Playing air guitar to the radio
Artur Mieczkowski: Hi Tony. Shall we start from the end? Necropolis was Sol Invictus’ last album. Is it true it’s the definitive end of the band?
Tony Wakeford: Well, never say never but yes it’s very likely to be the last full studio album. Some bands who shall remain nameless seem to hang on and put out weaker releases and are obviously just treading water. I would rather Sol went out on a strong release which I think Necropolis is. I could pop out an album every six months but it would be crap. Why delete the brand as the young folk say. Prophecy in a moment of weakness will release a single If and when I decide I have a couple of songs I consider release worthy.
AM: Do you remember your beginnings as a musician?
TW: Playing air guitar to the radio on my caravan bunk bed.
AM: In an interview for Anxious 20 years ago you said, “Every art form is a kind of reflection of its creator” – What reflection of yourself as a creator do you see looking back at the last few decades?
TW: A broken mirror in the key of E.
AM: “They say it can’t get any worse. Believe me… it can…” – you said these words 20 years ago. Would you like to comment on them from today’s perspective?.
TW: Sadly proved correct. And the worst is yet to come.
AM: “Against The Modern World”, is this still relevant today in your opinion?
TW: Yes and no. Evola is mostly tosh. His aristocracy would mean most of us digging carrots for cunts.
AM: If you would have to name the most important album recorded by Sol Invictus, which one would it be and why?
TW: Shrug… “In The Rain” is one of the better ones and I’m happy to have Necropolis as a swan song.
AM: I love your album “Revenge Of The Selfish Shellfish” recorded with Steven Stapleton. Do you remember how this cooperation came about?
TW: With Drugs, the selling of and the taking of.
AM: Do you think that cooperation with him would be possible today?
TW: I doubt it, he lives in a peat bog with a tin can and a piece of string for communication.
AM: HaWthorn – you made a beautiful record with Matt Howden. Have you managed to work together since then?
TW: Him and Kev just did some lovely violin for a project called The Gild on an album based loosely on Hogarth. This has been going on for about 50 years and may be released sometime after my death. Never do a music project with an Orthodox Jew, Time has no meaning and a deadline is counted in centuries!
Matt seems very busy and is a workaholic where as I am just a alcoholic. it was always a pleasure to work with him, the endless tea and emotional support cigarettes an added bonus.
AM: Your “Not All Of Me Will Die” referred to the work of the Polish-Jewish poet Zuzanna Ginczanka. Can you say a few words about this album and its inspiration?
TW: I came upon some of her poetry in a obscure corner of the internet and loved them. They took on even more resonance when I looked into her life… and death. In many ways it sums up so much of that era. She was betrayed by neighbours and murdered by the Gestapo. Although Communist she was erased by the Soviets as she very much identified as Polish and her poetry wasn’t an ode to tractors.
AM: What are you currently working on? What will Tony Wakeford surprise us with in the near future?
TW: I’m working on Crisis material for a album and an Owls album. Owls is two Italians. Let’s just say it’s faster then the Orthodox Jew which admittedly isn’t saying a lot.
AM: When will this album be released? What can we expect from it? Would it allude to the early period of your activity?
TW: No idea. Everything is up in the air at the moment. It will be good.
AM: How come that you reactivated Crisis? What’s your motivation behind it?
TW: Sad late middle age. It was cheaper than a motorcycle and more importantly a chance to play bass and be grumpy with fellow drunks. Also the subject matter is sadly still relevant.
AM: How did you find playing with SOL INVICTUS in Poland?
AM: You played with Crisis at the Wroclaw Industrial Festival. What kind of memories do you have from this experience?
TW: Wrocław is one of my favourite festivals. I remember a lot of post concert drinks…
AM: What is your opinion about Brexit? Do you think it is a good idea? A lot of Poles also want to leave the EU (so called Polexit).
TW: No! It’s been a disaster. It’s no coincidence that the far right and the more stupid kind of communists were in favour of it.
AM: It looks like Christanity is currently weakening even in Catholic Poland, however it’s still going strong here. The world seems to be overtaken by materialism and misinformation. It also suffers from a pandemic. When it seemed things couldn’t get any worse, actually they are getting even more complicated day by day. I was wondering if your words evaluate a similar view of the current situation or do they mean something completely different?
TW: We are doomed basically. The kind of capitalism we now have is unsustainable. Our present government has taken corruption and incompetence to a whole new level.
AM: The line-up of Sol-Invictus has been changing frequently with you always being its main member. Do you like this style of work or would you prefer a bit more democratic way of cooperation within the band?
TW: I enjoy Crisis as it is more a shared creative endeavour. Sol Invictus was always my thing and couldn’t be anything else.
AM: Do you follow today’s music scene? Are there any worthy successors of the bands once promoted and distributed by WORLD SERPENT?
TW: I don’t follow any scene and have no opinion other than dub skiffle is the next big thing.
AM: Do you think we will hear you in a neofolk project again?
TW: Unlikely. Sol Invictus may possibly play a concert or two before I shuffle off and if I manage to come up with a couple of compositions a single may appear one day but I can’t see there being another Sol album.
AM: What do you think about the latest Faith No More record? ;) (Of course it is a joke based on the title of their record – ‘Sol Invictus’).
TW: I’d like the royalties that’s for sure.
AM: Thank you for the interview and I hope to see you at the concerts in Poland any time soon.
TW: I hope so too.