HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR are releasing their third record The Feast of the Broken Heart these days and just finished their tour in Germany. Mastermind Andy Butler has been around for quite a while now with his New Yorker disco-house-project and it was time to talk about the band, that actually is not really a band, but much more an ensemble assambled by him. He revitalised disco and for The Feast of the Broken Heart he got John Grant, Krystle Warren and Rouge Mary to join the queer-house-jamboree.
Listening to HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR always leaves a bit of a nostalgic impression behind. Are you a nostalgic person?
I am very much driven and ruled by my memories and my experiences. I think the people, that listen to my music could probably think I am quite self- indulgent because my music is about my memories. But it is my experience and I think this is the most authentic valuable place for me as an artist to draw from. And that’s why I do it. Also it can be painful to constantly depict those memories, because sometimes they are not always fun. It is part of my character – good and bad.
You recently said about the new record ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart’ you wanted an aggressive sound. Where is that coming from?
There seemed to be a trend in dance music. I feel like the productions that are coming up can be quite clean and digital sounding and I just wanted to recapture the sound when I was growing up, made by machines and instruments, more than just one computer and some software.
So you intended to go back to the roots of house music?
Experiencing you guys life is always such a pleasure. Everyone is cheering and dancing. I wonder where you take all your energy from in general?
Actually one of us fell asleep maybe ten minutes before the show last night in Berlin. I was laying on the couch and someone came into the dressing room and was like: ‘Party! It’s gonna be a great show isn’t is?’ And I thought for myself: Where is this gonna come from? But people in front of you are the best motivation. People having some expectation, depending on you to bring something. That in fact makes the event come to life. But there is a lot of fear when I go on stage. To be honest on stage, to be me, I have to walk through that fire every time. But the moment I get to that place I can really have fun and than hopefully encourage the rest of the people to do the same thing. And that’s where I take my energy from.
It has been ten years now for HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR. How would you reflect or summarize that decade with a few words?
It is mind-blowing. Because the whole thing just started out as an accident. It started out of making songs and more and more people participated. We’ve had over ten singers participate as members of HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR not to mention all the musicians. There has been so many people that I have met and there have been so many relationships. I just had an impact when I was on the train from Berlin to Leipzig today, looking at the new footage for our new music video and I got teary. I had tears in my eyes because I thought, we are really making a difference. The past ten years have really been about a lot of people touching me and my life and my heart and having the opportunity to touch others peoples hearts. So I feel really just lucky.
House music has been a pretty big thing for a while now – Do you think there is like a half-life period to it?
Absolutely. And I was scared about this record for that reason too. I haven’t talked about this with a journalist before, but I was scared about the life span of house music. I got really sick of it when I was 19 years old and stopped listenng to it. And it certainly will happen again. Things come and go. So for the next record I feel free to do what I want. Classical music, dance music, jazz music – you name it. The Feast of the Broken Heart is more straight forward compared to the other two records. But there will come a time where I will say: please no more kick drums.