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Interview for Hanashukketsu

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Conor Fynes View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 31 2013 at 03:57

Hanashukketsu is quite a strange band. Nary indefinable, this avant-garde act emerged first as an online partnership of likeminded musical eccentricity. Since then, it has evolved into a fairly prolific musical collective of artists, wombats, and provocateurs. The project’s core, made up of Finnish wombat Vompatti and American dada wizard Borokkuei Alan graciously devoted their time to speak a little about this enigmatic music. Call it electronic, noise, avant-garde industrial or whatever ye will; Hanashukketsu are an unpredictable group.

 

Hello! How are you feeling today?

V: My neck hurts.

B: I'm feeling alright today. I'm yawning a lot because I've been doing a lot of statistics work.

Hanashukketsu is an interesting name, it sounds abstract, pleasant to the ear, and potentially difficult to spell. What's the story behind the choice of name? How do you think it reflects the intent and direction of the music?

V: Anal discovered it.

B: The name is a mispronunciation of the Japanese word for "nosebleed" written in kanji. I came up with the name but I didn't know I was pronouncing it wrong (it's supposed to be "bishukketsu", and "hanashukketsu" isn't even a word). But, because Hanashukketsu isn't a word, I like it even more because it's a unique set of syllables that now represents only our musical project. Also, Hanashukketsu sounds way better than Bishukketsu, I think. Because it's unique and doesn't really have a meaning, I believe it reflects the intent of our music.

The style of Hanashukketsu is very interesting and has developed with each fresh release. If I was prone to labeling things, I might call you guys a mixture of post-rock, musique concrete and abstract noise? While all labels are ultimately arbitrary things, how might you describe your music in words?

V: It's like a flock of mechanic birds gliding over the silhoutte of a shut-down match factory waiting for the first light of dawn.

B: Sometimes we're drone, sometimes we're doom, sometimes post-rock. I'd like to do a noisy grindcore/hardcore album eventually, maybe even a noisy ambient pop album. I like being one of those bands where we just do what we do individually and see what happens naturally during the composition process, so people can label us as whatever they want. I like labels, and collecting them sounds fun. I try to describe our music primarily as ambient noise with doomy and/or gloomy acoustic and/or electric instrumentation.

One of the most interesting (somewhat) recent additions to Hanashukketsu's sound is the saxophone. It's use reminds me of some of Kayo Dot's recent material. How has the introduction of saxophonist Miesmann influenced the dynamic of the band?

V: I would say the dynamic has increased by 50% while the static has decreased to some extent.

B: He's been a friend of ours for a while and we knew he played saxophone, and it just seemed like one of those instruments that was interesting enough to need in our music, not like more guitars or bass or something. I personally know absolutely nothing about saxophone, so it's interesting to see what he comes up with in the composition process. Usually Vompatti or I can suggest a certain sound that we're looking for on a section of the music, and Miesmann nails it.

Your composition style is very texture-based and abstract, but there's certainly a direction at work here. How are songs written? Where do you find your ideas?

V: At the recording phase I improvise everything. When the time comes to compose I use my intuition to mold it all into a gracefully harmonious whole, paying particular attention to the rhythm of the visual shapes of the soundwaves and leaving space to be filled by the rest of the instruments.

B: The songs typically start with Vompatti setting the mood with noise and ambience. Then I see what I can do with it musically with my set of instruments. After I finish mixing in my instruments, I hand the music over to Miesmann and he writes the saxophone parts, which I mix in. We really need someone who is better at mixing. I think our ideas primarily come from us feeling like crap nearly 100% of the time, so that's the mood we try to convey. Throughout the recording process, I'm usually creating the album artwork and bandcamp layouts.

Hanashukketsu is loosely affiliated with the abstract literary magazine Nervous Horse, a magazine run and written in part by Hana members. Do you think there's a connection between these two artistic entities? Is there a similar artistic motivation between your musical and literary contributions?

V: Nervous Horse is a collaborative effort by various individual authors. Unlike Hana it is guided by no definitely goal or vision apart from the collective sum of visions behind each of the works in it.

B: To me, they both represent making art for fun. I'm not much of a writer, but I might start submitting graphic art for Nervous Horse in the future.

It's a bit more of a common thing these days, but Hanashukketsu is a product of the internet; human beings conveying musical ideas to one another over a vast expanse. Can you say a few words about how you guys met and decided to make music? Are there any challenges specific to an internet-based mode of production?

V: Destiny brought us together on a progressive rock forum. We decided to make music together because we were all making music anyway and it is more or less natural for humans to make things together as opposed to making them on your own. The only challenge is that there is a vast ocean between us -- we will never feel the warmth of each other's bodies or run our hands through each other's hair -- unless, of course, we choose to tour and play live shows.

B: Previously, I'd only been in bands that were a group of people in a room. That was fun, but I really like the space and time I get from working at a distance. I have a busy life and I like to make music when I have the time and energy for it. I'm also very introverted and sometimes I don't feel like hanging out with people, even my friends. The only challenge I've identified is not being able to communicate during the recording process in real-time so well.

What artists tend to influence you? What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?

V: I have barely listened to any new music during the past few years. I would say I'm more influenced by books, many of which I used to read at the cinema while waiting for the film to start when I still used to go to the cinema a few years ago.

B: I can't think of any artists that have directly influenced our music, but I listen to a lot of black metal, ambient, industrial techno, folky acoustic stuff, and classical. As for non-musical entities, I really liked learning about the dadaist movement, but I don't necessarily associate our music with that ideology or style.

Vompatti, on top of your work with Hanashukketsu, you also have a project called Succubus Station, one that Hana has actually recorded a split with. What do you think is the difference between these two projects; are there certain ideas that feel better equipped for one project over the other?

V: Succubus Station was originally going to be a harsh noise project, but some of the recent ambient material could admittedly have been used on a Hana album with little or no editing. If, however, I'll be making more noise, it is most likely to end up on a Succubus Station album.

What is the best way to meet a pretty girl?

V: Add her on Facebook and hope she doesn't hate you or think you're weird even if you're a Finnish wombat. Alternatively go to a physical place that pretty girls frequent, such as a barber shop or a shopping mall, and start a conversation about the weather, the gas prices or any other topic of your interest.

B: School, internet, daydreams, fantasy. Once you meet one, you have to talk to it, and that requires confidence or six-pack abs.

What is something that evokes powerful emotions in you?

V: The systematic oppression of love and creative thought that takes place in every capitalist society.

B: Being sad and anxious all the time by default evokes powerful sadness and anxiety in me. But also romantic relationships are my weakness and evoke all of the emotions possible. The medication helps though.

What advice might you give to other musicians or aspiring non-musicians, wanting to make music that sounds nice or pleasantly ugly?

V: Make any sounds you wish to make in any order you wish to make them, for any sequence of sounds can later be made nice by applying the appropriate algorithm.

B: I really like the idea of making music for fun. Some people like making music solely for making profound art, and some people like making music for money. Just make music for whatever reason you want. The chance of becoming famous or even noticed is very slim, so it's more important to have fun, I think.

Are there any new bands out that you might recommend to a broader audience? What do you think of the current state of music?

V: There is more music now than ever before.

B: The new Jon Hopkins album is really good. I feel pretty good about the current state of music. I'm always interested in new music, because there is always a chance that the next thing I hear will be the best thing I've ever heard. If the state of music weren't constantly changing, that chance would be way smaller.

What lies in your future?

V: I'll eventually be quitting everything and pursuing my dream to live alone in a small cottage in the woods on a small island by the sea in a small village with my wife and two cats printing books by hand and exchanging them for chicken and bicycle parts.

B: Hopefully more music.

Any words of encouragement for a rainy day?

V: The best is yet to come! You are a radiating beacon of light!

B: Rain is wet, and so will be the woman (or man) who loves you forever.

Thank you very kindly for answering this interview!!!

B: Thank you very much for caring.

You can hear Hanashukketsu’s musical exploits at: http://hanashukketsu.bandcamp.com/

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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 08:03
This made my day.  Thanks!  Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 08:18
Original interviews with Prog artists (which are exclusive to Prog Archives) Stern Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 08:42
Good interview. The stark contrast of Vompatti's and Alan's personalities made it that much more entertaining.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Bearded Bard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 08:56
A fun and interesting read. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 10:15
You guys are hilariousLOL

Let me know which island you decide to make your home vomps. I'll drop by with a couple of potatoes.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 10:22
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

You guys are hilariousLOL

Let me know which island you decide to make your home vomps. I'll drop by with a couple of potatoes.


Traveling across the ocean to bring him two potatoes?

Hanashukketsu has a dedicated fandom. Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 10:26
^My future career is overseas potatoing - dropping by arbitrary islands on my way introducing the natives to this marvellous veg.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 10:32
Potato Missionary
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 10:32
I wouldn't mind potatoes, if you know what I mean.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote smartpatrol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 10:42
fantastic interview! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 14:39
Why are they not on PA? Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 14:50
Too progressive.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 14:50
 LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote smartpatrol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 17:09
Also, they've got the prog part down, but rock isn't a very common element in it
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2013 at 17:32
That's the more serious (and correct) reason.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote irrelevant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 01 2013 at 08:42
Kewl! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 01 2013 at 11:00
Phantastyk interview! Clap

... And moved into "General Music Discussions". Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Earthmover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 01 2013 at 11:41
Now that was great. Made me laugh too.
Gotta check out some Hanashukketsu soon, the music seems really interesting.


Edited by mister nobody - September 01 2013 at 11:42
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alicelewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2014 at 02:31
hahahah nice one
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