Pradžia / Garsas / Sound

Interview with ORPLID's Uwe Nolte: "I am lucky to be an artist. I can give my demons a shape so that they can learn to walk and disappear"

Orplid ( is a neofolk, martial, post-industrial and experimental music group of German musicians, Uwe Nolte and Frank Machau. The name is drawn from the poem Gesang Weylas by Eduard Mörike, beginning ‘Du bist Orplid, mein Land’ ('You are Orplid, my land'). Orplid in the poem is a faraway fantasy land. The band has progressed over the course of their discography from acoustic folk peppered with instruments like the piano, organ, and cello, to a more experimental minimalistic style. Here's our talk with Uwe Nolte (2020 10 01).

Mindaugas Peleckis
2020 m. Spalio 23 d., 12:31
Skaityta: 207 k.

Finally we can listen to Your new studio album after the twelve years from the last one. What did You do in those years?

I've been traveling a lot. Many years in Russia, in a small house on the Volga. Many years ago, the famous Russian painter Ilya Repin lived in my house next door. The landscape and atmosphere were very inspiring and I also started taking pictures with which I was planning an exhibition in Germany. Unfortunately the exhibition was banned. I'm too traditional and my art is too conservative for soulless consumer idiots. Germany is a victim of Western ideology: in art and culture only the foreign and destructive are praised. We live in a time of cultural decline. Unfortunately. After Russia I was in Tyrol for a long time and wrote books in the quiet of the mountains. I am lucky to be an artist. I can give my demons a shape so that they can learn to walk and disappear. Now I'm back in Germany and have stretched Neofolk's sword into the sky. Deus vult!

When do You plan to tour with the new album? Maybe You also plan to come to Lithuania?

Of course I like to come to Lithuania. It is my dream to perform at the Mėnuo Juodaragis Festival  - or at some other place in Lithuania. Many of my friends have already bought houses in Lithuania. For us there is paradise. Germany is spiritually dead. The sun rises in the east. Hope, beginning and light come from the eastern sphere.

What do You know about Lithuania? How and when did You come to it? What Lithuanian and foreign musicians do You value most?

I saw various folk bands from Lithuania at the Mėnuo Juodaragis Festival and was very enthusiastic. This year I was only passing through. I was in Latvia at the solstice. that was wonderful! The people in the East are more lively, more natural and have strong hearts. I am always very happy there. At the solstice or at the Mėnuo Juodaragis Festival  I saw families with children with flowers in their hair dancing and singing around trees and I had tears in my eyes. This type of community no longer exists in Germany. In the east is my home!

Are You a polyglot? What languages can You speak, read, understand? What do You think about language ecology?

My Russian and English languages ​​are sufficient for everyday life. I am a German poet. I am interested in the sound of language. When I was young, I wrote lyrics for music, but over the years I noticed that my words have their melody and rhythm even without music.

Uwe Nolte and Neofolk legend Ian Read (Fire + Ice). All photos from U. Nolte's personal archive.

Why do You play Neofolk? How did You begin to like it, what bands and why inspired You?

To understand my lyrics well, you need accented and calm music. My colleague Frank Machau is good at painting with clay. If the audience calls our music Neofolk, that's not our intention. But if people are happy with the label, let them call our music Neofolk. You have our blessings. We are artists. We give our work to the world. Everyone can interpret us at will. The world is a free place!
Frank Machau is not interested in Neofolk. He has his own taste in music. I used to enjoy listening to Backworld, Sol Invictus and Current 93. I especially loved Fire + Ice and Ian Read, whom I personally have taken as a friend in my heart.

Your Neofolk style is slightly different from, say, DIJ or C93, i would even call it German Neofolk. Is this style of music popular in Germany?

O, Odin, German neo-folk is serious, often too serious and not popular. On the contrary. Many criticize Neofolk. But that makes him interesting to me. I like the hidden and daring. I would kiss the devil's forehead for a piece of wisdom. I'm not interested in trends or political fashions. I am a German Neofolker!

What about paganism in Germany and world? Do You participate in this kind of activity? What is Your belief?

I believe in creativity and divinity, but I don't give my view of things a specific name. Many fans of Neofolk are pagans. If they are happy with this label, so am I. I love happy and creative people. Life is just a breath. Everyone should be happy in their denomination and make this world a better place.

What do You think about multipolar world? Isn't it enough to have one hegemony on our planet?

I am not a friend of globalization, but neither am I a patriot. I live in the German poem. My job is to find the grail in the sound of the word. In this quiet and spiritual context, I am the keeper of the German spirit. I leave shouting and marching to populists. I have lived on Orplid Island for many years.

What collaborations were/are the most interesting and important to You and why?

On the current album I let a singer sing who was a legend during the GDR era. The lady is almost 80 years old and I have learned a lot from her. Her name is Katrin Lindner. Important friends for my art and my life are Ian Read and Rolf Schilling, a German philosopher and poet, which we often set to music with Orplid and which was also heard on the album "Gryphonheart". I like inspiring people, people with strength, energy and spirit. In the circle of your work I never get ideas for my art and my life.. What do You think about relations between the old art and computer art? Are they compatible? I also use computers and modern media for my art. As always, the dose makes the poison! Talent, passion and the will to achieve perfection are still decisive. With my art I want to build bridges from the classical to the modern and this work requires technical aids. Anyone who would like to learn more about my work is welcome to find out more (

What are the main ideas are behind Your music? Could You name Your favorite Your compositions / albums / collaborations? What about the new album?

The current album is a conclusion with Orplid. We have delivered our masterpiece and are now retiring from Neofolk. We’re going to make a metal and hardcore CD soon. We want to move away from spirit and towards energy. The project is called U.V.D. I look forward to being invited to concerts in Lithuania. I am showing a cross-section of my art there. Perun is calling me to the east. Greetings to Lithuania ...