EX: Were you surprised by the resurgence in the kind of iconography that you have always used, in the past two years or so?
L: Not at all, we knew that we were dealing with the substance that is very much alive and well in all periods of time. It always tries to hide or exposes itself in a slippery form, with a kind face. But lately it is manifesting again in a pretty much open and straightforward form.
After the end of the Cold War the general feeling in the West, (as well as in Slovenia and in Eastern Europe), was that the 'dark ages' were now over and that paradise is coming. But we knew that paradise was lost a long time ago. The period that followed the Cold War was actually the loss of innocence, modesty and shame: the masks were not necessary anymore and they were taken down and capitalism took over in its most brutal and cunning form.
EX: What do you want Australians to know about Slovenia?
L: The first lady in White House is Slovenian, Slavoj Zizek is Slovenian and our national anthem is all about wine, love and getting stoned. It's a great small country with the best location in Europe, fantastic athletes, winning sport teams, and with a very vivid cultural and philosophic scene.
EX: What were your impressions of North Korea?
L: Performing to the North Korean audience in Pyongyang was an extraordinary experience for us - and for them. North Korea is of course a completely different world from anything you can imagine from a Western perspective, reality in North Korea is basically sureal. Although we did have some 'insider's' information from people who already visited the country, we still had all the usual preconceptions that people on the West normally have about it. But North Korea is much more from what media in the West is constantly repeating about and generally we found most of the tabloid stories and stereotypes utterly false. In fact, North Korea is greatly, if not totally, misunderstood country. The country is still quite poor and isolated and has an oppressive political system (still, much less than the USA or Saudi Arabia), but positive changes and good energy is visible everywhere.
People are generally very kind and they seem to possess the precious wisdom that we Europeans don't. We couldn't find any cynicism, sarcasm, irony, vulgarity and other 'Western cultural characteristics' there, only basic modesty, kindness, proudness and respect. They love to laugh, smile and joke as well, much more than people back in Europe do nowadays. North Koreans are also well dressed, simple but elegant, and they learn foreign languages. Pyongyang that has been completely bombed and erased by Americans during the Korean War is today a clean, well-kept and colourful city. We have been sincerely impressed by North Korea and we advise people to visit this country before it may be too late.
- Laibach are performing at the Festival Hub over the Mona Foma weekend from January 18 and 19, see monafoma.net.au for details.