ALISTER   THRASH METAL FROM SERBIA Band Questions answer by MARKO WOLFY VUCKOVIC    
Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly?   Hi, My name is Marko Wolfy Vuckovic, guitarist and one of the founding members of the band Alister with   Ivan Petrovic (Bass). In 1998 we got together (since we lived in the same neighbourhood) and made a band Poltergeist, with whom we recorded first demo Powerbeat in 1999. Also, two of us are in the band from the beginning, and with Igor Miladinovic - Vocals (who’s in the band from 2000), we made a stable line-up throughout every iteration of the band. In 2001 we’ve changed the band name to Alister, and since then we have recorded 3 albums and 2 EPs. Quite a few members went through the band, but the last stable line-up consists of Me, Ivan, Igor, Ivan Dulic (Drums) and Dusan Mladjenovic (Lead Guitar). What does the band name mean and how do you get it?   Well, while recording our first album Obscurity in 2001, our producer and good friend of ours Miroslav Brankovic (Alogia, Psychoparadox) suggested the name change, and since there were a few bands with the name Poltergeist, and that some people suggested that the music we play doesn’t go very well with a band name, we took the bite and accepted his idea. Actually, his idea was to name the band Alister. About the meaning of the name… Well, we leave to others to interpret the name according to their system of belief… We can just say that the meaning is twofold, so... Where and how was the band founded?   As I said, both Ivan and I lived in the same village near Jagodina, Serbia, and we hung out at the bus station on the way to school every day. We shared the same taste in music, and after a while, started playing together. After a few months, we met Igor, who could actually properly sing and asked him to join us. He accepted, but while preparing songs for our first demo he went to obligatory army service for a year, so Ivan and I took a place as a singer of the band and gigs that followed after the release of the demo PoweBeat. Have you played in other bands before?   Actually no, cause Alister is a continuation of the idea from the start, from the day I took a guitar for the first time. Was it hard to find suitable band members who fit musically and humanely with the band?   Quite a bit… I was always a player who took rhythm guitar work very seriously, so finding a capable guitarist who could play good leads and follow me in rhythm parts was quite hard. Until we found Dusan, who fit perfectly. We had a few misses with musicians, but not big problems. What are the lyrics about and who of you are writing them?    Well, mainly about the inner struggles and big life questions and social aspects of it with a bit of mystic/horror themes. Lyrics are written mainly by Ivan and myself. I like to say that every album is somehow conceptual, not in the sense of story, but with the lyrical and musical atmosphere. Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you?   At the beginning, it was definitely bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Pantera, Sepultura, Iced Earth… As we grew, our music taste expanded, so it’s very hard to name the bands who influenced us at later years. About the describing our music… Well, simply Metal with a good bit of chunky riffs, nice melodies and traditionally groovy rhythms. :) Why should people listen to our music?   Because it’s real, unpretentious and has the point. Because it’s a tool to release bad energy and to feel better.   Generally, Metal is the thing to overcome some bad periods in my life, and I would like to think that our music is capable of doing that. Your album Otrov is already eight years old why do we have to wait so long for new material from you? When will there be a new album?   You couldn’t ask a more difficult question. :) Actually, I don’t have an precise answer. We are currently in hiatus, because of our private lives, families and jobs. So the answer is: new album and gigs will come when it’s time for them. It could be in a year, or in the next five years. A good thing about metal is that you are not a slave of it, and you are never old for it. :)   Since your last album is already a bit older, as I said, what can we expect from the new songs in comparison?   Well, we need to feel that it’s better than the previous one. Of course, that doesn’t mean that people will like it better, but that we are completely satisfied with progression. But, I wouldn’t think that it will be much different than Otrov. More mature, definitely, but in the same direction. Actually, we have ideas for more than 20 songs, but even those are a few years old now, so we’ll see...   How do you like the old albums today and would you like to change it?   We are very proud of what we’ve done in our past, most importantly because of albums are basically snapshots of our emotions and abilities at a given time, precious memories, sort of. On the other hand, the idea of rearranging the songs and producing them better is tempting, but not enough to re-record whole albums, that’s the reason why we’ve released Memories and Dreams 10 years anniversary EP, with 3 old songs re- recorded. We had a lot of fun doing them, but the opinion of fans was split, some liked new versions better, but some of them thought that you should not mess with a legacy. And both of them were right.   What was your first concert as a fan? and what memory do you have of it?   Well, a first big concert I was at was Kiss show in 1997, but I was never a fan. But, it was one of the biggest live productions I’ve seen in my life and a very precious memory. Much more important was the second big show I was at, Iron Maiden in Budapest in 1998. They were scheduled to play at an arena, but at the last moment the show was moved to a much smaller club, and a lot of people couldn’t get in, but I was the lucky one to get in one of the first and I was in front of the stage for the whole show, touching Dave Murray’s leg and snickers, that’s how close they were to the audience! :)   What were your live highlights and with which bands did you play?   We played a lot of shows during our career, but the first big one was at the Hard’n’Heavy festival in Belgrade in 2001. We played in front of a full hall and that’s the first time majority of the audience sang our songs and chanted our name. Also, we played as a support to both Paul Di”Anno and Blaze Bayley, so now we are waiting for Mr Bruce Dickinson to start touring with his band, to complete the Iron Maiden singers. :) Also, we played with most of the important metal bands from Serbia and toured with them.   Have already resulted in friendship?   Of course. We are very proud that our playing resulted in a lot of good friendship   With what do you earn your money except with the music?   Actually, music is my full-time job. I work as an recording/mixing engineer and producer in one of the major Serbian studios for almost 10 years now. I had the privilege to work with many famous Serbian bands and musicians across all genres, and I’ve also worked on a couple of movies by famous director Emir Kusturica.   How important is social media for you as a band?   We started playing in the times of cassette trading, fanzines and radio stations, so I see modern social media as an continuation of that thing, with less soul, of course. Importance is huge, that’s the reality, but I’ve always cherished more actual live contact, on gigs and on the street. So, social media now is a necessity if you want to be heard and followed.   What would you (her) want to achieve with the band?   Honestly, just to play and have a good time with my friends and fans. If something more happens, it’s good. More importantly, I would like to our music help overcome problems and give them the strength to cope with life.   What do you think about the Serbia metal scene in general?   In later years is getting better and better. When we started, there were a couple of metal bands, but now it’s a totally different situation. There’s a ton of good bands: Forever Storm, Chaosium, The Stone, Alogia, Rapid Force to name a few. What’s missing is the audience to visit their shows, but that’s the worldwide problem now.   PERSONAL QUESTIONS !   Where did you grow up and how was your childhood?   I grow up in a village near Jagodina, Serbia with some 2000 residents. Childhood was fine with a lot of connecting with nature, weekend trips and good music. My parents were listening to rock music so, in some way, I was predisposed to do what I do now. :) Actually, my first concert attendance was when I was two years old, with my parents.   How was your school time you were rather the good student or the break clown ?   Somewhere between, I was not rebellious too much, but I was always easily offended by stupidity and airheadedness, so my attitude got me in some difficult situations. Not that I was rude of prepotent, but just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. :)   How did your parents react when you started making metal music? did they support you and how do you feel about your music today?   We generally had a lot of support from our parents when we started. During 1998 we rehearsed at my place, and neighbours were not happy about it, and they actually collected signatures to ban us rehearsing at my house! How did they think to do it, I don’t know. But what we did was to take our equipment outside, and we did a good 3 hours rehearsal in my front yard. :) Of course, nothing happened to us. :)   Would you be successful in making music as a musician?   Yeah, I feel accomplished. Not finished, I have a lot more to say, but I’m satisfied because when people come to you and tell you how much you influenced them, that’s the best thing in the world.   Are you someone who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city? or rather looking for peace and relaxation in nature?   Well, in the 21st century we are cursed to live fast and day to day. Most of the time we get caught in the web of fast consumer society, but I think it’s important to reconnect with nature and silence within ourselves, which I try to do once in a while.   Do you actively practice sports or are you more of a passive spectator?   I was never in the sports too much, music was always my weapon of choice… I’m just a casual observer when something important is happening in the sports world.   When it comes to your physical well you can cook or let you cook for you?   I’m a quite hedonist when food is in question. I like to cook, and I’m very happy to prepare food for my family.   What does your environment tell you about your passion for metal (friends / family / colleagues)?   They’ve used to it. :) Seriously, we are used to be look at as a black sheeps, so it’s nothing new. For me it’s more interesting to change opinions about us on my job when working with people that think of us as an amateurs and “low class” considering melody, harmony and music theory in general. That kind of “punch in the face” is very satisfying, at least for me.   How do you see the problem with the haters on the internet who have to announce their mental garbage in anonymity always and everywhere?   I try not to think about them too much. Mostly those are little pussies trying to be more successful and powerful in their own eyes. The problem is that the line between professional criticism and forced private bullshit is marginalized and erased almost completely. Of course, everybody has the right to have an opinion, but I think that society is not developed enough to be able to separate true and false, good and bad, right and wrong, nor will ever be, unfortunately   What do you think about the internet in general? a blessing or a curse?   Same as guns. Depends who’s holding them. Technology is a weapon of 21st century. It gives you an opportunity to discover, learn and promote. But people now are too tired to dig the quality from the vast amount of quantity.   What would you personally like to do in your life?   I’m a big fan of aviation. So, if there’s no music, I would be a pilot… Probably. :)   Which question would you like to have answered and why?   Well, you’ve covered a lot of topics, and I have a lot spheres of interest, but there’s no place for some on them in music media. :)   Serbia My homeland. The country to love and hate at the same time. To love her braveness, nature and pride. To hate people that rule over her for the last 80 years or more   Austria Unfortunately, I’ve never been in Austria, but the land of great culture, architecture and some of the very good Metal bands.   Iron Maiden or Judas Priest Iron Maiden all the way! I was never a big fan of Judas Priest. Don’t get me wrong, I like them and respect them, but Iron Maiden is my band from the childhood years.   Metallica or Iced Earth Tough question. For me, both bands are equally important in developing my music taste and playing style… But if we trust the old one that first love is unforgettable, then… :)   Death The band? Very important for the music scene and one of my favorites. And I am very happy that one of our most famous songs is dedicated to the legend Chuck.   Jelen Pivo Actually, I’m a wine guy. I drunk a lot of beer (Jelen included) in the past, but got full of it. It doesn’t satisfy me that much in recent years   Beer or Juice Well, Juice… Or wine. :)   Serbian bean soup Oh, famous pasulj. You fart a lot when you eat it. :) The best one I’ve got was in the army because they make it in a very big pots, and quantity is very important when you are making pasulj.   Holiday I’ve always liked holidays. It’s the time when you forget the burden of grown up life, and become a child again, especially now when I have my own family   Family Very important for me for making a good balance in life. I like to spend time with my family   Drugs I’ve never used any serious drugs. Unfortunately, some of my friends paid a price in life and with life for using them   Soccer As I said, I’m not that much into sports. I follow our national team in competitions, but our league is in such a bad shape… Corrupted and amateur, which is a shame considering success of our teams in the past   Movie or Series Series in recent years. I have so much work to do, so shorter program is the way to go. I like watching a good movie from time to time   Your top 10 all time faves In music? Well, something like: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Iced Earth, Pantera, Nevermore, Dimmu Borgir, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Evergrey   Your top 5 in time ! Like now? All of the above, and the bands a listen the most these days are: Avatarium, Behemoth, Ayreon, I’m trying to understand Ghost and a lot of soundtracks, among the others   The closing word is yours? Be smart, always learn something new, and keep the Metal flame alive!
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