Hearse – Canine Inspiration

You know Death Metal and you know Rock´n´Roll, when you mix both in equal shares you get Death´n´Roll and how this sounds you can find out on the latest album by Hearse. STALKER bought “A Single Ticket To Paradise” and was enlightened by drummer Max Thornell about our fucked up world.

Hey, how´s it going?
[writes German] Ziemlich gut finde ich! Ein bischen müde vielleicht. Kam nach Hause um 5.45 diese Morgen, denn ich am Festival gewesen bin. Nee, jetzt will ich auf Englisch antworten. Habe leider so viel Deutsch vergessen! [Pretty good, I think. A little tired maybe. Came home about 5.45 this morning because I´ve been at a festival. No, now I want to answer in English. I forgot too much German unfortunately!]

“Single Ticket to Paradise” is already the 5th album in the 8-year band history. Do you have too many creative juices flowing or simply a very high working morale?
Working morale? Me? Ha ha! No, I´d go for the first option. Well, I guess I´m pretty productive. Guess it all had to do with my dog actually. Every time I was out walking with him I had a lot of tunes in my head. I always have a digital recorder with me and record everything I come up with. Too bad the dog died last Summer. Guess this sounds like I´m just making it up, to honestly most of the stuff on our records popped up while walking the dog. Anyway, I still seem to come up with a lot of stuff (good or bad is up to the listener). Some of it fits for Hearse and other stuff fits for other projects.

How do you imagine your paradise and what´s inferno/hell for you?
Well, as the positive dude I am I guess that paradise would be like the opposite of the world we´re living in right now, he he! Guess I could write a book (perhaps I should) about how fucked up our world is right now. I guess that hell would be a too strong word, but on the other side I guess that people who live in other places with starvation, war etc. wouldn´t agree.

Title track on the album is one of the songs that stands out because it´s different from the others, what´s the story behind it?
I wanted to do something that would work out as an instrumental song and then add some samplings to it. There´s a bunch of recordings from TV and radio that is supposed to somehow be examples from a sad, fucked up world. A single ticket to paradise is pretty much the way out of it all.

Another song, “Your Purgatory”, is a very dark, haunting, emotional song, how did this song come about?
Well, the music came out quite natural. The classic soft verse and a harder chorus. Nothing special really. Then I wanted this soft vocals that sort of broke out in grunting choruses. I think a friend of Johan´s came up with the lyrical ideas. No happy ending of the album!

Why did you chose it to be the final song on the album?
I guess most of our albums end with slow heavy songs. So why change a winning concept, he he!? So it had nothing to do with the lyrical concept, it just fitted there with a slow song I think. Making the song order for an album really isn´t the easiest thing I can tell you. Especially in that moment just after the recording when you´re just so goddamned sick and tired of the songs.

“Paradise”, “Purgatory” – is there any affiliation to the “Divine Comedy”?
Nope, I guess not. I guess I should say yes, right? Would have made us look a bit smarter and perhaps even a bit poetic, he he!

There´s a video for the song “Sundown”, could you tell us a bit more about the shooting. Why did you pick this song, personally I think that “The Moth” is more of a “hit song”…
Picking ONE song is always so difficult. I´ve actually heard some more people wanting us to do a video for “The Moth” instead. Then I ´ve actually read reviews on the album where the reviewer thinks that The Moth is a terrible song, he he! So it´s not an easy thing. I can tell you it all stood between “The Moth” and “Sundown”.

Well, it was all filmed quite a long time ago and it´s actually not finished yet. We had an edit that I wasn´t too happy with that had nothing to do with what we agreed on. And now I really don´t know. Seems like time flies and the video should have been finished when the album was released. Feels like I somehow just lost my breath in doing this video.

On the album there are also many cool acoustic elements – how do you incorporate those when playing live?
I guess we don´t. We always have to re-arrange the songs for live situations. Otherwise I guess we´d have to have four guitar players. There´s always people who think that you should´t do things on the recordings that you can´t do live and…well, I don´t see why. I mean, in the studio you want it all to sound as good as possible and I have no whatsoever problems with bands who sound a bit different live.

What happened at the worst show you ever played?
Guess we haven´t done that gig yet. Have had no real terrible gigs so far with Hearse. With other bands though I´ve had a bunch of Spinal Tap moments! Best one was when I played with our session bassplayer´s band and the dude does this falling on his back in his real tight jeans while playing the guitar and couldn´t get up. That made me laugh so much I fell off the drum chair and fell to the floor.

How much is there death and how much rock´n´roll in your music?
I guess you´re referring to the term death and roll. Well,I guess it´s no secret that there is both death metal and rock´n roll influences in our music. But I actually think that there is more than that. Guess there´s also a great deal of heavy metal, hardcore and punk and I guess even a bit of goth here and there. We all listen to a great deal of different music and I guess that it all colours our music in some way.

Usually the current album is always the band´s favourite, what do you think you did “better” on this album compared to previous albums?
The thing is that I´m always so goddamn tired of the newest album as you´ve just heard it like a 1000 times, so be honest I simply hate “Single Ticket To Paradise” right now, he he! It usually takes a couple of years ´til you´ll be able to listen to the album again with fresh ears and a fresh mind. Right now I´m pretty fond of our third album “The Last Ordeal”. Too bad our label at the time Karmageddon Media put down their activities just as the album was released. So it more or less just disappeared just after the release.

The album also has an interesting cover, “Stonehenge on a tree-like trunk”- can you enlighten us about the meaning?
Nope, sorry I can´t, he he! The thing is that we had no real conversation with the designer. We just wanted a cover that wasn´t a big death metal cliché (nothing wrong with that, but that´s not what Hearse is out for). Think it´s pretty cool and spaced out!

Who does your album covers?
It´s made by a Dutch designer called Ivan (Deadhouse). He´s the dude that Vic Records work a lot with. Really like what he´s doing.

What are your future plans?
I actually don´t plan much. We´ll continue planning as long as it´s still fun. Then I have about half next album finished, so hopefully we can have another one out next year.

Photos: Hearse

Kathleen Gransalke

Editor for Reviews - translations, reports, photos - - - Favorite genres? - Punk, Rock, Death Metal, Mathcore - - - Favorite bands? - Coheed & Cambria, Black Dahlia Murder, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon