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Touching Bass: Hebronix

Despite the break-up of Yuck, Daniel Blumberg has returned with Hebronix, who is pioneering the first of a set of new developments for Touching Bass.

by Errol Anderson
14 June 2013, 11:00am

­Band breakups are usually melancholic and shrouded in antagonism. Someone always ends up being the Beyoncé of the clan while the others engulf the avaliable reality TV slots. When Yuck announced the departure of their frontman, Daniel Blumberg, a few months back, it was unclear if and how they’d carry on.

While news on the rest of the band is scarce, Daniel has returned with Hebronix, who is pioneering the first of a set of developments for Touching Bass. The series will now be incorporating mixtapes from some of our favourite bands to join the danceworthy mixes from our favoured DJ cohorts. This week, me and Daniel discussed the best egg cooking options, line drawings and underrated films.

Noisey: Hey man, are you cool to talk?
Daniel: I’m just rolling a cigarette!

It’s okay, you go ahead and roll.
Nah, nah, I’ve done it. I’ve broken some bones.

On my motorcycle. Yeah, it’s funny.

Can you tell us a bit about Keiji Haino and how he influenced your music?
I don’t know much about him. But, I saw one of his shows and I’d never seen anything like it before. He was playing his guitar in a very different way to how I’ve seen a guitar played before. When I saw him, I hadn’t really been going to many concerts at all. It didn’t really make sense to me.

Why was that?
When you’re touring a lot, it seemed weird that people would present themselves as a performer, playing every night and re-enacting their songs, it’s strange to me.

Does that bore you?
It doesn’t seem like a process that should… The opportunity to do it as a job seems very exciting. In theory, going on tour and getting presented with 48 cans of beer it seems like a privileged lifestyle. But, to me, it’s weird. I want to try and make records.

It’s as if the artistic flair is lost when you’re presenting the same songs over and over again.
I don’t know. I enjoy working and making music. I do like presenting stuff that I’ve made. So, I think there are times when shows have been good. And I’ve seen shows that I’ve enjoyed. But, I don’t want to sound like I’m whining!

Where’s your favourite place to write music?
The record that I’ve just made, I wrote in my flat. But I don’t know if that’s my favourite place to write music.

Do you not have a favourite?
I don’t know if I have a favourite place, particularly.

Fair enough. There are a lot of eggs in the video for “Viral”; I think the real question is how do you like your eggs in the morning?

I see what you did there. Like your record label?
I never thought of it that way. I just thought it was quite a good word. And I like the little logo! I like boiled eggs.

Boiled eggs are nice. I prefer mine scrambled though.
Oh yeah! I have scrambled eggs, sometimes.

How are things going with the label?
I did a book earlier this year, 100 Coffees, that was a drawing book. I also released a book by a Scottish artist Brendan Colvert. He might not be from Scotland, I think he lives in the Orkney islands. He’s a painter and he drew these line drawings specifically for Boiled Egg. They’re really amazing and I’m inspired by his artwork. The stuff that I’ve put out of other people’s felt almost the same as putting out my own stuff. I’m so excited about owning this book that he’s made.

I can’t wait to see it.
He did it with biro and graphite. It’s almost like a poetry book. It’s not something that you’ll flick through. I’ve also just printed a book with ATP it’s going to be on Boiled Egg. I made it around the time of the record. It’s a motorcycle manual. So, that’s coming out on the same day as my record, I think. Some of the copies will be with the vinyl and the others will be on Boiled Egg. When people sign up to the mailing list, I just email them and say that I’ve made a new book.

Are you still drawing?
Oh yeah, I draw everyday. All the time really.

What influences you? Is it just random doodling?
I don’t know. It’s just the process. I’m just drawn to it. Yeah.

Haha, it must be quite cathartic?
Yeah. One of the basic things is just making something that wasn’t there before. I draw quite quickly and it’ very different to making a record. With a record, you might play it. Then record it. Then play it and they might make you record it again. It’s a very drawn out process whereas drawing is very instant.

Could you ever see yourself directing one of your videos? Michael Reich directed the video for Viral didn’t he?
I don’t know, I really enjoy my relationship with Michael though; he’s just finished his first feature film called She’s Allergic To Cats. I love film. It’s one of my favourite things! But I’ve never really thought about directing a music video.

When I watch movies, I quite enjoy just watching them without knowing who the actors are. The angle that I watch them is quite naïve, I think. The first time I watch them, I’m watching the film and the story and not thinking about other things. Sometimes when you make music, you listen to an album, then you process these things about how it’s produced and how it sounds and what the guitars doing, rather than listening to it as a whole. And that’s the best way to listen to stuff.

You can appreciate music so much more when you listen properly to each bit in the song.

I’m saying the opposite. I like to not deconstruct things. I do enjoy that aspect, but sometimes it can take over. It’s nice to listen to a song and not think about things like that. But both ways are nice.

To round up, what kind of vibe have you gone for with the album?

“Viral” is the shortest song and probably the most catchy. The other songs are quite long. But, there’s a melodic element in all of them. I think “Viral” is more conventionally structured than the other songs.

And one last question. What’s up with the photo of you in the garage? Who’s the mechanic?

Oh, he’s my friend. The garage is next to my house. He rides a bicycle, he doesn’t even fix my bike. He’s in a car garage. But I see him every day. It was something that we’d always wanted to do, together.

Okay, thanks Daniel!


David Berman (Feat The Avalanches) – “A Cowboy Overflow Of The Heart”

Blues Control – “Iron Pigs”

The Howling Hex – “Primetime Clown”

SQURL – “Pink Dust”

A Grave With No Name – “Khonnor”

Mirroring – “Silent From Above”

Kassem Mosse – “Nacht An Allen Tagen”

The Walker Brothers – “The Electrician”

Sun City Girls – “Space Prophet Dogon”

Smog – “Ex-Con”

Micky Newbury – “Write A Song A Song/Angeline”

Codeine – “Cave-In”

Follow Errol on Twitter @errol_and

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