Interview: HIDE’s Heather Gabel and Seth Sher on the new album ‘Interior Terror’

“Pain is pretty universal, and I guess that’s something that I think is good for people to see represented. Everything is personable, to a degree, this is why everything I felt in the past years is on this record.”

HIDE’s music is textured, minimal, and powerful, giving raw vulnerability an opportunity to unfurl. Their work is honest, confrontational, and thought-provoking, and with their third album, Interior Terror, the band continue to address and question the corporeal and immaterial body, in a physical and metaphysical sense.

“This record, with the lyrics and with the themes and subjects, it’s more immediate and less considered as a cohesive body of work,” Heather Gabel, one half of the duo that is HIDE, explains. “It’s just a bunch of moments, of unfiltered silvers, of what was on my mind and what was in my body.”

Interior Terror further abandons traditional concepts of song structure in favor of splintered rhythms and fevered, immediate release. 

“With the other records, we played those songs live, they changed, there was a lot of time between when we wrote them and when we recorded,” Gabel explains. “That wasn’t the case this time— we didn’t play live because all of our shows were cancelled. It wasn’t considered in the same way. It’s definitely more immediate and less structured, I didn’t feel like everything had to go together. If something felt right, I just went for it. With being able to play shows, there was more urgency to release them instead of processing over a series of time.”

“Usually, we write the song together in the studio, practice it a bunch a time, and play it live almost immediately,”  bandmate Seth Sher adds. “And as we play it live, things change and over time we have a collection of songs that feel that way, which is why we decided to record them. A lot of the time, the music was just weird that we just worked casually during quarantine. Every few months, we would go into the studio and make a small loop. And then, at some point, we decided we needed to record something.”

“Before, with vocals, I knew what I wanted to do but this time I didn’t. It was more raw, and I loved it. The things that resonate with me usually happen very quickly. It’s like a magnetic pull. It felt more like an impulse, less deliberate crafting,” Gabel says.

The result is a minimal, spacious, and jarring body of work that HIDE decided to record with Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 

“Seth Manchester is so chilled, and non-judgmental, and patient,” Gabel recalls. “When we recorded the first record, it was that same type of relationship— it’s nice to be around someone who feels like they are not even there.” 

Interior Terror faces the current state of our society, touching on experiences of dysphoria and disassociation. 

“I feel pretty affected by the horrors of the world, like often,” Gabel says. “But there’s always that feeling that you have when you see a piece of art or hear music, when something gives you that feeling inside which makes you feel connected to something. That happens to me with every medium. There are things that stop me in my tracks, and if that happens to anyone, that’s incredible.”

Interior Terror is out today, May 28th, via Dais Records.

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