Joseph Yerka AKA Lights Out, God Help Me has been slowly developing and branding his own unique form of industrial for quite some time. What began out as a powernoise project has now transformed into a much more mature, crunchy industrial act whose sound can't really be compared to much. With the release of All Will Drown, LOGHM's latest album, it seems as if he has really put all his effort out and the results are swell. With this occasion, I had a chat with Joseph about the project and dissected All Will Drown from top to bottom. Be sure to click the play button below to guide you through this interview:
First off, I'd like to congratulate you for your release of All Will Drown. How has everything been on the Lights Out, God Help Me front since the release?
Joseph: Thanks. Everything's been pretty decent, I'd say. As it stands, the album currently has the best paid to unpaid download ratio out of all my albums (About fifty percent, give or take a decimal), and is only second to Nemesis in terms of overall income. But Nemesis also has a three year or so head-start.
Yes, I would expect the market for your unique brand of industrial to be tough for anyone to really digest. That being said, I have noticed a lot of people paying attention to this album more than the rest. I think that's due in large part to the network of other musicians you've attached yourself to. Would you agree with that? Or do you think self promotion helped more?
Joseph: I think it's a bit of column A, a bit of column B. I've gotten a lot more networked since the release of the last full release, but I've also pounded the name of Lights Out, God Help me into a lot of people's heads. I talked up my music and especially the upcoming (at the time) release of All Will Drown to the point where people had to listen to it just to get me to shut the fuck up.
That's one way to get your music out there. Now, I know we've been kind to you for quite a while posting bits of news and reviews for a majority of your material. Has it been hard getting news out to other magazines? Or is that not something you really bother with?
Joseph: It is hard. Because of the way technology is nowadays any dumbass can go and get a DAW, make an album and just throw it at anyone that has a website hoping to get a review. I think Nemesis sat in your inbox for around ten months before you got to it. I've tried shopping it around to other places, but they either aren't interested or they just don't have the time to slog through everything, and I understand it either way. You guys at BR have been amazing to me, so I'm just lucky I've had that.
Now let's talk about All Will Drown. I remember you telling me that the album was a personal release, almost like an album to get a lot of steam off. Could you dive into that more?
Joseph: I think the exact quote (that I've stated to a lot of people who asked about it) was, "All Will Drown is not a happy album." And it isn't. There's a lot of things in the album that just came from resentment, from depression, from everything inside me. The album is almost split in two halves, with the first part of the album being mostly anger and the last being depression. I think it's a bit of a statement that the 'happiest' sounding song on the album is called 'Dead Is Better'.
Did All Will Drown help you get rid of any of that anger or depression? Do you feel as if it helped you move on from demons of the past?
Joseph: As much as I'd like to say it did, it really didn't. All Will Drown was a pressure valve being released to let off some excess steam. It helps periodically, but everything will build back up in time. I'm still the same loathsome mess I've always been.
I did notice a more mature sound erupt from All Will Drown. Perhaps it was due to the addition of lyrics and vocals on your songs, or maybe it was because there was more dynamic song structures in the album. What would you say contributed to your more complex songs on All Will Drown?
Joseph: The vocals probably helped a lot. You tend to not notice repetitiveness in the song itself when there are lyrics over top of them. There's also just how long it's been since the last full release. Losing Sleep was released in October of 2013, All Will Drown in June of 2016. That's two and a half years of maturation as an artist. Genre shift is another factor, I think. I started off as almost exclusively doing power noise, which there's actually none of on this album whatsoever.
What prompted that shift from powernoise to this newer sound? Anything specific? Or did you not really notice until the album was full and done?
Joseph: It just wasn't coming to me this time around. It wasn't what I wanted to make. I shifted away from all the distorted drums and started actually working with synths, started working with guitars, started working with vocals. I used a lot of the same techniques I used with my drums on other stuff - the best example of it is in 'Relentless' - but it just wasn't what I wanted to do with this one.
My personal favorite song on the album was 'Lapdance'. I loved the scummy, slimy feel to it and the lyrics were cynical. Which song stood out as your favorite?
Joseph: 'Lapdance' is also a favorite of mine that I don't think people like anywhere near as much as I do. It accomplished everything I wanted it to do. It's sleazy, the lyrics are complete cynicism and catchy. That, 'All Will Drown' and 'Vitalis' are all tied for my favorite on the album. The title track is just complete bass-crushing goodness that gets me hype as fuck and 'Vitalis' is the most personal song on the album, along with being the only song that I'm one-hundred percent happy with the vocals on. I don't think there's a single thing I could do to 'Vitalis' to make it better than it is. It closes the album proper for a reason.
And what's next for Lights Out, God Help Me? I've seen you conduct some remixes in the past. Do you have any lined up? Are you going to be doing any EPs?
Joseph: I'm currently working on a remix for someone, then I plan on doing a completely free cover album that's going to just be on Youtube. It's going to be called Covered In Blood. I'm covering some really different stuff on it, it's going to be fun to do.
Can we get any details on what songs you're covering or are you keeping that a secret?
Joseph: I'd like to keep most of it under wraps just to not get anyone's hopes up - some stuff might get cut, or I'll just get pissed off with something and scrap it. The only thing I'll spill at the moment is that almost none of the covers are going to be originally by industrial bands. The other thing I'll let loose is that I'm covering 'Spirit In The Sky' by Norman Greenbaum.
RIghteous. Well, I don't think I have anything left to ask. I leave the space below for you and thank you for your time! Cheers!
Joseph: Thanks for the interview. To everyone reading this: Thanks for your time. You can listen to Lights Out, God Help Me in the links that Steven includes with the interview. If you've bought an album, thanks. If you haven't bought one because you're broke, my shit is pay what you want, so go download it and blast it so loud that your neighbors call the police.
You can order LOGHM's All Will Drown right HERE as a digital download on Bandcamp!
...on tour you live excessively, faster than real life, you suck it all in and ride the bomb, so to speak, and after the touring is done, you spit it all back out in the studio, however, it has undergone a process of digestion in the meantime, and that is the motivational momentum for me.
KMFDM, Apr 25 2011
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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