Pogavranjen is a Black Metal Band from Croatia. This music is definitely unique and a must check out band.
1) First off, how is the metal scene in Croatia and do you have a decent following there?
Lümfa: It’s worse than bad from my point of view, but it’s not a surprising thing or a disturbing thought since Croatia never really had anything great or groundbreaking to offer. Being into music in Croatia means simply following trends these days, but that might be the case with any scene and country, I don’t know. And following trends mean hardcore. Lots and lots of useless emo hardcore crap. And ear plugs, vegetarianism, earplugs, dreadlocks, mindless neo liberalism and ever present “hobo/crust-punk image” but with iPhones ofc and 100 euros worth sneakers. It sickens me you know. The amount of hypocrisy and trend following obsession. Maybe because I always hated music with some bullshit message. Any other than “Kill yourself” doesn’t work me haha. Guess I wouldn’t make a great hippy. I am not particularly interested in visiting local gigs or seeing local bands since most of them suck. At least for me. I want to see new interesting bands doing something worth listening, something fresh, something from their heart. I expect passion, devotion and finally decent musicianship. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good bands in Croatia like Tigrova Mast, Seventhatspells, Gods of Chaos, Duskburn, Essence but none of those are strictly “metal”. When it comes to Croatian bands, I’m trying to respect those who decided to pursue quality even if I’m not the biggest fan of the genre they are playing. I am very hard person to please when it comes to music.
2) Pogavranjen started back in 2008. Still considered a fairly new band, how has the band progressed since your first EP release "The Void Transmission" in 2009? 3) 4 years later in 2013 you guys are getting ready to release another EP "Povijest Trovanja" Is there much maturing that came out of this EP verses the first one in 2009?
Lümfa: There is always a huge downtime after you’re done with recording sessions. We did absolutely nothing other than 100 promo copies when it comes to The Void EP and sent it out to some labels. A year after UK label Legion Blotan decided to pick it up and release it. We did dozens of local shows in the meantime, but I’d say year 2010 was the official release year. Same thing is happening right now with our 2nd EP. It was recorded back in 2010 I think, and we are releasing it more than 2 years after it was recorded. It was also a slight change in the atmosphere. We went further into darkness and nihilism on that one while "The Void" was all about hatred and anger. Huge amount of shit was going on within the band during that period. Everything was happening so slow and everyone seemed to have an excuse for their failures when it came to the band. I almost gave up and sold most of my equipment. Then I realized I should stop having any business with idiots, kicked a few of them out of the band and started working with more competent and reliable people and everything settled right back in it’s place. Me and Nerast (our vocalist) remained the backbone of the band and never split and we never will. I just can’t imagine this band without him. We are packing up our 1st full length “RASPORED UŽASA” (trans. The Schedule of Horror) at the moment. Our best effort yet. 5 songs, roughly 40 minutes of balls tripping stew of aggression, anger, nihilism and despondency. We are in the process of mixing as we speak. It will sound huge, dangerous and I hate this word but yes, “avant-garde” too.
3) Your new EP will come out on Spectrelight on Tape and Legion Blotan on CD. Do you think there are still a lot of underground old school metal fans out there that will buy those tapes just as fast if not faster then the CD?
Lümfa: People are obsessed with analog formats these days more than ever. So yeah. I like that old feeling of tape or vinyl too, but for different reasons then most of the nowaday hipsters. Cd is such a soulless format but it’s cheapest you know, and every lo-pro, incognito underground band is fighting it’s own war against a myriad of financial issues when it comes to their releases. Our policy will never change. We shall always have FREE DOWNLOAD options on our bandcamp profile. If you want to buy it because you really like it for some demented reason, go ahead. But I don’t want to suck money from people who are into my music, have it free. I’m not here to make money with my band. Not now. Simply because I don’t need to. If I ever do, I'll turn all vampire and start sucking money from every possible source I can.
4) Have you guys ever played live? How was the turn out and support? Are there plans in the future of playing live?
Lümfa: We did a lot of shows. Much more then we intended in the beginning. But it was always something we do just to have fun. We also say no to plenty of offers simply because we don’t like gig promoters, venues or towns. We gladly accept when we are 100% positive we’ll have a great time with our friends or “brother bands”. We also like to piss off young elitists with absolute lack of corpse-paint or spikes. There is a lot of buzz that we mock black metal, but we’re not. We just like to dress casually on stage. That’s all. We keep lights at minimum, and only music matters. Feedback is usually positive and people come to us after shows saying they really liked it. If they didn't, it wouldn’t make much difference.
5) Now 5 years after the birth of Pogavranjen you are in the process of making yet another new album, this time a full length."Raspored Užasa" Any news as far as what label will release this FL or a date of its release?
Lümfa: Raspored Užasa (The schedule of Horror) is in the process of mixing as I have said before. It was a really difficult effort to put it all together and feel good about it in the end. I have spent almost the entire year working, composing, liking it and hating it. Tried different tunings, alternate way of pickings, I was basically reinventing the concept of black metal riffing for myself. I could not stand the usual power chords. They all sounded like shit, so I broke it down to some bizarre half-tuned, disharmonic and noxious thing. It was living hell to rehearse those songs and perform live. But in the end we did great. To be quite honest, I still don’t know how it is going to sound. I have incorporated so much elements into it this time it will either be the best album I have ever heard of complete piece of shit. I’ll get first rough mixes in a day or two, but I have good faith in the outcome. I’m not looking for any labels at the moment. I’m focused on the final product. If it’s good enough it is going to sign itself to a decent label. It’s not that hard to find a label to release a few hundred copies for you, but most of the underground ones plain suck in promotional aspect of things.
6) When we spoke you told me a bit about some changes that will come on this new album. Care to explain to the readers what they can expect from your new sound?
Lümfa: I can tell you what not to expect - another useless satan hailing clone.
7) Pogavranjen is sort of a DIY band. Do you think this will ever change or do you think underground is where you belong?
Lümfa: Pogavranjen is my world so it will always stay deep within the borders of my own fantasy and concept, it will never be profitable since it’s not meant for the masses. Only those invited get the whole picture. I am not here to entertain people. Pogavranjen exists because I have this urge to express my inner world in sonic form because I’m in love with music. There is not much mystery. I have to let my demons out quite often so they can stretch their legs and play for a while. Pogavranjen is but a playground for them. If I sell million copies or 15 copies the world of Pogavranjen will always be mine and private, and will not change.
8) When recording a new album, take us through what goes on during this time? I hear sometimes a lot of stress and fighting and bickering from some bands, and others seem to just have fun and enjoy their love of mutual music together.
Lümfa: Me and Nerast are in charge when it comes to songwriting. I structure the base and then build upon it, playing for days and days and I usually end up with 50 riffs for one song. Then I thrash half of those. Then another half. What is left still standing is usually the best. After that I ring Nerast usually. I like him to be there with me once I’m presenting the riffs. I respect his opinion and after all, I need it. He is the only person I trust fully when it comes to music and tattoos. Once the arrangement is complete I get together with our guitarists and show them their parts, after they learn it, we go and rehearse. Our drummer is provided with songs before we even meet for rehearsal. Once all of us get there, and everyone know their jobs, magic happens. We never write songs during rehearsals, we also never jam. Black metal is complex, structured and firmly organized music which can’t be jammed. I like to write riffs alone and I’m not craving for the opinions of others that much. When it comes to the recording process I am so stressed with the amount of detail I have to watch for. Being control freak, ego manic and arrogant as fuck, augments the process to the limits of sanity. That’s all I can say. If I wasn’t working with the best audio engineer that I know and the person I hold very dear (Brle) I’ d probably club someone to death during the process. I hate recording and tracking. It is absolutely disgusting and abominable.
9) Was there a specific musician that led you down the path of black metal and who is in some way responsible for the start of Pogavranjen? If so, who was it and what did you take from this person into your own music?
Lümfa: Yes, quite a few actually. I blame Varg Vikernes for the most part haha. After I heard Burzum for the first time I was taken never to come back. But he never influenced my play style. I was 14 I think… that was like 14 years ago… I have heard tons and tons of black metal since then they and sure as hell left some serious impact but If I have to pinpoint one single person who really affected my way of thinking on the guitar that would be Carl-Michael Eide (ex. Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard... Virus today) That guy is something special. Virus is one of the best bands I have ever heard in my life. But not THE BEST. That would be Ulver. Both old era and new.
10) How would you describe the lyrical context of your songs, is there any every day life meaning behind any of it?
Lümfa: A large portion of our lyrics deal with misanthropy, nihilism, loathing, isolation, and the idea of putting man back to his place, among the beasts and off the top of the food chain.
11)On the up and coming albums will the songs be in English or in your native language? Maybe a mixture of both?
Lümfa: Our vocalist is great lyricist both ways. When we get tired of Croatian we’ll switch back to English, why not. But we’ll try to keep the whole records mono linguistic. To strengthen the concept and put some sense of cohesiveness in.
12) Is there anything that your fans should know about Pogavranjen when listening to your music? Is there a set belief system in there at all?
Lümfa: Believe in nothing but yourself. Keep to yourself. Put absolute minimum of trust into others. Isolate yourself. Think a lot. Then rethink it. Than keep thinking of thinking. World is a sick, sick place. Grab only what you need out of it and grab it fast. Then run for your life before it devours you. If you feel strange and different you probably are. If you find it almost impossible to enjoy the regular and ordinary things, if you feel like an eternal outsider, you have a gift. Nurture it, outgrow yourself. Grow beyond humanity. Humanity is nothing sacred. Never belong.
13) What would you say keeps Pogavranjen going?
Well, I have to say that this has been quite an interesting interview. Your views on life in general are quite fascinating. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions in detail to help all the fans and potential fans see through the eyes of one Lümfa!!
Any final words before we part? Thanks for the interview, your interest and support. I have nothing to add.