Blackhouse sounds like.... Blackhouse.
Blackhouse also sounds a little like all the other bands who came along afterwards and borrowed (stole) my ideas and used them in their own way. Let's face it: That's what the music biz is all about. What did Mick Jagger say? "Borrow what you can... and steal the rest." Or was that David Bowie? It most certainly applies to trent reznor. It applies to Blackhouse as well. It applies to every artist who creates something valid, I believe. As an artist, you are influenced by those who walked before you. It's natural. Maybe the glory is in what you DO with the stuff you steal... do you use it to create something new? Hopefully! That has been my challenge and my mission since I started Blackhouse in 1984.
In the beginnings... I was always making my own electronic noise and music, but in 1984 I was influenced by hard noise band Whitehouse. I liked the sound of Whitehouse very much, but the harsh lyrics were unnecessary and one-dimensional to me. So I flipped the coin and created Blackhouse. Not so much the "opposite" of WH, but the inverse... Instead of singing songs about death and hate, I sang songs of life and love. It wasn't a put-on. On the contrary, it was a tribute to the sound of Whitehouse but it focused on the glorification of all that was Holy and Good. A perfect contradiction! I was in contact with William Bennett of WH. He knew I was a fan of their sound. He was supportive of the first recordings of Blackhouse, and sent me a letter of admiration saying so.
So I took that seed that had been planted, and used it to grow new ideas. I've always been fascinated by electronic rhythms, so I threw that into the mix. I combined the squealing feedback and hard noise with distorted machine rhythms. I wanted it to be like Kraftwerk when I was doing it. Mechanized rhythms. Robot drum machines.... but not sterile like Kraftwerk... Not at all. I wanted it to be like the unclean version of Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk's punk brother. That was me: Blackhouse. Hope Like A Candle and We Will Fight Back... whoops, there it is.
Even though I'm BLACKhouse, I'm a goofy white guy who knows his Soul. Yeah, I make Soul Music and it sounds like a cross between Whitehouse and Kraftwerk! Really: I'm a Brother from way back, and I appreciate all the funky wah-wah guitar I can get. Rap music and sampling ... scratching and wrecking... electro and hip hop. It's all good and important. Riffs, breaks, big beats and loops. Kraftwerk is great.... but BLACK MUSIC brought electronic beats, samples and weird electronic effects to the masses. For me, rap was the "coming out" party for electronic rhythms - and you KNOW how I feel about electronic rhythms! Rap music made it "OK" to listen to drum boxes. Wow! It is a rights movement after all!
So now you have the squealing robot machine rhythms combined with some Marley Marl or Eric B & Rakim. Add some Ambient and Dub to that too, will you please? Done!
So... Is THAT my description of what Blackhouse sounds like?
No way! I am a constantly changing, constantly growing, constantly evolving artist. I'm not content to play one zone. I won't do one style of music over and over again just to please some superficial record company or fickle fan base. I do what I want to do - when I want to do it. I am always unsure exactly where my inflences and artistic vision will take me. So stick around and watch the show. I have.
For the last 22 years.
And the next 222.