Mezerg: I am neither an engineer nor a creator

Mezerg about new musical technologies, theremin that brings the theatrical side to his performances, how internet helps artists to fill the financial void during the pandemic, danger of the piano cocktail and other interesting stuff

Who said that fruit slices couldn’t be used as synth keys or that you can’t play a techno track on a deconstructed piano? Well, if you really think so you are probably not familiar with Mezerg music and his innovative approaches in creating it.

This tireless, young French citizen breaks all stereotypes that you had about ways of producing and playing music live and how different musical styles can be mixed with each other. He calls his own style PianoBoomBoom and mainly it is a mixture of his heavy piano skills with contemporary dance beats. Mezerg’s amazing musical skills, his passion for smashing the boundaries between different genres is followed by his outstanding artistic charisma which turned his each live into a powerful one man show and a thrilling ride. In this case, the real picture is worth more than a thousand words and you definitely have to see this guy playing live.

Being quite a new figure in the musical industry Mezerg achieved in last few years big success and a strong international fanbase mainly thanks to his multiple shows all over the world, released tracks and simple home live videos that are storming YouTube with an impressive statistic of views. We had an opportunity to chat with this colorful character about his recent musical plans, new innovative technologies in musical production, the danger of his latest invention – piano cocktail, Internet that is helping many artists to fill the financial void during the COVID pandemic, and other interesting things.

Interview: Dmitry Tolkunov

Hi! Thank you very much for finding time for this interview. First of all, it will be interesting to know about your recent projects—what’s cooking at the moment?

Currently I’m working to create and record new songs and obviously shoot videos to be released later this year. I will also reissue my first vinyl “Chez Mezerg” in the forthcoming weeks as it sold out very quickly when pre-order was launched.

What was the reason for the decision to release music on vinyl? Do you have a special passion for this type of sound carrier and maybe you have a big vinyl collection at home?

I don’t have a big collection at home but I’ve always loved vinyl records. I thought it was a great item to offer to my community. I had never had any merch before, so it was a good opportunity. It also helps generate money in the project and fill the void that the lack of live shows has left.

I mainly have vinyl on the door, Beatles … but I do listen to so many different kinds of music!

Seems that the music you play and your musical taste consists of a wide range of influence. It would be interesting to know how your taste has shaped over the years and how you came to what you are doing now?

I’ve always loved all kinds of music; I think there’s good stuff everywhere. So, I naturally had a lot of different influences. I don’t put any style barriers.

Do you have a professional musical education, or you are more a kind of self-made musician?

I started out on my own but went to music conservatory and music college afterwards.

Besides inventing new approaches to mixing different musical styles, you are known as an inventor of new and weird forms of sound-production. Seems you have a kind of very engineer kind of mind… Where did it come from? Have you been fond of different inventions since your childhood years?

I am neither an engineer nor a creator. I try to innovate by presenting new forms of musical production. So, I take existing things by grabbing them and making sure that as many people as possible rediscover them.

Was really fascinated by fruit synths. Can you please tell me a bit about its basic working principles? Is it a thing that just looks surreal and fun but works just like an ordinary electronic synth or does different slices of fruit give different sounds because of their texture?

It works exactly like a midi keyboard; you assign the sound you want to the connector you want. No matter the texture, it’s up to you to choose the sound you want to make when touching your fruit.

The piano cocktail looks like real fun. Did you ever have an opportunity to use it on your live shows? And don’t you think it can be a dangerous instrument in some ways because the piano player can get really drunk during his live shows?

I have never had the opportunity to use it live, but indeed, it is very dangerous—you are drunk in five mins! The glass fills up quickly, so if you want to continue playing you have to empty it. It could be a live disaster indeed.

Will we have a chance to see some new inventions from you?

I’m going to invent the first cheese keyboard.

In your opinion, are there any new revolutionary inventions that have to be noticed shaping at the moment?

I don’t know them all, but the expressive brand E is preparing a revolutionary keyboard … and I can’t wait to try it out. The development of 3D sound modelling will be a new approach to music creation in the future.

You are known like a musician who breathed new life into probably the first ever electronic instrument—theremin. It would be interesting to know how you came across this instrument and how the idea to make it a regular part of your setup came to you?

First of all, I don’t play theremin I control my synthesizer parameters with it. So, it brings a new approach to theremin and a new way to play it. I thought it was interesting to use it for the project and that it went well with the theatrical side of the performance. The feeling is still extraordinary to be able to control effects by moving your hands in the air. It makes my music more organic.

Do you think that this approach that you are using—playing generally contemporary dance music, using a lot of acoustic instruments and making a breath-taking one man show—will grow bigger and become more popular?

I’m already happy with where I am at, if it will affect even more people in the future, it will be with pleasure too. I still have a lot to say.

There are really cool artists that somehow are very close to your alcove. Do you follow some of these artists and did you ever thought that it can be a great idea to make a collaboration for a live show with some of them?

I am very much there in the music scene of artists who make music differently. There is a real musical current. I have already worked with Dario Rossi, Wagaal, La P’tite Fumee. They are artists that I really appreciate and with whom I find myself making music differently.

You have a lot of great videos where you play your music at home that have a great statistic of views. Do you think that during our pandemic and lockdown era when artists almost don’t have any live shows, this type of internet activity can be a good way for doing some money for living and artists can monetize somehow their live videos with a lot of views?

Of course, we must do everything to fill the financial void of live shows. Today the internet remains the only way to exist for artists. We exist either live or on the internet, or on TV and radio for the most famous. So yes, the internet can bring in enough money to keep your project going independent of the live.

What are the first things you have to do after life will get back to normal and we will be able to travel around the world, night clubs will be open and we will have music festivals again?

The first thing I’ll do is play in festivals and concert halls. Even though I really enjoy producing sounds and making videos on the internet, I prefer live music and I miss it very much.

We sincerely wish that it will happen soon. Thank you for the interesting talk.

Thank you

Read more: The sound of music with Dmitry Tolkunov ...