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Interview: HTRK

Jonnine - Sean - Nigel (Photo: Ren Rox)

Nigel, thanks for accepting this. I feel I have to start with Sean… Like Sean’s mother Gloria once told, you achieved too much in a short time. But, obviously Sean didn’t enjoy it at all. Could you summarize us the behind story as a close friend of him…

It’s very complicated, what happened. I can’t summarize it.  It’s a deeply existential problem that afflicts society at large. Sean’s case was in a lot of ways no different.  It is a tragedy of suffering and guilt, in the romantic tradition.

How did Sean’s pass away effect you in musical intenseness or song writing ways? How will it effect your future projects?

Sean’s passing made me feel emotional for the first time in a long time.  I clutched onto this sentiment and let it permeate the writing of the album.

How was the band’s mood as you were making the album Marry Me Tonight? We have some clues about it in the music itself, but it’s better to listen from you.

It was summer and we were really happy.  I was going to the beach a lot and watching film noir, reading about Howard Arkley (Australian painter) and having homoerotic dreams about RW Fassbinder.

It seems to me as if you mostly have a feeling like loose endings in your songs. How would you define your music with ignoring the genres?

Structure is not important in our songwriting, so songs just end when they need to.  If we have captured the feeling or energy that we wanted to capture, we experience it for a while and then we can let the song end.

Let’s come to your new album. When is it getting completed? And how much are you satisfied? Cause second albums always give you extra responsibility if you have a perfect debut album.

The new album is in final stages of mixing. I’m totally addicted to it.  I say to myself that we are making both our first and our last album.

Who are you collaborating with?

We are doing everything on the album 100% ourselves.

I know that you were bored in Melbourne and just wanted to explore new things. You moved to Berlin and London afterwards, and kept on enriching your music with these cities’ musical attitudes (shogaze, electronica, etc, i mean). As a person who stayed too long in both cities, would you tell us about the effects in your music? And what would your music sound like unless you didn’t travel?

We’ve picked up some influences here and there but it’s such a complex thing, how a city makes an influence on your creativity, that we cannot comment on it.  I am drawn to the elegance found in UK artists such as Throbbing Gristle and Coil but I also like music that has a very individual sound design, really rough and lo-fi stuff.  This might come through in the production of the new album.  If we didn’t travel, it might be very much the same.  It’s 2011 – we are influenced by highly mediated images of the world, rather than by actual first-hand experience of the city we live in.

In this sense, will there be another stop for you that you are curious about?

Our studio is in London, we have everything that we need here.

I guess you are involved in cinema, as well. When I listened to Rentboy, it reminded me the film “Trainspotting”. Have you got any references to films in your songs?

Films are really important to us but more from an abstract point of view, in that I might get a strong feeling from a film and then carry that feeling across to the music.  I’ve been very affected by Philippe Grandrieux’s films.

After a perfect year with a perfect album and tours with The Horrors and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the year 2010 obviously not going to good… What are your expectations from 2011?

We’ll release our album, continue writing new songs, and hopefully play some shows in the US and Australia.  We haven’t played in Australia since 2006.

If you don’t mind, I just want to ask you your favourite songs or bands from 2010.

The album I’ve listened to the most is probably “Form Grows Rampant” by Threshold Houseboys Choir. I really liked the Blood Stereo album “Your Snakelike King”, and also really got into Hieroglyphic Being  (especially the live set for RTS FM), Sensational, early Whitehouse albums, DJ Screw, the Kevin Drumm box set “Necro Acoustic”, a Pekka Airaksinen album “One Point Music” and Oni Ahyun’s live set for mnml ssgs.  My favourite songs have been “The Endless Sea” by Iggy Pop and “Song for Europe” by Roxy Music.

Lastly, I know you visited Istanbul a short time ago. Not for an event, only touristic. What are your impressions about the city? Did you attend any event here?

I spent a few days in Istanbul for a friend’s 40th birthday and stayed in the Asian side. A lot was familiar to me because I have lived in Kreuzberg and at the moment in Dalston, London where there are large Turkish communities.  Walking through the back streets, I started to feel the city open up slowly, over a few days.  However I did not have enough time to really experience the city properly – I only saw the surface.

Interview with: Nigel Yang

HTRK: Official site, Wikipedia, Myspace

3 Yorum var! : “Interview: HTRK”
  1. Heinrich diyor ki:

    Cool interview makes the longing for the new album! But why no English pages at the site?
    Seems to be good stuff.

  2. Dave diyor ki:

    Great interview Emre(?).

    Respectful but still interesting. Can’t wait for the new album.

  3. Emre Yürüktümen Emre Yürüktümen diyor ki:

    @Heinrich; only interviews are available in English at the moment- the whole site in English? Haha, one day hopefully!
    @Dave; same here- we want new HTRK album now! Thank you very much for supporting!

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