LUCTUS

1.Labas diena legion Luctus! Sveikas?

Labas!


2.By now, most of the international metal scene is at least familiar with the name Luctus but for those unfamiliar, and for those seeking additional information, what does the name Luctus mean and why was this chosen as the name of the band and please summarize the history of the band for us.


Luctus is a Latin word – it means mourning. There is no particular story behind choosing the name of the band – simply at the time (2001) I was just sixteen and I needed a name for my black metal project. I opened a Latin dictionary and I randomly searched for a word that was associated with death, pain, or suffering – the first one I found was this. Now, almost twenty years later, I think this word still perfectly reflects this musical entity.


3.Except Luctus and Obtest, most metalheads – me also- don’t know any other Lithuanian metal band. So how is the metal scene in Lithuania?


Our scene is not very large, but it has several interesting bands. Alongside the names you listed abroad, historical bands such as Nahash, Dissimulation, Anubi, Poccolus are also known. I suggest you also listen to Crypts of Despair, my death metal band.


4.How is it to live in Lithuania since the end of the Eastern bloc ? I read that Lithuania has the highest rate of suicide in the world ! How do you explain that?!


Life is fine here or at least it was until now, the country has developed rapidly and has put itself on a par with other European nations in less than thirty years. Yes, the suicide rate is quite high, but it is not directly related to the welfare of the country. For example Finland has the highest suicide rate in Europe and yet it is one of the most wealthy countries not only in Europe, but all over the world …


5.What do you think of the metal scene in your country and in Europe in general?How is the public and average metalhead in your country?What about the activity of the Baltan (←Baltic) scenes and the link with the other countries in region…


In general, I think metal culture has become so mainstream – there is an embarrassment of choice between groups, festivals, albums and often you simply lose the essence and magic of the underground. I do not say that the wide choice and easy use are bad – simply before seeing your favourite band live was like realizing a dream – now you just buy it as one of many products in a shopping center. Obviously in the ocean of this offer there are also very interesting bands, records and live shows where some bands are able to open your heart. On the one hand, I think the current situation will bring some freshness to the metal scene – people will re-appreciate the groups and festivals they love again and above all they will understand what metal means to them – if it’s just a form of entertainment, or maybe something more, both here in Lithuania and abroad.


6.Lithuanian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages still in everyday use. It belongs to the Baltic language group along with Latvian and some extinct languages such as Yatvangian and Old Prussian. Its rules of grammar are similar to those of Sanskrit and Homeric Greek?


It is a fact that there are several Lithuanian words that are almost identical to those in Sanskrit like for example agnis (अग्निः) – ugnis (fire), vajus (वायु:) – vėjas (wind), devas (देव:) – dievas (god), sūnus (सूनु:) – sūnus (son) and many more. Linguists say that Lithuanian is the most archaic language in Europe – that is, not the oldest, but the one that has evolved least over the centuries and for this reason it is perhaps the one that comes closest to the primordial one Indo-European language from which all the current linguistic branches evolved. Someone called our language the Indo-European “glottosaur” – a linguistic dinosaur still alive, spoken and under study. What concerns grammar I would say that more than Greek it resembles Latin – it is primordial and essential, while phonetics is one of the most complicated in Europe.


7.You’re existing since 2001; do you think things have really changed since your beginnings? In which ways?


Inevitably things have changed and will continue to change. Both the music and the listener are constantly evolving and changing. Of course, as far as extreme music is concerned, I would say that there has been an involution, since it is now a mainstream genre like all the others. This is not a problem for metal since for some time now it has been a kind of entertainment like many others. As for black and death metal, there has been a loss of naturalness from this point of view, given that these two genres have always been underground and in a certain sense „hatched” in danger and shadow. It is useless to cry on yourself that the old good times of the demo tapes and the paper zines are over – you have to go ahead and continue to try to get closer to that primordial essence that will never change. Times change, people come and go – values remain.


8.It seems like Luctus is more and more changing into a black/thrash metal band, while stricte black metal influences have now disappeared into second plan. What are your feelings about your musical evolution?


Well, I wouldn’t say that the sound is changing towards other genres such as thrash. At the root, Luctus has always been an entity loyal ONLY to black metal, both musically and spiritually. Of course, there are always other musical influences and each Luctus album is always different from the previous one, but the foundations are always the same. More than trash I would say Death Metal is perhaps the genre that I care most about in addition to Black Metal and inevitably some influence is also found in our music.


9.What is your own opinion about the new songs of Luctus?What contains a really good song in your opinion?How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?


The fundamental thing is to transmit something, to create a channel, a connection. The structure, the length of the song and the technique are not important either (with this I don’t mean that the technique itself is not important). A good composition must be a punch to the heart, a stab wound to the soul, a look into the abyss that makes you shiver. What opinion do I have of my new songs…? Well, what can I answer… if I had a negative opinion the album would not have come out, so I can simply reply that I am satisfied and I hope that what I have tried to put into the music from the bottom of my heart reaches some other soul that can grasp it the essence and descend into the abyss.


10.Your newest masterpiece „Užribis” seems to have made an impact. How are the fans’ and press reaction?


So far it seems that the reactions have been very good, even if this album came out perhaps at the worst moment there may be to release an album. Obviously it had to be like this, it is destiny. Receiving a positive feedback is always a pleasure, but I don’t care much about it, each album for me is a path and a personal research, so once finished I leave it behind me and start a new chapter, a new journey.


11.How does it differ from your previous albums? What does the title mean for you?


The title could be translated as „The Beyond”, but it is a fairly trivial translation. This word is an archetype that represents going beyond the physical and mental boundaries of the material world to access the primordial one of one’s subconscious. It is a process of research and exploration of the darkest meanders of the soul. From a conceptual point of view this album continues the path taken by the previous one „Ryšys”. Musically it’s definitely different – this is also due to the entry into the band of two new members who have brought their contribution. It is undoubtedly the most technical and varied album of all Luctus discography. Also from the point of view of sound it’s a new chapter – the album was recorded in Stockholm in the legendary „Necromorbus Studio” – this added a different color not only to the content, but also to the shape of the album.


12.The process of musical creation seems pretty long with Luctus. There were five years between excellent „Ryšys” and the new one „Užribis”. What has happened in all those years?


No, it’s usually not that long. This time it was a long process due to various line-up changes which slowed us down a lot. In 2016 we decided to separate from two members of the band who were immediately replaced by two new ones. It took some time to stabilize the new line-up, it is not an easy and immediate process. When we were ready to record the new album, in 2018 the drummer decided to leave the band. We looked for a replacement, but unfortunately in Lithuania there are not many drummers dedicated to extreme metal and therefore several options have been discarded. Only in 2019 we found the right person and practically we had to start all over again. It was a tortuous process, but probably it had to be like this…


13.You have done a lot of work on the guitars melodies and the melodies of the songs in general, they are much lively, the melodies are important for you?What is your creative process?


Melody is essential for me. It must be that springboard that launches you towards the cold abyss and makes you goosebumps. I don’t like metal too melodic because it either becomes too epic or boring. In chaos there must always be order, just as in a violent sound a certain dose of melancholy that gives the coup de grace. Like hatred with love, it is not easy to balance violence with melody because you risk ending up in ridicule – I have always tried to find a balance between the two.


14.Could you tell us about the topics of your lyrics? What sort of topics do you deal with? What sort of things are important to the band, what things would you say you represent and what feelings/ideas do you wish to spread through it?


In this album specifically the lyrics deal with an individual research in going beyond the boundaries and limits of the daily world to discover what I call the “Other world”. It’s a dangerous journey, but I cannot stop myself but go into it. This happens through meditation, certain breathing techniques, constant work with the oneiric world. Those lyrics are full of metaphors and visions experienced firsthand. I don’t want to spread any kind of ideas or proclamations – mine is a personal research and black metal is the tool par excellence in this investigation. I’m certainly not the only one to investigate in one’s unconscious so someone else could very well identify with this research process.


15.There are a lot of anti-religious sentiments in the music scene today. Where do you stand on this topic?


Aside. It is a topic that interests me little, especially because today protesting against some religion (I speak of our „democratic” western world) does not make any sense, now religion is no longer invasive, as it could have been years ago. Today if you don’t want to go to church nobody forces you to go anymore. It would make sense to protest against religion in Islamic countries where religiosity is imposed and blasphemy is considered a crime. I understand who seriously deals with occult practices and really has to do with the world of demons. But calling myself antichristian or satanist just to be „rebellious” in the context of black metal in my opinion is just a waste of time. What I mean is that it doesn’t take much to turn a cross upside down or put on the cover a goat that is fucking Christ in the ass. I think that today it makes much more sense to fight against the morality of today’s society – this is a much more tangible and necessary struggle. Rebellion must be first of all against one’s ego, then against the morals installed by today’s society.

16.For the third time, your album was released by Inferna Profundus Records. Are you satisfied with this deal? Even if Inferna Profundus Records is good at distributing and sending promos to press, don’t you fear to be drowned among the some of uninteresting albums released by this label without real identity?


With this label we have grown together – IPR has invested a lot in us. As much as no other underground label could ever afford. In addition to a very varied and rich merchandise, each IPR release is super professional, a collector’s piece. I think every label in the rooster has bands that push more and others that go less – that’s normal. The most important thing is that first of all we are old friends and in addition to “business” we can also have a bottle of fire together. I have known Skabardas for almost 15 years now – he is a person who has a great passion for black metal and has dedicated his whole life to this activity.


17.How much time do you devote to the promotion ?How much time do you devote to Luctus, through concerts, rehearsals, recordings and nights talking about music?


All the time I have. I don’t do an ordinary office work so I can spend a lot of time on my activities that I love most – music, writing and meditation. If we have a concert or tour I never back down – this is the life I have chosen and everything else is secondary.


18.Kommander L. are your other projects still active or do you focus exclusively on Luctus…


Yes, I‘m working on several different music projects. I invite you to listen to my death metal band – Crypts of Despair. Just this summer our new album will be released and it will be a total massacre. I am also composing new material for my other band Fuck Off And Die. There is also an international noize-ambient project being recorded, so until it is completed I prefer not to reveal anything about it.

19. Keep the black flame alive! Thank you for your time! I let you the final words.

Thanks for your interest and support. See you here, there and on the Other Side.

MORE INFO:
https://luctus.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Luctus/96773898866
https://www.reverbnation.com/luctusblackmetal
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4YErLC0l2Piy0v8fYqBC6j

Luctus – „Užribis”
Inferna Profundus Records

Inferna Profundus Records

https://www.ipr666shop.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ipr666/
https://soundcloud.com/inferna-profundus-records
https://infernaprofundusrecords.bandcamp.com/