TOTALITARIAN is an elitist black/death commando. This entity was forged in negativity that had been long in making. You can say the music, the lyrics, imagery and the philosophy, all of that is driven by hatred, and above all destined to spread nihilism.
Ok, now you tell me that all of the above is just a typical black metal cliché. If you decide to think this way, it’s fine. The truth is, if there had not been any hatred, inner negativity or nihilism, TOTALITARIAN would have never been formed.
Whatever we have created for the first album, “De Arte Tragoediae Divinae”, came right from within of each and every person involved in this incarnation. The direction had been clear, and the rest came out very naturally.
When I think of the creative process leading up to the album, I can’t help wondering how it happened that all pieces fell into the right place. That’s why I dare to use the word “destined”, as I do not see any logical or rational explanation.
Of course, this is not to say that all has been “mystical” or “esoteric” or “beyond human comprehension”, but the whole has turned out to be more than just a mere sum of all the parts involved in the process.
2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
“De Arte Tragoediae Divinae” dwells in the hellscapes of the barren lands between nihilistic black and obscure death metal. Our songs are infused with droning disturbances and disturbing noises. The words are dripping with poison.
We do not aspire to create technical or even nice music. Nor do we want to be extravagant or avant-garde just for the sake of it. As a matter of fact, we do not care about things like this. Had enough of such stuff. The music needs to tell a story, it needs to resonate, deliver the right lethal ambience and grow on the listeners. It’s just one dimension, however. The beauty of obscure black / death is that you can use it to convey coherent and holistic experience and message.
In a way, each of the five songs captured on “De Arte Tragoediae Divinae” is unique in the grand scheme of things, while you can still identify a thin silver thread connecting them all. Combined together, the outcome is both massive and elusive.
It’s also very emotionally charged, that’s for sure. But not in the way you would normally think of “emotional” music. There is nothing positive to be found in our music. And it’s not meant to be. There is nothing positive about humanity. Just check the video we made for “At One With The Poisoned Seed” and you will get an idea about what is going on in our minds… And what we are talking about.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I have mentioned a silver thread connecting all the songs. That is true not only for the music, but also for the lyrics. And the album title embodies all of that. It may not be immediately clear from the song titles or the lyrics, but there is a theme connecting all parts of the album.
The album is dedicated to Mons. Alois Hudal, a high-ranking Vatican official at a time. And there is a reason why we chose to look at this particular figure. I do not think we could have chosen anyone better to focus on. Think about him, study him, and you will understand, especially if you can’t help but love humanity.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Totalitarian'?
We’d like to think the name to be pretty self-explanatory. The history of most places in this world has been shaped by totalitarian regimes and their conflicts. This fact itself provides very fertile ground for various ideas, concepts or outcomes. One can be scared by the notion of living in a totalitarian regime, but others (or even the very same people) would be fascinated by this.
Totalitarianism is in a way an endless source of inspiration. Its various forms have also spawned some unique art, and music is no exception. We just can’t think of a better name for a band that creates the music that we thrive on and that we aspire to do.
We do believe that a band’s name should reflect what the music is about. As well as the lyrics and the concepts behind it all. In this case, the name actually helps to shape all of it at the same time. And because of the many forms that have existed in this space, this gives us immense opportunities.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Even though we all have more than sufficient experience individually when it comes to live shows, TOTALITARIAN has not been about playing live. So there is nothing to describe when it comes to stage performance. We will leave it to everyone’s imagination, to envision what the live shows could be about. The music, the lyrics and the imagery, they all do open the doors for many ideas.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
No, not really. It’s also hard to imagine TOTALITARIAN as a heavily touring band. Anyway, that has never been the idea. And we do not think it would serve the purpose either.
7.The new album was released on 'Barren Void Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Given that the very existence of Barren Void Records revolves around exclusive support for TOTALITARIAN, the answer would be yes. We do have the right people involved in this and helping us along our journey.
Believe it or not, we’ve so far been mostly fortunate and worked with the best possible people. And we’ll continue seeking for and working with whoever happens to be the best person for each particular part of our journey or mission. There is nothing more fulfilling than working with people who understand your ideas, share your artistic philosophy and who add something extra to what you have already created yourself.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
I guess when most bands get this question, they start boasting about all the positive feedback and responses. Even if it’s true, I personally find such statements sometimes somewhat empty.
So let me be frank and say that while we have certainly received some very positive comments, we’re still waiting to see what happens once the album makes its way to the broader population. Both the suspecting and unsuspecting ones.
And because “times are volatile” in the minds of some, we would not be surprised if certain people got offended by what we do. As a matter of fact, there has already been some evidence that TOTALITARIAN may be a bit controversial for a few individuals or organizations.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We do have a few ideas around this – both in terms of music and lyrics – and there is a vision for the near- as well as mid-term future, so we just need to be patient enough to let this materialize.
The time is now ripe for “De Arte Tragoediae Divinae”, so let’s focus on this album for now. When the time is right to create, announce and release another release, we will do so. But we do have an idea and we like it.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I think we are past the point when we would say we were influenced by particular bands or styles. The point is, all of us have been doing this music in one shape or another for quite some time, so it has become a part of our DNA so to say.
I would say the music is actually much more influenced by the environment we live in and also by what’s been happening inside our minds lately. Human minds can create unbelievable hell and this is exactly the gift some of us have been gifted with. Though you do not wish to go through something like this.
TOTALITARIAN is an outlet for many things. We had a vision but that vision was not linked to any specific band. We just knew what we wanted to bring and put on the table. The rest is a result of our collective creativity. As I mentioned earlier, the right people have been involved in this. And when that happens, sources of inspiration become irrelevant.
Personally, I listen to many bands nowadays. I never get tired of mind-bending black metal or death metal that explores the Depths of the Abyss. I do have my favorites in the industrial scene as well. But to make it to my playlist, bands or individual artists have to be honest, authentic and innovative. They also have to have their own opinions. And must not compromise or bow down to prevailing popular views or sentiments. And I guess this is true for the rest of the band.
11.How would you describe your views on Occultism?
What is occultism nowadays? None of us likes to be associated with anything mainstream, so you will not find us expressing views that would follow any particular trends. And let’s be honest, occultism, or at least its certain forms, has become a trend on its own.
While it may still be very appealing visually because of the imagery many bands use, the main message has been somewhat diluted by certain individuals who are dying to be thought of as occultists or dangerous people.
There are a few people who are authentic in this area and their art is a clear evidence of this fact. And we highly respect them. But would we jump on a bandwagon? While we can relate to certain ideas, we’re much more focused on the reality – of the past and the present. That gives us more than enough inspiration and food for thought. And because occultism has often played important role in shaping historical events, one can say there is still some connection.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. And hails to all those who have joined us on this journey so far. Amen.