I’ve been flying the flag for the Balkan States for quite a while now but I’ve never managed to do anything as comprehensive as this. As well as sharing some of the seminal bands both past and present from the Serbian scene, the following interview with Ivan and Jelena Ivanovic has allowed me to pick the brains of Serbian metal’s biggest enthusiasts and most erudite experts. For those of you who haven’t been clicking links indiscriminately, Mr and Mrs Ivanovic run the facebook group ‘Serbian Metal Community’, which insures that my news feed is smeared daily with the best and blackest of Serbian music. The Ivanovics are tirelessly dedicated to sharing with the world (for free, I might add) the cream of the crop of this rich and unique metal scene. They deserve a medal.
How do you keep finding so many underground bands?
Well , we know a lot bands , many of them are our good friends , we collaborate with them . Its not easy way to find bands , many years before we explore and search for them , some of them not existing anymore , but are a part of Serbian Metal music history . And thats we start with Serbian Metal Community page .
Why do you think facebook is the best way to do what you do? Do you have any plans to take the Serbian metal Community anywhere else on the internet?
Facebook is place when people are connected , talking .. and its easy way to share things . If someone contact us we will do that , our page is public , for all people who loves and likes metal music from Serbia.
Are there other people in Serbia promoting the metal underground? It seems like a really vibrant scene
Yes , existing portals , webzines , radio stations , who also supporting Serbian Metal music , and that is a good stuff for bands , but we think that will be better if metalheads give more support for bands , its only way for metal music to survive , its a global thing .
Is there a typical ‘Serbian’ sound? What makes Serbian bands different to other European bands?
Serbian bands playing metal in their way , so as Sweden , Poland or some other European metal country have specific metal style . Its not same but with influences of them .
Is there a sense of a common community between Serbian bands and bands from other Balkan states?
Well our bands have shows in a lot of ex countries of Yugoslavia , and their bands also came to Serbia , but many reasons exist and affecting on Balkan Metal Music , which are not related with music . Bands are connected , and cooperate and that is only important thing .
Was there Metal in Serbia during the Yugoslavian/Communist era?
In this time existing bands Bombarder , Heller , Warriors , Annathema , Demoniac , Bloodbath , Armageddon , Pergament , Necrophobia … fantastic and rare bands who create Serbian metal scene in early 90 ‘ – S .
Do you think the Serbian scene will ever get recognized internationally in the same way the Norwegian and Swedish metal scenes have? Do you think the international influence would be good for the Serbian scene or is it better off staying underground?
Many of Serbian bands are famous in world ( The Stone , BANE , Infest , Triumfall … ) , its good for all Serbian bands to go over the world , and promoting Serbian music, its a hard work but why not if they have opportunity for international success .
What are the top 5 best Serbian metal bands?
1.The Stone ( Black Metal ) – Beograd
2. BANE ( Black / Death Metal ) – Novi Sad
3. Infest ( Death / Thrash Metal ) – Jagodina / Beograd
4. Toxic Trace ( Thrash Metal ) – Bogojevo
5. Demention ( Death Metal ) – Smederevo
Are there any Serbian record labels that release extreme metal music?
One of famous is Grom Records ( http://www.gromrecords.net/ )
What about venues? How easy is it for a band to get gigs in Serbia?
For all information about this , contact people who are in organization
Grom / Tmina
Is there any influence from Serbian traditional music amongst metal bands?
Some bands experimented with Serbian Medieval music , because history of Serbian people is a long and existing for many years , especially the medieval ancient times and early days in 20 ‘ s century ( we have a lot battles and wars ) .
Is the religious community very powerful in Serbia? Does that make it difficult for Metal bands?
It s powerful for people who follow, believe and who are connected with religion , we can t talk about that because we don t know how that work .
You two are a married couple right? Did you walk down the aisle listening to Simargal or something?
Yeah , we are in marriage , almost 7 years . Hahahah … we walk into marriage listening good old school death metal . (The Ivanovics also have a young son who is, unsurprisingly, a metal fan)
BANE and The Stone. For many fans at least, these two bands represent the rising international interest in the Serbian scene and the growing popularity of Balkan Metal bands.