On this earth, there are good and bad assholes. Rotofil Khonaar are, but another a class apart, a sonic hybrid crossing jungle, drum and bass, punk and metal, poppers and alcohol-free beer. This hyperactive duo from Toulouse open up to us for their very first interview. Between urban psychedelia and rural brutalism, between bass and drumkit the message is crystal clear: “Drum! Drum! Drum and Bass! “.

| Interview & translation by Ninofutur.

How, When, and Why did Rotofil Khonäar started ?

Were you already in the same musical vibe as you are now?

G – No, it was much more disjointed, much more noisy stuff.
R – You have one of our first concerts still online on YouTube if you want to take a listen.

And how did you arrive at this Punk-Drum’n’Bass concept?

G- From the start, I knew there was something to do with drum and bass, since it’s a bit of our common interest. We went through the noisy-whatever thing  because I didn’t know everything that was possible for me with effects pedals.
R – Since we wanted to become a duo, we quickly found ourselves a little limited in our formula, so we looked for a new sound that gave the impression of being several musicians at the same time.

What is it that you both agree on musically within the group?

R – The first time we played together we said to ourselves that it wasn’t going to work at all, Gaétan was talking to me about Nirvana, I was talking about technical death metal… (laughs). I learned to be a little more open to the “alternative movement”.

G – Well, yes there was still all the old drum and bass: Ed Rush, London Electricity, Dillinja…

That was above all our thing. It always spoke to me because I see it as an equivalent of rap or punk for electronic music, hyper rhythmic…

G – We have a few songs that only revolve around one riff. Most of the time I come up with an idea and Rémi helps me restructuring everything differently, we sometimes even found ideas during lives!

For the lyrics, I always start by shouting gibberish and words naturally replace it. It often talks about drugs, travels, sensations. It goes with the journey of what is happening for me. Now that I’m off drugs, I find it even funnier to talk about it like that.

R- It’s still completely assumed. Our logo is a rat snorting speed.We were alot into this by the past, even if we are no longer, we continue to assume, because it will make a kind of « select ».

We were told that it didn’t look “professional”, it’s also a way of warning anyone who wants to the things who might come. Besides, we don’t have any problems with that.

G- Drugs are part of my life. I was a very shy before, it made me move forward on a lot of things until it became a problem. There are so many stories, encounters, journeys in my life linked to it that it would be impossible not to talk about it. Now that I’ve calmed down, I’ll quickly get bored seeing everyone around me getting high…
R-  Well, it’s true that relationships quickly become less natural with it, and we quickly realized that if we continued to party like this, the continuity of the band would be complicated..

Speaking of continuity, what are your ambitions with this project?

G – Rémi and I are not on the same wavelength regarding this. He doesn’t want to make a living from it while I do.

R – Yes, that’s one thing. But the fact is that we still want to tour as much as possible. The fact that I don’t want to make a living from it is my business. It’s because I prefer to live in another way. A project like that, I don’t necessarily want to do another one and it might not happen again. So let’s take what there is to take.

G- We agree on that, playing as much as possible and spread the sound, show that punk is not a uniform genre.

For several years you have launched the concept of Khonaar parties, wild evenings organized like free-parties around Toulouse.

This year’s supposed to be “the last” was a great success. Can you tell us more about that?

G- It all started from a discussion with a friend who told me about an urbex spot in Toulouse, we went there and immediately had the idea of ​​throwing an evening there.

Rémi, this great handyman, got involved in the project. System D, generator, small soundwall, and Drum ‘n’ Bass DJs.

How did you go about deciding where to organise each parties?

You recently integrated a new occasional member: “Loustic” who brings performance on stage by mixing drag shows and painting.

How did you integrate him? Will it take up more space in your show?

G- Integrating Loustic more seriously into the set has not really been decided yet. He’s my girlfriend’s best friend who is an actor, and who got into drag some time ago.

After a discussion we had during the occupation of the Mirail university, we decided to try things together, we invited him on stage to perform at Fifigro (Festival initiated by the TV show Groland: Editor’s note).

We were quite fans of his posca and spray painting, the rest happened naturally, but on the other hand, he has a rather busy full life with his theater stuff.

We see in punk a new generation emerging, more aesthetically open and who seem to care less about fixed musical codes, and being more aware on issues linked to sexism, gender and others.

Do you think of Rotofil as punk 3.0?

G-Not long ago, I was on the side of the stage before a concert and a guy from the venue looked at me with disdain before saying out loud “what are these punks in dresses now ??” “. As soon as you step outside the punk codes it’s getting disturbing. I don’t want to anchor myself in a movement or anything, but playing on stage dressed more freely feels so good.

R – We are often taken for jesters, we have to assert ourselves to the end to be respected. Sometimes I have the impression that punk scenes are a bit like political parties. Some people just don’t understand that the current is changing.

Any current groups to follow more closely, or any personal favorites?

G- Show Me The Body! Bourdon Mobile which often gives me chills, Nuit Bleue, La Jungle what a hit ! Roti Bondage even if don’t give a fuck. (laughs)

R- Stray From the Path, Ten56. EPIQ is also amazing, it broke my head!

Finally, what would be the Rotofil Khonäar state of mind for you?

R- Homemade, DIY.

G- Being an asshole with respect, being trashy and stupid with kindness.