Interview:2006-Elegy

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You are releasing through your website many old stuff (like "Burial") and and also DVDs. A few words about it? It's said that these recordings will NOT be available via any shop or music distributer for purchase. Whynot?

You're confused. Only the 'Free Tibet' release is not available via any shop or record distributer. It's purely for Free download off of the internet from the main DIJ website. All other releases should be available from shops/mail order companies/internet sites and music distributers that normally stock Death In June. The back catalogue reissues have been a major project since I departed the now defunct world serpent distribution in 1999. Any major artist has to keep his back catalogue in constant circulation.

A few words about the two DVDs (what can we expect from them)? One is a live, the other is more like a documentary on your life? Why showing what's behind the mask?

Well, I think you've just described them yourself. Two are in fact live representing Death In June at different stages in its development and the documentary is really a long overdue overview of 25 years of Death In June.

What other re-releases come next?

Later this year there will be the 20th anniversary deluxe edition of 'The orld That Summer' album. It will come in a stone box and will include an xtra CD with extra material and rare material from 1986.

What about "The Doctor"? How were you brought into this project? It's the second time you're playing a part in a movie, isn't it? Are you beginning a new career?

The American director of 'The Doctor' Thomas Nola is a Death In June fan and approached me to narrate the soundtrack to the film. I don't actually physically appear in it like I did with 'Pearls Before Swine'. I enjoyed working with him and perhaps will do so on a follow -up next year. The same also applies to Richard Wolstonecroft the Australian director of the film 'Pearls Before Swine'. He's presently working on a new screen play and would like me to have a role in that as well. I think that film will be called 'Nova Scotia' and is set in a school. I'll probably play a teacher! Acting wouldn't be a new career it would only be an extension of what I already do.

For which director would you like to work for, as music composer or as an actor?

I think working with the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder or Pier Paolo Passolini would have been interesting but as they are dead I'm prepared to work with all today's new hopes.

What is your favourite movie (or your five fave ones if too difficult)?

One would be impossible and 5 is still far too few but I think if I say 6 films then perhaps a clearer picture appears;

  • 400 Blows (Les 400 Coups?)
  • The World That Summer
  • Blue Velvet
  • Rebel Without A Cause
  • The Night Porter
  • The Butterfly Effect

What was the idea behind the "Free Tibet" release? Why did you exorcise these songs? Is it a deed aiming to help and free Tibet? And what Tibet, the country or the man himself, David Tibet?

I think all the possible connotations regarding this new Death In June title work on all possible levels. It is a complete whole.

Did you work altogether for these remixes, you and David? Could you collaborate for another brand new project?

No, besides the original vocals Tibet recorded for Death In June in 1992/1994 he had nothing to do with this project. But, that's enough in itself! In retrospect I don't think I should ever have let him write a title such as 'This Is Not Paradise' in the first place. It tempted providence far too much. And, no I will never collaborate with him again. From 1983 - 1994 was more than enough.

What made you choose to use this old photograph already used for "93 dead Sunwheels"? Do you think it's a kind of similar project as this previous album?

Quite simply the colours of his shirt matched the colours of the flag of Tibet. The image was chosen on aesthetic grounds. It just happens to be from a photo shoot from 1984 which we did for the release of the 'NADA!" album and later used on '93 Dead Sunwheels'.

Are you planning a new album soon? Have you got new material? What can we expect?

I am in fact writing a lot of new lyrics and there are some new songs but like with any Death In June album in the past piecing all of this together takes time. When it's meant to come together I'm sure it will. Until then I have no idea what it will sound like. The only comment I've heard from my sound engineer is that so far it's a bit like Van Morrison meets Syd Barrett. Oh!? It's still very early days!!

What do you feel when you remember the Crisis times(I mean the band, of course)? What is your best souvenir from Crisis?

My best memory is that we were actually involved in the early Punk days. They taught me a lot about self determination and self reliance. Without Punk there would not be so much. Certainly I'm sure there wouldn't be Death In June. It was a very important time. My Life Saver!!

Do you think you will sometimes deliver a song with an electric and saturated guitar as you did before 1983? Or you're sure to go on with acoustic guitars and synths?

I don't hear my music in the way I did before 1983. I don't believe saturated electric guitars will make a come back in DIJ. But, who knows?

In May 2005, you played in Brest. What do you remember from these gigs?

The 2 shows were quite separate and different in their own distinct ways; Playing a purely acoustic show in an old Napoleonic fort on the coast looking out to the wilderness of the Atlantic to a small crowd illuminated only by flares and incence sticks was a very moving and magickal experience. I could almost see the U-boats out at sea! The following night was equally blessed by having 2 brilliant support groups play with us - Omnicore and Derniere Volonte in a club that was due for demolition soon after. Being set in Finisterre was the perfect place for the final Death In June live performance. A good place for The End to be set.

Were they your very last gigs til then? Do you expect other gigs? In France??

As the tour begun in Australia last year I knew this would be the final tour. Before we flew to America I told John Murphy my percussionist that after performing in 25 countries in nearly 25 years enough was enough and me taking 3-4 months out of every year dealing with all the things that go with international tours certainly was too much. As we queued up waiting to be checked in I knew this was the right decision. Thankfully, all the shows were very satisfactory on all levels so the feeling of comraderie between Death In June and its audience was probably at its peak. It was a good time to say "Au revoir!"

What music are you currently listening too ?

My favourite albums recently have been the new ones from The Buzzcocks 'Flat Pack Philosophy' , Pets Shop Boys 'Fundamental', Ray Davies 'Other People's Lives' and Nouvelle Vague 'Bande A Part’.

You're living in Australia. What is so enjoyable there? What is your favourite typical australian thing (animal, plate, drink, speciality or anything)?

What is so enjoyable in Australia and what are my favourite things? The Men and the Koalas - on both counts!

Are you afraid of what's going on out there in our world? Are you afraid of our leaders?

If you have time to be afraid then you are lost.

What does obsess you these days? Or what does preoccupy you in this world today?

Survival in the best way possible for as long as possible. The ultimate End is inevitable but in what state do we arrive?

Is Death in June a way to best know yourself, to discover your shadow parts and find out what your soul is made of? Or just an intuitive and compulsory act of creation?

All of those and more.

Could you explain the phrase: "Cleanse the hand that feeds you"? What hand does feed you?

Death In June. It must at all times be kept pure in its intentions.

What is your fave Death in June album?

For me it's an impossible question to answer. I change depending on the day and the mood I'm in. A lot of other people think it's '"NADA!"', 'Brown Book' or 'But, What Ends When The Symbols Shatter?'

Are you still in contact with Albin Julius?

Yes, of course. We often communicate. He has a nice new house in the country near Vienna he keeps sending me photos of. Perhaps we'll do some recording there one day?

What book would you advise me to read if I was your best friend?

Jean Genet's 'Funeral Rites'.

Your best enemy?

The Bible or the Koran - both should be capable of boring my enemy to death when he reads them - if that doesn't work then they are both heavy enough for me to beat him to death with. Effective in both cases!

Same question with a record?

My best friend - House Of Loungecore 'The Easy Project II'

My enemy - Death In June 'All Pigs Must Die'

What is the thing that you cannot understand, forgive or accept in a human being?

Treachery.