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The House Of Usher, A solid foundation with no cracks in the walls | Interview

The House Of Usher bring Ecosphere on stage with great passion.

On March 15, 2023 the legendary old shool goth rockers, The House Of Usher, released their twelfth album "Echosphere". Continuously active since 1990, THOU have never been content to copy their musical idols or even themselves, and so "Echosphere" also sounds on the one hand instantly familiar, but also contains surprising new elements.

With the fantasy term "Echosphere" Jörg Kleudgen describes an invisible, in its size undefined sphere, with which man is in constant interaction. His thoughts and his actions determine how he perceives his environment. At the same time, his perception shapes him. Reality and imagination merge, and what was previously regarded as certain knowledge becomes a figment of the imagination, and vice versa.

"Echosphere" is accompanied by a story, in the current case even by two stories, one of which was written in collaboration with the author Uwe Voehl (Professor Zamorra, John Sinclair), who is a friend of the author. "Echosphere" is available in digital (download available from April), regular (CD + Poster) and deluxe editions. The "Deluxe Edition", limited to 100 copies, contains the CD and poster, a set of 4 postcards showing further variations of the cover motif and short texts by the authors K.R. Sanders, Christopher Müller and Tobias Bachmann, a sticker, the festival ribbon with the embroidered lettering "Echosphere" mentioned in the album story and as the most important component a hardbound booklet with the actual album story in a richly illustrated form with an original linoleum print by Linda Kröninger. 

We had the pleasure to discuss with The House Of Usher, a few days before their first live appearance in Athens, Greece, together with Cold Remembrance! We talked about their music, the history and the new album "Ecosphere".

ES: Hi guys! Thank you very much for accepting the invitation and have this conversation. I am certain that most of our readers knows all around The House Of Usher but I would like to start with an introduction. What is happening in "The House Of Usher" nowadays? Can you tell us a few things about the band?

Jörg: I would say THE HOUSE OF USHER has just been renovated and is more stable than ever. We have a solid foundation and the doors close well. There are no cracks in the walls. So it can continue with the next album! 

Georg: Well the most and foremost sensation in the band is the arrival of Thomas as a third guitarist. Our gig in Athens will be played without Markus, because he's taking some sort of Sabbatical. So we're going on stage with just two guitarists. The band is still spread all over Germany; this is sometimes a problem in getting dates for rehearsals. Production of new albums and songs will take place online nowadays. Markus presents an idea, Jörg is refining this idea, every other member puts his contribution into this song and in the end Jörg is mixing all the tracks together, which we have send him.   

ES: Going into "Echosphere", a new full length album. The 12th chapter in The House Of Usher history. Can you tell us some thing about "Echosphere"?

Jörg: The "Echosphere" is a spatially undefined sphere in which man moves in Interaction is located and which determines his actions. I got aware that during the pandemic become like people from different “filter bubbles” evaluate the same things very differently. They were because of their statements very quickly determined parties assigned, which in turn reinforced certain impressions or also extinguished. The willingness for mutual exchange was barely available. These echospheres were not necessarily smaller but less permeable. Our album deals with the question of how much we trust our perception may, but not related to a specific topic, but rather global. 

ES: We've seen that there were several changes in the line-up during the years. Who "lives" in The House Of Usher currently? While "Holyghost", your previous full lenth album, released back in 2021, sounded more person-centered and perhaps quite darker, in "Echosphere" there is a sense that it was built on the interaction and human relationships. Which are the main differences in the two albums, lyric-wise and theme-wise? In these 11 tracks, someone can listen to the old school goth, dark sound of THE HOUSE OF USHER while there many moments that new elements are included making "Echosphere" a multifaceted soundscape. How is this album different to the previous albums of The House Of Usher, sound-wise? Which are the new elements added and where did you get inspired from?

Jörg: So, while "Holyghost" was more of a kind of photo album with old friends like Bari-Bari from MEPHISTO WALZ, Boris Brosowski from CREAM VIII, Ingo Klemens from THE ESCAPE and others, "Echosphere" is more of a closed space around the band. With Thomas Walther, we have brought a long-time fan into the band as reinforcement, who brings a lot of experience and the right spirit with him. He has his own way of playing the guitar that expands and enriches our spectrum. The sound isn't as gloomy as it was in the early days, but very hopeful, which is also reflected in the lyrics. I'm just doing very well at the moment, but that doesn't mean that I don't also address melancholy moods. Many lyrics on both albums revolve around personal loss, illness ("Summer Rain") and one's own finiteness. But that's normal when you're aging yourself and observe how more and more people of the same age are dying in the vicinity.

ES: "Echosphere" consists of 11 tracks, each one with its own unique story. Which are the tracks that you'd say are more thrilling or emotional to you?

Georg: Well, me myself, I can't escape the magic of "Dreaming of you". It's a thoroughly happy-pop number that goes straight to the leg and marks the biggest contrast on the album. I love playing the song live.

Jörg: I was very concerned with the ambivalence of the song "Walk With Strangers". I think it's the track that best represents the new album and it's very personal lyrics about temptation.

ES: "Echosphere" is already out in digital form. Is it available on physical form as well? Any special edition?

Georg: Just like "Holyghost", our previous album, "echosphere" comes in different versions. You can buy the album digitally at Bandcamp. Then there is the "regular edition", which consists of a CD plus a poster with the obligatory story written by Jörg for each album. Third there is the "deluxe edition" which consists of a CD, a poster, a sticker, 5 postcards, a wrist band with echosphere lettering and a lavishly designed book in which Jörg's story is accompanied by many illustrations. However, the deluxe edition is limited to 100 copies and so far some of them have already gone. 

ES: There are live shows scheduled after the release of "Echosphere". One of your stops is Athens, Greece, on May 6th. Your first time in Greece. How do you feel about it? What can your Greek fans expect from The House Of Usher on stage?

Jörg: Greece is the cradle of our European culture and it feels great to be able to go back to basics. I also personally expect a lot from it.

Georg: Our fans can expect a matured band that still has fun playing their songs and even more perform them with great passion, as if they just saw the light of day.

ES: Being active since 1990 you have played live in several stages and cities? Do you have any favorite moment from a show that you would like to share with us?

Jörg: We played memorable concerts in the Lebanon, in Leeds, Derby, Lorient, Valencia, Helsinki, several appearances at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig... We certainly won't soon forget our concert near Bruges last weekend either. It's not always the big stages like the M'ERA LUNA, performances in front of a large audience … sometimes it’s the small clubs with the best atmosphere that you keep in mind.

ES: Looking back in the early years, what would you say were the facts that drew you into the darkest sides of music? Which were your influences back then?

Jörg: Before I got into the goth scene I used to listen to U2 and SIMPLE MINDS, but when Markus loaned me a THE SISTERS OF MERCY single, he slammed the doors open. I had finally found my musical home and was absorbing everything I could get: FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM, KILLING JOKE, THE CULT, THE MISSION, RED LORRY YELLOW LORRY, JOY DIVISION ...

Markus: In 1985 I heard "No Time to Cry" from THE SISTERS OF MERCY on TV. Their music, their clothes summed up my feelings at that time. Short time later, I discovered WALL OF VOODOO . These two bands brought me back playing guitar and soon I met Jörg at a CURE concert in Cologne... I didn't know that a long dream was being awakened yet ...

ES: I think we could keep talking about you and the music for hours but I would rather continue this while you visit Greece. Would you like to say something more to uor readers and your fans?

Georg: Yes! Come to our concert and enjoy a show with an intense atmosphere!

ES: Thank you very much. Looking forward to seeing you on stage.

Jörg: Ours is the pleasure!


The House of Usher” + “Cold Remembrance” live in Athens







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