Interview with Beehoover

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The latest Beehoover album Primitive Powers is a highly enjoyable listening experience from this uncommon band. Combining quirky and characterful Stoner/Doom/Sludge influences into their personable music, I had to ask their drummer Claus a bit more about what they’re made of…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

It’s Ingmar on bass and vocals and me, Claus, on drums. We play loud rock music beyond typical standards. We don’t care about common structures, song lengths or whatever. We don’t have a specific political, social or visual outfit. However, we do care about our music a lot!

Give us a bit of background to Beehoover

Ingmar and I met around 2002 and we realized at once we share the same ideas about music. We tried to put together a proper rock band with a guitar player and a singer that didn’t work out so we had to carry on as a duo, which has worked out well ever since. “Primitive Powers” is our fifth album, other than that we have released four albums on Exile on Mainstream Records, an EP and a demo.

What are your influences?

We both have listened to bands like Primus, No Means No, Tool, Ninewood or Isis. Lyric-wise there are influences to be found in our everyday life or historical facts.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

I listen to some older stuff or BBC6 radio. We both don’t really listen to any specific new bands.

How do you feel that you fit into the wider musical scene?

We ourselves think we do. There are people with different musical backgrounds at our concerts, all together dancing and banging their heads, which may mean we’re right. However, some promoters, labels, bookers or magazines seem to see us in a freakier corner and not appealing to a larger audience.

Give us a bit of background to Primitive Powers – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?

This album covers topics like domination, aggression and suppression on one and those like hope, despair and disappointment on the other side.

“Primitive powers” is a line of the song “Tickling the Dragon’s Tail”, which is the name of an experiment carried out by nuclear scientists in the 1940s. It was a very dangerous experiment, however safety precautions were neglected and in the end something went wrong and some scientists died from radiation. We think this shows how arrogant human beings can be.

The cover artwork may give some space for interpretation as well.

Beehoover BandTell us about the album artwork

They are handmade collages and a collaboration between an Dutch and American artist. The cover is a symbol of human arrogance.

How do you think this is different to or has progressed from The Devil and His Footmen?

Always difficult to tell because you don’t do anything on purpose, it comes out a certain way and that’s it. We’ve already gotten some very nice critiques about the album being the most elaborated Beehoover work so far.

Also, it’s the first album we didn’t record and mix ourselves, which made things a lot easier. It’s also the first for our new label Unundeux.

How do you go about writing your songs?

Normally Ingmar comes up with riffs. We work on them, record them, share them online, listen to them again and again, combine them with other parts, rewrite them, throw them away and so on. So our songs grow step by step and we always work on several songs at the same time.

We live several hundreds of kilometres apart. So we met every other weekend over a couple of months for rehearsing sessions until the songs were done.

How did the recording process go?

We locked ourselves in at Tonmeisterei Oldenburg for six days. It’s good to be caught in that microcosm and be able to concentrate on nothing but the music. When recording we don’t experiment a lot and try to be prepared as well as possible.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

That’s difficult because they’re all our babies and we don’t play something if one of us doesn’t like it. Of the new songs I really enjoy listening to Embers and Bombs & Bagpipes. Those songs have lots of dynamics and unusual structures, which I like.

What does the future hold for Beehoover?

We have some touring plans for later this year and hopefully we’ll get the chance to play more gigs and a greater recognition.

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