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sitd2011 bandInterview with

Carsten Jacek & Tom Lesczenski of [:SITD:]

Since there's always more than the published bit of press info about a new [:SITD:] album ‘Ikon:Koru’, out on 18th November 2011, we thought to dig a little deeper and brought up some interesting facts in squeezing out a few answers about the new album out of Carsten and Tom.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): How did you come across the Maori symbol in the first place?
Carsten: We've been searching for titles and symbols, reflecting our new album's musical timbre. The Maori were known to us already by their facial and body tattoo art. When we started dealing with the symbols more closely then we came across the Koru symbol.

RoD: What is so special about the symbol that you named your new album after?
Carsten: The Koru's form is that of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizes perpetual movement and the origin of all life. It's describing the ups and downs of life as it shifts and yet stays the same. The circular form of it symbolises the idea of constant regeneration and motion while the inner spiral stands for a return to the roots.

sitd2011 casiRoD: In which way does it correspond to the album's tracks?
Tom: With the album we've returned to our musical roots and merge the harsher and more direct approach to our releases 'Stronghold' and 'Coded Message:12' with cutting edge production techniques. Both the “back-to-the-roots” part and the momentum of perpetual movement fuse on the new album which makes 'Icon:Koru' the perfect title for our newest release.

RoD: Is 'Icon:Koru' subjected to a greater concept and if so what kind of concept is it?
Carsten: 'Icon:Koru' is no concept album in the strict sense of the word. Every song on the album has its own message, detached from an overall concept. In the past we mostly chose album titled to correspond with the lyrical content and intentions. This time it's different. The album's title merely is a visual for the music. We wanted to approach working on the lyrical content without the boundaries that come with an overall concept.

RoD: After listening to the album once from front to back it occurred to me that, regardless of club rhythms, has become significantly calmer than the last one. Why is that? A deliberate decision or natural process?
Tom: For us the most aggressive moods are being created within the scopes of a mid-tempo song. This is no question of BPM. Just because a song has 160 BPM doesn't mean it can't be “harsh” and a song with 120 BPM isn't necessarily a calm one. 'Icon:Koru' for us is the harshest album we did so far. The [:SITD:] trademarks like mid-tempo beats, strings and melody sequences are being emphasized more again which goes hand in hand with a high club compatibility. During production we just wanted to revive the spirit of the early days of [:SITD:] and we think you can hear that. By the way, for those who think they can't wait until 18th November there are some snippets of the new songs up on the following link

sitd2011 tomRoD: Who has done the artwork for the new album?
Tom: Like with all the previous albums the artwork for the new one was done by User.dx. The pictures were taken by Silke Jochum. The results of both of these collaborations is beyond our expectations. The artwork makes 'Icon:Koru' a complete work of art.

RoD: Many times on the album we come across those heavily distorted vocal parts. What's the meaning behind those? Is it to express a certain core feeling of the album?
Tom: The distorted vocals just fit the moods of tracks like 'Atemlos' or 'Dystopie' perfectly. Last time we did that in such extend was on 'Asphyxiation', the b-side to the 'Richtfest' single. Quite a while ago I'd say. Now it was just the right time to do it again to live up to the sinister and claustrophobic mood of the songs.

RoD: The opening 'Extrajudicial Punishment' with all the percussion works and the spherical sounds comes across quite mystical. Was it intentional to have it sounding like that to correspond with the koru symbol?
Tom: Yeah, we chose that kind of mood deliberately to give just the right kind of entrée for the album. 'Extrajudicial Punishment' is the dark herald for 'Code:Red'. There's a fluent transition between the two and both are connected on a deep level.

RoD: 'Code:Red' is widely considered an alarm code for fire in certain countries. How about you. What is the code red that still can strike the protagonist on the second track?
Carsten: Your take on it is correct as well, but we had a different intention using the title. 'Code:Red' is the unofficial term for a soldier's punishment by his own comrades with the US Army. Using that kind of punishment instead of disciplinary action was common until the 1990s. Today, 'Code:Red' is forbidden. We came across this subject by watching the movie “A Few Good Men” with the impeccable Jack Nicholson. Extrajudicial punishment is the official term used to describe the issue we talked about before. So much for our interpretation, but everything's correct and nothings wrong. Our lyrics are rich of metaphors and conceived in a way that everyone can find access to them their very own way. If your mind starts dealing with what you are listening to then, this is just what we wanted to accomplish.

sitd2011 frankRoD: The track ‘Periculär’ bears the additional name ‘Richtfest II’. How's it connected to the first part. Is it a continuation of the plot, started in the first one centring around the same being?
Carsten: The song deals with dangerous sexual sadism, that is, a non-mutual sexual practice where the offender finds satisfaction in torturing their victims in the most gruesome ways until they die. This has got nothing to with any sort of mutual S/M games whatsoever. Moreover, the song is about the darkest corners of the human soul taking shape for instance with the “Rhein-Ruhr Ripper” who between 1994 and 1998 tormented and subsequently killed four women. You can look up his modus operandi everywhere on the internet. Shocked as we were when confronted with it we decided to deal more closely with the matter, resulting in 'Periculär (Richhtfest II)'.

Mark and Lydia Benecke were of great help in shedding light on this from a scientific point of view with heir expertise forensic biologist and psychologist respectively. The connection to 'Richtfest' was quite obvious since the song also was about a paraphilia, which is cannibalism, and both tracks show certain musical and thematic similarities like their direct approach and stark aggressiveness. So it was just a logical step to bridge to our past with the new track.

RoD: On 25th November you are going to play a special show in Bochum on occasion of your 15th anniversary. Anything special you've planned and that you can reveal already?
Tom: There will be two exclusive shows to celebrate the anniversary properly with the fans. Those gigs will go down on 19th November at K17 in Berlin and 25th November at Matrix in Bochum. Both, Daniel Myer with his project ARCHITECT and SAM, are going to support us as special guest. Furthermore, there are a few surprise guests, but we'll keep their names secret for now. Tickets are still available for a special anniversary price of 10EUR at and

RoD: The famous last words as always belong to the artists
Carsten: Many thanks for the interesting interview and thanks to all our fans, companions and supporters without whom the last 15 years of [:SITD:] wouldn't have been possible. We hope you enjoy the album as much as we do. See you in Berlin and Bochum.

Promotional pictures by Silke Jochum

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