Hanne & Lore consists of the 2 Stefan’s (each spelled slightly different): Steffen Neuhaus and Stefan Helmke. The German duo have been a staple of their local house scene for a decade now, heading up their own parties, running their own label, and even running a record store. Yes, it’s fair to say these boys live and breathe house music. As they say on their breakthrough single ‘Street Kings 2.0’: ‘We’re gonna make it funky’, and you better believe it too. We caught up with the duo on the eve of their debut Australian tour to chat about exotic locations and studio gear…
1. Hanne & Lore, thanks for taking a minute to answer some questions! We’re on the eve of your first Australian tour, have either of you been to Australia before? Other than your shows, what would you like to get up to while you’re in town?
Stefan: This is the first time and I’m really excited!! There are many things on my list like Fitzroy, St Kilda, Queen Victoria Market, ACMI and Great Ocean Road. Would also be great to go to the stadium for Australian Football.
2. Your music is heavily influenced from the 80s and 90s, which spans from the fashion, skating, video games and home computing. What is some of your favourite music outside of electronic? Who are your top three bands/artists?
Steffen: I’m really addicted to the 80’s. I grew up with all that pop, wave, electronic music and the rise of the digital world. I’m still listening to 80’s music mostly and it still has that certain something for me. My all-time heroes are Depeche Mode.
Stefan: It’s similar for me with the 80’s and Depeche Mode, The Cure… Since I’m living in Berlin I try to go to concerts more often and the last one was Parcels last week. Parcels is an Australian band with a really cool mixture of electronica, funk and disco and the concert was sold out. But i don’t know if they’re more popular in Berlin or Byron Bay…
3. ‘Hushle’ is your latest EP which was released on your own imprint, Heulsuse. Both tracks are killer and Bebetta delivered a great remix. Musically, what’s on the horizon for H&L?
We finished a brand new EP 2 months ago, but we are still fine-tuning the tracks after which we will go look for a label to release them on. Also, this year is our anniversary, and we will celebrate 10 years of Hanne & Lore with a superb remix album coming out in the European summer.
4. When you’re in the studio how do you generally work on a track? Do you write together in the same room, separately or both?
For a few years now we have been living in different cities so we’re only together when we play gigs on the weekends. Steffen is writing the tracks and doing the studio work – but we are always doing the final check together. One of the tracks of our upcoming new EP were done together a long time ago.
5. What does your studio look like? What are some of your favourite tools when writing?
I’m working with an Imac, Ableton live and some plug-ins, but also with a lot of external gear (synths, samplers, effects). As a child of the 80’s my big love is my Yamaha DX7 and of course the Emulator II. I’ve also been offering audio mastering for labels or artists for a long time now so I’m using a lot of external gear like tube compressors and passive equalizers. If you like to have a real look into my studio please check Hanne TV on Youtube, I’m running a little German producer/tutorial channel there. I haven’t done anything on there for while but I hope this will change soon!
You wanted to know about my favourite tool ? Hard to say, but I’m really in love with Ableton’s sampler, the drum rack, Cable Guys’ volume shaper and the Roland SH-2000 (my little helper for low end).
6. Steffen, you’ve mentioned in the past you like to balance out the weekends with a healthy lifestyle. How are weekdays spent by Hanne & Lore?
Hahaaaa really nice you heard about that 🙂 ! Yeah, the weekend’s are often a balancing act between good and evil. But I’m always trying to do my very best with getting enough sleep, relax while travelling, pre-cooking my food for the journey or looking for a gym at the destinations to have a little workout.
7. While on tour, where has been your favourite place to play and why? Have you heard much about the Australian dance scene?
We can`t decide on this question. There are so many great outdoor parties and club nights every year. Sometimes you play on a boot, a mountain top, in the snow, at the beach… and also of course the many famous clubs.
8. You’ll be playing Breakfast Club in Melbourne on the 17th of April. Breakfast Club runs from 9am Monday to late Tuesday, the only club in Melbourne like it. What is the strangest time of day/set you’ve ever played?
In Berlin there are parties 24/7 and clubs open on Friday and close on Monday and things like this. We already played morning, afternoon, evening and night gigs, but our colleagues told us about the freaky atmosphere at the Melbourne Breakfast Club! Really looking forward to this special gig!
9. When you’ve been on tour or holiday, where’s your favourite place to visit? Any tips for your fellow travellers out there?Stefan: I like many places, but I really love the mountains in Stubaital in Austria, Christiania Freetown in Kopenhagen, Denmark, house boats in Amsterdam, and Greetsiel, a small fishers village in northern Germany.
10. You’re based in Herford, Germany. If you were going to give a few tips out to some travellers, what would you recommend?
Steffen: Ohhhh, so it’s me who’s living in Herford and I would really shout out: “Travellers, go look for another destination unless you re really looking for ordinary country life“ 😉 I keep living here cause I enjoy being close to my family and friends from my childhood – by the way I love the ordinary country life and I’m always enjoying the silence in contrast to the weekends in the big cities. The perfect mixture for me.
Friday 14th April: Onesixone, Melbourne
Saturday 15th April: Front Room @ Ancient World, Adelaide
Monday 17th April: Breakfast Club, Melbourne