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Kultur Shock

Kultur Shock

Article by Ljiljana Ciric

Fresh off their European tour Kultur Shock made Seattle’s Chop Suey the first American stop in support of their third release Kultura Diktatura.

In a brief interview lead singer Gino Srdjan Jevdjevic talked about the European tour, the new CD and his band members. “The European tour was great because we always played in front of 50,000 people. Also, I have seen people that I haven’t seen in a while, and amazingly so they all live in Amsterdam.” Kultur Shock performed 26 shows in 31 days. “I am getting too old for this stuff. I think we really need some help from the major record labels to make our shows more accessible for us, more flying than driving, because it was really exhausting. And I am really proud of my band, because every single show was like the last show of their lives.” That is also how it was at Chop Suey.

Kultur Shock’s music and sound is as mixed and multicultural as its band members. This is what makes Kultur Shock unique. The music they play is a roller coaster of world, folk, jazz, hard rock, metal, and rumba all wrapped up in songs full of energy. Their third CD “Kultura Diktatura” out in the states July 6 (already on the shelves in Europe) is definitely the best album that Kultur Shock has put together. Collaborators on the album are Kultur Shock friends from O Jarbanzo Negro (Galizia, Spain), Cheb Balowski (Barcelona, Spain), Josh Stewart (Seattle), and Carla Kilstedt (San Francisco). The album was produced by Billy Gould (former bass player of Faith No More) and Kultur Shock. The album will be released by Koolarrow Records, and was mixed by Ulf Holland at Lydlab Studios in Oslo, Norway.

Gino’s reflections on the album are, “The same producer is there, the same record label, we just spent more money because it was recorded by Jack Endino, Nirvana’s producer for the Bleach album.”

Val Kiossovski, guitars and vocals, explained why they named the album “Kultura Diktatura,” “Rhymed well - of course not... We are living in the time of black and white, imposed to us by a power-hungry, fascist government, dedicated to controlling people and using fear to accomplish it. So, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, that's why we decided to give the world another choice, another option. Culture and dictatorship are the two absolute opposites. The first one unites on the base of diversity, tolerance, understanding and satisfying human curiosity; the second one is intolerant, disruptive, aggressive and controlling, anti-human.”

Full of energetic songs Gino’s voice transforms like a chameleon, singing in various languages (at least five) and hitting notes both as high and as low as one can imagine. Producer Billy Gould’s impressions of the band and the new record are positive, “What I like about this band is that everything they have, they did with their own hands, because this city [Seattle] does not seem to be a place where a band like this could really exist. With this new album the band is moving forward. They did more progress this time than they did last time. The production is much better, and we spent a lot of time on it. It’s more rock-oriented than the albums before and is totally different from anything else you hear nowadays.”

So, how does one make a good Kultur Shock recipe? One third of the ingredients are from Bosnia and Herzegovina, one sixth is from Bulgaria, one sixth is from Japan and one third is from America. Because most of the ingredients are foreign, we had better do a background check. Singer and percussionist “Gino” Srdjan Jevdjevic, a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a complete artistic soul. He was a popular pop singer in the 80’s in Yugoslavia with a band Djino Banana (that’s where his nickname Gino comes from). He came to the States around ten years ago when the war in Balkans was blooming, and remained here because he couldn’t do what he liked back at home in Sarajevo, which is theater and music. Mario Butkovic, the second Bosnia and Herzegovina native and the lead guitarist, is very introverted and bashful in person, but on stage is a real beast on guitar and is considered among the best guitar players in Seattle.

Val Kiossovski, a Bulgarian native on guitar and vocals, defected from Bulgaria during the communist era. Masashi Kobayashi, a native from Tokyo, Japan, is the bass player. On alto sax and vocals, Amy Denio from Detroit and the drummer, Chris Stromquist from Pittsburgh are the U.S. native ingredients.


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