Today, we’re presenting to you our interesting interview with the Estonian black-metal band “Loits”. This band has sung patriotic and nationalist songs about The Estonian national resist against USSR and communism. “Loits” was the 1st, that is popularized the new understanding of national dignity and freedom in globalization nowadays.
N.I.: The name of your band "Loits" it's a kind of abbreviation or an abstract concept? What does the name of the band mean?
Loits: There is no hidden meaning behind the band name “Loits”. The best way to translate it into English would be either chant or spell.
N.I.: This year the band is 17 years, what can you say about the activities of the group as a modern Estonian public perceives "Loits"?
Loits: “Loits” gave its last concert in 2011. After that we haven’t been writing or performing any new material. It has been 6 years since our last album. So this makes it even more surprising, that the interest toward our band hasn’t ceased on this side of the border or on the other side (this interview being the best proof for it). I have to answer questions regarding “Loits” almost daily now. Thus, our creative laziness has to and will end soon. We’ll see how the public will react to that.
N.I.: After listening first 2 albums become clear that the lyrics of the band aimed at eradicating historical lies, perhaps especially the so-called Estonian SS Legion? For Estonians own division in the Waffen-SS was something like revolutionary underground?
Loits: Actually, the first CD from Loits “Ei kahetse midagi” tells the tale of an old event that happened in Estonia, a meteorite catastrophe, that has left a mark on many Northern-Europe’s countries mythology and folk religion. This event is also symbolized by the three-legged creature with a wounded knee, which is in the “Loits” logo on the CD cover. However, on the debut CD of “Loits”, are some signs of sympathy toward the Estonian Legion. For example the song title “Sinimäed 1944” or the use of old recruitment-posters on the cover. A revolutionary underground movement would rather be the Forest Brothers (a topic, which is not a stranger to the Ukrainians). Before the Germans reached the Estonian south border in 1941, the Forest Brothers had rid half of Estonia from the reds. Estonians, who wore the German uniform in WWII, should be recognized officially as freedom fighters and a corresponding statement has been made by the Estonian government. As officially as they could, given the situation at that time. Estonia didn’t enter WWII as an independent country, we were occupied by the CCCP by that time. To have a chance in fighting our native enemy with modern equipment, we had no other choice, than to put on the German uniform. When “Loits” started to use this topic, Estonians talked about these soldiers in German uniform rarely and often with a negative tone. When we realized, that this is where the truth resides, there were no doubts that this topic is perfect for the elite natured music-genre, which black metal is. For us this topic really was “revolutionary underground”, where the truth was known only by few. It consumed us fully (to witch every fan, who has held the CD “Vere kutse kohustab”. The attitude toward Estonian Legionnaires has now radically changed. There are numerous books about them, both documental and entertainment movies and series on TV. There was a time, when a day didn’t pass in the media without Estonian Legionnaires being discussed and “Loits” was always on the right spot in the right time – in the middle of the attention from the media. As for today, the Estonian government has declared the Legionnaires to be officially freedom-fighters and seemingly that sealed this topic. I keep thinking sometimes, if it means the same for “Loits”. However, there is still a lot of explaining to do beyond our border and the combination of black-metal and German uniform is provocative. Loits is fine with that.
"Loits" – Tõelised Kuningad
N.I.: Last "Must Album" impresses with its nationalist decadence. Do you like frontman and songwriter Loits you describe the music? Who created it and for what purpose?
Loits: As a songwriter my role in creating “Must album” was close to nothing. On the full length CD is only one of my written songs, which according to my opinion, is the weakest of them. The songs on “Ei kahetse midagi” are mostly written by me and “Vere kutse kohustab” is the equal sum from the works of me, M. Divine and W. Gates. My role back then was rather to hold the machine working and together. In the studio, I tried finding the best words in a hurry and singing them in. Later, I was charged with putting the whole concept together into a whole. The mentioned album has a weird genesis story whole together: we went into the studio without having worked on any of our new songs together. Everyone brought their ideas and everything was put together in the studio step by step. I’m still pleasantly surprised how well this CD sounds and what a grand whole it makes – despite everything. If I would have to introduce this CD to someone, who hasn’t seen or heard it, I’d say it is like an old photo album left behind by your grandparents, where aside the photos also the happiness and even the tragedy of a small nation is preserved forever. On one hand the nostalgia and life-force, on the other hand sadness and exhausted anger.
N.I.: Modern Estonia takes your music? You do not feel the hand of state censorship or ban on concerts?
Loits: The state power has no issues with “Loits”, but there are signs, that they take interest in us occasionally. It is normal, that radicals are watched, but “Loits” has nothing illegal or extreme radical activities besides our music. So the state organs are doing the job they were meant to do. I have heard somewhere, that even among the government of Estonia are some “Loits” fans. The former prime minister of Estonia and the current chairman of Estonian Bank’s advisers Mart Laar has even positively commented on “Loits” in the Estonian media. In addition, we can always rely on the support from our local media (both public and private sectors). If we have a good piece of news, it will be shown in the media accordingly. A good example here is the Estonian national channel ETV, which chose “Loits” music video “Haavad uulitsal” to be the all time best music video made in Estonia.
N.I.: In Ukraine too many right-wing rock groups, including ours Sokyra Peruna, Seytar, Komu Vnyz, Shyroky Lan, but in our country authority trying to offset the fret activities of these groups advancing Russian-pop and Blatnjak-chanson. As in Estonia combat this?
Loits: It seems like we live in very different communities. Music originating from Russia (including mainstream music) gets little to no air time in our media. Maybe even too little. Of course we have Russian radio-stations, newspapers and TV-shows, but the audience for those is trivial. The Estonians and the Russian-speaking minorities live here like in parallel universes. The minorities are often under the grasp of Russian media and they tend to use it to their advantage. On the musical field in Estonia there is a healthy balance between the western and local music. The ERR channels promote the local artists (which really is their job), but generally the regulation is similar to economy – offer and demand. I haven’t heard about the bands that you mentioned and I don’t know their background, but if their logo has a swastika or sickle and hammer embedded in them, then the government has to pay attention to those bands in particular. A whole other thing is when they are forbidden to perform or play altogether. This is a sign of totalitarianism.
"Loits" – Kodu
N.I.: And the last question. How do you see the future of your band and Estonia in general?
Loits: The EU begins to resemble the old CCCP more and more – the union of countries. This doesn’t mean anything good for such a small country and its people. I hope that the EU doesn’t live very long. Even worse would be to get in Russia's area of influence (As it has happened with Ukraine). Estonia can only have a bright future as an independent country. “Loits”, however, is close to ending its creative break. Just wait and see what happens.
Interviewed by Denis Kovaljov