We speak to the Berlin-based band about their new track “Hate Candidate” and more.
After their debut EP was released last year to a response of one million streams and later a sold-out headline tour, East Berlin-based BLOODHYPE have dropped another garage rock-tinged track with “Hate Candidate”.
Inspired by everyone from Huey Lewis to New Order, the group – made up of Elmar Weyland, Erik Laser, Matt Mueller and Christopher Kohl – are set to release more self-assured new music, merging electronic beats with indie rock riffs. The video for “Hate Candidate”, influenced by the angst and hedonism of films like Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream, confirms BLOODHYPE’s allure and suggests an exciting new talent to watch.
We spoke to the band about their favourite artists and what’s next…
What’s your earliest memory of music? Erik: We all grew up in the 80s and early 90s – and this era kinda defined our cultural coordinate system. INXS, Huey Lewis, and New Order on the radio, Blade Runner, E.T., and ALF in the VHS player.
Who were your favourite artists growing up? Elmar: My first record ever was David Hasselhoff on vinyl. In elementary school, things escalated quickly: I began as a Michael Jackson fan, but then someone gave me a punk rock tape in third grade. After a short hip hop phase, I was very much into what was called emo in the late 90s. This was when I bought my first guitar. Very frustrating experience, by the way. You gotta learn how to play, and this takes forever. But from then on, I’ve been in bands, and I learned and keep on learning from artists I meet on the road. I always want to know how everybody is making their sounds, what instruments they’re playing and stuff. I’m still growing up, I guess!
When did you know you wanted to do this full time? Elmar: Something happened to me at the very moment I was layering two guitar parts on top of each other for the first time. Circumstances were, well, inconvenient – with a shitty amp and an even shittier computer, but the switch was flipped.
Erik: I love the process of imagining something and making it a reality. There is nothing more satisfying in life, I think. I’m still super fascinated by all parts of being in a band. Blank canvases wherever you look. Every couple of weeks, you create something out of nothing. Once you start, there’s no way back!
How has living in Berlin inspired your music? Erik: The pace of change in Berlin kinda forces you to keep going all the time. If you stop, you lose touch – and I think this is a good thing. Berlin is super inspiring and challenging at the same time. A lot of energy everywhere. Everybody in the band has a kinda similar story: starting punk bands in school in small German towns, then moving to Berlin as young adults, getting instantly lost in techno clubs, being influenced by hip hop soundscapes and finally ending up in a rehearsal room together, with distorted guitars and a drum kit again.
Elmar: I had the pleasure of meeting those three wonderful gentlemen here, and now we’re doing this together. The guys and the city teach me a lot, and that’s a marvelous adventure.
How would you describe your music? Erik: Whew, I guess I’m not the first one to tell you that it’s pretty tricky to describe your own music. It’s not that we’re following a big, pre-meditated masterplan when we’re playing. It’s the sum of us four, in a way. Everybody’s contributing what they do best, and then we turn the bass synth up really loud.
Elmar: I think you can hear the musical journey we took in our lives. Full circle: started with punk rock through hip hop, electronic music, techno, and then back to guitars again.
If you could collaborate with one person, who would it be? Elmar: I would go: “Hey Jack Antonoff. Who you be with? Are you chill?” I’m very much in love with his complex productions and his approach to pop melodies. And you can tell all the time that he has a punk rock background.
Erik: I think I would very much fancy a synth mayhem session with M83 and Health! Plus Twin Shadow on the mic – distorted, though.
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music? Elmar: I guess it’s the perfect scenario when a listener feels what you felt when you wrote and played the song. When you’re drawn into your own movie in your head and kinda lose the sense of reality for three minutes. When I’m on stage, I feel a constant stream of excitement. When there are a few people out there that feel the same, that would be amazing!
What’s your favourite song of all time? Erik: Pantera – “Cowboys From Hell”, maybe?
Elmar: Today, I think it’s John Parr – “St. Elmo’s Fire”.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Elmar: “This is not gonna work!”
What’s your goal for one year from now? Erik: We are planning to release our debut album in the summer of 2020. It would be fantastic if traveling the world and playing shows on as many continents as possible, would work out! It is incredible to see where and how your music travels on Spotify and social media. We have listeners in South America, Southeast Asia, and all kinds of places we’ve never been to. You’re sitting in your apartment, and suddenly, you’re beginning to get messages from those places asking questions and stuff. Yeah, I really hope we can travel a lot with the band.
Elmar: Yeah, I want to keep on enjoying the ride, I guess. Write and record more songs, play more shows and festivals. Staying creative, make videos, and artworks and everything.
If today was the last day on earth, what would you do / where would you go? Elmar: In a weird way, this question doesn’t sound quite as hypothetic as I guess it was intended to sound… But well, in general, I would stage it more like a surprise thing in the evening, I’d say. To avoid everybody panicking. I don’t like panic. So everybody just keeps on doing what they’re doing. I included. There is nothing specific I would prefer to be doing more than what I am doing currently. And I hope it’s like that for everybody.
Erik: Since I tend to be hyperactive all the time, I think I’d just stay in bed. With my girlfriend and her pug. Yeah, that’s an excellent final day, I’d say.
What are you inspired by? Elmar: Firstly by Berlin and its temptations… And then by today’s global creative and production scene. The vast amount of musical and technical knowledge that you can access online. A never-ending stream of input that keeps me busy with no end in sight.