Kill Your Television; An interview with Dave W of White Hills

To truly push boundaries and broaden horizons, reevaluation, growth, new approaches and innovation is necessary. It’s not surprise then that New York’s White Hills, a band known for their ambitious psychedelic music have reinvented themselves with a brazenly-produced, industrially-charged record that captures their most ferocious, gritty and intellectually engaging work to date.
For Stop Mute Defeat, White Hills again drafted Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Afrika Bambaataa) to mix. A native New Yorker who made his name in the city’s early hip-hop and no-wave scenes, Bisi was attracted to White Hills’ new material for its distinct early-‘80s Mudd Club feel. A dance hall, drug den, and bar, the Mudd Club was one of New York’s legendary haunts in the late 1970’s. As a center of a distinct art scene the club served as a major influence for White Hills and Stop Mute Defeat’s sound. 
Stop Mute Defeat sees White Hills break free from the guitar-driven structure of their earlier releases, reassigning William Burroughs’ word “cut-up” technique to music, Dave W. and Ego Sensation deconstruct sound clips to create minimalist, but rhythmically complex compositions. The effort also drags Western vulgarity in bright light. Providing a fearless and necessary denunciation of the political and economic powers that be. 
Ghettoblaster caught up with Dave W to discuss taking control, creating positive change, and the new LP, which sees release via Thrill Jockey on May 19.
I imagine the record is a response to much of what we are seeing in the way the western world is operating these days?
Some people write about love, sorrow or murder for example. We just happen to write about systems of control and human nature. The record is more about empowerment and how anyone can take control of their life to create a positive change. MUTE DEFEAT is a reference to indifference, fatalism and blind acceptance. If you feel trapped by such things, you ultimately have the power to STOP MUTE DEFEAT. It’s within us all.
What were you wanting to accomplish with Stop Mute Defeat?
Going into the writing process our main goal was to look at how we compose and to push ourselves into new and uncomfortable situations within that process to create something different from what our norm has been. Some bands choose to basically write the same song over and over again. That’s fine for them, but we didn’t want to fall into that trap. So we analyzed our process, deconstructed it and built it back up again from scratch.
I recently saw Dan Rather speak and he said living in a “post-truth” nation/world will be the new normal because there is a precedent for that now. Is this maddening to you?
No, to spend time on the thought is a waste in my opinion. “Post-truth” is one of today’s political catch phrases. If a different person was elected we’d have a different ideology and catch phrase.  In the end it’s all about money. If you don’t want to live in a “post-truth” world, turn off your fucking television and computer. Don’t buy into what the cooperate world and the financial powers that be are pushing. They are drug dealers of the worst kind, selling fear, self-hatred and division. The moment these assholes start loosing money is the moment they’ll stop pushing whatever it is they are pushing because their bottom line is to make money and lots of it.  Therefore I choose to live in a truthful world and refuse to buy into their bullshit.
Is your music better for dancing or destruction? Are those two things mutually exclusive?
It’s best for making love and I don’t mean fucking. I’m talking about the beautiful consensual union between two people that deeply care about each other. There’s nothing more beautiful than that.
This is one of several records you’ve done with Martin Bisi. What is it about him that keeps you returning?
What can I say…Martin’s a beast!
Martin said he was attracted to the material because of the Mudd club feel. Did you ever have a chance to check out that scene?
That was a bit before our time.
Did you work with a drummer on this album at all?
No, Ego and I play all of the instruments on this album. It’s been the easiest album we’ve made to date. We were able to get the tracks sounding the way we wanted them to because we didn’t have to filter what we wanted through someone else who brings their ego into play when trying to translate what we wanted.

The video for “Attack Mode” was directed by Ego Sensation right? What was that undertaking like?
Yes, Ego does all of our videos. Usually she gets an image and/or story line in her head that she runs with. This video was no different in that respect. The big difference was all of the footage of us was shot against a green screen. There was more work done in post-production than in the actual filming process.
You guys will tour overseas in support of this album first, right? Will you be in an Impala like you were on The Cult tour? Do they rent Impalas in Europe/UK?
Yes, we’ll be in Europe from the middle of May through the first week of July. No, there are no Impala’s in the EU.
(Pre-order Stop Mute Defeat:
Catch White Hills live:
May 11 – New York City, NY – Union Pool (Album release show)
May 19 – Stuttgart, DE – Club Goldmark’s
May 20 – Paris, FR – Glazart
May 22 – Brighton, UK – The Hope and Ruin
May 23 – Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen
May 24 – Newcastle, UK – The Cluny
May 28 – London, UK – Raw Power Festival
Jun. 5 – Berlin, DE – Lido
Jun. 7 – Munich, DE – Feierwerk
Jun. 16 – Roma, IT –  Traffic – Heavy Psych Nights
Jun. 24 – Isla Cristina, ES – AnfiRock Festival)