Tea Hvala (the ‘thank you’ girl), from Šebrelje (a village in the moutains, west of Ljubljana, Slovenia), was still a teenager when she sent me the first issue of her zine Pssst… in 1996/97. I wrote this review in Tilt! #9 on the first 2: >>Made by a 16 year old intelligent girl. The first issue is filled with clever columns (about propganda, media-freedom, beauty-myth, …) and thought-provoking bits (thinking about death, work in a smalltown factory, US cultural imperialsim, …). The only weak part is that the grammar isn’t always 100% correct (so we have to guess a few times) and that too much ideas are crammed into the same sentence or paragraph. Nr 2 goes in the same direction but there are some band-interviews (‘Rain Still Falls’, ‘Emily’, ‘Wasserdicht’). These are not the best parts of the zine ’cause Tea isn’t always able to catch her emotions & opinions on paper exactly as she has it in her mind. A lot of the columns contain however brilliant ideas (lack of creativity in established scenes, capitalism & consumption encourage tolerance towards abuse, anti-elitary art for people, contemporary sports restrain the individual, anti-sexism can be sexist, etc.). Great!<<
I can find 5 issues of Pssst in my archives. Nr 3,5 (A6 format, horizontal, with the number 3,5 carved in linocut and hand-printed on a cardboard cover) seems missing. #3 (subtitled ‘The Screaming Issue’) was an amalgam of texts (in English & Slovene) and drawings by various people in an attempt to find answers to the questions of life. Nr 4 was a split with Forkboy (done by Joris Willekens) where Tea’s part continues on the previous path. There’s also interview with the bands ‘Goutte D’Or’ and ‘Prohibition’. #5 (subtitled ‘The Meaning Of Words’) was a collaboration with Frederik Danneels, with contributions from people such as Laura W., Teo Petricevic, Shannon Colebank and more. Tea herself wrote about porn, Ecotopia, etc.
Later Tea studied Comparative Literature, Sociology of Culture and Anthropology of Gender. Nowadays she’s a writer (e.g. essays on feminist activism). She has facilitated workshops in collaborative writing of feminist-queer science fiction, has been co-organising the International Feminist and Queer Festival Rdece Zore (Red Dawns) between 2002-13; has edited books and co-hosts Sektor Z (a monthly feminist radio-show).
Tea’s zinography: Pssst… was between 1997-2000. Afterwards there was Potopis Kože (2001), Slastičarna (KUD Anarhiv & KUD Mreža, 2002), The Curved (2004) Izvajanje Velikega Blatarja (self-published by Damijan Kracina, 2007), Svetovi Drugih / In Other Wor(l)ds zine series (2008-2016), 3 Stories (2010), Togi Nasmehi/Stiff Smiles (2013), Razkorak/Discord (Look Back And Laugh Books, 2015), Podzemlje (self-published by Bata Leviki, 2016)…
‘Wasserdicht’ was the band of another correspondent of mine. Dejan Požegar (who also did Jay-Walk – a label/distro/zine – together with his partner Tina Kraševec; nowadays a professional dancer at the London Contemporary Dance School) was their vocalist. They were from Maribor (Slovenia) and played crust-core. The others in the band were Miha Mehtsun (drums), Marko (guitar) & Robi (bass).
I wasn’t a member of ‘Wasserdicht’ the whole time so I don’t know the details of the years before or after me. I know that they had a female singer (Petra Kolmančič) in the begining (1992 or so). Then they went on as a trio, until I joined in ’94. We went on for 5 years and released a split-LP with ‘Scuffy Dogs’, split 7” with ‘Konstrukt’ (both on Jay-Walk) and some songs on various compilations. We did a lot of concerts since we where one of the first crust-/fast-core bands in Slovenia. At that time we also did an East-German Tour 96 with ‘Deca Debilane’, ‘Scuffy Dogs’ and ‘AA’ organized by Boco from Extreme Smoke 57 (legendary Slovenian grindcore band). At that time it was hard to do something like that for a Slovenian band: a 14-day tour was hard to get. In 1999 I went on with 2 other bands. I know they stopped for a while and then continued years later with a new bass-player and Marko the guitar-player on vocals. In 2013 they did a reunion-show supporting ‘Extreme Noise Terror’…
The lyrics where political or sociological orientated. Some where in Slovenian and some in English. We were really into the DIY thing back then. We also helped organising shows for other bands form Slovenia or worldwide (e.g. ‘DropDead’, ‘Dystopia’, ‘Defiance’, ‘Los Crudos’, …). It was all about spreading the idea that we can be self-sufficient. Back then it was also possible to do that. The shows where organised in Maribor (my hometown) or Ormož (‘Wasserdicht’ hometown). It wasn’t about money, it was about helping each other out. The result of those things or ideas is still present to this day. Some of us still try to move things and we still cooperate one way or the other. Marko (guitarist) is one of the main organisers of the Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival (the musical support for this festival is still punk, hardcore, …). I still do a band (‘Nakajima’) and organise shows here in Velenje, where I live now. Trying to spread some ideas to the kids of today. I’ve learned so much; all the ideology I gained in the 80s/90s marked me for life. And I am glad that my life went in this direction.