The Herbaliser Talk the Struggle Behind 'There Were Seven'
"Since leaving Ninja Tune, Canada has died for us," Wherry tells Exclaim! "We were perennial jazz festival favourites, doing the Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary jazz shows, but without a record company based in Montreal, like Ninja Tune was, our profile's taken a beating in Canada, and the same thing in the UK. We're still pretty popular on the continent of Europe, but with a four-and-a-half-year gap, you need to release a record every couple of years if people are going to remember you."
The gap between There Were Seven and their previous studio album from 2008, Same As It Never Was, was not a casual vacation. Wherry has dealt with serious personal issues, from 2002 until recently, which led to his reluctance to tour and momentarily changed the direction of the group's music.
"I lost my wife in 2004. That was devastating. She was killed in an accident, and I had two young boys to bring up," he explains. "And then just as I got over that, and I remarried and had a couple more kids, I found out in 2009 that I had Hodgkin's disease, which is a blood cancer, very treatable but still a terrible surprise, and I had to go for chemotherapy. It came back last year."
Yet There Were Seven is not just a place marker, made to keep the band in the limelight. Thematically, the album is a scathing indictment of an overproduced and under-talented industry, and the group borrowed a large sum of money in order to release the album on their own label, to do it their own way. In this effort, they rediscovered some of the original passion they felt which informed their funky, political hip-hop aesthetic early on.
"The intro track, 'Return of the Seven,' there's a vibe to it that we'd kind of forgotten about, where you go through thousands and thousands of hip-hop records and pull out little words from different records and scratch them all together. It's really powerful and dynamic. We did a lot of digging, and [Ollie Teeba] came up with vocals. If you listen to the intros to Very Mercenary and Blow Your Headphones, there's a similar thing. We've always liked to have intro tracks that say, 'We're fucking here!'"
There Were Seven is out now on their own label, Department H. You can watch the recently unveiled video for album track "March of the Dead Things (Night of the Necromantics)" below and read Exclaim!'s full Herbaliser interview here.
NewsMay 27, 2015
Prefuse 73 Reflects on His Return and Future Projects with Haxan Cloak, Michael Christmas
Aside from being Guillermo Scott Herren's most notable moniker, the name Prefuse 73 will always be intrinsically linked with the birth of gl...
NewsMay 14, 2015
Ryan Hemsworth Teams Up with Tommy Kruise for 'Just Rap Tour,' Drops Mix
Haligonian producer Ryan Hemsworth is best known for his shimmering, pop-inflected dance tracks, but he's opted to pump out the hip-hop jams...
NewsApr 21, 2015
Machinedrum Announces DJ Rashad Tribute Album 'Movin' Forward'
Last year, the world lost a truly unique artist when footwork producer DJ Rashad died of a drug overdose at 34. His legacy lives on, however...
NewsApr 20, 2015
AraabMuzik Announces 'Dream World' Album, Shares New Video
Providence, RI, producer AraabMuzik has announced plans for a new album titled Dream World. The 12-track offering is slated to arrive on Jun...
NewsMar 26, 2015
Son Lux Announces New Album: 'Bones'
In 2014, Son Lux spent part of the year involved with Sufjan Stevens' hip-hop project Sisyphus along with Serengeti, but with Sufjan now bac...
NewsFeb 26, 2015
Fool's Gold Co-Founder Nick Catchdubs Reveals LP, Shares Heems-Featuring Single
Not only did Nick Catchdubs co-found Fool's Gold Records with his buddy A-Trak, he also moonlights as a DJ and beatmaker, and now he's prepa...
NewsFeb 02, 2015
Fool's Gold Co-Founder Dust La Rock Dead at 38
Dust La Rock, a co-founder of Fool's Gold Records, has passed away. Born Joshua Prince, the artist was 38. In addition to helping start...
NewsDec 20, 2014
Brodinski Taps ILOVEMAKONNEN, Slim Though, Peewee Longway for 'Brava' LP
Bass architect Brodinski has amassed an impressive collection of singles, EPs and remixes, as well as lending his production work to other p...