Huerco S.

Besides crafting the abstracted collages and strange grooves of his new album Colonial Patterns, Brian Leeds aka Huerco S. has a pretty interesting sense of humour. Turns out he thinks a bit of bullying is pretty funny. Oh, and sarcasm. ‘It probably wouldn’t be the first time someone told me I wasn’t funny,’ he says with a wry smile. We talked funny record covers, the peculiarities of the American Midwest, dancing walruses and failed pranks.


Phone interview by Zofia Ciechowska, photos shot by Daniel Shea in New York, USA


‘Like people interviewing me – I find that quite hilarious, you know?’



Are you good at pulling pranks?

I guess my pranks are never really that funny, they’re mainly just dark. I was once in bed with my girlfriend and we had headphones on and then I lost it and shouted, ‘OH MY GOD DID YOU JUST SEE THAT?!’ and I told her there was a giant insect in the bed. She hated insects. She totally freaked out, jumped up and tore all the sheets off the bed. I then had to tell her I was kidding. It’s not very funny; it’s actually kind of mean.


Why do dance music producers take themselves so seriously?

I think a lot of people in the arts tend to be very serious because they treat it as a job, which is understandable. At the same time, I try not to and I see it as a bit of a joke. Like people interviewing me – I find that quite hilarious, you know? I try not to take myself too seriously but there’s definitely this thing within electronic music where producers like to remain anonymous. I guess that can be cool because it allows people to interact with your art and not form a bias in relation to you as a person. At the same time, to find human qualities within artists is really refreshing. I think that will allow you to understand the music more. A lot of people are trying to hide themselves because if they expose themselves too much then they fear they won’t be as interesting any more. Unfortunately, people quickly get bored with something if they think they already know it and then they move on to the next mystery. I hope there will be more frankness in the scene. I’m not sure when that will happen, though.


Dark humour or silly slapstick? Where do you lie on that spectrum? 

I’m definitely into dark, very dry and understated humour. I love sarcasm. I think Louis CK is hilarious. I love this show called Bob’s Burgers. It’s a really great American animated sitcom and one of its voice actors, Jon Benjamin, is really funny. Another comedian that I like is Eugene Mirman. Funnily enough, even though I now live in New York I’ve never really watched Seinfeld properly. I do like Curb Your Enthusiasm, though, it’s very painful to watch.


‘Going to Walmart is also funny’



You’re from Kansas. Are there any particular things that you’ll only encounter there? 

When I last went to Europe I heard, ‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more’ all the time. I guess The Wizard of Oz is one of the best films of all time but Dorothy has nothing to do with Kansas. Kansas is a really interesting place, as is the entirety of the Midwest. There are a lot of really hilarious people to watch. People have these massive trucks, they could use them to haul a massive yacht, but they don’t even use them for anything remotely related to farming or transporting things. They just have to have these huge trucks with four wheels on the back. It’s like this hilarious exaggeration of what it means to be American. Europeans would see people from Kansas and think that they were the quintessential American. Going to Walmart is also funny. There’s also no fashion sense, people clearly don’t care at all. That’s kind of cool though, you know?


Talk me through some funny dance moves you’ve seen from people on tour.

I’ve seen people swing dancing during my sets which was so insane. I guess I shouldn’t make fun of the way people dance as long as they’re genuinely having a good time instead of just standing. I love the people who just get up and dance and start the party. By the way, I saw a funny walrus dancing to Michael Jackson on YouTube, you should check it out.




Huerco S. will be Somewhere Else on 22 November with Vondelpark (dj set) and Malawi. For more information visit