1. Have a great day, Albin. When the editor-in-chief told me that you responded positively about the interview, I could not hide my pleasure. And even though you quite often come to my country, I have not heard about any interview that you had given to the Czech readers. Or has anything like this happened in the past?
No, this is the first nterview I do for a Czech magazine – I did one for Czech Television ages ago when we peformed Divadlo Archa..but that`s it. I am very happy as well about this interiew as I love Czechia a lot and we are often there – actually my grandgrandfather was Czech – so i have a heartfull relation to your lovelly country.
2. Before we get to the various music-related topics, I would like to ask you about your current work. Are you working on anything interesting except for your music these days?
We just finished a collaboration wth French Band Aluk Todolo which we will release as a LP end of March – as well last weekend I finished mixing our new album wich will be sent to mastering ina few days and should eb ready for release before summer. Then we have many plans..in 4 weeks Geoffroy D is comming and we finish recording a pop album – then Lina Baby Doll will come for some recordings..in August we record a new Varunna album with Alessio .. and there are some more plans in the pipe.
3. Both in your projects and attitudes, there can be felt that you embrace traditional spiritual values of the Europian cultural heritage. Such stances are often seen as controversial and vague these days. Anyway, that is not the topic of our interview. What does this all mean to you and how have you built your way to these values?
Well...I am Austrian – and as partt of Europe its simply our heritage, so why not deal with these values? But since a while these values are not visibel in our current work and therefore its more a thing of the former years. The world os moving on – and so are we!
4. You also are a head of the WKN. How are the things going? What is the current situation for the owners of small labels? Recently, I have read a lot of essays on the topic of return of gramophones and musical collecting, despite the trend of media digitalization. What is your opinion about this?
Well, I run WKN – this is only for our own projects. But HauRucK! Is the plattform to release other peoples music. I asm quit privileged, as I do not run it as a business but as a privilege to release musicI like from people I love and I onyl release stuff I listern to myself..so therefore econoics isn`t that important as all profits normally go directly into new projects – but we as well feel very much that people prefer to steal music than to buy it. It is ridiculous...because it will not damage the big concerbs but the small indipendant labels which depend on some sales. I have some friends who rund labels and will quit soon, soem already did, which is evry sad, because all of them were not interrested in making money, but into releasing the music. And for this you ened money....
Yes..there is a small return of vinyl.. butwe tal about small collectors editions...which is nice as well..but its not that big. Although I adore this, as I love vinyl myself and a LP is just moire beautiful to release than a CD – but I like both formats. Which I hate is digitalized music, simply becuase I am a fetishist of artwork, and I personally want THEE THING in my hands...not just bits on the computer.
5. Have you recently read or heard something that you found very essential and was in a way enriched by? What about you and other forms of art, such as visual arts or literature?
Yes..I did..there is a lot of music I like..I am very open to different styles...one of them now has been released on HauRucK!° the Croatian psychedelic rockband „7 that spells“ – which si a phantastic band...Niko plays guitars on our forthcommign album. Besides music which is for me the most important form of art I really like good movies....and books, but we go a lot to art exhibitions as well...I am very interrested in arts and I think art is ery important for the soul!
Now, let's get to your projects.
1. I know this question has become a bit of a cliché, but I can not go without asking a few questions about your early project THE MOON LAY HIDDEN BENEATH A CLOUD. What lead you to the idea to create music and what were your influences those days?
I met my former partner iat university, and she was in a small band which at that time did split..and so Iwe just continued..played arround a bit but then very fast decided to try to be professional, and it worked quit well...we had a lot of luck at that time. I already played piano since I was 6 – so I always did play an isntrument...but since I then discovered the sampler for work this opened a totally new horizon – and I think this instrument was the main inspiration that time..you totally alone could create really interresting things....I often just worked the whole night at the machine and totally forgot time and everything arround me....
2. The career of this project is with no doubt connected with the label "Arthur's Round Table" which was releasing the recordings. As this label no longer exists, could you please tell the readers a few details about the cooperation or something about the label in general?
Well,t he label was our own label..we decided to release it ourselves as most label are just thiefs and/or want too much control – but we did not want to give away any control..so thats why we decided to found Arthur`S Round Table....we then witht he first record got a distribution deal with World Serpend and this was the beginning of a rerally sucessfull time. When we did end TMLHBAC we as well burried ART – it was just emmotionally the only thing we could do at this time.
3. One of the strongest materials from my point of view is on the vinyl called "Kostnice". It is a very hypnotic and intriguing material that still seems to hide many secrets. First of all, I would like to ask about the reason to use the name of this town in the concept of your art, secondly, it is a very interesting fact that you used the Czech version of the name. Is this connected with the Council of Constance or death of the reformer Jan Hus?
Well, as I aslready mentioned, i LOVE Czechia – and I like Kostnice...I have been there for sure 12 times now...we then were there the first time and we visited the bounehouse and were totally impressed and this was the main inspiration for this release...the cover of one album was shot there as well.
4. There are also two collaborational recordings coming from the THE MOON LAY HIDDEN BENEATH A CLOUD era - collaborations with Deutsch Nepal and Hybryds. What impulse did these collaborations give you for the future creation? Did you anyhow utilize the these experiences in your later works?
Well, we met Lina on the first concert we ever played with TMLHBAC on a festival in France and went along quit well..so we became friends and the collaboration just „happened“ when Lina came to visit us once....Lina stayed and now is one of the most important persons int he world for me..he is one of my best friends and we work together from time to time....generally I totally LOVE to collaborate with diferent friends...it gives you a lot perosnally but as well musically – as all of them bring something own into your world and music..on the new album we have again some guests..and its as well for me really beautiful to have people working with me whos musicI love and am a fan of. This is very satisfiing..and I will continue to involve many people into our music.
5. The releases of THE MOON LAY HIDDEN BENEATH A CLOUD are quite a collectors article these days and it is not easy to get to them. For a long time, the situation seemed that there would be no re-releases. Are the conditions better now and can we therefore look forward to a reedetion or shall we resign to searching for these articles?
We for a long time could not even talk together..to many things happened...but thenwe met and discussed a possible re-release through Tesco – but in the lasty ears Elisabeth got involved in extreme rightwing activities and politics and therefore I decided not to rerelease the music and let it be – and I think tis better...I do not need negativity and bad things in my life...I have such a good life and am atotally happy person – and life a beautiful life full of LOVE – so I do not want any sort of hate or something being connected in any way to me.
1. The next fundamental project of your life is by all means DER BLUTHARSCH. As I belong to the younger generation, I had no chance to observe the evolution of the project from the very beginning and I do not know your early stances and opinions either. Had you ever thought that DER BLUTHARSCH would leave its "classic" expression given by works such as "First", "Der Sieg Des Lichtes Is Des Lebens Heil!" or "The Pleasures Received In Pain" before it actually happened? What are your memories from that era?
I only have good memories from all aeras of this project...the maybe best thing with music is that i met so many wonderfull people...of corse many idiots as well, but they won`t enter my world...but yes. Friends I met through music, then really nice travels to concerts, i did see a lot of the workd doing concerts, we had a lot of fun but as welle xciting thigng...I think i experienced more in 10 years than other people in their whole life...so this is just perfect! And I make my lifing with music, which is not bad either....=)
2. You have met a lot of phenomenal musicians during your career with DER BLUTHARSCH. From the interviews that I have read, it is clear that you respect Boyd Rice, Lina Baby Doll and others a lot. What do these friendships mean to you after the years?
Many people came, many left and a few stayed..and these people are thee people I care about....like Lina Baby Doll..which is one of my best friuends, Jörg, our Guitarpalyer – same for him, or Geoffroy from Derniere Volonte....we call each other a lot and mail nearly everyday and although we meet maybe 3 or 4 times a year for me it si really good to know they are out there.
3. Even though I shamefully missed the DER BLUTHARSCH performance in Prague two years ago, I had the chance to appreciate the show at least from "Live In Praha". Was this performance with SadSongSingers the only show in Czech Republic or were there any that I still miss? I also would like to ask about your experiences from other performances, be they recorder live or not. Were these just good?
Well, good we released the video, right? Well, i have to say that without Jan Krumel this all wouldn`t have been possible....he is a great guy – I love him as well. But back to your question...we did play a few ties in Czechia...on ym ever first tour supporting Boyd Rice we performed 007 in Praha...funny was that last year I performed there again playing Organs for my friends White Hills from NYC. But actually I thinkw e palyed Praha with Blutharsch 2 times, then in other aprts as well..in total I perofrmed 5 times in Czechia with DB and one time with Lina as SadSongSIngers..and I hope to be able to come back a few times to perform..but as well for holiday...Praha is one of the 4 cities I like most to travel to!
4. The covers of DER BLUTHARSCH albums are decorated by various interesting creations - from the most controversial, yet still appealing images on "Der Sieg Des Lichtes..." or "The Pleasures Received In Pain" to works unknown to me ("When All Else Fails") and photographic imaginations. What do the authors and works mean and symbolize to you, including the ideological or philosophical side of DER BLUTHARSCH? Does any of your creations carry its own unique story?
Well, its always strange as the cover comes to be – so its somehow a weird thing with artworks...I sometimes do see soemthign and know that if I take a photo this will be a cover....and there is a weird story for every cover somehow..but this would be too much to talk about...but its always different..ie When ALL erLSE Fails is a detail from an antifacist poster from WW2 – Everything is alright was taken in Sardinia when were searching some old bunkers and accidently I did see this...it really somehow seams magick for myself how covers happen. Philosopher´S Stone cover is just a detail in our garden.
5. I must say that from my point of view, "When Did Wonderland End?" is the best album I have ever heard and it means a lot to me. Is there a single word or a sentence that could exactly describe this work of yours? How do you yourself perceive this record nearly half of a decade later?
I think the title is the explanation! For me it is an important album as it somehow is the one which markes the change of style and already showed a bt where the journey will lead to....I still like it...but every album somehow has an important place in my heart!
1. And now to your most recent project. When it comes to the later albums of DER BLUTHARSCH, one can strongly sense industrial-psychedelic rock feel, which I had the chance to judge by my own ears on Flying High! and on the collaboration with White Hills. Is this the main reason why DER BLUTHARSCH transformed into the current entity or is there anything much more important, especially on the side of ideology?
Well, it is more just a evolution which happened due to some reasons...first Jörg joined the band and his guitarwork is an essential aprt of the music now...we do not use any sasmpler anymore..all is performed by us in the studio – then I moved out of the city 5 years when we bought a house int he woods..so now I life a total different life with a lot of nature and peace....and this chnaged my life, attitude aswella s the way I see things now - and of corse I got older and changed due to this as well.
Also I got bored with provocation – it was fun for some whie to provocate – but it gets easily boring and I think more important is the music and not the cliche or image. I still am a bit proud about wehat we did and how we did it – and ie the fact that we pissed so many people of with a minimu efford – but its the past and today things are different. I think I just turned into an old hioppie and I like it. LOVE is LIFE! LIFE is LOVE!
2. I am very much looking forward to the collaborational vinyl with Aluk Todolo. In addition to the graphical side, I for sure expect a certain dose of music, so I would like to ask about the conditions in which the record was born. What can the listener expect from it? Was the collaborational work good?
It was a reall good collaboration, and honestly I think its the best release I ever was involved with. We met them in paris when they organized a gig for us and they are totally great people.w.e had a good time...I didn`t now them before, but Jörg liked their music a lot, so he intoduced it to em and I imediatelly liked it. Aluk are a great abnd with a unique sound and doing their own thing...this I liek a lot. So I suggested a collaboration,a nd they like the idea as they like our msuic as well..so we each did 2 basic tracks and did send it to the other to continue working on it...I think tis really very heavy record....Aluk tzold me that its drug music..and its true..I recently listened to it on acid and it blew my brain into another dimension. But well...taste is different, so best to make your own mind..let me know how you like it.
3. Vinyl version of the new piece is not the first thing the newly created formation produced. I had the chance to see photos of the limited vinyl called no other name but traditionally Untitled and my scrutiny was truly lickerish. I do not want this to sound too bootlicking, but I have not seen such beautiful and artful overall design fir a long time. Could you please reveal if we will ever have the chance to hear these compositions on any future album or if these are going to stay a bonus for those 33 chosen friends?
Well, one soing ins an alternative instrumental version of the new album...the other song will be exclusivly available only on this box....it was not cheap to produce and it was expensive for people so I think its only fair if they have something special and unique.
4. You have traveled through a few cities with DER BLUTHARSCH. Are you planning to continue with the concert activity with DER BLUTHARSCH AND THE INFINITE CHURCH OF THE LEADING HAND? Will there be a chance to see you live in addition to the performance with Sixth Comm and Sol Invictus or will you perform live just on a couple of truly special events?
Well, of corse we will continue eprforming life..its phantastic and I like to play to people....but its notthat easy as it was before with 3 people and a backing tape and some drums..we now are 7 people on tour plus Lina which alwys has to be part of the tour....so next yearw e are planning a small tour again. This year we will perform Wroclaw Industrial festival and maybe add one or two more gigs..thats it for 2011....but be warned, we will come back!
5. When thinking about the visual side, I can not skip asking about the new logo. In addition to the decent two-colour design of your new pages, the visitors eye definitely gets caught by the number of symbols creating the logo. Some of those I do understand, but the presence of the others stays a secret to me. If this is not your private secrecy, what exactly is the combination supposed to depict?
I think the logo is explaining itself, and those things which are nit visiual ont he first look might become on the second,a nd if not they stayx hidden in the myst – and this is as it should be!
Well, that is it from me. Thank you very much for the interview and I hope that it brought at least some joy to you and did not bore you that much. And, a good habit - the last words are yours.
I thank you for the support and interrest:
If you love yourself you will love the world!