Melete sunt o trupa de hardcore (ca sa nu intru prea adanc in subgenuri) din Slovenia ce ne vor vizita pe 29 mai in cadrul unui concert alaturi de Shades Of Grey (crust-Suedia) si Pavilionul 32 (kings of fast hc/punk din RSR). Alex (MPTY ZINE/COERCION) a stat de vorba cu ei si ce a iesit puteti citi mai jos. See ya in the pit!
MPTY ZINE:Hey guys! How’s it going? Back from touring?
Luka: Well now the tour looks far behind us and we are into booking the ex-YU tour with our friends from Sand Creek Massacre. also we are planing an longer tour which will hit the Eastern part of Europe up to the Baltics! Plus some short tours in the end of May but nothing is sure now, so I won`t tell you more. In the last weeks we didn’t practice a lot since I was putting all my energy in my other band. But with the new year we will start practicing again and writing some new songs. 2010 will be a busy year!
Jaka: Hey! It`s been a while from our last tour in September, we had a really really awesome time and I must say I can`t wait for February and May.
Andrej: Yeeah, we came back already in September. It was a blast, but now is time to book new tours. We will be touring in Februry and April/May.
Jure: I’m also fine. Yeah, time is passing so fast and we are in front of a new trip through the Balkan countries. We’ll be touring with another band for the first time, so I can’t wait for it to happen. It will be nice to see some old friends and meet new ones, because touring is all about making new contacts for us.
2. Tell us a bit about the band. How long have you been together?
We started in March 2008 as a three piece. Two of our bands disbanded. I sang in the band called Akedeia, Jure and Jaka played in old school thrashers What They Fear. Since all of us were without band at the time we decided to start Melete. After some rehearsals we went to search for the singer and since Luka is a good friend of ours and he also sings in Human Host Body we asked him. So, in May Luka joined the handsome trio and we started for real. We changed two already made songs, wrote new ones and hit the stage in the end of October the same year.
3. So tell us, how is it being an eastern european outspoken hardcore band going on a tour in 2009? Do you think that it’s getting more convenient and confortable or harder?
Luka: I don’t see us an Eastern European band. We are just a band in a millions of band around. Maybe for someone in Germany we are an exotic band because there are not that many bands touring from the ex-YU area and they have shitloads of bands going on tour only on Western Europe, which in a way it is reasonable because you usually get enough money and that is something essential for a touring band. The way we feel about touring Western Europe is that there are so many bands passing through that we fill just one of the passing bands in a million of them. That’s why we love more to go on „not that common” tours. The main reason is that when you play a gig in an village in the middle of nowhere in Eastern Europe you feel that enthusiasm and passion which is hard to find in a place where they have 3 to 4 HC gigs in a week, some places are just overloded with HC punk gigs. We didn’t have problems booking any of our tours and we never get a feeling be an Eastern Europe band. Well we couldn’t get gigs in Italy but that is another story, hehe.
Andrej: To be honest, i don’t see us as a Eastern band nor the western. We are 4 guys who have some common ideas, play that kind of music, love touring… I don’t understand why all this west hype. I saw some really great bands from Eastern part of Europe. If you ask me some of them would be really HUGE band if they would be from the States or i don’t know where.
Jaka: I think today for bands from Eastern Europe is getting easier and easier to tour, especially because of the internet, world seems smaller and it`s easier to get in touch with promoters and stuff. But I think there is still a difference between a German or Swedish band and a band from Romania or Slovenia trying to book a tour…
4. It’s all about the message, right? Tell us about this message you’re sending out.
Andrej: Yes, it’s all about the message. Mostly Luka writes lyrics, and we all contributed for the booklet. Luka can tell more about the message and his lyrics.
Jaka: It is mostly about how we feel about hardcore punk scene, about friendship and love, but also what we don`t like about it. There are also some more personal lyrics, which I think Luka should tell more about them.
Luka: Sure, it is all about the message because we are shitty musicians, hehe. Our message is connected to the scene we come from and also we are thankfull to that „scene” because we find our friendship in it and these band is a product of it. Some lyrics are about how we feel about the scene and what we think is right and wrong. We are a DIY band and we saw that this is the way it works best for us and the way things should be done to keep a genuine scene. Punk was always about politics and that’s the way it should be. When there is no message and commitment you get just a „pop” product that exist just to be consumed and that is a basic of the post-industrial society. Punk was always an counter-culture, by that it was something aginst the mainstream culture/society. So to make it short when you wear Nike shoes and act like a „macho” you kill HC.
5. How’s the slovenian scene? Passionate and angry kids?
Luka: Slovenian scene is small and you can find some kids who have the passion and anger, but unfortunatly there are not that many. I miss new kids in the scene. On most of the gigs you see always the same faces which it gets boring. There are many folks who come and go and they are just in it because it was cool to be a hardcore kid at that time and so on. The thing that bothers me the most is that there are lots of people that think to be HC by wearing sweatshop clothes and shoes and going on gigs where stupid bands play for shitloads of money, but I explain it before.
Jaka: Hm…Slovenian scene is pretty cool for a small country. I have to agree with what Luka wrote about people coming and leaving this scene, but i think that`s a problem everywhere, not just in Slovenia. And I was also suprised to see how many people go to shows in Germany or any other bigger country and it`s much worse then here… And again like Luka said we have a strong macho hardcore scene which is in my opinion giving hardcore a bad name… Bands play for shitloads of money and act really arogant and they are just another rockstars… that`s not what hardcore is about…
Jure: I agree with that, but I’d also like to add that here is too much rivalry between the bands and we have some cities with their separated scenes. I really miss united hardcore scene here in Slovenia.
Andrej: OK, Luka and Jaka said it all, so I will only listed some good bands. Definitely check: In-sane, Final Approach, Aktivna Propaganda, Elodea, Human Host Body, Nikki Louder, Growing Rats, Acrid Sunday… Here I would only like to add, that sadely we don’t have zine scene. There is almost no fanzines or if we are lucky every now and then there comes one.
6. Tell us about how you distribute your material. I saw some great vinyls at your concert (unfortunately i don’t have a pick-up).
Andrej: How we distribute our material? Mostly with playing a lot of gigs. If you play a lot, people hear for you, they come to your concerts, maybe buy your record… We also trade a lot, so we have a small distro by ourselves right now. We released our 7″ by ourselves, we payed for everything. Even though this release is a financial disaster we don’t give a fuck. We sell, trade, or give for free our 7″. We would only like to spread our music and ideas. I think we gave more records than we sold, hehehehe… But if someone would like to have our record and have no money we give it to him/her.
Jure: Yes, we’re doing everything on our own. We decided for that way because it’s the way we like. Although we are really young band, we wanted so bad to release that 7inch, so we didn’t even try with any labels. So, now we have to care about trades. We try to send around as much records as we can.
7. Did you get to play with any of the slovenian bands Andrej said about?
Jaka: We played with Acrid Sunday last summer at Pumpa squat for our good friend`s birthday, and with Growing Rats on our 7inch release party. It’s always awesome to play with friends from Slovenia, but that happens rarely… Right now we have another show planned with Acrid Sunday in Dravograd and I`m really looking forward to that, these guys are awesome!
Andrej: I think Jaka said everything. The thing is, that we don’t play so much here in Slovenia. Melete is a touring band, and only from time to time we play a show in Slovenia.
8. So why IS the scene in Slovenia seperated? Personal issues?
Jaka: I don`t know…everyone go just to one type of shows, there’s not really that much supporting DIY shows, it depends only on the bands which are playing…and some people are just too lazy to go to shows outside of their own town…I dont know, that’s just my opinion.
Andrej: Huh, I don’t know the answer on this one. But I think that everywhere is the same. Crusties hate emo kids, punk rock is way too pop for old school freaks and so on. For me it doesn’t really matter. I listen shitload of music and support all the bands which are DIY. I will go to a grind or screamo show. If band is good and I think it’s worth supporting them, I will go to see them.
Luka: The thing is that people are close-minded, so you have a group of people who goes only on one kind of shows and so on. A few years ago folks would go on a gig where ever it would be, but nowadays everyone is lazy and no one is moving his ass to see a gig out of his towns. Everything is centralized in Ljubljana, which sucks!
9. Why couldn’t you get tours in Italy? (you were expecting that, right?:) )
Jaka: Yes in a way we were expecting that, but still we thought that we would get some shows because of some friends… turned out they`re not really friends hehe. No seriously i don`t know what`s with Italy… every band that passes it has either bad experiences or doesn’t get a show at all (of course there are some exepctions).
Andrej: Another tricky one. Bwooo, don’t know, but I heared a lot of bands have problems getting shows there.
Luka: In Italy the situation is bad, since lots of squats are being evicted and lots of them stop working or lost the enthusiasm. Many places focused on electronic music and partys. Also if you are not a big band is hard to get gigs. We played only in Trieste which is 20min far from my home and the gig was made by our friends from PianoEarthquake… check them out!
10 Now that we’re on touring: where do you enjoy playing the most?
Jaka: That`s hard to say… every town has its own charm… everywhere you go it’s a new experience and you feel good that you’re there. Sometimes the show is bad and you get awesome food and meet awesome people sometimes it’s the other way around and sometimes everything is so weird that you just can`t stop laughing about it. 🙂 So there’s always something that makes it special and that’s why I think I don’t want to name just a few…
Andrej: Yes, every country is great. Personally I enjoyed everywhere, but still you can see differences between Eastern countries and Western ones. I don’t care, I just wanna tour, hehehehe.
Luka: Touring is always fun and everywhere is magic.
Jure: Personally I was quite surprised when we toured Poland. People there were so nice and friendly. And if I’m more precise we played our best show in Nowy Sacz where the audience went crazy. We cannot believe about their response, it was awesome.
11. As you said, it’s not easy making a living off hardcore and still keeping it DIY. Like, how about you: Do you work in regular jobs? Or can you survive off the music?
Jaka: Not really… we are all still in school (pretty much :)). I work just some small jobs, and i think there’s no waaay you can survive of the music. 😀
Andrej: OK, I will add something here. I will correct Jaka a bit. Basically I am not in school anymore, I have to finish my degree, but I am doing it for 3 years now, so I don’t call my self a student anymore. I do part time jobs when we are not on tour, and I must admit that from time to time I have enough of everything. I am constantly poor, can hardly earn enough money to survive. And sometimes Ii just wanna quit with Melete and stuff like that. But in the end I always think, come on, this is the only thing I really enjoy doing, and than we go on tour again and I see what is worth living for. We always lose money on tours, and with recording, and releasing stuff, but in the
end it doesn’t really matter, I enjoy doing that every single second and I don’t care losing money on it.
Luka: There is no chance to be DIY and survive, only if you work hard as fuck, but than it will lose all charm and become another management business thing. I think that only thinking about making money out of music in the punkrock scene is wrong. We are extremely happy if we get enough to cover all expenses, but it didn’t happened yet. Well if I answer the rest of the question… I work in a youth center in my town and is cool because I can work when I want and how much I want.
Jure: Exactly I’m the only one who is reguarly in school. 🙂
12. Having fun on the tour? 🙂
Jaka: YEEEEEEES!! Really the best thing that I experienced and I think nothing can beat that. 🙂 You meet so many awesome people, meet old friends, see so many places, become even better friends with people in the van… everything is just so exciting, that I cannot even describe it with words, it’s just something you have to go through to see what I’m trying to say.
Andrej: Like I said already. Touring is the best thing that happened to me in my life. Meeting people, seeing places, having fun with other band members… priceless!!!!!!!
Jure: The last tour we made with Sand Creek Massacre was the funniest tour we ever went through, because there were 13 people touring in 2 vans. These Dutch guys and girls are fuckin’ amazing and we love them!
13. Thanks a lot for the interview guys! Anything to add?
Jaka: Thanks a lot to you for doing this interview, we really appreciate it! 🙂 Hope to see you in Romania in May. 😉
Andrej: Hey, thank you for showing interest in our band. We really appreciate it and hope to see you in May.
Alex vs Melete – aprilie 2010
ascultati si cititi ceva despre ei aici
interviul va putea fi citit in MPTY ZINE 13/2010 ce va aparea pe 17 mai 2010.
alte interviuri: Stuck In A Rut (fast/hc/punk-Romania), Soberphobia (oi/street punk-Grecia), La Muchedumbre (ska/punk-Bulgaria).
all the pictures are taken from Melete website.