Interview: Little Hole Filled

I am always happy to present interviews with the Austrian doom band Little Hole Filled on this blog. Today, singer/guitarist Philipp Diesenreiter focuses on political issues, as the quartet was recently featured on the awesome platform Antifascist Steel. Have fun reading!

André: Hi, Philipp, I’m glad you have time for us. How are you? 

Philipp: Thanks, I’m fine. Enjoying spring. 

André: Have you bought any albums this year? What have been your highlights so far?

Philipp: It’s been a great year so far. Thanks to your recommendation I bought the new Night Demon and love it dearly. Also new Rezn, Acid King, PigPigsPigsPigsPigsPigs, Fvnerals, Isole, Katatonia, Woe Unto Me, Slumbering Sun and AHAB are great to fantastic. Last few days I’m listening to new Smoulder and Gatekeeper.

André: It’s been a while since we last spoke. So my question is: How was the last year for Little Hole Filled? What were your highlights?

Philipp: Well as we don’t tour (as families and jobs make it quite hard to do) we didn’t do too much. But we played 2 shows we hugely enjoyed. Thanks Rockhouse Bar Salzburg and Venster99 in Vienna. And we started writing for the next album. 

André: Recently you were featured by Antifascist Steel, which I was very happy about. In my opinion you are the perfect band for this platform…

Philipp: Thanks a lot for connecting us! I didn’t know them before and it’s a really important platform. Really dedicated! Good taste in music too! I highly recommend following their channel and checking out the bands represented there!

André: Have you ever removed an artist from your record collection because you couldn’t cope with their views? And where do you draw the line for yourself in this respect?

Philipp: Didn’t happen a lot as I am lucky that I didn’t happen to stumble upon too many assholes in my collection. But I was a huge Pantera fan and especially the energy and power of Phil Anselmo influenced me a lot. I even have a CFH tattoo on the backside of my neck. And after his latest escapades I have a hard time enjoying those albums (as well as Down‘s). I don’t know if he is a full blown racist or just goddamn stupid, but that doesn’t matter. The Nazi salute at the dimebash was not his first “isolated case” (as we say in Austria with a right extremist FPÖ party that is a smorgasbord of “isolated cases”). He definitely won’t get any money from me via concert tickets or streams or such. I listen to some black metal and here I often find it quite hard to find out where bands stand. Often the inherent nihilsm is too close to flat out right extremism. And bands too often publish on labels with right wing background. I still don’t know what to do with Deathspell Omega for example. 

André: Would you like to see more musicians taking a political stance? In my opinion, it happens far too rarely…

Philipp: Yes I would! In my opinion everything is political. I like bands who have (left wing) political views and utter them. Nothing against fantastic or horror or whatever lyrics. And I know how hard it is to write lyrics with a political theme without being too blunt. But at least in interviews and in social media more bands should make loud statements against sexism, misogyny, racism and homophobia. It’s really not that hard, is it?

André: Could you imagine publishing lyrics with Little Hole Filled in the future that take up current topics and can definitely be classified as political?

Philipp: I did this when we started out in the late 90s when we played more of a crossover music. We were all quite influenced by Rage Against The Machine and their stance. But I was young and the lyrics quite blunt [laughs]. As Antifascist Steel rightly dug up, we had a song called “Nazi Punks Fuck Off“ back then. But it was not a coverversion of the Dead Kennedys or Napalm Death. I just heard that Napalm Death played that song but were I come from I couldn’t get that album so we just wrote a song with our own music and own lyrics. [laughs], In the last few years I tried to be more poetic on the one hand and strict regarding structure and inner workings of my lyrics. The political views still shimmer through though but have to be read between the lines. But a lot of the lyrics of our latest album are about nature and how we destroy it and the last track, “Weiße Wänd“, is very political but in contrast to the music not full on aggressive but coming from behind and you have to think about them to get the message. It’s based on Max Frisch’s “Andorra” where the main protagonist in the end whitens the house as all in the village do and this stands for whitewashing and denying the crimes and grievances one did. And the lyrics build on that picture. For the coming album I still don’t know the direction I will be going. 

André: Thinking beyond the band: What social and political issues concern you personally the most?

Philipp: Puh, there’s a lot. Too much so. The whole world seems to be leaning toward right wing governments. In Austria that is very much the case. The conservative parties loosing all morals and try to overtake the right wing and right extremists in their idioms and topics. And all that while ignoring the coming climate catastrophe. And a lot of the people buy it because its convenient. It may sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, but I have a feeling that modern, industrialized humanity as “Hochkultur“ has peaked and is in a downward spiral as a sort of affluent neglection takes place. When Corona started, I had some hopes that now we maybe listen a bit more to science but the opposite was the case and trust into science is even lower than before (at least in Austria). So yeah, I am quite pessimistic now. 

André: Let’s look ahead: What activities are you planning this year? Are there any gigs coming up? I still hope to see you in Germany one day…

Philipp: No gigs so far. We may change our name from Little Hole Filled to LHF maybe…as I have a feeling that a lot of clubs don’t answer my mails because they think we are some kind of sexist douchebags and don’t even read on after seeing our name. And I can’t blame ‘em to be honest. We didn’t think about that when we were younger as the name was really coming from seeing a mole looking out of a mole hill. And then after we realized that a lot of people took the name in a sexual way, we just thought “fuck it, it’s our name and we stay with it“ as we anyway didn’t try to get big or famous. But now…I think we could reach more clubs and people if we changed our name and we can see that objectively it can easily be interpreted as sexist. And that’s something we want to stay clear off. And we are writing on a new album. Let’s see if we can finish it in 2024. I would love that. And I really do hope for some gigs in Germany with the next album! But maybe a promoter who reads that invites us earlier. We would love to play a support slot or on some nice underground doom/sludge festival in Germany!

André: Last question: Which historical personality fascinates you the most? You can also name someone from contemporary history, if you like…

Philipp: Oh, good question. I think maybe Johanna Dohnal. She was the first minister of women in Austria and she was a great politician and did some tremendous, wearing work for women right here in this conservative right wing Austria. I still remember when in the beginning 90s I saw in TV how members of the Conservative Party laughed about her when she demanded that rape within marriage should become a punishable offence. And in the end she fought it through. There’s a very good documentary about her. 

And I am glad about Greta Thunberg. It‘s amazing what she started and set into motion. And her work is incredibly important. And I highly recommend her “The Climate Book“.

André: Philipp, thanks a lot for this very interesting interview! We really hope that one or the other promoter from Germany will check you out – and book you in the near future. I would be there, of course. I wish you and your band all the best!

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