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Lembetu about Loits

An interview with the Estonian band Loits, conducted around the release of the "Legion Estland" EP. The band play well played and produced black metal, influenced by Baltic culture and folk music. Loits are rapidly earning a reputation for themselves as a rising force in the underground scene. Reason enough to ask frontman Lembetu one or two questions...

Greetings to you Lembetu! Please start off the interview by giving us a little history lesson about Loits.
So, here we go with the routine question? To be honest, there`s nothing special in the history of Loits. Everything worth to talk about is coming with future. But let`s write down some significant milestones:
I started with Loits in 1996 when we recorded first reh. demo. In 1999 new members A.Kalm, M.Engele and Karje joined the band. After rehearsing with programmed drums we went to studio same year to record one track, namely "Tõelised Kuningad" for Dangus Productions. The end of the same year found us on "Baltic Thunder Tour" together with Dissimulation, Manatark and Heresiarh.
The year 2000 came with great loss for us and for all Estonian metal scene. On April 26-th A.Kalm was killed in car-accident. At the time he was one of the most active persons in the scene.
Not long after this miserable day we recruited new guitarist, our old comrade W.Gates. Shortly after him also drummer Atso joined and the band was back in business.
This was also the time to start conversations about record-deal with small local label. But in the beginning on 2001 it was clear that the mentioned company was no help for us. So we entered the studio on our own again and recorded "Ei Kahetse Midagi" album. This debute was released by ourselves in the end of the year as MC. In 2002 "Ei Kahetse Midagi" was released by Beverina Productions in tape format and a little later by Stillborn Noiz as CDr.
Soon after that we were in studio again to record "Legion Estland" 7" EP that saw the light of the day this year by Ledo Takas Records.
There have also been agreement from Seven Gates Of Hell Records to re-release our "Ei Kahetse Midagi" in digipack format, but we haven`t heard from them since the spring.

You describe your music as 'National Romantic Black Metal'. Explain.
Yes, we did advertised "Ei Kahetse Midagi" as National-Romantic Extreme Metal, cause the whole concept was about the National Romanticism (especially the most known Loits song "Tõelised Kuningad"). Now we`ve changed it to more obvious Militant Extreme Metal. The lyrical and ideological side of our creations developed through the years and that's natural, isn`t it?

I believe you've had some recent gigs in Lithuania, how did they go? How do you feel generally about playing live?
We`ve performed twice in Lithuania this year and both concerts were just great.The audience must be credited for it! It’s always refreshing to put your feet on some foreign soil to see how your art is doing in different situations.
We love it on the stage and hopefully those before the stage see it as well. With Loits we`ve performed 28 live shows.

The "Legion Estland" EP is due out soon on Ledo Takas. Are you satisfied with this work and how do you think you have progressed since "Ei Kahetse Midagi"?
Comparing "Ei Kahetse Midagi" to "Legion Estland" the latter one is a big step further, I think. A lot of things got made differently and the development is obvious sound-wise and the mixing is better and so on. But I think there`s always room for doing things better, so let`s hope our next recording session will be even more professional. The best thing with "Legion Estland" is that the atmosphere put into the songs isn`t lost. Everything sounds convincing and pure.

Ledo Takas are quite a well known and respected label. How has the co-operation with them been so far? Are there any plans to release a full length CD on them or are you keeping your options open for now?
We haven`t faced any problems with Tadas so far. He`s very polite, accurate man who`s deeply concerned on what he does. Working with him means that we can concentrate to our own creativity, we have all artistic freedoms.
If he offered us another record-deal we`d probably agree with it. This far we haven`t talked about it, but he asked us to join the European tour with Horna and hopefully it`ll be great.
To be honest, I`m sick and tired to deal with so called record labels and guys, who promise you this and that, but if things get serios, there will be only a great silence from their side. It seems that Loits has got some mysterious magnetic field for those scums.

You've been responsible for thinking up and organising the "Estnische Kriegskameraden" compilation of underground Estonian Black Metal bands, due out on Beverina Productions. How do you think the Estonian scene compares to others, and why has it remained out of the public eye?
"Estnische Kriegskameraden" has been cursed from the very begining. I can`t remember, when I started to work on this compilation, but nothing had happened this far. We`ve been through really nasty times with Berg (singer of Must Missa, he`s helping me a lot). Every label, who have had the will to help us, has got into trouble. Now there`s only Beverina left and they have into these hard times too.
Talking about Estonian metal scene I sometimes wonder, where are the old Big Ones like Rattler, Shower, Aggressor, they`re all gone by now. And newer bands haven`t proved their qualities yet.
The brotherhood behind "Estnische Kriegskameraden" is the new elite in our UG scene, but there are some other bands, like Forgotten Sunrise, Echosilence, Winter Night Overture and Horricane (to mention a few), who`ve been pretty succesful in certain circles.
Estonian metal scene can`t be compared to west-europe & USA scenes. Though, the music is professional, we don`t have long traditions in whatever genres, we don`t have real Big Bands. When there were Thrash or Death Metal waves, we had great bands of both styles, but nowadays there are only a few bands left and it`s all about the lack of motivation.
But Iґm looking forward and Iґm optimistic about the future, because a lot of changes will be coming. The big credit goes to Hard Rock Club, who`s responsible for giving birth to the fresh wave of Estonian metal scene.

There's a lot of different elements in your sound. Are your influences purely Black Metal, or do they expand to other genres?
Of course there are a lot of non-metal favourites, but if our music is showing it or not, is the question for listeners.

What is the 'Spell' you refer to with the band name?
Well, there`s one more meaning behind Loits and that`s "chant". Maybe I just wanted to put some mysterious "aura noir" into band`s name, I don`t really know. Today Loits means to me good music and comrades with common way of thinking.

Tell me some more about the lyrical concepts of LOITS. I believe there are references to WWII in there...?
Correct! We`ve taken the conscious role to be misunderstood and misinterpreted from time to time. "Legion Estland" 7" EP is dedicated to the brave soldiers who fought in german uniform for free Eastland and against Red Terror in WWII. Before one step into any conclusions, I suggest to cheсk the background of the matter. If one`s not able to see the truth, we can nothing but to feel sorry about them. Check out:
"Ei Kahetse Midagi" had the common national-romantic theme through the lyrics: some ancient things that happened here and had an impact to the whole North-European mythology and culture; the brave spirit of soldiers and some personal views.
The future plans are to go deeper into the themes of freedom fight, we`ve gonna write about Soomepoisid (Finnish-Boys: Estonians who fought against Russians in Finnish Army during WWII, later they returned to Estland for the great battles of Narva) and Metsavennad (Forest-Brothers: kind of partisans who fought against the Red Beast through all Russian occupation).

Estonia has recently joined the European Union. What are your views on this and what is the general feeling about the EU in Estonia?
We`ve not said "yes" to EU yet, the day of decicion will be 14.09 this year. The EU-theme bored me to death. I surely don`t want our State to lose it`s independence, but what can we do? We`re under such pressure, that there is no alternative, as some seem to think.
People here know nothing, what to expect from EU, but the goverment is making hard propaganda for EU. At the same time they do not even have "plan B" for the case if people says "no".
Europe has lost it`s once proud qualities and that`s what happens to us too if we join EU. I will say "no", there`s no doubt about it. It`s natural for Estonians to be suspicious when it comes to any Union and I guess you know why.
Hippies and cosmopolitians will be most joyous if we go to EU. Fucking scum!

Is LOITS a political band? What do you think of politics in music, good or bad?
Please don`t label us (NSBM or whatever else)! We`re not directly political band. On the other hand some of us are really political, history and politics are the interests of great importance for us. I don`t like political propaganda in music, but if band spices it`s good music with ideology I like, it adds some extra quality to the band in general.

That's all from me, thanks for for interview. Anything to add?
Loits is a wakening for Iron Youth, Loits is call to join the ranks of Legionaires, Loits is everything what judeo-christianian democracy is not. Loits is Estonian National Pride. Join the Force, sign your name!
Visit our web-page for up-date information, there are new challenges coming for Loits.

Author: Jamie
Zine: Black Minds Magazine

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