Interview: Dedicated to the Storm: Turbund Sturmwerk
This interview was conducted in 2001.
Q1: Can you tell us when and why you first became attracted to alternative forms of music, and who your main influences are?
TS: All in all we are not so much interested in musical, as spiritual discussions, which is why we place emphasis on the fact that primarily we don’t feel ourselves to be “musicians”.
Q2: Prior to the establishment of Turbund Sturmwerk in 1992 you were involved with something known as Organisation Tyr. What can you tell us about this group?
TS: Organisation Tyr was formed in 1992, and released the first issue of the newsletter Sturmgeweiht as a means of organising a multimedia Artwerk performance focusing on the methods and styles of totalitarian propaganda, which was thought to occur in Nürnberg – a city well known because of its special importance for National Socialism. However, that event was cancelled because of certain local factors that were obviously afraid of being confronted with a form of artistic expression they felt “dangerous” in any respect. The Turbund association emerged from that experience as we tried to encourage the weak forces of “counterculture” to get offensive again after that defeat. The name “Turbund” refers to “Tyr”, and as according to the wisdom of Germanic esoterics Tyr also stands for “Tuer und Tor” (door/entry) to initiation/higher knowledge, based on self-discipline – which points to something that could be described as mental and spiritual rebirth.
Q3: Would you describe your project as a purely cultural phenomenon or does it also have a political objective? Moreover, perhaps it represents a synthesis of both?
TS: To some extent, yes. Our method could be described as delving into a rich cultural heritage using music, texts and graphics as a tool to stimulate self-analysis and fuse Art back into life, which once was characteristic for truly “avant-garde” art. One might even refer to this as “political” in the broadest sense, especially since we really feel sympathy for any effort to bring the ruling system of money and disorder crashing to its knees. But honestly speaking we believe that history teaches us that most “political” activities – be they democratic or revolutionary – are not far-reaching enough, if not a sheer waste of time, especially if that engagement becomes entangled with the prevailing but absurd Left-Right pattern. However, it’s definitely too late for reaction and conservatism. Actually we believe in creating the chance to change reality according to one’s will and mind by psychotronic – or as we would like to express it: neuro-semiotic – means and aesthetical conduction through cultural means, which is why we try to use the concept of “art” for strategical and pragmatic reasons, being aware of the fact that in an age in which avant-gardism has long since become bourgeois, genuine artistic ventures now lie in the realm of binding assertion.
Q4: Do you consider yourselves part of a collective underground genre, or is Turbund Sturmwerk an essentially unique development in its own right?
TS: As we are aware of the fact that Turbund Sturmwerk is partly touching upon the field of youth subculture, it may be called “underground”, “extreme” or “post-industrial”, but we don’t feel ourselves part of anything but God.
Q5: You choose to employ a great deal of warlike imagery, but is this merely a symbolic exercise or do you subscribe to the Jungerian analysis of human conflict?
TS: We can’t help affirming that suggestive question. Whether you like it or not, the Laws of Existence are to be accepted. Any conflict is a chance – or even a means – of evolution. Polarisation is the “Father-of-all”. But Turbund iconography on a higher sphere often contains a more subtle meaning, intelligible to those of congenial blood and soul. So we like to leave it to the recipient.
Q6: One track on your CD, ‘Hagakure’, is based upon the Japanese book of Samurai Ethics and you also use samples from the Paul Schrader film concerning the life and death of Yukio Mishima. What does the example of Yukio Mishima mean to Turbund Sturmwerk?
TS: The laws according to which peoples grow great apply to all, just as much as the laws under which peoples decay. In this context, Mishima, as an embodiment of Japanese Warrior Ethics, can give a valuable example in that he makes us recall long-forgotten fact that even in past ages a people in the Far East had the same Code of Honour that shaped Germanic peoples in a distant past that was soon to be destroyed – and which was rooted out in them so thoroughly and with terrifying success.
Q7: Members of Turbund Sturmwerk are also involved with various Occult matters, perhaps you would care to elaborate?
TS: It is true that we are interested in certain fields of human experience and ancient traditions concerning the origins and significance of humankind and the universe which are commonly considered ‘occult’ – taken literally, this is a word that just means ‘hidden’. Unfortunately a large part of these buried (sometimes deliberately and on purpose!) teachings are only retained as fragments; usually in the shape of legends and myths, whereas the actual core of the tradition has been long since lost, or can only be broken down through the knowledge of a precise code. In this respect the use of the term ‘occult’ is quite justified, particularly as the respective key, i.e. the background knowledge needed for the understanding of these traditions, could be taught, i.e. be protected from abuse or persecution by the church only in certain esoteric circles or lodges. German “Fraternitas Saturni”, which has its roots in the Pansophist movement of the early 20’s but also took in a large number of influences from Ariosophy to New Thought, is an amazing example of such a lodge. To ridicule it as a melting pot for ‘Satanist occultniks’ when it has not even been tried, or by the individual weaknesses of character of some members, its knowledge is readily and often underestimated today. That is, among other reasons, why we have made it the subject of a compilation together with our allies at LOKI Foundation, featuring exclusive tracks by Inade, Endvra, Predominance, First Law, SRP and probably Blood Axis/Edred Thorsson.
Q8: What, if anything, is your position on Christianity and do you think it has contributed in any way to the current state of Western Civilisation?
TS: It is simple to mock Christian dogma or to condemn Christianity as such. We do not wish to participate in this but realise the necessity to distinguish rationally: the church can be rejected as an institution since in our time it pursues the abuse of souls through its official doctrine and generally furthers the paralysation of all energy and the will to act according to the needs of reality. But one could also learn that the Christian teachings spread today are not in keeping with the ideas of Primal Christianity (Ur-Christentum) or Arianism. Nevertheless, in the end it will often stand the insight that, in Christian apparel, elements of the primal European religions have been preserved. For those who have a mind and think long enough it is rather easy to rediscover ancient European/ Heathen symbols and custom under this Christian veneer. That Christianity has fundamentally moulded occidental culture, must, irrespectively, be acknowledged as a fact and cannot be discussed away.
Q9: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
TS: Turbund Sturmwerk is about to finish the recordings for a new CD, focusing on some of the more “occult” aspects of World War II. Following Natural Order there will hopefully be another State Art compilation named Resistance this summer, probably featuring an exclusive track by Turbund Sturmwerk as well. By the way, we also contributed to the Thorak compilation on VAWS, which recently came out. Turbund Sturmwerk participated with the track Hingabe [Devotion], which will surprise many in respect of its sound since it refuses to be tied to the otherwise pre-eminent neo-classical habitus, in order to onomatopoetically lead us out of the Weimarian fair of feigned artistic vanities and out into the clear path of artistic determination; and also to give expression to the necessity of soulful fundamentals for truly artful creation which in his own way the ostracised artist Thorak represented. Further contributions, amongst others, are by The Protagonist, Von Thronstahl, Forthcoming Fire, Egoaedes, Near Death Experience, Death in June, Andromeda Complex and Jack or Jive which allows the compilation to be far more appealing than its predecessor, Riefenstahl. However, the lay-out – which cannot be described as being anything else but ‘unloving’ – does certainly border on impudence. Maybe the publisher did want to counter the accusation of perpetrating ‘commercial sell-out’? This he should well have achieved, for to buy this CD there is not any optical attraction offered. Rather it is to be expected that even a part of the well-meaning and interested customers will turn away, shaking their heads. The obviously tasteless design of the CD cover is, particularly with regard to the subject, almost unbearable, even with a lot of goodwill. For VAWS this is another wasted chance and for us a wretched thing, and the cause for the plain fact that Turbund Sturmwerk will, in the future, refrain from further co-operation with VAWS.