AN INTERVIEW WITH DAMIEN HEARSE - "CRIME" ALBUM
"Crime" is the first LP by Arkansas based multi-artist Damien Hearse.
Instead of analysing every track myself, I have asked Damien some questions. This is what he had to say about his new album and himself.
As he is keeping his identity anonymous he answers under the letter "A".
A: I hope so, but probably not. I tend to write what I'm thinking about, and I'm always thinking about the state of affairs in my current environment. Love, environmentalism, corruption, gender relations, happiness, alienation, the way we treat each other...these are all political subjects to someone.
A: I think I'm just a person who can't find meaning in life without being creative. I've dabbled in just about everything from filmmaking to painting to writing, but music was always my first love and the thing I could most readily accomplish on my own. In the years I've been on earth, I've spent at least twenty of them making music. I don't think I could stop even if I wanted to at this point.
A: My lyrics range from dark to bleak, so I figure the avatar I embody should reflect that. In my view life itself is just one long acting performance; masking your true self in an attempt at being accepted in an insane world. I absolutely hate my physical appearance, and I loathe being seen, so it just made sense to be the guy in the rubber monster costume.
A: Too long to list. But I come primarily from a punk and post-punk musical background. Early days were very influenced by the likes of Gang of Four, Dead Kennedys, Devo, early Cure, Joy Division etc. A lot of my work is influenced by film. Stan Brakhage is a looming influence on my work.
A: Maybe? I felt they all "belonged" together for lack of a better explanation. I'm really bad at recognizing and holding a thread for an entire working period.
A: I think that's accurate. Like I said I come from a punk/post-punk background, and I've only been making electronic music for about ten years so the punk influences are bound to come through in a lot of songs.
A: I HAVE NO IDEA! haha! I've taken to calling it "Scuzzwave" for lack of a better term. It's not that what I'm doing is SO unique that it defies labels or anything, I'm just really bad at objectively categorizing myself. I'll leave that to you!
A: All songs start with either a lyrical idea or a musical idea. I just fill in the blanks after that. I am forever self-produced, for better or worse. This is by circumstance rather than choice. I never had the money to buy time in a recording studio so I just started collecting recording equipment and hand-me-downs and tried to do it myself. My process is usually as follows: Create it. Love it. Work on it. Start to hate it. Question every decision I've ever made and wonder how a fraud such as myself could have the temerity to expect people to listen, much less enjoy, this trash. Pick myself back up and try to save the song from my lack of talent. Compromise until I have something I can live with. Repeat!
A: Yes, though I don't have enough exposure to the genre to classify myself as a connoisseur or anything. I tend to listen to drone when playing video games. My two favorite drone albums are probably "Morals and Dogma" by Deathprod, and "Leng Tch'e" by Naked City. I have a drone project that I've released some stuff over the years here and there. I tend to go back to it when I'm in a creative slump as a sort of palette cleanser.
A: I believe there's a connection between everything. There's definitely a philosophical throughline with my work.
A: I got hit with illness last month and had to cancel some shows that were meant to promote the LP. I've got one show lined up, though I'm thinking of playing mostly new stuff that hasn't been released yet. I don't know. I just do what makes me happy in the moment. Playing live stresses me out. Not so much the performance but all the stuff that comes before and after. I'm nervous around people. I'd rather live in the studio than on the road, but I do enjoy the act of playing on stage.
A: Absolutely. I would LIVE in Europe if the opportunity presented itself. I truly don't feel like I'm where I belong, currently. But I'm also very poor, so financing that myself would be next to impossible at this time. But who knows what may happen. I'll try and start manifesting that haha.
A: Too many to name! Seriously, I could name ten right now. I'm inspired by a lot of recent artists like St. Digue, Stadt, Moth Slut, Selofan, Boy Harsher, Sleaford Mods, Gost etc. I don't know how well I work with others but I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to work with someone who inspires me.
A: Absolutely. And a bad pun at that!I spent so much of my creative life trying to be known, and now all I want is to work anonymously. Since I've adopted the name and the mask, I've felt a lot less need to censor myself or worry about lyrical content. It's been freeing.