|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
Hi Ullrich, I would like for you to meet about 200,000
friends and fellow artists!
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
(Ullrich Hepperlin -
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!
|Do you prefer to be called Ullrich, Uli, Method or
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
Who is Ullrich? How would you describe
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
Which came first for you, the music or the
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
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
I'd love to say yes, but I'd be full of shit. I'm not that kind of
"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
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
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,
Please visit Godhead's official website at www.godhead.com
go to www.myspace.com/godhead to hear the latest
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
Music copyrighted by Godhead and may not be redistributed without
express written consent.
||Graphic Tales from the
Industry News and What's Happening
"Dual Expression of the Creative Mind"
featuring Ullrich Hepperlin from Godhead
Published: April 24, 2006