EXCERPTS FROM INTERVIEWS GIVEN BETWEEN 1980-1985*
QUESTION: How and when was the LAIBACH group formed? In what circumstances and for what reasons? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
LAIBACH: The formation of the group is closely linked with the rise of modern consciousness and the new socio-economic relations, whose function and meaning were fully exposed precisely in Trbovlje, a town with a strong revolutionary and industrial tradition.
The workers’ movement gathered considerable momentum in the period between the two world wars in the Zasavje regions, namely in Trbovlje, Zagorje and Hrastnik. The workers, led by their party, gradually took over the leading role of the Slovene nation and in the following period – during the National Liberation War and the socialist revolution – fulfilled this role by securing for the Slovenes their freedom, their own state, social liberation and passage into socialism.
In the years between the two wars, the Communist Party was formed in the mining districts, and the “Commune of Trbovlje” (Trboveljska Komuna) was created. The biggest miners’ strike ensued, and the first fascist actions of the bloody organization of Yugoslav nationalists “Orjuna” were repelled. The miners occupied the mines and went on a heart-rending hunger strike. The youth of Zasavje showed great fighting spirit and the miners’ wives actively took part in social events. During this period, large workers’ cultural societies were founded in Zasavje. They cultivated theater, singing and music. Poets, writers and actors emerged. The first workers’ athletes and alpinists, the first children’s groups as the avant-garde of future pioneers, appeared.
The socialist idea, which came to the mining regions in the last quarter of the previous century, gradually captured the workers’ minds. The communists, who were well-versed in public activities as well as in the new forms of underground activities, were an inspiration to the workers. Socialist ideas became a living guide for action, for the preparation and execution of the socialist revolution, “the final and decisive battle” announced by “The Internationale”. The reforms which struggled to keep the capitalist order functioning were no longer the essence and meaning of the workers’ struggle; they were replaced by the task of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and fighting for the rule of the working class. In 1924 a miner poet wrote:
Rebellion is the ever-existing force of life
Rebellion is a prayer composed by the masses
Rebellion is a step towards the temple of resurrection
Rebellion is anger rooted in hunger
Rebellion begets new worlds!
Today, these mining districts are changing their image. A contemporary industrial worker lives among the factories and mines, no longer silently chained to his mountain-bound valley. He has become a working, socialist man, with a natural instinct and feel for class affiliation. Few towns show such great antagonisms between the old and the new as Trbovlje. The legacy of the former capitalist society had to relinquish its place to the new social economic order, heralded by the constantly oppressed working class, by all the working people and citizens, who are paving the road of future progress by satisfying collective and general interests.
The group LAIBACH was founded in Trbovlje in 1980.
Is there an official or unofficial manifesto of the group? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
Every historical manifesto, as a program, a collection of aims, forms and principles of a movement is basically incomplete, burdened with itself and left to the dynamism of time (e.g., the Communist Manifesto, 1848, the Futuristic Manifesto, 1909), which exposes the short-lived, demagogic character of its foundations. LAIBACH is the realization of the universality of time; our organized activity is intense agitation and permanent, systematic, propagandist and ideological offensive. In keeping with this, our basic orientational standpoints are constantly being discussed and revised. Thus the program is not a theory of dogmas, but is continuously being amended, subject to dynamic transformation, i.e., constant revision and redefinition. A complete manifesto-like version therefore does not exist, but the basic theses and program documents are formulated and systematized in several regional groups, and concentrated in them through the 10 Items of the Covenant. These ten items represent the fundamental program of LAIBACH KUNST’s doctrine.
When I was invited to Ljubljana a short time ago (to the Science-Fiction Festival), I immediately noticed on the map that the old name for Ljubljana was – Laibach. Why did you choose this name? Does it have anything to do with your image? (SPEX – WEST GERMANY, 1984)
A name signifies the reification of the Idea on the level of an enigmatic cognitive symbol. The name Laibach first appeared in 1144 as the original name of Ljubljana, the city “by the stream” (Bach) and “the moor” (Laibach). It appears again during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, this time as an alternative to the already existing Slovene version. “LAIBACH” again appears in 1943, after the capitulation of Italy in the Second World War, when the Germans took control of the city. This was the period when the Nazis and Belogardisti (White Guard) arrested, tortured and murdered those citizens of Ljubljana who did not believe in the victory of the Third Reich. In 1980, with the emergence of a youth culture group, the name LAIBACH appeared for the fourth time, suggesting specific possibilities for the formation of a politicized – systematically ideological – art, as a consequence of the influence of politics and ideology. In this sense, the name summarizes the horror of the communion between totalitarianism and alienation generated by production in the form of slavery.
With what kind of principles does LAIBACH manipulate in creating atmosphere at a concert? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
Our appearance has a purifying (EXORCISM) and regenerative (HONEY + GOLD) function. With a mystical erotic audiovisual constitution of the ambivalence of fear and fascination (which acts on the consciousness in a primeval way), with a ritualized demonstration of political force, and with other manipulative approaches, LAIBACH practices sound/force in the form of a systematic (psychophysical) terror as therapy and the principle of social organization.
Purpose: to provoke maximum collective emotions and release the automatic response of the masses;
Consequence: the effective disciplining of the revolted and alienated audience; awakening the feeling of total belonging and commitment to the Higher Order;
Result: by obscuring his intellect, the consumer is reduced to a state of humble remorse, which is a state of collective aphasia, which in turn is the principle of social organization.
How do you justify the violence which you inflict on the audience (the aggressive sound, the tiresome repetitiousness, blinding spotlights directed at the audience, large black banners and posters with punch)? (ROCK – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
When social antagonism culminates in political and economic crises, only force remains as the “ultima ratio” of social integration. Force must assume the form of systematic (physical and psychical) terror, organized in accordance with social relations: terror assumes the function of a productive force, extorting discipline and adaptation of the masses to existing relations of production and the existing apparatus of production. Systematic terror becomes the constitutive instrument of government.
Thus, violence is not a system or aesthetics and even less so entertainment. Violence is a brutal necessity, to which we have submitted.
From an ethical standpoint, your performances were several times branded as immoral. What is your comment? (ROCK – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
In art, morality is nonsense; in practice it is immoral; in people it is a sickness.
Who are your role models; from where do you derive your ideas? Surely you do not claim that these ideas of yours are original? (RTV LJ – YUGOSLAVIA, 1983)
Do you associate the production of LAIBACH with some similar (contemporary) attempts abroad (I have various fields of artistic production in mind)? What is your reaction to the remarks of critics that This Heat and Throbbing Gristle provide your basic (not only musical) inspiration? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
Abroad, as well as at home, in every age, there exists a mass of authors, who build their work (and life) on similar aesthetic principles as LAIBACH. Some of them have come close to perfection in their expressive efforts, primarily thanks to the historical conditions in which they lived and worked. Consequently, LAIBACH recognizes influences (originality is an illusion of false revolutionaries), but only as physically necessary influences of a secondary importance, which are embodied in us only as a historical base of the present moment (and their selection is unlimited). That is why every classification and determination is erroneous in terms of LAIBACH’s primary tendency. Our basic inspiration (role models, which are not models by form, but are themselves the material of LAIBACH manipulation) remains industrial production, Nazi-Kunst, totalitarianism, bruitism,… and, of course, disco.
Whenever I read a review of one of your concerts, I have the feeling that the critics have problems with your image, your ideological platforms and political connotations. Why do you think people are so serious at your concerts? … they are not sure whether you are fascists or not, … at least it was like this in Germany. And your performance in Hamburg: despite the exceptional concert, a lot of people left the concert hall. How do you explain this? Do you like it if the reaction of the public is so strong, stronger than for any other group? (SPEX – WEST GERMANY, 1984)
Our expression is multi-layered, so that in only one confrontation with it, it is not possible to completely comprehend its structure. It provokes those who do not have the energy to reconstruct and understand the LAIBACH idea (unmasking social neurosis). But those who will perspicaciously reach the thought are the chosen ones of our times. LAIBACH unites warriors and opponents into an expression of a scream of static totalitarianism.
Do you think that you are more effective, in front of a sophisticated or an unprepared audience, “uninformed” about the response to your type of music? (NME – UK, 1985)
The LAIBACH audience is any audience which accepts the extreme position of contemporary (post)industrial production. Identification with our position is possible by means of the intellect or the intuition in a schizophrenic subject, who is, in the process of degeneration, totally alienated from society (mobilization of unstable individuals). The audience can add to our demonstration the everyday practice of politicizing, the desire for knowledge and the dimension of satisfaction.
Is not your conception and the importance which you assign to industry within the structure of the state rather nostalgic? I have in mind the increasing liberation from work and industry, the growth of automation, etc., which means that the “ideal conditions” (limited free time) for such an understanding of industry are on their way out. (NME – UK, 1985)
The notion of industrialization is eternal. It develops as “software” automation, regardless of production, which is transferred to the unexploited regions of the world. Industrialization of the so-called “third world” emerges on the basis of the automatic exploitation of a cheap work force. The “ideal conditions” of limited free time are, in terms of such an economic transplantation of production and newly created relations of production (bilaterally), clearly visible. The fall of the British Empire and the establishment of a “colonial” dependence on the USA are the result of the same economic process.
The evaluation of free time is performed in industrial terms (also through music magazines such as NME); it is a complex reflexion of the objective situation. From the initial position of power, determined by the ideology of the ruling class, the mass communications are taking over the creative incentive, forcibly introducing passivity into the economic, political, intellectual and cultural life (the process of de-politicization). In this way, Kulturindustrie – through forming and directing free activities (relaxation, entertainment, sports, culture…) – contributes to the Progress of the Industrial Personality.
You say that “the need for authority is stronger than the will for independence” (LAIBACH, The Instrumentality of the State Machine, SKUC publication, 1983); how do you justify such a statement in the light of the Yugoslav National Liberation Struggle (resistance against Nazism) and the post-war “nonalignment” (rejection of subordination to a stronger power)? (NME – UK, 1985)
AUTHORITY is the force of the will which subordinates our (LAIBACH’s) activity to its own purpose. Independence and a certain autonomy are obligatory from the standpoint of the authority of artistic practice. Psychohistorical dislocation is the problem of collective consciousness in its search of symbolic forms as collective formulation; it is the inability to exit from the individual’s existence as a machine, which is the neurosis of death. Propaganda is the aspect of mass communication, which acts as a psychohistorical dislocation of eternal visual and auditory conceptions and thus supports non-alignment. NON-ALIGNMENT is the need for dependence, and dependence forms the process of creation of the force of the will, which is AUTHORITY.
How do you understand freedom in general? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
The image of freedom changes with time: the freedom which is possible in a period of prosperity is not allowed when scarcity reigns. Our freedom is the freedom of those who think alike.
LAIBACH’s studio projects greatly differ from their live projects: the records increasingly emphasize rather simple disco-recording trends, while in concert you approach total experimentation, which is also close to the avant-garde classical music. What is the unifying characteristic? (GLASBENA MLADINA – YUGOSLAVIA, 1985)
Militant classicism is a form which unites the mechanics of organic rhythm and the confusion of intuitive sound interventions into the Harmony of the Beautiful Idea. We have monopolized the right to chaos so as to underline order. The difference between studio work and in-concert events is based on the consideration of context and the nature of the medium.
Your new recordings are more open, more populist: is this an “opening-up” trend of LAIBACH or something else? (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
There are quite a few disco-mentality tracks on your records, some are even potential disco hits. What is the relation between LAIBACH and dance floor listeners? (GLASBENA MLADINA – YUGOSLAVIA, 1985)
The apparent techno-revolution of our music has parallels in the growth and multiplication of machines. We are fascinated by disco aesthetics and the introduction of disco elements in the production of our music is not a novelty. It only affects the purification and apostrophizing of rhythm, which is – as regular repetition – the purest form of militantly organized rhythmics of technicist production and classicist beauty. Disco rhythm stimulates automatist mechanisms and co-forms the industrialization of consciousness according to the model of totalitarianism and industrial production.
How does your music originate? Do you compose it or does it occur spontaneously? What is its “musical” value? (MLADINA – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
The effort of achieving a composition affirms us in the sterility of the effort. A composition is totally structured; the composing process is a dictated ready-made product. Industrial production is meaningfully developmental, but if we extract from this process the element of moment, we thereby designate to it a mystic dimension (antipode: history – mysticism) alienation, which reveals the magical component of the industrial process. Technical reproductiveness liberates rock practice from the parasitic function in the ritual; it replaces it with another function: foundation in politics. But! our politicizing of sound can be absolute sonority.
Are those people who hear in your proceedings emphatic modulations of futurism, Dadaism and Duchampian flirting with “the industrial” from the beginning of this century, in the right? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
Every revival of the past, as a form of what is contemporary, conceals a creative lethargy. We are acquainted with the aberrations and contradictions of the disillusioned artistic avant-garde. We have no intention of reproducing or interpreting it. The ideology of “surpassing” has been surpassed and it must never happen again that the spectator-consumer confuses the packaging with art. All of our work, present and future, must leave behind all past works, regardless of their greatness. The dead past should be no match for us, who are alive!
What is the relation between LAIBACH KUNST and the Slovene or world historical avant-garde, with reference to the fact that its first generations acted during the period of the (rising) totalitarian regimes? Is LAIBACH KUNST avant-garde? (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
When we speak of avant-garde, we believe that the most beautiful of all were the performances of those “avant-gardists” who performed between 1920–1940 in Rome once a year and executed exceptionally skilled corporal drills. That is what the schooled youths between the ages of thirteen and eighteen were called. They moved their slender limbs and bodies in a precise rhythm as a single body.
In the feudal period, the term “avant-garde” denoted hound dogs in a hunt. Later, the trophy which was hounded and ripped apart by the modern avant-garde became man himself. The history of the world art avant-garde is a symptom of the agony of the world, caught in the demonism of capital and matter. The history of modern avant-garde is the history of the gradual destruction of man. “The death of art”, towards which the last avant-garde movements tend, means “the death of man”. We do not soil our hands with such blood.
Is LAIBACH the triumph of conceptualism or, such as it is, the preparatory phase towards the triumph of creation? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
If the term “conceptualism” means a certain artistic practice (and idea) of modern art, which renounces its own actualization, then LAIBACH has nothing in common with this practice, except oppositions. LAIBACH articulates itself through its own actualization and signifies the triumph over conceptualism. Every classification and determination from the standpoint of primary LAIBACH tendency is incorrect and meaningless, although in picture and word we do not reject the label “trans-historical (real) realism” as a preparatory phase towards the triumph of the “monumental retrogarde”.
Considering industrial religiousness and religious industry as a basic distinction of your times, what is the new stand of LAIBACH towards POP art? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
POP art is only one of the forms of reactionary realism; a conscious reproduction without the search and exposition of the meaning of the depicted (as modern realism demands). The rejection of the meaning of what is depicted indicates resistance to the depiction of truth and its overt repression. Furthermore, POP art is linked through a distant artificial irony to a certain aspect of social nihilism; LAIBACH KUNST rises above such tendencies and wants to show the truth as it should be, restoring to things and people their unadulterated meaning.
What is the position of LAIBACH towards traditional art? Total negation, critical acceptance or absolute autonomy in relation to other types of art? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
The ruling class must firmly dictate traditional art genres through its political, aesthetic and ideological mechanisms, surrounding them with the characteristics of eternity, immutability and finality. The position of LAIBACH on traditional art is selection, which must rediscover and re-evaluate history, return power to the institutions and conventions and decrease the distance between artistic expression and collective consensus.
LAIBACH KUNST, which in its musical productions takes advantage of the “high-industry” mass media technology, is quite surprising in its elementary painting technique (oil on canvas) … (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
The starting point of our activities lies in a unified concept, which expresses itself in each media in accordance with its laws. LAIBACH makes use of pop media in their musical production, while in painting they take into consideration the classical values of authentic art. Authentic art has its own thought, its own history, its own tradition, its own reason for being and its own order. It has its own eternal technique – and that is oil on canvas. Technique plays an important role in the origin of objective appearance, as it is required by the essence of figural art. The more the presence of the hand is noticeable in the execution, the more objective is the picture. This realization favors traditional technique and the use of permanent materials.
One of your works carries the caption “KUNST IST POLITISCH.” To what extent does this apply outside the context of the art work itself (“unfurled flags on a flag”), and outside the context of LAIBACH KUNST? (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
“I am an artist and not a politician. When the Polish question is finally settled, I want to end my life as an artist.”
Adolf Hitler, 1939
“Politics is the highest and all-embracing art, and we who create contemporary Slovene art consider ourselves politicians.”
While in the majority of totalitarian social orders art is most often hyperclassical, “utopian,” rather humble and “on the safe side,” unproblematic, sentimental towards man, LAIBACH KUNST is aggressively provocative, unpleasant and arrogant – and these are characteristics which the state which you (seemingly?) support probably tolerates with difficulty. Is LAIBACH progressing towards its own destruction/abolition? (NME – UK, 1985)
LAIBACH is a centralized arsenal of eternal artistic means, which do not demand effort for their acceptance or rejection, as is the case with degenerate art. In connection with this, LAIBACH works first and foremost on the abolishment of degenerate art.
Why “OCCUPIED Europe Tour?” (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
Europe is the western part of Asia. Because of its cultural, political and economic role in the world, it is considered a special, privileged continent.
The name Europe comes from the Assyrian word ereb, which means “sun set” or “setting” in general. The Greeks adapted it from the Phoenicians in the meaning of the west coast of the Aegean Sea. Eventually the entire continent came to be called this.
Today’s culturally, politically, economically and militarily divided Europe is an unstable nervous center and a barometer of world events. “The state of occupation” is a categorical imperative of its role and existence.
The reactions of the foreign press were considerable and rather “strong”. Was this only a response to the concerts themselves, to the image of LAIBACH, or did you also provoke them in other ways? (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
LAIBACH practices provocation on the alienated consciousness, but provocation does not serve its own purpose, nor is it a basic method of our activities. Provocation by LAIBACH is a consequence of the internal vitality of the spirit, the energy which is repeatedly released at every recurrent embodiment of the Idea and at every realization of its fertility with each fulfillment within the relevant space.
What is your opinion of the Western musical press, which, in general, received you with mixed reviews? (SPEX – WEST GERMANY, 1984)
The western press is the extended hand and dictate of the market economy, which tailors its truth according to the current needs of market logic, and which does not see, does not need or acknowledge competition outside its economic limits. In this perspective, our performances in Western Europe represent a pain-inducing foreign body in the decaying bowels of a voracious animal.
Does LAIBACH KUNST use totalitarian mechanisms towards artistic goals, or as a step towards the construction of a totalitarian state? If the latter is true, what will the role of LAIBACH be? (NME – UK, 1985)
LAIBACH is not the consequence of some kind of intellectual process. It is a fact of that same mechanism (immanent, consistent spirit), which forces it to create and to live as it lives; it is a state-action where intuition, as a magical act in the rhythm of people and things, decides the direction, without offering or looking for explanations. Orientation towards the working man, as the basic value of the system, defines his social and material status and thus also his artistic aims.
We, LAIBACH, are the engineers of human souls.
Considering the (visual, imaginative) attachment to Yugoslav history, can LAIBACH KUNST “travel” successfully through the world, other than as “a piece of art”? (NME – UK, 1985)
The saturation with ideas as products is the mentality of the language (as for instance the language of your newspaper), which does not comprehend this fact at all. Since a concept in transit does not exist, LAIBACH is “a piece of art” as the language of objective desire.
Have you – since you arrived in England – changed the tactics of your activity in accordance with the new field of action? If so, what did you do to make your art here just as potent as in Yugoslavia? (NME – UK, 1985)
LAIBACH understands economic potency as an accelerated process of translation. All operations are within this framework. Relations with the future can be reduced to an organized force of society as power over the possible, which LAIBACH calls fertility. This fertility is – in Yugoslavia and everywhere else – the same.
How did your western experience influence the faith in your own art? Where is your place in the European culture? (NME – UK, 1985)
The Western culture has, in the phase of economic degeneration, lost connection with the primary sense of reality; the disappearance of values has formed a lethargic social situation and has brought about a process of demoralization which cannot be stopped. The degraded and rejected values have created an empty space, where LAIBACH situates itself. LAIBACH KUNST spreads the eternal, unmodified cultural ideas of its time and space, for the rise and assistance of all nations, in the East and in the West.
Have your views changed at all during your journey through “Occupied Europe”? (NME – UK, 1985)
The journey of LAIBACH through occupied Europe is an easy path with no dilemmas.
While here (in the West) you can, at the most, contribute to an overabundance of information – threatened by the danger of “terminal explosion” – you are probably the only group of its kind at home, in Yugoslavia. Does this work for you or against you? (NME – UK, 1985)
A semiotic quantity which can bring about a terminal explosion does not exist. The manipulation of information requires a certain knowledge and a technique which maintains the possibility of “communication”. In this sense, we are – at home as everywhere else – within the framework of this law. Everything works for us.
You provoked mass indignation with your television interview, you were condemned as Neo-Nazis and the host of the show, Jure Pengov, proclaimed you Public Enemy Number One. Today we know that it was a matter of mutual manipulation … Why did you decide to appear on television? What was your basic intent? (ROCK – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
The necessity of a comprehensive, structural reconstruction of the Organism and the collective, psychological and physical reorganization of the spirit of the living productive force is revealed in a period of the unbridgeable gap between the Idea and its realization; the establishment of the further disillusioned technicist consciousness of the individual, with the capacity for maximum identification, sacrifice and subordination to the higher, superior system of values (the collective, ideology…) is necessary. The reformational structures need, for the realization of such a harmonious social balance, an allegiance with progress, decisiveness and the inclusion of powerful, functional mass media systems of enforcement, mass media such as TELEVISION.
Television is, within the industry of consciousness (in addition to the school system) the leading molder of uniform thought processes. The television program is fundamentally centralized, with one broadcaster and a mass of receivers/consumers, while communication between them is disabled. The television message by its nature demands a thorough involvement of all senses, which causes supersaturation. Such an overload of the sensory paths (complete focusing on the perceptual region) successfully produces defense reactions of the organism: hypnotic apathy, lack of critical awareness,… The collective and in-depth experience of the TV message gives rise to an automatic resistance to the details of cognitive analysis and calls for generalizations of emotional experience; the television personality (TV sub/ob/ject) becomes spatially and temporally short-sighted, incapable of analytically foreseeing the consequences or causes, and completely incorporated only in the television’s “present moment”. Television thus functionally decreases analytical capabilities and emotional response, causes apathy and insensitivity, and as such, psychologically edifies and fortifies the consumer.
LAIBACH, through television perception, by provoking collective emotions and automatic associations, serves as a reorganizational spiritual principle and as a means of work incentive: by destroying every trace of individuality (critical judgment) it blends individuals into a mass and the mass into a single humble collective, responsible to its own status in the system of production.
Were you offended when you were called Nazis or were you protected from such unpleasantness by a collective stance? (NME – UK, 1985)
We are not against interpretations which – potentially – affirm the element of alienation. Names (such as e.g., New Barbarism, New Rationality, etc.) are always dictates, which – in regard to the perception of the masses – create inequalities.
Nazism has focused on selected groups and established the principle of leadership and followers. LAIBACH is not interested in dichotomies. It cannot be offended and it need not defend itself; practicing control is not an item of our stand.
In the various parts of Europe (and Yugoslavia) you were “abused” as fascists, communists, spiritual terrorists, radicals, elitists, reactionaries, artists … How do you comment the disparities in these extremely different labels? (ROCK – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
If need be, we allow ourselves the luxury of being aristocrats and plebeians, reactionaries and revolutionaries, legal and illegal, as we see fit according to the place, time and environment in which we must work and act;
Friend, do not fear the grave!
Somewhere happy brothers, sisters can still be found –
the dead are doing fine.
Do not avert your step from the path leading to them –
only with them will your feet find rest.
Do not avert your eyes from watching burials –
the dawn of truth glows by the tomb.
All the dead dream eternally of truth,
veins secretly permeate the soil,
the same peace pours over every tomb,
though different flowers spring up from them.
How will you react to opposition and imputations from now on? (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
LAIBACH despises fear and does not need courage to publicly present and through action defend its positions. It is open to productive dialogue with critics, while all malicious imputations are ignored. LAIBACH cannot be offended and does not have to defend itself.
Despite constant thwarting, you still work actively and professionally; you succeed in ventures which other groups prefer not to even think about. What is actually your material status? Are you financed by anybody? (ROCK – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
We do not search for or need special means for our own reproduction, for the social situation (the program of economic recovery, the resolution of socio-economic development …) creates an adequate climate, in which LAIBACH organically renews, fertilizes and develops itself without any great efforts – material as well as spiritual: we will be proud even if we achieve our goals naked.
What are your plans for the future? (MLADINA – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
To prevent political suicide with a sensible cultural defense strategy.
Do you think your methods are effective enough? What if LAIBACH is “defeated”? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
LAIBACH founds the modus operandi of its work in the rich experience of recent history and modern methods of manipulation. “Defeat” is a word which does not exist in our vocabulary.
Our communication proceeds in a written form. The depersonalization of the artist is one of the possible reasons for an interview as required by LAIBACH; is this also the only one; i.e., do you consider that superficiality and “immaturity” of (rock) critics towards your ideas as a minor or a major reason for written communication? (DJUBOKS – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
Does LAIBACH KUNST thereby reproduce bureaucracy as one of the constitutive principles of totalitarian rule? Does it not thereby create/preserve an “image”? How far does this image reach, or, where does the public end and the private begin according to the criterion of LAIBACH KUNST? (RADIO STUDENT – YUGOSLAVIA, 1982)
LAIBACH is an organism, composed of individuals as its organs. And these organs are subordinated to the whole, which signifies a synthesis of all the forces and ambitions of the members of the whole. The aims, life and means of activity of the group are higher – in strength and duration – than the aims, life and means of the individuals which compose it.
Such a form of interview is the limit of comprehension, within which the subject is prevented from feigning ignorance and communication through non-communication. The way of its formation is simultaneously also a process of permanent repression on linguistic models, and thereby, also on the subjects which construct them. Such a form reduces the possibility of individual influences on the structure of the expression itself to a minimum; it is dictated through the totalitarian structure and understood as the right to incomprehensibility. (LAIBACH thus constantly degrades every communication on the level of the word, turning it into ideological phraseology). The assimilating capacity of the consumer is limited and depends on:
a: the knowledge of the symbol(s)
b: the level of development of the consumer
c: the technique of perception (speed reading)
The consumer can only influence the third factor; LAIBACH recommends a selection of sources of information.
You are relentless in your (non-)communication with the public, and your written statements are just as aggressive as your music: why do you constantly repeat the same answers? (ROCK – YUGOSLAVIA, 1984)
Relentlessness in words is such a comfortable thing: it always hurts someone else, while it is no obstacle to us; but history teaches us that constant repetition of even the biggest lie changes it into truth.
*Unabridged version first published in Problemi, No. 6, 1985, Ljubljana