Monday, July 4, 2016

Interview with Serbia's Kozeljnik done by Patrick on 7-4-16

Here   is  a   new  interview   with  Serbia's  Kozeljnik   who  discuss  their  new  cd  "Death Gives Unto  Life"  and  also  the  bands  past  and  future  plans  as well  as  the  Serbian  metal  scene.

Interview with Kozeljnik, done by Patrick

1. Hails K. and L.G. When did you guys decide to start Kozeljnik? How did you all choose the name for the band, does   it have a special meaning?
L.G.: We had some ideas and rough sketches of what we intended to do, prior to official formation, but as a band we ultimately began in December '06. Two full-length albums and three EPs later we remain a duo, with few occasions of additional members added per studio and live sessions. Kozeljnik was a natural choice for the name of this project as it fully represents the entity and vision we give life to through our music and poetry.
2. Kozeljnik is getting ready to release the new MCD "Death Gives unto Life". How long did it take to write the music for the new release? And do you both work on the music or does one member write everything?
L.G.: Few months being delayed from original release date, this new EP finally saw the light of moon at the end of February, bringing four new lasting offerings. Once K. had all the ideas put on the table, he sent them my way and I worked on it for a period of three months, having them convey and bend to the right feeling I had in mind. We decided to do another long playing EP prior to starting work on our third full-length release which should commence later this year.

3. What are some topics and subjects you write about in the lyrics?
L.G.: Journeys and experiences that I collect on the astral plane I inevitably explore further and divulge in my lyrics. They are extremely personal and would invoke a sense of negation from obscure angles, when in right state of mind, and are not always easiest to tell but I wouldn't know any other way. On this new release they tend to dive deeper into occult symbolism, most notably engaging with the Primal Light that is Inner Void, which in turn leads to impenetrable darkness of Self. Clouding all visions until finally they are submerged in One - the Absolute. From poetic side, I keep simple form in writing, having them sorted in three to four verses per song, with occasion of several chants and random passages that K. would repeat. These are more often than not a gate to deeper meaning behind the song when listened to carefully.
4. "Death Gives unto Life" is the band's new MCD. How would you say Kozeljnik's music has evolved and changed since the debut release in 2006?
L.G.: Music evolved quite a bit since our inception and equally our first EP (2007) and debut album (2008). We explored some broader horizons and chose whatever fit the exact moment when new songs were starting to take form. We are never negligent towards new musical ideas and different expressions that our songs may carry. Still, it is very notable that this is inevitably a black metal outcast, ever brave to walk its own path and leave its mark. The thread between all our outputs, that single obscure yet visible thread is always there and this is what keeps listener at bay with our form of art and all our records from the beginning onwards.

5. Has Kozeljnik ever played live or is this strictly a studio band?
L.G.: Kozeljnik is very much a live band and has performed on multiple occasions. One of the main reasons we are not as active with this project as we are with The Stone is that we live far from each other and meet mostly for tours with our main act (The Stone that is) or to work on a new record. We do have plans, however, to expand our live reach and perhaps conceive a tour in near future as this band definitely deserves more of it.
6. Besides the new MCD "Death Gives unto Life" does the band have any past releases or merchandise available for the fans to buy? And if yes, where can the readers find your merchandise?
L.G.: Our webstore is up and running at; it contains all possible merchandise we have at the moment, with new EP being added as we speak.
7. K., you handle the vocals for the band. When did you start singing and screaming? Do you do anything special to keep your throat and voice healthy?
K: Since the early days I used to perform add vocal for The Stone and May Result occasionally, but when Kozeljnik band was created, vocal duties became my permanent invocation of artistic expression.
I don't use any kind of special treatment to keep my voice in good shape. Unluckily, we don't rehearse that much with Kozeljnik so I need to get through the whole process of regaining my vocals every time when we do practice for live activities or simply composing/recording new songs.    
8. Besides the vocals you also handle the guitars. At what age did you become interested in playing the guitars? Are you self-taught or did you take lessons when first starting out? Besides handling the vocals and guitars, do you currently play any other instruments?
K: I was at quite young age when I got my first guitar. It was in 1988, a gift for my eleventh birthday. I've never used to have guitar lessons, nor having a guitar tutor. I am totally self-taught. Since the early days I was more into the creating of my own playing patterns. That gave me an opportunity to create my own style of composing and performing with my bands on later stage. Beside guitar I also play bass.     
9. L.G., you handle the drum duties for Kozeljnik. When did you start playing the drums?
L.G.: I started out in my late teenage years.
10. Who are some of your influences and favorite drummers? Besides the drums, do you currently play any other instruments?
L.G.: A truly wide variety of drummers influenced my playing and it would be ungrateful to mention just a handful of them. I spend hours every day studying great players from decades past and decade present. What I am usually impressed with (and it always comes to this) is the basic, genuine feel that a drummer possesses and is able to express fully, shape it according to the need, transform it and think well outside the borders (if one chooses to have them in the first place). Musicality and technical aspects come hand in hand and all these combined is what I look for in the player. I play piano, too, albeit modestly, and would do well to come back to this instrument once in a while.
11. What does black metal mean to you two?
L.G.: It is the most liberating of all musical creations, one we are endlessly infatuated with since the earliest of days. It gives us absolute and unimpeded approach to shaping our Art in any way (un)imaginable.

12. Besides Kozeljnik I believe you two are members of The Stone. How would you say Kozeljnik's music is different then The Stone's sound?
L.G.: We share our respective energies between these two bands, but Kozeljnik does not have much in common with The Stone musically and vice versa. With the band you're currently conducting an interview with, we intend to bring out our most personal selves both musically and lyrically. It is free of any particular patterns and doesn't need any kind of guidance. A stream of emotional unconscious if you will. One either experiences it fully or doesn't. The Stone has almost militaristic approach in writing music and conducting rehearsals as well as recording albums. We like doing things this way too. A new record will surely come out every two or three years at most and there are more than just two souls having an impact on it, so in this case it makes things faster and more accessible to people than what we do in Kozeljnik.
13. Kozeljnik comes out of Serbia's black metal scene. I remember back in the early to mid 2000's Serbia had a good black and metal scene. What is your opinion of Serbia's metal scene over the years?
L.G.: The whole vibe was very different 10 to 15 years ago, not to mention before. For example many of us were very eager to put their hands on latest magazines, especially those circling the underground realm and thus seek and discover potential killer bands and dive deeper into sphere of Metal art from its most secluded to its most extreme. Naysayers and loud mouths were easily ignored and you could always find refuge in what meant most to you and what sparked your fire. I truly believe that social media and general accessibility to things I've mentioned ruined most of it for a lot of people without them even realizing it. Magic is still alive and well but it is being counteracted with senseless bragging, avoiding the true matter at hand and there's of course general overwhelming of information out there, that is often completely unnecessary than not. This is also true for our little scene in particular. Speaking of black metal scene, there isn't such in Serbia I'm afraid. Some individuals are in the loop constantly and some work hard to get their art recognized; there is but a handful of them and it isn't rare that some of them are missing that much needed spark to roll their wagon so to speak. We'll see how it goes from here, but I'm rather pessimistic.
14. Who are some of your all-time favorite Serbian bands? And are there any new bands you feel the readers should watch out for?
L.G.: For me there is always reminiscence of glorious days of former Yugoslavia, when the scene was quite rebellious and ever changing. We had some insanely great groups in the 70's and 80's, but going forward much of it relapsed and went into oblivion, greatly due to a war that separated all republics of former country. This had a big impact on all, music not excluded. You would do well to check out early works of Smak, Leb i Sol, Riblja Čorba, Atomsko Sklonište or Azra, the classics, but also some of earliest New Wave and Rock bands such as Ekatarina Velika (EKV), Napred u Prošlost, Disciplina Kičme or Dobri Isak. Satan Panonski out of Croatia was a truly influential figure and most controversial punk icon to come out of there, deceased GG Allin had nothing on this guy. Check Pankrti, too. Bands like Borghesia and Devil Doll had immense goth and dark electronic vibe and were very inspirational at the time. And of course, everybody knows Laibach. Metal scene, ever stagnant and ever in the making was small but had some bright moments like Bombarder out of Bosnia, but that didn't come until late 80's. Bloodbath were one of the first serious extreme metal acts to come from Serbia, in big part owing their sound to influential bands of an era such as Death and Pestilence.
15. Besides bands are there any good labels or distro's you feel the readers should watch out for?
L.G.: Nowadays.. not really, no. I could single out Grom Records (formerly Awaken Productions) as one of the pioneering underground labels and distros in Serbia, today involved mainly with organization of live shows in cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad and occasionally releasing records to underground by up-and-coming acts from around the world. On the other hand, fair coverage of Serbian scene, should you be interested to explore in detail, can be found on web lairs of active zines such as and
16. Thank you K. and L.G. for taking the time to fill this interview out. Do you have any final words for the readers?
L.G.: You're more than welcome and thanks for stealing time to come up with these questions. We hope our new record will echo through nether regions and gather some attention. Until next time!
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