Interview with composer and musician Hans Arnold

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Composer and musician Hans Arnold mainly playing the drums in the fields of indie, improvised and experimental music. His current focus is on writing and performing original music with the band HOLZIG or in his SOLO project, combining Wurlitzer piano with a standing bass drum, which merges into a single instrument through live.

Looping to create song-like and sound-researching structures. Besides that, he is part of the experimental math band H.C.BEHRENDTSEN or the indietronica band ELEPHANTS ON TAPE.


If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Song-like and sound-researching structures, combining influences from ambient, indie, experimental and improvised music.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into music?

I started with piano lessons taught by my grandmother. Playing the drums began with 14, trying to play along with The Beatles, Aerosmith or Alanis Morrissette. After a while I was drawn into jazz music, recording daily radio features on tapes and visiting summer workshops in Berlin. After school, I did an apprenticeship as a piano builder and started working in Berlin, where I was playing the drums in indie-rock bands or Wurlitzer piano in an acoustic trio with my original music. But I felt like having a lack of time to focus on music, so I moved to the Netherlands to study drums. After that, I settled in Leipzig as a musician and composer, mainly in the fields of indie, improvised and experimental music.

When you compose and produce tracks, do you make music for yourself or do you make it with others in mind?

When I started composing I worked very intuitively, but nowadays I focus on exploring basic limited ideas with certain tracks like special textures, shapes or a pure melody. Back to the question, it´s about music in order to bring it to the people.

What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?

I actually like to reduce my gear on selected materials and preparations to get a certain sound out of the bass drum, which is standing upright, like a timpani. And I prefer to work with analogue effect pedals to alienate the acoustic sounds of the percussion and the Wurlitzer piano.

Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started?

The general approach is the same, but it will always stay work in progress, at least I hope so.

Three favorite tracks of all time?

That´s a very difficult question for me because I have never been someone celebrating a chosen band or a musician as a strong fan. But let's name the composition "Atmosphères" by Ligeti as an extremely sound extending composition for acoustic instruments. The works of the band "Dans les arbres" for space in their music and the textures, they create. The album "The devil, you + me" by the Notwist for assimilating acoustic and electronic sounds in a beautiful and aesthetic way.

What inspires you outside of music?

I guess I get most of my inspiration by surroundings in the form of special places, atmospheres as well as nature and its movements or changes of light. A track of my EP is called "Wide outside". It might sound simple, but just being outdoor has a huge impact on me. I also get a lot of emotional input from literature or film.

What is the best or strangest reaction you've had to your music this far?

A funny one was: "I can hear the dark and the melancholy side, but can you also do something in joy and in major?"

What, in your opinion would be the perfect genre fusion?

Melodic sound art

Do you consider the Internet and social media as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

The internet evolved to a tremendous library which is great and social media certainly helps to promote the music. But to be honest, it´s not my personal favourite way of passing the time.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or releases in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I am entering the studio playing the drums with H.C.Behrendtsen, an experimental math band from Leipzig and Dresden. Looking forward to that!

Follow Hans Arnold online 
Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud

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