The Towering Reveries of Bullet Height
Bullet Height is a glorious devastating collaboration, featuring Sammi Doll of IAMX and Jon Courtney of Pure Reason Revolution. Based out of the legendary Berlin music scene, Bullet Height present their own captivating take on electronic rock – unveiling a sonic artistry that is stunning to behold. Their debut album, No Atonement, is set for release on May 19, 2017 via Superball Music (Century Label Group/Sony), and it’s sure to launch adventurous music types into the stratosphere. We recently caught up with Bullet Height co-conspirator Jon Courtney to find out more about this thrilling exhibition ready to enrapture your senses. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Bullet Height, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Jon. I write, produce & rock-out onstage to about half the pace of Sammi. Been together over two years now.
Where is your band based out of and what is the music scene like there?
We’re based in Berlin. The music scene is massively diverse & that makes it exciting. In my studio building there are a lot of techno DJs. Whenever anyone there asks what I do & I explain that it’s not techno & sort of ‘rock /electronic…’…they quickly lose interest & walk off. Berlin is great, loads of venues & non-stop nightlife.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title No Atonement?
I write about my experiences in a sort of mangled abstracted way. I constantly scribble down lyrics while I’m recording music – the music feeds the lyrics & the lyrics feed the music. Vague narratives sweep between love, guilt, anger, fear, pain, joy, sorrow… primitive emotions running riot & getting entangled in each other. “No Atonement” came up as a result of my constant scribbles & seemed to sound important enough to justify an album title. Sometime you feel there’s no forgiveness, but there is.
Select two songs from No Atonement and what inspired the lyrics.
I don’t really tend to go into lyrical meaning, because I want it to be open to your interpretation. I’m interested to hear what you think “No Atonement” is about? Here’s a little…
“Wild Words” – wild words/vicious words spoken in the heat of the moment with a loved one, then the guilt & regret that follows, the aftermath & finally repairing the damage done. Battling cruel dependencies & the depravity this can lead us to…letting go of resentments, forgiving & moving on. Love always brings us back together no matter what.
“Bastion” – I wanted to write a song delving into the fact we all live in our own tiny bubble in the midst of a vast society…we sort of live in our own little bastion/fortress/stronghold & getting lost in & out of what’s reality, normality & how we live this till we die & then what happens? The difficulty of letting go even though you know it’s the best thing.
What could one expect from a live Bullet Height show?
High tempo action & a blitzkrieg of lights!
If Bullet Height could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Muse would be good, so if you know them please put in a good word.
If Bullet Height were invited to appear on a Depeche Mode tribute album, what song would you want to do by DM and why?
“It’s No Good”. Why? I don’t know, I just love it. I’ll elaborate a little – great vocal, great lyric, great drum groove & cool programming. It’s just such an iconic brooding beast of a song. I never dance &/or sing out loud at gigs, but when I see DM live I go uncharacteristically mad when they play this. We’d do an extra heavy version & rock it up a bit.
Any chance of Bullet Height playing some shows here in the Los Angeles area?
I really hope we get over to LA. Humm… being a cool magazine, perhaps you could put on a show & book us to play?
Would you ever want to do a Pure Reason Revolution reunion show and what was it like having Rick Wakeman compliment your previous band?
No plans for that. It was a huge compliment that he liked my music. I adore Yes & I was listening to “Fragile” at the weekend. Love the way it all connects together.
What’s up next for Bullet Height?
Gigs, gigs & more gigs… see you in LA!
Any final words of wisdom?
My A&R man once said, “if it’s neither thrilling nor beautiful, then its crap.” A good thing to bear in mind when creating.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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