Analena (Beatless #3)

Beatless was the zine done by Ivan Jakič (from Zagreb, Croatia). Never seen (let alone read) it until I found this bit here and Ivan was kind enough to inform me about it. Apparently he was in several bands and nowadays he’s the guitarist/vocalist of the band ‘Ponor’.

This was the first ‘Analena’ interview ever. That was a Croatian (based in Zagreb) HC (screamo) band that I got to know through my friend Fré Danneels and because Miran Rusjan (formerly ‘Man In The Shadow’ and 13.Brat zine), from Slovenia, joined them later on. In the beginning the band consisted of ‘Six’ Danijel Sikora (bass), ‘Mijo’ Miodrag Gladović (guitar/vocals), ‘Zet’ Dubravko Dragojević (drums) and a woman named Irena (vocals). The interview was done when Ana Franjić (vocals/bass) was not in the band yet. The band’s first recordings with Ana were for a tape (99-07-14) and a 7″ (Arhythmetics) in February 2000…

Brob

We wanted to do a different zine that covers a wide range of topics. From different kinds of music, to art, literature, etc. We only did 3 issues. The first one came out in the late 96 and the last one in 98. There were interviews, columns, reviews, art, comics, but from different people with different tastes. Can’t remember everything but I know we did interviews with regional bands (‘Analena’, ‘Peach Pit,’ ‘The Mad Men’, ‘ZOCH’, ‘Five Minutes To Steve’) & international bands (‘Braid’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Ignite’,…), printed some original comics (by Zoja Bajbutović, Ivan Molnar), ran columns on various subjects either by ourselves or by guest-columnists, printed original poetry, photos from various shows…

Ivan Jakič

[Translation below; thanks Ivan Jakič]

Interview conducted in Opatovina park in Zagreb; present: ‘Mijo’, ‘Six’, Marin [co-editor of Beatless fanzine], Ivan, some kind of dog (probably a dalmatian), sky, darkness, bushes and a trusty old Panasonic recorder. Altogether, it was quite an unusual day…

I: Check, check two. There, it’s recording. OK, ‘Six’, please introduce the band…

S: ‘Zet’ – drums, ‘Mijo’ – guitar and vocals, and me. I know where you’re heading with this question… We used to have a singer, her name was Irena. I mean, her name is still Irena but she’s not a singer in our band anymore.

I: Why’s that?

S: Let’s just say there are personal differences. I wouldn’t go into details at the moment.

I: Maybe some other singer in the future? Is it also going to be female singer?

M: Of course, we’re going for commercial success. 🙂

S: Are you gonna answer that?

M: Nope. I’m a bit embarrassed…

S: Well, I don’t know… We kind of wanted to have a female singer in a first place but in the end, it’s not necessary. If we don’t find anyone, probably ‘Mijo’ will continue to sing.

I: How good of a singer are you?

M: Me? I sing like Ian MacKaye…

I: How did the band got together? I know that ‘Six’ and ‘Zet’ are playing in ‘Ha Det Bra’, so how did you find ‘Mijo’?

M: Well, ‘Six’, Pavle and me were pasting posters for the ‘Shades Apart’ show around town, and I said that I was writing some songs at home and I would like to actualize them with a band or something and ‘Six’ said “Yeah, we should do a band together!”. And that was it.

I: And that was it. How many shows you played so far?

S: Five.

I: And, as I heard, you had a fantastic, almost legendary show in Sarajevo, right? In front of a sold-out crowd?

S: Who told you that?

I: I’m just kidding. I know it was in a small venue and it was overcrowded.

S: Yeah, there was, like, hundred people in a venue that looks full when there are 20 people inside.

I: Apparently, they wrote something like “Thank you ‘Analena’.” graffiti somewhere in town the next day?

M: And I even broke my guitar…

S: But, yeah, it was really extraordinary.

M: Unforgettable show…

S: The crowd in Sarajevo is completely next-level. Probably because they lack of underground shows so they really appreciate when bands visit their town.

I: How was the show in Varaždin?

S: Which one? We played there twice.

I: The one with Paruzija.

S: Oh, that was our second show ever…

I: Kutina was first?

S: Yeah, Kutina was first. I don’t know, we were not really satisfied with the sound but…

I: I’m asking because that was the first time I saw you live and I was pleasantly surprised.

S: I don’t know, I can’t really say anything in our name. I can tell you about other bands or maybe the audience. I really liked the ‘Request Denied’ show, there you go.

I: So, what would you say, what is the type of music you’re playing? Some kind of noisy emo?

MA: Metal. I think ‘Analena’ would look great written as a metal logo. 😊

I: And where did the name come from? Sounds really cool.

S: You really think it sounds cool?

I: Yeah, sounds great…

S: Because most of the people said it sounds silly and that remind them of ‘Anathema’, or ‘Amalka’, or chrysanthemum, or like, Ana and Lena and so on… The name ‘Analena’ means fire in Sanskrit. I found it in Bhagavad Gita and really liked it. And it has 3 A’s so you can circle them all… 🙂

M: You can also circle the E.

I: As I said, I really like it. It sounds very, how can I say…

S: Emo?

I: Yeah, I guess it sounds emo. 😊 Should I ask you about your influences? There are probably too many to mention…

S: I’m influenced by ‘Ha Det Bra’.

M: Me too.

S: The ‘Ha Det Bra’ bass-player [himself: Danijel Sikora] is my real influence. 🙂

M: But honestly, when we had our first rehearsal, I was quite nervous to play with guys from ‘Ha Det Bra’.

I: So, when is the 4-way CD coming out?

S: It should be out by the end of May.

I: How satisfied are you with the recordings? I heard the rough mix and it sounds a bit bassy.

M: Yeah, it should be bassy. Just write down that it sounds great.

I: OK, it sounds great. 🙂

S: To be honest, I’ve listened to our recordings so many times that I got sick of them. But I really like to listen to the other 3 bands on the CD. I also liked them as people, and the whole idea of sharing the CD with them.

MA: Where did the 4-way split CD idea came from, anyway?

S: Well, first ‘Paruzija’ and ‘Five Minutes To Steve’ were planning to do a split. At that same time, ‘FNC Diverzant’ were planning to do a split with ‘Razlog Za’. But it turned out that ‘F.M.T.S.’ were staying behind with their songs and recordings so the ‘Paruzija’ guys approached ‘Ha Det Bra’ for a split. But I said it will take us even longer to record than ‘F.M.T.S.’ and then suggested that ‘Analena’ would record songs in time. At that moment, we thought that the Czech company that produced vinyl records is no longer in business (which turned out not being the case) so we opted for split-CD. I the meantime, ‘F.M.T.S.’ finished their recordings and ‘FNC Diverzant’ came with their songs, and what was supposed to be a split-CD became 4-way CD. Which turned out cool, since this way we can probably sell more CDs. [That CD, Tribute To Our Parents, was released in 1998 by the Croatian label Anubis recs & Earwing recs.]

I: I think you should have released a 7” by yourself. That would be great.

S: There will be time for that.

M: We already got some offers, you know…

I: From Dirty Old Town?

MA: Carrot Productions?

M: We’re gonna keep it a secret for now…

I: There aren’t too many bands in Croatia playing that kind of music. What do you think, why’s that?

S: I wouldn’t know. We listen to a lot of music which you may consider emo. Even some metal…

I: There is one of your songs that really reminds me of ‘Metroschifter’. Does that make sense?

S: You may say so…

I: And one sounds a lot like ‘Girls Against Boys’.

S: Well, that is a compliment.

I: So, when do you think you’ll have a record-release show?

S: I was hoping by the end of June.

MA: Since the record is coming out for Anubis recs, who will distribute it?

S: I think Dallas recs (Croatian major label) are distributing Anubis releases through the stores.

I & MA: Woohoooo! You’re gonna be famous! 🙂

I: ‘Mijo’, did you play in any band before ‘Analena’?

M: I’m originally from Zadar and I had a band there called ‘Kiks’ where I sang. I bought my first electric guitar when I started playing with ‘Analena’. Before that I only had an acoustic at home.

I: Well, considering that, you’re doing really well.

M: I think ‘Kiks’ was actually quite good. Although we didn’t play many shows. Mostly local ones and one in Rijeka.

I: I’m afraid I never heard of the band before.

M: We even had an interview in Demonica Substrata (local fanzine).

MA: Which issue?

M: First.

MA: Haven’t read that one.

M: You know, it was kind of a high school type of a band but it was good.

MA: At that time Demonica was also high school type of fanzine and later turned into Nomad. 🙂 (Same editor who did the fanzine later started mainstream magazine Nomad.)

M: There you go. One moment I’m in a high-school band and the next I’m playing with professionals from ‘Ha Det Bra’. (laughs) Even the ‘Ha Det Bra’ website has info saying something like “The drummer and bassist are doing a new band called ‘Analena’ and they are really good.”.

S: By the way, since you mentioned ‘H.D.B.’ website, we recently received five out of five stars from NET magazine for our website.

MA: What is the address?

S: Damn, you’re asking too much. It’s hosted on GeoCities and the address is three miles long. 😊

I: What are your band plans for the future?

S: We’re waiting for the CD to come out and then we’ll play shows around Croatia and Slovenia to promote it. Maybe Hungary, Italy also…

I: Just out of curiosity, you two guys are straight-edge, right? I know that ‘Zet’ isn’t.

S: Basically yes, but this band is definitely not about that.

M: But all three of us are vegetarians.

I: Who is writing the lyrics?

S: Well, Irena used to write the lyrics in Croatian but since she’s not in the band anymore, we changed all the lyrics and from now on they’ll be in English.

M: Both ‘Six’ and I wrote the lyrics. They are kind of personal nature.

I: Cool. Anything else you wanted to say in the end?

S: Thanks for the interview. it was our first interview as ‘Analena’.

M: This was my first interview ever. When I was in ‘Kiks’, I never wanted to give interviews.

S: I like the Beatless column on guns.

I & MA: Cool! 🙂

S: I would really like to try playing paintball. 🙂

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