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Lembetu about Loits

1. Loits' music, lyrics and ideology is strongly based on Estonian national pride and patriotism. Have you ever faced problems from authorities or just other people claiming you being nazis or racists?

As you can well imagine, we've had to put up with all sorts of labellings and accusations. You wouldn't ask this question otherwise, would you now?

Loits tells about themes that may be hard to understand for those who've grown up with the simple, black and white interpretation of recent history. Thus, people who are not up to date concerning what went on here during WWII, are eager to label us as fashists and nazis.

We ourselves haven't compromised, too. In that respect we've chosen a risky and not so easy a path, but somebody has to tell about these things. Why not do it by tying it in with the sort of music we like, then?

2. How seriously do you take this national thing in your everyday life and how important matter is it for the whole band in general?

Loits consists of five different persons with different interests and beliefs. Nationality is the one thing that binds us. None of us is a member of any national or political organization, but the destiny and well-being of our country and our nation are a concern for each and every one of us. Loits speaks of things we think about and connect with every day. This means our message is sincere, and that improves the band on several levels.

Estonians are such a small national group that in order for us to endure there must be at least a little drop of nationalist blood in every Estonian.

3. When Estonia was still a part of Soviet Union, would you have gone to war to fight for Soviet army against their enemy?

It's hard to say what would have happened and what would have not. I can beat my chest and claim that no way wouyld I have taken up a gun to protect the interests of the monster that sent such vast numbers of my ancestors on their way to Manala (the Netherworld in Estonian folklore), but we mustv face the truth. Hundreds, if not thousands of Estonian men were forced to do this, to fight as Soviet soldiers against different "enemies" in Afganistan, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Otherwise their lives would have been totally ruined.

4. What are your thoughts about Estonia joining the EU a short while ago?

When I was going to vote, I felt pretty uneasy. On one hand, we were facing the same choice our grandfathers faced during WWII, when they put on the German uniform. We had to choose the lesser evil of the two – to fall back under the power of Russia or become a member of the EU. Today I see that the cultivation of the idea of "choosing the lesser evil" was a nifty propaganda trick by the government and hell knows what other powers, because the EU is not a defense organization and can't grant us protection against Russia. Besides, belonging to NATO would have been protection enough. In recent times more and more deals harmful to the country but beneficial to some circles are being pushed through under the pretense of national defense interests.

By now it becomes clearer and clearer by the day what we've gotten ourselves into. Estonia no longer has right of decision over things happening in our homeland, and the government obediently follows every order given by the EU. Today the Parliament decided that changing the constitution no longer demands a popular vote, which basically means that the ruling and decisive power is no longer the people. The EU itself is on a steady path towards becoming a federation, which means that soon we can't talk about free Estonia anymore. I would call this situation a bloodless occupation. And I don't even want to talk about the blow given to our previously fast-growing economy. I feel very good for saying "no" to all this crap when casting my vote. I'm sorry there were so few of us.

5. The lyrics of Loits are written in your own language, so are your fellow country mates your main "target market"? What kind of response have you got from abroad, concerning the use of your own language and the music/songs in general?

This must be one of the most typical questions we get asked, and every time it pops up, I'm a little bit surprised. After all, Loits is not the only one among bands in this style that sings in their mother-tongue. It seems to be more a rule than an exception. I've come to a conclusion that the use of our native language must somehow be more evident in Loits than other BM bands.

I know it's not polite to answer a question with a question, but why not sing about the things concerning your fatherland in your mother-tongue? I believe I can thus put my mirth and rage and all other emotions to words in a much more sincere way. The Estonian audience is definitely not our main target group, although our message must be best understood here.

Sometimes it's a pity that speakers of foreign languages can't catch the gist of our message just like that, and sing along, for example, but we've made inlay sleeves with lyrics and other literature, where they can read the translations of the lyrics. It's a pity that a lot of the beauty of the language gets lost in translation.

Mostly the reaction towards us using our native language in songs has been positive. Only the Finns may consider it a bit funny (at least this has been hinted at by some Finns a couple of times :)). Our music has been received only well and very well everywhere. There have been a few negative reviews, but it seems that the main reason behind those low ratings is the misunderstanding of our message.

6. Your new promo material is very catchy (for such brutal music), I mean that it's quite easy to get into the songs and they sound like working very well and bombastic in a live situation. How often do you play gigs and what kind of feedback have you got from the audience so far? How important is it to you that the songs also work live on stage when compared to the versions you can listen from a CD?

Loits is exactly as much a live band as it is a studio band. We always pay special attention to making our live tracklist as enrapturing and impelling as possible, but also inserting enough variance so that it doesn't get monotonous. Its seems that so far we've managed this well, and we've had lots of feedback saying that we often sound better live than on a CD.

We don't make songs especially so that they'd work well live. When putting together our tracklists, we simply leave out songs that don't work well. In a few occasions we've rearranged songs to make them sound better live. Sometimes it actually happens onstage, for exapmle when somebody stretches a particular pause in order to smash the following riff up against the wall of people with even bigger a force.

When we perform in Lithuania, where we've had eight gigs so far and where we'll return pretty soon, an awesome uproar in front of the stage is guaranteed. The situation has been pretty much the same in Estonia lately. Everything works perfectly. During our last tour in Western Europe the audience was quite numb and mostly just applauded when a song ended. I guess that's how the crowds are over there. After a gig there were a lot of shoulder clappers and praisers, but the mosh pit was pretty much deserted during the actual gig. Of course, this might as well have been due to our relative namelessness in Europe.

Loits has done two tours during its short existence. The first one, "Baltic Thunder", encompassed six gigs in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with Manatark, Heresiarh and Dissimulation. The second tour "Goat Guts Over Europe" with 11 concerts in Europe took place last fall together with Horna, Behexen and Salacious Gods. Altogether Loits has performed live 46 times so far.

7. You have released two 7"ep's and the third is on its way. Is vinyl as important a format for you as CD, or are these kinda "nostalgic" releases for dedicated fans (of metal)? Do these 7"ep's share some kind of similar concept?

“Legion Estland”, “Raiugem Ruunideks” and “Meeste Muusika” 7” EP-s are a trilogy to introduce our next full length album "Vere Kutse Kohustab". The main theme of these vinyls is the fight for Estonia's freedom during WWII and after that. We begin with Estonians who fought in German uniforms (Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS), continue with the Finnboys and conclude with the Forest Brethren (the partisans).

We chose vinyl for several reasons. Nowadays it's very easy to release a CD and hundreds, if not thousands are released every day. Thanks to this tendency this data-bearer is devaluated. Vinyl is much more exclusive than CD. Also, music from vinyl is much more direct, and this format makes people pay more attention to the music, because dealing with a vinyl is much more unhandy than with a CD or an MC. One of the reasons is that this way our material will reach only the most dedicated people. And, last but not least, the vinyl format agrees with our historical concept.

8. What can you tell us about the upcoming debut full length album? Are you satisfied with the recordings and how the songs turned out on tape?

“Vere Kutse Kohustab” (which is actually our second full-length album after "Ei Kahetse Midagi") is a worthy follow-up to the trilogy of 7" EP-s. Those who've heard these vinyls may guess what to expect from the new album, but we sure have some surprises left for them as well.

Musically speaking, "Vere Kutse Kohustab" is built upon traditional mid-tempo norse core, made more dynamic with strong rock'n'roll and modern Norwegian BM (Khold, Satyricon) influences. At the same time we haven't lost the epic undertone spiced up with unconventional use of the synthesizer familiar from the "EKM" album. There's more experimentation with rhytms, chords and vocals. Our aim was not to create something totally new in metal, but we certainly can't be blamed for lacking originality.

Those who have seen and heard our earlier stuff should know that we are trying to offer the best possible quality in sound, music, lyrics and visual appearance. Nowadays we work with professionals only and hence the quality is guaranteed in before-mentioned criterions. With the "Vere Kutse Kohustab" album we have again made a big step forward in all these criterions, and if the album is really released exactly how we've planned it, it will definitely be one of the most beautiful things I've ever held in my hands. Our aim to create a uniform entirety from music, ideology and the visual side is this time almost wholly realized.

9. What are the most important things being a part of Loits? Do you think you could've expressed yourself somehow else if not playing in a metal band (writing, painting or other kind of arts)?

Loits is much more than just an ordinary band. Our "rat pack" is bound by numerous other interests and undertakings that don't have much to do with music. All this adds an additional dimension to the band. We've been close friends and acquaintances for a long time. If someone would leave the band, it would be very hard to find a worthy replacement to fill this void. Thus Loits for us means a circle of friends and a chance to speak of what we think so that we also have astute listeners.

Since we're all pretty creative people, it would be fair to assume that if we would not be musicians, we'd be involved in some other arts, whatever they might be. To be honest, we've had time to do a few things beside the band. The art of writing is not totally unfamiliar to me or M. Divine. Some of us have tried their hand in drawing.

On the other hand, if we were not in the band, we might be active researchers into history, or we'd be successful in some other field. After all, we all have private lives, interests and a wish to accomplish something.

For example, I'm pretty sure if I was not in a band, I'd be heading a record company or a music magazine; probably on quite an UG level.

10. Plans for future, wishes, greetings?

At the moment the most important thing for Loits is to have the "Vere Kutse Kohustab" album released and to start its promotion with vigour. This will most probably consume all of our free time and energy in the near future. In a slightly more distant future there's a European tour together with a band called Obtest, but I guess it's too early to talk about that yet.

All manner of greetings and felicitations are a nice thing, but I'd rather leave them be for now. I would just use this opprtunity to thank you, Jussi, and other close comerades for their support, and to wish for them everything they themselves want happening to them. Flak`n`Roll!!!!

Author: Jussi Helenius
Zine: Imperiumi & SUE

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