Graphic Tales from the Road:
Interview with Ullrich Hepperlin - Godhead

LillianH · November 11, 2006 8:44 pm

Being completely fascinated with both art and music for as long as I can remember, I was curious as to how many musicians are artists, and how many artists are musicians. Seemed like a natural fit to me, sort of how MTV used to be. I thought it would be interesting to discover which popular artists possess this "Dual Expression of the Creative Mind". It is from that perspective that I began a quest to find artists that use both gifts.

I have talked to many artists on this journey and finally was directed to the band Godhead. In particular, I was told the Bass Player Ullrich Hepperlin [AKA Method] was someone I really needed to talk to. He exemplified the type of musical and artistic expression I was looking for.

So, off I went in hopes that Ullrich would be willing to share both sides of himself and samples of his work with us. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was not only willing to be interviewed, but also had an impressive array of both music and art.

It is my pleasure to be able to introduce you to Ullrich Hepperlin from Godhead.


(Ullrich Hepperlin - Godhead)
Hi Ullrich, I would like for you to meet about 200,000 friends and fellow artists!

Thank you for taking the time to do the interview. I know you and the rest of the band must be pretty busy with the release of your new album due out July 18th. So, I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us.

So, let's get this show on the road!






"Something Real"
Do you prefer to be called Ullrich, Uli, Method or Meth?
Well in my capacity as the programmer / synth and sampler guru of Godhead, I've always went by "method". It seemed like an appropriate handle, especially since no-one could pronounce my real name at the time. Later it turned into the short form "meth" which was inevitably connected with the obvious drug connotations. So for this album, I've decided to go by my real name Ullrich, although my friends still call me Uli (pronounced Oolie).

Who is Ullrich? How would you describe yourself?
A brainiac in the german tradition, scientific and analytical to a fault, dime-store philosopher, smart-ass, seemingly unemotional and calculating. Yet somehow, or maybe because of that, I ended up with a never ending stream of inspiration both musically and visually. I guess art was the only thing that could pierce the thick surface of my personality and tap into my emotional under-ground river. Or...something like that.

Who or what inspires you?
I would say I'm the classic example of a scavenger. Not that I steal, but I get most inspired by roaming my terabytes and terabytes of samples and loops (for music), or stock photography and textures (for art), looking for something to catch my eye (or ear). As in a lot of scavenging work flows, the original piece of inspiration seldom makes it in to the final version of the piece.

Which came first for you, the music or the art?
German born and raised, I came to America at the age of 15 to finish school. I pursued an education in art and design at Corcoran in Washington D.C. (dropped out). Then, hooked up with a band named Godhead on their way to the top, while pursuing a music degree at NOVA college (also dropped out).

Have been writing music, making records, and touring the world with Godhead ever since. All the while padding both my income and my sanity with the occasional art or design project, which landed me a few art director positions at what ever record label we were on at the time.


How did you get started in music?
I guess it would be my neighborhood church in Germany that offered free private lessons in piano, organ, and brass music to supply their nationally acclaimed orchestra with new talent. I ended up a tenor trombonist in the orchestra and toured most of central europe at the age of 13.

How did you get started in graphics?
Well, aside from trying my hand in comic art, or "graphic novels" as we call them in Europe, and a short stint in the shady underground of European grafitti-art, I really started to find my art in digital imaging.

I started with Koala Painter on the Commodore 64 in the Eighties, moved on to Deluxe Paint on the Amiga 500, then to Corel Paint in the nineties, until I discovered Macintosh and a little program called Photoshop 2.0.

Basically, I've always just painted on my computer while all the other kids were playing video games - just got more of a kick out it I guess.


Do you ever listen to music while creating art? If so, do you have a preference of music while you are creating?
Although I see a definite correlation between visual and musical inspiration, I could never successfully combine the two. I prefer complete silence when working on my art, as I prefer to close my eyes when I'm writing music. The only music I can listen to without getting distracted would have to be classical music, maybe since it is so far outside my own capacity for composition. I especially love requiems, Mozart, Vivaldi, Faur鬠Dvorjac, etc., for their unique element of death and finality.

Has any piece of art ever inspired you to create music? If so, what?
I'd love to say yes, but I'd be full of shit. I'm not that kind of an artist.





"Your End of Days"




"Trapped in Your Lies"

What software/equipment do you use and why?
For art, I use the fastest Mac I can get my hands on, and almost exclusively use Photoshop CS. Google is a great tool for finding free images of textures or objects for use in my collages. I try to avoid going out and shooting my own pictures. I've never been a photographer, that's why I had to become so good at Photoshop.

My musical equipment is a bit more sophisticated. Our studio is built around a 32 input / 192 track Protools HD system. Once again, samples and softsynths have all but replaced any physical gear, besides guitars and basses (which are easily plugged in in a moment of inspiration).

I guess in art, as in music, the shortest path between inspiration and a tangible form of expression is key. Hence, all the tools that would never require me to get out of my chair.


What are you currently working on?
I just completed work on our newest Godhead record, "The Shadow Line", as well as production on the original soundtrack for Andy Dick's directorial debut "Danny Roane".

I am currently neck deep in designing the entire visual concept for "The Shadow Line", including all album artwork, photo layouts, adverts, merchandise, video and DVD concepts, and stage concepts. We want everything to come from the same source: an attempt in "perfect continuity". It's gonna be near impossible, but I'm gonna try.

What are your plans for the future?
Touring, touring, and more touring. I'll be lucky if I see my own bed for more than 90 nights this year.

Godhead and "The Shadow Line" has definitely the front burner for the next 18 months.

Any parting advice or "words of wisdom" you would like to share?
I guess, if you can, diversify your artistic outlets as much as possible, so when you get stuck or frustrated on one end, you can switch brain-halves and carry on.

Or, one day combine your diverse talents to create something really unique, maybe even a completely new art form.

And ehh...please buy my record when it comes out on July 18th, 2006!


Please visit Godhead's official website at www.godhead.com

go to www.myspace.com/godhead to hear the latest single

All images within this article are copyright and used with permission from Ullrich Hepperlin.
Any use of these images without written permission from the artist is prohibited.
Music copyrighted by Godhead and may not be redistributed without express written consent.

  Graphic Tales from the Road
Industry News and What's Happening

"Dual Expression of the Creative Mind"
featuring Ullrich Hepperlin from Godhead
Published: April 24, 2006
Lillian Hawkins
Renderosity
Marketing Manager
 

Article Comments


artofmack ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 24 April 2006

Freaken Awesome!

deemarie ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 24 April 2006

Thanks so much Ullrich, for sharing your music and your incredible artwork with us. Outstanding interview Lillian! Dee-Marie

3DSublimeProductions ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 25 April 2006

The interview was very interesting... but OMG I downloaded the music... and Geez... Im hooked. Just absolutely beautiful music. Never listened to Godhead before, Im a country bumpkin lol Great artist all around - Thanks for introducing me to Godhead and Oolie !!

ClintH ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 25 April 2006

Excellent interview. I've been a big fan of Godheads for years. Its nice to get a view into one of the band members. I hope the tour comes through Nashville, TN. Thanks for the interview e! Best of luck with the new CD - I'll be picking up a copy on 7-18-06.

SGT2005 ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 25 April 2006

Wow great interview LH. Hi Ullrich , Great article and read .I too have listen Godhead and cant wait for the new cd to come out.Booked marked your website for future refrence . See you on Tour .

infinity10 ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 26 April 2006

Quite an inspirational individual, a role model especially for young people who are still looking around for something to do with their lives.

DigiKatt ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 26 April 2006

Excellent interview, and great music too!

nickcharles ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 26 April 2006

Having read this interview probably more than 20 times, it's about time I commented :D Simply fantastic interview, Lillian! Ullrich, it is great to get to know you. Your work is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your time and talent with us! Lots of luck on tour and on the visual concepts! This is my first introduction to Godhead, and I absolutely love what I hear! Looking forward to July 18th!

blonderella ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 27 April 2006

Thankyou Ulrich for a glimpse into your creative process and your many talents...it is very inspirational on many levels...I haven't listened to Godhead before now, but you betcha I'll be listening from here on in...INCREDIBLE music!! here's hoping you hit Springfield, MO or thereabouts on tour... outstanding interview Lillian, thankyou.

Korda ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 29 April 2006

GODHEAD!!! ONE OF THE BEST BANDS AROUND WOOHOO AND ON RENDEROSITY TOO EVEN BETTER

Greybro ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 29 April 2006

Interesting article.

WorldbuilderMedia ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 03 May 2006

Very cool. I love the new single. I'm stoked about the new album. e and the band are very talented.