Human Potential, Hot Gun Western City

Emily Chu

Andrew Becker, aka Human Potential, is on the brink of releasing a new album on July 21st, and we have the exclusive stream for you to listen to. The album is called Hot Gun Western City, and it’s awesome. But this isn’t all that Becker’s been up to. He co-directed, shot, edited, and scored a documentary called Santoalla, and after 4 long years, it’s finally being shown to the public. Andrew’s film is opening in theaters in New York this week on July 19th, followed by Los Angeles on July 28th.

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We also got the chance to ask Becker some questions about the music.
How did the moniker “Human Potential” come to be?
Originally, it stems from things I read about The Human Potential Movement, a sort of self-help, white collar, cult-ish phenomenon. Like anything with a corporate structure based around new age promises and hive mind mentality, its name sort of belies some of its more nefarious aspects. I thought that kind of fit the tone of the music I was making at the time; simultaneously melodic, but ominous.
But, beyond the references and tonal representation of the music, I think more than anything, I just thought it was an interesting name for a project.
 
Who is the greatest inspiration for your music?
As muse, musician, omniscient spiritual deity, father figure and Mephastophelic maestro, I would say, unequivocally, Mark Linn-Baker.
Also: Nikki Sudden, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, U-Roy, Jac Berrocal, Genesis P-Orridge, Charles Hayward, Steven Stapleton, John Cale, Tim Hecker, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Ray Davies, El-P, Don Van Vliet, Edgard Varese, Helge Sten, Tim Rutili, Trish Keenan, Eldridge Skell, Alice Coltrane, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, Gina Birch, Paul McCartney, Colin Newman, Mark E. Smith, Gal Costa, Matthew Shipp, Meg Remy, Al Johnson, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Brigitte Fontaine, Jack Rose, Louis Hardin, Tony Williams, John Luther Adams, Michael Sandison, Roscoe Mitchell, Betty Harris, Prince Far I, Rita Lee, Teddy Riley (no, not Terry, Teddy), Kimberly Rew, Robyn Hitchcock, Ben Massarella, Don Cherry, Dominic Weeks, Dagmar Krause, Sunny Murray, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Rowland S. Howard, Liz Harris, Oren Ambarchi, Elizabeth Fraser, Blixa Bargeld, Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb, Nico, Sonny Sharrock, Donald Fagen, and whoever the Mensa-level genius is who played tambourine on the “Two Sevens Clash” record by Culture.
If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would probably eschew food in favor of asceticism in an attempt to attain supreme knowledge…nirvana.  Plus, starving yourself helps burn cortisol in the brain, which greatly increases mental acuity.  Fake news?  Fake noise?  Who cares?  Let’s party.
What’s coming up next for Human Potential?
I would imagine another in a long succession of inimitable failures.  But, then again, who knows?  Actually, maybe Mark Linn-Baker.
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Hot Gun Western City is available for preorder now. Keep up with Santoalla here.

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