At the latest since her cooperation with Joe Bonamassa on the celebrated album "Don't Explain" in 2011, Beth Hart has been regarded as the high priestess of blues rock. In her new work "War In My Mind", the Californian fights against the dark shadows of her past.
Beth Hart is an emotional elemental force, a never-extinguishing volcano - she howls, moans and screams as if every song were about her naked existence, which seems to consist of nothing but ghastly pain, unbridled lust and wistful longing. The wild musician, glowing under constant current, has an irresistible, powerful vocal organ in the tradition of a Bessie Smith or Janis Joplin. Her 47 years of life have been marked by the early divorce of her parents, sexual abuse in adolescence, violent drug and alcohol capades. In the twelve songs of her ninth solo album she relentlessly devotes herself to the processing of her past - and captivates the unprotected listener completely abruptly. Also in the conversation Beth Hart doesn't show consideration for anything and nobody, least of all for himself.
eclipsed: You sing on your new record "I make love to the war in my mind". Why is there a war in your head?
Beth Hart: Interestingly, the sentence does not come from me at all, but was pronounced by a nun at the funeral of a close relative. I have kept him in my head all these years because he has deeply impressed me and made me think. "Why does a prayer sister put such words in her mouth," I wondered. "A person who should be spiritually pure with himself, because he should be rock-solidly convinced that he will be redeemed by Jesus Christ after his death? I myself am a believing Christian. But also I have again and again - therefore I understand the sentence of this nun very well - days and above all nights, in which I doubt the sense of the entire existence. So it was only logical to call the new album "War In My Mind". It's about existential border crossing.
eclipsed: "War in the head", does that have anything to do with demons that keep settling down with you?
Hard: Absolutely! Since my childhood I have had to struggle with demons of all kinds. Some of them I don't recognize immediately, some of them come back again and again, are almost familiar to me, although they don't do me any good. I try to smile at all these figures. It's the only effective way to get rid of them. And of course there is still the music in my case: I sit down at the piano, get stuck behind the microphone, and then I roar and rumble completely unreservedly against these sons of bitches, working unrestrainedly on the keys of my instrument. Pure exorcism!
eclipsed: Do you have to wade through pain and suffering again and again to record a soulful blues record?
Hart: In fact, when I was writing this album, there were times when negative aspects of my past came over me like an ocean. Fortunately, I have become a relatively brave person. So I walked right through the middle of this horror. I am proud of myself and the acoustic result that has been created by this catharsis.