Helmut – In The Mind Of (Interview)
Helmut is young berliner making some sweet and hypnotic loop music about everyday-life topics. You really should listen to his first E.P. on his bandcamp page, while reading this interview to discover the guy.
Hello, who are you ?
I’m a berlin based songwriter/loop musician/live producer/guitarist and occasional event manager.
What kind of music are you composing ?
My HELMUT songs mostly originate from extensive jamming. Once I find a pattern, melody, bassline or rhythm interesting enough to be nailed in a loop, I either try to write my way there or have the idea develop into something else.
You tagged one of your first songs « Loop music », what does it mean ?
This is simply a label allowing me to avoid others, I guess. It refers to the technical limitations of my work with the loop pedal that result in a
Your music makes me think of some kind of soft-Krautrock, because of the regular beat and the dreamy vocals. Are you proud of this comparison or do you get tired of hearing about the same musical references because of your native country.
Soft-Krautrock… haha! I might consider using this as a tag for future compositions!
In my eyes »Krautrock », or rather the psychedelic music in Germany of the late 60s – early 70s, is among the few really positive aspects of recent german music history. I’ve had my CAN, NEU! and HARMONIA phases but it’s more the interest in hypnotic, loop based arrangements and improvisational music than the cultural reference that connects my music with that label…
With your HELMUT moniker you’re a one-man band. Did you happen to be a part of a band previously ?
I tried playing in different bands and am very positive that the synergy created on stage or inside a rehearsal room is among the most fulfilling and uplifting experiences I made so far.
However, true bands are like multiple relationships. So far either the sex was great but we couldn’t talk about it or the other way around.
Going solo gives me the freedom to keep working whenever and on whatever I feel like. If I meet the right person(s) and we fall in love, though, I’ll gladly invest in a multiple relationship again.
You personally made, engraved and released your own EP on CD. It’s important for you to still create an object.
That’s not quite true. I very much feel the desire to find a unique shell for a unique piece of content, yet the creator of the actual cd design is Johannes Klever, a student of fine arts at UDK Berlin. I’m full of admiration for him and a few others whom I had the chance to collaborate with in the course of these last years. A lot of dedication, creativity, fun and sweat went into this project and even though it will most likely never really pay off moneywise, since the costs and time investment for regular casings are
soooooo much lower, I’m really thankful for the memories and the time and enthusiasm shared.
Why not just signing with a label to have your physical release.
Why not just signing with L.Ron Hubbard to have a spiritual release? I don’t believe in things working that way for me.
I do respect record labels that put energy and money towards pushing the artists they believe in, but I don’t feel the urge to try and sign just any deal. I like to take the time to collaborate with friends and other skilled people to produce videos, recordings, layouts and other things around the music. Also, logistics are still pretty simple for me with a few online sales every now and again, mostly digital anyway.
Your music and lyrics seem very peaceful and you don’t seem to have the need to show off with your music. Are you also simple and cool in your everyday life ?
I prefer frank and unagitated individuals and relaxed atmospheres to the turbulent behavior and forced thriving for excitement and happines portrayed by many. I guess personally I’m a negative pain in the.. backside most of the time.
You live in Berlin, a city europeans used to know for their giant electro-nightclubs. What’s the city has to offer for the more oriented indie-rock kid.
I don’t know many indie rock kids. However, there’s scenes for various kinds of music here. wonderful chaos reigns..
When should we expect new tracks from you.
The tracks are there but as for the release: I really can’t tell at the moment. Got to do some thinking on how, where and with whom to record my debut.
Can you list for us some of the influences present on the HELMUT Ep.
Talks, walks, affection, fear, hope, synergy, disconnectivity, fakebook, first-world-problems, a cold, cold canadian winter, kung fu, ‘shmoodies’…
There’s also a thank-you list on my bandcamp profile with some musical recommendations.