Over the weekend Spindle attended Burger Beach Bash in Coney Island, New York. Brian Hill and the Noh Starrs gave a stellar performance, and after the show we had the pleasure of catching up with Brian Hill himself…
Originally, where are you from? Why did you move to New York?
I’m from Maine, and I moved to New York when I was 15. I moved because of some hard times. I began making music with friends, and then I started doing some modeling. I lived in between New York and Paris for some time. I also lived in Iceland for 9 months, I needed to go somewhere quiet and I had some friends there. One of the bands I was playing with before, we played in Iceland and I made some friends, and they invited me to stay with them.
You currently have a month long residency at Berlin here in New York, how has that been?
It’s been really good, the show has been sold out and it’s every Friday, this upcoming Friday will be the last one. Our next residency will be in LA at the Bootleg Theater, they have a great sound system.
Apart from music, what other artistic mediums do you pursue?
I write a lot and I am also working on experimental synthesizer music.
You’re working on writing a book correct?
I am, it’s the story of a pixel from the point of view of the pixel, and the pixel’s world. There’s going to be an installation piece that goes along with it.
What were you doing before Brian Hill & The Noh Starrs?
I played in a few different bands, as a hired musician. I was working for a company doing sound design, I enjoy doing sound for movies and anything with sound environments.
What did you grow up listening to, and how has that influenced you?
The earliest record that was influential to me just because it was given to me by my dad was a The Who record. Right now I’m really into a record by Ellen Arkbro, it’s a minimal classical record called ‘For Organ and Brass’.
Is animated music videos something you’d like to continue with, such as your video for ‘The New Yorker’?
No, I think that was a one time thing. It was a lot of work, it took about 9 months to finish. Milos Lukacek drew everything by hand on a tablet, then animated everything. In the video the characters are each a member of the band, and there’s this thing in New York that sometimes when you’re walking around and you find yourself in different places, you run into people, even though you’re in a city with millions of people.
Why did you release an LA version and a NY version for “Who Is Who”?
One was recorded mostly in LA and the other in New York. The places where we recorded each is reflected in the songs, one is more laid back and slow, and the other is tense and faster.
Where do you hope to go with your next album?
We are recording the next album in October in London. We had the second album written before we even recorded the first album. The next one will go off in two different directions. We want to focus on writing pop tunes but keep a heavy focus on experimental ideas. So, two opposite ends of the musical spectrum really, to blend them fluidly. We want to make a record that brings you to a different place in each song, write a psychogeography of sorts, a record that exists as a world in itself.
Brian Hill and the Noh Starrs will be releasing their debut EP on August 18th!
Check out the rest of our coverage of the show here~