Interview with HE IS ME

He is Me

He Is Me is a very new name on the scene. The words themselves may be a little more familiar however, stemming from (or at least inspired by) John Lennon’s immortally surreal lyrics to “I Am the Walrus”. The two guys involved in this project are very experienced as well. Steve Moore and Casey Braunger have each made respective names for themselves in music, but He Is Me’s experimental approach is proving to be something new  altogether. Thanks again to the band for taking the time to respond to this interview.

Hello! Thanks for responding to this interview. How have you guys been lately?

Casey: Been good! Super busy not only getting a few songs ready for release in the very near future, but also writing more tracks for the upcoming album.

Steve: Great, thanks. It’s been fun launching this project.

How might you introduce yourselves to new potential listeners?

Casey: That’s a great question! I often wonder this myself. We each draw influence from so many things – genres, bands, experiences, etc. Really the only way I can describe it is experimental progressive industrial. That’s kind of what it boils down to when it’s all said and done, the main core of our sound.

Steve: Raw industrial drone rock with a dash of Swans for good measure.

Your band name He Is Me is said to have been inspired by the Beatles’ lyrics for “I Am the Walrus”. With that psychedelic reference in mind, it almost feels like the carefree Beatles take on psychedaelia have been darkly inverted here. What was the idea behind this band name? Would you agree with this psychedelic association?

Casey: I’d Absolutely agree with the psychedelic association. “He Is Me” mostly references to our inner selves, the varying levels of conscience and the human experience. We all have another side to ourselves. It’s also intentionally vague allowing the listener to have the opportunity to take from it what they will. As personal as it is for us, we want our fans/listeners to have the opportunity to make it personal for themselves.

Steve: He Is Me actually didn’t come from that quote initially. I just made the connection afterwards and saw the synchronicity, the multiple meanings. Casey first brought up the name with a quote that went “I’ve seen the devil and he is me.” We shortened it and took the meaning to be more universal.

He is Me

Your first-released track “Let It Drip” is ominous and atmospheric — definitely not the sort of thing I’d expect to hear from a would-be single. Do you have anything to say about this song? What’s the inspiration?

Casey: You’re better off not expecting the expected from us. I think this song eludes to that and that’s one of the reasons we lead off with this track as our first single.

Steve: This song is really moreso about the emotion behind the words, and in order to try to connect that way, I find it can be helpful to have elements of repetition, questions with no answers/things that don’t make rational sense. Like a Zen riddle. There are frustrated emotions in “Let It Drip”, but I think that perseverance and fearlessness take hold too. It’s forward motion.

How did He Is Me initially form as a creative unit?

Casey: Steve and I first worked together in 2001 when I asked him to do vocals for one of my earlier tracks for my solo project Textile Arcade. We were both members of an independent artist forum (way before Soundcloud, facebook, and even MySpace). I was a huge fan of his and his band Inner Surge. He agreed to do it and we’ve been friends ever since. Flash forward 15 years and I send him another track that I wanted him to work on and that was (unintentionally) the catalyst for He Is Me. We decided that we wanted to do a project that pushed us outside our respective comfort zones.

This isn’t the first or second project from Steve Moore I’ve heard. Whether it was the Unravelling or Post-Death Soundtrack, one thing I liked was how your familiar industrial palette has been taken in different directions in each of these bands. Compared to the other projects, how might He Is Me compare?

Steve: Thank you! I try to do something different project to project and even song to song as a way to keep myself engaged and in love with it. For He Is Me, Casey has known my voice for a very long time and he really knows how to both write for it and produce it. That changes a project and affects the songs because we’re quite in sync as people and musicians.

He Is Me will focus on mood and ambiance than regular song structures, and will favor raw emotion too.

What’s your songwriting process like? Do you have a lot of material in the pipeline?

Casey: Being almost 1000 miles apart, everything is done online. I’ll start writing some song skeletons, rough ideas, etc. then send them to Steve once I’m comfortable with it. We’ll cull down what works and what doesn’t and from there I’ll work it into more of an actual song. After we feel we have the composition nailed down Steve will begin working on the lyrics. Then he’ll go into the studio to lay down the vocals. Once I get the stems back I begin mixing and really polishing it all. We’ll bounce the mixes back and forth until we both say “That’s it!” And yes, we have quite a few songs in the works at various stages of completion!

What can be expected from the upcoming He Is Me album? Would you say the released song is an accurate sample?

Casey: Like I said, expect the unexpected! While we definitely have a “sound”, we really want to explore with He Is Me; really do things that we haven’t done before in our other projects. With that said, a HUGE challenge is to not go too far out into the weeds and to remain consistent to a degree. We’ve already scrapped quite a few tracks that were just too…not us. It’s a balancing act to be sure.

Steve: I’m just starting to get an idea of what to expect, myself, but it’s definitely going to be a heavy trip. Not for everybody.


What are your ultimate hopes for He Is Me as a project?

Casey: In all honesty, for me, it’s a personal endeavor, my ultimate hope is that it doesn’t get stale or begin to feel like work.  And of course, as a musician, nothing is more satisfying than having people come out of the woodwork and say how much they love what you’re doing. We’ve already had such a hugely positive response and an outpouring of new fans. It’s really been energizing and is confirmation that what we’re doing resonates with people. Hopefully we can continue that trend.

Steve: I’d love for many more people to be on board and awaiting new music. Right now we’re focused on building our following and letting people know we’re here. Keep growing is the feeling right now!

Do you have any bigger plans for the future?

Casey: Right now, our biggest plan is to steadily release new music and soon a full length EP.

The last words are yours.

All the best.

Steve: Thanks Conor!


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