Thrashing Serbian Fists of Untamed Fury Unleashed

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You think you know the underground? You don’t know shit! Sorry, got a little carried away there; just exaggerating for effect, no offense. But seriously, folks, Serbia’s NadimaČ is about as underground as it gets these days, at least as far as exposure outside of the Slavic region and a staunch DIY work ethic are concerned. With a slew of releases (full-lengths, splits, comps, vinyl, DVDs, etc) on labels like China’s (yeah, China) Area Death Productions, and singing in their native tongue exclusively, NadimaČ is one band that truly puts the music first and money/fame a distant…ah hell, who are we kidding? It’s not a consideration.

The only reason this interview is appearing is because vocalist Danilo “Dača” Trbojević hit me up on Facebook and kept following up until I finally listened to Drzavni Neprijatelj Brojkeci. I ended up digging the band’s frenzied ‘n fun crossover thrashing madness, did a little research, and found the band’s history intriguing. Danilo is not only a dedicated and determined warrior of metal, but an affable fellow as well. So much respect to the guy for wearing me down and getting an interview for his band out of the deal. I hope you enjoy it.

Where does the story of NadimaČ begin? Had the members been in other metal bands in Serbia prior to the band’s formation?

NadimaČ was formed in the beginning of 2003 by a crew of school friends. Marko “Zec” Pavlović (bass) and Dragan “Draganče” Ristić (Drums) are original members since then, and me and Stefan “Cora” Ćorović (guitar) joined the band in 2008. Both Zec and Dragan were and are only in NadimaČ since they have learned to play their instruments in this band. Cora played in a thrash metal band called Metal Slug. I used to play drums (really badly) in thrash/heavy/speed band Witchunt in 2002/2003 and after that I started singing in a grindcore band called Necrorectumonomicon in 2004/2005. Before joining NadimaČ I was the vocalist in brutal technical death metal band DaggerSpawn from 2004 to 2009.

What is the English translation of NadimaČ?

I think it’s a rather difficult question [laughs]. NadimaČ is unusual name for a band here in Serbia too [laughs], so the translation is even more weird in any other language. It is the feeling when you are about to burst from within…or something like that [laughs]. Like when you are full of energy or anger, or you just had a lot of bean stew and drank a lot of beer.

What bands have influenced the sound of NadimaČ? Certainly there are thrash metal bands, but are there influences that each member brings to the sound of NadimaČ?

Yeah, all four of us are. Four of a kind [laughs]. I have been influenced by a lot of music, everything I like from Scott Walker, The Kinks, Black Sabbath, The Exploited, One Way System, Guttermouth, etc to Minor Threat, D.R.I. or Agnostic Front. Most of my style is influenced by thrash metal and grindcore bands like Assassin, Razor, SOD, Anthrax, Kreator, Sabbat (UK), Seventh Angel, Fastkill, Sodom, Terrorizer, Pig Destroyer, Vomitory, Insanity. Acroholia, Cannibal Corpse, Cripple Bastards, Fleshless, etc. Zec and Dragan are influenced mostly by the German and U.S. thrash metal schools, and some heavy metal such as Grave Digger, Running Wild, or Manowar. They also like some of old school punk and hardcore punk. Cora, like most of the guitarists, was influenced by thrash metal bands, but also by some progressive metal bands.

The music of Drzavni Neprijatelj Brojkec has more of a crossover sound, rather than traditional thrash metal and D.R.I. is one of the bands that often comes to mind.

On Drzavni Neprijatel there are some songs that are five or six years old when the main influence was solid German thrash metal school as well as some D.R.I. and SOD influences. On some newer songs used on this album there are more hardcore, and maybe punk influences, but a lot more thrash influences as well; meaning we got many thrash and other metal, hardcore, and punk albums over the years and we let them influence us a little. NadimaČ never tried to be a D.R.I. clone band, but people compare us with them probably because they were also influenced by punk and early hardcore punk in their time too.

You’ve released quite a few splits with other acts. Are many of these acts from your region of the world?

Some of them, yes. For example, we released split CD with Macedonian thrash/hardcore band Nihilist. We also released two split CDs with two Greek thrash bands; we like Greek bands because Greeks are friends of the Serbian people. But the idea with split CDs in general was to do splits with bands from distant parts of the world and get underground promotion in those parts. So we did some splits with bands from Malaysia or Columbia. We also like doing split CDs with bands who try to be different in their style of playing thrash, which is cool.

What can you tell us about the Serbian Thrash Metal Fist Unleashed split? I love the title!

[Laughs] Me too! It sounds very Eastern Block. Well, it’s a compilation with NadimaČ and three more younger Serbian thrash metal bands. It was released by a Serbian underground metal magazine/fanzine by this friend who is diehard fanatic for metal and grind since the 80s.

You’ve chosen to write your lyrics in your native language. Do you feel that this limits the international appeal of the group, considering that English tends to be the worldwide language of metal?

Of course it limits us, but we don’t care. If we were singing in English we would probably have a lot more “fans” (I hate this word), but we have our energy and style of music, and if you like us, cool; if not, ok, fuck off. For example I love songs by Cripple Bastards, which are in Italian. I love some Sodom and Tankard songs in their native language. I love Sarjan Hassan songs in whatever language they use.

Your record label, ADP (Area Death Productions), is based in China! How does a Serbian band end up on a Chinese label? Does this present any challenges as far as getting NadimaČ noticed on the international scene?

[Laughs] well, when we were looking for a label to release our first album, it was difficult because labels didn’t like us singing in our native language, so it was a problem for them. We were approached by Wang from ADP, and he offered us great conditions for a first release, a lot of CDs were printed, patches and t-shirts and we were really satisfied with his label. About his effort to get us on the international scene, well every underground or other kind of metal label or shop specializing in thrash has a copy of our album and a lot of labels all over the world trade and sell our album, so we are satisfied on this field as well. Most of the bands think that the label’s job is to promote the band, but it is not just the label which is obligated to push forward a band; if you don’t do it for yourself, no one else would. D.I.Y!

You’ll also be releasing some NadimaČ albums on vinyl on a Korean label.

Shush [laughs], that was supposed to be a surprise [laughs]. And yeah, we will release both our albums on vinyl for Infernal Kaos Productions, a very good underground label from Korea. At the moment there is some sort of nuclear conflict or something like that, but I hope that everything will work out fine, not just because of our vinyl, but for the people living there too.  Vinyl is for us the ultimate media for transmitting music and spirit of our style, so we are honored to add this dimension to our release collection.

You’ve got a new album and DVD coming out on ADP in 2011. How does the new album compare to your previous works and what is included on the DVD?

The DVD was first dedicated and recorded by our money for a sound technician, and with help from two friends with cameras who helped us. The idea was to do a free download DVD for all thrash maniacs out there who haven`t had chance to see us or our friends in mosh pits. But soon it became clear that for the DVD promotion it is best that we release it by a label because it’s gonna have much better promotion. At this moment the DVD is in China on post production and stuff and it will be out in the same time as album I reckon.

Social media sites like Myspace and Facebook have helped NadimaČ get wider recognition. How important are these sites to the exposure of your band?

As you know before in the 80s and 90s the trick was to spread bands’ demos and promos (cassettes mostly) to wide underground crews so you could get a chance to present your work to people. Today the music industry is changed, and relationships between listeners, music, releases and bands are a lot different than before. For older and more commercial bands and labels it sucks, but for us it’s easier because we aim to spread our name and music and not to get money from it. We sell our CDs at our gigs and by postal orders. Our label and a number of other labels sell our releases, and they do promotion of that segment of the band. But thanks to social networks like YouTube, Myspace, and Facebook we can now spread our music to a greater number of people. They spread it to their friends and so on, so it’s a good thing. I think that aspect of promoting the band’s music this way is better than before, but parallel with the good aspects of social networks came bad things too. Fewer people come out of their homes, to parks to drink beer, to gigs or music trade markets, or just for no reason at all. We aren’t use to this so it sucks really.

Tell the readers about life in Belgrade. Is this a city that has suffered from the effects of the war?

We were born in 1985 (Danilo, Dragan and Zec) and 1990 (Cora) and since we were born we had a lot of wars in the 90s with Croatia, Bosnia, NATO, Albanian terrorists etc, so you must be more specific with which one you had in mind. I guess you were thinking of the last official one in 1999 (one against NATO).Well, Belgrade was never ruined after the WW II, till 1999, but three months of intense bombing was a crazy experience for all here and even if the city didn’t suffer too much people were under stress. I don`t know if you can imagine, but bombing itself is not that scary, especially when you’re playing the whole day with your friends and crew, mostly because we in Serbia have the attitude/mentality “Fuck them all we will go on existing no matter what.” The most stressing thing about bombing was the Western media. We were all watching things near our buildings and in our country and we know many eye witnesses that have experienced a lot of shitty events and when we see it on western media it’s just two totally different stories. We were “used” to this “democratic” treatment back in the 90s, but this was too much; just shows you how every political system lies and manipulates for its own goals. It really sucks living here is Belgrade [laughs]. It’s a pretty nice; big city, beautiful people, good beer, concerts, and mosh pits, but a lot safer than living than in London, Paris or New York, which is nice [laughs].  This is gonna sound weird, but personally, I think that we were happier in the end of the 90s and beginning of the 2000s when we knew that we were screwed and we had a low life standard, etc, than now when we have all kinds of shops, trademarks, foreign factories, shopping malls, etc around us, but no jobs, and we see all these “nice” things and don’t have money for most of it. Also, people used to live a lot more before the Internet and computers became a way of living, meeting people, or learning life experiences.

It seems that the Serbian metal scene has gotten more attention worldwide these last couple of years, as well as the Slavic scene in general. Space Eater is one band that comes to mind, as well as Negligence in Slovakia. Has metal always been strongly supported in the region and why do you think there has been more recognition for these acts nowadays?

Serbia (then part of Yugoslavia) always had a good metal scene since the 80s. Try Bloodbath, Acroholia, Bombarder (then Bosnian, now Serbian band), Heller, Scaffold, Annathema, Pergament, Dead Joker, The Stone, Patareni (Croatian band, maybe the first grindcore band ever, then part of the Yugoslavian scene); try them all. I don`t know about other eastern countries, but Serbian people and bands weren’t allowed to leave the country, or more specific to enter other European countries or the USA. To leave the country you were supposed to have a passport and a visa, but you had to give some papers and money to get the visa, and for most of the countries you couldn`t get it. Because of that bands couldn`t leave Serbian territories and tour or promote its music. Serbia has a lot quality bands to offer; try Azazel, Kramp, Acroholia, Pollution, Infest, DaggerSpawn, Scared, Deadly Mosh, Scafold, Sacramental blood, Kuga, etc

Where does NadimaČ go from here? Any plans to tour outside of Serbia?

Well, we are often called to play in other countries and we played in some former Yugoslav Republics. We will play in Greece on some two-day thrash metal festival in January 2011.  About touring Europe, we had some offers for eastern and western Europe, but we really don`t want to go and play in other countries in front of 20-30 people, just so we could say “wow we toured Europe.” We will wait to see responses to our new album, DVD, etc, and in 2011 we will see if there is a need to tour or we need to give even more effort and ideas. There is a time for playing outside of Serbia; we just need proper feedback to plan it.

Closing thoughts?

Thanks for your support, brother. Keep doing whatever you think is gonna matter. Keep fighting for your right to be a metalhead, punk, or whatever; no matter how old, serious or fucked up you are; if it’s your style, then it’s your life. [Goddamn right! – Scott].

Metal je rat

Metal is war

Thrash on!

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http://www.myspace.com/nadimacbend

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jordan Itkowitz

    fascinating interview, thanks Scott. curious to delve into this scene now and see if there’s anything unique to Serbian metal.


  2. Commented by: Scott Alisoglu

    Thanks dude, it was a fun one and rather cool how it just kind of fell into my lap. Danilo is a determined one!


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