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Interview: People Of Nothing, Floriant Chombart chats to Alt Dialogue

Alt Dialogue had the opportunity to catch up with Florian Chombart the genius behind People Of Nothing. Read our review of the self titled debut album here and find out a bit more about about the man, the album and French music below.


Congratulations on the People Of Nothing it’s excellent! How did you find the recording of the album, tell us a little about the process?

Thank you very much, that’s a great pleasure, really. I was playing in a band, but had a fight with some of them and left. I also had a fight with my best friend, a break up with my girlfriend, and worse of all, my grandfather died, which was a big shock for me. I locked myself in my apartment, and did something like 40 tracks in two months. Then I showed pieces of this and that to friends of mine at work, musicians, who were interested to be part of it, and then we decided to make gigs.

Then I thought that some of the songs, not all of them, needed a better production. So I re-recorded a few songs with my friend Nicolas Subrechicot (who was the bassist of the band at the time). I’m very grateful for what he did and especially for his patience with me. Then, with the label Anywave, we found each other, we worked on the final touches of the songs together (and then with the other label Manic Depression Record), they helped me a lot to give birth to that little monster.


It’s a very complex album, there’s post punk, electronica, dark wave and a whole host of genres in there, what influences do you have and where does the People Of Nothing sound come from?

This album is about the loss of language. I wanted to express that feeling when you lost all attachments for a second, completely disconnected from everything because you find yourself speechless in front of some kind of monstrosity that surrounds you, for example; an incomprehension that moves you so much that you reach that state when words are not enough. Those moments can drive you to anger, sadness, despair, hope, beauty… you accept that your subconscious speaks through you with no concession, no filter.

I’ve been looking for my own language through these songs, trying to learn how to speak again, trying to put words on some of the feelings that I was facing. In these very moments, there’re no lies, no bullshit, you’re afraid of nothing, you get the freedom that allows you to become who you are. So that’s why I explored different genres of music I suppose. It’s freedom and I hope that I can share it with people who’ll listen to the album.


You’re the first French artist Alt Dialogue has featured, can you tell us a bit more about the music scene in France and where does People Of Nothing fit in?

Really?! I’m very flattered and grateful, that’s an honor thanks!

If that’s the first time it happens that probably gives you a hint about French music. I don’t know to be honest, I’ve never carried French artists in my heart too much, most of the time it has been boring to me or upset me, they hide themselves too much behind some kind of stupid alter ego, trying to be smart, arrogant and self-sufficient.

Sometimes this anger that I feel about it, drives me to something creative I must say. But I like to disconnect myself from the world most of the time so I surely miss lots of things, so I might not be the right person to ask about it. It seems that there’re more and more Frenchies making noise in a kind of emergent underground scene, doing some cold wave, shoegaze, post punk, electro, and after what I heard from my friends at Anywave Records and Manic Depression Records, it’s pretty exciting.


On my first listen of People Of Nothing I instantly thought it would sound great as a soundtrack to some post apocalyptic thriller or horror movie. What film could you imagine the film working with?

Man sounds cool, write it down I’d love to put my music in your fantasy movie!


If you could go back and have your music featured in any film, which would you choose?

You mean if somebody let me compose a soundtrack for a movie?

The funny thing is that I love movies that have almost no music or dialogue but a big work on the sound.

Ah it’s a tricky question. The kind of question when you will find the right answer later… it’s hard to say. I can’t say a movie that I really loved because the movie would totally means something else if we changed the music, the vision of the director would be ‘modified’, it wouldn’t come from his original choice, then everything would lose its sense and personality.

Maybe an old movie. Akira Kurosawa, in black and white, but the film noir era, like “Stray Dog”.  I don’t know, one of my favorite director is David Cronenberg. The soundtrack of “Dead ringers” or “Crash”, for example are just masterpieces.


What are you plans for People Of Nothing? Is there a goal you’d like to achieve?

We started touring this June, launching our first album in Paris. We’ll play in the west of France, then Paris again, then Belgium. We’re located in Dublin, so we’re looking for gigs here and anywhere else, where people want to see us, so if anybody would give us the opportunity we’d love to play!


Finally, for any of our readers who are new to People Of Nothing, describe your sound and why should they check you out?

I would ask them to give the music a chance. People of Nothing is an alternate path for people who are tired of the music for masses. It’s not for elitists; I’m just trying to deliver a deep body of work for everyone. It’s not some kind of generic pop music that slows your mind, giving you the illusion that you’re ‘feeling fine’, in the short term. It’s a post-punk band that opens your wounds, that gives and receives punches and hits, that takes you to erotic and secret places, that drowns you in mysterious dreams and unlimited hope. I wanted to make an album that means something in your life, as it meant something to mine: a special friend that brings you back to a special memory of your life, like pieces of freedom.


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