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Sivosten webZine :: Exclusive: Siddharta @ Sivosten webZine
Exclusive: Siddharta @ Sivosten webZine

Authors: Angel Genchev, Lyuben "LifeJoker" Zagorchev, Monday, 08 October 2007.

In Articles :: Music; Propose a Second Opinion

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The most popular Slovenian rock band nowadays, Siddharta, started their career a dozen years ago. Ever since the difficult first steps, their recordings went on an improvement curve, from the underground to the diamond records of Rh- in Slovenia and the MTV Adria nominations.

Siddharta have already launched five successful albums their latest, Petrolea, several months ago and a handful of EPs and videos, even a concert with a symphonic orchestra, completing their unique profile on stage. Together with the use of non-conventional instruments, as the saxophone or trumpet sometimes, they continue singing in their melodic native language, except for the Rh- Special Edition in English.

For more detailed history, information and even song samples, you can visit their own website at www.sidharta.net, available in the remarkable diversity of eight languages.

Petrolea, 2006
Produced by: Zare Pak and Siddharta

Line-up: Bostjan M. - drums, percussion, Cene R. - saxophone, ewi, Jani H. - bass, percussion, Primoz B. - guitar, Tomaz O. R. - keyboards, programming, Tomi M. - vocals, guitar

1. Ohm; 2. Domine; 3. Il a modras; 4. Mr. Q; 5. Neznano; 6. Homo Carnula; 7. Plastika; 8. Tria; 9. Disco deluxe; 10. Brezokoff; 11. Gnan; 12. Male roke

Whoever needs an introduction to the Siddharta music itself, they could only have in mind, that this is probably the most significant alternative rock band from the whole former Yugoslavia. I am sure that one would appreciate their last album, Petrolea, because of the professional recording and production, the unique style and easy to remember riffs. Powerful epic music will enrich the atmosphere in your room when you flow with the melody of true rock giants, a status, which Siddharta achieved with this album. Probably this is their best production since they first appeared on the underground scene, a result of hard work.

On my question if there was some slight difference or change of style in this particular album, for it sounds at least somewhat harder, Siddharta themselves said:

"Every album of ours is a bit different from one another. Petrolea has a more rough, primal sound to it, less produced and polished. Maybe that is the reason why it feels heavier. One thing is certain, it is more of a long-run record... you'll appreciate its details with multiple listening sessions."

I could describe Petrolea as a modern form of punk wave, sometimes reminding me of local stars from Bulgaria as New Generation and even Diana Express. A dominating bass, tender melodies and melancholic vocals in the native Slovenian language - this is surely a fine piece of modern rock, and even though I cant point a particular hit, the whole album is worth listening to, from the first to the last song.

We had the opportunity to ask the band a few more questions. Heres what they said:

- Do you have in mind changing your style in any way or are you happy with your music as it is?

Hopefully we'll evolve as musicians and together with that come the changes. Are they intentional or not is very subjective. We need to be happy with our music at all times, otherwise there's no point in doing that music... I mean, you can easily become a craftsman if you follow the general demand and create solely for commercial reasons.

- We had quite of a conversation - do you use some traditional or folk rhythms in your songs? And what do you think about the "Balkan" style of music at all?

Since we are slavic, it is no wonder you can spot some traditional mojo in it. However, that is not done intentionally. If we like the melody we come up with, we'll use it regardless of the resemblance to the ancient slavic roots. But I must say that there are loots of celtic influences in our music as well... maybe even more that slavic.

What the Balkan music is concerned, the so called turbo stuff we don't like. Otherwise Balkan has a lot to offer... musically and otherwise.

- What have you been influenced by?

Oh, plenty. It varies from Beatles, classical music, through Metallica, Guns'n'Roses, Nirvana, some jazz standards... the list goes on and on. Usually, you are mostly influenced by the music you listen to in your adolescent era.

- Can you mention some Slovenian bands, similar to you?

Some good bands are Dan D, Tabu, Big Foot Mama, Laibach, Srecna Mladina, Gusti in Polona,...

- How can you describe your local underground scene, joint or disunited?

It's hard to describe it. It's a small market for any kind of music and it's quite difficult to maintain an underground status.

- Do you feel yourselves like stars?

No. Having musical success is the result of hard work and many sleepless nights. Therefore we know where we came from and can respect the things that are happening to us. I like to believe that the stardom hasn't changed us.

- Because here, in Bulgaria, it is very difficult to release an album with high quality for an underground artist, how was the situation for you?

It was difficult with the first album Id. We were still attending school and we spent all our summer job money for a professional studio. That's why it took us almost two years to finish it... and we were not in the studio all that time.

With next albums it was easier, since we gained recognition, we signed with a record label and had lots of live shows.

- We have a proverb in Bulgaria - "A musician cannot feed his family". So do you earn enough to live on your music, or you still have to work?

We have a similar proverb here as well. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, it's a small market with limited purchase power. That's why it's hard to live up to the status that we have musically.

- What do you think about the membership of Slovenia in the EU? Is there a positive effect on the development of young bands from your scene? I think that the EU will probably offer broader opportunities in that aspect.

Ah, doubtfully. Europe is flooded with good bands and the competition is fierce. A positive thing is that Slovenia probably gained more recognition and that the borders are opening (there are no more equipments forms to fill in order to cross the border for a gig).

- What about your popularity in Western Europe or the USA? You have already made several concerts in Germany and Central Europe as well, but could Eastern European scene face the German, English and American competition and hegemony?

Music has no boundaries. Sure thing that western countries have more purchase power, but the way we see things is that we would like to cruise the whole world and share our music and all its side-effect with everybody... regardless of nationality.

- Maybe a concert in Bulgaria? I hope so.

We hope so too.

- I ought to ask - have you ever been to Bulgaria? And if you have - what do you have to mention. Or if you haven't - would you like to?

I passed through Bulgaria once when I was just a little boy, but I can't remember anything. Nevertheless I've heard that you have beautiful beaches and that summertime is lots of fun.

- And again, about the importance of the Japanese rock music market. Do you consider it an opportunity, for it is almost unexploited? Or do you neglect it as non-important.

As I said earlier, every market is of most importance. We havent had a chance to visit Japan yet... would love to do it some day.

- What do you think about music piracy? And does it really steal from the musician, or may it be a positive factor for the popularization of a newly formed band?

First of all, music piracy is stealing! However it can have also positive side-effects. It can gain recognition for a newcomer, but as you know most of the music that is downloaded is mainstream, already established bands. If you come across a new band and you cannot buy their music legally, it sure comes in handy to have it downloaded and therefore you can spread the bands popularity by promoting it to your friends.


This interview was conducted via email by Angel Genchev and Lyuben Zagorchev. Special thanks to Siddharta manager, Mr. Iztok Kurnik for his outstanding help and patience.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=190561#190561

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