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Loits
Interview from Hell Music

1. What does Loits mean?

For me and my comerades, Loits means an opportunity to make not art for art's sake, but to express our convictions and views through art.
But I guess you meant what does the word mean... In English it would be "Chant", "Incantation" or "Spell". Simple!

2. Who are Loits in everyday life? Are the band members also friends outside band life?

One of the strong points of Loits is the fact that we've all known each other for a very long time. We were kindred spirits and good friends even before Loits started out. The ties of friendship bond the band into an integral whole and this gives a positive aura to the whole enterprise. In everyday life we are people like any other. We have jobs and are trying to lead family lives (as good as anyone can manage that).

3. How did you begin collaboration with Lithuanian record company? Why „Ledo Takas“ exactly?

It was sometime in the beginning of 2002 when I sent Tadas our tape of "Ei kahetse midagi". The esteemed esquire received the package and listened to the tape (or at least I hope he did) and sent me quite a positive review in return. Later I found an identical review in the "Ad Arma" magazine! For some mysterious reason we had to continue our correspondence. :)

In the autumn of 2002 we entered a studio with a firm notion that we'd come out with a material that would have to be released as a 7" EP. We hadn't talked about this idea with any record label yet, though. When the material was ready, I sent it straight away to Tadas, and thus he had no other choice but to release our first 7" EP "Legion Estland". :)

By then we were communicating with Tadas very frequently and our trust in him grew day by day. The "Goat Guts Over Europe" tour followed, after which we already began to think about our second full-length album. Thanks to the developed trust Ledo Takas Records was our first pick, and we still don't have any reason to doubt the correctness of our decision.

It was only recently that I discovered I'd been in correspondence with Tadas earlier than that, too. Namely, I sent him a demo tape of Decease for review sometime in the middle of 90s. I played in a deaththrash band by that name at the time, and Tadas was back then associated with a magazine called "Brainstorm".

4. Are you content with your new album?

I haven't met one single band who'd say that they are totally unhappy with their new album. Of course we are content, and get special satisfaction from the fact that now that the album's out we receive some truly positive feedback. At least here in Estonia "Vere kutse kohustab" has been received awfully well and I hope for the same from the other side of the border of our little homeland.

I must admit a lot of sweat went into that one, and the preparations took a lot of time. Thanks to the excellent sound engineer Kristo Kotkas and to Kessu - the design of the album is superior!

5. How was the recording session? Long, tiring or not?

The recording didn't take too long. We didn't waste any time, but worked in the studio really hard for a month. Fortunately the studio sound engineer Kristo Kotkas turned out to be a really nice person and thanks to the good synch everything went more than smoothly. The recording was boosted also by the fact that thanks to the recording of our three 7" EP-s we had found our very own sound for Loits and accumulated a lot of studio experience. We knew exactly what we expected from the new material and how our instruments would have to sound both separately and in unison. Nothing was left to chance on the album.

To conclude, I want to add that we've had a lot of luck with studios lately. Both "Meeste muusika" and "Raiugem ruunideks" were pure fun to record, since both of the studios where we did these 7" EP-s are managed by really cool people. The same goes for the NBS Studio. Hard work and fun went hand in hand all the time. It is extremely groovy to work together with people with an advanced sense of humour. Thanks, Aksel, Tom and Kristo!

6. Which song was the first that you created for this album? And the last? :)

The first tunes matured right after the release of the "Ei kahetse midagi" album. The oldest of those are represented on the "Legion Estland" 7" EP. Some of the newest songs we wrote right before entering the studio, though, and seven of those had no lyrics yet by the time we were already recording drums! Its seems such situations have bacome traditional for Loits. “Aeg ärgata”, “Kodu”, “Oskar Ruut”, “Eesti auks”, “Võitluslipp”, “Eluruun” ja “Nimeta haud” are the songs that had acquired some sort of form in the musicians' heads, but were actually played by the whole band just a few weeks before the studio session.

7. Your promo pictures are very impressive :) Could you tell us something more about that photosession? Are you going to make a video with these scenes?

Alas, we had no movie cameras with us, when on a nice summer morning Loits dressed up in flashy uniforms, bought a few beers and left the capital behind. In retrospect it's truly a pity that none of this was filmed. This mucking-about in the trenches was all-in-all quite an event and a fun adventure. Also the two photographers who shot all this circus were not bored. They are indisputable professionals in their field, as you can well see from the pictures.

The uniforms we got from friends who have tailored these quite close-to-original garments themselves, and we also bought some additional equipmnent. Quite many of the artifacts are from our private collections. Also, my girlfriend's mother helped us a lot - she has her own costume warehouse. Karje's outfit, for example, originates from there.

No-one remembers exactly whence came the idea to present ourselves like that on the new album, but it's quite a logical step, when you think about what our band talks about and whose honour we stand for.

Our next photo sessions won't be any less engrossing or lacking in imagination. I already have a new vision...

About video - we spent the whole of last weekend on filming one. Now it just needs to be edited and mixed together. This will be done during november and then we'll take it to all local TV-stations, and hopefully find a chance to spread it elsewhere as well.

8. „Vere kutse kohustab“ (Obliged By the Call of Blood) - is this a nostalgic reflection on history or a call to fight today?

Both. Those who don't remember the past, live without future. We have many unresolved problems in the past yet, and in order for the truth to out we've decided to fight and are calling others to do the same. We are knocking on people's conscience, trying to remind them who they are and what role they have as Estonians in the present day. Loits stands for free Estonia!

9. What are your lyrics about? Are you attempting to change something in the society and public opinion? What do you think about critical possibilities of art?

The role of Loits in Estonia and our role outside of Estonia differ a bit. Outside of Estonia we are trying to make people aware of what actually happened in Estonia during WWII and why and against whom the bravest sons of our Fatherland actually fought in German uniforms. We expect that due to the "Monument war" this subject is already clear for all Estonians. Of course, if one does not want to understand, one will not, and it is impossible to totally break through the 60-year brainwashing campaign. In Estonia we have a proverb: "A hunchback can only be cured by the grave".

In Estonia we try to knock on people's conscience and awake patriotic feelings in them, so that our even now questionable freedom would not dwindle completely and be lost from our hands again.

10. Are you interested in politics? Are your lyrics influenced by contemporary political situation (e.g. the song "Time To Awake")?

If a person is worried about the destiny of his or her land and country, he or she is abreast of the political situation in their homeland as well as globally, and thus it for us as well. "Time To Awake" speaks in a straightforward way about the rhings that worry us nowadays. The last ˇverse of this song should be tattooed on the foreheads of each and every Estonian, lest we forget our elementary value judgements.

11. There is a widespread opinion that Loits are promoting fascist ideas. Is it true or not? What do Hitler and fascism mean to you?

Those who have taken the time to get even a little bit acquainted with the ideology of Loits know that Loits is not a fascist band and is not spreading a national-socialist message. There is nothing else for me to do but to point out that 60 years of brainwashing has done its job - whenever one tries to speak of things that contradict the black-and-white treatment of history cobbled together and adopted by the winners of the last great war, one will immediately be labelled a nazi and a fascist. When will the people finally be able to look to the past with a clear sight and mind? It will just not be allowed. For too many interest groups it is still lucrative to spread lies regarding the recent history.

Hitler and fascism mean nothing to me. I know what the Estonian men who fought in German uniforms thought about such things and that's good enough for me.

12. There is a lot of skinheads among your fans. How do you feel about that? Do they interpret your music and ideas correctly?

Its nationalism that attracts skinheads to Loits. I believe they know very well that we do not propagate the WP movement and spread NS propaganda. At least here in Estonia we have managed to explain our message to the people.

If a skinhead comes to our concert because we are nationalists and he likes those ideas, then what could we have against that?

13. Every nation has peculiar "myths" or stereotypes about themselves and their neighbors. What do Estonians think about themselves? How are Lithuanians presented in Estonian popular thinking? (For example, Lithuanians consider the Estonian people as somewhat phlegmatic...:)).

Estonian have not developed any clear stereotypes regarding Lithuanians, I don't even know why. Maybe because Lithuania is not a neighbouring country to Estonia. One thing that may be thought about Lithuanians by some is that Lithuanians are somewhat inaccurate and a bit slavicized a nation. Stereotypes concerning Latvians and Finns are much better developed.

Estonians have some pretty good sayings about themselves; for example that an Estonian's favourite dish is another Estonian. We think of ourselves as quite despiteful and stubborn people. When I wrote down these adjectives, I immediately thought of my grandparents, especially my granddad.

The fact that Lithuanians think of us as phlegmatic is quite understandable. Almost all nations consider the people living north of them phlegmatic. This has got to have something to do with the nature's impact on people. Nortgern people are always less tempered; they are usually more composed, but at the same time slower and sluggish. We have at least a thousand jokes concerning the slowness of Finns here! :)

14. Your greatest show...

The best shows for Loits have been in Estonia and Lithuania - obviously, where we have the most fans. Also our last gig in Riga was very good. I can't even point out a precise gig... We've been very well received at the Kilkim Zaibu, Green Christmas and Hard Rock Laager festivals. Different events are just not comparable. Sometimes you get the necessary feeling at a very small pub-venue, sometimes at a great big stage. The experiences, the emotions and memories that stay with one from such gigs are so very different.

15. With „Goat Guts...“ you travelled through many European countries. Are metalheads from various countries different?

Yes, they are. In the Old World the boundaries between different cultural spaces are still luckily yet perceptible. It all depends on how well you're known in one or other region of Europe, but very broadly you might say that in the Western Europe the audience is colder and more sceptic towards an unknown band, and that it's the other way round in Eastern Europe. There people are more open and are carried along more easily by newcomers. I can't really judge the Baltics adequately. We've acquired a steady fanbase here and are very rarely surprised by a small-numbered and numb audience.

16. Your favorites in music...

The members of Loits listen to very different music - from accordion-accompanied old soldiers' songs to raw black metal, from synth-pop to stoner rock, from indie music to blasting death metal and from classical music and neo-folk to good old thrash metal. The style of the music doesn't matter; what's important is the mood that the music carries and imparts.

17. Metal scene in Baltic States - your comments...

The Baltic metal scene is grossly underrated, but band-wise it's not that strong either. On a 10-point scale I'd give a strong 4. We are lacking truly great and strong bands, but we haven't had much time to develop, too, and for some bizarre reason the scenes of all three Baltic countries went through a bad low tide soetime in the middle of the 90s, which almost killed all possible consistency.

Regarding concert organizing, though, things have reached quite a high level and bigger Western metal stars are brought home to a lot of Baltic metal fans. This is a very good tendency because it keeps the scene alive and the metalheads close to music. By opening for well-known bands the local ones get their much-needed experience and also the crowds get an opportunity to compare foreign and local bands.

There should always be more serious-minded record companies that would help bands develop and move on, but this tendency is also on the rise.

Fast development is probably the main upside in the Baltic metal scene. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it will continue and bear fruit in the future. I just heard the news that Horricane (EST) got a record deal with Black Mark Records. This is a sure sign of where we're going at the moment. All the doors are actually open; it's time to wedge our collective foot in there. It also seems that Estonian bands have grabbed the initiative in this direction among Baltic countries and that our scene is now developing the fastest around here.

18. How do you think, if you would be not an Estonian band, but Swedish or Norwegian - would it be easier to achieve popularity or not?

Maybe, maybe not! It depends on how well you are able to promote yourself. I believe that nowadays the bands hailing from the Baltics have all the opportunities they need. Scandinavian bands can maybe find record deals easier etc., but this doesn't make them any more interesting or better. I truly think that if a Baltic band can burrow into the Western scene by working hard and being relentless, they have a much better chance of going places than a mere signed Scandinavian band that may never reach beyond their second-rate band status and are unable to make themselves attractive without a record company's help. Everything is relative and anything is possible. That's why I detest the kind of whiners who complain that if only they were a band from this or that country, they would be long world-famous and rich boys. Do some actual work and put some sweat into it, and you'll achieve something in no time. Not everything must come easy, you know.

19. Your ambitions reach...

I remember answering to a very similar question in onw of the very first interviews with Loits that it would be cool if some record company released our album and took us on a little tour. Now all this has become a reality, and a lot of the things that have happened to Loits I would never have dreamed about. I do not intend to place a goal at a certain hight anymore; I'm just following with interest how far we can go. What's happening to Loits in Estonia is nearly unbelievable. Right now we're topping the sales figures of several record stores and our songs are played on several different local radiostations weekly, if not daily. Our reviews and interviews are published by all bigger national dialies and weeklies. I must repeat: I could not have imagined anything like this in even my wettest dreams, and this is just the beginning...

Author: Jurga
Zine: Hell Music
hell.music.lt

Check also:
Other interviews
24-03-2015 Abandoned Elysium - Interview with Abandoned Elysium!
06-04-2011 Sorts - Interview with Sorts
22-09-2009 Bestia - Interview with Bestia
show all interviews


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