Jared Louche interview
By Klint Finley on Thurs, March 8, 2001

Jared Louche, aka Jared Hendrickson, is one of the industrial/synthcore/coldwave/whatever scene's most brilliant visionaries. Jared's been making music for decades now, but it was in the early nineties when Chemlab and 5th Column Records (a record label run by Jared) revolutionized the world of synthcore. Chemlab's Burnout at the Hydrogen Bar (1994) is one of synthcore's most seminal albums and helped pave the way for future machine rockers like Orgy and Rammstein. However after the poor reception of Eastside Militia (an album far ahead of its time), the collapse of 5th Column records due to it's owner's mismanagement, and the band's "self destructive" tendency, Jared left the music industry in 1997. After a couple years working as an investment banker, Jared returned to the music industry on a tour with Pigface. And now after an experimental solo-album, Louche is at it again with the industrial all-star group Hellb3nt. Consisting of Jared, 16 Volt's Eric Powell, Thrill Kill Kult's Levi, Haloblack's Bryan Black, and Pigface's Martin Atkins, Hellb3nt's Hardcore Vanilla is set to re-charge the underground industrial scene.

Why should people buy Hardcore Vanilla? What does it offer listeners that they haven't heard before in the hundreds of industrial/synthcore/coldwave/whatever albums before?

People should buy "hard-v" because it doesn't suck like so many records out there right now. If the feeling is that there is just so much shit out there, that most of the music sounds the same, that there is nothing new left to be done in a certain format, then maybe the listener needs to think about trying out a new kind of music. There's a whole world of music out there. No reason to get bored or stuck in a rut. The approach of the album is more aggressive than a lot of "synthcore" records out there, and in many ways, harder than a lot of the guitar band's records, but it doesn't resort to the predictable aggression created by the guitar.

It's also an interesting, and successful, experiment in collaboration between artists who are not only having fun, but are pushing sonic envelopes that aren't being pushed a lot right now. It's a record with a feeling of dirty sex to it that I find is missing in a lot of Machine Rock and synth music. Many bands seem to have forgotten the purging pleasure of sweaty sex. Much of this kind of music is too forced, people take themselves far too seriously. you have to be able to laugh at yourself, at your shortcomings. H3llb3nt are laughing: at ourselves, at you, at the whole fucked up world.

What's your level of involvement on the internet? Do you use it much?

I use it all of the time. The net is an incredible source of information and mode of connectivity and communication. Since I live in London, and a lot of the people that I work with and make music with live in the states and Europe, I find it a critically useful tool. Without the use of the net, we could never have made Hardcore Vanilla, since Eric lives in L.A., Levi lives in Chi[cago] and Bryan and I live here. It would have been prohibitively expensive to fly everyone around trying to get them into the same studio in the same town. As evidenced by this communication, I do most of my interviews, when I'm not on tour, via e-mail. Cheaper than by phone. I am also about to take over the main Chemlab web site so that I can be more hands-on in its daily growth. I love the fact that there are a number of Chemlab sites out there that I have nothing to do with.

Technology's been very present in your music... what role do you feel it and technology in general play in the future? Do you see technology as a good or bad thing?

Technology is a tremendous tool. Ever since the invention of electricity there has been an inexorable path towards the creation of the sampler. The sampler is an unbelievable piece of machinery that allows us to create and mutate sound in ways that were never possible before. Once electric instruments entered into music they were there to stay, and I think that's a great and necessary thing. It would be not only foolish, and impossible, to try and go back to a time before the sampler, but a loss to the creative process as well. Music would be deprived of one of its most powerful writing tools.

Technology allows me to expand the sonic palette from which I draw for making music. It means that I can incorporate all manner of different sounds and textures into the music and take that music out of the realm of just being a 'rock band' and move it into unexplored terrains. In many ways, the sampler is a journey without maps.
Talk to us about Lacuna... it's a collection of stories "from the dirty underbelly of the city"... are these true stories? Fiction? If they're fiction, what kind of stories are they? When will it come out?

It is a mammoth undertaking that will be a collection of twenty short stories from life down the dark end of the street. Each story will be soundtracked by a different musician or band and then each story with its attendant soundscape will be interpreted visually by yet another collection of artists. When completed, it will be a book with text and visuals and then a CD ROM with text, visuals, video, film, all manner of graphics as well as an attached web site with other tales and links to all of the artists involved. The book will be quite dense and varied, both in it's collaborations and in its execution, as well as in the tales that are told. The tales are both fictional and autobiographical. There will be some stories about people I knew and events that took place during my years as a drug addict on the streets of New York. There will be a few stories about my strange sojourn down on wall street when I quit the music business for a few years. I might throw in a tour tale or two. "Lacuna" is Latin and means "a missing segment of text". It's a collection of missing chapters from my life. It will be published next year.

Who will be publishing it?

Don't want to say as of yet. I'll let you know when it comes clear. I'm a media whore, nobody will be left guessing.

Are there any current bands that you're into? Who do you really think is on top of the music game right now?

Goldfrapp. Drift Pioneer. Photek. Scanner. Speedball Baby. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Amen. Delph. Ladytron. North Missippi Allstars. Mau Maus. King Adora. Mose Allison. Medeski, Martin and Wood. Ornette Coleman's new project 'Global Expressions'. Gallon Drunk. The Aggression. Chris Connelly.

Where do you think the music industry is going? Will the new formats/distribution for music (for example, mp3.com and emusic.com) have a large impact?

The music industry is going down the toilet. The majors are killing the independents. The Napsters of the net who allow music to go out to the public without the artists being compensated are killing independent bands like mine. Distribution is a nightmare. Terrible bands like Lump Bisquick are making money by being as superficial and vacuous as possible (I suppose it would be impossible for them to go against their nature). The online sources like Emusic are making a real positive difference, but I don't know if it's enough. There is so much money pitted against new ideas and new talent that it is a real challenge for anything worthwhile to break through.

What will be the next big thing in music?

Suicide on stage. Coming soon to a venue near you. We can only hope that certain "artists" will catch on to this new craze and help popularize it amongst their minions.

Overall you seem pretty pessimistic about the future of the music industry. Do you have any ideas on how to make it better, using internet and technology?

When you have dealt with independent labels all of your career you tend to get a bit sour. Looking realistically at the industry, it is hard not to be somewhat pessimistic. So far, all I have seen in the industry is the technology being used to further the interests of the majors. Web sites are a boon and hopefully one day we can cut out the record labels all together. That is certainly one positive direction that we could go in. Ten years ago, the transference of information was not nearly as immediate as it is now and that makes a real difference. Bands can now do a lot more of their own promotion, expose themselves in ways that they never could before. One of these days we will be able to do everything ourselves. It will be more time consuming, but much more rewarding.

When can we expect to see H3llb3ent on tour?

Not soon enough. Watch the web site for the London shows and tours, updates and information on the remixes that will be coming out soon. Might even be a new Chemlab record in the fall.

Further Reading

Official Hellbent Web site

Original Chemlab Web site soon to be the official web site run by Jared himself!

Chemlab fan page a frequently updated Chemlab fan page