Le Villejuif Underground – ‘Heavy Black Matter’ | Track by Track

le villejuif underground

Heavy Black Matter is out now via Born Bad Records.

Villejuif is a southern suburb of Paris, France. Did you know that? We didn’t. It’s where three quarters of Le Villejuif Underground hail from. The other chap is Australian Nathan Roche. He is not French. It seems they like playing stinking bars, touring China with Chinese top 40 stars, and drinking a lot of red wine while doing these things. It’s no surprise then, that their music sounds like it was recorded in someone’s garage in the midst of a seven day binge.

We decided to sit town and talk to Roche about the EP title and songs on the record. An endearingly odd man, the conversation is nearly as entertaining as their music. Nearly.

Heavy Black Matter

The title comes from a lyric in the song “Cat He Don’t Like Closed Door”. I thought, “Dark Matter” and “Heavy Matter” were the same thing but after a quick re-read of “A Brief History Of Time” turns out they aren’t. Four tracks squeezed onto a 7″ could also be considered “Heavy Black Matter”, but the lyrical content wasn’t supposed to be light weight.

1. Le Villejuif Underground


The Fall did it.. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Minor Threat…Meat Puppets… ah, “Monk Time” by The Monks? What else. Don’t know. Suppose it isn’t that important. We are just another cog in the chain of bands. It’s a lazy idea for a song I’ll be honest. Anyway, when I first moved to France the intention was to start an underground military operation that promoted a unique combination of peace and nihilism.Like all good cults it failed. In early shows it used to be Nathan Roche & Le Villejuif Underground which was a unashamed middle-finger salute to those NYC hippies David Peel & The Lower East Side. Villejuif where the band live is geographically speaking the lower east side of Paris, however its yet to be gentrified with fancy bagel shops. So, like the funky bass line from Seinfeld, this is the sitcom theme song for…

2. Cat He Don’t Like Closed Doors

Cats really relax their owners, I spent two months looking after a cat and it amazed me how much you sleep more, you start eating at the same time, using the toilet. Purring. Drink more milk. Get fleas. There’s that and then there is a darker side of this track, someones drug addiction, locking themselves behind closed doors, stuck between two different realities. Not even that joker Stephen Hawkins can get you out! Or actually it could be about curiosity for living on the other side of the world as well I don’t remember writing the lyrics so much.

But AS WE ALL KNOW curiosity killed the cat so maybe its a death wish.

3. In The Beginning There Was Us

Fairly self-explanatory. There’s definitely a sense of some bands ego’s taking on biblical proportions, the second-coming, loyal disciples etc. I wouldn’t mind some of that water-into-wine outta the barrel though but only if it was from Burgundy. You know, half the reason I play music is purely for the research, its not always the case but you hear of hierarchies, who goes first, second, awkwardness in the backstage areas who changed the amp settings and drank the last beer in the fridge belonging to the headliners and the sound guy has the POWER to destroy all of us, and our live-show reputations. Its all one big joke from start to finish the deeper you go the more is revealed, that’s the only thing keeping me going, you can learn a lot about human behaviour. BUT IN THE END sometimes you find out too much and realise its better to be a cat.

4. Rock n’ Roll 80s Violence

This is about a American man who makes his way to the 1980s and goes on a murder spree because he doesn’t agree with the cultural changes. Its based on a true story, and he was driven to kill with Jerry Lee Lewis playing in his head. There will be a bio-pic adaptation, motion picture epic coming to a cinema near you this summer, staring the dead corpse of John Wayne directed by Abel Ferrara.

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