review by Tracy Twyman
The long-awaited Death in June album after their split with World Serpent has finally arrived, and neither Death in June die-hards nor new converts will be displeased. This latest offering, intended as a sister album to Take Care and Control (also with Albin Julius) , is both a nostalgic romp through familiar, crypto-fascist territory, with references to Nazi gold, “Ku Ku Ku”, and even the “Little Black Baby”, and yet at the same time a bold, intrepid expedition into as-yet-undiscovered realms of paramilitary adventure, probably taking place in Antarctica's Neuschwabenland, or in the sub-arctic climes of our Hyperborean ancestors. Named after a Nazi military operation aimed at creating anti-gravity aircraft, this new CD certainly exudes the mood of being sent on a secret mission on the express orders of the Fuhrer himself, a journey fraught with peril, but crowned with glory for the good of the Fatherland. “Gorilla Tactics” (sp.), the first track, is a portentous opening, poking sober fun at the hypocritical behavior of the Swiss, whose “banks are filled with Nazi gold”, but who have deigned to forbid Death in June to perform in their country for fear of jeopardizing their perceived “neutral” attitude towards National Socialism. Set to a looped background of someone repeating the word “Nazi”, along with a beat that’s fit for goose-stepping, this song surely constitutes a criminal offense in several European countries. Next comes “Kapitulation”, exploring the ominous and lowering feeling that comes from standing in a field full of dead, broken bodies rotting in the hot sun after a decisive battle has just been won. This track seems to me like the kind of thing that would have appeared on their Nada album, dark and hollow, filled with the echoes of mournful hollers and wailing. The next one, “Flieger” (a German word that means flyer) is a joyous anthem about a campaign to reclaim the inner recesses of the Earth, wherein resides Rex Mundi, the King of the Earth, and the people of the Vril, from whom today’s Aryans derive their genetic ancestry. With lyrics that refer to “shooting from behind into the Black Sun”, this song could easily be a tribute to the secret goings-on of Admiral Byrd’s purported trip into the Hollow Earth, which was supposedly lit by a smoke colored “inner sun”, when he flew an airplane over the South Pole. It ends with the words, “For pilots, nothing is forbidden.” The next one, “The Snows of the Enemy”, is another one of the tracks on this CD that contains self-references to previous Death in June songs, a strange habit that seems to have increased in Douglas’ writing lately, much like Puff Daddy can always be counted on to refer to himself as “Puff Daddy” in his own lyrics. Although I would only be speculating on the meaning of the words in this peppy little tune, it does seem to have something to do with admonishing the miserable inhabitants of some unnamed “colony”, which I suppose may be a concentration camp (?). “Hand Grenades and Olympic Flames” is more blatantly armigerous in purpose, and yet more doomful, foreboding, without mercy or empathy. “We lead our lives free from blame”, Doug explains. “With heavy hearts we hunt through life.” To him, war is life, and life is a constant battle. To cease the hunt is to become the prey, and instinct needs no further justification than that. “Winter Eagle” is my favorite song on “Operation Hummingbird”, because it is the most disturbing and the most apocalyptic. “The slicing of flesh, ever thinner. Buried universe, dimmer and dimmer.” It sets into the listener and over whelming desire to do that which must be done, whatever that might be in a given instance. “Let the Wind Catch a Rainbow on Fire” is perhaps the most chipper tune on this CD, kind of a waltz, with yet still with that 1940s German military feel. But it seems to be describing a spiritual experience of being absorbed into the Almighty, with references to the “pain of being” and “The return to source of you and me.” The feelings that most pervade this disc are those of duty to God and kinfolk, of power, spirit, passion, vision, strength and honor. He paints for us a portrait of a world where the Will of Life, even if it be Death, takes precedence over all other considerations. Not at all dissimilar to the themes of other Death in June albums. But Douglas has always been consistent, always held steadfastly to an ideal and ridden in all the way through. With Doug at the helm, you cannot be steered off course. “For pilots, nothing is forbidden.”
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DR: How did you first become involved in the occult? What was the first Aleister Crowley book you read, and how did it affect you?
DP: I think my interest in the occult has always been there. I don’t feel I’ve had any choice in the matter. As a child my parents had me exorcised because I kept having visions of all kinds of horrors and would never sleep. This went on for a really long time until they resorted to a spiritual healer and then things became a lot calmer for me. Much later on after my father had died my mother and I would muck around with the oiuja board. Things certainly happened which disturbed my mother so that was abandoned. My interests have nver not been there. The first book by Crowley I read was The Book of the Law, which David Tibet gave me in 1983. We wrote "She Said Destroy" shortly after.
DR: Do you believe in divine beings or supernatural entities like demons and gods? If so, do you think these beings might be of an extraterrestrial or trans-dimensional nature? How "real" are the pagan gods of Europe to you? How do you think they interact with people, and to what purpose? Do you believe that the Jewish God Jehovah really exists? If so, what do you think of him?
DP: I believe in gods, demons, angels whether they’re from the inner psyche, another dimension or whatever. I’ve heard them and I’ve seen them. I’ve even felt them touch me. They’re a challenge and are not to be trifled with. They observe very carefully to see if one is up to measure. As I have zero interest in most of his followers then, equally, I have no interest in the Jew god Jehovah, real or otherwise.
DR: Do you believe that there is an "otherworld", or other layers of existence that cannot be perceived using the five senses? Do you think that what most people perceive as reality is largely illusional? If so, do you believe that there is any way to "pierce the veil" and see through to ultimate reality?
DP: At the end of the day you have to deal with the reality you are faced with, or you have made for yourself. Between the ages of 16-20 in the early 1970’s I took a great deal of LSD and realized that there was, apparently, other states of ‘being.’ But, so what! 23 years on I don’t feel I’m any more illuminated. I feel a lot of that sensation was an absolute illusion from the true horror of existence. The sense of ‘oneness’ is definitely on eof those illusions. We are definitely not ‘one’! Let’s get on with what we find. I "pierce the veil" every time I step outside my front door and ‘mingle’ with the rest of humanity. That is "otherworldly" enough thanks!
DR: Would you say that spirituality is the topic most explored in your work? Do you think that we are living in a time when God is dead to most people, and that we have lost contact with our spirituality?
DP: God is dead to most people until they hit hard times. Then God is resurrected in no time at all! I always thought it was funny how packed the churches were in Croatia during the war. After the war they emptied ot pretty quickly. Everyone knew by then who was going to live and who was going to die! I don’t know, or care if people I general have lost touch with their spirituality. They certainly haven’t with their immorality. Perhaps that is the same thing to most of them?
DR: In other interviews you’ve described a lot of experiences with fate: synchronicities, coincidences, things that were "meant to happen." Do you believe in destiny, and that it is all part of God’s plan? Do you think that Death in June is a fulfillment of your own destiny? What do you think is the destiny of mankind as a whole?
DP: I absolutely believe that Death in June is my life, my love and my work. Of course it is my destiny. It is my be all and end all. If I knew the destiny of mankind as a whole I’d be in government, wouldn’t I? Or dead!
DR: Do you believe that we are living in the Aeon of Horus, as Crowley did? If so, what developments do you foresee as the Aeon progresses? Do you anticipate any significant changes over the turn of the millennium?
DP: I think we’re probably living in the cross-over period between the Age of Horus and the Age of Maat. Isn’t that what the Current 93 is alla bout? Out of all ‘this’, somthing is coming , as we say!
DR: Do you believe in the concept of the Black Lodge vs. the Great White Brotherhood? Do you believe that there is an organized conspiracy among occult adepts to enlighten humanity, and an opposing conspiracy to hold back our spiritual growth?
DP: The world is run by conspiracies of one sort or another, regardless of humanity’s enlightenment, or otherwise.
DR: Would you like to see a large-scale thinning out of the world’s population? If so, who would you target, and who would you spare?
DP: To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed and I don’t see why I should give any of those on my culling-list a head start!
DR: You often use lyrics like "That which is falling should also be pushed, that which is crawling should also be crushed." Is that an expression of a Nietzschian/Darwinian belief in the survival of the fittest? Do you agree with Nietzsche’s statement that "...it is not from the strongest that harm comes to the strong, but from the weakest"? Or, as Crowley put it, "Pity not the fallen... Strike hard and low, and to hell with them, master!"?
DP: David Tibet actually gave me that line for "Fall Apart" and I think he stoel it from a speech by Adolf Hitler so, I suppose the Great Buddhist One himself should be approached about those aspects, not me.
DR: What do you think separates the weak man from the strong man?
DP: Deed and words!
DR: I know that your first band, Crisis has been dubbed a "left-wing" band, whereas Death in June is considered a "right-wing" band. Is this distinction real, and if so, what caused you to change your political sentiments?
DP: It was because Crisis was so totally committed to Far-Left politis that Tony Wakeford and myself were determined to keep DIJ out of any ordinary political arena. The preoccupations of the masses left a very bad taste in our mouths. Death in June has never done that.
DR: How do you feel about the developing European Union? Do you feel that European cultures are loosing their identity because of this push for unity?
DP: I would like to think that European culture is strong enough to withstand the onslaught of bureaucrats in Strasbourg and Brusssels trying to determine what flavour potato chips we should eat. Hedge-hog and prawn flavours are particular favourites in England which don’t appear to meet with the approval of the E.U. Why, of course, they should even be bothering themselves with such things is another matter, however. Nothing more important to do, maybe?
DR: What about the concept of a one-world government, the New World Order? What do you think about organizations like the U.N., the IMF, Interpol, etc.? Would you want to live in a one-world government?
DP: New World Disorder, more like! I’m not concerned about it at all. I’m as paranoid now as I was yesterday.
DR: How do you feel about the recent NATO action in Serbia?
DP: 10 years too late. Belgrade should have been bombed in the early 1990’s and perhaps the Balkans, as a whole, would have had a more peaceful decade. Hundres of thousands of people died in that part of Europe through lack of action. Perhaps, now it has come the dying en masse will abate?
DR: You speak quite glowingly of European culture. How would you describe the soul of Europe, and what is it you like so much about it?
DP: The soul of Europe is like the brightest of suns and the fullest of moons. Occasionally there’s cloud cover obscuring the light emanating from both.
DR: Do you feel a sense of national pride towards Britain? Is there another country you feel most loyal to?
DP: I don’t suffer from jingoist tendencies.
DR: What is your ancestral background, exactly? Is this important to you? Do you ever experience "racial memory", or feel like you have a connection to your ancestors via DNA that is beyond time and space, like in the film Altered States?
DP: Both of my parents are English. Although my mother does come from a Scots/Irish background I’ve never had any inclination towards wearing a kilt.
DR: Do you believe in Darwinian evolution, and the idea that man is descended from apes? Do you think we’re evolving into something greater still? Do you buy into any of these Atlantean theories about races of superbeings that inhabited the Earth in ancient times?
DR: Whilst I can imagine that some human beings had apes for ancestors I don’t believe I did! Thule, or Atlantis are much more attractive and feasible alternatives than a disease-ridden jungle as a former place of abode for my ancestors. Eating bananas one moment, then sailing hte 7 seas, discovering new lands and building new cities the next? I don’t think so!
DR: What do you think about the idea of monarchy? About the laws of primogeniture? Do you think that bloodlines and family ties have any particular significance?
DP: I can hardly get excited about the current British monarchy. What an insipid bunch they are! IT was one of the reasons why I didn’t joint he armed forces. I idea of swearing an oath to the Queen really made me puke. I think there is a greater ‘blood’ and a greater ‘family that the norm which can be more of a conduit for spirits rather than anything more binding.
DR: How important do you think race is in determining personality? How important is race to culture? Do you believe that it’s really possible to have racial purity, or would you even want to? Are certain races of particular importance to you? What do you consider to be the major racial divisions? Some say "Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid", but others think that’s too simplistic.
DP: I prefer to suck, white, uncircumsised cocks of a certain age so I suppose that rules out quite a few races and religions in one huge act of sexual discrimination. However, taht’s natural selection for you. It follows onthat, of course race is important to me!
DR: Since you have admitted an obsession with WWII, what do you think Hitler was trying to achieve, ultimately? What kind of role did magick play in that war?
DP: I think Hitler made it quite clear what his aims were and doesn’t need the likes of me to speak on his behalf. The roel of magick in the Second World War was all important. It was its reason to be.
DR: Do you have any desire to go into outer space?
DP: No! My garden is beautiful and entrancing enough. Inner space may be a different ball game, however. I’ll wait for the ticket.
DR: What kind of music projects have you been involved in lately? What shows have you played recently? Are you still involved with the Croatian cause and "New European Recordings"?
DP: Tours of Europe continue apace with the last one fortunately ending in Australia where writing New York always seems to be easier than in England. Albin Julius of the groups DER BLUTHARSCH and THE MOON LAY HIDDEN BENEATH A CLOUD has been my co-writer as on the Take Care and Control album last year. This new project should be outin October and is called "Operation Hummingbird." Naturally New European Recording continues with a boradering of its activities in Australia and Croatia. There’s quite a variety of releases scheduled all around the world but "Operation Humming Bird" will be getting most of the attention for the moment.
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