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Laibach: London Gig Preview Interview
The Quietus , December 14th, 2009 12:17

NSK communique blasts Quietus for perceived anti-Europe stance, talks "heavy" ULU show

Next Sunday, December 20th, Laibach will play a one-off concert at London's ULU as they gear up for their 30th anniversary in 2010.

Alongside Juno Reactor, Laibach will revisit material from their extensive back catalogue for the special one-off event, for which you can buy tickets here.

The Quietus contacted Laibach to talk about the gig, their work with Juno Reactor, and plans for their 30th anniversary. Here's what they said:

Can you tell us a little of your past work with Juno Reactor?

We first met JR in 1994 at the legendary Harrow Rd 114, when both groups were part of Mute Records; the same year JR remixed our version of 'Final Countdown' song and in 1996 we covered their song 'God is God'. Recently they asked us to help getting them a show in Ljubljana, so we invited them as our guests to a recent concert we had in Ljubljana (in September 09). In the end we decided to do the whole EU tour together and it looks like we might be working on some future projects as well. Recently JR mixed another Laibach track from the Volk album (Turkye), and we are finishing a remix of their track. We also invited Ben Watkins to join us with recording, mixing and co-producing our ‘classics meet jazz meet industrial meet electronic’ fusion project VOLKSWAGNER, which we are doing with the Ljubljana Symphonic orchestra. If everything is going to work out we are also extending our collaboration for the Iron Sky movie soundtrack, starting next year.

What is it about their work that appeals to Laibach?

The intense driving energy they are able to produce in their music, some brilliant cinematic sound they did, comic and also humoristic elements in their appearance - which they are actually hiding quite successfully.

How will Juno Reactor be involved in the December performance

In principle it is a double headline show, but we are opening it. We decided to do so due to the ‘heavier’ character of Laibach’s current concert program. Juno Reactor’s show, following Laibach’s performance, might ‘entertain’ part of the audience a bit more than we can or want.

You'll be playing music from your back catalogue. How have you approached the reworkings?

As an interesting peace of history which needs to be understood and reinterpreted not to be repeated. We checked some songs already at the show in Ljubljana, but for the coming tour we added few more. These are mainly remakes of the early Laibach ‘classics’ from the first half of the 80s.

What did you wish to convey in them? A sense of Laibach's progress?

Well, it’s always healthy to look back every here and there and check out what we did with new eyes and ears. It doesn’t hurt anybody. If we can inspire ourselves with everybody else, why shouldn’t we be also inspired by ourselves?

Next year is Laibach's 30th anniversary. What do you have planned to commemorate these three decades?

A lot is scheduled; we are working on several records and different projects, special CD and vinyl collections, preparing three big Laibach Kunst exhibitions (Ljubljana, Trbovlje, Zagreb) and getting together some very unique concert appearances. Hopefully we will also be able to start a new tour with completely a new program towards the end of the year.

Do British audiences respond to Laibach's live concerts differently to Europeans? And if so, how?

L: As a matter of fact no. Generally British audiences respond to Laibach enthusiastically; some concerts are better than the others and some audiences react better than the other but in principle the audience does not differ so much around Europe. After all - what makes you British still think you are not Europeans?

A fair point. What is the most challenging place for Laibach to play live? How does America receive you these days?

L: The most challenging place for Laibach to play live is in Ljubljana - Nemo propheta in patria sua. The American audience is normally a very good one for Laibach but it’s getting tougher and tougher for us to play there. Somehow America is getting further away during the past few years than it ever was.

Europe has changed massively in the past 30 years, with the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet bloc recently celebrated across Europe. Have Laibach and the NSK sought to reflect this at all?

Well, we are pretty much doing that constantly. We have toured extensively through Eastern and Western Europe, passing through the Berlin wall, already in 1983. As a matter of fact we dare to believe that many things in Europe in the past 30 years changed also because of us.

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