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interview with herman of ah cama-sotz
posted on 11-Mar-2000 by alan
this interview was conducted by e-mail with herman aka dr. blood. ah cama-sotz has been around for quite a while creating unique music that combines best from the worlds of distorted rhythm'n'noise and dark ambient. the latest release "murder themes and terra infernalis" was considered top 10 release of 1999 by many (including "seven").
1. Where and how did your band emerge?
Well, I've always been busy with music! First as DJ, then after some time I felt the need to make my own tunes... My mixes were in the beginning more beat oriented but I may say with some experimental input! Nevertheless I knew the stuff they played in disco's but probably I enjoyed doing some different stuff. Anyway I could rely on various musical backgrounds as the 70's and 80's introduced different styles. I started doing some free radio stuff and encountered some guys who played experimental doom and dark stuff.....quite interesting ! The Hybryds played at the same radio station and after a while we managed to do something together. So my first released material was together with Hybryds (around 1993) and then came the compilation releases for my own solo stuff. I still find contributing to compilations an important asset and certainly for the beginning recording artist..... I started doing ritual stuff because of the Hybryds but I slowly evolved to more darker moods. After the Hybryds project I released my first single "hecate's psy" on Bats & Cats. Then came more releases on Spectre, Hands, OEC...
 
2. How long have you been writing music, was it always is this direction?
It's all about evolution you know ..... One is experimenting with sounds and moods (beat and non beat orientated) and like I said been a DJ, in the beginning I chose to do some rhythmical stuff and then came the ritual/ambient stuff due to the Hybryds, and as I'm interested in different styles I kept evolving to doom/dark and sometimes rhythmical moods.
 
3. Are you classically trained, self-taught or both?
Nope ! I am self taught but you must understand that I'm not really a musician as I can't read notes...... I know people who went to school and they pretend that it's not so easy to play ad lib!!! They follow the rules - if there are any ...! - I have no rules and it's just fun to play whatever you want!!!! Another thing are sounds : I think in sounds and moods, so I suppose it's quite a different approach in making a musical piece!
 
4. What themes are your dealing with now in your music? What are some themes your have approached in the past?
I'm interested in the more dark side of humankind. I'm looking for themes like death, war, plagues, lost civilizations, etc... Since humankind started there has always been some dark spot upon different civilizations..You cannot deny they played a very important role in our evolution. Murder, poison, the plague, etc.. were some of my themes I used in the past...
 
5. What inspires you to write? Is your inspiration more emotional, musical or spiritual?
Why not the three together! It depends of several factors, day after day, you encounter personal anguish, hatred and happiness and it feeds you from top to bottom!
 
6. Judging by your website and your music in general, you seem to be very involved in mysticism and the plagues of mankind. Does this play an important role in creating your work?
Sure it is. Probably it's a chip off the old block..., anyway I translate today's society towards my own subjective vision of this world. I would like to say that I enjoy myself being creative in this way. In the Middle Ages I would have been burned to death..ahahah!!
 
7. What has been the biggest motivation towards your work on "Murder Themes & Terra Infernalis"?
In 2 words : today's society ! Yep ! I looked for a way how I could describe today's jungle and that resulted in "terra infernalis" and going a step further : taking the most extreme actor in today's world : the serial killer.
 
8. What kind of equipment are you using to execute your material?
Mostly electronics ! the computer is the brain and my gear executes its demands...
 
9. What musicians have you worked with in the past?
I started with the Hybryds, and later on (last year) , I collaborated with PAL and probably this year there will be a new collaboration challenge...
 
10. Has working with the Hybryds changed your sound?
Like I said I started doing ritual/ambient stuff with the Hybryds, so my ACS sound was quite ritual in the beginning. I find it important to evolve in a certain style of music, so I kept evolving.
 
11. What is it like being a musician, DJ, and running your own label (Bats & Cats), do you have any spare time? Well, You must know it isn't taking all of my spare time as I have to work for a living too but you can never be sure how it will evolve. It would be great to spend all your time in making music...
 
12. What kind of material do you usually spin at clubs? What seems to be popular now where you spin?
At the moment I spin on a local alternative radio station where I have my program "secret society". Anyhow playing in disco's is quite different.
 
13. How did Maschinenfest 99 go for you? How was the turnout?
I played already two times in Aachen. And this year it turned to be a nice surprise as there were lots of people coming from different countries, but I must say that the organizers always do their upmost best concerning the artists. I enjoyed myself and we even sold a lot of material.
 
14. What is your live set like? How many people are involved? Is there any particular mood or theme you try to convey to the audience?
Well, I am alone on stage with all the equipment and my music.....heheh! and if it's possible I have a video movie that accompanies my music. So you have music and living pictures, and together I'll try to pass messages to the public...
 
15. What kind of equipment and props do you mainly use for your live set?
All electronical stuff ! But I find the physical input rather important : the public has the feel there's something going on.......I have some back up on tape.....- but one day it could be different, it's just a question of finding the right people...- and I mostly play synth and samples...
 
16. How is the response from the audience? Is it better in some places or areas than others?
Until now I received good reactions at the few places I already played but you can never be sure... Giving a good concert depends of lots of various factors...
 
17. What was your very best show ever? The worst show?
I cannot specify, really... however the point is that sometimes you have to play for a quasi empty room, it's a pity but it happens...!!!!
 
18. This may be an absurd question, but any plans ever touring in the States?
Sure, one day I would like to make a tour.... it could be interesting as the fans of industrial music are growing in a very considerable way.... Labels like malignant and possessive blindfold do a good job for promoting European labels and artists.
 
19. What bands do you feel are innovative to the industrial/electro scene?
Bands like PAL, Winterkalte, imminent, etc.... now there must be an evolution!
 
20. What bands are you listening to currently?
lots of industrial bands, classical music, all different kinds of music, but I know what's going on in our scene as I find it important to listen to the industrial evolution!
 
21. What was it like working with P.A.L on the 7" split released on Spectre? Any plans on working with him again in the future?
why not, it was fun but personally I know PAL too. And making mixes or remixes of an artist's work can be very interesting....
 
22. Any plans to collaborate or remix any other artist soon?
yes indeed, but that is still a secret! It 's still under construction, so we have to wait for the final results of this collaboration. All the parties must agree about the (re)mixes!
 
23. Are any compilation appearances coming out soon within the next year? If so what tracks?
There is, but as always I still have to name my tracks. Probably 3 or 4 items in production.
 
24. What direction do you feel industrial music is evolving?
I suppose more aggressive! Anyway industrial is becoming a plethora of various kinds of sounds and genres. I find it positive that even an underground type of music evolves from time to time.
 
25. If there is one movie soundtrack you could rewrite, what would it be?
mmmhh........i have to think, well.......why not "The shining" or "Seven".........???
 
26. Any final wise statements?
" ... Obscured by the Dark Fog, Thee Eternity will Rule ... "

http://users.skynet.be/ahcama-sotz

thanxx for the interview..................herman

related links
p·a·l vs. ah cama-sotz
ah cama-sotz "baal" review
ah cama-sotz "epitaphé" review
ah cama-sotz "murder themes and terra infernalis" review
ah cama-sotz "poison" review
"the house of the lordh" review
ah cama-sotz/bats & cats website

 
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