Music Interview

Needulhed

by Jett Black
(Needulhed photo by David Smith c/o Infinite Images)

Self-described as a "toxic psychedelic blend of rock, industrial, punk, goth and techno with a pop melodic edge," NEEDULHED hails from New York with two previous recordings and a third recording already breaking ground on the way. NEEDULHED has a dedicated fan base following the band about from venue to venue when on tour. After two U.S. tours and tours abroad, NEEDULHED now await its on screen debut in Romeos Run. NEEDULHED has also written the entire score for a new Rocky Horror-esque film entitled: CANNIBALS. Here now, Mortimer (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards, samples & sequencing) responds with his take on NEEDULHED...

Who is in the current line-up of NEEDULHED?

Well, the line-up for NEEDULHED has recently changed... for the better, I believe, with the addition of our new drummer Niles*. The band consists of myself (Mortimer), Weeks and Niles .

NeedulhedWhen will you be touring next?

We're hoping to go out around Halloween week.

Where is your next tour set to begin?

It's not set or finalized yet but we are planning an east coast tour from New York to Florida and everywhere between.

When will you be recording next?

We're set to begin recording the basic tracks for the next record on March 28th

What concepts will be woven into the next recording?

Pretty much a lot of angst, emotion and relief considering the band went through a lot of changes during the past year.

What is the title of your latest and next release?

Right now we don't have a current working title for the new record. The title of the release from 1998 is "PAVE THE PLANET" and is still very much available. [http://www.needulhed.com/merch.html]

What changes in style & membership has NEEDULHED undergone since the last recording?

As far as changes, the only real change has been the replacement of our original drummer Snip with Niles.

What has been most effective in holding the band together?

Honesty, integrity and a desire to succeed. Obviously, we have to be having a good time. When it becomes a hassle, and it's no longer fun, then it's time to do something different and we don't see that time ever coming.

What changes has NEEDULHED planned for 1999?

No real changes, just a lot more "in your face" pushing by us! We've managed to do this by ourselves for quite some time and will do it as long as we have to until we succeed in conquering the world.

How would you describe the music NEEDULHED performs and records?

Well, generally we do not like to be classified as a Goth act, which we were classified as when we first came out. For those of you who have heard our sound, although we have a bit of a dark influence, we also have managed to add elements of Industrial, Punk, Techno, and Rock. Combine it with melodic hooks and there you have NEEDULHED. Someday, some braniac will come out with a "phrase" or "style" that describes it, but I just say that we are Futuristic Rock.

Since the late '80's, differentiations in "underground" music have resulted in varied distinctions. Where do you believe these distinctions in darker music are headed?

It's hard to say. A lot of people want the energy and anger and music seems to be getting a harder edge within the past decade. I feel that within the next few years, ALL of the "so-called" underground music will surface to the mainstream, but unfortunately, when it does, it won't be "cool" anymore because it won't be considered underground...as silly as that sounds. Unfortunately, it is quite true.

How would you describe their evolutions from the late '80's to today?

Again, much harder edge. A lot of Industrial bands have been adding guitars in their music for years, but it seems that Metal and Industrial, along with the Goth scene, are all coming together.

What messages infuse NEEDULHED?

To be what you want to be regardless of what any one or anybody says or tells you to do.

What other bands have you worked with in the past that have influenced your style(s) since then?

We went on tour with Morphine Angel twice back in 1997. I wouldn't necessarily say that they influenced our music, but we had a pisser of a tour together.

Any recent reviews/interviews out there, or soon to be in print?

We just had a review done in the UK by Uncle Nemesis Random Reviews, but unfortunately he only posts them to newsgroups and doesn't keep them on his page. But Samsam from Slaghuis (http://www.slaghuis.demon.co.uk/) did review us along with Seriah from Aethyric Productions (http://members.aol.com/lastexit1/lost.html)

What influences the development of your music?

I like sounds. I'm always listing to sounds. Any sounds. I do a lot of sampling and make a lot of the sounds that are in the music. I love taking feedback and twisting the sounds into a cool riff. I guess it's just like being an inventor; I enjoy inventing sounds.

What do you believe is lacking in the industry that if added would stimulate new growth and creativity?

I feel that MTV, who was a pioneer 15 years ago, ruined the music business and unfortunately steers the gullible public into whatever direction the corporate heads want to take them. I feel that they are lacking in genuine uniqueness. Everyone is afraid of something new. Whatever happened to visualizing bands just from seeing them on album covers? I remember when I first saw MTV and saw what the bands looked like and it ruined the image that I had in my head. Before I saw it, these bands could be my own personal trip and NOW, not only did it ruin the mystique of the bands, but if you aren't mainstream to their standards, you are struggling (unless you have a very supportive underground following who says fuck the masses and believe in who you are).

NeedulhedHow do computers, and the Internet, impact how NEEDULHED presents itself?

We've been on the Internet for over 3 years and I've gotten a lot of great things from the Internet including our first tour of 22 cities. Through the Internet, we were able to get 90 college radio stations to play cuts off of our first "EP" back in 1996. It has been more than helpful.

Do you utilize computer technology to develop the music itself?

We use a sequencer and a sampler to enhance the sound of the music. The sequencer has 16 tracks and the sampler adds the sounds that I can't create on the sequencer. As far as using it through my computer, I have yet to do that.

Who would you say characterizes the personality types of people most likely to identify with your music and its messages?

Those who just want to hang out, have a good time and party. We are not "dark" nor "dismal" and we are not "vampires." We get out on stage every night and kick ass to the point that we are hyper-ventilating. We feel that if just one person "gets it" after our show, then the show was worth every bead of sweat.

What record label sponsors NEEDULHED?

We are on our own label, "GAMMA RAY RECORDS." We do it all ourselves.

Where have you found the largest postive support for your music?

Believe it or not, considering we are from NYC, the best support has been in Alabama and Ohio. The people out on the road, all of the friends that we made, made it all the more real. It's been a trip!

What might you describe as the worst thing to happen in the music industry in the past five years?

Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, In Sync, 98 degrees, Fresh Step... Need I go on?

What might be the most positive thing to have happened, or be happening in the music industry?

Although a lot of the hardcore Industrial fans will never agree with me, but the fact that Rammstein, Rob Zombie and Manson have broken into the mainstream, along with bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit, is making ways for the heavier Industrial bands to come in. Although I feel that we would be able to tour with any of these bands and gain respect, I still feel that our elements of melody are still refreshing to a degree. We're not screaming from beginning to end...only when it's needed.

Pave the PlanetDo fans compare NEEDULHED to any other band frequently?

We've gotten compared to KISS, and Manson because of the makeup, but as far as sound no one has been able to quite put their finger on it.

What insight into the name "NEEDULHED" might you offer to your fans?

It originated from a title of a song that I had written prior to naming the band.

What do you like most about performing live?

The energy, the feeling of the sound pumping through you, the emotion, the adrenaline.

How do your recordings generally evolve?

The songs start off usually with a cassette tape of Weeks jamming some riffs.

Who usually guides NEEDULHED through these evolutions?

I'll then take the riffs and put them together like a puzzle. We have about 70 songs written with about 35 cassette tapes of music on both sides of songs that we haven't even used yet and since Niles has joined the band, we have been jamming as a band and writing songs which is something new to NEEDULHED.

Which film-makers have had influence upon the development of your music?

I've always been into to anything spooky and b-movieish. Believe or not, old Ed Wood movies, as cheesy as they were, are so cool. Of course, then their is War of the Worlds and don't forget Planet of the Apes. But, for those of you who have our "EP" there is a sample of the music from the opening segment of the original series Lost in Space throughout the verses of "My Pet Tarantula," and on "PAVE THE PLANET" there is a sample from War of the Worlds in the song "Lightning Bug." Check it out.

Does NEEDULHED appear in any music video, or video compilations?

We have a video available of one of our songs entitled "Necessary Evil."

How might fans reading this be most likely to contact NEEDULHED for more information?

They can either visit our website at http://www.needulhed.com, e-mail us at: needulhe@ix.netcom.com or call us directly on our 24 hour concert hotline: (212)539-3686.