Thirty years since Psyche’s first album, Insomnia Theatre, the godfathers of dark electro are still going strong. We caught up with Darrin Huss ahead of Psyche’s Electronic Summer show, which promises to be very special.
You have been recording new material at Psyche HQ in Germany. What secrets will you be unveiling at Electronic Summer?
We’re hoping to present one or two new songs, and also we will be doing something very special on the Saturday, but it’s still a secret for now.
What is in the pipeline for Psyche?
I have recently collaborated with Luminance (Belgian artist) and we have a 7” single with two songs coming out, limited and exclusive to ArtofFact Records. Also, I plan a 12” EP of my collaboration with Red Industrie from Mexico, and hopefully our new album tentatively entitled “Light Before Day” will come out by end of October. A limited new master re-release of our first ever 12” single, “Thundershowers (In Ivory Towers),” will also see its 30th anniversary as a collector’s issue, again on ArtofFact Records, later this year.
The Psyche tribute album, Unforgotten Rhymes, attracted a lot of artists. Was it surprising how much respect there is for Psyche’s material?
It was actually a surprise especially some of the song choices such as “Equinoxe” and Murder In Your Love” done by female vocalists of Future Trail, and Arcana Oscura respectively. I also like the way Come In Peace performed “Angel Lies Sleeping”, and Luminance’s version of “Prisoner To Desire”, and am quite fond of The Force Dimension’s version of “The Brain Collapses”. I am most happy with surprising twists and variations of interpretation that came about on some of the songs. I wasn’t even really sure I wanted to have this project happen at all, but other than missing out on contributions from Die Form, and Pankow, I feel “September Moon” by PsyGod, “The Sundial and “Gods And Monsters” from Parralox, as well as “Mr. Eyeball Ooze” from Echo West became equal highlights.
Psyche controls its own releases these days. Do you think that streaming helps or hurts independent artists?
It helps if you have at least your own publishing, or a company that works to make strong placement of your music through distribution. We have to live with this new format now, regardless of opinion, and learn to make the best of it. I think one actual benefit of Streaming is the democracy of choice. Anyone can get involved, but not everyone is going to stand at the top of the list of most seen or heard. Unfortunately there’s no real quality control with such a vast scale of competition, but I find it still more useful than harmful. One has to truly hone their skills to get attention these days. Cats or nudity? Choose your weapon!
You’ve been vocal in your opposition to the heavy-handed treatment of whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden. Why do you think that other artists have been more muted?
The whole point of calling my band Psyche was that I knew I was going to be documenting all aspects of human experience for the rest of my life. Sure I could just write about love, and only emotional aspects, but the mind also has intellectual concerns. I have always been close to the punk ethic, and outside of the mainstream, so I feel a kindred spirit with those brave enough to rock the status quo, and question what is going on behind the scenes of our system. As I also once wrote “the bible tells me what’s right or wrong, the government tells me what’s right or wrong, my mind tells me what’s right or wrong, but you tell me my mind is wrong!” and “it’s like a chess game where no one moves, and I won’t be your pawn” from “Wrench (In Your Plans)”. I think it’s important to stand up for your convictions even if it’s “non-commercial”. Obviously I prefer to communicate directly with my audience, and learn from life rather than just try and meet popular approval.
Psyche’s official Web site: psyche-hq.de