by Hard Art
First of all, could you tell us little bit about Zagrobs history?
Old photographs of Zagreb have contributed to my inner explorations, and intuitive creation of Zagrob. Zagrob is expansion of these old photographs, a time portal, connecting past, present and future, a way to escape. I experienced inner transformations through making music. For me it is an alchemical process, a way to improve and evolve.
In your music I can hear some influences of Psychic TV s "Themes" series, early Novy Svet albums and some occult ambient sounds. What bands inspired you when you started making music as Zagrob. What music do you listen to now?
I always loved Psychic TV, but due to their extensive opus I never got to hear "Themes", I stumbled upon this boxset in a local store just recently, I'll have to give it a listen. Novy Svet was significant as inspiration when I started making music, especially Aspiral III, Faccia a Faccia and Cuori di Petrolio. In an earlier interview with Santa Sangre I did mention more of my early influences, like NON, The moon lay hidden beneath the cloud etc.
Today I listen mostly classical music, ritual, electro, French chansons, a wide range of genres, depending on my mood. When I have periods of creativity, I dedicate completely to creating my own music and I reject any external influence.
One of the advantages of Zagrob is the usage of Croatian language. In this way your music sounds more original and interesting. What made you decide to stay with your native language? Do you treat your voice like another instrument? What are your lyrics about?
I like to use Croatian for many reasons. It is a beautiful and complex language, it gives me the opportunity to play with words, it is my native tongue, it comes naturally. I enjoy making tribute to my motherland in this way, by expanding cultural influence.
Sometimes I use my voice to get a point across and sometimes simply to extend given idea with sounds that lie dormant inside my head which can't be produced by any other instrument imaginable.
It is too complex to discuss my lyrics as a whole as every song has a life of its own; there are some themes and bridges that could be vaguely connected. Some describe my altered states in a way nobody could ever suspect, and some have more narrative nature. Some songs intentionally lie, and some songs have subliminal context and are interconnected in a way.
Some time ago you told me about your other work inspired by Tibetan Book of Dead. In the meantime on your myspace you shared some other songs which sounded little bit like military pop stuff. What else you hide in your archive? What will new album be like?
I have produced many hours of music over the past few years. Music inspired by Tibetan chants is almost complete and waiting in corner. I like to think of it as if I am making wine.
"Vječni Stan" was maturing for six years, and today, it's like taking a time machine back to the old days.
Military pop stuff was just my need to play around with something different.
New album is hard to describe. For me it is a journey that takes place in an alternative history, a story of love hate relations between old world continents where I try to merge the contradictory philosophical viewpoints in a marriage of ambivalent unity. It's an idea that is still evolving.
I really like your demo "Zagrob" from 2006 which you made available for free download. Is there a chance to have this material on CD or viny?
I could publish the demo on vinyl someday, if there will be any respectful labels interested.
Some time ago you lived in Paris. What are the differences of living in Croatia and France? Please share with us some interesting bands, acts of these cities.
Paris was too crowded for my taste. I love their cultural advancements and gourmet lifestyle, beautiful sun bathed parks and architecture, but it seems to me that Paris that I would prefer is dead for a century now. I guess being an expansionist society with slave colonies takes its toll in the end.
In Croatia I found my peace once more.
For me I-C-K "Intrinsic Violence" is one of the most significant industrial album on French territory, I also have to mention Derniere Volonte, Les Joyaux de la Princesse and Land trilogy "Praha", "Budapest", "Wien". Not so long ago I discovered obscure project from Paris called Cronique Nocturne, and soon after moving to Paris I met masterminds behind it. One evening I stumbled upon Zoviet France performing in Palais de Tokyo, which was a pleasant surprise. I met many people in the scene, and I have seen many interesting concerts during my stay.
Croatia still has to unfold its story, there are many enthusiasts, unpublished and never revealed to public.
You collaborate and help other projects like DaevaDoll, Umrijeti Za Strojem, Shaita... Could you tell us a bit more about these projects?
All of them are my very close friends, and DaevaDoll is Karla who also contributed to my work. DaevaDolls music tells the personal story of perverted love, and sometimes encapsulating old Slavic mythology and perversion of humanity. DaevaDoll was born through Zagrob, in 2007. We made a collaboration track called Ušušur which we presented one time only on Ušušur festival in Sisak. This song marked an early beginning of DaevaDoll's distinctive style. Daevadoll is a pure experiment of sound exploration, and some sounds used were old forgotten and never used samples of Zagrob.
Under the name of Umrijeti za Strojem hides Ivan, a former member of Narrow, today also working under the name 1/2. He founded a small label called Half releases, dedicated to releasing DIY artists from this territory, covering mostly our friends and people from the scene. He was discovered by some interesting labels like TUT/RUR and Genetic Music who decided to re-master his old tapes from 90es and release them on vinyl. His work is entirely based on recording with tapes (today also on minidisc), which provides him with an interesting process of creating sounds.
His beginnings of experimentation I could compare to Esplendor Geometrico of which he was completely unaware of at the time. I have restored and re-mastered "Mekanismo Va Morir" demo tape, which was a precursor to Narrow, also made in tandem with Robi (former member of Narrow), unfortunately I always failed in my attempts to persuade Ivan to release it.
As a great aesthete, he combined both his music and graphic design with his political and philosophical views and he created a grand art manifesto, which will be heard by generations to come.
Shaita is a new project that's been around for some time and has recently published a full length debut album on No Emb Blanc. I produced that album, and hopefully I will others to come. She creates personal music, entwined with melancholy and strong emotions.
I also have to mention Night at Noon from Houston who just released debut album on Noctivagant label. Brian and I made a track together called Alpha back in 2009. Night at Noon creates music which transcends earthly consciousness, I can't wait to hear the new album.
Last words belong to you...