Contributor’s Note: Out of London, United Kingdom comes a band that incorporates goth, industrial and a whole lot of rock into their music. J of Her Despair sat down with William of Madness To Creation to discuss their music, their influences and mental health awareness. They have released a music video for “The Exorcism” off of “Exorcisms for Eroticism”. Fans can find HER DESPAIR at the following locations:
William: Hello and thank you for the interview. Could you start by introducing yourself and tell the readers a bit about Her Despair?
J: We are HER DESPAIR – a six piece gothic rock band based near London UK, formed 2015. We comprise of myself, J, singing, Dan and Jord playing guitars, Vikki on bass, Lee behind the drums and Toby on keyboards. In 2015 we released our debut album “Hymns For the Hopeless,” followed by 2018’s “Mournography” EP. We have just released our latest opus of goth rock anthems, entitled “Exorcisms of Eroticism.” We’re amazed and flattered by the reception it has had so far, and feel it truly encapsulates the current evolution of the band.
William: Where does the name of the band come from?
J: I went through a few different ideas for names before settling on HER DESPAIR. Originally It was going to be Tears of Heaven, then As She Drowns in Her Despair. That felt too lengthy, so it was shortened, and here we are.
William: The new EP is “Exorcisms For Eroticism.” The sound definitely appears more refined and polished but from your perspective, what’s the difference in any regard?
J: From the ground up we approached the songwriting with a different perspective, in that we wanted the record to have an overall “goth pop” sound. Something that was true to our previous output and what we want to achieve as a band, but also something fresh, with a focus on melodies you can dance to, and singalong moments. It’s all draped in endless shades of black, but I think there’s an uncanny sense of uplifting optimism buried within the drama as well.
William: It seems that there could be a variety of influences going on in the sound. It stands to reason as there are a number of members in the group. Can you talk about the different influences?
J: We have fairly diverse music tastes between us, so there are plenty of different influences at play. We’re a goth rock band, but there are elements of punk, metal, doom and so on involved. In terms of overall band influences; the Sisters of Mercy, Rammstein and Misfits.
William: You just released a video for “The Exorcism.” Can you talk about that a bit?
J: We had a great time shooting with Scott Chalmers over two days in the haunted city of Southampton UK. The video is a perfect visual accompaniment to the song, and we think Scott did a wonderful job. There’s all sorts of dark imagery going on, and it’s suitably dramatic.
William: Are there any tracks you’ve written that were especially difficult emotionally? Are there any that because of that reason, you refuse to play live?
J: They are all tales of tragedy.
William: What do you have planned after the EP release?
J: We’ve got a celebration hometown show in early December, and then we’re on to 2020
William: You seem to deal a lot with religious themes but not necessarily in a condescending or disrespectful way. Why the interest?
J: The songs are all fundamentally about religion and sex, which are the two subjects that sit most appropriately with our music. Both topics conjure such emotive imagery, so they’re wonderful concepts to approach from a lyrical perspective.
William: Madness To Creation is geared toward mental health awareness. What do you guys do to stay mentally healthy?
J: I suppose it’s important to pause and reflect from time to time, and appreciate what you have, and not worry about what you don’t.
And there you have it! On Friday, December 6th, Her Despair will be performing at Ambrose Place in Reading, United Kingdom. For tickets and further information on the gig listed above, click here.