Photos generously supplied by Die Golden Hor
It’s been four years (damn…) since Diät’s debut LP, Positive Energy, hit record stores. A co-release between Iron Lung Records and Berlin’s Adagio830, the record gained praise and recognition internationally, far beyond the local Berlin scene which the band inhabits. Sonically, it has a unique, dreary bleakness to it while still maintaining discernible energy, not unlike pumping yourself full of caffeine on a bad hangover. It’s a sound which seems to appeal to a wide range of listeners across many scenes, from Kastanienkeller to Pitchfork (earning a respectable 7.0/10).
This year has seen the long-awaited release of the band’s second LP, Positive Disintegration, which takes the band’s signature sound and pushes it in a more experimental direction. Listeners can expect more synthetic elements, melodic vocals, and extended instrumental transitions. However, the tone established on the first record is always present. While not intending to be a Part II to the first record, it comes as a great follow up from where Positive Energy left off.
We were lucky enough to share a bit of banter with Nordberg (bass, vocals) about the record, Berlin, and the current state of the band:
This record has been a long time in the making – how are you feeling about it now that it’s out?
Relieved! Completing this record somehow caused a lot of turmoil, so it was a real relief to see it make its way physically into the real world. It exists! Now we can move on with our lives (or by cause of the record’s release, be forced to relive our past, becoming a twisted parody of ourselves).
You said in a 2017 interview with MRR that there was “absolutely no concept” behind your first LP, Positive Energy – did you have more of an overall idea in mind for this record or was it done in a similar way?
Not really, outside of the fact that we wanted it to be more experimental with intros and instrumental transitions and things like that (which we actually wanted to do on the first one too, maybe we were just trying to scratch that yet unscratched itch). We also just wanted to trust our intuition more and get the thing recorded and released. We really labored over the writing and recording of the first LP and were frustrated by the pace of it. In the end, we spent way more time on this new one (haha), not so much in the songwriting, but in post-production and just getting together to get shit done. A fragmented record by a fragmented band. Artwork was also a nightmare but luckily Yuta and David pulled through and created something amazing.
The record is called Positive Disintegration – should it be considered as the next part in a series?
It’s actually a title we were throwing around even before Positive Energy was released, after becoming fascinated by Dabrowsky’s theory of the same name. So it was on the shelf and only brought down again when it was time to play the “name the record” game. Since this LP will likely be the last thing the band does, we found it fitting also for that reason, disintegration. So as much as I’d like to tell you that the two record titles were part of a concept dreamed up years ago and directing the trajectory of the band over the last four to five years, the fact that the two record titles fit together is simply luck (or fate?!).
How do you feel that Berlin has changed since the last record came out? What’s fueling the band’s dark, dreary sound nowadays?
The city has changed in all the most boring ways one would imagine in a typical gentrification scenario. However, we’ve never been influenced by contemporary music or our immediate environment (at least not consciously), so aside from comedowns accumulated whilst indulging in the city’s notorious nightlife making that darkness easier to summon, I don’t think there’s much in our environment that impacts our songs.
In fact, I have no idea what’s “fueling our sound”! Intuition? Who knows where ideas come from? Maybe they are ever present in the ether and bond with compatible hosts.
Is it me or has there been a serious decrease in moshing recently?
Listen, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I doubt I’m alone when I say I’ll gladly mosh three nights a week, but when the heat is coming from a sputtering heap of wet ash then what can you expect? Moshing is not in the head, it’s in the bones – it’s primal and instinctive and if no one’s playing the bongoes right then no one’s coming out of their straw hut to dance around the campfire. And there are very few playing the bongoes right these days if you catch my drift, Mark.
What other bands or music projects are you working on?
The Freak was involved in most of the city’s best bands (Idiota Civilizzato, Heavy Metal, Life Fucker), so now that he’s gone it’s a bit of a wasteland to be honest. These days, I like Urin, Aus (who might’ve actually broken up after their first gig, not sure), Exit Group (RIP as well?), P.U.F.F. are apparently working on new material which is very exciting as those guys and Piss (RIP) were my fav Berlin bands… Slander Tongue are ok… but yeah, there’s not a lot going on these days that I’d show up early to a gig for to be honest.
Meanwhile, Ducky and I have a new band called Clock of Time that’s almost ready to play, it’s kind of dark but more driving and guitar-y than Diät. Duck and The Freak will also do a US tour with their Italian hardcore band Idiota Civilizzato in May which any US readers should definitely research. In addition to releasing almost solo work under the moniker Itchy Bugger, The Freak’s also got a new band in Australia called Xilch who are pretty sick. They just played the Low Life release party and Nag Nag festival down there in Sydney. Last year, Iffi and I did time with Berlin freaks, The Walking Korpses. Duck recorded us before that band deteriorated, so hopefully this will see the light of day. And Iffi is keeping busy making, Static Shock, one of the best record stores in all of Europe, while occasionally putting out News and Reissues on the store’s sub-label, Static Age.
You found €2.50 in your back pocket and want a lil treat – what’s your go-to späti selection?