Interview with Eric Hersemann of Gigan

28/02/2015 Video Interviews

Interview with Eric Hersemann of Gigan

Agoraphobic News: Tell me something about formation of Gigan?
Eric: I formed GIGAN in 2005 shortly after leaving Hate Eternal. Prior to that I was a writing/touring member of Diabolic and was also previously in Chicago Bands Lord Blasphemer and Burnt Offering.

Agoraphobic News: What really caught my eye is that band was formed in Tampa, Florida, the birthplace of death metal. Did you get to know Chuck Schuldiner (or other legends of death metal ) in person? I guess that you are heavily influenced by the bands that came out of Florida, right? Living there in the late 80s and early 90s must have been some good experience?
Eric: I lived in Tampa, FL for nine years but was born and raised in Chicago, IL where I live now. While living in Tampa I was fortunate enough to live near and become friends with many of my idols and peers from the greatest era of Death Metal: the early 90's.

Agoraphobic News: Who are your biggest non metal influences?
Eric: Miles Davis, Captain Beyond, Mingus, Primus, Zappa, Rush and many others...

Agoraphobic News: Tell me something about albums /musicians that chaged your way of thiniking music-wise?
Eric: Miles Davis- Bitches Brew was a huge turning point for me as well as bands like Autopsy and Sadus.

Agoraphobic News: I really love the way Gigan sounds. Can you share some information about your gear?
Eric: Sure, I use an Engl 100 watt original Powerball head through Tyrant cabinets who I am endorsed by. I also use and am endorsed by BC Rich guitars. BC Rich has endorsed me for over 10 years. Morley Electronics endorse me as well...I also use Electro Harmonix pedals and Boss pedals. All tube and natural sounds are my favorite! We use all natural drums with no triggers, also.<

Agoraphobic News: A lot of metal bands nowadays have steril sound and are not open for experiments, especially when it comes to sound effects. Gigan is quite the opposite. It reminds me of Primus amd RATM because of cool delays, tremolo violence and so on. Sterility of the sound kills the atmosphere of the record. What are your thoughts about that?
Eric: I agree completely. That is why GIGAN has recorded in analog instead of ProTools...we strive to sound as natural and close to our reality as possible. GIGAN is a real band performing natural music, colored by manually operated effects.

Agoraphobic News: Did you ever think about having one more guitarist in the band? That would be some good fill to the Gigan’s sound when playing live?
Eric: When I started the band I had a second guitarist but he didn't work out. He was a good friend, so when he left I never considered replacing him. Logistically, it's easier to deal with one guitarist anyway. I write our music for one guitar now, as opposed to layering riffs that will never be there, live.

Agoraphobic News: You were lucky enough to tour with bands like Ulcerate, Immolation, Wormed, Pyrrhon, Artificial brain etc. Touring is really a good way to promote your band. Are you happy with the audience response when playing as a support for Immolation or Ulcerate for instance? What is your most successful tour?
Eric: Yes, we love to play live and love our fans! We have had great fun on all of our tours but Cattle Decapitation, Immolation and Ulcerate have been the best tours for us, crowd-wise. Our headliner with Arty Brain and Pyrrhon was awesome, too!

Agoraphobic News: What are your thoughts about music industry nowadays? Record labels can really push bands to work faster and that can reflect on the final product. Do you have problems of such nature? Are you happy with promotion that Gigan gets?
Eric: Things are good but could always be better! Record labels are a great help, if they are helpful! Ha!

Agoraphobic News: What is the turning point of Gigan’s career?
Eric: GIGAN is constantly moving forward but we have been very fortunate in that we have had some great opportunities...I think we are just beginning-even after nine years! Every day I get to create music is a blessing.

Agoraphobic News: Do you write lyrics or you leave that part for a singer? Is there any prose writer that the band is heavily influenced by?
Eric: I write all the lyrics as well as all the music...HP Lovecraft, the occult, my imagination and the Universe in general inspire me always!

Agoraphobic News: Lyrical themes have something to do with fantasy world, annihilation, monsters and yet they are highly symbolic. I guess all that space trip can be connected with Hawkwind and psychedelic rock music. Am i right?
Eric: Sure, why not? GIGAN is all about expanding your imagination and being yourself, even among monsters, both real and imagined...GIGAN is about colorful music...not just darkness all the time. Every night has a dawn.

Agoraphobic News: Funny thing is that Gigan is Godzilla’s (Gojira’s) nemesis. Are you looking forward to play with Gojira sometimes in the future?(if you are lucky enough xD)?
Eric: Sure, we'd love to play with Gojira! We will play nice, I promise! ;)

Agoraphobic News: What inspires you to write music?
Eric: The need to express myself creatively....my imagination is always in need of an outlet and GIGAN provides that for me. I also derive great joy from making people smile with my music. I am very fortunate that I get to make music for a living!

Agoraphobic News: Is it hard for you to write all music by yourself?
Eric: No, it's fun to write within a collective but I love writing everything, too! It is a challenge I welcome every time!

Agoraphobic News: How much time do you need in order to write your music before getting in the studio?
Eric: I typically write a GIGAN album in about three to six months depending on circumstances.

Agoraphobic News: Quasi Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes and Multi-dimensional Fractal-Sorcery and Super Science are great albums. Both have kida the same vibe with cool melodic parts, groovy riffs, awesome breakdowns and excellent drumming. What did you try to achieve with these albums?
Eric: Thank you very much! I was just trying to get what is in my head out into the world at large...I love all of our albums for different reasons! I like to keep our music varied, I hate when bands songs always sound the same...

Agoraphobic News: Gorguts is band that changed the face of death metal. I guess you are big fan of their music. What are your thoughts on Obscura album?
Eric: I was the publicist for that album and I have always loved it very much! Even when it first came out and almost EVERYONE hated it! 20 years later....here we are. Luc wrote straight from the heart and that music has withstood the test of time. That is the ultimate goal for all musicians, I think.

Agoraphobic News: Steeve Hurdle was IMO uncrowned king of death metal. I want to make a big article about him. He really deserved that. Since there is almost no information about him on the internet, I ask you to tell me something about him. (I’ve contacted Luc Lemay and Kevin of Dysrhythmia and i asked them the same question. I can’t wait for them to respond) Do you know who were his musical influences? Negativa had awesome material. Steeve told me on youtube that he wanted to reissue Negativa’s ep and add 3 new songs to it, but that never happened because of his death?
Eric: I think Luc can answer that much better than myself. Steeve was always a great guy that was struggling with many demons, I hope he has peace, now. He was a supporter of GIGAN in the beginning and I still treasure the Negativa shirt he sent me...he was a good man and loved by many. Not just death metal fans, either. He understood how important it was to create music straight from his heart and not be bent by silly scene pressures. He will always be remembered and appreciated by those that can take the time to understand where he was coming from! Much love to ya, Big Steeve!!! There are people right now that try to rip off his style...there is only one, though!

Agoraphobic News: Gorguts fans accuse some death metal bands for being ,,Gorguts clones“. What are your thoughts about that? Did anyone accuse you for being a copycat or something?
Eric: LOL...if someone thinks GIGAN sounds like Gorguts, they obviously don't know either band very well! I think when people hear music they are confused by or don't understand, they automatically compare it to Gorguts.

Agoraphobic News: Are you writing music for another GIGAN album? If so, tell me something about it?
Eric: Absolutely...it will be written this year and recorded in 2016...ten years after our first release!

Agoraphobic News: Last question must be goofy – Marvel or DC Universe?
Eric: Marvel......DC has a couple good ones but Marvel is more fantastic and imaginative...DC is based too much in reality for my tastes.

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