Black flag in the background? Check. Collectivist rather than individual approach to making industrial music? Check. I discovered Militia from a forum discussion about anti-fascist neofolk on last.fm. They’ve got an album called The Black Flag Hoisted and a book about eco-anarchism. From an interview:
In connection with your past and present albums I’ve found links to legendary Russian anarcho-theoretics Bakunin and Kropotkin. Can I ask you about your interest to Russia and Russian revolution movements? What was the general idea/concept for the release? Why is it so actual for you to talk today about the past, about revolution – today, in a time of total de-humanisation, mechanical rhythm of daily life, inner destruction of human individuality in modern megapolises? Can we talk about it?
FG: I think you’ve already made the right conclusions by reading about our works and listening to them. Indeed, we’re using MILITIA as a tool for spreading our eco-anarchic ideas about our society. They will all be explained in our forthcoming manifesto. We founded MILITIA to be a tool for the spreading of our eco-environmental views and our social ideas, which are based upon the anarchic philosophies of the Russian anarchists Bakunin and Kropotkin and the French ‘father’ of anarchism Proudhon. We combined certain elements of their social views with our own ideas regarding environmental problems, so we designed an alternative social form in which people can live in harmony with their natural environment, based upon anarchic principles. This means that we distinguish ourselves from the conventional left wing ideas – which believe in a society lead by a government – and form a strong opposition against the appearance of right wing ideas that seem to infiltrate the industrial music scene more and more.
In high school, someone dubbed me a copy of the ministry album New World Order. While reading a Vampire Freaks thread on environmental industrial, I found the guy from Velvet Acid Christ posting this song and pointing out that, yes, industrial has always been of an anti-industrialization critique.
Oh how I love Swans. Ten years ago, when I was a teenager, my art teacher (taking lessons outside of school) Steven Archer told me one week that my homework was to go out and buy the Swans album Various Failures. “Put in the second CD, put it on track 10, put the volume all the way up, and press play.” That was my homework. I didn’t have to paint something about the song, I just had to listen to it (the song was called Eyes Of Nature). It changed my life. Swans is what I listen to when people that I care about die.
Oh, how I love Bauhaus, like any good goth. But I hadn’t really known any of their songs to be political until my dear friend pointed this song out to me today for this series.
Bauhaus: Double Dare
I dare you, to be real
To touch a flickering flame
The pangs of dark delight
Don’t cower in night fright
Don’t back away just yet
From destinations set
I dare you to be proud
To dare to shout aloud
For convictions that you feel
Like sound from bells to peal
I dare you to speak of your despise
For bureaucracy, hypocracy- all liars
My friend just let me know about this band, a sort of supergroup of gothpunk and punk bands. And this is a useful place to point out that, regardless of the genre, being radical in some elements of politics doesn’t mean that you don’t have some problematic themes in your music.
DAF, Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft wrote this song as a sort of bizarre satire. It’s useful to point out because goth, as a subculture, is less afraid to mock fascism by pretending to embrace than, say, punk. But politics can be a lot blurrier in the spooky subculture, and of course there are those who do embrace fascism, though they’re very much the minority.
Okay, I don’t really know what this song is about totally, but it’s about the earth being destroyed and how the earth will fight back, and that what we have is only borrowed from the earth. I don’t know what all the stuff about believers and secrets is about though.