I believe there is a certain inertia to political ideas. As in Newtonian laws of motion, it takes force to get ideas going, and once an idea is in motion, it takes even more force to stop their momentum. In order to generate enough force to overcome the inertia in our ideas and to get society to start adopting them, I believe in a multi-pronged approach: one that speaks to all levels, classes, and interests of society. It is one thing to convince the intellectual or the academic that our ideas are true. It is another to convince the working man that our ideas are in his self-interest. Targeting different groups requires different levels of discourse, different representatives, and different techniques. One way to reach people is through music.
Éordred: So why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers, perhaps giving a brief sketch of your path to such politics, and your ideological background and positions, what you do, and so on?
Darkest Sky: I was born in London, and I’ve always remained a musician despite the vicissitudes of life. In fact, I have become rather good at surviving on my wits. My former band was pretty hardworking, and between 2005 and 2012 we played over five hundred gigs around the UK and in Europe, including Amsterdam and Tilburg. I spent quite a lot of time in Germany, and played in places like Berlin, Rostok, Torgau, Munich, Chemnitz, and so on. It’s weird now, because I keep seeing places where we played mentioned in the news, and it’s always something negative that has occurred there. It makes me rather sad and angry.
To be really honest, I started out being rather apolitical, a typical “rock and roll and nothing else matters” kind of airhead. Then, I was a Lefty, simply because as a musician it’s expedient to go along to get along. It’s an unwritten law in the UK that if you stray from the path of political correctness, you’ll be severely punished. Even in Germany, we often used to get asked what our politics were before a venue would book us. These days I have no interest in playing live, so I don’t have to be quite so circumspect. It was inevitable that I’d eventually end up on this political path. I’m a natural aristocrat.
É.: What kind of genre would you say your music is in, and what inspired it? I often hear it referred to as neofolk, but that is such a broad category that I feel it is increasingly meaningless. What are your inspirations and what is your musical background?
DS: The neofolk tag came about partly because my previous band had already been involved with the UK goth scene, although in fact we played far more punk and psychobilly gigs. It served a purpose when I was starting out by appealing to some of the followers of my old band. Politically, I knew neofolk had a bit of a bad reputation in certain people’s eyes, so it saved me time by weeding out the more narrow-minded. Genre is ultimately just about marketing, but without one you struggle to gain a foothold anywhere. However, it is also quite limiting. I now really just want to play Darkest Sky’s music, but of course that means other people will still continue to pigeonhole me. I’m a self-taught musician and I can play most instruments – drums, bass, keyboards, and so on – but the guitar is my weapon of choice. I don’t record using a computer. It’s all done on tape now.
É.: I really liked the concept album idea with its overaching narrative, one that tells the story of the drowning of Doggerland and the mythical pagan civilization that lived there; a sort of origin mythos for the North Sea cultures. It is not often we see concept albums in any musical genre anymore. How did you come up with the idea, what artists inspired you, and what more can you tell us about Doggerland?
DS: I moved to the coast from London and I found some old books in my house’s attic, one of which was An Experiment With Time by J. W. Dunne (1927). It’s all about dreams and precognition, and I found out it had inspired Tolkien to write his unfinished time travel story, “The Lost Road.” Now, I’m obviously a huge Tolkien fan, and like most Englishmen, I have the sea in my blood. These things were all in my mind when I started Darkest Sky. You’re right, though, it was a sort of foundation myth. I set it in a lost mythical and mysterious world because I wanted it to be in a pure place where no boring, literal-minded people could keep picking holes in my story. No one really knows who they were or what they were doing, and I doubt they ever will. It enabled me to make it mine. Obviously, this idea also gave me the freedom to talk about waves, flooding, and tribes in relation to the loss of the homeland, without falling foul of the increasing censorship on YouTube. However, sadly, my first-ever video, “Black Sun of Europe,” just got taken down.
I’ve done two albums and a four-track EP based on the notion of Doggerland, but I’ve pretty much exhausted the original concept now. I went through a period of listening to a lot of old prog rock bands like Jethro Tull and Genesis, so that might explain the concept album thing. I’m planning to keep it lyrically more abstract and esoteric in future, but with the usual nods and winks to those in the know.
É.: Is the Doggerland idea related to your own beliefs? Or is it more connected to the historical relation of Britain and the North Sea, and the cultures surrounding it? I can think of, say, the Viking raids in England, and the Frisians and Angles who displaced the Celts – this sort of exchange the peoples around the North Sea had with one another.
DS: I personally saw it primarily as the British Atlantis; indeed, Atlantis as a suburb of London. Darkest Sky could be seen as a part of my pagan pilgrim’s progress towards the truth about what the loss of home actually means. I knew I wanted something that would work throughout the Anglosphere, and having read the Oera Linda Book last year, I became fascinated by similarities in the Frisian and English languages. That got me thinking more about the people who might have emerged from the flooded plains of Doggerland, or the Aldurheimat, as I call it. I liked that idea of a pure original homeland, and I also wanted to write something that wasn’t Biblical, something more pagan in influence. I want to make this clear, however: I have no time at all for infighting over spirituality. Why white people feel the need to act like a lot of relatives arguing over the contents of a will is beyond me. We must stop squandering our inheritance and find a way to work together.
É.: This is a question out of left field, but as you are a Brit, a nationalist, and a musician: what are your thoughts on Morrisey?
DS: The first of the gang to die? Will it smear his lovely career? I doubt it, and there are many more like him waiting in the wings. He’s an inspiration. Even people I know who can’t stand his music have told me they support him now. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Morrissey. My latest song, “The Light That Failed,” mentioned him going to jail for wrongthink, actually. Now the authorities have even started taking his posters down! I saw all those clowns burning his albums last year. Pathetic sheep. But here’s the rub: what percentage of people are even capable of thinking for themselves? One in five, I’d say.
É.: To get more into politics, is there any hope for a nationalist revival in Britain? To me, the UK looks like an absolute police state. Do you think that perhaps music is a way to circumvent censorship and transmit ideas?
DS: It is definitely a police state. What David Icke called the “totalitarian tiptoe” has occurred in Britain. It crept up on us while we were partying hard and consuming. It seems to me that the number one problem we face is paranoia. Everyone is so bloody paranoid. But I understand that this is so with good reason. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that every nationalist party gets infiltrated or vilified by the press. They keep control with fear and intimidation, the nonsense of our so-called hate speech laws being their latest boot-on-face clampdown. As far as music is concerned – and this relates to the MQ, the Morrissey Question – I think eventually, the actual censorship of music might have more effect than individual artists or their various messages. Once there is enough heavy-handed censorship, ordinary people will begin to notice, like they have done with our dreadful press and the lying BBC.
É.: Thank you for answering my questions. All readers should definitely subscribe to and enjoy the music of Darkest Sky. As a final question: Which of your songs do you recommend the reader listens to first?
DS: Thanks very much indeed for the interview. I’d say, first listen to “Tyrant Spell.” We’re under one, and it needs to be broken.
If you are interested in finding out more about Darkest Sky, Millennial Woes did a stream with him on the last Milleniyule.