After reviewing two of Lights Out, God Help Me's albums, Joseph Yerka contacted me for an interview with the site. Having appreciated his musical efforts and loving a lot of the darker themes contained within his past two albums, I was interested in what he might have to say. And the results were beyond interesting. Read on to find out more about this self-loathing man.

Well, for starters, give us a little detail about yourself.

Joseph - "I'm just some idiot that makes industrial music, but some people say it's not industrial. What the fuck is industrial anymore? I'm just some idiot with bad humor and the slight luck of people actually purchasing this music on occasion."

That's a pretty good explanation of yourself. Now, as far as music goes, when did you first discover industrial?

Joseph - "I think my answer is the same as pretty much everyone else. In high school. I went into high school in 2001, I'm 26 now, and, pretty much everyone runs in KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails first. That's the general, that's what people run into first. And I don't even remember how I ran into :Wumpscut: or Combichrist very soon after that, which are kinda like complete polar opposites of one another and of KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails. So, I just started listening to that and getting more and more into that. Then I started listening to a lot of Psyclon Nine. That's where I really started to get heavily into it because I absolutely adore Psyclon's kickdrums. They're pretty much aggrotech or Terror EBM but they're like the big name of that part of Industrial. So, from there I just went off and started listening to everything with terror banana vocals. And then somewhere along the lines I went back to Combichrist which is just the deeper vocals again. And then a couple years ago when someone, because I've been making music since I was about 19, said that I was making powernoise. And I said, "What's powernoise?" So, then I started delving into that. If you looked at a road map of how I started listening to industrial it would look like someone who's lost and trying to find where the fuck they're going cause it's not a straight line at all. I started listening to one thing, zig zagged over here, looped over there, backtrack and, finally, now, I kind of have shit figured out a little bit."

You said you started making music at 19. What did you first start experimenting with and how did that go?

Joseph - "It's pretty much almost the same thing for anyone that's around my age, that started making music around the same time. We went to SuperNova back when that existed, before PirateBay or anything, got us a copy of FruityLoops and figured out how to make 4/4 kickdrums. And, everything just kinda sounded like a programmed Casio keyboard, cause I didn't know what I was doing."

Did you have any projects before Lights Out, God Help Me, or has it always just been Lights Out, God Help Me?

Joseph - "It's really always been the same project but it had a couple of different names first. Originally, I believe the name of it was Saint Fuckface. It was the first one I had. And I dropped it after I said, 'That's retarded.' And then it became Tarman which is the original zombie you see in Return of the Living Dead. It comes out of the barrel. So, I named it Tarman. Then, after that, it became Lights Out, God Help Me. And, actually, if you troll around and you look for Lights Out, God Help Me MP3s on Google, you'll find early ones that have the Tarman Prophecies as the name of the album."

Where exactly did the name Lights Out, God Help Me come from?

Joseph - "It's from an H.P. Lovecraft story. It's the Crawler in the dark, I think that's the name of it, or maybe it's the Haunter in the Dark, one of those, I haven't read it in a while. But there's this dude who's sitting there and there's this thing that's coming to get him that can only come when there's absolutely zero light. Even a tiny bit of light will fuck with it. And he's sitting there, basically writing that he's gonna die over and over and over, and then the power goes out, and he writes, 'Lights out, God help me.' And I thought it sounded kinda cool."

Was Lights Out, God Help Me always powernoise, like people said, or did you experiment so much that you could be considered a conglomeration of everything and anything.

Joseph - "Powernoise is just the closest thing that fits to it. Because, when you were reviewing Nemesis, you were saying there was trancey shit in there, in Severity, it has that really hard trance line. Hunt You Down is just this video game soundtrack type thing. And, the first song that really got popular anywhere had a lot of synths in it. I was reading a YouTube video comment where someone had uploaded one of my songs and someone just said it sounded like it was music from the game Killing Floor. Which, it really doesn't, but that's besides the point. So, I just started calling it Killing Floor. Because it sounds good and aesthetics are everything. And, so, I've just been calling it Killing Floor."

I noticed a lot of your songs have either video game samples or horror movie samples. I think I recall the one samples from one of your songs came from Twisted Metal: Black using Dollface. I'm a huge fan of that series, but do you think that all those horror movies and games influenced a lot of your songs?

Joseph - "Kind of. Because the tonality on most everything is really dark. Off the top of my head, I can think about two songs that don't use dark tonality. And they're both off of Losing Sleep, and those are Get Excited and Adventure. Everything else has always been dark. I have a dark sense of humor that was kind of formed by Freddy Kruger-like things. That definitely done stuff to my head to where I go places when I make music. And if you think the samples are bad, my early albums, cause Losing Sleep is actually my fourth album and you've reviewed Nemesis and Losing Sleep, but before that there was Pain For Fame and Lies and the amount of samples that are just thrown in there are almost embarrassing now."

Do you ever play live at all? Or do you mainly stick with keeping it up online? Or do you even have plans for playing live gigs?

Joseph - "I'm not sure how playing live would even work because I literally just make everything in a DAW. And there's little to no vocals on everything. So, I think the equivalent of me playing live would just be walk out, press the button, and then leave, and get the check. And I have fucking terrible stage fright so that would probably never go anywhere."

Do you ever have plans to get vocals? I know you were saying you got inspired by albums, a lot of terror banana vocals, but do you ever have plans to insert your own into your songs?

Joseph - "I actually have a couple of covers up on my SoundCloud that have vocals in them. I did a cover of Ich Will by Rammstein. And that has kinda Terror Banana vocals, but you have to speak German to understand it. There's also a Back Street Boys cover up on SoundCloud, I gotta give you a link to that. Because, it's better to commit career suicide before i have a career, right? But, my next album that's in the works right now, I'm working on three songs right now, and all three have vocals in them, actual complete vocals."

Are they taking on the screamo-distorted route?

Joseph - "Mostly. Because I hate the sound of my own voice, so if I distort it enough I don't recognize it as my own voice and I don't automatically hate it."

And then it sounds pretty.

Joseph - "Exactly. Then it sounds good."

With your new album, are you going to be tackling any themes in it or are you just going for sheer horror aesthetic?

Joseph - "It's basically whatever comes to me as I'm writing it. The three song titles that are being made are Two Can Keep a Secret, Low, and Gojira, if that says anything."

When can we expect that to be released? Is it still in the early phases of developing, or are you still in the early phases of developing?

Joseph - "It's gonna be early, first-quarter 2014. I have a thing where, and here's part of Losing Sleep that I find hilarious. Up until about a month before Losing Sleep was out, I only had like four songs made off it. I gave myself a deadline, and completed a good three quarters of the album in about a month. It'll probably be around the end of February or the beginning of March because that's when I tend to put things out.And the I'll have other shit that'll come out near the end of the year, too."

Record labels concerned, do you have any plans on getting signed or do you have any plans to get CDs pressed, or are you going to stick to digital distribution?

Joseph - "Digital's gonna be mainly what I'm gonna be doing. I do plan, if I got the fundage appropriated, to try and get at least a small amount of physical copies for the next album. I at least, at some point, wanna get a physical copy of each of the albums I made just to own them, so I can just put them up on my wall and say, 'I did this. This is mine.' People have kids and they're like, 'I made this.' You can have your child. I have this CD on the wall. It's a lot less expensive."

I do recall you telling me that there's two of you. Is that correct?

Joseph - "No, it's actually just me."

Do you ever have any help come in or no?

Joseph - "I've gotten help from various people. The main one is my buddy Meredith, also known as Doc. He did that remix of Losing Sleep that you didn't like. And the reason it was so quiet was because he was drunk and sent me the wrong wave file about five hours before the album went live. That was his fuck up. And on his SoundCloud, he posted the remix where it's actually the correct tempo and it's loud enough and everything. And, I was like, 'You're a dick.' And he said, 'No, I was drunk.' Same thing. And, I'm actually in another band with him that we're recording an album for. It's called Quarantine Crush. And, it's industrial-rock, industrial-metal, so I get to play around with guitar samples and be happy."

In this other project, are you as much involved in it as you are Lights Out, God Help Me?

Joseph - "Oh, Lights Out, God Help Me is my baby, it always will be. But I am heavily involved in Quarantine crush. The way it works with Quarantine Crush is that I'll have Doc record a ton of guitars and just label the BPMs on them and just send them over. And then I'll write some lyrics down, put the tracking together, mix the drums and put them over and then send them over to him and he'll fuck around with everything. So, it's really fifty-fifty between us, whereas Lights Out, God Help Me is my main focus."

I know you have a few remixes on your own albums, but do you ever do remixes for other projects?

Joseph - "Yea. I do when I get the chance and it's something I want to remix. Before I did a cover of Bury You Alive I did a remix of Bury You Alive. I've done remixes of Android Lust, I did one for Death Grips, I did one for Tweaker for their last album because they put out a remix album that I was trying to get on, and that didn't work out too good. I remix stuff if I think I can add something new to it. But, there's some stuff that's good as it is and I can't add anything to it to add my own flare or improve or take it somewhere else."

Yea, cause you said you did a cover of the Backstreet Boys. Do you enjoy to fuck around with that shit just to show Lights Out, God Help Me isn't all hardcore and that there is some light to it?

Joseph - "Definitely. Something I posted on Twitter recently was that every time I go to take myself seriously, I just have to remind myself that I did a Backstreet Boys cover."

You pretty much answered everything I have to ask, so, as a final question, or even statement, do you wanna say anything to your fans or listeners or tell anyone to die and go fuck themselves?

Joseph - "Well, first of all, if you listen to this stuff and you're a fan, why?"

Well, that's a good way to support yourself.

Joseph - "But, seriously, thank you for listening. The new Lights Out, God Help Me will be out in a couple of months. And if I don't get too busy and Doc doesn't get too drunk, the new Quarantine Crush will come out in a few months. I'll try and sweet talk Steve here into reviewing that as well. Cause Lord knows he's gonna review Arsenal when it comes out. That's the nickname of the new Lights Out, God Help Me, by the way. That should be out probably end of February, end of March."
Lights Out, God Help Me interview
January 22, 2014
Brutal Resonance

Lights Out, God Help Me

Jan 2014
After reviewing two of Lights Out, God Help Me's albums, Joseph Yerka contacted me for an interview with the site. Having appreciated his musical efforts and loving a lot of the darker themes contained within his past two albums, I was interested in what he might have to say. And the results were beyond interesting. Read on to find out more about this self-loathing man.

Well, for starters, give us a little detail about yourself.

Joseph - "I'm just some idiot that makes industrial music, but some people say it's not industrial. What the fuck is industrial anymore? I'm just some idiot with bad humor and the slight luck of people actually purchasing this music on occasion."

That's a pretty good explanation of yourself. Now, as far as music goes, when did you first discover industrial?

Joseph - "I think my answer is the same as pretty much everyone else. In high school. I went into high school in 2001, I'm 26 now, and, pretty much everyone runs in KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails first. That's the general, that's what people run into first. And I don't even remember how I ran into :Wumpscut: or Combichrist very soon after that, which are kinda like complete polar opposites of one another and of KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails. So, I just started listening to that and getting more and more into that. Then I started listening to a lot of Psyclon Nine. That's where I really started to get heavily into it because I absolutely adore Psyclon's kickdrums. They're pretty much aggrotech or Terror EBM but they're like the big name of that part of Industrial. So, from there I just went off and started listening to everything with terror banana vocals. And then somewhere along the lines I went back to Combichrist which is just the deeper vocals again. And then a couple years ago when someone, because I've been making music since I was about 19, said that I was making powernoise. And I said, "What's powernoise?" So, then I started delving into that. If you looked at a road map of how I started listening to industrial it would look like someone who's lost and trying to find where the fuck they're going cause it's not a straight line at all. I started listening to one thing, zig zagged over here, looped over there, backtrack and, finally, now, I kind of have shit figured out a little bit."

You said you started making music at 19. What did you first start experimenting with and how did that go?

Joseph - "It's pretty much almost the same thing for anyone that's around my age, that started making music around the same time. We went to SuperNova back when that existed, before PirateBay or anything, got us a copy of FruityLoops and figured out how to make 4/4 kickdrums. And, everything just kinda sounded like a programmed Casio keyboard, cause I didn't know what I was doing."

Did you have any projects before Lights Out, God Help Me, or has it always just been Lights Out, God Help Me?

Joseph - "It's really always been the same project but it had a couple of different names first. Originally, I believe the name of it was Saint Fuckface. It was the first one I had. And I dropped it after I said, 'That's retarded.' And then it became Tarman which is the original zombie you see in Return of the Living Dead. It comes out of the barrel. So, I named it Tarman. Then, after that, it became Lights Out, God Help Me. And, actually, if you troll around and you look for Lights Out, God Help Me MP3s on Google, you'll find early ones that have the Tarman Prophecies as the name of the album."

Where exactly did the name Lights Out, God Help Me come from?

Joseph - "It's from an H.P. Lovecraft story. It's the Crawler in the dark, I think that's the name of it, or maybe it's the Haunter in the Dark, one of those, I haven't read it in a while. But there's this dude who's sitting there and there's this thing that's coming to get him that can only come when there's absolutely zero light. Even a tiny bit of light will fuck with it. And he's sitting there, basically writing that he's gonna die over and over and over, and then the power goes out, and he writes, 'Lights out, God help me.' And I thought it sounded kinda cool."

Was Lights Out, God Help Me always powernoise, like people said, or did you experiment so much that you could be considered a conglomeration of everything and anything.

Joseph - "Powernoise is just the closest thing that fits to it. Because, when you were reviewing Nemesis, you were saying there was trancey shit in there, in Severity, it has that really hard trance line. Hunt You Down is just this video game soundtrack type thing. And, the first song that really got popular anywhere had a lot of synths in it. I was reading a YouTube video comment where someone had uploaded one of my songs and someone just said it sounded like it was music from the game Killing Floor. Which, it really doesn't, but that's besides the point. So, I just started calling it Killing Floor. Because it sounds good and aesthetics are everything. And, so, I've just been calling it Killing Floor."

I noticed a lot of your songs have either video game samples or horror movie samples. I think I recall the one samples from one of your songs came from Twisted Metal: Black using Dollface. I'm a huge fan of that series, but do you think that all those horror movies and games influenced a lot of your songs?

Joseph - "Kind of. Because the tonality on most everything is really dark. Off the top of my head, I can think about two songs that don't use dark tonality. And they're both off of Losing Sleep, and those are Get Excited and Adventure. Everything else has always been dark. I have a dark sense of humor that was kind of formed by Freddy Kruger-like things. That definitely done stuff to my head to where I go places when I make music. And if you think the samples are bad, my early albums, cause Losing Sleep is actually my fourth album and you've reviewed Nemesis and Losing Sleep, but before that there was Pain For Fame and Lies and the amount of samples that are just thrown in there are almost embarrassing now."

Do you ever play live at all? Or do you mainly stick with keeping it up online? Or do you even have plans for playing live gigs?

Joseph - "I'm not sure how playing live would even work because I literally just make everything in a DAW. And there's little to no vocals on everything. So, I think the equivalent of me playing live would just be walk out, press the button, and then leave, and get the check. And I have fucking terrible stage fright so that would probably never go anywhere."

Do you ever have plans to get vocals? I know you were saying you got inspired by albums, a lot of terror banana vocals, but do you ever have plans to insert your own into your songs?

Joseph - "I actually have a couple of covers up on my SoundCloud that have vocals in them. I did a cover of Ich Will by Rammstein. And that has kinda Terror Banana vocals, but you have to speak German to understand it. There's also a Back Street Boys cover up on SoundCloud, I gotta give you a link to that. Because, it's better to commit career suicide before i have a career, right? But, my next album that's in the works right now, I'm working on three songs right now, and all three have vocals in them, actual complete vocals."

Are they taking on the screamo-distorted route?

Joseph - "Mostly. Because I hate the sound of my own voice, so if I distort it enough I don't recognize it as my own voice and I don't automatically hate it."

And then it sounds pretty.

Joseph - "Exactly. Then it sounds good."

With your new album, are you going to be tackling any themes in it or are you just going for sheer horror aesthetic?

Joseph - "It's basically whatever comes to me as I'm writing it. The three song titles that are being made are Two Can Keep a Secret, Low, and Gojira, if that says anything."

When can we expect that to be released? Is it still in the early phases of developing, or are you still in the early phases of developing?

Joseph - "It's gonna be early, first-quarter 2014. I have a thing where, and here's part of Losing Sleep that I find hilarious. Up until about a month before Losing Sleep was out, I only had like four songs made off it. I gave myself a deadline, and completed a good three quarters of the album in about a month. It'll probably be around the end of February or the beginning of March because that's when I tend to put things out.And the I'll have other shit that'll come out near the end of the year, too."

Record labels concerned, do you have any plans on getting signed or do you have any plans to get CDs pressed, or are you going to stick to digital distribution?

Joseph - "Digital's gonna be mainly what I'm gonna be doing. I do plan, if I got the fundage appropriated, to try and get at least a small amount of physical copies for the next album. I at least, at some point, wanna get a physical copy of each of the albums I made just to own them, so I can just put them up on my wall and say, 'I did this. This is mine.' People have kids and they're like, 'I made this.' You can have your child. I have this CD on the wall. It's a lot less expensive."

I do recall you telling me that there's two of you. Is that correct?

Joseph - "No, it's actually just me."

Do you ever have any help come in or no?

Joseph - "I've gotten help from various people. The main one is my buddy Meredith, also known as Doc. He did that remix of Losing Sleep that you didn't like. And the reason it was so quiet was because he was drunk and sent me the wrong wave file about five hours before the album went live. That was his fuck up. And on his SoundCloud, he posted the remix where it's actually the correct tempo and it's loud enough and everything. And, I was like, 'You're a dick.' And he said, 'No, I was drunk.' Same thing. And, I'm actually in another band with him that we're recording an album for. It's called Quarantine Crush. And, it's industrial-rock, industrial-metal, so I get to play around with guitar samples and be happy."

In this other project, are you as much involved in it as you are Lights Out, God Help Me?

Joseph - "Oh, Lights Out, God Help Me is my baby, it always will be. But I am heavily involved in Quarantine crush. The way it works with Quarantine Crush is that I'll have Doc record a ton of guitars and just label the BPMs on them and just send them over. And then I'll write some lyrics down, put the tracking together, mix the drums and put them over and then send them over to him and he'll fuck around with everything. So, it's really fifty-fifty between us, whereas Lights Out, God Help Me is my main focus."

I know you have a few remixes on your own albums, but do you ever do remixes for other projects?

Joseph - "Yea. I do when I get the chance and it's something I want to remix. Before I did a cover of Bury You Alive I did a remix of Bury You Alive. I've done remixes of Android Lust, I did one for Death Grips, I did one for Tweaker for their last album because they put out a remix album that I was trying to get on, and that didn't work out too good. I remix stuff if I think I can add something new to it. But, there's some stuff that's good as it is and I can't add anything to it to add my own flare or improve or take it somewhere else."

Yea, cause you said you did a cover of the Backstreet Boys. Do you enjoy to fuck around with that shit just to show Lights Out, God Help Me isn't all hardcore and that there is some light to it?

Joseph - "Definitely. Something I posted on Twitter recently was that every time I go to take myself seriously, I just have to remind myself that I did a Backstreet Boys cover."

You pretty much answered everything I have to ask, so, as a final question, or even statement, do you wanna say anything to your fans or listeners or tell anyone to die and go fuck themselves?

Joseph - "Well, first of all, if you listen to this stuff and you're a fan, why?"

Well, that's a good way to support yourself.

Joseph - "But, seriously, thank you for listening. The new Lights Out, God Help Me will be out in a couple of months. And if I don't get too busy and Doc doesn't get too drunk, the new Quarantine Crush will come out in a few months. I'll try and sweet talk Steve here into reviewing that as well. Cause Lord knows he's gonna review Arsenal when it comes out. That's the nickname of the new Lights Out, God Help Me, by the way. That should be out probably end of February, end of March."
Jan 22 2014
We do music. That is what we do.
Militant Cheerleaders On The Move, Jan 01 2005

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

Share this interview

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
2
Shares

Popular interviews

Psyclon Nine

Interview, Mar 24 2017

Kite

Interview, Feb 10 2017

SHIV-R

Interview, Sep 21 2017

God Destruction

Interview, May 17 2016

Bornless Fire

Interview, Jul 09 2017

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016