These space invaders from France are an Electro Rock duo with Dark Wave and Punky Vibes. Prepare to scream and jump to their freaky modulations and visual seductions. Dark Beauty is in love with their sound and sense of aestheticism. Skylab’s primal creative energy is as contagious as the plague in the 15th Century yet romantic and vibrant. Better move back as these two kick the door down and bring inspiration to us all…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
©SKYLAB MUSIC FRANCE
Photography Hervé De Oliveira
Jewerly Laure Besançon
Where were you born and where on Earth are you now?
Mike: I was born in France, precisely in Aubagne, a small town near to Marseille. Nastassia was born in France as well. We now live in Dijon, the Capital of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Tell us the story how you both meet:
Mike: We met in 2010 in church and Nastassia confessed to me that she really wanted to make music and few years later we created a successful plan for the SKYLAB project, and now we will be mainly focused on going forward.
Nastassia: He likes to say that we meet at the church since I answered this in our first interview but it’s a lie! We met at 20 years old, I came to Mike’s home for a party and I discovered the Korg R3 and specially liked the vocoder. I just say: “Put on The machines, we’re gonna make a thing.” Mike was already beginning to produce with someone, he was a sound engineer sound making music with the first version of Ableton Live recording alone in my apartment. I was looking for someone to start an Electro project with and Mike was just there so it became evident. One month after we first met, it was his birthday and I offered him a Moog Little Phatty. I think we understood at this moment that we were going to make something great together.
As artists from France which is also the land of Daft Punk, do feel creative pressure or more inspiration?
Nastassia: First, I wanna say this is all bullshit, no matter where you’re from, everybody from ‘all around the world’ can be so productive in creation and pertinent as artist. Indeed the french touch is a fact, especially in Electronic Music and of course we’ve got talents for artistic direction, sense of aestheticism. The french people are very analytical/intellectuals but sometimes it feels good to talk to the soul, the instinct and the primary. In a global way, Skylab is a mix of that: a boy and a girl, the mars attack vs the venus velvet. For the inspiration, France is full of old architectures, old stories… it’s like walking with denim in the 15th century.
Mike: I feel more inspiration because some good artists come from France like the Ed Banger Record Team (Justice, Cassius, Dj Mehdi) or Kavinsky and Birdy Nam Nam. So it’s more stimulating for us.
For our readers just discovering you, explain your sound to them:
Nastassia: This is the moment or I give the soundcloud link (laughing) It’s like a kiss in a bloody hell, our sound is organic. We are working with a lot of synths and we love modulation. We’re like doctors in surgery in front of a big operation table. We like to search the waves of the sound, take it and turn it into a big ocean. We come from Rock’n’Roll mixing punky vibes, darkwave style and bass music. We make music in the studio, we love the production but in our heads it’s like “oh yeah, this on stage is going to be awesome.”
Explain your live performance to our readers and what the audience can expect:
Live performance is a big part of this project, we love the stage. The energy is characterizing us, we’ve got two formations, one is with scenography, the other one is more club. We’re two on stage, Mike standing with the machines and the laptop while Nastassia is singing, vibing with the people, splashing them with plastic pistols and dancing with the flag.
Nastassia: For me the stage is my game room, my space and I love to do whatever I want on it. Lately I miss being on stage because we’re in studio production. I miss the sensation both energies between us and the public, this electric feel is my drug.
We love the production you did for your music video RESISTANZ, we’d like to know more about the making of it and some behind the scenes details:
Thanks! RESISTANZ is the baby of our first video clip named GO FAIR, KIDS. It’s like the continuity of it in the visuals but also in the meaning. We’re making the realization, the artistic direction and the production. We see the Skylab project in the multidisciplinary art way. The scene takes place in the museum of our town, it’s a restitution of a city in the 19th century, the city we’re living in! So it was so dope for the imagination, it was like a real movie set. We worked with Amélie Loisy-Moutault for the Costumes (French director/creator and Canadian Fashion Week).
A lot of work before the shoot in every character was made with her and with Tempus Factoris, a specialist in Steam Punk accessories (The Prop Master of the video). For make-up and hair style we chose Choco and Suzuki from the cosplay world to mix universes. We’ve had Laure Besançon for jewelry, she’s our official jeweler and a talented one. All the characters, the emperor, the guardian, the candy girl, the tailor and barber are people who are not actors. They inspired us and we’re chosen specially for it. Finally we’re going to leave it blank for the spectators, is not our propriety now, it’s yours.
How did you come up with the design for the headpiece/helmet worn in the RESISTANZ video?
It’s the Tempus Factoris master piece. We were looking for someone in Steam Punk accessories and we found Tempus Factoris. It was one of our most beautiful meetings and now we’re friends. For the story, he just showed us on a phone the actual “Emperor” mask and we just felt in love with it. The story line for our video was complete on this day. Also Tempus designed pieces especially for the video like the Skylab Music Box.
Who are the artists that inspire you to do what you do?
Nastassia: A lot, I mean inspiration is everywhere. Jackson Pollock, Jim Morrison, Ian Curtis and Peaches. Mike is always listening to a lot of new sounds! He can’t answer, it will be too hard for him but I know producers from Canada are taking his attention.
What’s in your ipod?
In our iPod you can find Cyberpunkers, Bloody Beetroots, Pixies, Moroder, Rebotini, The Hacker, Vitalic, Miss Kittin, Elliphant, Peaches, David Caretta, Billy Idol, The Clash, Mozart, Huoratron, Motorhead, Sex Pistols and many more.
Where are the cool places in France to hang out?
To party, Paris is always a good idea. We’ve got a lot of good festivals to.
Can you share with us some of your future plans?
Yes, we’re in Deutschland in October for a club appearance. We have some remixes coming out on our label Freakz Me Out Records, with Liberator (Fmo Family) and Fred de Carvalho (Paris Producer and Mate). Maybe some Trap from a crazy guy from Valencia (Monsta).
What is your message to the world?
Do we have a message to the world? As Skylab, we prefer to have a message to the universe (laughing). “Humans are boring, Aliens seem so funny.”
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty is like a storm, it’s heavy but wavy, it’s terrifying but attractive.