Laibach: Industrial slav brothers


548 English reads // 11.09.2016

The interview with the most famous slovenian band had been done in earlier 2014, a month before «Spectre» album release.

Hello, slav brothers! How are you?

Laibach: Very brotherly!

We knew that you’ve been in Russia this December. What surprised you the most this time in Russia?

L: In fact nothing surprises us in Russia anymore, we started to get used to all the changes. This time we’ve seen new, glamorous airport, in Moscow we performed probably in the best club venue in the world and then we travelled to St. Petersburg in the same old uncomfortable train compartments as back in 87’ when we visited Russia for the first time.

Of all countries you have visited which country amazed you the most?

L: Every country we’ve seen has some amazing aspects, but countries of ex-Yugoslavia are for us still the most amazing of all, when you put them all together.

Back in 2006, when you released your previous album “Volk” I thought there are a lot of unarranged hymns left behind. If you’d produce “Volk-2”, hymns of what countries will be in its track listing?

L: We didn’t leave so many of them behind; Belgium, Netherland, Portugal, Sweden, maybe Switzerland… Namely the idea with Volk was to do anthems of only historically imperialist countries.

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Since you have hymns in your portfolio — have you ever thought about making an album dedicated to religion?

L: Jesus Christ Superstars (1997, Mute Records) was our album about religion (and also about pop musicals).

We’d like to talk about your new album — “Spectre”. Why did you call it “Spectre”? Does it has something in common with “Spectre of Communism roaming Europe”?

L: It probably does, but not only with communism, also with early James Bond. In fact Spectre is quite an interesting signifier, full of different meanings. Spectre is also the name of Laibach’s Party, which we are establishing with the release of a new album.

I carefully listened “S”, the single preseeding “Spectre” release, and indeed it has new sound. What sources of inspiration you used while working on this album?

L: We were directly inspired by the events during the past few years of economic collapse and social and political unrest in Europe and the World.

What is the main message of “Spectre”?

L: Fight for your right to party for your right to fight!

When the work on «Spectre» was started?

L: It originally started with 21 February 1948, and continued on 27 March 1961. Laibach began studio work on the album itself last year in April and finished it in October.

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What was the main challenge to you while working on «Spectre»?

L: How to keep the spirit together and how to translate it to the masses.

As far as I know you have a vary tight schedule last years so it seems impossible to produce new material.

L: Last year the schedule wasn’t so tight, we planned to have most of the year free to the work on the album.

You talked about the Spectre party. Can you describe it’s goals?

L: Freedom, equality, brotherhood and justice for all.

Why do you think people should join this party?

L: Because they can really participate.

The «Spectre» logo looks like Volk album’s logo covered with stylized S. What meaning have you put in this combination? «Spectre above the people»?

L: Why not the the Spectre of people…?

Can you name your favourite song from this album? And your favourite song of all times?

L: No, we can’t do this to ourselves.

In 1996 Laibach called themselves as Rammstein for the grown-ups. How would you call yourselves this year, when “Spectre” will be released?

L: Now we would call ourselves engineers of human souls.

Can we talk a bit about plans for the future? Maybe it’s time to release the long-awaited Laibach Revisited? We totally loved the sound of Drzava’s new version, wanted to hear a studio version.

L: Laibach Revisited is ready and waiting to be released. We will hopefully be able to release it this year. And we already work on a new material, having several projects in our heads.

Can you give us a hint or few about them?

L: Not yet; let’s all of us digest the new album first.

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You are from miner’s town, Trbovlje, one of your acknowledged attributes s miner’s cap. I wonder if some of band members have professional degree in mining or worked in this industry?

L: No, but we did have a concert in the mines once, not so long ago, actually three shows in one night, in 2012, 300 m bellow the surface. And it was hard work as if we were miners ourselves. (http://www.laibach.org/videos/selected-video-documents-2/).

Considering the past: a few month ago I finally found a cassette version of Le privilège des morts from Kapital, and I think this song is too great to be abandoned. How do you think, is it possible to re-release is on Laibach Revisited or in some other way?

L: We actually performed it live again recently; it’s not the easiest song to perform, but we did it and it was a good fun and audience was surprised. We are discussing with Mute to re-release all three versions of Kapital.

You’ve got a lot of interesting collaborations. If you’d have a freedom to choose anyone, whom you’d pick for a new collaboration?

L: Your president Putin would be quite an interesting collaborator… With Pussy Riot at the back, of course.

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We think the most amazing Laibach collaboration of the last few years was your soundtrack for Iron Sky. Can you tell us how you felt composing music for the movie about space nazis?

L: We felt fine and it wasn’t a problem at all. After all, film was partly inspired by Laibach anyway.

How you came up with this idea?

L: Director Timo Vuorensola asked us to do the soundtrack, and we said yes. Storry was interesting enough and Timo was very persuasive.

The main theme of Iron Sky is brilliant and it’s very unusual to get such gentle song from Laibach, Vagnerian industrial more likely ) How was this song created? Who wrote the lyrics and the music?

L: We already did some ‘gentle’ songs in the past, for instance Across The Universe. Take Me To Heaven was inspired by Slovenian folk band (The Miha Dovžan ensembel) from the 60’ and we really only ‘transpose’ the original song (with different lyrics and language) into a different context. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWS3yTqtapo)

You are well known music experimenters always looking for new sound. It looks like you changed your music style every few years. Will you continue this tradition?

L: We certainly will. There is nothing more permanent than change in Laibach.

What genre you’d like to explore next time?

L: We don’t know yet. Laibach genre?

How about dubstep?

L: Why not? Or — even better — goose step.

Have you ever used mobile phones as music instrument in your experiments?

L: Yes, we actually did; we used an alarm clock from the mobile phone playing the intro our version of Dylan’s The Ballad of a Thin Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Lo_Okyyak

We’d like to talk some more about mobile tech. What mobile phone(s) you are using now? And why?

L: Most members of the band are victims of a fruit from the Recognition tree. Why? We were successfully tricked and seduced and today we are brutally abused by it. That is what happens, when you eat from the tree that you shouldn’t.

Do you remember you first mobile phone? What model it was?

L: Nokia of course, 6310i — connecting people.

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Can you describe the most useful mobile apps you are using for work and in everyday life?

L: Nothing special really, just a usual stuff, included in the package, plus maybe some navigation additions, like CityMaps2Go, etc.

Of all the modern communication channels which ones do you prefer the most? Facebook, instagram, twitter?

L: We prefer none of them, we just tolerate them and among them we maybe tolerate instagram most.

We just talked with Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor about apps for music composing. Have you ever composed music on a mobile phone? How do you feel about GarageBand и Traktor Dj mobile apps?

L: It’s possible and we did play around with these apps, but got fed up soon.

Have you ever used mobile phone in some unusual or unconventional way? (like bottle opener)

L: Is there still anything unconventional left to do with mobile phones at all? There’s basically an app for everything…

Maybe there was a situation in your career when a mobile phone totally saved the day? Can you share it?

L: It only totally saves the day if you forget it somewhere and cannot find it.

We knew there is Iron Sky game for iPhones. What do you think about mobile games? Do you play them? Сan you name your favourite mobile games?

L: No, we don’t play them.

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What do you think about digital distribution services?

L: It helps sometimes, but we nevertheless miss old record shops where people were able to scroll through the albums, hang out and socialize. Now such shops are extremely hard to find.

DD removes geographical boundaries so your art will spread worldwide. Still not all of your music are available in iTunes, you haven’t published via DD any visual art books also, albeit you have a plenty of it.

L: Possibly, but it was probably easier to buy our physical albums in US and Japan before the DD. Anyway, there is a visual Laibach book which can be obtained exclusively on the net: (http://wtc.laibach.org/lk-catalogue-e-book/), so you are not entirely right.

Have you ever walked down the street and heard your track? How do you feel about that?

L: We turn around 360 degrees and left.

When you will visit Mother Russia again?

L: We hope soon. But we’d also like to meet Father next time.