You're into producing electronic music with hypnoskull ever since 1992. In
the past years you were often regarded as one of the innovating acts in the
scene of the new industrial movement. How do you feel about that ?
hypnoskull: That doesn't bother me at all. I don't care about this kind of
attention at all. It even turned out against me, as it lays the standards
for my productions very high. It's funny when I see that a lot of new
projects and bands seem to refer to my project and say that it has inspired
them a lot. I don't think about this too much as I'm stuck into my own daily
So you don't care at all ?
hypnoskull: No. Which does not mean that I don't like it sometimes. It is
Last year in summer (2005) the rumour went that you had played your last
show on the Noxious Art festival in Vesoul, France. Was it true ?
hypnoskull: No. I was just very pissed off that night, cause I drove all the
way up to Vesoul in a car without airco and it was freaking hot outside. It
was a hell of a drive. That made me say all these things probably. The
knowledge that I had to drive back the day after wasn't doing any good
either. In the meantime I did a few shows, smaller ones. I agreed with the
management that next time I have to do shows that are further away, I will
get a driver or go by plane. I am a very lazy traveler indeed. I hate
traveling in general. It's just not funny. I love different places and
continents and countries, very much, but this traveling thing. no. I often
tend to say very strange things about hypnoskull. It's because I both hate
it and love it at the same time. That particular night, I hated it so bad,
you cannot imagine. Fortunately the gigs are better then.
Some people were happy that you were not planning to play anymore.
hypnoskull: Too bad for them (laughter).
Okay, the industrial scene has mixed feelings about your sidesteps towards
breakcore and drum'n bass, what do you think about that ?
hypnoskull: Nothing. Just that it says all about the industrial scene. I
never thought in terms of genres or styles. I fit into my music what I like.
Breakcore and drum'n bass contain both very uplifting and energetic, raw
stylistic elements that I like. If someone doesn't like that, it's his or
her problem, not mine.
You could be one of the biggest stars of the new industrial movement if you
would adapt a bit more to your core audience, right ?
hypnoskull: I am a stubborn music producer, not a puppet-on-a-string of any
labelhead or a&r creep. If I would want fame, I'd produce shit for the
charts, certainly not narrow-minded industrial-only powernoise kinda
material. Which does not mean that I don't like powernoise or rhythmic
noise, on the contrary. It's just that I want to be who I am, so I do what I
want. It's just all about progression, and if that's the offer I have to
make for this freedom, I'm gladly making it.
Some people in the scene think you're far too serious about all the 'tough'
talk in your album-texts and liner notes.
hypnoskull: They don't know me and certainly don't read inbetween the lines.
It's just how the hypnoskull project works. It's simple music and it has a
seriously twisted yet hidden message inside each time.
What is that general message ?
hypnoskull: It's about how absurd the western society is. I'm just a
messenger, so I don't judge, I just see and feel what's going on out there.
So I don't have any real message, it's just important to me that people
realize that they have their own choices in life, that's just all. They have
to be aware and see the importance of their own lives. Actually, it's quite
some positive vibe when I think about it.
So they don't understand the point, maybe you should try to write it down
more clearly ?
hypnoskull: No, for Christ's sake, no. It's part of the hypnoskull game I'm
playing. I'm not telling stories to entertain my audience. They have to dig
for it themselves, or don't, as they want.
As we speak, you are recording your new album, could you tell more about it
hypnoskull: Yes. It's titled 'PANIK MEKANIK' and it will be straightforward
dancefloor hypnoskull stuff. In one or another strange way it will be very
retro-like. I mean, when programming the beats for this album, It turned out
to sound very. harsh yet danceable. Not too complex once again. It's subtle
yet very hard pounding and has serious noise attacks. I think the heaviest
ever on a hypnoskull rhythmic track.
Aha, so you are making a record for the scene !
hypnoskull: Fuck off, dude, I do my thing. Okay, they probably will go 'hey,
hypnoskull is going for the industrial scene at last', but it's just what is
happening right now.
Anyway, the smell of easy success is out there.
hypnoskull: Not for me, I'll leave that to some other acts and projects,
they're very good in that. Like I told, I just do my thing.
Who are these 'other' projects ? Come on, tell !
hypnoskull: That's what you want, isn't it ? Let me tell you this, in the
past I have managed to create some serious annoyment in this scene for
talking honestly about what I thought about some big other projects and
about why I thought they were into producing music. I don't feel like
talking any longer about them. Everybody knows who they are. And who am I to
diss these people again, I mean, if they feel allright with it, and their
audience adores them, who the hell am I to talk about them, right ?
Too bad. Seems like you lost your sharp tongue while getting older ? Is it
true you turned 33 last year ?
hypnoskull: Let me tell you this, I will never lose my sharp tongue, but it'
s indeed just a question of getting older and, ahum, 'wiser' I guess. I
still fight my own war, but just with the music and sounds. Like I told in
for example the album (G.O.D.)-once again, if they don't have the skills to
be my real enemy, they are no enemy. That makes the circle of possible
enemies very small, year after year.Was that sharp enough ? See the
difference in approach, right. Yes, I turned 33 this year. It's my magic
number, my lucky number 3, the magical 3-squared year." Thanks. Going
further on this, you are also often called 'arrogant'. "That's when I say
thank you. In this world full of spineless followers of trends and empty
consumers of mass-media-trash opinions, you are easily called 'arrogant'
when you sharply condemn this evolution. I always look who calls me
'arrogant'. The day one of my close friends would call me 'arrogant' I will
be warned. It always depends on who's talking, right ?
Okay, another one. Rumours go that you refuse 8 out of 10 possibilities to
perform live. Is that true ?
Why ? Other bands have to search for shows themselves and are happy that
they find gigs at all.
hypnoskull: I'm not 'another' band or project.
I mean, why are you refusing shows that much ?
hypnoskull: Several reasons. It's either too far and I have to travel by
plane for hours for one show only, or it's in a club I don't like, . many
You don't like playing live ?
hypnoskull: Sometimes I love it, sometimes it's a drag. I always pick and
choose shows. I also reduce equipment to the absolute minimum. I use a
digital harddisk tracker to play on stage, and I just mix stuff together in
a different way. Sometimes I bring some old trashy drummachine too and make
some fresh beats, whatever. The only thing for me that is important is that
it has to be intense. Nothing more sickening than playing in some goth-club
where everybody stands there and looks at me cause they don't understand it.
I need at least some 10 people in the crowd who go insane and in their way
annoy the rest of the audience. It's just amazing when shit like that
happens. It's that punk-vibe which is often not there these days. It became
too serious, and certain people just want to see and listen to electronic
music with this 'intelectual' gaze. That's also okay for me, and so are the
goths, but. I rather have some good old-fashioned moshing and pogo-shit
going on frontstage, that pushes me all the way, I can tell ya. Dancefloors
should be small warzones on my shows, but not hostile warzones, just a zone
where people who want to lose it all can go nuts all the way and back. I don
't promote that they beat each other up.
You don't like the 'intelligent, kinda laptop scene' ?
hypnoskull: I didn't tell that. I just like it more when people dance wild
and go insane on my stuff. It's made for that sole purpose, you know.
The last few years you have presented collaborations on your albums. Is
there a collaboration with another project on your new album too ?
hypnoskull: Not with another musical project this time, but one with a
Japanese underground writer of harsh experimental cyberpunk SF-stuff. His
name's Kenji Siratori from Hokkaido, and he wrote quite a lot of books.
David Bowie is a fan of one book, Blood Electric. Siratori contacted me and
wanted to work together, so I did. It will be funny. Everyone coming up with
this crazy Japanese writer, and everybody probably thinking they're special.
That's why I like this guy. His working ethic is based upon spitting insane
amounts of creativity around by using the net, books, collaborations. I like
that. I was very glad to have him on one track.
If it's a writer, it's probably a spoken word track ?
hypnoskull: No, he wrote, read and recorded 6 minutes of weird cyberpunk
lyrics, which I sampled, processed, cut, and used into a pure danceable
track. The result is strange, but very hypnoskull.
Do you think hypnoskull can go on and on in the near future ?
hypnoskull: Yes, what's the point ?
I mean, will the inspiration stay to create album after album ?
hypnoskull: I could easily release one album every three months, so yes, I
don't think that will be a problem.The question is, will there still be a
label willing to put it out in the future, but that's not my concern at all.
If this would happen, I put all the new stuff free online on my website.
Latest effort : "(G.O.D.) - once again" full album for belgain label spectre
records : www.spectre.be
In the pipeline : "PANIK MEKANIK" full album for
german label ant-zen records : www.ant-zen.com
More info on hypnoskull :www.hypnoskull.com
or through escape 3 organisation, the project's
management at www.escape3.org