One of the most exciting records in the prog and post rock genre is “Origin” by Earthlimb. Guitarist and main composer Patrick Hagmann was more than happy to share some insights on his latest project, the recording process of the album and the progressive rock and metal scene in Germany.
Thank you for doing this interview. “Origin” is a very stunning album in my book. Are you happy the way it came out?
Hi Raymond! Thanks a lot! I really appreciate that! I´m happy that you like it that way! If I´m happy the way it came out?!Difficult question…I worked on it for several years, and I still don´t have enough distance to it. And you´ll always find things that you would like to do different later on. I run a small semi-pro studio, I produce bands now and then, and “Origin” was my experience playground where I tried out a lot of things production-wise. And now i´m older and wiser, and would do some stuff different in terms of production, I guess,haha….next album will become more raw and natural sounding, I hope.
When listening to “Origin” bands like Radiohead, Pink Floyd (The flying pig on the front cover is a nice tribute), Porcupine Tree and Mogwai come to mind. Are you inspired by any of these bands?
I love all of these mentioned bands…especially Radiohead and Pink Floyd belong to my top five all-time Favourites! And Mogwai and Porcupine Tree come really close to that. I would lie if I´d say, that I´m not inspired by other bands, haha. And yeah, the pig…my friend Markus Ruf (my ex-Fear My Thoughts-bandmate) made the artwork for the album, and one day he put the pig on it, more as a joke, and I liked it…this was around the time I didn´t even think about having a label, I just wanted to burn some cd´s for my friends…now everyone is talking about that pig on the cover.
Members from Earthlimb are in different bands like Pigeon Toe and Tryptikon.What do they bring in terms of ideas, vibe and experiences?
Until now we were not a real band. It was just me writing all the stuff and showing it to my friends Norman and Alex. The songs were pretty much set , but Alex worked out a lot of the vocal harmonies by himself. I hope in the future, when we will become a “real” band, there will be room for more input.
How did the creative and recording process go for “Origin”?
Earthlimb was actually just me, having too many ideas which didn´t fit to my band Fear My Thoughts. So I was writing and writing and recording and recording…I have a lot of material for another record, haha.
From what I’ve heard Earthlimb is more of a projects than a full-time band. What are the pros and cons of this working method?
Hmm, actually it would be cool if it was more of a “real” band …it´s kind of a project cause all the people involved are so busy with other bands/projects/things.
In the metal scene Germany is mostly known for the more traditional forms of metal and not so much for prog and postrock. Is there such a thing as a German prog/postrock scene?
No, there isn´t a “scene” for that. Like you said, Metal is HUGE in Germany, but a lot of bands with an individual style have to struggle to survive here. Take a band like Mastodon (I know, they´re from the US). I´ve just been at a Mastodon show in Los Angeles. They draw lots of people to a show, and the people are going crazy, although Mastodon is pretty technical and “proggy”. In Germany they´re still an “insider-tip”. But there are some German bands like The Ocean or Long Distance Calling, which are becoming bigger and bigger here, especially the latter. And my other band Pigeon Toe is pretty original and special ( I didn´t write any of the music of their debut album, I joined after the recordings), maybe they will open some minds here, haha.
Who are your musical heroes and what do you admire about them?
I don´t know if I can call them my heroes, but there are some musicians I deeply respect for their work. Hmm…David Gilmour of Pink Floyd cause his way of playing guitar and his voice touch me deeply. Thom Yorke of Radiohead for almost the same reasons. Neurosis as a whole band, cause they´re so unbelievably dark and intense, that every Black Metal Band looks like kindergarten compared to them. The Iron Maiden guitarists for their sense of melodies. Oh how I love the 80ies records. Robert Fripp of King Crimson for just doing what he wants to do. Steven Wilson for his vision of music, visuals and production. Tony Iommi for THE RIFF….etcetcetc
These are really difficult times for musicians. How do you get by?
I have a part-time job as social worker, with a pretty good income. And I´m pretty happy with that situation. In the past I tried to make a living of my music. That didn´t work out. Some pro-musicians will disagree now, but it doesn´t work out for me, that I have on one side this intimate and passionate thing called music and on the other side you have to pay your rents of that. I came to the point , that I realized that I´m much more creative without this financial pressure.
What are the releases you really looking forward to and why?
I´ve heard there will be a new Sigur Ros Album! I love Sigur Ros, especially their “()” album. Then the re-release of SLEEP´s “Dopesmoker” masterpiece with a fantastic Arik Roper Artwork on Southern Lord. I´m curious how the Storm Corrosion album will sound like. Not really the answer to your question, since these records are already out, but : The latest records of Mastodon, Crippled Black Phoenix and Ancestors are just pure greatness!
Time for the final question. What is next for you when it comes down to touring, recording and possible other musical ventures?
At the moment i´m putting together a good live band, to bring “Origin” on stages! In a few months I will go through my pool of ideas, which is pretty deep and wide, and will start to sort the pieces. Hopefully I´ll have another record out by next year!
Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you for the interview!