that crap would just be a black screen with a mute button.
But anyway, sometimes people get too carried away with the fancy effects of film making, that they forget what the core of the video should be about - a song that relays well with creative convincing images.

One example of a video that could have been better was the Primus video: Winona's Big Brown Beaver. This video featured these mannequin looking cowboys that walk in a comical robot-like way. But into the whole video making, there were too many elaborate and technical effects that took away from the characters featured in the video. For instance, there was this big issue as to how to create an effect of having the 3 cowboys move in a jerking robot-like way, by lowering the frame rate of the movie to 24 frames per second. The tech guy went into details as to how he lowered the frame rate and synced the rest of the video frames for this effect. The effect is witty, but it had no relevance to the video, and didn't make the video any more interesting to watch. Why not have the 3 cowboys actually move in that jerking way instead of relying on a computer gimmick. Primus made another video called Mr. Krinkle, that started out like fun, featuring circus acts, but then got carried away by turning into a big production deal, and the facial expressions and characters of the circus performers were not very interesting.

It's easy to forget that sometimes, it is not the polished technicalities of the music video that make it good. It is the energy, and originality that makes some videos stand out.
One video that comes to mind was Black Flags' TV Party. Even though it lacked technical effects, that video had lots of raw energy. That's good..

The Concert

I briefly met Richard and Daniel B. They were both nice. I didn't recognize Richard, and asked him if he was the sound check guy. Daniel B. was very busy scurrying around, though I must say I have never seen a plumpy man walk that fast....

Click on the thumbnails of the concert pictures to enlarge. I wish I had taken better pictures, but those strobe lights blinded half the pictures and these were the few that looked ok.
Front 242 performing Front 242 - Richard 23 and Jean Luc De Meyer Jean Luc De Meyer in concert
I was expecting the NY show to have a bigger turnout. I wonder why that wasn't so. I hardly saw Front 242 advertised anywhere, and only saw a few postcards in the lower east side of manhattan. Perhaps people did not know they were touring??

Patrick Codenys and Ms Divine after the concert Front 242's  Jean Luc De Meyer and Richard 23 in motion Front 242's Richard 23 dancing
The concert went well. Jean Luc and Richard danced around stage, while Patrick remained quite still. I think that Irving Plaza's sound system is not very good and just produces too much bass. This happened a few times when I saw Melvins and KMFDM at this same venue.

Later on

After the show, Patrick Codenys acted as a waiter and gave out sodas and bottled water to some of the fans. That was nice of him.

I ended up chatting with Jean Luc. When we got ready to take a picture with him, he promptly put his beer on the table and said "I am not going to advertise beer. I don't want to."

It was the tone of his voice and his determination not to be featured with that particular brand of beer, that made me laugh. After all, why should Jean Luc advertise an over-rated beer for free. hehehe.

Jean Luc De Meyer of Front 242
Jean Luc with his girls

Despite the serious tone that Jean Luc has, he is a funny guy to talk with. However, I had this nagging feeling that he was pulling my leg with lots of stories that he would tell me.
For instance, he told me how he knows a guy that lives without eating. He said he thinks its possible. This theory is based on an Australian writer. He even said he was going to try it.

We talked about this for a while, and I began to wonder if he is trying to test my reaction to see if I blindly agree with everything and nod my head like a robot. I then made a special effort to keep my head perfectly still, so that I didn't nod or shake it by accident. But then my neck muscle started to hurt from holding it so still, and then I began to wonder.... Should I not believe everything this guy is telling me. Is it a trick? Is he going to go home and get a good chuckle out of my reactions.

And then I wondered.... why am I so excited when these sort of strange topics come up? Nevertheless, I looked it up when I went home, only to find that a number of people died from this theory. It's called the Breatharian theory, where your nourisments come from the universal life force. It might be possible to live without food, if you are fed intravenously. But not to have any food!! Can't be! It's quite an odd theory, but I wonder if he really believes in that, or was just trying to pull my leg on that one. So I guess this is what he does when he surfs the internet.
Perhaps what is interesting about the theory, is not the theory itself, but the fact that people have followed it and died. It reminds of that Jim Jones Cult back in the 70's. These cult leaders are the "Soul Managers" of their victims. Perhaps that is what Jean Luc found interesting about all this. hehee.

Aside from that, Jean Luc expressed his concern for the torturous way that chickens are killed and claimed to be a vegetarian (or try to be one). Strangely enough that day on my way to Front 242, I saw a human trash pushing its shopping cart on the road with 3 dead turkeys for Thanksgiving. It blocked the pavement, so no one can walk and started speaking to another trash, screaming: "I just gat ma 3 F***ing Turkeys for ma Thanksgiving". NY can look so ugly at times. It was a horrible sight. How sad, that 3 lives of 3 turkeys have to be sacrificed for this waste of a human being to devour. Poor birdies...

Those turkeys were at the back of my mind, and I found it to be quite an odd coincidence that Jean Luc started talking to me, about the cruel deaths of birds.
Anyway, he felt there was a right way and a wrong way to kill an animal. I've always thought about that. If animals were not killed so gruesomely, and wastefully, this world might be a better place. Even predators in the wild never kill as much as humans have.
He said that when it is killed the wrong way, he can taste the fear of the animal.

The taste of fear probably comprises of the knowledge that all animals are macabered in a gruesome style. What a lovely sentence -
"I don't like to eat meat. I can taste the fear of the animal"....

There was something about his tone - very powerful and dramatic that made those words linger in my head for days.

This guy talks in poetry, he has an unusual and entertaining way of describing events. He is good with his words. I like that. That is probably why he is a very good lyricist for Front 242.
I am now very curious about his new poetry prose to music project that Jean Luc talks about in the video interview. I would like to hear it or at least get more info on it.

It is good that he is not limiting himself to only Front 242 and is constantly expanding his artistic talents by exploring other creative outlets even if it is in different forms.
Jean Luc had lots to say, and even though I wasn't sure when he was trying to pull my leg, I was still very much intrigued by the entire conversation. I would have liked to talk with him more, but the night came to an end and he was very hurriedly rushed to leave. He invited, me to the Philadelphia show. But I told him I couldn't make it, despite the fact that he told me that, it was 2 hrs away. I don't have a car, but I didn't get a chance to explain it properly to him. Then we went our separate ways....

Here is a cute picture of Jean Luc.
Lucky Rat!
Any guy who puts a rat on his head
and likes to give special thanks to the inventor of the air conditioner gets an A in my book!!

A collection of comedy films, skits, and nuttiness!
eXTReMe Tracker