Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview: Arditi

Unfurl the banner invictus, raise the standards of triumph! Here we go with our first foray in the Martial Industrial field. Starting our conquestal expeditions with Arditi because we don't give a fuck about "the first steps are always the hardest". My companion Michael Ray did this interview and we're having more stuff like this in petto for 2013. As already stated on our Facebook page, he will take care of all the music that was made to march into Poland (or another country of your choice).
Michael Ray: It is now generally an established fact with the Martial-Industrial-Ambient-Neoclassical scene, that Arditi is one of the most influential projects, and has almost single-handedly helped to make it what it is. What would think of this statement? Can it really be said that Arditi has largely founded this genre?

Mårtin Björkman
: As flattering as this would be I would say it is an exaggeration. When we started Arditi we had quite a lot of influence from bands like Der Blutharsch and Allerseelen that had been around far longer than us. After this I would say we have moved into a direction to distinguish ourselves properly in this genre and likely in many ways leading the way for others.

What is your opinion on Martial Industrial, and especially the work of Arditi, as being a more refined form of expression than the "black metal" scene? Is it a better medium with which to convey the Futurist- type of imagery and style?

Yes, I have mentioned this before on several occasions. I believe Martial Industrial is the best means for Futurism, and of course it is more “refined” than any form of metal, Black Metal included.

Thoughts on aesthetics in general? It seems that the usage of Arditi's artwork is as important as the musical structure itself, and it fits together quite well. Would you say that audial and visual representation must correlate for maximal stimulation of the listener?

Absolutely. This would have been true also for the “old futurists”.

Concerning "scenes" and influence in terms of culture: It has been observed that in recent years, more and more people of the "metal" and "folk" scenes have gravitated towards Martial Industrial scene. Can it be said that those scenes have lost effectiveness as being "subcultures", and that more listeners are finding the Martial scene and music like yours to be truly a higher form of art? Are those "scenes" really just too degenerate for these ideas and music, and for being real forces of cultural development?

I still hold Black Metal in high esteem, and in itself I would absolutely say it is an effective “subculture” even though “cultural development” are not words I would gladly use in connection with Black Metal. The problem is that unlike its pure form, Black Metal nowadays has gravitated towards the rest of the metal scene, which ideologically in this context is despicable. The “booze and babes” message of general metal is not in any way compatible with neither Black Metal nor anything even remotely related to Futurism or Martial Industrial.

A question on your influences stylistically: Are there any musicians whom either of you draw inspiration from?

Right now I believe we are walking on our own path. As I mentioned earlier, in the beginning other bands lead us on. 

There have been frequent comparisons made lately between two other very well-known and influential projects in the scene, those of Triarii and Legionarii, and that this trio of Triarii-Legionarii-Arditi constitutes the "elite" of the scene. Would you say there is validity to that comparison?

I wouldn’t confine it to these three, there are other bands worth mentioning too. Orplid for example.

A follow up of sorts, to the previous question: Many have been wondering about a possible collaboration between Triarii and Arditi, or some other artists. Are there any plans for such collaborative works in the near future?

None that I know of.

In terms of styles and side-projects: Have either of you any plans to do more projects that might be of a different stylistic nature than Arditi?

Henry has been a part of Puissance for 20 years now, musically Puissance is far more “ambient” and “neoclassical” than Arditi, he is also part of Leidungr which as well is “softer” than Arditi so to speak. With this in mind I think there is no incentive to move Arditi as well in that direction.

How has the Internet aided in sharing your work? It seems that many of the various networking sites such as "Last.fm", for instance, have been effective in getting word out and catching the eyes of many.

Of course internet has helped us spreading the message. With never playing live and not advertising on magazines or sending flyers in the mail like in old times, internet is what we are left with. Last.fm I do not know, before we were quite active on Myspace but just like everyone else not so much nowadays. 

The eternal question of live performances: Do you believe there is a necessity for live shows in the Martial scene? Or is it better to not play live at all, and perhaps stay more underground? Any plans for an Arditi tour in the near future?

For us it would be very complicated to tour, as we are both quite busy and on top of that live on different continents six time zones apart. Personally I am not entirely opposed to it, but it would take a lot of preparation to do it properly, we would never do a live show half-heartedly.

Something in terms of political philosophy: Would you say that the idea that "art is beyond left and right" would apply to your work? There has been much usage by various political groups on the "New Right" and such, though themselves of very different ideologies, as recruitment buffer for their publishing, and this is not only the case with the work of Arditi, but with many others in the scene. Is it better that a subliminal, cryptic approach is used, and should it best be left open to interpretations?

I do not believe the traditional left-right scale is applicable to modern politics. Historically it is a remnant of the French revolution which was far more black and white than the spectrum that later more evolved ideologies provide. We have not taken political stand in the sense that we have given outspoken support to any particular political party or group even though  there are of course groups that we support as individuals, as Arditi we promote certain ideals that are common to many political groups and movements. I would very strongly oppose the concept you mention that art is beyond left or right, this is just an excuse to avoid being held responsible. In my view all (worthwhile) art is political and it is up to the artist to defend it.

In conclusion, what do you think is in store for the future of Arditi post-2012, and what do you make of the future of the Martial scene, and of music/art in general? Do you think that we will have the "mainstream" garbage foisted upon us for a long time to come? Or can there be hope of an artistic realization on the mass-scale, and good art and music will finally become recognized again, so to speak?

I doubt it on mass-scale as you say, and I think that Martial Industrial bands have enough connection to ideals traditionally promoted by the very far right to prevent it from even becoming mainstream. However, to me promotion of these ideals is strictly esoteric in the sense that there is no point hoping for “everyone” to realize and appreciate these values, our music and message is for those who can grasp it.

Der Angriff geht weiter!

Arditi on Facebook: here

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