I’m still very much haunted by the past: Interview with Kim Larsen (:Of The Wand & The Moon:)
We ve been planning to interview danish musician Kim Larsen (:Of the Wand and the Moon:, Solanacae, White Chamber, ex-Saturnus etc) for quite a while since his creations impress us much and «The Lone Descent» by :Of the Wand and the Moon: even took a special place in the inner playlist of our Deer Editor.
Thanks to Arcto Promo who regularly organizes gigs of :Of The Wand and The Moon in Russia we managed to contact Kim directly right after his recent tour and had a brief yet exciting talk of his latest creations – he’s been noticeably active in 2016.
Larsen and co gave birth to two full length releases : together with Marc Liens he recorded Nebel Ledel and also collaborated with Thomas Bøjden for Vril Jäger project. Moreover, by the end of the year Kim also produced a seven inch single I called Your Name this time for his major project – Of the Wand and the Moon
To what extent does your music reflect your personal experience? Surface analysis of the legacy of :Of The Wand & The Moon:, as well as your other projects, such as Black Wreath, suggests that love sorrows are an important source of inspiration for your music.
The very name of your ingenious album «The Lone Descent» resonates with the name of our project (katabasia): descent to a personal hell in order to rise, purified or to stay there.
What inspires your creativity — specific emotional experience (if yes, are your songs addressed to someone other than listener?), or the total sum of it, aggregated into a generalized archetypal image?
:Of The Wand & The Moon: is very personal in it’s expression. And there are lyrics that are very literal. Pointing towards a specific person in that particular moment in time or the discouragement of life in general.
Then again some lyrics are done with artistic freedom. And then again some lyrics that you would think are about someone is about myself. Or turn out that way over time.
When I did the latest album “The Lone Descent” I thought that might be the last I ever did. Due to the very bad state I was in.
Does your music serve as a therapy for you? When you finish a song or an album, do you feel that certain things related to it stop haunting you?
I’m not really sure. Maybe it is just Self-flagellation. Maybe when you experience intense sorrow it will exhaust and exorcise with time.
Or maybe it’s both. Or maybe some things will stay with you forever. I’m still very much haunted by the past.
Number of your songs can be understood as a sort of magical acts, declaration of intent to manifest your will — is this so?
Yes, perhaps more in the past. Nowadays it’s just about how shitty I feel haha…
What do runes and rune magic mean to you?
Probably also meant more in my past than the present. At least I don’t read that much about these issues nowadays.
But I still feel drawn to the runes, magic and weird signs, in a personal and intuitive way. I love meaningful coincidences.
The two most frequent words in your lyrics are Love and Emptiness. What do they mean for you?
Guess we all are looking for Love?
Emptiness… That constant haunting and pain of realities as we march on. Immer Vorwärts. Towards the end.
It would be very interesting to know how you conceive your own art. If you able to, please, describe with three words the most important projects, in which you participated (just your own associations and outward glance).
A bit difficult request. But for the most important project for me; :Of The Wand & The Moon:
Les Chasseurs de la Nuit
– youth memories
– Devotion (as it was my main focus for 5 years)
Intros/outros of a number of songs make an impression that you like old films and the music of the first half of 20th century, is it so?
We wonder what is the origin of speaking samples in the Black Moth intro, and a speech sample that is the refrain of Hollow Upon Hollow.
If the sample fits the song I don’t really care when it is from. But it is fun to find something obscure and put it into a new context.
Those two samples you mention I really don’t know where they are from. It was on a tape of samples that I got from my keyboardplayer. Which he got from a previous member of his band.
However I believe the sample on Hollow Upon Hollow is from some documentary about some prison inmates. The «When you’re smiling…» samples is from some movie.
What are your artistic plans for the nearest time (the next year, for example)? We are waiting for the new WHITE CHAMBER release; will there be something drastically new by :Of The Wand & The Moon: and other projects?
Yes, the new White Chamber 7″ “Pale Tears” vinyl will be out as we are in Russia I think, as well as a compilation of :Of The Wand & The Moon: songs in a more acoustic way on a 12″ vinyl called «Tunes For A Twilight Tears For A Lifetime». As always via Tesco Germany Distribution.
At the moment I am working on another :Of The Wand & The Moon: 7″ vinyl which has been partially recorded. And of course I am also working on the next album.
Songs for the next Les Chasseurs de la Nuit and Vril Jäger releases are also in the works. So things are on its way…eventually.
Last year you recorded a Vril Jäger album together with Thomas Bojden; this project operates the conceptions in the mold of Miguel Serrano and Savitri Devi. What is your own opinion on such ideas?
A: Well, the Vril Jäger concept is more in the vein of UFO conspiracy paranoia, celestial imagery and head-on weirdness.
Miguel Serrano or Savitri Devi was not part of the inspiration. I haven’t read any of that stuff.
The European neofolk community is notorious with its right-wing position; as its representative, do you share this mindset? Does your art reflect any events of the external world and the world politics?
To be honest I have seen very few artists in the neo-folk scene that has a right-wing agenda.
But I can only speak for myself. :Of The Wand & The Moon: is not a political project. Neither do I have/or had any interest in making it so.
Be that right-wing or left-wing.
I know there are a lot of accusations flying around these days. Or rather I guess it has always been like this. I’m getting a bit weary of this to be honest.
I bet these people’s grandparents were appalled by Elvis Presley’s moving hips and his devils music.
And their parents were probably in terror of David Bowie’s, Throbbing Gristle’s, Marilyn Manson’s use of Oswald Mosley’s lightning bolt logo.
And the punks use of the swastika.
It’s like saying “Schindlers List” is a nazi movie because it portrays that period in time. Or listening to Wagner makes you a nazi.
People are so thin skinned. They should try to relax a bit in my opinion.
Are there any musical discoveries, which you lately made? Actually, what kind of music do you prefer at present?
Can’t really think of much in particular. I don’t really keep up to date with music I must admit. Things that comes to mind though is “Anna von Hausswolff” and “Offermose” since they are my friends. Also recently played with “Iron Sight”. Very nice power electronics.
I love 60s music, Ska, 80’s John Carpenter kind of stuff. Like KVB. And all sorts of things that doesn’t come to mind now, haha.
This is not the first time you visit Russia — did anything interesting happen to you here, so you have some stories to share?
Actually I was in Russia as long ago as in 1989 when I was young. And that of course was a very special experience. However, our 5 date tour in 2010 with Arcto Promo was particular memorable. Too many stories to share here. But it is always special to be there. And I am Looking so much forward to witness it again! See you soon!
Interview: M.S., Maya