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Aluk Todolo interview with Shantidas

Aluk Todolo have a brand new album out called 'Occult Rock' and we spoke with Shantidas about their future plans. They are one of the most unique groups in the "scene" at the moment and their new album is a monster record with 100% live sound. Experience them!


Aluk Todolo was created out of the band called Diamatregon back in the 2005. What was an original concept to change your music played as Diamatregon and start more experimental band, that has many very interesting influences including many "krautrock" bands (I really hate the word) and also some other experimental stuff?

When we started Aluk Todolo in 2004, it was not a continuation of Diamatregon who already had a break of 2 years without rehearsal. The line up was also different, the drummer was not in Diamatregon, plus we switched bass & guitar holders. It's only in 2006 that Antoine (drummer of Aluk Todolo) joined Diamatregon for the album Crossroad.

Well, Diamatregon is now a studio project exclusively. We had 7 inch released this year: …to death (Drakkar Productions). Aluk Todolo is our main band at this day.

In 2006 your released your first recording as an EP on Implied Sound. It's quite an experiment with really nice dark atmosphere. A year later your debut was out on which you progressed in a musical sense. Back in 2009 your second LP was out and it was a bit different. Not so noisy I guess. Tell us about this releases?

I think our most noisy release are Descension and Ordre. But it's an interesting vision from outside. All the releases we made are sonic experimentations and we don't think in terms of progression, it's better to talk about exploration to define our albums.

What would you say is the main concept behind Aluk Todolo? Do particular albums have their own concept or its just Aluk Todolo all the way?

I won't say we do concept albums, but that all our releases have their own conception.
Aluk Todolo is the main concept itself, the ultimate commandment. Each album is a different experimentation of the basic formulas of the Occult Rock. If Finsternis was a musical exploration of the 5 steps of an eclipse, Occult Rock is the manifest of our music ; an absolute statement.

Where do you record this stuff and what can you tell us about recording sessions?

Each recordings were done in different places, with different conditions of creation and materialisation. We used garage, caves, basements, barns... some of them were real studios, for some others we brought the equipment required.

Our last album was recorded at the Drudenhaus Studio, in the countryside of France, an amazing place with a deep natural atmosphere. Xort, the sound engineer totally revealed our sound in it's acoustic dimension.

I read somewhere that your main influences are Träd Gräs Och Stenar, Ash Ra Tempel, Faust, Amon Dull II, Gunther Schichert and Jacula and I find it really interesting, because I did interviews with all mentioned bands. What's your opinion on Jacula? I find them groundbreaking even though they were not recognized in their time…

The bands you mentioned are indeed great. The first Ash Ra Tempel or Amon Düül II's Yeti are immortal masterworks. We often refer to Jacula, it's unbelievable that he made In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum in 1969 !
Did you interviewed Paul Chain ? He is another of our references.

Not yet.

We are expecting your new album. It will be called "Occult Rock" which draw a lot of attention from fans of more esoteric music. What can you tell me about the making of this album?

We called our music occult rock since our very beginning in 2004. Our new album is a sum of our past work and a gate opened on the future. Some compositions have been conceived years ago, some other are fresh and have been finished during the recording sessions. Occult rock contains eight tracks, on a four sides LP. We recorded it totally live, and it's a faithful document of our performances on stage.

Will it be a lot different than previous releases?

Yes and no. For those who follow us since the beginning it can seem different. The album is faster than anything we did. But the core is the same. We are driven by the same formulas, the same faith.

How about concerts? I see you are playing also in the USA and in November with Stephen O'Malley ( Sunn O))) ). Is there any chance to come to Ljubljana in the near future?

Yes, we played in US recently. We have been invited at the Stella Natura Festival. An amazing event! Playing at dusk under the trees and the open sky is on of the most wonderful live experience we had with the band. Also we did the Jazz-Off festival in Colmar where the mighty Christian Wander played a few nights before us. We'd love to play in Ljubljana, of course!

Where can we purchase your new album? Will it be available also on vinyl?

It will be available on double digipak CD, and on double vinyl LP. It will be released in USA by the Ajna Offensive (Bobby Beausoleil, Sabbath Assembly, Negative Plane
and on Norma Evangelium Diaboli for Europe (Deathspell Omega, Watain, Funeral Mist, Katharsis...

Are you currently active also with some other projects?

We tend to focus on Aluk Todolo only.

Aleister Crowley is one of your main influences. In what sense in particular?

Il est une des voix des ancêtres.

Hallucination drugs must be part of you. I think drugs have to be respected in a way, you know why you use them…it's a sort of a ritual, don't you think? How do you use them and if you may say what in particular do you find mind expanding?

It is not something that needs to be talked about. The important is the mind not the tools.

Thanks a lot for taking your time. Hope to see you down the road somewhere. I heard from many, that your concerts are unbelievable. Would you like to send a message to It's Psychedelic Baby readers?

Stay psychedelic, baby!

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2012
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