Luis Oliveira: Will David Tibet ever work with Death In June again?
Douglas P.: People have a fetish for looking back at the past. I’m not too interested in that. Today should be great and tomorrow even better. It’s an easy and comfortable trap into which to fall. I’ve done it myself! Our heyday of collaborating together was in the mid to late 1980’s. The decade of the 90’s was always seen by all those involved as the decade of dissipation. We’ve only got a few months to run of this last decade of the millennium which I think will see our further separation. I have fond memories of our times and work together but, that is all – memories! We will never work together again.
Luis Oliveira: Why this long delay since ‘Rose Clouds…’?
Douglas P.: To me it wasn’t a long delay. Time flies by. I’ve been involved in many side projects like ‘Scorpion Wind’ with Boyd Rice and John Murphy, the sound poetry of ‘Occidental Martyr’, producing and writing some of the material by the Australian group ‘Strength Through Joy’, the ‘Kapo!’ project and, of course, performing more concerts than I’ve probably ever done before. In fact, the writing of “Take Care And Control” came sooner to me than I expected. The 3½ years that had past since the issue of “Rose Clouds Of Holocaust” was a blink of an eye. I had planned to write a new album for Death In June in 1998 but the arrival of Albin Julius in Australia accelerated everything. If it hadn’t been for him the ‘delay’ would have been even longer. When he arrived in South Australia exactly a year ago, as I write, our working relationship immediately hit a high point. I had always loved his work in The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud and Der Blutharsch but was nervous about how we could relate to each other. I needn’t have been so anxious. We had an immediate rapport that I’ve only ever experienced with people like David Tibet or Boyd Rice. Being a friend is one thing but being a co-conspirator is another! It is another level of existence.
Luis Oliveira: What is your major purpose with DIJ?
Douglas P.: To be a shining diamond shining out from the lumped mass of mediocrity that are my fellow travellers in the music business. A thorn in the side of their obviousness.
Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the tribute album ‘Heilige Tod!’ released by Palace Of Worms? Musicwise, I mean – I know you weren’t informed of it.
Douglas P.: My opinions of this release are totally coloured by the fact that it was illegal. I’ve never seen a penny from the royalties that were supposedly paid and neither has the Bosnian charity that is supposed to be in aid of. In fact, there was very little evidence that the charity was even working in Bosnia when the CD was issued. I think nothing more than that. It is totally distasteful.
Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the ‘Fall Apart’ cover version by Ikon?
Douglas P.: It’s okay but, I think some of Ikon’s original songs are more interesting. No one can better my work.
Luis Oliveira: Why weren’t the projects ‘Occidental Martyr’ and ‘Kapo!’ released under the name of Death On June?
Douglas P.: Kapo!, in fact, came within a hair’s breadth of being a DIJ album proper. However, I felt Richard Leviathan’s contribution lyrically was so strong that it took it into other less defined, arenas. Death In June demands a certain approach, culturally, ethically, aesthetically, morally and physically. Kapo! was originally conceived as a separate entity, and that is how it stayed.
Whilst ‘Occidental Martyr’ lyrics were written by myself and incidental music also performed by me I felt it would have been dishonest to have called it a DIJ album proper. It is my work interpreted as sound poetry. It is not me, per se. It is not the brain, or heart, or soul, it is rather the arms, or the legs or the buttocks.
Luis Oliveira: I think ‘DISCriminate’ has a very good song selection. What was your intention in releasing that compilation?
Douglas P.: ‘DISCriminate…”s initial purpose was to provide an overview of Death In June’s work to the American public that was to attend the concerts we did there in November, 1997. It was only to be available at the 17 concerts Death In June, Boyd Rice and Strength Through Joy performed there. After the tour European followers soon began to find out about this edition so I decided to press a few more to quench their thirst. The edition, as it stands, really is for the already converted. Hence no track information etc. Perhaps one day in the future it will be released generally in a different format. I don’t know!
Luis Oliveira: If you were to do a cover of another band, which song and band would it be?
Douglas P.: Probably ‘You’re on your own again’ by Scott Walker or ‘Summer Is Over’ which was written by Tom Springfield for Dusty Springfield. Both are melancholic classics!
Luis Oliveira: Are there any new projects for Twilight Command?
Douglas P.: As you now know the new DIJ album ‘Take Care And Control’ was issued by NER via World Serpent in Europa and by Twilight Command and NEROZ – NER Australia – in the Southern Hemisphere. Currently, that is demanding all our attentions but we do have plans for exclusive releases via Twilight Command/NEROZ. A rarities album called ‘Unspeakables And Favourite Moments’ by DIJ is planned for the spring in the North and also new albums from Tehom and another Croatian group called Heysek. The Esperanto album of Australian folk songs by ‘Occidental Martyr’ seems to have become bogged down in artistic indecision!!
Luis Oliveira: Will the book ‘C’est Un Rêve’ ever be published? Or another similar book?
Douglas P.: One of my major projects for this year, the last of the millennium is to make sure a revised edition of ‘C’est Un Rêve’ does see the light of day. It was a huge disappointment to me that it did not happen in the way I wanted it in the first place. That will be rectified. It will look brilliant and will be worth the wait.
Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the book ‘Misery And Purity’ by Robert Forbes?
Douglas P.: I liked the book very much because it is interesting reading – even to me! Unfortunately, some of Robert’s insights have been since used against me but, that is no fault of his. It is a work of exorcism and obsession which I appreciate a lot.
Luis Oliveira: Are you planning on releasing any videotape by DIJ?
Douglas P.: Once again, this is another priority for Death In June in 1999 something will certainly see the delight of day this end year!
Luis Oliveira: Is there any chance of Tony and Patrick ever collaborating with DIJ again?
Douglas P.: Yes! In fact, it happened when DIJ last performed in London in November, 1998. The thought crossed my mind that it may be a weird idea if Tony and I performed ‘Heaven Street’ and ‘Death Of The West’ together. I was planning to perform mainly the new album in London so I thought that the older, more familiar, songs could be given more poignancy by resurrecting the old members. Or, at least some of them! Anyhow, what transpired was even better because Patrick phoned the day before the concert and asked to be on the guest list. He didn’t need much convincing that, despite the lack of rehearsals, we should perform live again. The evening was really exciting because of its impromptu nature. The songs were performed in a wonderful manic fashion. It was a special event and that is always good.
Luis Oliveira: Is it possible for you to make some, so called, ‘post-industrial’ tracks again?
Douglas P.: I suppose when you listen to the new album you will decide for yourself! I feel I’ve managed to combine the best of my ‘post-industrial’ with the best of my melodies. On ‘Take Care And Control’ I think I’ve truly juxtaposed the 2 relevant styles of my work.
Luis Oliveira: Were you directly involved in the CD release of Crisis? If yes, what did you feel hearing and handling with that part of your life?
Douglas P.: After many, many years changing our minds about the Crisis CD, Tony and I decided the time was right. It had been 20 years since our first recordings and it was either now or never! We both then took over the project totally. I must admit that neither of us have ever actually advertised it, however. It is out there and that was deemed enough. The exorcism had taken place. Ghosts had been laid to rest. They were very odd days with more than their fair share of wasted youth and sadness.
Luis Oliveira: What already signed bands would you like to have on NER? (i.e. what bands do you like at the moment?)
Douglas P.: Outside of the groups I have already worked with I can’t think of anyone. Perhaps the Pet Shop Boys and François Hardy?
Luis Oliveira: You still retain some of the ideas you had while in Crisis but not that blind devotion / following. Isn’t that right?
Douglas P.: Independence and survival means everything to me. I continue to forge my own path.
Luis Oliveira: What do you think of the European Community?
Douglas P.: In the ways that it makes travelling between countries easier then it is brilliant. I’m not too sure of the businessman’s/bureaucrats paradise, however. There is an element of mass control that I am very uneasy about. It’s good that Britain remains somewhat outside of many of the decisions, at least for the time being.
Luis Oliveira: How do you explain the ‘apparent’ mildness of the direction your songs took?
Douglas P.: A finer tuning of my skills at that particular moment in time.
Luis Oliveira: How do you perceive the runes in your life?
Douglas P.: They are absolutely essential to my well being and success I pay homage accordingly to them. I am part of their resurrection world-wide. They are the life-force of Europa and Europeans.
Luis Oliveira: Can you tell us about the obsessions with the death you were having by the time of ‘Brown Book’?
Douglas P.: ‘Brown Book’ was written and recorded in 1986-87 which is thankfully a long time ago. They were particularly unhappy days that I do not wish to relive.
Luis Oliveira: After ‘The Wall Of Sacrifice’ you said it was your best record and it would be difficult to do one even better. Nowadays which do you think it’s the best album you’ve ever done?
Douglas P.: It always is, and always has been, my most recent recording. ‘Take Care And Control’ leaves me blank and ecstatic. How could it be otherwise? Each album for me holds very special moments but the newest holds them closest.
Luis Oliveira: There were rumours that the ‘Nacht Und Nebel’ was semi-official – that you caught the bootlegger and took some copies to distribute through NER hence the title and artwork. Now you have re-released it with ‘The Guilty…’. Does this mean the rumour was true?
Douglas P.: Yes! The original bootleg of ‘Night And Fog’ had a terrible cover featuring for some unknown reason street fighting in Cyprus! I got hold of the bootleg, redid the cover and then reissued it on vinyl. That was about 7 years ago. Anyway, when World Serpent wanted ‘The Guilty…’ reissued I thought it may be a propitious time to also put that onto CD and combine it in the specially packed ‘Der Sculdigen und die Nebel’. It is a totally symbolic act.