"This is the column about the Hardcore Novi Sad scene and interview with the RC crew from local newspapers "Dnevnik" on Sunday, June 19, 2011. Big THANKS comes to Borko from Conviction for translating this article" - Bojan
In Novi Sad, it all started to roar back in 1983, when the punk scene witnessed the appearance of Vrisak Generacije, being a band different, tougher and faster than others. Gaga and the crew, looking up to Discharge, GBH and other similar British hardcore punk bands of those times, made a huge impression on people wherever they played. Mister Joint was mingling with the hardcore sound, but Kapetan Lesi was definitely the first band from Novi Sad that based its influences on American hardcore. Their songs could easily be added to the Minor Threat discography. Immediately afterwards, a hardcore grind band Fear of Dog hit the scene, leaving a strong impression. Then, the 90s came and brought numerous young bands such as Mitesers, Prolece, Kataklizma Zvuka, Serum ID, Fat Mama Sex, Buka za Decu, Chronic Infection, No Speed Limit etc. It all lasted for less than a decade, when nothing but silence overtook the scene. Lockdown, as a band, appeared in these hard, “sceeneless” times, being one of prime hardcore bands from this part part of the world.
Photo above: Rebuild collective
Sholja: After years of sleepiness and apathy on the scene, we have decided to organize ourselves, strengthen our bonds and connections, improve our communication and build a sense of community through our own diversities. The hardcore of today has many subgenres but the idea and the message are the same. Rebuild Collective was founded, being a fellowship of friends enjoying music, organizing gigs with bands which share the same attitudes, both from our country and from abroad, make fanzines, take photos from concerts and organize movie projections, promoting all that hardcore music is. All that we do we finance on our own, doing it all out of love and passion for hardcore, in order to help one another and provide insight for younger people who are into this kind of music. This is our time and our “Hardcore Novi Sad” scene. We want the scene to be as good as possible, inspiring people and helping them feel good during the events that we organize and to remember that we improve ourselves as individuals, taking care of one another since this is the only way of creating a productive society the name of which we will proudly carry within our hearts.
This is how it all started:
I remember I made friends with a guy from the Boulevard who played a VHS cassette to me, containing a live footage of a daytime concert in the Garuda club. That was unimaginable for me, seeing people in Judge, Youth of Today, Ignite and other such T-shirts, creating an atmosphere worthy of any hardcore concert in America during the 80s. Moreover, the whole thing was happening in broad daylight and it made me turn around and see that there was nothing even close to the atmosphere and the story empowering the scene of Novi Sad during the 90s. Despite the hardships in the state and the society, these people managed to maintain a healthy level of consciousness, pushing the scene in the right direction. After the 90s, the situation became a bit slower, the attitudes softer and all the people more prone to apathy and lethargy. If someone would mention any idea about a healthy, collective scene where people think with their own minds and rise against the conventional status quo of the concerts in 2000, possibly taking over the current attitude of mere support and clapping, he/she would receive nothing but laughs and whispers behind the back. The hardcore scene was not ignored by the popularization of the Internet and all of its vices and flaws either. We were granted every single information we wanted to get, but we never received any catalysts, merely getting our hands on the music promoted by the largest of all record companies, from people who wanted to exploit our freedom and lifestyle. Hardcore was never just a genre of music but, rather, it was, and is, a whole lot more. It is a struggle for preserving and creating a healthy level of consciousness by promoting tolerance, the rights of both humans and animals, communication and absence of violence as means of solving problems and promoting a positive way of thinking both for an individual and the society as a whole.
photo above: Ground Zero
by Tamas Bernath
After the sleepy 2000s, Ground Zero contributed to and thrived for the above mentioned consciousness. Their sound is a fusion of extreme metal and fast hardcorepunk music played by Catharsis and Converge, the neocrust scene, the hardcore of the 90s and black metal. Their lyrics are based on their attitudes towards interpersonal relationships, the social clichés and the human nature, stretching all the way through conceptually arranged themes, all without the shallow political connotations and any chanting of such. Throughout the years, their friendship and passion towards creativity, the stage and extreme sound has kept them together. The band published: “Possess me”, “Last Goodbye”, “Morbus Panonicus” and a couple of DIY compilations. Also, they have promoted our scene by touring Russia.
photo above: Reflections of internal Rain
One of the more popular bands regarding the hardcore genre in Europe is our own Reflections of Internal Rain, recognizable for consisting of academic artists and a lawyer. The guys are currently on their second, great European tour. They play fast hardcorepunk and neocrust. Wherever they play, they create the most beautiful of atmospheres, tempting the crowds to stage dive and dance with tons of positive energy. You definitely should check their album “Last Flood” published by SKC Novi SAD. You will be pleasantly surprised. Additionally, if you find out that they are playing your town, do not miss this opportunity.
photo above: Conviction
Another band of quality from Novi Sad is Conviction, playing old school, metal-influenced hardcore. They have tens and tens of concerts behind them and they are not afraid of speaking out about their opinions on the society and the problems surrounding them, giving their best to return the consciousness, attitudes and proper thinking to the hardcore scene. They featured the song “Pay the Piper, on the SKC compilation in 2007. Also, they have published a 4-song demo “Abandoned Hope” in 2008, being available for free download all around the Internet. Currently, they are working on their first full-length album which will be more technically advanced and a 5-song EP should come out by the end of this month.
Borko: All in all, Conviction was never and never will be a part of the scene when it comes to fashion, trends and other shallow nonsense. We play for ourselves and the crowds raging at our shows. We are explicitly against any form of religion and our songs mostly speak of freedom that all of us should seek in whatever we love, without the constraints of the church, the monetary system, capitalism, taboos and other blindnesses of these types. The energy interwoven throughout our music is there to connect people from all over the underground scene. Thus, all open-minded and intelligent people are more than welcome at our dark masses.
photo above: Through These Eyes
by Bojana Djureinovic
Through These Eyes
Through These Eyes made sure that the whole matter is not solely in the hands of modern hardcore sound. This band is a comeback creation of the singer from Strive for More, placing us into a time capsule, returning us to the golden age of the “youth crew” hardcore sound from the last years of the 80s. On their concerts, you will hear a relentless NO to consuming and slaughtering animals, abusing alcohol and drugs and another NO to barriers we stumble upon in our lives, barriers based on hatred, fears and ignorance.
Sholja: I am glad to see people who are interested in Straight Edge lifestyle again. This movement was a part of the scene from its very beginnings, but have died in our town during the 2000s. It is about a lifestyle promoting the release of the human psyche and body from all the addictions such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, animal abuse, human emotions and sexual intercourses, promoting responsibility towards yourself and the community, with a message never being “be better than the rest” but “be better than yourself”.
photo above: Furtive Forest
by Bojana Djureinovic
The Youth which Holds Promise
The scene has younger bands such as Furtive Forest, currently finishing their first EP. They are known for their emotional and passion-filled hardcore sound, which you can definitely feel if you visit one of their gigs. Vault of Pain have just finished a terrific album “Devastation of Humanity” and their music will remind you of bands the likes of Hatebreed. Fast as We Go Far is yet another band, which will bring you a brighter type of sound, influenced by Swedish and Californian bands like Blink 182, NOFX, Bodyjar etc. They play melodic hardcore/pop punk you are bound to like if you have ever tried stepping on the four-wheeled board, trying to surf the concrete in front of the SNP.
Additionally, other active bands on the HCNS scene are Remedy, playing a harder, NYHC-type sound and Kolaps, being quite active on the concert scene lately. Finally, the youngest members of the scene are Schoomar, Step off and Losin' it.
photo above: Rebuild zine #1 cover
by Bojana Djureinovic
Sholja: Since, in the pre-Internet times, we had to stay in touch with the events and the newest bands too, we used to read interviews found in fanzines until the tapes in our cassette players wore off. “Tri Drugara” was one of the best magazines dedicated to European hardcore and punk. As everything else, it too disappeared with the onset of the year 2000. A year ago, we decided to correct this mistake by starting the “Rebuild” hardcore fanzine, which is, unfortunately, the only creation of this type in our town.
Here, you can find news about the newest events in hardcore and punk music. The fanzine promotes and tries to awake the attitudes and ideas which kept us present here were we have been throughout the years, visiting hardcore concerts and listening to this type of music. Rebuild sends us a message saying that we have to observe ourselves and change ourselves first, if we are ever to change something that surrounds us.