Interview with Aleksandar, not long after the concert
So that was a tight deadline, wasn’t it?
You tell me, tell me your impression
Well you were on for 9 but you didn’t start until 10.30
You know we planned to be here at 1 pm. To make a sound check at half past 5, to have some kind of relaxed time before the gig and to start playing at 9
But actually everything went wrong, first we started our journey last night at 9.30 pm, there was heavy rain in Belgrade so we started to travel an hour later, 10:30
We went to Hungary, we were in Budapest around one o’clock
Those guys closed the highway. We lost two hours in Budapest, then we arrived at the border around 7.30 and were there until 1.30 pm (the next day)
We really were wondering shall we make it our not, actually we didn’t believe we would be on time,
We were ready to call the organizers to move the concert until tomorrow, but everything went ok
We came here at 9.05, so we did a sound check and then we started playing as soon as we can
The warm up band played some similar songs, but ye guys rocked it tonight.
The set list for this occasion, and for occasions like this, is always full of traditional’s, but when we cover other songs we try not to do as other bands do, we are trying to make it personal so maybe that’s why it sounds different.
The band before us, a great traditional band, but we make it much more rock
So where does the inspiration come from?
Me, personally, the start was my father, as I was little he was always listening to the Dubliners and stuff like that so I was used to listening to Irish folk, to Celtic folk, to Scottish folk
Later on I discovered the Pogues and that was the trigger . I can say that with pride just because they were the first to mix all those punk and rock stuff with folk
When you are listening to all those bands after the Pogues, just punk, the Pogues were much more than that
Why Irish music, because it was the most comfortable thing for me to express myself
You know when we are talking about music it’s a huge thing, I like classical, I like rock, I like punk, but overall I express myself through Irish music
You finally got the chance to play with Shane MacGowan, what was that like? (Exit Festival, Serbia, singing the Irish rover, 2002)
I cried, you can believe me or not, when he came onto the stage I was crying like a child
Shane was like, “what the fuck is going on”, why is he crying. It was great!
My wife was with me, she was like, “come on”, but I was crying!
I was trying to get in touch with Shane for some time before that and when they told me I would be on the stage with him it was, first, an honour, secondly for me something special, he is the one reason why I am doing this.
But actually the main impact on me is Ronnie Drew, not Shane himself, but Ronnie Drew it was his attitude , Ronnie was the main man, Shane was an inspirational person, the one who made me writing lyrics, but attitude, I don’t know how to say that but gentleman stuff was Ronnie
I always think that if I am Irish he’d be my grandfather, that’s it, I was so familiar with this person, just listening to him
The success of Star of the County Down video?
First of all you must know we didn’t start doing this because we wanted to be famous, this is what we are, believe me, Serbians are much in love with the Celts, I mean the ancient Celts, most citizens are from Belgrade, the Celts disappeared, sorry, but we are Celtic people, some-parts, so it was a reason why people feel what we feel
We didn’t know what it would sound like to be honest, I mean the greatest breakthrough of ours, Yes we uploaded ten years (after it was first produced), so when YouTube came around we grabbed the chance, and we did it!
Full article here