Laibach is the musical branch of a larger artistic and political movement called NSK(Neue Slovenische Kunst) meaning New Slovenian Art. The band, and NSK in general, seeks to agitate and create social change by pushing the limits of art and political expression.
"Art and totalitarianism are not mutually exclusive. Totalitarian regimes abolish the illusion of a revolutionary, individual artistic freedom. NSK is based on the principle of a conscious abandonment of personal taste, judgements, convictions, voluntary depersonalisations, the willing adoption of ideology and the unmasking and recapitulation of the regime of 'ultramodernism'"...
"NSK was founded in 1984 as an organization working in the area between ideology and art. NSK embraces departments of music, painting, theatre, philosophy, video, film, architecture, design, etc. This groups are: LAIBACH, IRWIN, NOORDUNG (former SCIPION NASICE SISTERS THEATRE and COSMOKINETIC THEATRE "RED PILOT"), DEPARTMENT FOR PURE AND APLLIED PHILOSOPHY, RETROVISION, BUILDERS, NEW COLLECTIVISM..."
Quotes from Laibach Interviews:
With what kind of principles does LAIBACH manipulate in creating atmosphere at a concert? (DJUBOKS - YUGOSLAVIA)
Purpose: to provoke maximum collective emotions and release the automatic response of masses;
Consequence: the effective disciplining of the revolted and alienated audience; awakening the feeling of total belonging and commitment to the Higher Order;
Result: by obscuring his intellect, the consumer is reduced to a state of humble remorse, which is a state of collective aphasia, which in turn is the principle of social organization.
Our basic inspiration (role models, which are not models by form, but are themselves the material of LAIBACH manipulation) remains industrial production, Nazi-Kunst, totalitarianism, bruitism... and, of course, disco.
What are Laibach's impressions of America and how does Laibach feel America perceives the group? (ROCKPOOL - USA)
First of all, we know that America likes us and we shall therefore come back; nonetheless, we have seen it and we agree that it is the only nation in history which has miraculously lapsed from barbarism directly to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization. If America is the foremost nation of today, then history has come to a full stop. If this is the future, then it does not work.
Do you believe in God? (NETWORK 7, LWT - UK)
Yes, we believe in God but, unlike Americans, we don't trust him.
Friends who were in Yugoslavia and in Ljubljana this summer mostly met people who thought you belonged to a right-wing political party. How would you label yourselves? Where do you really stand? (DIE GRUNEN - WEST GERMANY)
We are there where evil prays for mercy.
Are you then fascists or not? (DIE ZEIT - WEST GERMANY)
We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter.
Andy Warhol once said he didn't want anyone he could get, and Truman Capote claimed he could get anyone he wanted. What about Laibach? (DNEVNIK - SLOVENIA)
LAIBACH doesn't want anyone it can't get.
Why did the East collapse according to you, and what is your opinion of democracy? (BRAVO)
The East collapsed because it blindly believed in the Western utopian definition of freedom of the individual. The West only survives because it slyly established a system which insists on peoples freedom. This is to say, under democracy people believe they are acting according to their own will and desires. Democracy snares people through the utopian injection of desires and fantasies into a social bloodstream. Its hypodermic needle is the entertainment culture industry. It's a shared needle, and a shared needle leads to the spread of disease.
In democracy, there is no cure against its own disease. Art and totalitarianism are not mutually exclusive. Totalitarian regimes abolish the illusion of a revolutionary, individual artistic freedom. NSK is based on the principle of a conscious abandonment of personal taste, judgements, convictions, voluntary depersonalisations, the willing adoption of ideology and the unmasking and recapitulation of the regime of "ultramodernism"...
Opus Dei, another of their albums is absolutely brilliant. The title alludes to the Austrian group Opus which had a huge hit in 1986 with "Live is Life." Laibach covers the song both in German, and then in English with this heavy, fascist orchestrated sound, which makes me smirk, remembering the original craze the pathetically popish song inspired. They also cover Queen's One Vision, and have a bunch of amazing original pieces, some of which are in Slovenian.
Check them out.