Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Dachauer, Dejan Knez, Eber, Industrial Music, Iron Sky, Ivan Novak, Keller, Laibach, Ljubljana, Neue Slowenische Kunst, Nsk, Ropot, Saliger, Slovenia, Tiff 2012, Tomaž Hostnik
From their hometown in Trbovlje, Slovenia, Eber, Saliger, Dachauer & Keller promote degenerate pop music for the masses… or so it says on the Laibach facebook page. Fans know Laibach's Industrial sound was a major influence on Rammstein's commercial success at the end of the Nineties.
Some of the things that makes this band so interesting is the fact that it was founded a decade before the Iron Curtain dropped - hence a reason for their not so subtle socio-political lyrics and the visual propaganda associated with their marketing machine …a major reason music critics not accustomed to their music and shows have a hard time reading between the lines.
LAIBACH evokes memories of the Austro-Hungarian and the more recent German Nazi occupation of Slovenia, when the capital city Ljubljana was briefly known as Laibach.
Although primarily a musical group, Laibach has also experimented with other Arts. In their early years, especially before the founding of Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), Laibach produced several controversial works of visual art with radically contradicting interpretations from the critics.
I found out a few days after the interview that the band leader, composer and person responsible for Laibach's concert lights and projection, Ivan Novak (who doesn't appear onstage) answered the questions.
RiCo for CZB: On your website, what will the Dictionary contain?
Laibach: Dictionary will define basic notions and key aspects, themes and episodes in Laibach’s Universe.
CZB: Tomaž Hostnik (RIP). How do you plan to commemorate your bandmate in December?
Laibach: With respect. And maybe with a candle in the wind.
CZB: What were some of the first instruments you used to make the music you felt you had to make?
Laibach: A Gramophone, Radiophone, Magnetophone and Megaphone.
CZB: How did you record your first album / was it a self-produced demo or did you go straight into a Yugoslav label studio?
Laibach: Album ‘ ’, (later titled Laibach) which is considered to be our first one, was recorded in the private Metro studio, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1983 and - due to the fact we were banned - was released later, in 1985, under the independent šKUC/ROPOT label, without the group's name or any record title.
CZB: Your public appearances were banned in Slovenia in 1983 - how do you explain that you still got visas to play in Western European countries that same year?
Laibach: Yugoslavia was a fairly liberal communist country and citizens of Yugoslavia needed no tourist visas to travel in Western Europe. We only needed visas for the USA. Working visas we simply ignored - and smuggled ourselves through all these countries. On the other hand, all
the border officials were so shocked to see a rock group, traveling around, dressed in Yugoslav army uniforms, that most of the time they forgot to ask us for any papers. We were only refused to enter in the former country of Czechoslovakia, after doing a show in Budapest.
CZB: What was it like getting to play in the USA in 1987? What was an important life experience you learned from that trip?
Laibach: For us it was a cultural shock.
In Hollywood we practically met several famous actors and musicians straight away, which, prior to this, we believed that they existed only in movies.
We also learned that Capitalism sucks. Big time!
CZB: In what ways do you consider Communism similar to Capitalism?
Laibach: We don’t; Communism is a far better and fairer social and political concept than Capitalism.
CZB: How do you feel the NSK State of Art has changed during the past two decades of European Unionism?
Laibach: Not much; but Laibach has little to do with the NSK State. We only helped to establish it in 1992, and now it is in hands of their citizens. We, members of Laibach,
are citizens of the NSK State, but first of all we are apatrides.
Neue Slowenische Kunst - Slovenian Art Collective
CZB: Are you aware of the Canadian Gold Corporation trying to mine Romania's gold in the ancient Transylvanian mining village of Rosia Montana using cyanide and what are your views concerning the accelerating human Earth destruction machine?
Laibach: Keep your gold for your own teeth, but if you decide to sell it, sell it well and without destruction.
CZB: You have covered a wide diversity of subtle social message songs from quite a few international acts… have you thought of adapting People are People or Pipeline by Depeche Mode?
Laibach: These two songs are both very good and their message is clear; we only cover songs, which give us some space to underline their potentially different content and let us create a ‘new song’ out of them.
We would like to thank the One Group booking agent, Cristian Busuioc and Laibach for this interview opportunity before the Slovenian band's first appearance and gig at the Transylvanian International Film Festival (TIFF 11) in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, next Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 (after the exclusive TIFF viewing of the Iron Sky movie).
Eber, Saliger, Dachauer & Keller
In 1978, Dejan Knez formed his first band Salte Morale. In the summer of 1980, the band changed its name to Laibach. That respective line-up included Dejan Knez, Srečko Bajda, Andrej Lupinc, Tomaž Hostnik (d.1982) and Bine Zerko. Although Laibach started out as a quintet, they promoted themselves as being a four member band and soon appeared under the stage names: Dachauer, Keller, Saliger and Eber. From the mid ‘80s until mid ‘90s the four full time members were Dejan Knez, Milan Fras, Ervin Markošek and Ivan Jani Novak.
On the press photos for the Volk album (2006) Ivan Novak, Milan Fras, Boris Benko and Primož Hladnik were named.
- Laibach/Last Few Days (1983, MC, Ljubljana)
- Documents Of Opression (1984, MC, live in Amsterdam)
- Vstajenje v Berlinu (1984, live in Berlin)
- Laibach (1985, CD, LP)
- Life In Hell (1985, live in Hertogenbosch)
- Neu Konservatiw (1985, live LP)
- Ein Schauspieler (1985, MC, live in Amsterdam)
- Divergences/Divisions (1986, MC, live in Bordeaux)
- The Occupied Europe Tour 83-85 (1986, 1990, live LP)
- Opus Dei (1987, CD, LP)
- Rekapitulacija 1980-1984 (1987, CD, LP)
- Nova Akropola (1988 CD, 1987 LP)
- Let It Be (1988, CD, LP)
- Krst Pod Triglavom - Baptism/Klangniederschrift Einer Taufe (1988, LP)
- Macbeth (1990, CD, LP)
- Sympathy for the Devil (1990, EP CD, LP)
- Kapital (1992, CD, LP)
- Ljubljana-Zagreb-Beograd (1993, CD)
- NATO (1994, CD, LP)
- Slovenska Akropola (1995, CD, LP)
- Occupied Europe Nato Tour 1994-95 (1996, CD)
- Jesus Christ Superstars (1996, CD, LP)
- M.B. December 21, 1984 (1997, CD)
- Rekapitulacija 1980-1984 (2002, CD)
- Neu Konservatiw (2003, live CD)
- Laibach (1999, CD)
- The John Peel Sessions (2002, CD)
- WAT (2003, CD, LP)
- Anthems (2004, CD)
- Volk (2006, CD)
- Volk Tour London CC Club (2007, CD)
- Laibachkunstderfuge (2008, CD)
- Iron Sky (2012, Soundtrack CD)
Laibach does not believe in originality... Therefore, Rammstein could not 'steal' much from us. They simply let themselves get inspired by our work, which is absolutely a legitimate process. We are glad that they made it. In a way, they have proven once again that a good 'copy' can make more money on the market than the 'original'. Anyhow, today we share the territory: Rammstein seem to be a kind of Laibach for adolescents and Laibach are Rammstein for grown-ups.
- excerpt from a past Laibach interview
READ the excerpts from the 1980-1985 Laibach interviews posted on the official website.
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