Did you ever heard of Beinhaus? I didn’t it! Set up in 1994 by core members Robert Glück and Marko Schröder, this German formation got joined by a few extra members and self-released all of their work. They this year signed a label deal with Krater Recordings (subdivision from Audiophob) unleashing the album “Zaehne”. This work sounds retro-industrial like and yet still modern. It for sure sounds different from the average industrial productions. Robert Glück brings us an introduction to Beinhaus, which I highly recommend to all industrial music lovers.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Beinhaus saw the daylight in 1994, but I get the impression you first of all remain one of the best hidden secrets from the industrial scene. Tell us a bit more about Beinhaus considering elements such as influences, sound, recognition and the main facts in the band’s history?
Robert: Yes, Beinhaus has actually been around since 1994 -with some ups and downs and always times in which we did almost nothing for months. The last motivation boost came in 2015 when we started working with the Native Instruments machine, which characterizes our today’s background sound. In 2016 David joined Beinhaus as a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer. He has brought our sound to the front and has just shaped our last album “Zaehne (Teeth)”.
In the years before, Marko and I made music together with a guitarist (1994-2000) and a female singer (2002-2007). With each change of personnel, our sound has changed as well. But we still play the same tracks -so they had to change over the years too.
Our influences are very wide and only partially obvious. Of course bands like Einstürzende Neubauten or Test Dept. have really inspired us. The biggest influence was the band Babyland from the USA. This is much closer to our sound we wanted to create: electronic-punk with industrial drums.Modern and retro at the same time.
Q: You are definitely one of the few industrial bands inspired by the early industrial sound; a sound composed with electronics, but also with self-made metal instruments. Can you give us more details about it?
Robert: Our sound is definitely sequencer-driven. In that way, we do not differ from many other electronic acts. The tracks follows a song structure and arrangement, which is based on beats and bass sounds. But as we do the live drumming, they can be very reduced. What we do on the metal drums forms another layer on top of it. For me, the performance and the visual is actually much more important than the sound… we could make it sound better and more brilliant with samples. But it just makes more fun beating the equipment without compromise -and this is what makes our live performance really outstanding.
Q: I’ve been always wondered why the truly industrial spirit from pioneers like Einstürzende Neubauten, Test Dept., SPK ao has been progressively replaced by power-noise artists composing music with their laptops. Beinhaus tries to be a little bit different and your new work even sounds as an antidote to the current industrial music. How comes and how do you see this evolution in industrial music?
Robert: I see industrial in the tradition defined by bands like Throbbing Gristle: extra-musical elements and performance, shock tactics, anti-music, information and self-organization. This is what industrial really means to me…
Many of these elements have guided us through the years… and still do today. This is the first time we have had a label (Krater Recordings) in 25 years. Before, we always did everything by ourselves… which was also a reason why we did not have a very long reach.
I have a bit of a feeling industrial concerts today are rather hard-techno parties. By the way, that’s not bad at all. I like that too. But it lacks a bit of the thrill that something unexpected, maybe dangerous or disturbing could happen. Meanwhile, we do not use elements such as masks or video images on stage. That’s what so many do… and I’m sure it’s much more effective to look people in the eyes -and again… it’s more fun!
Q: Tell us a bit more about the new album “Zaehne”? What has been the main focus in the writing process and how do you look back at the global composition?
Robert: As in all CDs so far we have some new and also very old tracks. “Dldeng” is one of our first songs ever and was the opening track of our demo “Zorn” of 1998. Tracks like “Zähne” or “Ich Weiss Alles” have been created in the last years. For example, “Abriss” is so new that we have never played it live -but we will do. We work very slowly and like to recycle our own material. Mostly we just rehearse and play our tracks.
We publish some songs again and again, but they’re always different. The tracks are in a permanent metamorphosis. We have almost no songs that have fallen out of our tracklist over the years, so we do not play them anymore. But actually a maximum of 2-3 really new tracks are created each year.
Q: I can imagine it’s not that easy recording and mixing metal percussions. How did that happen and do you’ve specific criteria to get the sound production you like?
Robert: Since Dave joined in, he does our sound engineering. It’s actually not easy to transfer the energy of the raw metal sounds to CD. There is a lack of visual impression which is very important for us. I have also been very inclined to mix the metal sounds very fat -so they took up a lot of room in the mix… But the mix also loses sharpness and dynamics.
Dave is trained to do that much finer. With many layers of different sounds that are not so much in the foreground. That makes a much more professional sound you can hear on “Zaehne” -although we did not record in a studio, but in our rehearsal room. But we, especially Dave, spent a lot of time on the recordings and the mix.
Q: You already mentioned the live performances of Beinhaus, which I guess must be something special. How does Beinhaus on stage looks like?
Robert: Beinhaus is absolutely a live band. Of course, the performance sets us apart from many current industrial bands. There is no table between us and the audience. It creates a lot of energy from the interaction with the audience. It feels very good, at the end of the concert, when we drum together on metal plates with the people in the front row.
I think people are very grateful for a real hard sweaty performance. And we enjoy the total anarchy on stage. It’s always very exhausting, we have to transport a lot, have a long build-up and cut-down times, but for the 60 minutes on stage that’s absolutely worth it. We always give 100% from ourselves and the audience see and feel that. Therefore, we can probably never do a tour. We can’t deliver this intensity night after night. We do about 6-7 concerts a year. That’s perfect. So we make each concert an experience -for us and hopefully for the audience. So thanks to all that joined our show.