For you, what does represent Brown Book in Death In June history ?
The original Brown Book issued in 1987 represents one of the corner stone albums of Death In June. There’s no escaping that. It came at a hard time for me and I think the work is all the better for that strange,hard time which in part it can’t help but reflect in its own unique way.
What brought you to re-release in a separated way this second CD present in the recent Brown Book limited 20th anniversary stone circle edition ?
Please remember that the 20th Anniversary Edition Stone Circle of Brown Book was limited to only 1,000 copies Worldwide and it sold out within days of its release in December, 2007. This left a lot of people in the dark as regards what was on the bonus CD. This release satisfies that curiousity and demand. Braun Buch Zwei is now the only officially available version of this album.
What were the things you wanted to touch while remix and re-record the remaining songs ? Was it for you a manner to escape or to reshape the essence of the originals ?
Some of the new versions are mixes of songs from that period that weren’t, for whatever reason, used at the time combined with newer versions still using the original 2″ analogue Master Tapes DIJitally re-mastered which I feel happier with. I remember well the criticism I got, especially from France, that david tibet’s voice was used on some songs which did not appeal to many of the fans as it was seen as corrupting or “decadent” – a word that I often heard regarding his vocal contributions – to the overall atmosphere of Brown Book. At that moment in time 22 years ago I thought that was a criticism I could easily live with. I enjoyed it. But, as I wrote all the songs and some are so very personal I should have sung them all myself. However, because of the feeling of comraderie at the time between myself and others involved in ‘the scene’ I felt it appropriate to share. In retrospect, that was a bad decision which I’ve come to regret. My fans were ultimately correct.
In the biography joined to Braun Buch Zwei, it appears that this album is “considered like the most influential of all time” and “stands centre stage with works by The Beatles, The Velvet Underground and Jim Hendrix”, amongst others. Are you the author of this text ? If its the case ( and even if we consider that each artist can regard as sacred his own work), should we understand that youve become fan of yourself in a way ?
I’ve always been the biggest fan of Death In June. How could I not be? I wanted Death In June to sound like what I wanted to hear other groups sound like when I switched on the radio, or went to a performance, rather than the awful soulless inanity of so much music. I make music/art etc that I myself want to hear and see. But, in a Wyrd way I became a victim of my own success because now there are so many groups that do sound like Death In June! You need only click “Death In June” onto eBay or any number of internet mail order firms to see that loads of other groups I’ve never heard of come up as well because the name is another form of saleability – “it sounds like Death In June you must buy it!” even though many times the similarity is tenuous to say the very least. Regardless, the promo text is based on fact as about 5 years ago the original Brown Book album was placed in the top 600 most influential albums of all time and appeared on the front of an Italian music book alongside album covers by the groups mentioned as well as others. I was quite surprised at the time when I saw it, almost shocked, and I’ve never bothered to even buy a copy of the book so I don’t know what # it came in at or what the book says about why the album is as influential as Blonde On Blonde or Are You Experienced but, nevertheless it’s there. The press release could have equally and truthfully said that as of 2006 the German government thinks the original Brown Book one of the most dangerous recordings of all time standing centrestage alongside works by Hitler, Goebbels and Screwdriver but that wouldn’t help sales in any beneficial way in Middle America where we might pick up extra, new sales from record buyers who think that the cutting edge of ‘New Folk’ are Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes! It would have appealed to my sense of humour but little else. Perhaps this release of Braun Buch Zwei is the beginning of some people’s new corruption to the ways of Death In June? Perhaps not?
How do you see the future of Death In June in terms of pure creation ? Will you develop something new in further times or do you expect more to publish some other re-releases or rare / unreleased / live recordings ?
There are many projects on the go at present: The most major release already running late but due for Yuletide, 2009 is Symbols And Clouds which is a commemorative issue of the best of the 2 deleted albums But, What Ends When The Symbols Shatter? and Rose Clouds Of Holocaust and which also includes a bonus CD of extra material plus a lot more besides which I can’t reveal at present. This has taken over a year in the planning and production and promises to be a truly exceptional Death In June release but, a lot has to be achieved yet before I’m totally confident of that. It’s a difficult labour of Love.
The picture disc LP version of Black Angel – Live! coupled with an exclusive 4 track live CD is due out any day now in Europa.
A coloured vinyl 7″ single release of the 2 rare tracks from the recently reissued Lesson 1: Misanthropy CD is also due out within the next few weeks on a Portuguese label which I hope will mark the beginning of a number of ’boutique’ limited edition 7″ releases from them of Death In June material featuring singles that should have been but never were coupled to unreleased recordings of songs.
There’s a big Death In June DVD project being worked on by an American video artist called 30 Januar alongside an album of instrumental interpretations of Death In June songs on the piano by a Slovakian musician living in London. Some of this material you can already view and hear on YouTube.
The Italian book about Death In June – Nascoto Tra Le Rune (Hidden Amongst The Runes) – is also in the closing stages of completion.
So, there is much to be done as well as dealing with re-newed interest in all the Crisis material which will start being reissued on both vinyl and CD sometime in the near future.
On top of that of course is that I’ve written enough material for another album but am unsure what to do with it. The Rule Of Thirds seemed to feel such a final statement for Death In June that perhaps this will be a Douglas P. album. Quite what the difference will be I don’t know. I’ll have to wait until I start recording it then see where it takes me.
Is the idea of DIJ live appearances still put in the fridge ?
If I was doing live performances I don’t think I’d have any time for the above. On Walpurgis Nacht (30 April) I did a surprise opening slot as Douglas P. for an Ostara show in Adelaide. There was no camoflage, no masks, simply me standing on stage for 25 minutes doing a ‘best of’ set and breaking the ice for Richard Leviathan. It was first time I’d done anything like this in 20 years. I regret doing it. It dissipated so much energy that could have been better spent elsewhere.
Heilige! Douglas P