Chain D.L.K.: While listening to your early stuff the audience could think you’vebeen inspired by Autopsia, Laibach and S.P.K. of the “Zamia Lehmanni”period but: how did you manage to create your personal vision of thiskind of sound?
Der Blutharsch: I like a lot SPK indeed, “Zamia Lehmanni” for me is still one of thebest albums in the industrial / ambient scene. A classic, only matchedby Lustmord. Some years ago I was into Laibach as well, but I don`treally think these bands influenced me that much, it was more a progressaway from my former project TMLHBAC; you might know that some songs of”First” initially were meant to be for TMLHBAC, but then I decided torelease it under another project name, and so Der Blutharsch was born.I think that at that time I was more influenced by classical music thanat any other time, especially Russian composers like Prokofiev,Rachmaninoff, as well as Brahms, who is one of my favourite composers.The sound of the early days is for sure influenced by them; I don`treally tried to “create” a sound, I just started working on some songsand it “happened”….
Chain D.L.K.: You always did albums without track titles. This suggested to me thatyou wanted to create something like a musical transposition of apicture. Anyway, what has been your early vision of the project andhow/why it changed?
Der Blutharsch: Yes, I never used song titles, as I see an album not as a simplecollection of tracks but as a whole work. Besides, in the beginning themusic was more or less instrumental and I had no real intention to thinkof some “good sounding” song titles, but leave it up to the listenerto make his own mind about the music and to get his own pictures in hisimagination when listening to the music.My early vision was quite simple, I just wanted to release the LP(“First”) followed by a 7 inch and then stop the project, but planschanged and as you see, we are still around.
Chain D.L.K.: Thinking of Der Blutharsch, I feel a sort of link to Futurism. AmI wrong?
Der Blutharsch: That might be possible, I like Futurism a lot, especially the Italianone: Marinetti, Russolo, etc. Balla is my favorite one. A few years agowe had a fantastic exhibition of Italian Futurism in Vienna, never seensince 1938, accompanied by an evening of Futurist music and lecture… afantastic event. I am building a Rumorarmonio, too, which I will usefor further recordings….
Chain D.L.K.: Did your vision of Der Blutharsch change when you started workingwith Douglas Pierce/Death In June?
Der Blutharsch: No, why should it? Douglas asked me if I would record some songs withhim when I came to visit him in Australia, and it ended as a full lengthalbum which we wrote, recorded and mixed in 10 days. It was the usualway for me to work and it simply was a fun and groovy time. In the endit was about music, nothing else.
Chain D.L.K.: During the Death In June years how did you work together?
Der Blutharsch: I wrote the music and recorded it, Douglas wrote the vocals and thenI had full control of the production. The only way this experience changedmy view about recording was that we worked in a fully analog studio witha real 2inch real tape and I had to change a bit my way of working.This is still today my way of recording. I have no computerin my studio, all is recorded on real recorders 1:1… real”handmade” music.
Chain D.L.K.: Why has this collaboration been put on hold? In my opinion Douglasfound a new inspiration working with you in Death In June. Something that hewasn’t able to replicate in “Alarm agents”…
Der Blutharsch: Well, honestly I think “Alarm Agents” is a really boring album, and I am curious to see ifDouglas will ever manage again to release a surprising album in thefuture… we will see.The collaboration ended more or less simply because we don’t live reallyaround the corner, and because I have no time these daysand prefer to concentrate on Der Blutharsch….I have my own studio inmy house and so I can work on music whenever I feel like it, a good way,much better than to book a studio and to have to “create” something in oneor two weeks…when I don’t feel like recording I just don’t, and if asong needs four weeks to get where it should, I can take any time Iwant/need….
Chain D.L.K.: On “The philosopher’s stone” you wrote: “Uniform are alwayschanging, Rock’n’Roll is forever”. How do we have to read this phrase inthe light of the previous musical change and latest/last album title?
Der Blutharsch: Well. I am quite bored with all this neo-folk, industrial, martial anduniform scene/music. It got really boring over the years, and there isno good new band around these days which attracts me musically. I listento a lot of different music (there is only good and bad music) and don’tsee myself as part of the abovementioned scene; well, honestly I neverreally did anyway, but well… and the phrase is true, isn’t it?
Chain D.L.K.: Did you find your “philosopher’s stone”? What are you turning into gold?
Der Blutharsch: Well.. I gave you a small hint about the title….it has more to do withmushrooms than anything else…
Chain D.L.K.: What made you feel the urge of changing Der Blutharsch from a soloproject into a real band with a different sound?
Der Blutharsch: It simply happened… I started as a “one man project”, but already onthe first tour I collaborated with some people: John Murphy played thedrums, Wilhelm Herich was the second vocalist, although that time Iwrote all the music by myself. Then I met Bain on a concert in Sydney.He moved to Austria for a few years and we got very close friends, Icame together with Marthynna and then I asked both for the St Petersburggig to join me on stage. It was already a cool gang and we had a lot offun touring Europe and the USA. Some time later I met Jorg and asked himif he could play one guitar part for a new song. We immediately got onwell together in the studio, became good friends and he has been part ofthe band ever since. Naturally the sound changed through these circumstances: themore people you have involved, the more they add their personal style tothe music, and so things changed.I think, too, the sound changed recently as I renewed my studio. Now Ihave a 56 channel mixing desk, 48 track recorder, a lot of old equipment.I bought a lot of vintage gear like Korg MS20, Polysix, Rheem mark VII,some 60’s analog reverbs and delays and last week I got a Hammond Organ,so with this equipment you have to work totally different and of coursewe now have many guitars…..
Chain D.L.K.: Even if now the music has a more psychedelic/rock attitude I cansee a link about the approach to sound. You know, I feel that the soundproduces the same kind of rumbling effect… What is your opinion?
Der Blutharsch: Never really thought about it, but people told me so and I understand. Imean, it still is the same guy mixing and producing the music, so itwould be strange if the sound changed totally and I like the wayDer Blutharsch sounds, I think it has a special sound. Not really clean,but very dirty and a lot of harmonics going on the same time.
Chain D.L.K.: One of your album is titled “The track of the hunted” and on theghost track of “The philosopher’s stone” there’s something that couldrecall a similar situation where betrayed people are hunted. What areyou referring to?
Der Blutharsch: I don’t want to explain songs or comment on them.
Chain D.L.K.: About your new change (I don’t know what kind of phase are youclosing and if you think you are done with Der Blutharsch), always onthe ghost track there are the following lines: “You know we have to becareful what we have to say now, because if it gets out there, peoplewill know the truth” or “We have to watch our backs, cover our tracks.And always, behind the lookout, for a traitor in the crowd, who willknife us in the back. Should we be kissed by our brother and pay theprice? No, because we live to rock’n’roll”. What is that truth? Who’sthe traitor? What made you write these lines?
Der Blutharsch: Well. There are always different truths, and traitors are waiting ateach corner, so never believe what you see and never trust whatpeople tell you.
Chain D.L.K.: How much irony is part of Der Blutharsch?
Der Blutharsch: Hmmm… I never made a statistic about this, but since I am a person wholoves irony and has a good sense of humor and doesn’t take myself seriouslyat all, I think quit a big part.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us what’s next for your musical projects and for HauRuck?
Der Blutharsch: We have already started working on a new Der Blutharsch album and have threesongs in the pipeline, which we now have to record , but they are written,and we have a demo recording of them…and I am in the studio now nearlyevery day trying out new things and new equipment I got ..and duringthis normally some ideas come up and of course I store them as sketchesfor further recordings, prepare some basic tracks. In March, when Jorgis back from Asia we will start with some recordings of guitars… so I thinkrealistically we will have the new album ready in Spring 2009. Then we willtour together with Bain Wolfkind and Derniere Volonte, if all works outas we want it.For HauRucK! there are some plans. We just released Position Parallele,a great side project of Derniere Volonte; Geoffroy is working on new DVmaterial and for 2008 we have some releases planned, such as a NaevusEP; Foresta Di Ferro told me his new album should be ready soon, someother HR! Bands are working on new material and we’ll see when they areready. I expect albums by Changes and Bain Wolfkind this year, thenthere is a re-release planned of an album which for me is one of themost important of the whole genre , but I won’t talk about this yet.More information to come soon.At least, you see, we are not lazy… at least some of us 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: A curiosity: what do you think about the big World SerpentDistribution mess now that several years have passed? Did you risk ending your activity because of that?
Der Blutharsch: Well, fortunately when this occurred I already had left DB and wasworking with Tesco, a change I never regretted. So, the WSD “disaster”was more a side note for me and affected only TMLHBAC which at that timedidn’t exist anymore. I lost only a few bucks, which, consideringhow much I earned through the years with WSD, were peanuts.It was a pity that WSD “died”, but I already had that feeling some yearsbefore it really happened, and therefore left the ship before it startedsinking.Well, things always come to an end, and life goes on….Two months ago we performed in London and I met Alan Trench, the director ofWSD who came to watch our show, we had a good talk and many laughs andit was good to meet up again, we did work 8 years together… so. We have beenin contact again since and it is nice to talk to old friends. The pastis the past, and most of it was good. So, no bitterness from my side.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you listening to any good music you’d like to share with ourreaders?
Der Blutharsch: Oh, there is so much good music fortunately. I just mention a fewbands I listen a lot to these days: Silverbullit, Angels of Light, Earth,Black Mountain, LOW, The Black Angels, The Dandy Warhols, BrianJonestown Massacre, Clinic, Soulwax, Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand,Gorillaz, Fatboy Slim but as well classics like ELVIS, AdrianoCelentano, Johnny Cash, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, RollingStones, Beatles, Queens Of The Stone Age… Tom Jones and ,and, and,and… I have over 6000 CD`s, so I have a lot to enjoy.
Chain D.L.K.: How has your approach to live performance changed now that DearBlutharsch is a band? Has the audience response changed and have you got anyparticular episode you’d like to tell?
Der Blutharsch: Well, compared to my very first tour with Boyd Rice, where I was aloneon stage over the line up with John and Wilhelm, as well with Marthynnaand Bain the music was more or less a karaoke show with live drumming.Now we are a full band on stage, five people, and everything is played live.I totally like the new way… performing live is much more fun andexciting than performing to a playback tape. Every show is different,and how you feel when you play. I remember – in London on the last tour we went onstage and performed damn fast.. nearly like an old school punk band….
Chain D.L.K.: I know you love Italy and probably you know our movie directors ofthe past. We had during the end of 60’s/early 80’s a good amount ofgreat directors/producers of thriller/horror/western and police movies(without mentioning the drama, with directors such as Pasolini,Rossellini, etc). Do you know Dario Argento / Umberto Lenzi / RuggeroDeodato / Sergio Martino, etc? If so, what do you think of their movies?
Der Blutharsch: I love them all. There are some finest movies ever done in the worldcoming from Italy. I also like a lot the Italian 70’s porn movies.They are super bizzarre… anyway, I am a big fan of Fellini, too…but many others as well.
Visit Der Blutharsch on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marco Pustianaz]