Obala Art Center

It is saturday 29th November 1997
At Obala Club,
Protest for those who have an invitation !!!

 An explosive set, an extravagance singer, a tight sound and a overcrowded hall accompany Protest till the end of their CD presentation. Music for kids and for grown ups..
 As critical as I always am, the band surprises me because I stay till the end. Well done. There are enough things happening that holds me from taking some fresh air. Not too much talks in between, a good presentation with sound and light without becomming pompous. “Protest does not protest like they did before” I hear some people say but I know there is always a reason to complain about something. Protest played with U2 and made a little problem by telling the crowd that it all sucks, U2 sucks, Sikter sucks, Protest sucs and you suck. Singer Damir is a little loose.
 This is the first in a row about the Obala Art centre surrounding. The surrounding thas organizes the Sarajevo Filmfestival, that organized the U2 concert, that does too many things to write down at ones. We were happily surprised by this Protest group that we invited them right away. A critique of this CD and many other balkan music can be found on http://www.dse.nl/2B/hhs/sarajevo/sabalkon.htm<
 Every appointmaent needs it’s time in Sarajevo and at the third time we meet Emin, bassplayer of the group. This is a story of a group that has something to say. With or without a war pushed in.

E: Emin Volode
V: Vedran
M: Martin

At Obala Club,

V: Protest?
E: Protest... euh.. Well, euh... in the beginning there was no name, there were some ideas. Then, by chance, it turned out to be “Protest”. Later on we found out that it might be the name of it that got us together. Actually, at the end it got the final meaning. I‘m in it since 1991. And I know that we never thought about it. We have not planned how should we act referring to Protest, nor that Protest should mean that we‘re going to be like that. It simply turned out that we are the ones and the name came out the right way.
V: can music be a weapon in your protest?
E: Off course it is. Music itself, and everything we are doing, is in fact our weapon. We fight against nonsense, primitivism, against the rules that are pushed to us, but the fact that they‘re pushed or forced to us doesn‘t mean they suit everyone. It clearly means - let everyone have their own conscience, let everyone say what he wants to say. We, after all, are doing what we want to do, and, well, if someone wants to join us and take our side - OK. And if there‘s people that don‘t - they don‘t have to, let them do things their way, but we just don‘t want them to be people that don‘t use their heads to think.
It is a weapon, it is a tool. Well, now, is that tool being used? ‘Cause weapons usually means “kill” or “defend yourself”. In fact, we defend ourselves with it, but we also attack with it.
V: Tell me a little bit about how your CD was made, the process of making songs, recording...? Have you made any contracts?
E: You know how it is. Some songs were made a long time ago - some of them before the war, some during and some after the war, so that this CD is a collection of what we’ve done so far. We chose - there are some songs we don’t play any more, for some we decided not to put on CD.
As far as the CD itself is concerned - it came out by accident. Just after our mini-tour through Slovenia a couple of days after we’ve returned from a concert in Ljubljana, Slovenians said “..do you want to make recordings.... we’ve got some money..”. We had our hopes, everyone has a wish to do something, some day. We’ve been thinking about having a single -at least- and hoping for it since years. After all, for seven years doing the same thing.
 The worst thing was that there were some people over here (in Sarajevo) that we’ve asked for some way of support, but we never got it in such a way. That’s why we’ve accepted the idea of some people in Slovenia, because someone finally showed up whose interested in what we‘re doing. They‘ve provided part of the money needed, we‘ve calculated that more was needed so we searched for the cheapest option in which we would also do as much as possible. We were limited both with time and money.
 -We all know it could have been done better, but having our budget in mind we are more than satisfied with it and it motivates us to carry on. We knew we needed more... there were some things we didn‘t know that we know now...
M: The CD was released by Zalozba FV?
E: It was their project. They‘ve asked us where would we like to record this. First suggestion actually was in Slovenia, but it was too expensive, the second one was to do it in Zagreb, to bring us and the producer to Zagreb, which would also be quite costly; so we‘ve decided that it would be good to do it here, in Sarajevo. Technically it was OK here, but the only problem was - who will be the producer here? And that‘s why we asked Señor  Babic (Babo) from Ilirska Bistrica(SLO) to come. He has made the best sound on our live performances in Slovenia. We suggested him to the people from SOROS in SLO, they called him - he accepted their offer and that‘s how we made a team.
They call him Slovenian Steve Albini.
M: Forget Steve Albini. He‘s good.
E: Absolutely. For sure. V: As far as your CD is concerned, where is it going to be distributed, to which market?<
E: A total of 1000 CD‘s are printed. We have made a deal with Zalozba FV that they get 500 copies, and we as a band got 500 CD‘s. So, what does that mean in terms of obligations - you would ask. Well, it means that, on behalf of Zalozba, Monika distributes our CD on Slovenia market, but it‘s all up to us to sell our part wherever we find a possibility or where people will search for them. We get nothing from the part they are to sell and they get nothing from our share. As far as I know they‘re already being sold in Slovenia. We also had some negotiation with Aleksandar Glavas from Zagreb, I think till now only some people got them for promotional purposes.
V: Does all that mean that there might be some reprinting done eventually?
E: Well...You know what....The thing is that the whole budget for this project was a matter of donation. The expenses were covered half by Slovenian SOROS, and half by BiH SOROS. Slovenian part covered expenses of printing CD‘s, making covers etc. Local SOROS paid the costs of the studio and wages for Babo. So the budget is spent on that and we don‘t have the money to go into reprinting. From the small number of CD‘s that we have we‘re counting that at least 150 or more will go for promotional purposes, which means that about 300 will be for sale - and what can you do with that? We have a desire for reprinting, but if we decide for such a thing to be done, we won‘t be printing on CD‘s. I am more into recording cassettes. It is because of the money problems that young people in BiH in general are facing that cassettes are more appropriate for everybody. The price of our CD is 35 DM in Slovenia and it might be about 30 DM in Croatia, which I know is not affordable for most people here. Anyway,  we‘ve had thoughts about investing the money that we get from the CD‘s left into reprinting. We‘ll see how things work out here - if people are buying our CD‘s or not, if they‘re not - is it because of the price or because of lack of interest... We‘ll see...
M: We already have some answers to questions like who supports the R‘nR scene. For example, SOROS...
E: SOROS has helped and helps in some ways and as far as I know they will continue with that.
Many helped indirectly. For example Radio ZID (project ”Rock Under Siege”), Obala Klub, Klub KUK, they have been providing, in their own ways, some support or some money. And that is really something you have to appreciate because when you have nothing - everything you get is welcome. We can‘t be ungrateful. But the help we got from Slovenia is just the help that the music scene in BiH needs - concrete things. It doesn‘t matter if that means money for recordings or some equipment or distribution.
M: We‘ve talked about your tour in Slovenia and some contacts in Croatia. Have you played outside former Yugoslavia?
E: Yes, after “Rock Under Siege”, September 1995 we went outside Bosnia for the first time. It was in the Czech Republic during the “Days of Bosnian Culture” manifestation. We went there with some other bands like SCH, Lezi Majmune, Beastly Stroke, but it wasn‘t the real thing because only SCH and Beastly Stroke were complete. The drummer of Lezi Majmune and my brother couldn‘t have sorted all the necessary papers to get out of Sarajevo.
 After that we were in Berlin with some other bands from Bosnia. There we played five or six gigs on some squares during young peoples demonstration against the German Army. Because some young people had to face military obligation that they didn‘t have before.
M: Yes, because when Berlin was apart everybody who lived in Berlin didn‘t have to go to the army. The result was that everybody that didn‘t  want to go to the army went to Berlin....
E: Yes. And they came to us ‘cause they knew that we came from Sarajevo, that we were in the war, so they’ve just asked us to play. And we’ve played on four or five gigs in one day and it was all over Berlin. It was during the whole day on demonstrations and it was really good. So that was our second trip.
M: That was also with help of  Rudiger Rossig?
E: Yeah. And after that we went to Slovenia. After that we were in Germany again, but this time in Munich. Then we went once more to Berlin - played a gig over there.... After that comes Slovenia, then Croatia where we played at Art Music Festival in Pula and that was the last of our visits outside BiH
V: I have another kind of question for you. What is your opinion about the competition in Sarajevo and in Bosnia in general?
E: In BiH? Well, you know what is the worst thing here? It is a fact that in order to have the competition, bands must exist to create that competition. And for today, in the conditions that are as they are right now, I cannot see that.
There’s one band that’s working like we are, and that is Sikter. We can’t be in competition with Sikter and they can’t be the same as us. People see things wrong. I mean, we play different styles of music. In the same way it is so that Beck can’t be competition to Metallica ‘cause they different types of music. Metallica and, for example, Pantera are metal bands and they’re competition to other metal bands. Madonna is not in a competition to Metallica!
M: I’m not quite sure if that is true, but I think that, as  idea, you and Sikter are more partners than opposition?
E: Yeah, but the problem is  the people that are around the musicians. Everything that we and Sikter play, and that some other bands over here were playing, are in such kind of a stream that you could call it alternative or underground or whatever. And within that there are also so many substreams, so that means that we can’t be, actually some kind of competition with each other. I have to go back to the question that Vedran asked me - is there competition in BiH, is it noticeable? Well, so far I can’t see such a thing in Bosnia. But it would be useful to have that. From one point of view, if you have quantity - you will have quality after all.
M: I think we made the question because... Well, I thought about this question because I also know that there are some young bands in Sarajevo which did not appear during the war but afterwards -  Ricochet for example - people about 20 years old, and they face quite some difficulties when they go to clubs like Bock or Obala. Because they’re not an established band and therefore they have very little chances. And that is one reason why the question was there. The other reason is also that there are other bands in Mostar, Zenica or Travnik for example, and I hear people speak that in Sarajevo they say : A band from Travnik- that cannot be good. And this is, let’s say, also a form of competition but based on ego and used for to make oneself bigger.
E: Yes, yeah... I know. I could answer to both of your questions. First of all, you can see, in us for example. We played for seven years, that means we’ve also faced the same problems when we were beginning. We didn’t even have guitars but we were called ourselves a band. And we were making music, making lyrics. And we still have the same problem - we don’t have all the equipment we need. By that I don’t mean PA’s and that kind of things, I do not even have my own amplifier yet.

There is also talks about some project that will help new bands without looking if they were playing in the war or not. For the new bands, I hope it will start and it will work so everybody will be more satisfied, but what does it mean? If you believe in yourself that means you have to be sure what you really need, and want and you will stay there, in your life. That means someday you will have something.
You can’t have something over night. Even now I know we are in the beginning. It’s nothing.
Second part of your question, about bands from other towns. It is a problem. And I know that. Those bands have to prove persons who are around the music scene that they are still existing.
If you believe in your thing there will be a little people who understand what you are trying. But if you work years and years they will realize that it is not a stupidity.
One advise: continue with your work, what ever happens around you, you will still have the same problems, there is not yet anyone who wants to help these artists, even in Sarajevo. So that means you have to deal with the problems yourself. As far as you believe in yourself you exist. Many of those young bands give up too soon.
If you want to be with someone, if you want to be with that girl, you have to be around her and try to find a way to get her, if you really want her. But if you say: Well fuck her I will find another, there are a lot of girls.... There could be a lot of bands. You have to express yourself.

We like the comparison.      

Protest is: 

Vedad Voloder (Dado)- Lead guitar player;
>Damir Nevesinjac - Vocals;
Admir Dzevlo (Atko) - Drums
Emin Voloder - Bass.

Protest CD called : Jedvanosimsoboakalomistobo
“Ik kan amper mezelf dragen dus zeker jou niet.”

Dajanli Ibrahimbega 4/V
71000 Sarajevo