We want to say thank you to Death In June, the outlandish icon of the neo-folk world, and Douglas P., for what they have brought to music, during their long history, and for this special interview they gave us. Long live Death In June.
1 - Who is Death in June ? Can you tell us about your past time? And why did you choose the name Death in June ?
Death In June originally formed in 1981 and whilst recording our first 12" e.p. 'Heaven Street' I misheard something the drummer said and I thought it was "death in June'. At wasn't but, as we had yet to decide on the actual name of the group that instantaneously became the name. It was pure 'chance' and although many people have tried to post-rationalize the actual meaning it didn't have one at the time. But, now I think it could have many. I heard so many explanations from other people. In 1985 I became the sole member of the group after the other 2 original members had left to pursue other projects. Throughout its nearly 30 year history DIJ has released many recordings and undergone several stylistic changes which cannot be spoken of in the answer to one question - it's the length of a book. And, it's best left up to others to describe, anyway.
2 - Which things have an effect on your songs?
Everything! Like I've said in the past, Death in June is a multi-headed beast of obsessions. And, there have been many!
3 - Your songs have totenkopf items. What do they mean ? What do they show ? Why do you use them ? What does components like Totenkopf represent in your works ?
It shows total commitment. Death in June is so intense in its approach to everything, anything else is worthless. You need total commitment to survive Death in June and its independent Lifeforce.
4- In your concerts you give a special importance to visuality. Is it hard to keep this harmony ? Have you ever experienced anything unsual during the concerts ?
Death In June has never wanted to be just another music group. Death In June stands aside from most of that and naturally part of that is to maintain harmony and balance within the group itself and to maintain its 'otherness' and 'outsideness'. Live performances were seen more as rituals than simply playing music. Luckily, I'm sure most performances in the last years achieved that magickal feel.
I think the strangest and most unusual event that took place at any show I can remember was in Stockholm, Sweden in 2003 when out of the teeming mass of the audience in front of me 2 - 3 figures wearing pig masks began climbing up pillars in the hall. To see these pig's heads rising above the rest of the crowd was very odd!
5-You have an important place in neo-folk world . Does this kind of statue puts a different responsibility upon your shoulders or do you just do what you want ?
It does and it doesn't. I've always done what I've wanted to do otherwise Death In June wouldn't sound like Death In June. However, at this stage in the game there is always a fear of repeating myself or repeating how others have copied Death In June. I think that's the bigger concern because so many groups do now sound like Death In June, which is good in some ways but, not so good for me in others. I try to keep ahead of the pack.
6-Your first single is in 1981 "Heaven Street" and then you made lots of albums. Is there a special album you like the most?
Realistically it's always the latest one that's been released so The Rule Of Thirds has a special place in my Heart. But, then they all do in lesser or greater degrees. Unless I'm having to deal with a re-issue or remix etc I rarely listen to my older recordings but there are songs I regularly play on the guitar from right across the catlogue of work.
7-Do you think since 1981 with your music and with your works have you changed somethigs ? And can you tell us what are the changes you experienced?
Death In June by its very nature would always be in a perpetual state of flux and, of course, in the nearly 30 years of its existence there have been changes - always for the better! It's been a very organic and natural evolution.
8-Do you see music as an object or a subject to express yourself and yoru life?
I think that music still has the capacity to be the most instant, evocative and magickal of all art forms. It still can surprise and inspire me. It transformed and transforms my Life.
9-There are lots of different cultures in the world. Which ones effects you the most?
I'm a Euro-centric Englishman now living in the far flung Southern colony of Australia in a World whose very Nature and Existence appears to be under threat by climate change and natural disasters preoccupied by the twists, turns and demands of violent reactionary islamic fundamentalism.
10-Is there any new future projects you like to tell?
2009 was mainly spent tidying up a lot of the Death In June past with several important CD/Vinyl re-issues and a very special commemorative edition in the 'Symbols And Clouds Euro Cross'. I'm also presently working on a new album called 'Peaceful Snow' alongside several DVD projects as well as a book called 'Hidden Among The Runes' which I trust will all come to fruition in 2010. The book will be published first in Italy and then other countries. As always there is a lot to be achieved with Death In June.