An Interview With Hertzen
In a fresh album release from Hertzen, the band delivers a mix of Post Punk and alternative pop soundscapes That feel like I'll call out to certain classics and are able to take those Inspirations and spend them into something fresh at the same time.
The Emotionally Numb album features an array of ecstatic synth work blended into beats and driving bass lines that help the songs grow to fruition.
These tracks have a way of feeling cinematic and the textures come together so gracefully that it lets you swim through everything.
This release has a very vast feel behind it and its backbone has this dark edginess to it that becomes quickly infectious, and you find that it's a general staple for the band.
Throughout the course of the record, you find that there's layers to be peeled back and at times it feels like this is somewhat of a concept album as well as the songs feel like they interconnect with each other in certain ways.
Of course, I could be wrong by saying that, but it just feels that way to me.
This is definitely one of those albums that is better off listen to from beginning to end as opposed to certain singles at a time.
There are absolutely more than a few gems on the record that stand on their own two feet as singles, but I think the proper way to soak this in is by doing it as a whole.
This is the kind of a record that lets you sort of escape to a different place, and I think it's important to have records that let that happen for you.
Certain kinds of music are excellent forms of escapism like a good book or a film and when you come out of it you feel like you have to react to me yourself back to reality again.
You don't always get that with records but with this one, it definitely works.
This was a deep dive to an extent and has the atmosphere of an almost future post-apocalyptic sci-fi film which makes it endlessly fun.
Definitely, the kind of record to listen to with headphones so you can let everything paint these vivid images in your head for you.
I also love the hints of vintage or old-school industrial and alternative pop elements that bring to mind genres like Post Punk.
With the release of such a well-woven album, we wanted to have a sit down with Hertzen to find out where the soul came from and what might be coming up next for the band.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with the Emotionally Numb album! This record had an atmospheric and almost cinematic undertone but kept to a synth alt-pop feel! How did this album come about?
It's about, hopefully, good and catchy melodies, chorus, lyrics and beats. A song, like a movie, must tell a story in a short and repetitive way. But yes, that kind of cinematic mood will always be present in our music, if not in the structure, then in the sounds or rhythms. A jazzy aura here, some drama there, without obliterating the pace or vocal orientated nature of the band.
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you guys as a band?
Our story it's pretty punk. We met in a forum about synthesizers and electronic music. We started talking about music genres and our experiences in the field. I was interested in collaborations; hence we started working remotely on some demos. In 2018 we finally met in person in Rio de Janeiro. I convinced Self to come over to Europe and, after five months, he moved to Germany where we could finally start as a band and have our own studio.
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
SELF: Books, movies, life. And music itself, of course. But to be honest, for me at least, it is about sounds and rhythms. I play with my tools and once I think a good idea is coming, it automatically relates to some memories or subjects that fits in. It is like the opposite of doing a soundtrack where one must find the sounds that relate to the images.
MAY: Making music and writing lyrics is for me an introspective work. I mean, I literally use music and sounds to get to ideas. They trigger feelings and thoughts that, like a puzzle, create a picture, or better, a story that has been in my mind for ages. It's a journey into myself. When we finish a song, it happens that I say “hey, but this vocal melody I´m doing reminds me of this" or “these words I´ve written remind me of the story of that character in that book. The latter was the case, for example, of Vampires and Angels, recalling a famous Ishiguro’s book. Basically, I get inspired in the making.
Buzz Slayers: This album has some great styles combinations on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
It has to do with the fact that we both listen to many different genres of music. Also, we like to blend elements from all styles as long as they work well together for this or that song. Sure, there´s that 80's nostalgia, but actually the 80´s started around 1977 with the last breaths of prog rock, then punk, together with disco, the birth of synthpop and all. A good moment for music really. Rediscovery of Latin, African, Asian music, new technologies, everything. We like to listen to classic Brazilian Popular Music a lot these days, too.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
SELF: I love to learn about music and audio. I love books and movies. I am also totally addicted to history. And I am keen on outdoor/EDC gear.
MAY: I´m learning Brazilian Portuguese. I´m trying at least. Too less time, since I work on Hertzen and my solo project, too.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
SELF: A podcast about a music producer from Brazil.
MAY: Our album. It sounds bizarre, but I was so looking forward to getting the songs done to listen to them on repeat. Finally, no pressure at all like when you are working on them.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
MAY: We could start the year with a great show we had in Bergamo, Italy. It was a great feeling to be back on stage. We hope to get many of these moments in the future.
SELF: Thanks to some friends we got some gigs in Brazil, a thing I am kinda mad to do, but due to logistics and other problems we had to postpone. Hope soon we get to go there, USA, UK as well, etc, as long as conditions allow.
Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?
We recorded ourselves in our bedroom studio in Munich. We have always been producing our albums by ourselves.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
Definitely, great live shows! We are so looking forward to hitting the stage again and playing our new songs live. Also, new remixes are coming soon!
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
We want to thank all the people out there for supporting us. Each one of you makes a huge difference. We hope you are enjoying our new album and that you would join our journey. Follow us on social media for more!