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Lembetu & M. Divine about Loits

1.How was the tour? Are you satisfied with the maniax? Do you have occasion to play with bands such as Horna very often?


Thanks for asking! From Loits's point of view the tour was successful in every way, we couldn't have hoped for anything better. Although at the Western European gigs the crowd was unaccustomedly numb, this was later remedied a hundredfold with friendly handshakes and the letters of support and praise that still keep pouring in. I personally am more than satisfied to have done some serious touring in Europe and accumulating experience plus friends. If an opportunity of travel presents itself again, I shall not hesitate for a moment!

About performing together with Horna and other bands of that caliber, I must admit that the Goat Guts Over Europe tour was a first one for us outside the Baltic states, so we haven't played together with any "big names" much. At the same time I don't consider Horna much of a big name, although there's no denying they have well deserved a certain cult status in the underground circles.

Up to now Loits has had the honour of opening for Borknagar (NOR) and M-Eternal (NOR). We were supposed to open for Impaled Nazarene (FIN) in November here in Estonia, but seems like that won't be happening, though.

And, by the way, I believe that local bands like Manatark and Tharaphita, who we have often shared the stage with, will soon reach a point when there's reason to call them successful underground bands. In the Baltic metal scene they already are very well known, and for a good reason, too.

2.Unfortunatelly you aren't very famous in Poland. So can you describe your activity in a few words? What does LOITS mean?


Ha, the typical history quiz!

To tell you the truth, nothing very big has happened to Loits during our fairly short period of existence.

In 1999 when we assembled the group, we were immediately offered a chance to play the Baltic Thunder tour that was comprised of six gigs in all three Baltic states.

In 2000, when the guitarist died and we found a drummer, the line-up changed a bit.

In 2001 we recorded our first full-length "Ei kahetse midagi" (Regret Nothing) that is by some considered a demo and a debut release by others. Both are right to an extent.

In 2002 both Beverina and Stillborn Noiz released this material. In the end of the same year we recorded the "Legion Estland" 7" EP, released this summer by Ledo Takas Records. At the moment we've successfully concluded our first European tour, and that's basically it.

The word "loits" means "a (chanted) spell" in Estonian.

Why such a name? Well, there must have been a reason to shadow our image with a veil of mysticism. I still like the name Loits, so it must have been the right choice. Today Loits means for me a creative output, plus great comrades to spend quality time, share some ideological baggage and later exhibit it with.

3.You have in your discography the unique release. I mean CD with a gig. Can You say how did you make this idea come true?


This is a story about how something tangible grows out of something small and petty, which is in a way a standard for the whole development of Loits.

It was a regular gig in Estonia for Loits. We were opening for the Tribute to Running Wild, and our drummer asked our very good friend Martin P. to videotape the whole gig. So he filmed it from the balcony of the Von Krahl theatre with a camera in his small shaking hand. Against all odds the gig went very well, although it was lacking in true passion somewhat - mainly because the audience consisted of about 50 indifferent people. Viewing the material at home I discovered that it was much better than I would ever have imagined, and so I sent it to Juris (Beverina), since he hadn't seen us live before (at least not in the present form). Soon I received his letter with an offer to release it. But since the VHS as a medium is somewhat clumsy, we decided to release the "Reval 15.02.2003" video in the mpeg format on a CDR.

4.I read that norge black metal influenced you Ulver, Satyricon, In the Woods... Do you agree with that? Which bands impressed/inspired you?


You're more than right. The dawntime music of Loits was the most influenced by the bands you just named. Much more difficult would be to venture a guess as to what bands our music is influenced by nowadays. First of all, the music is composed not only be me but by the whole band and, secondly, our tastes in music have changed with the times. Not that we don't listen to and respect the bands you mentioned any more. It's just that we listen to a lot of different music.

5.How can you describe the music you play? I'm asking because I don't agree with Baverina's description "extreme national romantic metal". For me your music isn't romantic.


Beverina may really have caused some confusion by rearranging the components of the genre description I provided them with. At the time of the release of "Ei Kahetse Midagi" we called our music National-Romantic Extreme Metal, which, by the way, has a very good reason: all of the lyrics written for this material had one common denominator, national romanticism.

And we call ourselves Extreme Metal because our lyrics have never dealt with satanism. Black Metal, though, is generally considered to be satanic metal.

By now we have swapped "national-romantic" for "militant", which describes the character of the band best of all. I presume there is no question as to why that is. :)

6.Preparing this interview I looked over your website. You write about 1944? What important happened in your country this year?

M. Divine:

In January 1944 the great offence by Red Army began in the Northern part of the Eastern Front. It was planned to rush over Estland in some three weeks, but the avalanche was stopped on Estland`s border by Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units (the latter including 20th Estonian Division). Three weeks became seven months of hard fights! Everyone familiar with WWII or Waffen-SS history should know the great battles of Narva and Sinimäed (it translates as "Blue Hills", also known as the Tannenberg Line) and the imposing amount of given Ritterkreuzes during these months. It truly was the unbreakable fortress against East!

Depending on Finland's surrender to Russia and Red Army's break-through in the south it became unavoidable for Heeresgruppe Narwa to leave Estland`s soil in the autumn. So it was the most horrible day for Estonians: the Red Terror began again, this time twice as hard as ever before.
1944 was the year of great tragedy for our land and people...

7.Your photos on the Internet are in soldier style. Black uniforms, prepared positions. Are you fans of militarism or rather patriots?


Yes, we are patriots and fans of militarism and young guys with a keener than average interest in history, as you already might have gathered from M. Engele's answer. Our main interests in history lie in the period starting with the War of Independence in Estonia and ending with WWII. We read a lot of literature on the subject and pay respectful visits to war heroes still alive. This part of history for us is quite tangible, so we know full well how much historians and politicians have tried to change the account of actual events of this period to suit their needs. It seems that the majority of Estonian youth has no idea why and for what their grandfathers fought in WWII, wearing the German uniform, and that's a pity if anything is. I'm not even going to go into what the Western Europeans believe.

When we decide to take a few drinks together and get a little tipsy, it is not uncommon to catch us singing some WWII soldier and partisan songs together. :)
All this is what feeds the flame of the burning spirit of Loits at the moment.

8.Women are very rarely members of metal bands-especially black metal bands. How Karje gets along with playing with four men?


Loits has never had to search for members. All who have found their way to Loits have been close friends and their participation is natural. Karje is not an exception. I met her in 1997. At the time Loits was my personal pet project and I was much more seriously involved with my other bands of the time, namely Discrucior and Tharaphita. But bit by bit things were starting to get more serious for Loits and so I invited Karje to compose synth parts for my songs. By 1999, when M. Engele and A. Kalm joined Loits, we had been playing together with Karje for some time.

9.Can You say what happened with your guitar player and vocalist A.Kalm? I'm asking because he was very young. Was it natural death and how has it influenced your later activity?(it was in 2000)


After A. Kalm died, there were many who came to ask who really was behind his death. People love to start rumours and search for conspiracies everywhere. I must admit that A. Kalm had plenty of enemies, because he always said what he thought and did not hesitate to use violence if necessary. But, then again, he had a lot of friends for exactly the same reasons, and he will always remain in our memories as the straightforward person he was.

Anyway, his death was caused by nothing more sinister than a sad accident. He just happened to step on the road at the wrong time in a wrong place.

The destiny of Loits was not overly affected by Alan's demise, though. He had not yet started to participate in songwriting and at the "in remembrance of"-concert a month after his death he was already replaced by our present guitarist W. Gates.

The Estonian metal scene at large, though, was quite deeply influenced by his departure. As a young and active person he was more or less closely related to everything happening in the scene. His death terminated two excellent bands, Vaikus ("silence") and Kalm ("grave").

10. What do young people like you think about world war II - I mean battles under the German banner. Are you ashamed or proud of that? Or maybe those people didn't have a choice?


I don`t know about others, but I think it was both a glorious and a miserable time for Europe.
Before the Germans arrived to Estland in 1941 we were suffering from Soviet subhuman terror here. In one year we lost almost 10% of our population to killings and deportations to Siberia. So it was more than natural for Estonians to welcome Wehrmacht as the liberators and brothers.

Russians had done their best to destroy our military and paramilitary forces. Germans offered us the great opportunity to pay back, and why not join the world's most modern army to beat our historical enemy together? There were approximately 70 000 Estonians in German forces during WWII.

Well, Estonians had also the choice to NOT fight and hide in the forest instead. But they really wanted to beat the Red Beast and that's why I see them as heroes and yes, I'm very proud of these men!

11.Can you describe your metal scene? Are there any other interesting bands in your country?


This sort of question always throws me off balance a little bit. "Metal scene" is a very broad term and the scene is always composed of several smaller scenes, even in such a small country as Estonia.

All in all there's not much to complain about. On the contrary, the scene is developing pretty well. We are starting to break out of the dead circle, where every time some new style became popular, everybody was into that and played nothing else, so the older bands just faded away from the arena.

Nowadays Estonians play everything in between Heavy Metal and Grindcore, which to me proves the viability of the scene. We have metal events every week, and there are bands here who have managed to push themselves outside the envelope of Estonia. There is a lot of fresh motivation, the lack of which has been a long-time plague of the Estonian scene in the past. It seems some bands have come to stay.

Must Missa, Manatark, Tharaphita, Echosilence and Horricane are some names one should be smart to keep an eye on in the near future.

At the moment the unquestioned leader among metal clubs is definitely the Hard Rock Club, the role of which in reflating the local scene can never be overestimated. The more serious metal fests are Hard Rock Laager in the summer and Green Christmas in the winter.

12. You have cooperated with a few labels (Ledo Takas, Stillborn Noiz, Beverina). What cooperation was the best for you?


There is no question about it, so far Ledo Takas has been our best partner. Tadas knows full well what he's doing and he does it with utmost dedication. He never promises what he can't deliver and he gives the band complete creative freedom. He has helped us to no end. The chance at the Goat Guts Tour we also owe to him, although some pure luck helped us as well in the fact that Dissimulation had to cancel the tour (because that's who we were replacing).

Also cooperation with Juris (Beverina) has been more than satisfying. Although his means are limited (and whose aren't?), his contribution to Loits must never be underestimated. Thanks a lot, brother! But I can't be content with the activities of Stillborn Noiz (if what they did can be called "activity" at all). To my knowledge they no longer exist, though.

There have been plenty of those who've drowned us in unbacked promises and then disappeared. I sincerely hope such times are in the past now for Loits and all our future partners take their actions and promises with full sincerity.

13. Have you any expectations concerning the new label?


First of all, honest promises! Reliability is the most important thing. I can't enlighten you much in reference to our specific demands, everything must be negotiated first. But if we're talking about a full length album, I expect the company to pay at least for the studio time. Everything else can be negotiated.

14. What do you plan in the nearest future? When will a new album be available?


At the moment we are putting together the songs for the next full length album. There is plenty of material, now we just have to learn the tunes properly and add the songs a final touch. We hope to hit the studio in the beginning of the next year. We shall see who will help us with that, and how. We also hope to play at least one gig this year yet, at the Green Christmas festival. A very well known band should be headlining this event.

Next year we hope to visit Europe again. If we can't put together a full tour, we definitely hope to play a few concerts, at the least. We also hope to make it to some festivals.

15. For beginning write any bad/dirty word in your native language.

Thanks for the interview.

Author: Zibi
Zine: Seven Gates Of Hell Magazine

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