We had an opportunity to talk with legendary Albin Julius from Der Blutharsch. As we expected, he’s really cool guy. If you don’t believe us, just check below.
Interview was made in the late 2016.
On 14th of October 2016 you were about to play in Cracow. We all know what happened. Gazeta Wyborcza wrote to the venue with ridiculous accusations of nazism and they were too scared to reply so they cancelled show. But freedom of speech finally won and you’re playing on the same exact day in Wroclaw. What was your first reaction when you heard about that bullshit you were accused of?
WTF – again? I was quite surprised the first moment – but then – actually I know how it works. People are stupid and lazy and the internet is a highway of misinformation. Instead of digging deeper and going on factfinding mission and talking to us – which a real journalist would have done – the newspaper obviously wanted just a scandalous headline . The fact how they formulated it proofs.
The strange thing is that this happened in Poland – a country where ten thousand rightwing people can demonstrate and march openly in the streets without any big protest, where they burn rainbows and where an ultraright government reigns. It all in all is more bizarre than sad. But well: The world seams a crazy place.
Have you been trying to speak with Gazeta Wyborcza about this? What was their argumentation?
Although I know it’s useless I wrote them. And I was surprised that I got an answer which actually was only „Blahblah”. That’s what they wrote back:
In your letter you have stated that it is a shame how media spread incorrect information. Indeed, we also believe that it is a serious issue. However I assure you that in the text we have published you will not find such tendency nor false information. Moreover, all the elements you have mentioned were covered in our text, that is aesthetics, provocation etc, as well as Der Blutharsh’s musical evolution, and even your opnion on the accusation of the neofascism (quote: >“If I really was a Nazi, I do not think I would come to perform in Israel and release a CD for the Israeli people, do you?”<). It was our intention to provide the readers as well as the organizers of the event with a comprehensive coverage of the band’s creative activity and its historical background. I ensure you that there was no misinformation nor manipulation.
Well… what shall I say?
Is it common that people do not seem to understand what your music is about?
Actually – we did have used an extreme image in the past and provocated the most possible – but intelligent people dealing with what we did or with the musical scene we had been involved knew that this is provocation and part of the art. I never understood people who couldn`t separate an image or a show from what people really think. BUT – that people do not see or notice that we left this path over 15 years ago – having changed music, image and attitude dramatically – talked openly about what we belief in and that we hate religion and politics – obviously seams not a fact of interest for those people still needing an easy target and a cheap enemy. I mean – go and fight the real Nazis. But maybe this is too much effort or too much danger. It’s easier to just attack some harmless bands and then feel good? I do not know.
In our last tour we performed in Vienna @ Arena Wien (some good friends work there – it’s Viennas best location) and an openly antifascist place. This was here seen as statement of us – which it was – and as we have some friends involved in AntiFa movement there was finally a moment when even the last ignorant understood.
What is The Church Of The Leading Hand? Is it some kind of congregation experienced through the music or is it just a cool name? What are the origins of that name?
It arose actually from a running gag on a past tour – how exactly it came up I can only darkly remember… I think I was a bit „rude” once to the gang. You know. When you are on tour and you have to drive hours etc – I darkly remember that I said to the guys during a break when I wanted to make them hurry „you all need a strong hand”… so this in the van got a joke and ended up in this. But that’s only a dark memory. Nevertheless… I more and more liked the idea and when I did choose to take it into the name it was a sign for me to change and end Der Blutharsch in the form it existed till then and also for me it reflected that the band actually is a collective. You might have noticed that over the years loads of people collaborated and still will. I like the name because for me it’s really what Dbaticotlh is!
Do you believe that people can form some kind of community connected all together through the music?
I think. I mean… I know. Somehow. Thinking about myself… all my friends I met via muisc. Even my wife Marthynna I got to know from concerts we visited and we always met on the same kind of concerts and parties. So – YES – I do. The best doing music – besides the fact that I am addicted to music – is to meet people who belief on the same thing. There are a lot of faggotts out there – but sometimes you really find the right people. And this is really important for me. To see that there are cool people who give a shit about anything and do just their own thing and think same in any aspects than yourself. In a world of useless consuming people this is essential for me. Otherwise I totally would lose belief in mankind, well actually I did anyway.
But I talk about music in general – not about being a part of a scene. For me it is very important to be open. For me there’s only good music and bad music – and I decide what’s good and bad. If you stay open you can discover so much good music and some nice people.
You’re going to release your new album this year. It’s called “Sucht & Ordnung” and first track we could listen to online is very promising. How would you describe this new album? Will it be something completely different? Or maybe it will be logical next step in comparison with you last album?
“Sucht & Ordnung” was more an „accident”. For playing life we always transform songs from our albums into life and change and adapt them – so when back I thought it would be nice to capture some of them in the life version. Except the first song which we „wrote” – actually it’s more or less still live a jam – the other two are how we played them live.
We went into a proper studio where we could record all live together and we just played two takes of each song and sued the best version. All on “Sucht & Ordnung” is palyed live without any over dubs etc. This was the first time we recorded all live and it was a really good experience and – hell of a funny time!
Actually for me this is also a statement about the band. I am really REALLY happy to have this line-up now – good friends with the same humour who take themselves not important and can laugh about themselves. I enjoy playing together but also juts hanging out together – and somehow S&O for me is a document about it all.
Some would say, that a good material need time to grow and mature. You’re recording new album every year and I wouldn’t say, that your music is immature or blunt. For me it’s always fascinating and made with great passion. Where do you find your inspiration and ideas for new songs in that short amount of time? From where your passion comes from?
I do not know how it works. Actually I really feel music did find me and that’s probably – the best thing which happened to me. For me doing music is not a passion – it’s an addiction. I feel uncomfortable if I cannot do music. I just do and actually I do not really care about what comes out. I go to my studio – I have an own studio in my house which makes it really easy for me to go – if I want I go and work – and honestly I am always surprised myself what comes out in the end. I do music for myself and my inner peace and if I like it that’s all what counts, but it’s nice that people obviously like it too.
Also I have to say – for me the process of doing music is what counts mainly. I actually never listen to my own music after its released and work is finished – only if we have to choose songs for live – then I have to go though some material again, which is nice as it’s meeting an old friend you haven`t seen for ages. BUT – for me – as always in life – what counts is NOW – not the past, not the future!
In history of Der Blutharsch you’ve been playing and recording with other artists. One of my favourites is an album with Aluk Todolo. How did it happen that you’ve made this collaboration? What similarities there are between you and them that led to that collaboration?
Actually it’s also one of my fav albums. Aluk Todolo are fans of DB and did organize a show for us in Paris some years ago. We first met the day before where we both played at Incubate Festival in Tilburg. We immediately went along very easily and liked each other. The next day in Paris we had so much fun – I didn`t know their music before – our guitar player Jörg was a fan of them already – and when back I listened to the records they gave me in Paris. Immediately turned into a fan and just thought it would be nice to suggest a collaboration. I did and – it happened. I think mainly I asked because of their personalities and the fact I never heard such music before.
I think mainly I have to like the person the music is secondary – but has to be unique. I love bands who do their own thing and found their own way to express themselves.
Actually I am not interested in a band which has music similarities – au contraire – for me musically it is much more interesting to work with other music, I gain much more experience from this and it’s much more interesting. We just finished a collaboration EP with White Hills which will be released soon and another one with Skullflower (a band I like since 20 years or so).
A band I really would like to collaborate with is Dälek – simply because I love what they do and because for me it would be really a challenge to work with this kind of music.
In 2016 there is 20th anniversary of Der Blutharsch. What years do you recall as best and worst?
I do not know – we had so much fun all these years and I think I could write a book with many crazy things. Actually… it was only fun and even sometimes we had some „problems” we managed to solve them – for every solution there is a problem – and still are around. I – looking back – do not regret anything as it did lead me to where I am now and this is really what I totally love at the moment. But I am sure the journey is not over and I am curious what will happen next.
Actually – many „best” things – but I cannot really remember anything „worst” – not that bad I would say.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger version one sentence, what would it be?
Do what you wilt and follow your intuition. And enjoy the trip! And be aware… you will every moment on your journey having the best time of your life, if you know how to enjoy!
You’re visiting Poland not only to play shows, but also as a tourist. What region or city has been your favourite so far?
Nearly every year I have been. First time ever I have been to Warsaw in 1987 on my way back from Russia. Wroclaw is always a great target – as we go there regularly for WIF. I really loved Torun – been there twice – 2 years ago we went to Gdańsk and Mazury. Gdańsk is amazing but also Mazury was beautiful! And finally I managed – by accident on our wedding anniversary to visit Malbork. This was a target for me since I was a teenager – always wanted to visit it – and finally…we did. Loved it. Next summer we are planning to come back for summer holiday and go to visit South Poland and Świdnica and the area around.
Do you know any Polish bands or Polish music? What are your favourites?
Unfortunatelly I do not know too many Polish bands – but the very few I know I really like. Firts there is Job Karma – the band of our friend Maciek who does organize the fantastic WIF – amazing band! Then I know Jude – which I did see by accident once at this festival – very heavy guitar stuff – loving it. Also I know Rigor Mortis – great life!
Maybe I know a few more but actually that’s what comes in mind first. I know you have some good BM bands there too.
What is pissing you off the most in this world?
Ignorance and the fact how mankind destroys our planet. About anything else I do not really care.
Do you have something to tell your Polish fans at the end of this interview?
Next time when you see me buy me some Fortuna Wiśnia! And… enjoy life… it’s short!
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