The Authoritarian will release his first single on At Swim Music on the 23rd July. “Take A Breath” is a brooding, synth-laden exhortation for all of us to just calm the f**k down. But, as we’ve discovered ourselves, with The Authoritarian things are never as clear-cut as they first appear..
Pre-save “Take A Breath”: https://ditto.fm/take-a-breath-the-authoritarian
Watch the video…
We asked him a few questions to help you get to know him a little bit better..
Hi! Okay, first question: Why “The Authoritarian”?
You know, I wish I could answer this without laughing, but I also ask myself that question on a regular basis. It is honestly a bit of a mouthful.
Its origins are rooted in the idea that all things are paradoxical. Paradox is not only a theme in my perception of reality, but something I also use to challenge people’s views. I am far from being an Authoritarian, and although I have some anti-establishment leanings I don’t seek to be a dictator in the way the name suggests.
It’s kind of amusing for me to suggest that simply by choosing a name, I am that thing. Or even the idea that anyone can do that. The god and the devil are frequent themes in my work and I always think about the fact that you could never distinguish between the two, because one would lie and the other would tell the truth, like in the film Face Off. Which do you ultimately believe? Also, anyone who is actually an Authoritarian, this would be the the last way they would choose to describe themselves. It’s just my stupid need to be ironic, but in a way that irony is expressed as a truism.
Your music is often quite dark. Are you a very serious person?
Music is a form of therapy, an off-loading of thoughts and emotions. They often occur when I’m experiencing a pronounced moment of emotion for example an argument, or strangers giving me personal advice.
This darkness is present all around us and has to be spoken of. That which isn’t spoken of is more deep in its darkness, like buried desires. Dark thoughts thrive when they are hidden away, so by putting them in the light as it where, you limit their power.
In reality, I’m more silly than anything else, and in actual fact, it is my ridiculousness which is my hidden desire. But at the end of the day, this is the music which comes out of me. Maybe one day I will write a ridiculously happy album, but that won’t necessarily mean that I am ridiculously happy at that time, as I’m able to write dark songs even when I am most happy.
Having said that, I guess I can be perceived as serious, especially as my humour is again veiled in the paradox of my stern persona. But like many like minded souls who have certain perceptions of the world we live in, it can be hard to view the world as a funny place, especially recently, and if you listen to many pop stars from Billie Eilish to Katy Perry, you realise that they have a darkness which is sugar coated.
I’m just giving it straight, like a shot of absinthe.
What is your single, “Take A Breath” about?
Firstly, I would like to say that art is about interpretation, and music as an art form is open to interpretation and even misinterpretation. Like playing Wild Rose by Nick Cave, at a wedding. It seems like a love song, but it’s actually about a guy killing his love. So for that reason I’m more interested in how others interpret it.
But in its most simplest form it’s simply about just breathing, being human. Our breath is one of the few things which I would say is ours alone, and free. The thing which is both unifying and liberating. Then of course we come to realise that even our breath is something that has been highjacked of late. In some ways we find ourselves robbed even of this.
What’s the video about? Is there are story to it, and how does it relate to the music?
The video was a byproduct of a photoshoot with a friend and one of the most talented photographers here in Prague where I live. I briefed them to take me out of my comfort zone with the styling, so you see me in ways that I would never have chosen myself. Had I created my own styling I would probably look a little bit more Weller. My father was an actual mod back in the day, so I love the smart look, and I always iron my shirts. So in many ways it was an expression of me taking a breather from my own self.
It was shot in an old protected building in Prague and it was cold as fuck that day, so I had to make several costume changes while I was freezing my proverbial nuts off. You can see it in some of the shots… my nose was red from the cold. But the director did it basically as a favour, to which I guess I’m indebted to him… even if my ex, and mother of my daughter, subsequently told me she dated him. But that’s life if you live, and if you love.
Aren’t you a bit old to be doing all this? Why now?
My first reaction is fuck off! Haha.
Look, I could validate this as all people validate what they do through their own point of views and handicaps, but ultimately, no I’m not.
Had I done this when I was younger I would have been motivated by different desires, more self indulgent than the creation of music should be. My own view of the world has matured, the things I have experienced, though relatively down to earth, are broad and deep.
I am not motivated by the same things younger artists are. My daughter loves Olivia Rodriguez and these kinds of pre 20 artists, and I find it disingenuous when they talk about break ups and life experiences. Try having a partner of ten years leave you after you have a child. Try to view the world with the perspective of experience and inevitable change.
Of course at ‘my age’ it’s not easy to still be focused on making music or living a relevant lifestyle, but I have always attempted to be part of the culture that surrounds me and I am passionate about those things. I grew up in a time without the Internet, which is something unimaginable to many now. But I believe that having lived that experience gives me a different view of what it means to be human, what’s really important in this world, and I think that’s valuable.
Society seeks to be inclusive these days and part of that has to be the inclusion of individuals regardless of their origins, preferences or, for that matter, age.
What is next for you? What do you have planned for the future?
Never plan. Just go.
“Take A Breath” is released globally on the 23rd July 2021.
You can pre-save via this link: https://ditto.fm/take-a-breath-the-authoritarian
Or you can buy from our Bandcamp store, here: https://atswimlabel.bandcamp.com
© At Swim Ltd. Creative Arts 2021
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