Infidel Interview #103: LO FI HIGH
First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
My name is Sascha Alexander Plein...and I am a musician & visual artist from Berlin, Germany who is not used to beeing asked questions about his artwork...laugh ... but I will give my best. How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity? I moved to Berlin 20 years ago & still like living here and of course the reason to move here was the vibrant music scene Berlin had & has, but as an influence for my music, it is more the city itself, than the music scene inside the city. Do you consider yourself to be part of a particular sound or scene? What is your thoughts on the nature of genres and styles, and do you have any particular ones which you find to your enjoyment more, listening and/or production-wise?
I dont see myself as a part of any scene.I dont really think about scenes, styles, genres because in the end those are just words for social or artistic rules you have to follow to be part of something somebody ( & not you yourself) created.
Interview continues after this video and all further streaming content..
Is electronic music where you started making music? Or did you have previous musical background or experience before hand? If so does/did your previous musical experience affect your electronic compositions? What led you to electronic music, particularly the more experimental kinds of it?
I started as a singer in a stonerrock band (bass, guit., drums,voc )...did that for some years...but on my own i already started playing round with drummachines and simple synthesizer...the band then split into the guitarist and drummer moving to Cologne and the bassist & me moving to Berlin. Because we were kind of sick of the generell problems of getting 3,4 people together into a room at one time for a rehersal, we bought a 4-track casette-recorder, a drumcomputer and started working as a duo (LO FI HIGH ), so in the beginning, getting electronic was more out of lack of finding musicians that fit to what we wanted to do, then a general thought "oh we want to do electronic music". Drumcomputer dont turn up totally drunk unable to perform, synthesizers dont have ego-problems wanting a "solo" in every track like too many guitarists who are more walking talking penis then musician.....laugh .
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
Okay, musical influences are (in no special order): KYUSS, MONSTER MAGNET, DEAD KENNEDYS, JELLO BIAFRA, NINE INCH NAILS, DIE AERZTE, BECK, PINK FLOYD, EINSTUERZENDE NEUBAUTEN, MIKE PATTON, FAITH NO MORE, FLUGSCHAEDEL, ICE CUBE, WU-TANG CLAN, SEX PISTOLS, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, NIRVANA, DOORS, MINISTRY, HENRY ROLLINS , LIFE OF AGONY, WHITE ZOMBIE, BEASTIE BOYS, CYPRESS HILL, SLIPKNOT, PUBLIC ENEMY, MELVINS, SOUNDGARDEN, NICK CAVE, GORILLAZ, THE PRODIGY, OUTCAST, DIAMANDA GALAS, TOM WAITS, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, DIE GOLDENEN ZITRONEN, TYPE-O-NEGATIVE, SISTERS OF MERCY, DR. DRE, NEUROSIS, SONIC YOUTH, DIE FANTASTISCHEN VIER, DAISY CHAINSAW, ALICE DONUT, LALO SHIFRIN, DANNY ELFMANN, JOHN BARRY, ENNIO MORRICONE and so on and so on..... art influneces.... H.R. GIGER, WINSTON SMITH, CHARLES BUKOWSKI, STANLEY KUBRIK, SHINYA TSUKAMOTO, ROBERT ANTON WILSON, STEPHEN KING, H.P. LOVECRAFT, DADAISM, CINEMA, STREET-ART,
What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
Recent years.....DEFUNKT DIALEKT, VULGAR DISEASE, PLAYING WITH NUNS, VERTEX GERM, SKRILLEX, DEICHKIND, WARPORN INDUSTRIES, 21PILOTS, LANA DEL RAY, JED KURZEL, ZACK HEMSEY, INFIDELIX , PHROPHETS OF RAGE, RUN THE JEWELS, THE AVALANCHES, ..... i dont remix other musicians stuff, the only remixes i am part of were done by WASTED CONTENDERS & there the mastermind behind these particular tracks is the gifted Urs Gögler (ONETOOFRREEFOR )
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
No, I am a 44 jear old child playing around ...smile...& there is no logic in what i do.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?
Very seldom do i have a clear topic in my head when i compose, it´s just the addiction to create music / video that drives me to it. On the other side, the lyrics i write for LO FI HIGH are mainly "social-political" ....
Would you consider yourself to be an overall political or spiritual individual? If so, if how what would you say are your strongest/most important views and/or causes?
I would not divide spiritual & political because i see myself as both without following any political party or religion. Most important views....in the moment: STOP KLILLING EACHOTHER ...if we could just all agree on that...the rest would follow...
When it comes to your musical self and your real world self, would you say that their is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
No difference at all. The topics i sing about, i adress, are the topics i talk, think about, the soundtrack of my life ...smile
What sort of processes do you go through when making music? Do you have a formula(s) that you follow, or do you feel it out as you go along? Or is it more of a mixture of the two?
No formula...usally it starts with my bong & then a beat...but could be a bassline or guitar-riff etc too, so no formula, i start, i throw away, I try, i develope, i throw away, I record stuff etc etc.... , if its with lyrics for LO FI HIGH, I start to fit writing to song, which is then a battle between sentences & breaks...laugh....the song changes...sentences get reduced... and so on, cant even say how long it take for one track, in the moment i have track in a working phase that started 2 years ago and not done yet and some are done in a few days.
Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What's your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?
It´s a balance in all points ...i use hardware, software, midi, fieldrecordings, own recordings, drum samples, hardware-drummachines, i dont care, its all part of the musical progress for me, no limitation ...the sofware i use to record, that is vital for me, is ABELTON LIVE....been using that for about 10 jears now and still love it .... hardware: a bass-guitar, 2 electric-guitars,2 accoustic-guitars,KORG KAOSSILATOR PRO,2 KAOSSPADs, ZOOM MRT-3 drumcomputer, SYNTHTONE SX 1000 (a old italian synthesizer from the 80ties), 2 KORG MONOTRONs, a theremin, different rack-multi-effect modules, different guitar-distortions ( my fav.:"THE RAT") , different microphones, a ZOOM recorder for fieldrecordings etc etc.....for the video stuff i use a very simple video-editing program that costs about 20 $ and an old version of GIMP.
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
...it depends. I like to use visuals for all my projects so the concentration is more on the video and the music than on me as person which i kind of like but its slightly different from project to project. If it´s CIRCUIT DEMON people tend to see it more as a DJ-Set because i just sit there at a table with my electronics and they dont realize that you have parts of tracks live with hardware and really doing more than loading mp3s into some player so it has happend that they try to talk to me while i am doing that .... that can really piss me off....but mostly happens when one plays in places that are "too small" and people are "too drugged"...whatever .... with LO FI HIGH it´s live with visuals too but as we mainly choose the songs with lyrics for live-sets it is of course more centered on me moving my mouth...laugh.... from a energetic point of view.... ask the audience, dont know, ....HERR SCHMITD HAT KRACH (HSHK) visuals too, live mostly short noisy avalanches or dark ambient witchcraft live, autistic mumbling voice noise .
If you could play any anywhere, with anyone, in the world, dead or alive, who and where would it be?
In Mexico, somewhere on top of an old mayan-pyramide with Mario Quiroga (Vulgar Disease) my good friend and co-musician ( DOOMBOX ), we never met in person but been working togehter via intenet for a several jears now and that would be ... fun.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
Got the plan to start more live-gigs with LO FI HIGH for the near future....been out of performing live for a longer time now & "have to get back into the saddle.... a new DOOMBOX album will be released soon on TORN FLESH RECORDS...something will be released on IRRATIONAL MEDIA SOCIETY (label) in the near future....besides that in the moment.... .dont know & dont want to know...smile ....because that´s the good thing about it, the difference from a "normal job", you get surprised more often. You are currently working in several different projects. How do you manage to balance the time and creative energy across all the different projects? How do you separate your creative work between each project? LO FI HIGH & DOOMBOX are both Duos so there is always time for me to work on CIRCUIT DEMON or HSHK when i am waiting for the other person to make his "next move"....hmmmm... have not thought about this much, how i seperate the stuff.... i can only say that i know pretty early in the progress where the track is heading, in which project i want to place it.... instinct, a inner logic i follow which is hard to explain.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
- Learning to starve. - Learning to cope with phases in which i am uncreativ, to not then feel totally useless. - Understanding that it is nothing special to be an artist, it´s a decision. - Understanding that you will never ever "be done" ....after the last song is before the next song.
Outside of Experimental Electronic music, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by?
...to loosen the term experimental Electronic music a bit .... i make anti-genre-music with electronic elements, electric doom hop, urban industrial landscapes which does not answer the question but then again it does...smile.
In an industry that is driven by sales, and consumerism, what are your thoughts on digital downloads (legal and illegal)? Do you feel that streaming and digital download stores aid the accessibility of music? How bout music piracy? It obviously hurts sales in some regards, but it also boosts the access and distribution of the release which could lead to potential fans who do come to shows, buy physical copies of music, and get merchandise? Do you feel there would be enough turn around in that sort of system or are you firmly against file sharing?
digital downloads are there, so no use moaning about it.I see & know the problem that in a way there is no money inside of music anymore but like everything, there are positive & negative sides to the way things have developt for musicians. On the one hand you can spread your music around the globe via internet and that is more than fantastic & to me more worth than money. Doombox albums are free downloads on TORNFLESHRECORDS, CIRCUIT DEMON albums are for free download on SIRONA RECORDS. some LO FI HIGH albums are free downloads somewhere for free on the internet, some you can download for pay on i-tunes etc., off course the biggest dream of all would be to be able to live of what i love the most, music, video but it beeing not the case is no reason to stop. ..
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
...spending time with my girlfriend, spending time with my 15 year old daughter...watching her grow up, spending time with the few but good friends i have....watching movies..... BDSM, THC and my tachi (japanese sword).
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Thank you for showing interest and .... have a nice day....smile.
Follow LO FI HIGH on their official Facebook for their latest activities:
Follow Alexander on his official YouTube & Vimeo channels to catch his latest videos and songs:
Check out his other project's Facebook's for their latest uodates:
Circuit Demon: https://www.facebook.com/CircuitDemonBerlin
Herr Schmitd hat Krach: https://www.facebook.com/HerrSchmitdHatKrach/
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