We talked to the members of Eva Braun, Goran Vasovic Vaske and Petar Dolinka Pjer about their new album, pop music and their Exit Festival performance.
Interviewers: Bojana and Biljana Kovacevic
1.You released the new album on June 1, and you play songs from it regularly at your gigs. What are the audience reactions so far?
Vaske: Excellent, far beyond our expectations. “Istra” became popular at the concerts before we released the single and the video, whereas two singles before that, “U Izgnanstvu” and “Okreni Moj Broj” were already well-known to people who come to hear us. This tells us that the audience still reacts very well on Eva Braun, we might even say, better than ever. What also makes us happy is the fact that we have succeeded in keeping the same audience we got with our first album, and also gain new with each of the next ones. It was really great to see our peers next to new kinds at our concerts in Belgrade and Novi Sad.
2.It's been ten years since your last album, the surrounding changed and you changed... What made you pick up your guitars again?
Pjer : The guitars were always in our hands, we didn't stop making music even during the break. I think that what made us gather again is the knowledge that Eva Braun is more than its members individually.
Vaske : What made us? Money and midlife crisis. But seriously, we have always fet that Eva Braun didn't say all it had to say. This is the feeling we had since the first differences in opinions and attitudes, but this is something we seriously faced a couple of years ago. This is how we got back together, same crew as in the beginning.
3. Your music entails a certain dose of adolescence, defies growing up. Was it hard to identify with this feeling, so many years after? Has the inspiration changed?
Pjer : Emotions have always been raison d’etre Eve Braun, we stayed however far we could from proclaiming grand phrases, we still believe that a three-minute song as an ideal emotion medium:preach what you live. Our experience makes it easy for us to express the same emotions more simply through music, we obviously have no problems there. This is the good side of growing up.
Vaske : Someone once wrote that Eva Braun inaugurated its escapism as a legitimate artistic, but also political stand on everything that has been happening in the last decade and what is still happening to us. I'm not sure how much this is true, but I like the definition.
4. The motif of travelling is pretty strong in this album, are you getting ready for a more serious tour?
Vaske : I would like to finally play in Istra.
Pjer : We are getting ready to play wherever we can, which is one more discovery in the life of Eva Braun – we like live gigs now much more than we used to. We will probably do some concerts outside Serbia as well.
5. The song “Kamene Ruze” obviously is a pay of respect for Stone Roses; are there some more hidden pop references in this new album?
Pjer : References, as you call them, are in our country most often clues for reading songs they are used in, links to the atmosphere and the motifs, signs of times, in other words, not bare name dropping, but there with meaning and purpose.
Vaske : Eclecticism sometimes is the only way to originality and in this whole pop culture preservation, we always try to make our own mark, and make quotes and references have more to them than just eing there. Now, it’s upon the audience to estimate how successfully we do it.
6. Do you think that the period from June 1 to the beginning of the festival is long enough for your fans to learn new songs by heart? There are twenty of them…
Vaske : We will play the hits from “Playback” at our Exit gig, as well as our favourites from earlier releases. We want to give people the opportunity to get to know some of the new material, but also to hear older, famous songs.
7. What are your expectations from your Exit gig?
Vaske : We expect a successful promotion of our new album, and to have a good time
8. You joined forces with Veliki Prezir in this new album. Is there a possibility to perform this song together at the festival, considering that they are performing at Fusion as well?
Vaske : Yes, Kole and I sang “Primenjena Ljubav” together, and we are also planning to make a video for it. We still haven’t talked about performing together at Exit, I personally don’t think it will happen, but we’ll see. If it does happen, it should be a surprise.
9. Do you prefer playings in smaller venues like clubs, or bigger like festivals, where there is always more people?
Pjer : We like to play – always and everywhere. In clubs, the atmosphere is closer to r'n'r concerts archetype, whereas festivals are public joys. It all feels good, as long as we manage to play 'with no residue', to give our best.
Vaske : We noticed that our music functions equally well in both venues, each has its own charm, which is enough for us to play equally enthusiastically.
10. Are you familiar with the new music scene, and have influences on your music changed? If you could chose, which band would you book for Main Stage, what do you think is a must?
Pjer : It seems to me that we had let the current scene define our sound ever since the beginning. Now, almost twenty years and five albums later, we take a much more relaxed approach to our songs, dressing them up in what suits them the most, regardless of influences and careless to hide them, if there are any. I don't know about Main Stage, but I would like to hear Lloyda Cole or Wilco, why not.
Vaske : I'll be modest, I'd like to see Paul McCartney Fountains Of Wayne and currently the best Serbian band – Red Union.
11. Audience reacts emotionally at your concerts, probably because most of us, in our ways, identifies ith your lyrics and the motifs in them. Does writing help clear out your head?
Vaske : I try to clear my head my own way, which is not writing songs. Lyrics are most often just notes reflecting phases I'm in in the process, or simply imagination.
Pjer : It's a tough question. Writing is fun, exciting, names things, as Danilo Kis would say, but has a therapeutic effect as well. Still, it doesn't quite solve the puzzles, which is good, otherwise we would have no reason to write a new song. Sometimes, our fans admit to us that our songs helped them 'keep their head above the water', and this gives us huge satisfaction.
12. A pop song has a certain shape, always current. How hard is it to be creative within these shapes and how do you explain the fact than in last ten years, not one new band emerged playing the same type of music?
Pjer : I'll take a risk and say we 'feel' a pop song as our own shape. If this is so, that staying creative is not hard at all. After all, this is why we did not play post rock or free jazz.
Vaske : Even though we are getting ready to make a blues album.
13. What is it in the air in Vojvodina that makes people turn to pop?
Pjer : I am not sure there is a specific 'Vojvodinian approach', but I think that the lack of expoure to metropolitan trends and inevitable gurus did us well. So many bands fell through for this reason.
Vaske : Exactly. I'd say that the path we chose seems harder cos we never accepted being put into certain groups or being a part of 'a crew', and I think that this attitude, more precisely contempt for passing trends made us survive to the date.
14. How much does Dolinka love his guitar? To the moon?
Pjer : I am speechless
Vaske : Dolinka likes nobody and nothing. To the moon.