And now, let me introduce the two french performance artists, who mix the metal and the electronic music with classical music infections, murder, blood, destruction, and a lot of experimental noise. I asked the unspeakable-named project, Whourkr about an interview. They said yes, and looked forward to my questions. I reached more – haha – I got all their albums, so you’ll see a review about them int he future, but let’s start it! Let’s transform to something else, in the way of Kafka, in this case to a white rat, to be a part of a big and unphantomable organic experiment… First of all thank you for the opportunity and the promos, this interview got a little long in time because of my trip in England, thus i didn’t only keep you waiting, but our readers too, so let’s start it!
WHOURKR is indeed sort of impossible to pronounce if you don’t shout it loud, haha. It is actually an attempt to express the primal scream. The band consists of Igorrr and – i snor and was created in 2005 with the help of Oxxoxoox (who was to resign after the first album). Just very different musicians with different views on what extreme music should be. The idea was from the beginning to marry primitive metal to delicate electronica, two styles that we all shared in different ways.
What is good to know about project Whourkr, which is unpronounceable for me? (where is from the name, the circumstances of the formation, first attempts?)
Well we both have many projects, including diverse bands, some mixes and remixes, production, music for movies, theater and contemporary dance… but the main ones are by far Igorrr and – i snor, our solo works. Igorrr is all about mixing different styles and sampling such things as baroque music, death metal, flamenco and whatever else exists in one unique, quite dark but very rhythmical way, while –i snor is into feelings and sensations, trying with electronic and acoustic sounds and instruments to make the listeners feel the way they felt when they were lonely and frightened children for instance. We both perform live on these premises, very different stuff from WHOURKR actually…
Besides Whourkr your works can be added to other projects too, please tell about what are these, and what is good to know about them? Which bands had an influence on you? I believe, a big amount of industrial noise, with a little death and grindcore. What came to your mind when you heard these “basic” names like FLA, Godflesh, Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb or Killing Joke?
Oh not really, hahaha! We sure have some death metal influences (Cannibal Corpse among others), and we have been listening to some indus and grind, but Igorrr is also a lot into baroque (Bach, Rameau) and bands like Meshuggah, while – i snor is more into free jazz, contemporary music and stuff from people like Fred Frith, David Hykes or Mark Hollis. Plus of course some Aphex Twin stuff, some breakcore and whatever surprising comes into our hands. In fact and as you can see we don’t really have the same tastes but it melts really well altogether in WHOURKR! Then we sure know Godflesh, Skinny Puppy and Killing Joke but they don’t really have had any influence on us, sorry…
In my country the french metal scene is not really known, however i know of many good death and black metal bands, from which i own cds too, who would you mention from your scene? And with which are you in a good relationship?
The big name at the moment is certainly Gojira, a really good death metal band. Then there’s been really a lot these last years (like Yyrkoon or Comity) but the media really never helped any of them. Our friends are bands like City Weezle, Pryapisme or Mulk for instance, very cool guys that surely deserve attention.
The new material is more experimental and insane. What is good to know of it? You’ve found a record, and how is that, that Naät was realised in a publisher/writer’s edition (when is a really muscular and sick material, which would deserve to be realised by a record company)?
We’ll take that as a compliment, thanks! On this record –i snor is singing (Oxxoxoox was on the first one, Naät), which makes a whole difference. We also now live in different cities (Paris and Copenhagen), so it’s been a lot of collaboration through the Internet and a crazy work on details: we had decided since the beginning that “too much” wouldn’t apply on this project, and that it should go as far as we could, if possible even further than anything we already knew. And we never have let one note that we didn’t like disturb us. Precision is the key, and we are both workhorses I guess…
Then of course we are currently looking for a label but more for the promotion part than the production part, as we have our own particular sound. Anyway we’ve had quite a few propositions but nothing really interesting so far: what’s the point in having a label that can only do things we can achieve by ourselves? Sooo we’re still waiting, but hopefully it’ll evolve soon as bands like Eustachian are already making remixes of our stuff…
What are your jobs and who are you in the civil life?
Oh we both are musicians and sound engineers at the same time, and we both live from our passion. That should explain why we have that special sound, as we have done it all by ourselves in our respective studios, from the recordings to the mix and mastering. Then Igorrr is 25 and is doing a lot of production for other bands at the moment, while – i snor is 36 and is doing a lot of music for cinema and contemporary dance these days. We don’t have kids if that’s what you mean and we are both loosing a little hair and writing poetry, which makes us all the more special in the metal world I guess.
In your opinions what kind of minded people basically listening to Whourkr? Anyway what is it, how we should think of it? Metal or electronica? Or it’s that muchly experimental, that it can’t be separated; how are the songs compile into one?
We don’t have any opinion on that: WHOURKR is just WHOURKR, it is a complete mix of genres in itself but hasn’t been thought as a mix. We have always been making that music as it is, it’s just what expresses best what we have in our minds. Then for us anybody with an open mind is supposed to be possibly interested by our music, as it expresses a lot more than raw power or experiments to us. Of course it won’t be the case, simply because it is so extreme, but that’s the idea. Then for the end of the question there is simply no compilation at all, the songs are written like that from the beginning to the end.
There is no lyrical conception, since there are no lyrics at all, but there are song names and cover designs, what do you want to express with them, and do you have some kind of cultural affinity?
That is interesting. We sure could be close to Dada or maybe even to Art Brut sometimes (although we are conscious of what we do, which makes a serious difference). Anyway we tried on half of the tracks to imagine animals that would go mentally insane the way humans can sometimes do, and to describe their schizophrenic behaviors. So we have a bear, an ant, a snail, frogs, a squirrel, a boar… The other half is about some very weird states of mind or images we can sometimes have while we talk to each other (a brain vomiting thoughts, an elastic mind stretched to its maximum, an old man melting in a microwave oven…). It has in fact a lot more to do with ecology and poetry than with the usual themes that you may find in this kind of music! Oh, and we decided a long time ago that there was no need for lyrics to express all of that, especially with the music we make which would make the lyrics impossible to understand anyway. The voice says it all though.
Will there be live concerts? (and if yes, how you gonna work it out)
Sure there will! We’re working on two different formations at the moment, one with just the two of us and another one with 2 guitarists added to our duo. We have built our own tools and will really play live with two computers, microphones and 4 different layers of control over the sound. We tried that already this summer and people got insane, banging themselves against the walls for the whole length of the show! By the way we were asked for a concert in Hungary this September but were already booked on other projects, too bad… Let’s hope for next year!
Would you like to send a message to the readers of Fémforgács?
Sure. Stay curious and open minded to every form of art, and always have in mind how much your haircut weighs, as you might be asked anytime. Oh and instead of investing in bank stock options just buy some music, not necessarily ours but still: it’s always a good investment.
Something you’d like to say at the end?
Mmh let me think… Ashtray. Banana. Rain. WHOAAA.
Haha! Thanks for the interview and take care!