brothers again…

When civil war broke out in Yugoslavia, first in Slovenia (1991), Croatia (1991) and Bosnia & Herzegovina (1992) I was primary grade pupil. I didn’t understand what’s wrong and why Yugoslavia started to burn in war flames. My memories about civil war in Yugoslavia are related to my first neighbor. He was young man in early twenties. He served military service in Zadar, Croatia. News footage showed demonstrations in Zadar and attacks on JNA soldiers. His mother was so upset and she wanted to get any information about her son. She didn’t have a phone so she used ours. We were the only contact with the world for her. Luckily a neighbor was alive and well and managed to come home. But many people weren’t so lucky. The images from the battlefield became very common on television. We started to hear stories about crimes of “bloodthirsty Ustasha” or “drugged Muslims” against Serbian innocent civilians. Media under control of regime repeated hate words like mantra, hundred of times during one day. We were day after day under heavy propaganda assault while Yugoslavia fell down in economic, political and moral collapse. During “chaos war time” kids like me became Chetniks, the true Serbian heroes, patriots who will defend Serbia from a small town in central Serbia, few hundred kilometers from the frontline. Chetnik songs were popular. Ideology of Chetnik movement spread easy between kids also. We – the kids draw graffiti with 4 s (main symbol of Chetnik movement), we hated Croats / Muslims, Ustashe / Balije, never mind the fact that we never saw or met anyone from the other side of conflict. The only big deal was to hate. We – the kids from primary school were full of hate. My memories about Croatia were actually very positive. In fact my family just like thousands of other families from Yugoslavia spent a few days on the Croatian seaside. We visited one of the most beautiful cities on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik. It was during late ’80s (1988/89) and there was no national tension between Serbs and Croats or maybe I was too young to notice them. Nevertheless, few days in Dubrovnik still remind me on happiness and joy. The war in Yugoslavia ended with the Dayton Agreement (1995), but relations between Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and Croatia weren’t good. The echoes of the war were still present, the wounds were fresh. During adolescence under atmosphere full of hate and accusations between nations I discovered local punk heroes Hocu? Necu!. They had a song dedicated to the war in Yugoslavia called “Anti-war song / Stop the war”. Report from the battlefield full of hate speech opened song with a strong anti-war idea. That intro was true example of propaganda which was served to us during war. Lyrics with full of peace attitude was a real revelation for me. I was definitely infected with diy punk ideology and I started to follow development of diy punk scene in states which were part of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). One band changed my life for sure. It was old school hardcore/punk band Razlog Za from Kutina, Croatia. I wrote letters to people from newborn states which rose from the ashes of civil war in Yugoslavia. We wrote letters to each other, reading and doing fanzines, gathering and share information. In early 2000s I got fanzine “No All” from Croatia. I sent letter to the editor (Gajo) with my comments about his fanzine. It wasn’t so usual for that time, but soon I got fast replay. We became good (virtual) friends and often wrote letters to each other. I met Gajo for the first time in Belgrade, Serbia where Gajo toured with his band Lasting Values. Since that moment we became friends for life. In the moment when I was desperate and I need drummer for my band, Gajo accepted proposal to play with us, never mind the borders and far distances. After all bullshits caused by civil war in Yugoslavia, guns, tanks, burned villages, killed innocent civilians, war crimes, stolen houses, politicians filled with greed, nationalism and hate, Gajo and I became friends. So this song “Brothers again” is dedicated primarily to Gajo, my brother from Croatia, but also to all those wonderful people who we met over the years in ex-Yugoslavia region. A lot of people wrote about the war in the former Yugoslavia. However, there is still no consensus on the most important issues. Thousands of dead, displaced, raped, burned… We still try to find all the answers about civil war in Yugoslavia. Never mind the quest for answers, there is still thousands of people with completely destroyed past, present and future.

Vojkan

zagreb u kandzama sive zone

Kad smo pričali o tome da napravimo bandovski blog, složili smo se i sa time da bi s vremena na vrijeme mogli i napisati nešto za sam blog, pa da ne budu samo fotke gore itd. Pa, pošto je Vojkan pokrenuo temu tzv. „sive zone“ među hc/punk i inom alternativnom balkanskom populacijom, mislim da je to dobra tema pa bih i ja htio nešto reći o tome. Ja se neću vraćati u tako daleku prošlost kao što je Vojkan uradio, jer iskreno ne znam puno o tome što se točno događalo u Zagrebu za vrijeme drugog svjetskog rata, a iskreno, niti me ne zanima previše jer je ipak sad neko drugo vrijeme i ja ću se u ovom tekstu više osvrnuti na to kakvo je stanje na domaćoj/lokalnoj hc/punk „sceni“. Znači, pisat ću ovdje uglavnom o Zagrebu jer tu živim, tu idem najčešće na koncerte i tu se krećem najviše. Mislim da je i najbolje prvo pogledati kako je u tvom dvorištu, pogotovo kad se radi o nekoj konstruktivnoj kritici. Nažalost, u zadnjih par godina se u Zagrebu osjetno povećao rast likova/uša koji spadaju u tu „sivu zonu“, koji se izjašnjavaju kao apolitični i kojima nije strano ići na koncerte bandova sa blago sumnjivim stavovima i onih drugih bandova, koji se izjašnjavaju kao anti-fa. Ne kažem da takve ekipe prije nije bilo, ali barem su se koliko toliko držali podalje od DIY hc/punk koncerata i uglavnom DIY hc/punk ekipa i ta tzv. apolitična ekipa nisu imali neki bliski kontakt (znači, postojali su totalno različiti koncerti gdje ekipu s jedne strane ne bi mogao/la vidjeti na drugoj i obratno). I danas ima koncerata gdje DIY hc/punk ekipa nema šanse da bi se pojavila (i obratno) ali ima i previše mix koncerata gdje bude prisutna i jedna i druga ekipa. Često ta apolitična ekipa dođe na neki koncert sa namjerom da ne ulazi unutra (ali samo zato jer se plaća upad), pa vise ispred i tu i tamo traže povodom za neku frku što je baš onako naporno, jadno i klinački. Još jedna interesantna a i smiješna stvar je ta da dosta te apolitične ekipe sa sumnjivim stavovima uopće ne izgledaju kao ekipa od koje bi u prošlosti tako nešto očekivao (znači, kejos punk i sl.), nego su mnogi od njih imidžom u nekoj crust furci sa hrpom prišivaka crust hc/punk bandova iz 80.-ih i 90.-ih koji su bili sve samo ne desno, homofobično, seksističko orijentirani ili „apolitični“. Tako da to ovdje na nekim koncertima izgleda kao pravi cirkus. A najbolji primjer koliko je ta ekipa izgubljena je to što npr. vole neke bandove kao što je Ljubiša Samarđić za koje svi znamo da kod njih nema sumnje u njihovu predanost anti-fa idejama i akcijama. Naravno, ne sumnjam da se dotična apolitična ekipa izjašnjava kao anti nazi da ih upitaš na kojoj strani stoje. Ali, danas više nisu 90.-te te ja sumnjam da još u Zagrebu postoje neki likovi koji se izjašnjavaju kao nazi (čak se i BBB-ovci ograđuju od toga), tako da je to samo obično farbanje da se prikrije njihova ignorancija i tzv. Siva zona. E sad, najlakše je upirati prstom i reći netko drugi je kriv. No, mislim da smo svi mi koji smo aktivni u DIY hc/punk-u u Zagrebu, svi pomalo krivi za trenutnu takvu situaciju. Pa bi bilo najbolje da svatko krene sa svojim primjerom da se situacija promijeni na bolje. No, ipak djelomično za ovakvu trenutnu situaciju snose odgovornost neki ljudi koji rade hc/punk koncerte u Zagrebu. Meni npr. nije jasno kako netko tko se smatra osobom koja gaji neke osnovne anti-fa ideje, može zvati bandove na svirke koji se furaju na tu tzv. apolitičnost (iako svi znamo da apolitičnost ne postoji, pogotovo ne ako živiš u jebenom glavnom gradu neke države)!?! Ovdje mislim na prostor Medika, gdje se održava većina hc/punk koncerata u Zagrebu. Po mom mišljenju, u takav jedan prostor, bilo kakva osoba sa imalo sumnjivim stavovima ne bi trebala moći uopće kročiti unutra, ali trenutna situacija je veoma daleko od toga. Tako da je i Medika zapravo samo jedan veliki cirkus. Mislim da treba tražiti nekakvu alternativu svemu tome i jasno dati do znanja apolitičnim jadnicima/jadnicama da nisu dobrodošli. Osim ako naravno, ne shvate da su u zabludi i promijene svoje stavove na bolje. No, na tako nešto sigurno nećemo utjecati ignoriranjem postojećeg problema. Što ja osobno mogu učiniti? To se svatko od nas treba zapitati i zatim početi djelovati.

 xGajox von IOSC

siva zona

Naš mali pank bend, The Truth, se pojavio na kompilaciji “Zajednička borba”, koja je izašla pre mesec – dva. Na njoj se pored nas, nalazi još 22 benda sa ovih prostora, različitih muzičkih pravaca i političkih pozadina, neki su već uveliko poznati široj javnosti (Darko Rundek, Kud Idijoti, Atheist Rap, Kultur Schock, itd) ali sve nas je okupila ista ideja. Ideja borbe protiv fašizma. Kompilacija je rezultat napora nekoliko antifašističkih kolektiva sa prostora bivše Jugoslavije, da se okupe aktivni antifašisti/kinje i da se malo ozbiljnije povede borba protiv ove pošasti, koja kako vidimo nije pobeđena 1945. godine. Za sada mi se cela priča čini kao sjajna ideja i ova forma muzičke kompilacije gde se nalaze i malo poznatija imena, predstavlja jedan od odličnih načina da se stekne izvesna pozornost, kako šire, tako i nezavisne javnosti i time privuku oni koji su još uvek neodlučni ili neupoznati sa našom borbom.

Mi smo se predstavili sa pesmom “October Bloody October” koja je posvećena nevino stradalim Kraljevčanima za vreme II svetskog rata. Ne znamo koliko vam je poznato ali u periodu od 14. do 20. oktobra 1941. godine, nacistički okupator je streljao više od 2000 stanovnika Kraljeva (prema nemačkim podacima streljano je 2150, dok su kustosi kraljevačkog Muzeja došli do broja od 2190, i to je cifra ispod koje se ne sme ići). To je bila mera odmazde zbog prethodnih nemačkih žrtava koje su bile posledica zajedničkih napada partizana i četnika na Kraljevo (još dok su dva pokreta bila u slozi), početkom oktobra 1941. godine. Ovaj stravičan zločin je izvršen na osnovu odluke Franca Bemea, glavnokomandujućeg za okupiranu Srbiju koja pored ostalog sadrži sledeće reči: Bude li gubitaka među nemačkim vojnicima ili folksdojčerima, teritorijalno nadležni komandanti sve do komandanta puka zaključno, narediće odmah streljanje protivnika prema sledećim stopama: a) Za svakog ubijenog nemačkog vojnika ili folksdojčera (muškarca, ženu ili dete) 100 zarobljenika ili talaca, b) Za svakog ranjenog nemačkog vojnika ili folksdojčera 50 zarobljenika ili talaca. Streljanje će izvrsiti trupe. Kao uspomena na najgori zločin u istoriji našeg grada stoji Spomen Park, naziv ulice i naša pesma. Ona oslikava naše unutrašnje nemire i reprezentuje našu bol, ali ujedno nas podseća da nikada ne smemo dozvoliti da se nešto slično ponovi.

Pojava ove kompilacije je odličan trenutak da se prozbori o jednom zanimljivom fenomenu koji je prisutan na hardcorepunk sceni kako kod nas, tako i u svetu, već više godina, ali ovih dana biva identifikovan kao tzv Siva zona (Grey zone). Malo pametniji od mene kažu da je ovaj fenomen opasan jer njega čine osobine poput konformizma, nacionalizma, seksizma i homofobije. Oni kojima se može prilepiti etiketa sivozonca su spremni da jednog dana idu na koncert nekog nazi benda, a već koliko sutra da posete i neki antifa koncert. I oni sa tim nemaju nikakav problem. Uostalom, nemaju problem ni da se druže sa onima koji su otvoreno nazi orijentisani ili podržavaju takve ideje. Prevedeno na jezik običnog puka, to su oni “što nisu ni levo ni desno”, kojima su svi oni koji zagovaraju neke ideologije “ekstremisti” i što dolaze na koncerte samo zbog dobre zabave i ispijanja piva. A ponekad se to pivo pije ispred dragstora sa ortacima sumnjivog političkog opredeljenja, ali šta sad. Ismejavanjem pojedinaca i njihovih pokušaja da se izbore za scenu oslobođenu od nacista i ostalog šljama i obeležavanjem levih i desnih kao predstavnika iste ekstremističke ideologije, sivozonci banalizuju čitavu poentu hardcorepunka. Znate ono “Hardcore is more than music” i slične fraze koje se pojavljuju ovih dana i koje eksplicitno pokazuju šta zapravo hardcorepunk scena treba da predstavlja. Ove reči nikako ne mogu da dopru do mozgova pojedinih aktera scene. Oni i dalje ostaju na svojim stanovištima da je sve to sranje i da se treba samo dobro zabavljati.

E pa druže moj, nije sranje!

Hardcorepunk scena je jedino mesto na ovom prokletom svetu koje treba da ostane potpuno čisto od svih zala, bez ikakvog izuzetka. Dakle, nema mesta za nacizam/ fašizam, rasizam, homofobiju, seksizam, mačo nasilje i sve ostalo što nas truje. Nazovite me ekstremistom, ali tako sam odgajan od kako sam kročio nogom na scenu. Od Hoću? Neću!, preko Razlog Za ili sa druge strane Youth of Today-a i Oi Polloi-a i ostalih scenskih heroja i heroina, stalno su mi u glavi odzvanjale reči da je hardcore više od muzike. Reči poput “jedinstvo, prijateljstvo, snaga” ili “bash the fash” sam shvatio doslovno. One su predodredile moj razvojni put, ne samo kao pankera, nego i kao čoveka. A za mene biti čovek, znaci biti antifašista!

Gde se danas nalazi srpska hardcorepunk scena? Neko sklon šali bi rekao: “U Zoni Sumraka”, i to donekle odgovara istini. Ali napustimo li prostor šala i pošalica, možemo da zaključimo da je uticaj Sive zone u Srba jako veliki. To je valjda zaostavština istorije srpske hardcorepunk scene. Počevši od tih famoznih 90-ih, kada je veliki deo bendova bio potpuno apolitičan i nezainteresovan za teme od kojih boli glava, slično se nastavlja i danas. Izgleda da su ovi bendovi bili nešto glasniji, pa dok su tamo neki „ekstremisti“ pevali „Kratkovidost, glupost, mačo nesigurnost, neznanje, infantilnost – Sirova snaga“, ovi glasniji su pravili nekakve hardcore mačo porodice u kojima ima mesta za sve. Zato i ne čudi što se pojavljuju novi bendovi kojima je svejedno da li dele binu sa nacistima ili su nacisti ispred bine.

Uskoro nas očekuje regionalna promotivna turneja na kojoj će biti predstavljeni neki od bendova koji su učestvovali na kompilaciji. Unapred se radujem da na neki način pomognem njenoj realizaciji. Zato ako čujete da se Antifa karavan nalazi u vašem gradu priključite mu se. Do tada, preslušajte kompilaciju, odjebite Sivu zonu i ne zaboravite, postoji samo jedna zona – Antifa zona!

Vojkan

the truth story

I am going to tell you a story about what Vojkan, Nikola and Felix mean to me. It all began in early 2000′s when I started to write e-mails to Felix and Vojkan. I am not sure who contacted who first but even then I could tell that we shared lots of similar attitudes and ideals about DIY hc/punk, sXe, fanzines and some other important things. Then, Felix and Vojkan were in a great hc/punk band called OPD. The Truth Of XXX started in the end of 2003 after OPD disband. At that moment Nikola stepped into this story. The Truth Of XXX first drummer Milos (who was also in OPD) was not sXe but in fact The Truth Of XXX represented all the positive aspects of sXe hc/punk lifestyle and philosophy. At the time, The Truth Of XXX were one of the rare hc/punk bands from Ex-Yugoslavia area which represented sXe ideas (next to FxPxOx from Skopje, Macedonia, Let’s Grow from Belgrade, Serbia and few years later also Vaseline Children from Zagreb, Croatia). Even thought I was not 100% fan of all The Truth Of XXX music, still I was very excited about them and could not wait to meet those guys. In 2004 Felix, Vojkan and Nikola started Ex-YU Straight Edge Bulletin (in collaboration with various active hc/punk people from Ex-YU countries), a zine which purpose was to gather all positive DIY hc/punk active people from Ex-YU countries. Only two issues of bulletin came out but the zine itself had positive feedback from the punx from all over Ex-YU (at least from the persons who were reading zines). Finally, I met Felix, Vojkan and Nikola on 28th May 2005 when I played in Belgrade with one of my old bands, Lasting Values. Other bands playing that night were Let’s Grow, Unison (both from Belgrade) and Vitamin X from Amsterdam, Netherlands. I was so happy to finally meet my pen palls and we clicked from the first moment we shaked hands. It was like I knew them already for years. Same year, in the summer I visited them at their home town Kraljevo. We had our first rehearsals together because they were invited to play in October in Skopje, Macedonia. Their drummer was serving military civil service at the moment so he couldn’t leave the country. So, I stepped in on drums. On that October 2005 we spent few furious and great days in Belgrade practicing and having fun. On 30th October 2005 we headed to Skopje, capital of Macedonia. 31st October 2005 we played in Skopje and that day was one of the best in my life. Traveling with 3 crazy guys from Kraljevo, hanging out in Skopje with FxPxOx guys and the rest of Skopje DIY hc/punk crew and playing / witnessing one of the best hc/punk shows that I have ever been or played. Also, FxPxOx and Speak Our Minds (both from Skopje) played that night and both bands were fucking incredible. That day I started to think that Vojkan, Felix and Nikola are my brothers (as much as this sound cliche but it’s the truth). In 2006 new drummer Dejan joined The Truth Of XXX (now all the members were sXe if anyone cares) and with that line up the band was very active. They played a lot of shows, recorded and released few cds and take part in few international compilations. Some of memorable shows from those times were definitely a show in Rijeka (November 2006) with Vaseline Children (where I played drums) and show in Belgrade (December 2006) with Vaseline Children, Home Sick Home (Belgrade) and Sidekicks (Kraljevo/Belgrade/Ruma) and 3 shows in Croatia – Rijeka, Varazdin and Zagreb (May 2008). In winter time of 2008 Dejan left the band, Felix was not sXe anymore and with new drummer Miki, the band decided to change the name so they become The Truth. I shared again “the stage” with The Truth guys when Junk Messiah (where I played drums) played two shows with The Truth in Sombor and Belgrade (Serbia) during December 2009. Miki left the band and the band wasn’t active in 2010. Finally, in the begining of 2011 Vojkan sent me e-mail about his plan to do two weeks tour with The Truth and Katma (band in which Vojkan played drums). The Truth didn’t have a drummer at the time… My reaction was immediately, what are you talking about, I will be your drummer! Vojkan answered that he was thinking the same thing and wanted to ask me anyway. After few rehearsals in June 2011 in Belgrade, in August we hit the road. The Truth and Katma toured and played 15 shows from 4th August to 20th August 2011 through Romania, Ukraine (8 days and 6 shows), Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovenia. The tour itself was great! Lots of cool places, people and shows and also the atmosphere in the van was cool. Again, it was one of the best episodes in our lives. After the tour we all agreed that we’ll continue to play together and that we will try to be active as much as we can (considering that now Felix live in Belgrade, Vojkan and Nikola are in Kraljevo and I’m in Zagreb). In December 2011 we recorded 3 new songs which are released on The Truth / Helltard split 10”. In 2012 we played spring tour over Croatia, Slovenia and Italy and during summer The Truth and Helltard played tour over Serbia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Slovenia. It’s so normal for me to be part of this band because, as I have said before, Vojkan, Nikola and Felix are like brothers to me. We went together through lots of good and bad times. I don’t doubt that we will experience more in the future. I’m proud to be a part of The Truth family. Vojkan, Nikola and Felix, thank you.

Gajo