As with all HorrorPops shows, the energy is turned up to max and there is no shortage of visuals. Vocalist Patricia Day commands centre stage with her massive stand-up bass. Guitarist Kim Nekroman races from side to side with confidence pouring out of every chord while the activities are anchored by Henrik Niedermeier on drums. Adding to the craziness are dancers Rita-tah and The Killing making it very difficult to know where to look --- there's so much going on. And then there's the songs, of course. Fans will be happy to hear all the favorites from the band's three records that make up this 68-minute show.
Trailer for "Live at the Wiltern"
After having talked to Patricia and Kim several times in the past, it was interesting to hear from Henrik this time around. The interview was conducted by email as Henrik has since relocated back to Denmark.
antiMusic: I guess the first obvious question is, the true "horror" of the situation is there has not been any big news from HorrorPops for 13 years --- 13 for records and 9 for any substantial touring. What the heck have you guys been up to in the interim?
Henrik: Wait... what... No way.... 13 years? Time flies. I relocated back to Copenhagen from LA about 9 years ago. Met a girl, had a kid and been working as a free-lance video editor and sound guy. Kim has been busy with Nekromantix and Trish has been busy making dresses and stuff like that...
antiMusic: Have you been keeping your chops up / practicing as a band at all during the break?
Henrik: As band we haven't played together since the last tour (2020) and before that we had not played together for 9 years. As I said earlier Kim been playing with Nekromantix so he's in pretty good shape. I have been playing and recording with my old band Strawberry Slaughterhouse and been a replacement tour drummer for bands like The Brains and 69 Cats... Trish has been singing Karaoke bars all over southern California (BUAHAHAHA)
antiMusic: "Live at the Wiltern" is from several shows that you did last year. Why did you decide to record / release this particular show?
Henrik: It's the freakin' Wiltern and the biggest show we ever played as a headliner, so why the hell not....
antiMusic: Like a lot of live performances, the music on some songs is a bit faster than on the record, like "Kool Flat Top" & "Ghouls". Was this due to the energy of the crowd or do you just generally amp up the songs live?
Henrik: Well... I guess it's my fault. I get a little carried away and count in the song too fast.
antiMusic: The set list is really a good representation of your three records. With lots of fan-favorites, is it a chore putting together the songs you do live or are the choices fairly obvious?
Henrik: I think it's a mix of fan favorites and our own favorites...
antiMusic: "Julia" from the debut record kicks off the live set and is as good a signature song from HorrorPops as any. Is this a perennial opener?
Henrik: I think it always has been... It's the first song we ever recorded together.
antiMusic: "S.O.B." was sort of a left-turn for people that were expecting the more psychobilly-flavored rock from the first record. This country-flavored song is an excellent shift in the set to showcase that the band is far from one-dimensional. How important is a song like this in the set list?
Henrik: We like to be kind of multi flavoured. We like everything in between Motorhead and Dolly Parton and after playing 5 or 6 fast songs it just feels good to turn down the BPM for a bit. And I love that song and Trish sings it great I think...
antiMusic: Like "Julia" as an opener, I can't think of a better closer than "Where They Wander". Describe what this song means to the band in terms of its importance in the set.
Henrik: It's always good to shut down with a good singalong... I can't breathe for minutes after all the damn OH OH OH OH OH'S.
antiMusic: One of my favorite songs is "Psychobitches Outta Hell". I think it was this song that started some small mosh pits when I saw you last. What are some of the songs that bring out the beast most in the crowd? And also, the band?
Henrik: I think "Kool Flat Top" and "Ghouls" are the ones, but I've been seeing mosh pits for songs like "MissTake" too.
antiMusic: You started playing with Patricia in when she was playing guitar. Since there is usually a symbiotic relationship between bass players and drummers, was there a feeling out period when she started playing bass in HorrorPops or did the personal connection speed up the adjustment?
Henrik: Not a problem at all... I've known and recorded with Trish way before the HorrorPops started. We have a pretty good pocket together.
antiMusic: You are an important part of the sound during recordings, especially in the demo part of the process. How much time do you spend with the live set-up end of things? What's your background in this?
Henrik: My background is in recording studios and film set's. I've been in the industry since I was 17... I went to film school in Denmark, but have always been most interested in recording and mixing music... With The HorrorPops we have a fairly simple set that runs our in-ear monitors. We have had it for years so we hardly do any tweaking anymore. It works well!
antiMusic: Patricia has said that you do most of the high vocal parts. Is it hard for you to combine both for the live shows?
Henrik: For me singing is the most vital part of playing music. Drums and singing are the base of it all.
antiMusic: You were part of Strawberry Slaughterhouse which achieved great success in your native Denmark. From there you were part of Peanut Pump Gun with Patricia. What were some of the highlights of those bands?
Henrik: I was never a part of PPG other than recording the demo's that got them signed and that I think was a highlight in itself. A lot of my good friends were in that band. It was about the same as Strawberry Slaughterhouse were active and some of the highlights were playing a tour in Japan and Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Being arrested for debauchery and hitting the front pages of the tabloids in Denmark. (BUAAAHAHAHAHA)
antiMusic: HorrorPops emigrated to the U.S. in the mid '2000's. You were initially drawn by the country's enthusiasm for music-makers compared to Denmark. After living here for a decade, what are your impressions of the country now?
Henrik: I love the US... The diversity of people, the culture, everything. But I was also in a kind of shock the last time I was there, seeing all the homeless people in the streets all over... I don't want to be political, but that was kind of scary.
antiMusic: The band has not committed to new music but surely new riffs and ideas must have come to light during sound checks and practices. Do you expect a new record to come from HorrorPops in the near future? (Please say Yes!)
Henrik: Do I expect a new HP record.... Yeah I do.
antiMusic: How did you land on "Niedermeier" as your stage name?
Henrik: I f***ing hate that name... It was a joke name given to me by StoiKopf from Strawberry Slaughterhouse back in our early days and has stuck with me ever since. But after many years of hardcore psycho-therapy I've come to accept it.
antiMusic: Have you got a replacement for Clyde (I think that was the name of your old faithful van???)?
Henrik: We have had a huge RV we and Nekromantix have been touring in for a long time now.
antiMusic: I guess in closing, can I get a "Hell Yeah"?
Henrik: HELL YEAH
Morley and antiMusic thank Henrik for taking the time to do this interview.
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