Human Eye - Alien Fish Head Punk!

By Jens Hellroute

Once in awhile along comes a band whose approach to r'n'r is vastly different that most. Human Eye of Detroit is such a band. DIY 'alien punk' with weird stage gimmicks and very strange lyrics. Musically they sorta belong somewhere between Chrome, Dead Boys, Devo, Hawkwind infused with some krautrock. Tobias (drummer of noise-rockers Jorgen Teller & The Empty Stairs) and I saw' em at Elværket in Helsingor, Denmark, and a week later we put up an extra show at Daemonens Port in Copenhagen. Tobias was kind enough to help out with the questions. Here's the Human Eye lineup:

Alien pianos-Johnny Lzr
Drums/percussion-Billy "Tornado"
Hafer Guitar/vocals-Timmy Vulgar
Lamps Bass guitar-Brad Hales

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: You played Gonerfest 2 in 2005 in Memphis, but Human Eye is not included on the dvd/cd, why is that?

HUMAN EYE GUY: They must've been scared of us.

WC: You threw fish heads around?

HEG: Yes, we had fish heads a little bit bigger than a 45 on knives, like a bayonette, in encore songs.

WC: But the throwing of fish heads is in the Gonerfest documentary, in the trailer, like a selling point?

HEG: You should protest to Goner, make a new and improved Gonerfest dvd! We were the most important band there, haha. It seems like a lotta record labels are ignoring us too. No one wants to put out our new album, we're sitting on like 14 new songs, we're ready to go! In The Red who released the first isn't interested, which is strange since our new material is the best yet.

WC: You tried labels outside America?

HEG: Oh yeah, this Italian label called Disordered Records is putting out a 45 with two brand new songs, "Rare Little Creature" and "Self Transforming Machine". A-side; rock'n'roll, B-side; crazy noise, haha.

WC: Your debut album shows a lot sensibilities to sounds and the transforming of sounds that's quite unique. Is it difficult to get that sound live?

HEG: Well, it's not gonna sound exactly like the album live, but we try to come close, it'll be louder and raunchier. People generally think we're better live than on record, and we have octopussies and shit.

WC: Have you brought props with you from the States? Or has it all been confiscated cuz it looked like weird terrorist tools, haha.

HEG: No, unfortunately we couldn't bring any props with us.

WC: Sad. We seen the youtube vids. You're pretty much Do-It-Yourself?

HEG: Yeah, we make everything ourselves. We don't have much choice, haha. We bring the same DIY work ethics into the music as well. We did the cover of our new 7 inch ourselves. Visual art etc. In '95 I saw Teengenerate play and it changed my perspective on punk, I was only 18 but it was an amazing live band, they looked cool and they had this visual aesthetic. I loved the combination.

WC: So you got two guys interviewing's into rock'n'roll and other one is more into avantgarde. So speaking of which, what do you think of Captain Beefheart?

HEG: He's an amazing influence. Especially his drummer John French, and his solo albums. He was probably the most important member in the Magic Band.

WC: Especially on the "Trout Mask Replica" record since he transcribed all the music from Beefheart to the other bandmembers. What about the lyrics on your album, who the hell is "Seymour"?

HEG: That's like a metaphor for somebody that's a fictional prophet, not in a biblical sense, but a spiritual prophet that sees more. Seymour=sees more.

WC: You have this house in Ann Arbor near Detroit called Awesome House...

HEG: Oh, The Totally Awesome, yeah. That was just a show we did in their house with weird bands, punk bands, noise bands, but it's not open anymore. A house like that can only last for less than a year in a college town like Ann Arbor. The lifespan for that kind of thing is short, the cops will close it down or arrest you. In Detroit, the normal clubs are horrible so you make underground clubs in run down places in the ghetto to stay under the radar. The Bohemian National Hall is an amazing place, an abandoned ballroom which people fixed up. It's massive! With everyting from free jazz, improv, rock, punk and films. The underground spots are always way more interesting. Brad is a Northern Soul DJ there, and has a record shop. He was also playing with Easy Action for a bit. Billy is also playing drums with The Paybacks of Detroit, and Johnny doing solo stuff like Functional Fragments, noise synth stuff.

WC: And Timmy also sings in Clone Defects, a bit more 'traditional' Detroit sounding band, with a bit of Stooges and some Dead Boys, "Shapes Of Venus" is an excellent album!

HEG: Thanks. Yeah, stuff like that and old Alice Cooper, Stones, New York Dolls. And I did acid with Danny Doll Rod the other night, haha. But I also like krautrock.

WC: Yeah, Human Eye and krautrock...

HEG: Some have said that our live shows reminded them of Can, I don't think we sound like them, but as a point of reference to 'strange rock', I totally get it.

WC: Any closing remarks?

HEG: Yeah, we hope that more crazy avantgarde dudes will get into us more, as well as the crazy rockin' punkrock dudes!

Human Eye's MySpace Site