In the interview, we discussed their new release, about the situation in the punk scene of Slovakia regarding the war in Ukraine, the influence of the USSR on the development of punk rock in this region, and the band’s opinion on pro-Kremlin politicians.
In October, populists who promised to end military aid to Ukraine won the elections in Slovakia. Before the elections, the anti-fascist punk scene of Slovakia released a statement against pro-Putin politicians and totalitarianism:
“We want to live in a society that does not discriminate against minorities, respects scientific knowledge and, for example, can clearly name the aggressor in the war in Ukraine. We do not want a return to totality, or in some cases even to the Middle Ages. We are part of a minority subculture that celebrates diversity and otherness. Therefore, on Saturday, let’s send Nazis, communists and thieves to hell, where they belong!”
In support of the statement, 26 groups, including Adacta, have signed
Tell us about your band for those who may not know you. How long have you been playing and what’s your music like? What is your band currently up to? Have you gone on world tours? Have you had the opportunity to perform in Ukraine?
ADACTA started in the year 2000, we mix some metal into fast hardcore punk. We just released our 6th studio album called Dno, available on LP, CD, cassettes and online everywhere. Touring-wise we’ve been around, sure. Never in Ukraine, though. We did not have any local contacts. This changed with the War and it’s really unfortunate that only this extreme situation pulled us a bit more together.
Slovakia was part of the Eastern Bloc during the times of the USSR and the Cold War. How did this affect the punk scene, and how does it influence punk culture today? Is the current war once again a threat to freedom?
Punks were repressed quite harshly during the “Communist” era in former Czechoslovakia. The establishment stopped caring all that much about hippies / underground scene in late 70-ties and saw the main threat for young peoples’ “correct mindset” in punk.
The dark side of the fierce opposition of punks to the “Communist” regime were the far-right tendencies among some of them. We are encountering this legacy to this day, unfortunately.
Until the current Ruzzian regime is dismantled, it poses a threat to the whole world. The biggest threat being to Ukraine itself of course, by murdering its people.
Please share your thoughts on the situation of the punk scene in Slovakia regarding the war in Ukraine. What is your position on this matter? Do many bands in Slovakia share your views? Why is supporting Ukraine important in this war, and how does maintaining a neutral stance benefit the aggressor?
There are a couple of “hawkish” bands, supporting Ukraine loudly, funneling money to various organisations. I am proud for ADACTA to be in this bracket along with for example ROZPOR, Bratislava-based streetpunk/Oi! and thrash metallers CATASTROFY. Our label Papagajuv Hlasatel (Czech-based) is also active in this regard along with many other labels, festivals, bands and individuals. Do I see it as being sufficient? Not at all. We’ve seen quite a spike of interest and involvement at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, now this died down to a degree. I take it upon myself to continue with the support and hopefully some people will tag along. To summarize – the are active supporters, there are passive ones. There is a neutral blob of people without an opinion (which is mind-blowing to me) and we do have some pro-Ruzzian detractors but for now they at least keep more or less silent. Let’s see what happens with the new Government.
Supporting The Victim, Not The Aggressor Is The Most Basic Moral Stance You Can Take. Neutrality Is In Effect Support For The Aggressor.
Have you created charitable merchandise to support Ukraine multiple times? How did the audience react to it? Can you tell us more about it? What was the story behind the ‘Любош iди на хуй’ t-shirt? Have there been solidarity concerts, and are there any future plans?
This we did a couple of times, yes. And planning on more. By stating all our views quite clearly and being upfront about them, we´ve cultivated quite an amazing audience/circle of friends (I am not keen on the term “fans”). These lovely people in general share our worldview and are willing to support the cause of defense of Ukraine against Ruzzian aggression either directly or by purchasing fundraiser ADACTA merch from sales of which we send all the profits to either charities (Doctors Without Borders), volunteer organisations (Koridor UA) or to anarchist members of Territorial Defence (Екологічна Платформа).
Unfortunately, Ruzzian narratives are rather strong in Slovakia, the propaganda mangled the brains of naive and/or stupid people for decades now. Lots of grifters and bad actors still receive money from FSB agents masked as diplomats etc.
Ľuboš Blaha is a local politician, clinically insane Kremlin´s bootlicker. Member of so-called “socialist” party that stole everything that was not bolted down in our country. They had well over a decade of rule to do so. The socialism of his party is in name only (and the rest of Europe´s Left steers clear away from them), holding all the reactionary, xenophobic, racist, anti-LGBTI positions you can imagine. Blaha, loudmouth that he is, gained considerable influence… and in the meantime (whilst completing this interview), his party won the general elections here. That’s completely fucked on all the levels. We shall see how it will affect Slovakia’s aid to Ukraine. But not positively, I imagine.
Crust culture has always addressed the horrors of war and dictatorship. Which songs from your discography do you think are most relevant to the current events? You often post the song “Operation Z” – what is it about?
The War definitely seeped into our new album Dno significantly. Do tla (To Ashes), Lov (The Hunt), Proroci rozkladu (Prophets of Decay) and above mentioned Operácia Z (Operation Z) all are to varying degree about war. I avoided this theme before because I considered it to be quite a cliché. Now it really hits close to home. Figuratively and literally.
Operation Z is a cover version of a song from Dutch death metallers Hail of Bullets. The original dealt with Pearl Harbour lyrically, I´ve rewritten them into Slovak and the theme is Ruzzian full scale invasion to Ukraine. Here´s the English translation:
Finally, what would you like to say to metal punks from Ukraine and Russia?
To Ukrainians in general I would wish all the best and to hang in there and persevere. Scene-wise… I hope we will tour your country, meet many of you personally and also I wish to help as many Ukrainian bands to come here and gig when the situation will allow it.
To metal punk scene-adjacent Russians… I sincerely hope that they stay safe (presuming they are by definition of punk against the current fascist and imperialist regime) and on the other hand that they do all they can to subvert, erode, sabotage, attack and destroy everything that helps this murderous system to function. War is now here (or close). And thus not abstract, nor is it matter of aesthetics of disbeat record covers anymore. The shit is real and you need to pick a side. My hope would be that they choose the side of humanity, compassion and support of the victims here.
Click here to subscribe to ESSF newsletters in English and/or French.