Can you give us a bit of a brief history of She Destroys Hope and how you got to be interested and involved with noise?
I have always been pretty open-minded when it comes to music. If I remember correctly, it all started in 2011 when I was listening to a lot of noisy grindcore bands and I somehow stumbled over a youtube clip of an old live performance from Masonna. I was fascinated by the sheer power of his acting on stage and the total lack of any musical element in it. I mean, I was already listening to sludge or drone bands like Nadja or Earth. But such a non-music experience was new to me. Then in 2012 I started recording stuff for myself until i discovered that there were actual labels like Shit Noise, Smell The Stench or Puzzle Records putting out noise releases. So I started releasing stuff under these labels and got more and more sucked into the (at this time very vibrant) noise scene.
What is the meaning behind the project name?
I actually don’t really want to reveal the meaning of the name. It has to do with a big personal problem I had back when i started SDH. I’m now over it but i still think the name fits to the mostly very abrasive music. Also i think someone else could maybe relate to that name too, e.g. after ending a relationship. I would like to take this opportunity and point out that there is nothing sexist behind this name. It just supports the emotional value of the music and adds to the mostly very pessimistic or melancholic take on the sound. We all get disappointed by people that are close to us and we have to deal with it somehow.
What do you think that you do differently as an artist? What do you think that Germany offers that is different with the noise scene?
I want my recordings to change constantly and not just produce pure harsh noise/HNW all the time. That involves adding elements of ambient, drone, PE and field recordings into my music and trying to use as much different objects/instruments as possible.
I don’t think the german scene differs a lot from other european countries. Of course we always wear Lederhosen when performing, eat pretzels and drink beer all the time. Because that’s just what we do.
Can you talk a bit about the non “sound” or music things that influence your work? For example, art, literature, culture?
Since i live in a relatively small town, i’m very close to nature and feel strongly connected to it. So a lot of my older recordings focus on that theme and the feelings i have when i’m in the woods or at a lake or something. But on the other hand, i also really like being in a big city, soaking up the totally different vibe there. Both of those influences have a very strong melancholic feeling to it, i think. Wanting to be connected to nature but also not wanting to loose contact to other people.
Is your goal as an artist more to paint a picture with sound or provoke thought or give people a visceral reaction?
People should get some sort of emotional reaction to my music. That would be the best thing that could happen to me as an artist.
I have often argued for a number of reasons why people listen to harsh noise/power electronics. These reasons are based up on dynamics (high vs. low frequencies, harsh vs. delicate, wall vs. cut-up) etc. What other reasons do you think there are for people’s fascination with this art?
The fascinating thing about noise is that you can have almost any musical background (free jazz, grindcore, IDM, contemporary classical music, drone, ambient…) and like this style of music. Harsh noise can be highly aggressive while HNW can often times be very relaxing. I think there are a ton of other reasons why people are listenig to noise. I can’t even answer you why i listen to noise. There are just so many reasons…
How do you think that the motivation for creating noise differs from the interests and motivation of those who listen to it?
Curiosity in sound plays a big role as well as wanting to create something completely new. I think the approaches can be extremely different. You can do noise with pretty much anything and you don’t need an expensive set-up for it. So the access to it is pretty easy. Almost every person that I met in the noise scene/talked to on shows is somehow fooling around with noise equipment themselves.
Could you talk a little bit about your technical setup? How much do you use that is analog or digital? How does the studio set up differ from the live show set up?
My set-up is pretty simple and mostly very limited. I use effect pedals, a lot of distortion pedals (of course), sometimes synthies, contact mics, metal sheets and often noises you hear in everyday life as source material. Pretty much anything is analog. I just edit some stuff on my laptop. When i play live, my focus is on getting as much involved in the sound as i can on stage. So my set up there is pretty limited. But since always play one-off shows and play maybe once year (due to the lack of possibilities and a full-time job), the set-up changes every time. I tend to be very active on stage, so the sounds should be simple but effective.
The latest release is called Imperfect. It has a very eclectic sound as opposed to just a simple noise wall. Can you talk about some of the different things you did from a technical point of view? Like, what different types of equipment do you use?
Actually, there isn’t much of a difference equipment-wise. I just used a lot more synthesizers than on previous recordings. On most of the tracks, the synthies were the foundation. Then I just added noises which I thought would fit to the ambience. So almost none of the tracks were recorded in one take, as much noise recordings tend to be. As you may have noticed, most of the tracks are relatively short and differ a lot from each other. So you could almost say it’s more of a collection of tracks than a complete album. I thought it would be nice to have a variety of different moods on the tape and not just one “theme” which would then be repeated on every track. Or again one of those noise albums where there is one super long track.
What are some upcoming plans you have for 2018? Releases? Live shows?
I’m currently working on a new album, which will again be very experimental and in a similar mood like “Imperfect”, with some ambient-influences and also using field recordings. Maybe you can anticipate the release in mid 2018. I’m still searching for a label which is willing to release it, since I really don’t have the time to release it myself. Also I think the distribution would be a lot better this way. So if any of you label owners out there is interested, hit me up!
The only live show planned in 2018 is at the Zasavje Noisefest International in Trobvlje, Slovenia. But i’m always open for bookings and i’ll do everything i can to play live somewhere. So again, hit me up!
You are offered a HUGE commission payment to create a noise/power electronics composition: The theme is The Four Seasons near the Black Forest of Germany.
You have many options including analog and digital synths, field recordings and whatever else. What do you choose to do to accomplish this project?
Haha, very interesting question…
I’d probably record birds singing in each season, then distort those recordings. Then I’d set up huge amplifiers at a specific spot in the Black Forest and blast those recordings through the forest and record that from a few feet away. That should sound pretty interesting.
Many many years in the future, a very distant relative locates a box in the attic of an old house. In the box they find a She Destroys Hope album. What would you like this person to know about your legacy simply from listening to your work?
That I was a restless person from start to finish.