indieberlin shines a beacon on Australian/US/Italian and Berlin-based band House of Light – interview with Justin de Vries
-How would you explain your music to a deaf person?
Nice question. Probably I’d describe it as stormy, moody, dark and many layered, in a slow and deliberate sexy and mysterious voice. Or I’d sample Richard Burton and use his voice through a vocoder.
– What questions are you most often asked in interviews?
About the origins of the name of the band, about influences, about recent tours, about Berlin. most interviews i find boring and irrelevant because the interviewer didnt bother to research.
– What is your vision for the band, if you have one?
Somehow release this stockpile of songs that’s taking up space in my head and take over the world. Some little tours of UK and USA. Return to Berlin in glory and make a German express themselves. I want to play some shows with lots of bubbles floating around and glitter bombs dropped on the audience. so when people leave for days they have the House of Light in their hair.
– With which other bands would you like to go on tour or to play together with?
Well, sound of them will sound beyond any realistic expectations right now but bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Radiohead, the Verve, BJM. Also Nick Cave, Soncic Youth, Blonde Redhead. Bands like that. Bands we like and respect. In another universe I’d like to support the Beatles or the Doors. That’d be a trip.
– How do you write your songs?
I honestly believe they right themselves and I am just a conduit or transmitter. Im not being falsely humble. I really feel I have little say in it. Much of it unconscious or desperate ramblings forgotten for years and discovered later by accident in some scraps of paper. then it could take another 5 years to finish. including rewrites s in rehearsal rooms really pissing of the band. Some songs we perform changed names already 3 times. Or I could write a riff in a minute and in five minutes have th e entire song finished with lyrics and all. The songs visit me when i am ready and worthy and if i offend the muse she will ignore me for a while. Sometimes I’ll marry some unlkely lyrics with a melody, Othertimes ill just mumble over some scrap of notes i recorded late at night. Or i go to tseep and can’t cos a song won’t let me. Or Ill take two crappy songs, find the gold lining in them, rip them apart and deliver one good song from the two. There’s a thousand ways the song arrvies in my head and all are good and i am grateful. It is one of the few times i feel relief and meaning and time stops. Actually we are all writing the same song ultimately and it’s a song of praise and celebration.
– Are there differences between audiences in Germany and those in, say, the US?
I’d say so. Americans are expressive and appreciative. They hug you and buy cds. They understand House of Light and react energetically and immediately to what we do. I dont know about Germans in other towns because i never played there. I expect they are hungry for good rock music like small towns in other countries but Berliners need more prodding. They like to shocked and hit in the face. They will clapping politely and maybe if Intro magazine tells them the band is good they’ll see you again. Im sure its different for other types of music, say electronic or hippy stuff. Berliners are jaded and spoilt for thing to do. Like new Yorkers, they are overloaded and desensitized.
– Which band would you like to interview if you could?
Probably same as the bands I’d like to tour with. I’d like to interview John Lennon via a seance though he probably is too busy apologising to God for his song called God. David Bowie would be a blast. Kurt Cobain too. Klaus Nomi would be cool. Most of the people i want to interview are dead.
– What is music to you?
Many things. When its done right, A humanising and energising gift that changes the world without people knowing it.
– Tell us something about your new release and when we can see you play live?
It’s called “Come Into My Night” and it’s available online through Pale Music International or at Dussman in Germany or at http://houseoflight.bandcamp.com/. and at We just played the Berlin Fashion week opening. I think our next shows will be in UK or usa. In berlin i thin kwe play @ HBC in September.