Treponem Pal formed in France in 1986. Their first (Treponem Pal) and third (Excess and Overdrive) albums were produced by Franz Treichler (The Young Gods). Their second, Aggravation was produced by Roli Mosimann (Swans, Wiseblood). This album represents a highly focused achievement, combining Neves' bleak worldview and gift for striking lyrics with the band's controlled aggression, comparable to US bands Chrome and Prong. It was their third album, however, which was to prove most popular with fans. Live performances were extraordinary affairs. Their policy of employing two bass players gave them a massive sound,
Michel Bassin was a gifted guitarist (he played with Ministry on one of their US tours) and
Marco Neves is a physically imposing performer.
They maintained this style up until fourth album Higher, by which time the focus had shifted towards sampling and electronics, giving that album a more techno feel. Higher was produced by Sascha Konietzko from KMFDM.
The band then broke up, though vocalist Marco Neves and several other members formed a new band called
Elephant System, which released one album produced by On-U Sound's Adrian Sherwood. This reflected Neves' longstanding interest in Jamaican and European dub as well as his work as a DJ and MC with the Dub Action Sound System and his involvement with the Hammerbass record label. Bass player Goran Juresic went in a more industrial dub direction with the band Lab° while drummer Didier Serbourdin formed the ultra-aggressive band Fast Forward which combined hardcore techno beats with high-octane metal guitars.
Treponem Pal returned with a new album in March 2008, entitled Weird Machine. The album featured Ted Parsons (from Swans and Prong) on drums and Paul Raven (from Killing Joke, Ministry and Prong) on bass, though tragically Raven suffered heart failure and died while collaborating with the band on the French-Swiss border. The album combined their earlier aggressive sound with more "rock" pieces as well as some "industrial ballads". The album was produced by David Weber and mastered by