Interview:2003-Dagaz

Luis Oliveira: You always reply with typewriter writing. Aren’t you computer friendly? Or is it mainly an aesthetic option?
Douglas P.: Sadly my old typewriter has given up the ghost and as I can no longer find spare parts for it I have been forced into the modern world.

Luis Oliveira: Do you indulge yourself in computer games? If so, do you enjoy “Return To Castle Wolfenstein”, “Commandos”, “Medal Of Honour”?
Douglas P.: I have no time for games of ANY sort.

Luis Oliveira: How do you conciliate your living in Australia with your obsession (can it be called that way?) with Europa and love for Northern Europe rituals and heritage?
Douglas P.: The way I see things Australia is more European than a lot of Europe. There is absolutely no contradiction in my spending a lot of time there. I live within 10 minutes of the first German settlement here in 1836 for instance and all of their culture is very much alive and well. Probably more so than in the Germany I have visited for the past few years!

Luis Oliveira: You don’t play that many live shows in Australia, do you?
Douglas P.: Well, that is just about to be rectified as I start a 3 week tour of Australia and New Zealand tomorrow.

Luis Oliveira: Why did you choose this more clean approach to your songs – just drums and acoustic guitar – for your latest live shows?
Douglas P.: After experimenting with it in New Zealand in 1998 I realised this was an approach I was most happy and comfortable with. It is more extreme and pure and I feel that is now very important in all art these days. Less is more, so to speak.

Luis Oliveira: Have you already composed the song that you consider to be your masterpiece?
Douglas P.: There are many songs I’m really pleased and impressed with so I wouldn’t know about that. Maybe, maybe not?

Luis Oliveira: Will the next album, if there will be one, have the help from Albin?
Douglas P.: Probably not as I feel the need to be completely on my own for the next brand new release. Whenever, that may be.

Luis Oliveira: You said it was going to be called “Constant Unease” and that you were working on it before “TC&C;”. Working, how? Just lyrically, musically or both?
Douglas P.: The album I was working on before Albin came into my Life was called “The Concrete Fountain”. I had recorded some material for this which I may return to. I’m not sure. Most likely something from it will appear on a ‘rarities’ album I plan to issue in September/October, 2003.

Luis Oliveira: Do you know how will it sound like? Can we expect a new direction or a continuation?
Douglas P.: Until it begins to be recorded again I have no idea. So far the lyrics are quite intriguing which is always a good sign.

Luis Oliveira: Can you tell me something about scheduled or desired future collaborations either by you in another project or by someone else in DIJ?
Douglas P.: No one will be collaborating in Death June with me for the foreseeable future but I am presently writing material for a new collaboration with Boyd Rice. We have already started recording this in Denver last November and we hope to finish over the next few weeks in both Australia and New Zealand. It will probably be called “Alarm Agent” or “Twilight Security”.

Luis Oliveira: Were you disappointed at people that you worked with, and were even your friends, who continued tied up with World Serpent?
Douglas P.: Completely. But, I have consistently found in Life that there are those people who can talk the talk but very few can also walk the walk. Those who left can obviously do both and have since been vindicated by their action.

Luis Oliveira: What has really happened to trigger your split from World Serpent in the first place, before all this legal disputes and record properties?
Douglas P.: I began to hate the complacency, greed and overall air of decay and atrophy that made that place and those people stink so much that I could no longer stand it and that’s when I told them I would leave in August 1999.

Luis Oliveira: Does NER find itself on a second level nowadays? Do you intend to put it working at full-belt once more?
Douglas P.: Since the successful conclusion of the legal case against wsd just before Christmas 2002 my main priority will be the resurrection of all the major works by Death In June and associates that have disappeared for the past 3 or more years. NER still exists for that purpose but whether or not it will ever again start releasing other groups and projects is at this moment very uncertain. I think it would be best for me to concentrate on Death In June for the time being.

Luis Oliveira: Why did World Serpent accuse you of always been keen on re-writing the past?
Douglas P.: Because they were lying creeps who were scared of the truth eventually coming out. Never underestimate the stupidity of the fool.

Luis Oliveira: Let me ask you once again about the C’Est Un Rêve book. Will it, or a similar one, ever come to be?
Douglas P.: Something like ‘C’est Un Reve’ I hope will see the light of day but I’m not sure when. If I gave a date I think that would be tempting providence which is something I do not want to do.

Luis Oliveira: And what about projects for a video or DVD?
Douglas P.: Well, the “Death In June live in Italy” video was recently available exclusively to those on the NER mail order list so something has happened on that front after so many years. We’ll have to see what happens next.

Luis Oliveira: Some years ago you mentioned you were working (or thinking about releasing) on a rarities compilation. Have you abandoned that project?
Douglas P.: No, that will in fact be the next priority over the next few months. It will probably be called “Abandoned Tracks”

Luis Oliveira: Why were those ‘strange days for you, me and Europa’ (in 2002)?
Douglas P.: They have been strange days for me for some years now. In fact, the strangeness never ceases to amaze me.

Luis Oliveira: Why did you substitute the lyrics in “The Death Of The West” with ‘even the Thaliban too’?
Douglas P.: Don’t you think they are more pertinent to the Times we live in? Better than “…and all the extras too” surely?

Luis Oliveira: Is Tony Wakeford OK with you changing his lyrics?
Douglas P.: Am I okay with him playing the wrong chords to songs I wrote? I shouldn’t think either of us care less about this.

Luis Oliveira: Why the title “She Said Destroy II” and the collage of old lyrics and the resurrection of “She Said Destroy” for the live shows?
Douglas P.: I think you mean We Said Destroy II not She Said Destroy II and like all of my work it is open to interpretation. Or misinterpretation! The original She Said Destroy with a few adjusted lyrics is more relevant now than it ever was. It captures the Zeitgeist.

Luis Oliveira: What are your feelings towards Crisis? To what point do you identify yourself with what was done? How it is for you to listen to them again?
Douglas P.: I was 20 years old when that began and I am now nearly 47. I never think about those days. I am concerned with Now and Tomorrow. It was literally a Lifetime ago.

Luis Oliveira: What do you think about bands like SPK and Whitehouse?
Douglas P.: I like some of SPK in the mid 1980s and have always appreciated Whitehouse’s provocations.

Luis Oliveira: And what about Throbbing Gristle, 23 Skidoo and Psychic TV?
Douglas P.: 23 Skidoo never did anything for me but oh, the joys of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV.

Luis Oliveira: How and when did you get to know John Murphy? Through C93 collaborations?
Douglas P.: I first met John at The Clarendon Hotel in London where Current 93 were supporting Death In June but they called themselves for that night Dog’s Blood Order. That was in 1983. He offered to help me carry a timpani drum down some steps. I then didn’t see him again until 1994 when I was attending a concert in Sydney, Australia. A voice from behind me said “Are you Douglas P.?” and so I turned around and said something like “Oh, hullo John how are you?” It had been 11 years but I instantly knew who he was. He has been the live percussionist for DIJ ever since.

Luis Oliveira: The First DIJ concert was supporting The Birthday Party. What did you think of them at the time and of the gig in particular?
Douglas P.: I always liked The Birthday Party and still think their song “Mister Clarinet” is one of the best of all time. I’d seen them support Joy Division and Theatre Of Hate /Spear Of Destiny several times and was very familiar with their material. When Rough Trade managed to secure us a support slot with them I was happy with that. In truth the only thing I really remember of the evening was driving my BMW motorcycle through the snowy streets of London to the show and back home later. Winter had come early that year and it was very atmospheric and romantic for the first Death In June performance. It was great!

Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the problems created by some factions regarding your gigs?
Douglas P.: Problems are meant to be solved!

Luis Oliveira: It is certain your interest in the history of the III Reich. Why do you think that some truths and facts behind the facts are being continuously silenced and ignored?
Douglas P.: Possibly because they are too dangerous to be revealed to the general public? The masses have always needed something simple to understand anything else is too risky.

Luis Oliveira: What do you make of the increasing success/emergence of esoterism and occultism at the end/turn of the millennium? Was it the syndrome of fear that it comprehends or do you think that it was time for some revelations to be made? Or even a kind of fashion?…
Douglas P.: Fashion can be a Passion and in that a Resurrection. It is Time!

Luis Oliveira: Are you acquainted to some Portuguese bands/projects?
Douglas P.: Not really.

Luis Oliveira: What do you think of Portugal? Would you ever consider living here?
Douglas P.: Every time I’ve been in Portugal I have thoroughly loved it. It is an intriguing country but, I’ve never thought about living there. A home isn’t how I view Portugal.

Luis Oliveira: And what are your opinions about the fascist regime that ruled in Portugal until 1974?
Douglas P.: In truth I don’t know very much about it. One of these days I may be more informed.

Luis Oliveira: Do you see the European Union as a factor for the true union of the European continent?
Douglas P.: No not really but it didn’t harm it.

Luis Oliveira: And what about the ‘problem’ of Nationalisms (Basks, Balkans, etc)?
Douglas P.: I think that ALL Europeans will soon be facing much bigger problems than nationalism and petty and decisive aspects of nationalism. Wait and see. Something Is Coming!

Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the loss of values in Europe nowadays (specially the exchange by the American ones)?
Douglas P.: I think this is a very much overstated argument. If stupid people wish to dine at MacDonalds and die of bowel cancer that is fine by me. There will always be weak and stupid people willing to gorge themselves on shit like there will always be a sense of ‘Europa’ even if that may be a state of mind in the Antipodes! I don’t feel threatened by American culture at all because at the end of the day there are many different aspects to whatever is ‘culture’ in the U.S.A. and a lot of that is still European. Or, at least, aspires to those values. I have a strong enough feeling within myself not to even think about such matters. As I’ve already said, there are greater questions abroad.

Luis Oliveira: How do you feel the small “Bosnia” that the Ulster is, so near from home?
Douglas P.: Did you not notice how quiet it became there after the Islamic terrorist hijackings in America on 9/11?

Luis Oliveira: What do you think about Slovobdan Milosevic’s trial at the I.C.C.?
Douglas P.: Long overdue. He should have been arrested in 1991. It could have saved a lot of Lives and heartache but Europe trod water and had to wait for America to show them the way. And, it wasn’t to MacDonalds, was it?

Luis Oliveira: Your views on this tainted war on Iraq, please.
Douglas P.: Iraq is the sacrificial lamb. But, now it seems to be slaughtered let us make good use of its sacrifice.

Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the growing masses around far-right movements in Europe, namely with Le Pen running on the 2nd round for the French presidential elections?
Douglas P.: A very natural reaction and the beginning of the inevitable.

Luis Oliveira: What are your views on Australia’s emigration laws?
Douglas P.: They are too strict for the right people and not strict enough for all the wrong people. Fairly typical really!

Luis Oliveira: Do you think on how our future will be with computers?
Douglas P.: In one way or another our Future Time will be consumed by computers. If we let them, of course.

Luis Oliveira: And human-cloning?
Douglas P.: Better than fucking a woman I suppose? It depends on who else has been inside her for procreational purposes. Would human cloning ever be as much fun and as pleasurable as sex.? People can fuck quicker than clone so that is a big plus over cloning isn’t it?

Luis Oliveira: “Brave New World” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” – your views on both these books? … and “Animal Farm”?
Douglas P.: I think all of Orwell’s stuff was paranoid thinly disguised Communism. Big Brother already existed in the form of Stalin although the author would never like to admit it.

Luis Oliveira: … and “A Clockwork Orange”?
Douglas P.: A fantastic film with the fantastic Malcolm MacDowall.

Luis Oliveira: Can you recommend any books?
Douglas P.: I’ve recommended books for years and now I’m bored with recommending any. I feel like a parrot going “Who’s a pretty Genet? Who’s a pretty Mishima”.

Luis Oliveira: Do you agree with a line from “1984” that reads: “The best books are the ones that tell you what you already know”?
Douglas P.: No!

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