Steffen Lehmann is now terrorizing us for nearly twenty years. His Greyhound project is one of the hardest projects from the Hands roster, but it also became a kind of flagholder. “A Storm Is Coming” has been released on Hands again. Steffen Lehmann got assisted by Björn Boysen. They both accomplished Greyhound’s eighth official full length, which is revealing the familiar merciless rhythmic-noise elements, but still a few more subtle sound treatments. 2019 has been a prolific year for Steffen Lehmann who also released a new opus of his Syntech project.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: I can’t remember a title of an album has been more appropriated to define your music as the new one: “A Storm Is Coming”. What’s the link between the title and your music and what have been your main purposes when composing this work?
Steffen: The time “A Storm Is Coming“ was produced I was facing several disappointments. Promises, which weren’t kept. People who showed unexpected sites of themselves. Hopes combined with expectations, which didn’t became true. All of that has a big influence on the result of the album. Greyhound is my all-time valve to find an exit to all these kind of problems. The current album shows a detailed reflection of my mind during the production-time.
Q: What have been the different stages you’d to go through to compose and achieve “A Storm Is Coming”?
Steffen: Every track starts with producing, experimenting and manipulating several sounds and beats. After a specific time I got usually the initial idea how it should further develop. As the track gets shape I am in a state of euphoria. At this points Björn comes in for further ideas and does the final mixing. It can take days till weeks to complete a track. In the end, only the tracks that are selected for the album get mastered.
Q: The songs are once more driven by furious rhythms and noise loops, but I also experienced –and maybe for the very first time, some subtle electronic sequences and minimal arrangements in the background. Tell us a bit more about it and does this work feels as the most accomplished- and intelligent one?
Steffen: We listen to many different styles of electronic music, but I love rhythm’n’noise. Impulsive, distorted and energetic rhythms are my all-time-favorites. But you’re right. As the own taste for music develops, changes and variations are influencing the way Greyhound finally sound. It has its charm to implement unexpected sequences and arrangements to change the usual sound impression. The work on Syntech has its influence, too. In the tracks “Escape“, “All Complicated“ or “Hope Dies Last“ it is clearly recognizable. At least for me. I can’t say if this is a sign for an intelligent album, but it sounds ‘right’ to me.
Q: What are the criteria and eventually references you’re using to know a Greyhound-song/album is finished or not? What does a song need to consider it’s finished or do you as artist think a song is never finished?
Steffen: This question is not easy to answer. If a new track is done, I let pass some time until it gets my full attention again. At the end there are three options: 1. I am convinced and it gets only some final refinement. 2. It is not finished, but has potential. So the work on it continues. 3. I don’t like the track anymore. Then it becomes deleted. A Greyhound-track needs always a specific complexity and progressivity. If a track is too tame or too dense, then Björn smashes his critic at my head.
Sure, a track could be edited for an infinite time and it seems that the work on it comes not to an end. Every change on it makes a new track of it. As the time flies and new influences come in, my own recognition of a track changes. And yes, there are Greyhound-tracks I would produce a different way, because of actual possibilities and musical preferences. But these tracks are a completed chapter and representative for the time they were produced. I prefer to look ahead and realize new ideas in new tracks.
Q: I noticed more and more ‘industrial’ and ‘rhythmic-noise’ projects are mixing their sound with hard-techno music. What do you think about this evolution and the impact of techno on other genres and more specifically industrial music today?
Steffen: That is a delicate question, as the definition of industrial-music always was a controversial discussion. In my opinion there is no rule, how to create industrial-music. And if people like industrial-music with a hard-techno-sound, then it is the right industrial-music for them. Personally it isn’t my cup of tea and I prefer more complex rhythm-structures. Technoid elements can be the salt in the soup, but too much of it make it inedible for me.
Q: You this year also released a new Syntech-album. How do you manage the switch from one project to the other and do you feel some differences in the ‘spirit’ and your own mood when working on Greyhound or on Syntech?
Steffen:That’s right, with “Shadows Above Me“ there is a new Syntech-release after 4 years. To switch from one project to the other is not that difficult for me, as every project gets my full attention when I work on it. The approach is also different. I can’t tell you if I have different spirit when I work on Syntech. Perhaps this is a point my personal environment only could answer