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A Dirty Dozen with ILJA JOHN LAPPIN from THE HIRSCHH EFFEKT – September 2023

| 23 September 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “German Prog-Metal trio THE HIRSCH EFFEKT have released their new single “Granica” along with a music video. It’s the fourth and final single before their new album Urian is released on September 29th via Long Branch Records. Musically, Urian dives deep into the increasingly obtrusive ambivalence between crises and everyday life. Significantly less conceptual than the 2020 album Kollaps, it is nevertheless an absolute musical evolution. Textual ciphers are more intimate, relationships and references apparently obvious, while socio-political topics are discussed, and current developments are critically questioned. In addition to democracy-destroying bots that nestle in human brains via Instagram comments, THE HIRSCH EFFEKT gives a voice to the voiceless, for whom a beautiful life is still waiting.” We get bassist Ilja to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Urian is our 6th full length album and it’s more melancholic, atmospheric but also darker and brutally uglier than our previous record. This time we put the focus more on atmosphere and not so much on crazy fiddling. So we probably wrote the most “metal” songs in our catalogue but also maybe some of the softest and frankest. Since the songs are pretty long I think one needs more than one spin to grasp the whole story – that could be anything, how the guitar riffs stand with each other, how the song was composed or what the meaning of the lyrics is. This time there’s a lot of hidden vocal layers and choirs as well so that might be an interesting focus while listening to the album a second time.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I learned cello when I was 8, switched to Hip-Hop when I became a teenie and only discovered rock & metal (nu-metal to be honest) when I was 16. From there on I knew I wanted to get into a band and start playing a band instrument. So I bought myself a bass guitar and started a band with two other school friends. It was during that time and when I was finishing school that I actually realized that this was my calling and I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Nine Inch Nails & especially The Fragile album changed a lot for me in terms of production (mixing as well), songwriting, incredible emotional depth and geniously how electronic music could go hand in hand with band music. It changed my perception of what was possible and how you could shape your unique sound. They literally sounded like nobody else.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

That would be Trent Reznor because of the reasons I mentioned.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Since I’m away so much on tour and most of the year I actually prefer to meet up with friends and go into bars, have dinner and catch up. I like to be outside taking long walks as well and discovering new places. I’m also a huge fan of Metal bars. We have a couple of fantastic ones in Berlin.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

It’s like mad scientists cooking a new weird potion that will turn you into Mr. Hyde. The music’s extreme, hard, wild, sometimes random but also has emotional depths and beautiful moments of peace as well. It incorporates the extremities of our world quite well. I think somebody once compared us to Tokio Hotel, which seriously made no sense at all.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We almost never do that stuff since we’re very busy with work and have our private busy life as well. On tour or other rare occasions Nils (guitars, vocals) would definitely be the first to cook & I’d take care of the drinks for sure.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I think it was (again!) Maynard James Keenan, when I heard the Puscifer records for the first time. Must’ve been a couple of years ago.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The traveling, the freedom and not having to always call it a “job”. Otherwise I’d probably be an actor or so.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

No idea to be honest. I’m tired of answering questions that actually have nothing to do with the band or the new album.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I would’ve very many things differently but you always realize that way too late, don’t you?

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

That would’ve probably been Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage recording sessions as a bass player. That record shaped me in so many ways – I can’t even start to explain. Also it was a great school for me as a bassist.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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