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Night Before Ascension – Del 1: Psyche (foto och intervju)

Posted on 22 June 2010

Night Before Ascension – Del 1: Psyche (foto och intervju)

ElektroSkulls huvudskribent Jens Atterstrand tog ett snack med Darrin C. Huss i samband med Psyche‘s sverigebesök i mitten av maj. Det blev ett intressant djupdyk i musikskapande, dåtid, nutid, och framtid. Om gästspel på andra skivor, men också om den trogna fanskaran i små länder som Sverige och Norge.

Vi får en intressant inblick i hur frontmannen själv analyserar tiden  som passerat sedan Psyche mötte synthpubliken för första gången, för snart tre decennium sedan.

Låt oss för en stund förflytta oss tillbaka till åttiotalet, precis som om det var förra veckan! – Vadå?? Det var ju förra veckan?! Nåväl, åtminstone för en del av oss..

ElektroSkull: Welcome back to Sweden, Darrin! It has been five years since the your last visit, and your first time ever in Stockholm. Are there any special reasons for that, or just the simple fact of fitting concerts in a tour schedule, among the tough financial situation for club owners on our small scene?

Darrin: Yes, you answered it really. I have asked to be in Tinnitus, and some other events in Stockholm over the years, but Psyche was never booked for these shows, and the last show in Sweden was five years ago at Klub Statisch, and before that Romo Night in Gothenburg. We used to play regularly in Gothenburg because of one promoter there. The same with Norway. It’s all about who you know in this small scene, and also who is interested. Also now, many events don’t happen anymore, and also some of the club owners look for other bands, or whatever. Psyche hasn’t had an official new album to promote since 2005, but we never really only went on tour for that reason, so it all depends. Thanks to Karl’s interest in having Psyche play at Rotor, we finally made it to Stockholm.

Psyche med Magnus Gladén, Live i Stockholm, Nalen/Alcazar (Club Rotor) 2010-05-12

Foto: Diana Malm

ElektroSkull: Do you have any special memories from Sweden in the past?

Darrin: Yes, we had an amazing time at a Student Union location in Lund. It was one hell of a hot concert, and crazy audience. The performance of “Prisoner To Desire” is on our “Imaginary Life” DVD. You can see what a great audience we have in Sweden. For awhile Göteborg was like a second home for Psyche shows. I’ll also never forget our nights at Nuclear Nation in Linköping, and our summer tour with S.P.O.C.K in 1991.

ElektroSkull: Considering the quite small fanbase in Sweden and Norway (compared to Germany and bigger countries) we still have got our fair share of Psyche on stage down the years. Have Sweden and Norway always been special, or are there any special reasons?

Darrin: Interestingly when Psyche had their first European Tour we had a massive audience at our first show in Sweden, so this country has really been as big a market for synthpop as Germany ever was. Norway, and Denmark followed later, and we have some true fans in Norway who bring us over every two years or so. I know that we were even an inspiration for Apoptygma Bezerk in the beginning, and we also had Icon Of Coil as our support for their first ever show in their home country, so we have a good history with the Scandinavian audience.

ElektroSkull: You’ve been around for quite some time now. We’re looking at 25 years since “Insomnia Theatre” (Psyche’s debutalbum red. anm.) this year. In what way can you look back at the different decades,  and in what way have the times been different for Psyche?

Darrin: Yeah, soon it’s going to be a wheelchair and walking cane for me, ha ha. I can still remember alot of the early performances, and my feelings about creating the songs, but it does seem like a different person sometimes. I know why I wrote Brain Collapses, and Children Carry Knives, and what came later, and if I just look at the music and albums I’ve made, it seems to be consistent and make sense to me. In relation to alot of what has happened in the different decades, I don’t know, it’s weird, but “the more things change the more they stay the same” almost seems true these days. Only I still believe the 80s were better than the 90s. The latest decade has been interesting, but things seem to regulated and I think we’re losing the younger audience to fashion trends. However there is hope as the teenagers today are discovering the sounds of the 80s through their parents, and some are into this sound again now. We’ve always been like the outcast band, even in our own scene, so that hasn’t changed much really!

Psyche med Magnus Gladén, Live i Stockholm, Nalen/Alcazar (Club Rotor) 2010-05-12

Foto: Diana Malm

ElektroSkull: You have done alot of other things beside Psyche. You’ve worked with Vanishing Heat,The Eternal Afflict, and obviously the sideproject Inside aswell. Then we’ve heard you with you with Aiboforcen, Fading Colours, Sara Noxx, and as backing vocalist on Invisble Limits “Violence” album. Recently you’ve also made a vocal guest appearence on Red Industrie’s debut album Switch on the song My Victory. I suppose all of the other work have been in some way inspirational but are there any special ones you remember for some special reason? How was working with Electro-legends like Anne Clarke and Sara Noxx for example?

Darrin: Anne Clark is a legend, Sara Noxx isn’t quite there in my opinion. My most enjoyable collaboration was taking part on the Fading Colours EP. Decoy has a fantastic and powerful voice, and I really liked that song. Inside was fun, but the sounds weren’t as good as what Psyche does. I really enjoyed the Red Industrie guest vocal, and I recently did something for the Polish band CABARET that I’m looking forward to hearing on their final album. Another highlight for me was when I covered Rational Youth’s “City Of Night” and they did “Unveiling The Secret” in return on a compilation called Undercover.

ElektroSkull: Musical development from your earlier years until today are obvious, but I still I think you’ve always kept the balance and never got too far away from your sound. Are there any special thought of musical development for Psyche or does it just come naturally in what you want to achieve?

Darrin: Thanks for that, other people seem to think we changed completely, and I realize that we are not exactly using the same instruments like on the first two albums, but I am still writing my classic Psyche lyrics, and the song structures are still very unique to what we started with. I guess my voice is definitely a recognizable aspect, and also I do have an ingrown loyalty to continuing what my brother and I first started. I have a specific feeling for what makes the “Psyche” sound even with other collaborators.

ElektroSkull: You obviously started up with your brother back in the eighties. Since then we’ve seen changes and additions to the Psyche lineup. It what ways have this affected the work as a band in the studio, on stage and so on?

Darrin: Psyche has remained pretty much a duo, especially in the studio. When I decided to stay in Germany, I asked my brother if I could continue Psyche without him, and started in 1995 anew with Per-Anders Kurenbach who in fact is Swedish/German. That was for the next 5 years, then I had Remi Szyszka as a member from 2000 up to 2005. He’s originally from Poland, so it’s kind of funny that my keyboarders were related to the country that we were extra popular in at the time. My connection to Poland has been really cool since the early 90s in fact. At the moment I haven’t a permanent band lineup, so I’ve had to hire different people for some recent shows. I’m still working on a solution to that situation.

Psyche med Magnus Gladén, Live i Stockholm, Nalen/Alcazar (Club Rotor) 2010-05-12

Foto: Diana Malm

ElektroSkull: Last summer was the first time for almost ten years in Poland and the Castle Party festival for example. What festivals and shows are you especially looking forward to this summer and why?

Darrin: I would’ve been looking forward to something like Mera Luna, or Arvika, but for some reason we’ve never been considered, so the summer is pretty empty this year. I have only the Secret Garden Festival in Hannover, and Dungeon Open Air in August.

ElektroSkull: You’ve travelled the world in the past and have been on stage on alot of continents and many countries. Do you feel you’ve “seen it all” or are there still any special places you would like to go?

Darrin: I’m really glad we’ve played in Australia, and that was quite a highlight. Cape Town in South Africa was also amazing. But I still want to experience South America, and eventually Japan. I’d be happy with that I guess. Russia never worked out so far unfortunately, but for some reason I’m more attracted to France and Germany where Psyche was initially welcomed. We’ve only made a few small steps in North America, but I’m not obsessed with being bigger there. Anyway whether or not with Psyche, or just as a tourist, there’s still a few places I’d like to see, and also go back to again. I love Mexico too, only been twice, and would like to see more.

ElektroSkull: So summertime is around the corner. Have you scheduled any time off or will there be all work during the summer? What do you personally do to relax? Are there any hobbies apart from the music, the film interest I know you have? Fishing? Camping or Sunbathing?

Darrin: I actually have free time this summer because we had a fair amount of shows last summer, and then I had my heart operation which I’m still kind of dealing with. I am happy to relax a bit this summer, but keep recording on the rainy days because it has been a bit long since the last album. I’m trying to deal with being over 40 now as well. Sometimes I just can’t believe I’ve been standing on stage since I was 17! I was obsessed with the TV series Supernatural, but now I’ve watched all 5 seasons, so I’m looking for films again, but I have seen so many, and there hasn’t been alot that came out lately that I’ve been excited about. The new Star Trek was kind of the last time I was really looking forward to something. My hobby is mainly surfing the internet for music that I might like through people’s blogs. Not necessarily new stuff, more like weird and rare recordings that people go to the trouble of putting online. I read books still, but more like 2 a year.

ElektroSkull: Finally. We haven’t seen any new Psyche material since The 11th Hour album. As a musician you’re obviously always working on something I guess – can you reveal any new material on in near future? 11th hour was very well recieved all of the world and obviously went number one in the DAC. Is that a problem as a composer sort of competing with yourself after such a success or are you experienced enough to cast it aside?

Darrin: Sadly all the praise for this heavy album didn’t translate to great sales. Not everyone liked “Babylon Deluxe” when it first came out, but it did better in terms of sales, and I still perform at least 3 songs from that album in my shows. “The 11th Hour” was actually a bit of a swan song. Until I manage a new album it remains my goodbye statement. I think it was too dark perhaps, I am recording cover versions of really odd choices at the moment, and I have my own songs ready too, but it’s been slow as I am hoping to create a new sound for me that excites and fascinates me. I don’t like to repeat what is expected, as I’m sure most people have noticed by now. I have seriously enjoyed performing my repertoire over the last 5 years though, I have over 150 songs to choose from and so the challenge will be to have 10-15 new titles that thrill me and Psyche’s audience as much as what they already know. I never record just for the sake of filling airspace. I need to really have something that I can’t wait to present to my audience. It is a great challenge actually, but I’m pretty sure I’m ready. I actually just finished preparing a release with Artoffact Records called “Re-Membering Dwayne” which is a collection of our old recordings with Mr. Dwayne Goettel (RIP, Skinny Puppy). also includes some slightly remixed stuff, and had to be ready by this week.

(Intervju publicerad enligt önskemål på originalspråk)

Stort tack, som alltid, till fantastiska Diana Malm för fotot från kvällen!

Tack också till Club Rotor och Magnus Gladén.


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  1. […] även en intervju med Darrin Huss i samband med Psyche’s sverigebesök i våras som du finner här. (Intervjun publiseras efter önskemål på […]

  2. […] Dwayne R. Goettel’s ära. Missa inte heller vår senaste intervju med Darrin Huss, samt intervjun från Psyche’s senaste sverigebesök i […]