Interview: Posterboy Machine

“I’m artistically unstable and I like to switch between styles,” says the leader of French alternative pop group Posterboy Machine, which just released a great new EP “Vol de Nuit”.

After a break, French musician and La Falaise Records’ co-founder Romain Müller relaunched his new wave solo project Posterboy Machine last year with a great EP called “Temple Sud”, which ended up in our Best of 2017 list. He’s now back again with “Vol de Nuit“, a perfect continuation of his recent pop explorations, as reflected in the re-releasing of “Temple Sud’s” superb track “Romance Disco”.

Always surrounded by his long-time collaborators and loved ones, either his sister Kathleen or his close friends, the artist confesses that “human factor is essential” to him, notably during concerts. This alchemy was truly palpable during his EP’s hometown release party, where all Posterboy Machine members – the leader’s father included, invited for one song – beautifully performed some of their catalogue peaks, from 2009’s anthemic “Roland Garros” to infectious “Vol de Nuit’s” title track and haunting “Gym Aquatique”.

We asked their lead composer Romain some questions just after the show.

How did you start composing – and how was Posterboy Machine born?

I was initially alone with my old ’90s groove box, playing during some nights under the name Posterboy. My sister joined me later. We made some shows and recorded confidentially a few tracks together. At that time, we didn’t really want to make our project known. We began to exist as a band in 2014 when Bob (bass) and Kevin (synth) joined us for the “Kaléidoscope” EP release.

But we just gathered afresh last year after an almost three-year break, this time with Rémi and Nelly on synths. Bob is always the band’s bassist but my sister now prefers to dedicate herself to her school teacher job, even if she occasionnally lends her voice for some recordings.

Why did you make that break? And what did you do during these three years?

My sister wanted to dedicate herself to her studies and her family life, so we decided to put the project aside. I took the opportunity to work on the synthpunk band Fumer Tue and my solo dancefloor-synthwave project Bettina Call. Then I felt the need to make tracks in French again. Relaunching Posterboy Machine seemed obvious to me.

How did you meet Nelly and Rémi from Fumer Tue – and when did they join Posterboy Machine?

I met them when I moved to Strasbourg, we often saw each other during concerts. We shared a lot of influences so we became friends with time and I offered I could join their duo Fumer Tue. Thereafter, we collaborated in several parallel projects: in Bettina Call, then in Nail Art (garage / post-punk) with Nelly on bass. We have different visions of music, but now I couldn’t imagine playing without them, I would be lost. Asking them to join Posterboy Machine was obvious.

The sound of the last two EPs is more “romantic” and pop-oriented than your previous records, which were rather influenced by guitar-driven new wave. What is the reason?

With age, experience, and influences – the way we see things evolves. All of this unconsciously affects inspiration and tracks’ artistic direction. Nonetheless, I’m artistically unstable and I like to switch between styles. I wanted to defend a certain vision of pop with “Vol de Nuit”. I’m thinking of exploring other sides of my personality in the future. Next songs will probably be darker, with lot more guitars.

“Romance Disco” was one of my favourite tracks from “Temple Sud”. Why does it appear on both of your recent EPs?

“Temple Sud” has been released rather confidentially. For the sake of homogeneity, “Romance Disco” makes more sense on this EP, to me. I find the misty side of this track more suitable to “Vol de Nuit’s” guideline.

Considering the artwork, sounds and lyrics (“Entre deux eaux”, “Gym Aquatique”), water seems to be a central theme in the EP. What does it mean to you?

Indeed. This isn’t really deliberate but I find there’s some form of sensuality emerging from this lexical field, notably on “Gym Aquatique” which showcases the poetry of body movements in water. Nonetheless, there’s always a hidden meaning or an underlying theme behind my texts’ apparent simplicity. Nothing can be taken in its literal sense, here.

The track “Papillon” sounds a lot more electronic. Is it a direction you would like to explore for your next records?

This is indeed a good transition to next tracks’ spirit. In the future, I would like to get back to our original sound, that is – with more guitars mixed to the pop side of last EPs. Generally speaking, the next record will be a lot more dark and abrasive.

Do you already have new projects in mind?

Yes, we’re gonna make some clips and I’ll already begin to compose material for the new record. In parallel, I would love to organize a tour abroad!

Stream “Vol de Nuit” EP on Soundcloud and YouTube.


Posterboy Machine on Facebook, Instagram.

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