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Old 08.28.2007, 04:03 PM   #61
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AC : Back when you were doing Lost Aaraaff, did you ever use external stimulants like alcohol or drugs?

KH : Never. I had and have absolutely no interest in that. And that's why I am the way I am now. I don't resemble anyone, nor do I have any intention of doing so. I want to avoid the gaze of god. God is always watching, always following and that's why people are able to do things. When I do something, I don't want it to be under the gaze of god. If I do it properly then I can avoid that gaze. That's the true meaning of being an outsider. That's where everyone goes wrong. The reason why people say that they want to be free is because they aren't. They want to be something that they aren't–but once you are conscious of that, the same state will persist forever. That's why I am an outsider in the true sense of the word–I am something else. I don't mean blaspheming and saying fuck you to god. Everyone is born a descendant of god–the true outsider wishes to go somewhere else. That's what I want to do. I believe that I need to do that in order to make my own music. There's no one who can legitimately use the word "myself"–everyone is a "too." That's why I think that I am justified in saying "I myself" so much in my lyrics. And that is far more difficult than taking drugs. What I am doing is the real stimulant. To truly perceive yourself, to realize that you are alone and then see how far you can go on your own.

AC : Have you always been interested in religion, or did you gradually begin to think and connect what you were doing with god later?

KH : It's not thought, it's consciousness. Thinking is something that you do after the event, you analyze it. Consciousness is something that exists before, during and after. I don't like this idea of just thinking... For me, consciousness is the most important thing. When I listen to someone's music, first I try to feel what they are conscious of–melody, rhythm and so on comes later.



 

AC : What do you want to do with your music?

KH : (collapses in pretend shock) Revolution and miracles. If you're going to ask clichéd questions like that then I'm going to give you clichéd answers. (laughs) Just the same thing as I have always said, I'd be happy if my music has a therapeutic effect on someone.

AC : When did you start to think that you could do that kind of thing with music?

KH : I do it because I don't think it's possible.

AC : So it's more of an attempt, a striving towards the ultimate power of music?

KH : Umm, that's... again, looking back now I can put this interpretation on it. When I was very young there was a Protestant church(8) behind our house. I'd go to church every Sunday and my childlike self absorbed the idea that my aim in life should be to help people, to love people and so on. Possibly I absorbed all those ideas in a simple way, but I believe that they're still inside me. On a very simple, surface level.

AC : Was there music at church too?

KH : I wasn't very aware of any music there. But as an element that sometimes appears within me, I definitely got something from when I would sing at church when I was in elementary school or junior high. Even if it's not specifically Christ, I think that there is something within me. I feel that sometimes.

AC : You mean that you unconsciously absorbed some connection between religion and music?

KH : Rather than using the word "religion," I often say "prayer." To me prayer is stronger. I have never been baptized, nor do I have any intention of doing so.

AC : What does prayer mean to you?

KH : The desire that things become even slightly better than they are now. An appeal to something outside myself.

AC : You often use the word "curse," as opposed to prayer...

KH : It's impossible to explain curses to someone who doesn't understand the meaning of prayer. I use the word "curse" in the same way that I use the word "Fushitsusha." When you have completely rejected everything, there comes a time when, in order to keep on living, affirmation is the only thing left open to you. When I say "a time" I don't mean the flow of time, I mean a place. Especially in English, "curse" is liable to be a very weighted word. What I mean when I use it is, a curse that it is impossible not to affirm, a curse that has been accepted. Prayer is not a word that I use to confuse people. For me prayer has only one meaning. By way of example, I was really surprised once when someone told me that the word "Fushitsusha" appears in a Buddhist sutra(9). On one level, if you are able to explain what "Fushitsusha" means then that means that you can also define what Buddhism means. I heard that from an actual priest, someone who has read a lot of obscure texts. That's the sense in which I use "Fushitsusha." We talked about this before–how in Buddhism nothing is the same as everything, so nothingness is not something that you should aim for. And that's what a curse is, something that seems to appear on the surface if you keep on praying properly and continuously. I don't curse people, or do anything negative like that.

AC : In your lyrics the idea of the relationship between the individual and the universe comes up a lot. Could you say something about that?

KH : Could you make the question more specific? It's too wide a subject just to ask me to talk about it.

AC : It's something that you've talked about a lot in interviews, but hasn't really been touched upon in anything published in English. I suppose what I'm most interested in is this idea about a separation between the self and the universe, and what rôle music can play in bringing the two together.

KH : As far as I am concerned, everything outside of me is the universe. To put it another way, there is just me, the first person, and then everything else which is other. I don't make any distinction between the second person "you" and third person "he/she." The other, which is not me, is the universe. When I use the word "omae"(10) (you) when I'm singing, most of the time I'm not referring to one person but to everything. On a personal level I think there are times when people I know in the audience think that I'm singing just to them, even though I wasn't using the word "you" in that sense. In general when I use the word "you," I'm not using it on a personal level, because for me everything outside of me is the universe. It's very simple. It's not one on one, it's one on everything, one on the universe if you like. It's not a confrontational relationship though. Sometimes I want to melt into the universe. Because I'm here now, there are also times when I want to call up as much as possible of the universe within me. To drag it into me, breathe it all in, and then reveal it to people. But this is all stuff that I've talked about again and again, regardless of whether it has appeared in English or not.

NM : You didn't say anything about what part music plays in your conception of the self and the universe.

KH : Briefly, it's possible to be conscious of very many things, but I believe that it's impossible to be aware of the whole of the universe. So what I was saying earlier about the desire to melt into the universe, that's a prayer–and for me, making sound is also a type of prayer. Sometimes that prayer is expressed through my voice, sometimes through percussion. It's a prayer, but not the kind of weak prayer that is just pleading for something. I don't think that those kinds of prayer are capable of accomplishing anything. It's very hard to sum this up, but I think that things will gradually become clearer as the interview continues. It's probably better to ask more precise questions. It's almost like asking someone why they are alive. You can only really reply that you were born and didn't have a lot of choice in the matter, or that you enjoy living–ask more detailed questions.

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Old 08.28.2007, 04:05 PM   #62
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AC : To what extent do you believe that isolation and /or alienation is necessary to create meaningful music?

KH : That's a difficult question. In one sense, being by yourself is lonely. That is equally true for other things as well, but because of this feeling of loneliness you begin to look for friends. I mean friends in a different sense from the universe that we were talking about earlier. If you imagine that I am here and I feel the universe in a certain way, then by friends I mean other people who are in a different place but who experience the universe in a similar way. So I've begun looking for those kinds of people. When we were talking earlier about my childhood and how I was, for want of a better word, "different," we didn't get into the negative aspects. I didn't feel lonely at kindergarten, but when I got to elementary school there was no way I could avoid it. I hadn't been scolded at kindergarten, but I was at elementary school and that gave rise to awareness and prejudice–so there was no way I couldn't feel lonely. So I started to wonder why I had begun to feel lonely, but I couldn't really get out of it. Maybe I could have forced myself to be like other people. It's the same as the way people ask me why I choose to make the kind of music that I do–but this is the only kind of music that I can make. This is the only way that feels right to me, the only thing that I can possibly do. As to whether I ever wanted to be alone, of course there are times when I want to be by myself for a time, but I have never felt like I want to cut myself off from everyone else. Cutting yourself off is very lonely. This is interesting, something that links how I was then with how I am now–I'm lonely so I make music, and the more I make it, the lonelier I get. Within my consciousness I keep on moving towards a primitive state, because I keep testing myself to find out just how different I am from everyone else. And the closer you move towards that primitive state the lonelier you become, but because you are lonely, in one sense, you want to make more friends. This is a hypocritical way of putting it, but as you do that you become kinder to other people, you begin to value them more. By valuing people I mean a desire to be of some service to the world. To pray and to make something better for people. That something is impossible to define in words. I believe that you've first got to have experienced loneliness for that feeling to emerge. This is something I've talked about before, but to expand the analogy, if you take it that loneliness also means feelings of isolation and solitude, then I want to experience the same feelings as Jesus or Buddha must have had.

AC : In my experience, whenever I see a truly beautiful or powerful piece of art, music, or whatever, there is always a feeling of loneliness that goes along with the appreciation of it.

KH : I feel the same thing. This is something that I've come to realize over the last few years. I hardly ever go to art museums, but one day when I was in Europe I happened to go into one. I can't remember the name of the artist, but there was a picture of Christ on the cross and there were red drops of blood dripping from his wounds. But while they were falling, when they reached a certain point they changed from red to yellow. It's obviously very symbolic but I felt that I had totally understood it. Blood is very vivid, very real, but it can become something glorious.

AC : Like the way something initially negative can be transformed into something positive?

KH : I think it's a bit different from positive and negative.

AC : Something born out of pain can...

KH : More like that. This is a harsh way of putting it, but I believe that people who aren't doing things properly, who aren't serious about what they are doing as I always put it, it's very convenient for those kind of people to see the yellow drops of blood as gold. Because they don't want to taste the pain of real blood. That's the way religion is–they say that it was enough for Christ alone to die, because they don't want to spill their own blood. So they put Christ up on a pedestal and call him a god, because if they do that then they can get by without having to spill their own blood. I think that those medieval painters were probably told by the church to paint the blood yellow like that. Something that was originally red. It's hard to pin it down historically–no one really knows the exact change from medieval to Renaissance, but I feel that blood was just painted red up until the end of the fourteenth century. It's the fault of religion.



 


AC : Do you have an interest in religion?

KH : Not in religion, though it depends on how you define "interest." It's something that gives me a greater understanding of myself. I've said this again and again–I like Christ, but I hate Christianity. I see a painting like that and it gives me various sudden insights. But it's not like I'm ever going to get involved with any particular sect. Everything begins from the individual, doesn't it? Some individual did something, and then people who came after needed to make a living for themselves so they turned that individual into an organization. What I'm interested in is the individual. To use the example that I always use, I like Thelonious Monk but I don't like jazz. I like Syd Barrett, but that doesn't mean that I like all rock 'n' roll. That's always the way with me.

AC : The first time I saw you play was with Fushitsusha, and what impressed me most then was the total physical energy that you put into producing each sound. It's especially apparent in your percussion performances. It's something that you see very rarely when other musicians play–the sound seems to be coming just from their brains or from their fingers, whereas with you it's very obviously the whole body. Could you say something about the relationship between the body and the production of sound?

KH : When I first started thinking about sound, I wanted to make music that would be totally unique to me. Not something that would fit into any genre. I wanted to do something new, but because I'm a musician I have to use instruments, right? I would like to make a distinction with the Dadaists though, people who make no sounds and call it music. As far as I'm concerned that's just a concept that never gets beyond the brain, and they aren't musicians. They may be expressing themselves, though. It's like what Webern said about music only being born from the tree of music, that's close to what I believe. To repeat, the Dadaists would just meaninglessly hit a typewriter, just because it was interesting as an act, and they would call that a composition. Instead of using it to produce a rhythm or as a musical instrument, they were just treating it as an object, in one sense. I have no interest whatsoever in that kind of "music." I wanted to come up with a concept that would be as original as possible. So going back again, musicians must produce sounds–the whole problem of why and how sounds appear is something that you can think about for yourself. And it is something that you should think about–in one sense, ordinary musicians just produce sounds and never think about how or why. So-called contemporary composers work at a slightly deeper level, thinking about questions like why does music appear and why it exists. But they only think about these concepts. I believe that it's acceptable to have a period where you think about questions like that, but that thinking in itself isn't the same as making music. I believe that if you're going to show something to people then you have to physically produce actual sounds, not just concepts. So once I'd realized that, I picked up several instruments and began to think about how you could produce sounds with them. Instruments that already existed. You can simply hit them, pluck them, blow into them and so on(11). One thing that I came up with was indirect ways of making sounds–sound would not be produced immediately but it would appear after some time had elapsed. Perhaps the easiest example I came up with was the alpenhorn–it takes a certain amount of time for the sound to appear after you blow into it. What I thought about was making an alpenhorn so long that it would take about three years for the sound to emerge. But that was just another type of mental conceit, and so totally worthless. When I thought about producing sound, what it basically came down to was me and an instrument. So the only thing left open to me was to discover new bodily movements and create music that way. Just around that time when I was experimenting with my body to find these new movements, I had the chance to see some butoh(12). Using the body has been a main theme of mine since then. For example, when I strike something I don't just do it straight, I break down the action or stop just before or just after the actual striking of the object. No words exist to express or explain those types of action–all I can do is move my body and show people. It's something that doesn't even come across in audio recordings, you have to see it to experience it. How about this for an impossible proposal–instead of a CD, Halana should have a free video, then people can see what I'm talking about.

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Old 08.28.2007, 04:05 PM   #63
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AC : As far as I'm concerned, while the actual sounds of your percussion performances are interesting, the process leading up to the sound is even more fascinating–the look and sound of you leaping around, the rustle of your clothes, friction with the air, the sounds of your breathing and your hair whipping around. You would really need to capture all those sounds as well.

KH : The process which I am conscious of when I perform is slightly different from everyone else's. Before I make any sounds, first of all I breathe in all the air in the performing space. Most performers feed off the audience, but I'm conscious of entering into a relationship with the actual air in the place, even before the audience has arrived. After breathing in all the air, when I breathe out again I want to engulf the audience in that air. And then on top of that, I want to return the air to its original state again. When I breathe in all that air and engulf the audience in it, it feels like I have become god. That in itself would be blasphemy, which is why I then return the air to its original state. That's the process that I'm always aware of. This might sound like a joke, but it's not–it's easy to become god, but difficult to keep that power. People often say that my sounds are loud, and that can be a negative thing. It's not the sounds that are loud, it's me. I actually become the sounds. People often say how opera singers should sing not from the throat but from the diaphragm, or with their whole bodies. But that just limits the sound to yourself–what I want to do is make the air itself vibrate. And that's why it's loud. I give my body to the air. That makes the air vibrate–that's what I'm doing with the percussion. In the past, when I didn't have that much power, I wasn't able to make people concentrate fully on the sounds. Now I can do that because, in one sense, I can control the whole space. And everyone then goes along with what I want to do. That's how I become god. But because that's blasphemy, I always return the air again to its original state. And by doing that I will be forgiven.
When I'm doing a percussion performance, I am very conscious of myself as one part of the universe. In one sense, there's nothing that I'm forbidden to do. That said, I can't do anything that's going to injure someone in the audience and so far, luckily I've managed to avoid doing so. I'm always ultra careful when I'm doing a percussion performance. It's usually in small venues, and if I were to slip, which is easy to do, with one of the big cymbals and hit someone in the head with it, I'd kill them. That's the only thing I'm thinking about. I can relive the times when I was at kindergarten and I would be playing in the sand-pit. I can do whatever I want, everything is permitted.

AC : Is it possible for you to do the percussion in the studio, or do you need the energy of an actual audience?

KH : I can do it but it's very boring. Of all the things I do, the percussion requires the closest relationship with the audience. But really, everything I do is the same–I need some reaction, whether it's someone telling me to shut up or someone applauding, and the music moves and changes according to that. I get a good vibration from the people who come and see me play live now, so I can get through the performance without any negativity. Before the performance begins and the audience are sitting there waiting, I believe I can pick up a good vibration from them. In the past, if there were people who weren't really interested in what I was doing, I would lose their vibration. I would start putting out negative vibrations, I'd want them to go home. But recently, I don't know why, there's a good vibration, and in return I feel that I have gradually become able to make people feel good.

AC : Is the audience vibration more important for the percussion than it is for the guitar and vocal stuff?

KH : Yeah, definitely. When there's a feeling of rejection or something happens at a percussion performance, I can only perform within my own expectations. There's no sense of surprise. If there isn't a good vibration then I can't enjoy the performance. If I'm not surprised at what I'm doing then there's no way that the audience will be either. What surprises people is seeing something that they've never seen before. For me to feel that sense of surprise depends to a large extent on the atmosphere–it doesn't matter whether it's good or bad, but I need some kind of an atmosphere to react with.

AC : You are doing something totally new with the percussion, but I think a lot of people have a tendency to look on it as somehow "primitive."

KH : People look at something they really don't understand, and they label it "primitive." On the other hand, I think that prayers and curses ultimately head in that direction. It's easy just to label the percussion as primitive and leave it at that, but as I see it it's very simple. First, I use very few sounds, it's stripped down to the essentials–the problem then is why you perceive that as "primitive."

AC : Primitive in the sense that it's just your body and some very basic sound producing objects. There's no electricity involved. The object could be as basic as a rock, and you use it to produce a rhythm. But people are still immensely moved by something that basic, that primitive.

KH : Why should people be moved only by primitive things? That sounds bogus and condescending. That type of reaction is just the same as the trap that all those "world music" people fall into. Japanese are especially susceptible to that line.

AC : The first two or three times I saw you play, your music had an actual physical effect on my body. After the performance was finished I'd be unable to stand up, I'd feel really light-headed, sometimes even slightly nauseous. It was almost like it was taking my body a time to adjust to something totally new–as if I had been eating nothing but burgers and drinking Coke for years and then suddenly switched to vegetables and water. It would take my body time to readjust to the new diet, and there would be some physical "withdrawal" symptoms, if you like. Is that kind of physical effect on your listeners something that you are conscious of or aim for?

KH : I think it's slightly different. Because I'm trying to do something that hasn't existed before, there are certain effects that come along with it. I think the main problem is my consciousness. Sometimes I feel like playing percussion, or guitar, or ethnic instruments, or singing–so I do. But I don't do it in order to produce some specific effect on someone.

NM : Is that the same as you were saying earlier about prayers and curses?

KH : For me, everything is the same.

NM : Like you're just doing something, without any intentions. Your heart is always calm. That's how I perceive you.

KH : In one sense, things like that happen by accident. But they do happen all the time. On the other hand, when I go home after playing and my body is aching, I always think, "why do I do this?" Actually I went to shiatsu(13) this morning–it really hurts. I wonder how long I can keep on doing this. The worse the state your body is in, the more painful it is. If you press on your hand like this, there shouldn't be any resistance to your finger. But when there's something wrong, and circulation isn't correct, your body actually resists and won't let the fingers penetrate into the flesh. And because the body is resisting, shiatsu feels really painful. Because I use my body in performance it gets really tense. So I still think, "why am I doing this?" I can't explain why my music has that kind of effect on the body. If I became unable to move my hand I couldn't play guitar anymore–that's the only way I can explain it. For me, the whole body of a great singer resonates to produce the sounds. I feel that I'm very close to accomplishing this, but if I'm just slightly off in my technique then it hurts. Breathing out hurts sometimes. The idea isn't to project your voice using your whole body, but to make your body resonate. You understand? Not a massive explosion of energy, but a buildup of concentration within the body and then you sing. The problem isn't the volume or tone that you're able to produce but your consciousness.
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Old 08.28.2007, 04:07 PM   #64
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AC : Do you need that kind of pain to verify to yourself that you're putting your all into the music? Or is it more like if you were playing properly you wouldn't feel any pain whatsoever?

KH : The latter is possibly true. But I don't like that kind of method. To be more precise, I'm using a religious image again–Christ was nailed to the cross and if his pain was his testimony, then I feel that my pain is unavoidable. To put it a better way, I'm offering up my body as a sacrifice. In terms of the relationship between me and the universe, in order to make myself feel better I have to offer myself up to the universe. I started thinking this way when I was about seventeen or eighteen. I believe in the therapeutic properties of music, this is something I've talked about before–how some music makes you feel good, how it physically relaxes your body. Then there's all this so-called "healing music" recently–that's just a joke. What I can't understand is how the people who make that kind of music believe they can heal people without they themselves experiencing any pain. Of course, from their point of view I'm just a fool–putting myself through agony in order that my listeners can experience happiness. They think it's a pointless waste of effort. I have thought the same thing myself, but still I wonder how someone who hasn't experienced pain can hope to heal other people.

AC : Is this healing effect different from the idea that certain tones react with certain parts of the brain, all those Indian ideas of modes and so on?

KH : This idea of there being certain sounds for morning or afternoon etc., as far as I understand it, is a Northern Indian idea. Southern Indian music doesn't seem to have quite the same concept of ragas for morning, or ragas for evening. When I first started listening to Indian music I thought that that concept applied to all of it. But recently I've been listening to Indian music again and revising my initial opinion of it. If you look at it in terms of the relationship between the self and the universe, then the time of day doesn't matter. I think that was how Indian music must have been originally, though I don't like that word, been. This idea of music for... for example, say it's afternoon in India, then it's a different time in other countries, so the music has no universality. The whole idea of morning or afternoon just acts as a limit. You can save people who are experiencing afternoon at that time, but not those who happen to be experiencing evening. That's why I always concentrate on the relationship between the self and the universe–I want to show proof that time is irrelevant. If you start thinking about time, about morning or afternoon, then you become limited by that. If you talk about time and position then things like age also come into play–but what I talk about is if someone's consciousness begins to long for something, then that person can exist in the one-on-everything relationship that I mentioned earlier. Just from talking like this, we can gradually move closer to a reply to your earlier question. There's no way I can explain the relationship between the individual and the universe just off the bat. But this is all stuff that I've talked about again and again. Ask me something different.



 

AC : Do you think that singing, using the voice, creates a more direct relationship with an audience than expressing yourself through the medium of some instrument?

KH : At the moment I don't feel any difference between them. There's a tendency to use the word "voice," to describe it as an instrument–I don't agree with this. I am most definitely a singer. When you use the word "voice" I just have an image of someone playing around with methods of voice production, whereas what I do is I sing. For me what I do are songs, though maybe some people might not agree. Maybe there is a slight difference between singing a song and playing an instrument, but because I use both to make music I look upon them as being the same.

AC : How important are the actual words to you when you sing?

KH : If lyrics come to me then I'll sing lyrics, if they don't then I'll sing something else. The best situation for me to sing lyrics is darkness. (laughs) So if you want me to sing, you can forget about having a video crew around. (laughs) For me the best song is one where I surprise myself, where I sing melodies and rhythms that I've never sung before. And if I can attach lyrics to that, then that's the best kind of song for me. But for some reason, if there is any light, I can't sing. This links back to another image that I always use–where does music come from? I personify that every time I play live.

AC : Are there any singers that you would identify as definite influences?

KH : There's so many. But that word "influence" . . . . I'm going to put this bluntly–it's not a word you should use towards people, they can be offended by it. Especially if you ask them who they've been influenced by. There are a lot of people whom I like, but I think that influence is really only limited to one part of what I am, there was some influence at one particular time upon one particular part of me. Maybe I learnt something from them, but this idea of influence means that you can never go beyond what that person did. And that's why I get pissed off when people ask me who I've been influenced by. I've never said that I was influenced by Blue Cheer. My sound is far wilder than theirs anyway. (laughs) Maybe I liked them back when I was in high school, that's only natural. Everyone was given birth to by their mother, they didn't just suddenly materialize. But I don't think I was influenced by them. In one sense, I still like things that I once liked. Everyone talks about growing out of a certain kind of music, don't they? They say that they used to like hard rock, but they've grown out of that now. I don't feel like that at all. I still love to listen to Blue Cheer. It makes me feel like dancing. Or if I listen to Charlie Christian I can still really get into it. Probably the stuff that I've stopped listening to the most is contemporary 20th century composition. Definitely. Too much of it just coming from the head. When I talk with people I try to make these ideas as easy as possible to understand. I use simple words. Like I always say, any conversation that a child can't understand is a lie. If you don't do that then you'll end up playing with vocabulary, playing off the words you know against the person you're listening to. If you do that then there's absolutely no way that the ideas of music as therapy, or a tool to become closer to people can exist.

AC : Moving on to something totally different. You present a very defined image, a definite style, don't you?

KH : Again this is something that I've said before–if I were to shave my head and wear white robes it would be too close to what I sing about. (laughs)

AC : Is there any sense that as a musician you feel you have a certain role in society, and you then wear certain clothes to differentiate yourself from other people?

KH : It's got nothing to do with feeling. I've been doing the same thing now for over twenty years–so this is the only way I can be.

AC : But still, there must have been some point when you made a decision to dress a certain way. You weren't born looking that way.

KH : Priests are the same, they're not born wearing robes.

AC : So what made you decide to adopt that particular style?

KH : Because I like it, obviously. I'm not being sarcastic or anything, but if I don't dress like this then I feel uncomfortable and can't relax. That's certainly true now. For example, if someone worked as a wage-slave at a company for forty years and then retired, the day after they retired they'd probably get up in the morning and put on a suit and tie. I'm probably close to that. Now, if I had some clothes that weren't black and I put them on by mistake and went out, I think that I'd run straight back home and change. I wouldn't be able to relax. Rather than deliberately choosing any particular style, like everything else I do it has to be this way. Do you understand? This is my reality. I've got to wear something–the police would arrest me if I went out naked. For me, it's not a question of wearing, it's a principle. I don't tell you to wear black or grow your hair long–they're my own principles. This is the way I want to be. Just like when I was small and I'd play by myself in the sand-pit when everyone else was playing with building bricks. Of course the way I look now is a pose, but I don't want to look any other way. If I hated people looking at me and kids pointing then I could cut my hair. I could do it anytime I wanted. But for the moment I want to look this way. Maybe I'll change tomorrow, who knows. I enjoy being this way. If I didn't like it then I'd change.

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Old 08.28.2007, 04:08 PM   #65
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AC : What do you think is the rôle of a musician in society, in the world?

KH : To warn people. To tell them that the world's getting worse, that they should change, that they should try to make things better. It's different from the whole hippy thing with everyone clapping and singing the lyrics. That comes down to "we're all human so let's get on with each other." But if you reduce it to just a human level then you can't expand that feeling to anything outside the human world. That's why I hate sing-alongs.

AC : Has there been any change in the musician's rôle over the centuries?

KH : People often call me a shaman. Their form and style may have changed, but I definitely believe that shamans still exist in this world. I really flatter myself that I am one of them. People called me a shaman back when I was in Lost Aaraaff, when I was about twenty, but I didn't understand what the word meant then. But even if I didn't know the word I still had some idea of what they were getting at. I realized that maybe there was something like that within me. A musician's rôle doesn't change. The evil that was there at the start is there for all eternity, the same with the good that was there at the start. If it wasn't like that then one would prevail, the balance would be destroyed. The world isn't completely evil, there's no way that could happen and it would have no meaning. But it's not completely good either. That's why I used the word "warning."

AC : How do you visualize yourself in your sixties or seventies? What do you see yourself doing?

KH : I'd like to be totally white-haired and still be playing hard rock. (laughs) That's the way I'd like to be–I mean if I was doing percussion shows with white hair down to here, the image would just be too close. (laughs) Rather than that I'd like to keep on playing hard rock, though I don't know how long I would be able to sustain the intensity. That would be cooler, I think. People might think it was stupid though, this old guy singing and playing guitar. The problem is my body–there will be a physical difference between the toughness of my body now and twenty years later. Physically I'll be a lot weaker. The sound I could make will probably be the same, that doesn't matter. My feeling of putting in 100% will be the same. So the sound and feeling will be the same as twenty years previous, and maybe the attack will still be the same. The sound and consciousness will be the same, but what will be different is the toughness of my body–how hard I will actually be able to perform.

AC : You don't think that your increased consciousness will compensate for any physical deterioration? That it will enable you to find new, different techniques?

KH : I don't want it to be like that. In one sense, if I wanted to I think I could. Maybe it's wasted effort, but I want to put my all into my playing. That's why on the surface it looks like I'm performing extreme acts of violence on the guitar. Depending on who's listening, it can look like someone cursing, or like an extreme prayer. But I want to put my all into everything. It's hard on the guitar though–they soon break. (laughs) But that's the way it's got to be. In that sense, maybe the guitars are resigned to destruction from the moment they come into my hands. What's different about my approach is that I think it's unfair to the guitar to use pliers or hammers to play it. That's too easy–I don't feel any pain. But I use my hands and that can hurt. In the same way it's pretty uncool to kill someone with a gun, but very cool to do it with a sword. Because there's an equal chance that you'll get killed first. I like to be prepared for the worst when I do something. Not because it's good or whatever, just because I like it that way. I'm sure about that. And that's the way I want to play guitar. I think that my guitar-playing now is very tough–even if it hurts or I cut myself, I can just about keep on playing.

AC : Do you think your music will continue to exist after you're gone?

KH : I don't care. In one sense, if I'm going to try and look cool then I want that to end with me. No succession. And for me, expression has got to be like that if it's not going to be a lie. The point lies with the individual. By the individual I don't mean egoism and vanity, I mean how much the individual is capable of offering up himself to the universe. If you do that, individual convenience doesn't enter into it–and if it does then you haven't thoroughly offered yourself up. If you've done something that other people can imitate then you've shown your weak point. In other words, what you were doing had no tension to it. Maybe there is one part of me that wants someone to succeed me, but my methods are designed so that no one can imitate them. For example, even now there's no one who can play guitar like Jimi Hendrix. There are certain parts of what he did that continue to exist in various types of music. You can copy his rhythms. But the way his harmony depends on the fingers half-fretting certain strings, barely touching others–that's amazing because it was something that he didn't sit down and think up. Music that came after him has been analyzed more and more, been explained in really fine detail. Going back to what I said earlier, the reason why people want to go back to a primitive state is that they think that requires no thought. People are tired of having to think. In their minds, they don't want to think but they are thinking all the time–about their families, about what to eat. And that's why they came up with this idea of "world music."

AC : You don't like to talk about what the future will bring, do you?


KH : If I'm making music properly then the future doesn't matter.


 



http://www.halana.com/haino.html
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Old 08.28.2007, 08:12 PM   #66
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i don't think he's put anything out this year, which, come to think of it, is a bit of a surprise, i think the last thing he put out was a duo record with kk null called mamono, i think it's on blossoming noise
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Old 08.28.2007, 08:57 PM   #67
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I think Haino is the only guy who has the right to the title 'Rock Star' these days. I have never been truly star struck over anyone except him walking around at Instal- there's just something about the guy. He's like a black metal Willy Wonka. And I mean that in a good way.
Risking major embarrasment (what the fuck, it's only the internet) this is me stood behind Haino at Instal. I was incredibly stoned and became completely transfixed by his hair:
 


(Im not the bloke on the right BTW)
Yeah, and his set at Instal with Conrad - wooohoooo. These all star jams are so often disappointing, but they truly had an amazing flow going. I will hold that with me til I die. Wolf Eyes wish they were tenth that rocking, bloody lunks.
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Old 08.28.2007, 09:43 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jico.
agreed, best thing he put out in the last years. i was counting with your help, i know he's been busy playing everywhere, he was here alst december, so you too are not aware of any 2007 releases? there most be none then or not much.

I'm not aware of anything in the works either. I'm sure we won't have to wait too long though. The world can only go so long without churning out a new Haino release.


I'm super excited about moving to Japan next month so I can finally see the dude play live (doesn't hang out in Texas very much). I'm hoping to see him play with Vajra in Tokyo this October. Caaaaaaaaan't wait. I'll report back here.
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Old 08.28.2007, 09:49 PM   #69
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Ok... I've held my tongue for long enough... someone is going to have to explain the hype here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5_ShGuxgsI

...what? Let's be honest, that was dreadful. Call it art or whatever, if it lets you sleep at night... but it looks like my dad playing guitar...

So could someone show me something more impressive, please? Before I completely pass judgement.
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Old 08.28.2007, 09:59 PM   #70
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You're going to judge his music based on a hyper-pixilated barely audible minute long youtube clip? OK.


Maybe listen to the song clips on the Aquarius Records website. Search Haino in the search box. Or just watch the other videos on youtube. There are plenty.
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Old 08.28.2007, 10:04 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hat and beard
You're going to judge his music based on a hyper-pixilated barely audible minute long youtube clip? OK.


Maybe listen to the song clips on the Aquarius Records website. Search Haino in the search box. Or just watch the other videos on youtube. There are plenty.

It's plenty audible, and it shows absolutely no redeeming qualities. I've only seen one other video.

I've checked out a few videos in the past few minutes... some of his noise stuff is awesome. But in my opinion, dude shouldn't 'sing' or play guitar.
I'll leave you all alone now, I've said my bit and learned my share.
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Old 08.29.2007, 12:21 AM   #72
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oh my, someone slagged the greatest guitar player ever.

this must feel what others feel when i tell them hendrix is kinda boring.
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Old 08.29.2007, 03:31 AM   #73
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oh my, someone slagged the greatest guitar player ever.

this must feel what others feel when i tell them hendrix is kinda boring.

Hendrix is terrifically boring, isn't he?

I'd be tempted to not say Haino was the 'best' ever. But then he is unspeakably brilliant. I think it's his ability to play the shit out of proper shredders/ fretwankers/ blueswanker whilst never actually doing so and pursuing something entirely his own that I like. I would say, similarly but from a jazz-ish/ classical-ish side of things, Kazuo Imai is similarly brilliant whilst utterly different. I tried to find the video that was on youtube of Haino playing Hurdy-Gurdy, but it seems to have vanished, annoyingly.

While looking for the above, I came across this, which is unrelated to Haino but quite pretty nonetheless.
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Old 08.29.2007, 08:49 AM   #74
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Haino has done some good stuff over the years, but I could live without his solo percussion/hurdy-gurdy/vocal squwaking projects. He did a solo electronics thingy in London earlier this year, and the racket didn't have much in the way of variety, and it came across as fairly boring.
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Old 08.29.2007, 10:10 AM   #75
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He did a solo electronics thingy in London earlier this year, and the racket didn't have much in the way of variety, and it came across as fairly boring.

what? where?
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Old 08.29.2007, 11:16 AM   #76
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It was at The Spitz earlier this year (think it was in January) - he did a two-day thing there, one day playing w/Chris Corsano, and t'other day playing solo.
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Old 08.29.2007, 11:39 AM   #77
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I think that was last November or thereabouts wasn't it?
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Old 08.29.2007, 11:51 AM   #78
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I'm super excited about moving to Japan next month so I can finally see the dude play live (doesn't hang out in Texas very much). I'm hoping to see him play with Vajra in Tokyo this October. Caaaaaaaaan't wait. I'll report back here.
permanently?
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Old 08.29.2007, 01:56 PM   #79
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I think that was last November or thereabouts wasn't it?

I remember I finished my job the Friday before that gig, which makes it somewhere in the September/ October/ November time, depending on the accuracy of my CV.

Hey, Mr Melly, you were at the same gig as myself, Iain, T&B AND Marras. Small world etc. I was the drunk one.
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Old 08.29.2007, 03:33 PM   #80
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permanently?


Until I get bored and want to go somewhere else. Which may never happen.
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