Interview with TourdeForce

TourdeForce (Christian Ryder) is an electronic music project founded in Bergamo – Northern Italy, in the year 2004.
Hello Christian! Would you like to start with introducing yourself and give us a background story of TourdeForce?

I'm a musician and video maker based in Italy, where TourdeForce project was founded (in 2004), inspired by the late 80's electronic-wave, industrial music and synthpop.

TourdeForce communicates the suffering in the West progressive decadence, the loss of tragic sentiment, the dark side of love and a basically critical approach to Mass Media, Faith and inculcation of dogmas. 

I always repeat that the use of technology and electronic devices in music does not imply a lack of creativity or absence of feelings, but this dogmatic mental barrier still obstinately endures.

We all love Rock'n'Roll, but I can assure you can sweat programming machines as hard as playing guitar, and technology in modern production is the best fellow You can benefit from, also in terms of investment.


From which area in Italy are you from, and how would you like to describe the situation in there?

I was born in a mountainous valley in northern Italy, I would say, uncontaminated.

Now I live right outside the area of Milan. A big urban monster covered in grey, where a lot of thoughtless people produce, consume and die fed by football cult, political farces and gossips inculcated by Media. It's the place you lose your innocence (the uncontaminated state of mountain men) and gain cynicism. After some time this environment changes you deeply and something comes across insinuating that you now belong to all this. And somehow you start to like it (except for air pollution).

Face to face with scum and stressed out neurotics, you understand it's getting even more sick when you stand in silence for a while in a big noisy and stinky square and realize you're the only ghettoized Italian around a horde of do-nothing immigrants.

Free from any sort of racial prejudice, this is simply a statistical fact, and as a natural consequence of your instinct, in this situation you can hardly feel at ease.


When did your interest began in making music?

It was like a strong cathartic need to express something that hurt me in the inside.

In the very beginning (approx. 1998) I started to combine noise, music and words in a project called the_reptile. It was very rough! Then it evolved to something more complex.

I think a big input to make music came from the listening of Nine inch Nails album "Pretty Hate Machine". I was fascinated by the idea of a one-man-band: You handle the entire process of writing and playing your songs. What you create totally expresses yourself.


You did earlier this year an incredible constellation together with Skoll, what an outstanding album! How did this idea came up?

Thank you so very much. Glad you enjoyed this work. It took almost one year of my life.

I will never do something like that again! The collaboration almost happened by chance:

Skoll wrote a book about Mishima and I went to his conference press, in 2015.

After the book presentation I gave him a copy of "Jedem das Seine" and he totally loved it.

He was so enthusiastic that he contacted and proposed me to take Skoll best songs in 15 years and rework all of them in the key of TourdeForce.

It was simply destructive to recover older backup files, synchronize and make them match, but in the end I was satisfied with the sound I created for "Antologia Elettronica".




I have listened a lot to your album "Jedem das Seine". I must say I really like the controverse in the lyrics together with your musically creativity. Is your earlier releases as controverse as this one, or is it something that has grown gradually?

TourdeForce already investigated thorny themes in the past, including implications with sociology, psychology and literature. I remember songs like "Psychoanalysis for the Masses" (2010) or "Interrupted Boys"(2007): those dealt with a certain dose of anxiety in relation to our future, and some pessimism (I'd call it realism) towards the System and faith in human being.

Surely the more aggressive and critical approach in TourdeForce contents grew gradually time after time.


Please use this place to highlight your upcoming album "Tales of Fallen Heroes". What will we be expecting from it?

Porta Vittoria is another project of mine (run with Lisa P. Duse; not another one-man-band), focused on experimentation with music genres and literature. Our second full-length album, will be released in December 2016 by cult label Old Europa Cafe, is an avant-garde trip inspired by Fallen Heroes and controversial personalities like Yukio Mishima, Guido Keller, Julius Evola, Cesare Lombroso and others.

It's worth a listen!

Where can we buy your albums?

The fact is there are few CD copies left available for sale, so hurry up!

The fastest way is writing directly to the band (TourdeForce and Porta Vittoria are on Facebook, for example).

TourdeForce albums are still on Discogs (including rare old CDs-r) or (a German distributor of electronic music).

Occasionally you can find the albums distributed into the internet, too: simple type band name and record title and see what happens.

By the way, just in case insist typing "TourdeForce" because know-it-all Google mulishly keeps on suggesting "tour de force" and this would drive you off the track.

It always rains on TourdeForce.


Some of your songs have been accompanied by some impressive videos. Are you the one behind all this? And what is your interest in video making as well?

Yes, I studied cinema and I love making music videos. That's a powerful instrument to combine music and visual suggestions. It's the perfect way to captivate people and your audience can identify and hopefully empathize with your project.




What is TourdeForce's task? What do you hope that you can achieve?

Music market became a serious bad business, especially in Italy. Underground music above all.

It's a big hodgepodge: We all swim (and sink) in this cauldron.

So let's put aside dreams of glory and concentrate on what's more important: transmit emotions.

About awaking people mind and conscience...that's the furthest dream. I'd definitely need more promotion. Well, this interview is another step, so I totally appreciate your interest.


History is written by the winners. How do we overcome people to dare to search the truth?

We reached a point of no return.

Years of propaganda and daily Media overstimulation gave birth to the most terrible monster: the biological frame of mind. The final step of sleep of reason. It's been a form of violent mind coercion that became like a genetic innate instinct after decades of harassment. People do not dare to search the truth because their biological structure of mind firmly prohibits them, like a machine that's not programmed to execute certain specific operations. This explains people senseless and hysterical reactions when you try to deal with dogmatic issues (even only touching on the issue with prudence). They totally refuse to listen and to talk, like a messed up machine, and become brutally aggressive.

This happens when the System programs human beings since the cradle, like goddamn puppets.

Maybe a great man (or a woman), a famous personality or an enlightened leader with international respectability could succeed one day to give the masses a strong message of truth. Probably they would succumb, too.

Those who dared were ruined. They were not strong enough. The system has deep roots, it has money, it owns the Media and it's definitely too strong.

Sad to conclude perhaps truth is for few.


Italy, like other European countries have no interest in highlighting patriotism. How do you think we should proceed in order to reach out to a wider audience?

Patriotism in Italy is such a bizarre emotion. There are strong feelings of "territorial" attachment, but mostly limited to regional areas. Pride is expression of parochialism, and differences between northern and southern way of being, language or stereotypes are often negatively accentuated.

Except for people who feel nostalgic for certain epochs they have never lived in, I'm afraid Italians do feel patriotic only when they watch a national football team match on TV.


What about live performance? Is it easy to book your for concerts?

Latest TourdeForce show happened in April, 2013. I played live for a long time, probably in wrong venues.

Except for few heart-felt people, Italian audience during live shows is the worst audience you can go through, most of all in northern Italy.

The live tour promoting Skoll // TourdeForce work "Antologia Elettronica" this summer 2016 was rather good, but not enough to break the mental barrier of electronic music hostility.

At the moment TourdeForce has not a proper live band to support my songs.

It's expensive to hire musicians when Italian venues have no money to pay the artist and just offer beer for your show.

Plus, I am a heretic and don't drink beer. So what?!

Let's see what happens in the near future, I've been told foreign countries venues and audience have more respect for artists.


Thank you for your time! Anything you would want to convey to your Swedish listeners before we round off the interview?

I'm glad to announce I have a provisional title for next TourdeForce album I'm working to, and it's in Swedish language:Vargtimmar. Thanks for Your kind attention. Catch up with TourdeForce!

Follow TourdeForce on Facebook


Sköll & TourdeForce - Antologia Elettronica