Named after a farm in Germany where one of the nation’s “most gruesome,” unsolved murders went down in 1922, Hinterkaifeck are a couple of deranged Australians who play a dangerous, untamed brand of punkened black metal. Consider their four-song demo Kak a deadly weapon and we’re all of its victims.
E, Hinterkaifeck’s drummer and vocalist tells us: “We are just two blokes who enjoy a ciggie or two on the occasion. O [Hinterkaifeck’s guitarist] broke his hand punching a sign and then we decided to set up my drum kit in the loungeroom of the house we lived in at the time. I think it was around mid-2018. The house was a mountain-side shitbox located in Bardon, West Brisbane. We also worked at a plywood factory together when my normal line of work froze up for a bit. That was kinda what led up to the genesis of Hinterkaifeck.”
E goes on to say that Hinterkaifeck came upon their violent sound naturally. “A lot of genres can be over-crowded in a sense,” he says. “I think we just wanted to play music we liked listening to. Obviously, we wear our influences on our sleeve but it’s the idea of manipulating/mastering simplicity that really drives us as a band.”
“Basically we’d been jamming for a while and had a few songs ready, then we got offered to play a show and had to come up with a name in a bit of a rush,” O says. “I’d written a song on my own that I wanted to name ‘Hinterkaifeck’ because of how damn creepy I thought the murders were, so I guess going off that with a bit of urgency we decided to name what we were doing Hinterkaifeck.”
Technically this is one of those Demo:listens with an asterisk beside it because Hinterkaifeck released a live promo tape last year before the inhumane treatment that is their Kak.
The live promo tape according to E “was recorded in June of 2019 somewhere in Brisbane’s suburban sprawl. It was a very weird time as we didn’t think we would be using [those] recordings for an actual release. My long-time friend Tristan who runs Minimal Impact collaborated with me to get an initial run of 42 out and about. I went through a lot of my town’s thrift stores (we call them ‘op shops’) buying tapes so we could recycle them and have Tristan dub them himself. Minimal Impact is primarily a noise/experimental label, so it was a bit of a new thing for both him and I. Minimal Impact has also done a run of shirts for Hinterkaifeck that came out killer. He did all the layout and distribution once Lloyd turned in the illustrations. Tristan is a true DIY gem who deserves more recognition especially in my town/country. It was a bit of a learning curve but I’m grateful for the experience. I hope that the promo tape will have legs as I’m super proud of it as a first release. I learnt a lot from the general reception. Was pretty different seeing people’s reactions both positive and negative.”
With the first recording jitters out of the way, Hinterkaifeck had a better idea of how to go about capturing the insanity of their sound for their true demo.
E says because Kak wasn’t recorded live he and O “didn’t have the pressure of fucking up as much” hanging over their heads. He continues to explain how they produced Kak: “We recorded it in our friend’s loungeroom. Elliot Randall of Blue Savannah Underworld helped us record and mix it all. All very basic setup. Was lucky to be at that current set up as we got ejected from our previous space for being cowards. At the end of the day we scraped by with what we could do/get done. I’ve known Elliot since 2010 so it was a natural and a really easy flowing experience despite me being very difficult at times. The end result came out far beyond our initial plans or expectations.”
O says if there’s a song that best represents their sound, it would be Kak’s opener, “Incorrigible,” because “it’s definitely got the riffs that I’m the most proud of, especially the use of slower, angrier riffs towards the end. It’s the sort of thing I love listening to.”
But E feels like their sound is best represent somewhere in the “mix between ‘Subterrane’ and ‘Kak.’ Hard for me to choose.” E goes on to discuss the demo’s title track: “I played guitar while O played the drums when we wrote this. I play everything on the actual recording itself tho. This song was made completely upon improvisation. We swapped instruments and I rigged the mic standing up. I managed to snag a rough recording during the initial birthing. I listened to it for months so that when it came time to record, there would be no issues. Very happy with how it came out. I can say there is a bit of Carved Cross influence showing up. Especially with how the drums are sequenced with those basic beats and all. Or that’s what we at least had in mind when we were coming up with it. It’s a good send off for the demo in my opinion.”
As for ‘Subterrane,’ O says, “‘Subterrane’ was the product of a jam where we decided to get a bit more of a death metally influence. We wrote it pretty quickly and took influence from heaps of different places which is why it changes so much throughout the song.”
E agrees that “Subterrane” was “fun to write.” He says, “We wanted to do a more streamlined black metal song with death metal influences. I guess the end product came out pretty different from what was initially thought up. We borrowed a lot from black metal bands that have more or less rock‘n’roll sections. The use of the same riffs repeated in different tempos really is a barn burner for me. I froth that kind of stuff.”
E goes on to explain the artwork for Kak: “Lloyd Goudie did art for both of the demos. The art for Kak was all really Lloyd’s magik. He is a fucking wizard and I recommend him to do your tattoos and band artwork. He has also done artwork for bands like Self Harm, Meth Christ and Hurricane Death. Also does band flyers for shows. More recently Necrot played in Brisbane and he conjured up a killer flyer for that. The man is talented. I didn’t exactly have any clear direction so he really helped speed up the idea process for the illustrations for the latest demo. The art in my opinion really matches the compositions and atmosphere of the release especially the last two songs. For the promo tape I had the direction already thought out. Basing it off the term ‘New boomers with Concubines at Amberley.’ Originally the first demo was going to be called this. However, the board didn’t approve of this title. The imagery is influenced heavily by Fallout: New Vegas while borrowing elements off myriad other things like black metal culture to movies like The Road, etc. while still retaining that original basis off ‘New Boomers with Concubines at Amberley. There is an Australian Army Airforce Base located in Amberley outside Brisbane. I think what the art represents is up to whoever to decide.”
Regarding the global situation that’s locked all of us indoors, O says, “Over here in Australia the pandemic hasn’t hit us too badly, the only thing that’s changed has been the restrictions, due to this there’s been no shows for a while and no more in the foreseeable future, which really sucks,” E says. “We were also lucky while recording as over here we’re only allowed 2 guests at a house at one time, lucky we’re a 2-piece,” he laughs. “Hopefully it all blows over soon enough and everything can return to normal though.”
E agrees: “Yeah it really fucked up the whole show thing but honestly I think out of anything it has made us more efficient during this time anyway. Just chuffed we got to play a show with Self Harm in January before all this flu stuff hit. They are the best band in Australia. Oh, also forgot to mention the guitarist of SH does some additional vocals on track 2 ‘Revenge of Oedipus.’ He also used to sing for now defunct Perth powerviolence band Suffer. RIP.”
Kak comes out today on casssette from the burgeoning stateside tape label Nihilist Noise Propaganda. E explains how Hinterkaifeck came to work with the American label. “I noticed that a band called Acwelan was getting mentioned here and there on the web. I decided to suss the label they were on and discovered that NNP was a fresh entity in the scheme of things. This prompted me to contact them. Since that we have worked together to produce a reissue of the promo tape and now the release of our new demo Kak. Which sold out in pre-orders in like 2 or 3 days. Nihilistic Noise Propaganda is definitely one of the more formidable and diverse examples of newer labels in the black metal macrocosm. The guy who runs it works hard and it shows through his current discography. Also really happy to have our tape co-released with BLUNT FORCE HEAD TRAUMA. He is also from Brisbane and is a mate of mine. Pretty strange that two Brisbane acts are getting released in unison on an American label on the same day as David Attenborough’s birth.”
Yes the demo is already sold-out, but the band says there will be a repress. Additionally, Hinterkaifeck reveal that they “have a threeway split with Burier and Forest Temple around the corner,” and they’re “working on a vinyl release with Not Kvlt Records,” as well. They say, “So got a bit of a busy rest of the year which is awesome considering the amount of weakness going on right now.”
Once life returns to normal Hinterkaifeck say that aside from releasing new material, they want to play a show with a local band called Oratory. “They’ve been around for a bit now but I still haven’t seen them in the flesh and we are friends with Josh who does bass/vox for them,” E says. “Even with the differentiation in style I would still love to be on a bill with them soon. Their other guitarist/vocalist Nath also runs a channel called Consuming Impulse where he interviews various musicians and people. I am hoping we can play with them as soon as social distancing is changed.”
Hinterkaifeck are the real deal and you heard ‘em here first on Demo:listen.