That the German label Accession Records (www.accession-records.de) would sign the Slovenian duo Silence is a strange surprise, just because this duo hasn’t got anything to do what is related to Electro/Industrial music. It’s moreover proof of the wide understanding of good music in the eyes of the leaders of this label. Active since 1997, this duo has released several CD’s on the German Chrom Records and has played and cooperated with big nameslike Deine Lakeien or Anne Clark. Please check out this interview with the maybe the best known music act hailing from this small European country…
Chain D.L.K.: Hi guys, please forgive me my ignorance, but until now I have mostly missed the details of your musical evolution. Could you therefore introduce your music project and the people behind it to our readers?
Silence: Words are a rather inappropriate, vulgar tool for describing music. Let’s just say we are two who are Silence.
Chain D.L.K.: You were signed a long time to the German label Chrom Records, headed up by Carl D. Erling. Why did your mutual time end on this label? And why did you decide to cooperate from now on with Accession-Records, a label normally more focused on dark and hard Electro/Industrial music?
Silence: Unfortunately, Carl decided to quit. I guess these are tough times for labels that are in it for the music. We signed to Accession because we liked their zeal and human potential. They also have a twisted sense of humor, which is important.
Chain D.L.K.: Talking about your DCD release “Key” with an eye on the introductory thoughts by Matjaz Pogajc — Can we really talk about a Silence having a “passive stance” when you guys have released several CD’s since 1997? How can this be seen with all your further activities like live performances? Are you really passive? Aah, and please give us a definition of being “a good band”. Isn’t it conceivable for you that a “good” band might also be a “famous” band?
Silence: I think Pograjc refers to our disregard for self-promotion, publicity and all other necessities of the modern music business. Our interest in a record usually ends as soon as the latter is in print. You should ask Pograjc to explain what being a “good band” means. I have no idea whatsoever. I attribute vague adjectives like “good” to concrete stuff like chocolate or oral sex. Using them in a same sentence with abstract terms like art or music can be dangerous.
Chain D.L.K.: You are hailing from Slovenia – are there problems politically or culturally? What do you expect from your country?
Silence: Slovenia is a well organized country with solid economy – a rather tedious place, much like most of Western Europe. No tyrants, social upheavals, coup d’état’s or other cultural incentives. As for the second part of your question: we don’t expect anything from our country. It’s a matter of self-preservation, you see. History teaches us that artists who expected recognition or help from their country usually died in poverty. Not the kind of fate we’re looking for.
Chain D.L.K.: I would like to pick up a headline sentence out of your CD, “Music is Art as long as you don’t ask me what Art is!”. Well, your label declares in the info sheet of your DCD that your “music is art on the highestlevel”. So how do you define the level of art for yourself?
Silence: I don’t. As I said before, art is an incredibly vague, abstract term. It implies many things and defines very little – perfect for the vocabulary of your average politician.
Chain D.L.K.: The three tracks on the “Rarities” CD of your DCD set — “Der Untergang”, “Les Egoistes” and “The Last Dance” – well, are these seriously three tracks, or is this only one track with three different versions, stylesand languages for the lyrics?
Chain D.L.K.: Back to the “Musicians are…” wisdom: which abilities or special training should a musician have to your opinion?
Silence: A healthy amount of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms could prove useful. However, I think musicians are doing just fine. The music industry and media are the ones who require some special training andsome newfound appreciation for music.
Chain D.L.K.: Please describe for us what you would call a perfect live performance of your music, also for all those listeners who haven’t seen you on stage. I’m sure that your abilities are richly evident, but every gig runs differently. So please tell us what you need regarding equipment, musicians, and audience to come to a satisfying result in a live show context …
Silence: We practice two types of performance: acoustic (vocal and piano occasionally backed by strings) and ‘plugged’ ones (vocal, piano, synthesizers and drums). Gigs are alchemy. The best equipment available anda packed venue provide no guarantees. Sometimes all you need is an old upright piano and a couple of open-minded listeners and you can have a memorable event in your own living room.
Chain D.L.K.: Any plans for a new release you can already confirm here? What do you expect for the future of your project?
Silence: We’re currently writing, producing and recording the new Laibach album, which should be released by the end of the year. We’re also working on two new theatre soundtracks. As for expectations – we don’t have any.Someone once told us: expect nothing and you might end up pleasantly surprised. The best piece of advice we’ve ever received.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your interests and hobbies besides music? Do you have to go to work to pay all your bills, or are you pure musicians?
Silence: We earn our living from music. It’s not the easiest of existences – we live in a country with a mere 2 million people – but we love it. I think it was Oscar Wilde who once said: “The situation is intolerable, let’s hope it lasts.”
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words for your fans and our readers you would like to fill in here?
Silence: Not really, I’ve babbled enough as it is.
Visit Silence on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Brandon L. Clark]