Chain D.L.K.: The most famous Rasputin in history was Grigorij Rasputin, a man whose name meant terror for the Russian people. Is there any correlation between his name and the name of your musical project?
Rasputin: Well, maybe that person stood at the beginning of the weird accidental chain which led me to the idea of taking this name. It had something to do with Boney M. and washing machines. Boney M. was my first favorite band, and I own a washing machine with a digital display. This machine was called Rasputin first, well before I started to imitate my machine.
Chain D.L.K.: You choose to keep your identity hidden, can you tell us why? Is it because you prefer to keep people focused on your music?
Rasputin: The aim is not to focus people onto music, it’s to focus them on the anarchic and dadaistic idea behind it. Therefore it is unnecessary to give them a concrete face where they can pray to or, conversely, can make it responsible for their unsuitable situations. My identity is hidden because I am you. I am like you. I believe that the major problem with mankind is the lack of knowledge. Ok, so everybody knows that, but few take it seriously.
Chain D.L.K.: Your music contains elements of industrial, techno, and electro. How do you manage these influences in order to create your characteristic sound?
Rasputin: I have tastes similar to Phillip Muench. These styles fit perfectly with my slam poetry. I never write anything on paper. I usually have an idea that consists of a few words. Then I listen for the sounds and beats, and the rest comes spontaneously. Maybe this is a bit like Helge Schneider – a musician who impressed me very much with his way of doing things. We do what we like. We don’t care about styles, fashion, and trends because it is senseless. It leads a select few to prosper from the stupidity of others.
Chain D.L.K.: On the Invasion Wreck Chords web page that is dedicated to you, there’s a statement that says “DADA is your peaceful weapon which can be understood by everyone”. Are you referring to DADAISM? If so, then what kind of bond do you feel with that movement?
Rasputin: Dada is total freedom in art and life. It is a game… maybe even more than just a game. Here are my suggestions for a few basic rules (because without rules it wouldn’t be a game;-)):
First: Take nothing seriously. Life is neither a fight or test, nor is it permanent suffering. You can help yourself with a few simple things.
Second: Do anything you want so long as you avoid willfully harming others. If it happens accidentally, then talk it over and smooth things out.
Third. Love is the base of everything. Love is inside everything and you have unlimited access to it.
Fourth: You are responsible for the things you do. Total freedom requires total responsibility. Don’t use your power to exploit people, nature, or anything else.
Chain D.L.K.: Your base message is: “Just love yourself and then you’ll be able to love everything else. You’ll discover that truth is nothing more than a thought, manipulated by certain dogmas and ideals. Find out your own truth, which is unique”. In these days in which people are overloaded with false news and data, what is the best way to achieve such a goal?
Rasputin: Follow your feelings and your heart, regardless what others say. There is no good or bad way to reach a goal like this. I may never reach that goal to perfection, but that matters not. We’re not talking about religion here. Take some time and try to figure out what is behind your mask. Don’t panic – it isn’t as cruel as it seems when you start.
Chain D.L.K.: Phillip Muench produced your first album. How did you like working with him? How does he affect the end result of the sound you want to achieve?
Rasputin: Well it was, and still is, a relaxing situation because we don’t force ourselves into anything. If some good ideas occur, it’s wonderful and creative. If not, the it still doesn’t spoil us in any way. The sound of our music was always a collaborative relationship – from the early beginning until now. He may have slightly more equipment and recording possibilities than myself alone, but that doesn’t matter at all. Everyone who lives in a system affects one another.
Chain D.L.K.: Half of “Das Leberwurstbrot” is comprised of remixes. Who picked which tracks to remix? Was it you? Or were the bands allowed to choose the track they were most comfortable with?
Rasputin: The bands were quite free to choose on their own. The only limitation was that once a track was chosen, it was no longer available to the others. We asked all these different bands if they wanted to do a remix for us. Fortunately for us, Yann from Iszoloscope was in our region at that time, so we met with him quite often. Though he had the same opportunity to choose as all the others.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you working on any new material or collaborations at this time?
Rasputin: We’re always doing something. The next new recording will be a track on Invasion Wreck’s ‘Coup de Gras’ compilation. There are also some special projects in the works, but it’s too early to talk about them now. You should relish the opportunity of being surprised;-)
Chain D.L.K.: Final thoughts?
Rasputin: DADA rules.
Visit Rasputin on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Ryan Hill]