ILJA LAPPIN (THE HIRSCH EFFEKT): “The Album Takes Its Time To Tell Stories, That’s Why The Songs Are Longer”

The Hirsch Effekt band photo
Foto: Christoph Eisenmenger

German Progressive Metal outfit The Hirsch Effekt are set to release their fourth album entitled Urian on September 29th. The band’s bassist/vocalist Ilja Lappin took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about their upcoming album, their unique writing process, their upcoming European tour, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Your band, The Hirsch Effekt, are set to release their new album entitled Urian on September 29th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release?

Lappin: I think this time the spread and intensity between genres is even more extreme than on previous records. We dived deeper into the realms of martialistic black and death metal but at the same into acoustic folk and its timbres. We tried to put the emphasis more on creating interesting atmospheres rather than on fiddling around, maybe a trademark that we were known for. I think it displays more the way we felt during the pandemic. The album takes its time to tell stories, that’s why the songs are longer. In my opinion the album is not so single friendly, or oriented. Rather the album feels like one long trip that consists of songs that are stylistically apart, but kind of friends with each other. I think this is also the album with the most chorus on it, so there’s something ethereal about it.

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being your sixth album with the band?

Lappin: We took a little bit longer with the songwriting this time and approached it with more ease and peace, since it was in the middle of the pandemic and tours weren’t possible etc. So if there was anything positive about the pandemic for a band at all, it was at least that time to center focus. The writing periods this time around, consisted of interesting episodes and writing combos. Us three as a band shut ourselves inside a holiday home in the middle of nowhere, Nils (vocals, guitars) and I met up in our rehearsal space in Hannover (where the band resides) and I wrote songs by myself in Berlin, where I live. The processes were more split on this record, and a lot of the writing took place in Winter; that’s maybe also a reason why a cold, wintery vibe will always resonate within me when I engage with this record. The recording process has pretty much stayed the same the last few years. We recorded the bass & guitars on our own in our homes or rehearsing spaces. The drums are still recorded in a studio that we then rent. The vocals have also been recorded both inside and out of a studio space.

MER: How would you compare Urian to your previous five album’s?

Lappin: I think this is the album that puts most emphasis on atmosphere and at the same time it is us at our darkest.

MER: What do you see as plans for you and the rest of the band after the album release?

Lappin: After the release we’ll go on the Urian Tour that takes us all around Germany and so we play the new songs for the first time live. The album’s release is going to be celebrated at this year’s Euroblast Festival in Cologne on the 30th September. That’s pretty much it for the foreseeable future.

MER: You are set to tour with A Kew’s Tag, and Kyhl, what are your expectations on the upcoming tour?

Lappin: After the pandemic, there were tons of canceled tours and a non-existent live scene for years, so we don’t really have “expectations.” We just want to get out there with the new record and play the new and the old stuff for our fans. Of course we’d be happy if as many people as possible show up to the shows.

MER: What are plans for yourself and the rest of the band after the tour?

Lappin: We haven’t really talked about those in detail yet. There are some other shows planned for next year.

MER: Who do you hope to tour with that you haven’t yet and why?

Lappin: A tour with Between The Buried And Me or Haken would be great, because I think we’d musically fit quite well together and people would enjoy the mix. Both are very much concept album bands as well and follow similar threads. There are parallels. That’s at least my impression.

MER: What have been some of your favorite releases of 2023?

Lappin: Tesseract – War Of Being, Queens Of The Stone Age – In Times New Roman, Sleep Token – Take Me Back To Eden

MER: How would you describe the music scene in Germany?

Lappin: Currently very hardly dominated by Hip-Hop, Autotune Trap, Schlager & Deutschrock. Hard for progressive, harder music.

MER: Of your band’s six albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Lappin: Our 4th album Eskapist because it gives a more accessible start to the world of our music, the genre-hopping and well… to what we just do.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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