Polo ready for circle pit!
Oh, hey there! I haven't write anything for a blog in a while. After The Truth & Rules Summer Tour I started to write a text about the tour for a blog but I've never finished it for some reason. In October it was four years how I started doing this blog and I didn't even bothered to write something for that occasion. I guess that Instagram took over my soul, haha! Well, to tell you to the truth, I get some good stuff from Instagram because I use it mostly because of the interest in hardcore punk and through Instagram I got to meet and connect with some cool people including people from some of my favorite bands. So, I guess there's some good in that. The thing is when I want to write something kind of fast and put it right online, I make a post on Instagram and when I want to write something more in-depth and longer, I do it for my zine. Which leads me to a decision to start a new zine in English, although I'm still doing the infamous International Old School Conspiracy zine mostly written in Croatian (the last is issue 19, May 2018). But more about the new zine some other time when it will be finished. I will probably post some stuff from the said zine on the blog too and that way the blog will hopefully live it up again in the near future.
Front cover of IOSC # 19 zine
The reason why I'm writing this is to make some sort of flashback of 2018. I'm not sure why we (humans) like to put some of our life moments into these time wraps, but I guess it's easier for us to remember the things this way from our past. But, it's still funny when someone have one bad month during a whole year and then declare that the next year will definitely be better. Yeah, right. I guess I will also have some of that crap in this post, so bare with me on this one.
Sitting on a shit throne at Gaztetxea squat in Zarautz, Spain
So, the 2018. Maybe I can start with the dogs and say that this past year bunch of foster dogs were under my care in my home until they were adopted permanently. Each of these dogs will be remembered in my heart and in my mind for a long time (probably more than some people) and I'm more than happy that each of those fluffy souls were adopted by some kind people. I also want to mention that in a month it will be five years how a beautiful mutt entered my life. I named him Henry (after some dude that was in a band called State Of Alert) and it's crazy that already five years passed from that snowy day when my sister took him all frozen out of the street. But, let's get back to infamous 2018.
Henry Garfield JR
Except of taking care of the dogs, the big thing in my life are the bands where I play which are still The Truth and Rules. There was also a band that lasted for 6 months (at least in rehearsal place). The band was called Bored To Death, the songs were fast and catchy pissed off hc/punk with critical lyrics, but I guess that it wasn't meant to be. We couldn't find a bass player to save our life and there were also some personal stuff that got in the way so that was the end of it.
Anyway, let's start with The Truth, hardcore punk band that I'm part of 2011 although I'm friends with those guys for a long time. I can surely say that we had a pretty good year concerning playing shows and touring. We also wrote some new songs (that fuckin' rule!) at the beginning of the year, so our set list got richer with some new pissed off ass kicking hc/punk songs. While we are still working on a new album, it's a slowly process because we are split up in two countries and four towns and each of us has his own life and stuff that we do, so it takes time to finish the album. Also, we don't want to put some half-ass written songs just to finish the album quicker. Let's back to our shows and some statistics! From May to December of 2018 The Truth played 21 shows in 20 towns and 8 countries all over Europe and Balkan. We played on few hardcore punk festivals this year (To Be Punk in Novi Sad, Serbia, FFUD Fest in Sereď, Slovakia and Ulice Protiv Fašizma in Novi Sad, Serbia), we played at 10th anniversary of longest DIY hc/punk place for shows in Croatia called Podrum in Rijeka, Croatia and we played in Kraljevo, Serbia on a 30 years anniversary of hc/punk in Kraljevo with many legendary hc/punk bands that were mostly active in the 90's.
THE TRUTH and a wild Italian hc/punk crew in Trento, Italy
THE TRUTH somewhere in Spain
The Truth also did a European tour with Rules in summer, from July 6th to July 21st we played 16 shows in 16 towns through Croatia, Italy, France, Spain/Baskia, Portugal and Slovenia. That tour was so fucking good! Despite being summer, not every show was 15 people only (although there were few shows with literally only few people at the show), we played some pretty solid attended shows and some of the shows we played were probably one of the best shows that both bands ever played. Do I even have to mention that we met lots of awesome people, hanged out with some friends, played with some cool bands, ate lots of delicious food, visited too many beaches and we visited Portugal for the first time. We played in Porto and Lisbon and it was cool to meet finally in person Boris, my email/skype pal and a guy behind the awesome Destroy It Yourself label and distro. It was great to talk and hang out with Boris, including talking about the stuff we love both so much which is early 2000's hardcore punk! And besides that, Lisbon show was great! Anyway, I will write more in detail about the tour for my zine, but lets get it clear one more time, the summer tour was great and one of my favorite times of this year.
Rules also played a bunch this year. We also recorded in January (!) but waited the mix for too long. Now that the mix is finally done, we're planning to release those 6 songs (plus The Rites cover) on a vinyl, but before that we're re-releasing the first tape. This time on Mad Schnauzer and Destroy It Yourself! I've already mentioned DIY label being from Lisbon, Portugal run by our dear friend Boris. Mad Schnauzer is a DIY hc/punk label that is run by three The Truth members (the infamous „last seat“ in the van, haha!) and so far the Schnauzers already released some interesting bands from Balkan like Left To Starve, Eaglehaslanded and The Truth of course. And some new releases are in the plan. We also wrote few songs during this year which we still have to record but at least these songs already became the part of our live shows.
LEFT TO STARVE/RULES and our driver Stojka
RULES at Venster 99 in Vienna, Austria
Photo by Paayarazzi
As I've said before, Rules played a lot this year although the beginning of the year and the winter was dead quiet. But, at the beginning of spring, Rules and Left To Starve headed to 9 days (7 shows) tour through Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Croatia. Unfortunately, we had two days off in the middle of the tour which sucked big time, but beside that the tour was cool, we played some great shows, met lots of familiar faces and got to meet some new nice people and even made some new friends. Also, before that tour I haven't played a single show from November 2017, so I really needed that tour to keep me sane. I've already mentioned the summer tour with The Truth that Rules played which I will repeat again, was fucking epic! Rules also played solid amount of local shows including a first hc/punk show in a newest squatted building in Zagreb, Croatia, called BEK. We also played on some great hc/punk festivals: Fluff Fest in Rokycany, Czech Republic, FFUD Fest in Sereď, Slovakia and NÖ Fest in Horná Lehota, Slovakia. All these festivals were a great and positive experience for us and we're thankful that we were a part of each of those festivals. So, from March to November of 2018, Rules played 29 shows in 26 towns and 9 countries all over Europe and Balkan.
RULES at Psych Tent/FLUFF Fest in Rokycany, Czech Republic
Photo by Mišo Ljuboje
Photo by Maja Duljević
RULES at FFUD Fest at Camping Sereď, Slovakia
Photo by Déé X Géé
Both Rules and The Truth have some plans for 2019 but, I'm gonna say more about that some other time.
Summer Nightmare Tour - THE TRUTH & RULES Summer 2018 Tour
All photos by Vjetroslav Prdinski
As for the rest of DIY hc/punk stuff from Croatia, there is some interesting stuff happening from time to time, there are some still relatively new squatted places going on (and also other squats that are now functioning for quite some time). There is of course bunch of bands all around and too many shows (in Zagreb especially). Yes, too many shows that became so predictable and boring, it's like watching a simulation of a hc/punk show through a digital screen, that's how most of today's local hc/punk shows seem to me. Also, too much cartoon punk bands that are not exciting in any way except if you are satisfied with mediocre boring bands and stale performances. Also, absence of any direct self/criticism that goes along with lots of people, concealed sexism that crept under lots of people who are active in punk and lack of „fuck you“ attitude to bunch of things that shouldn't be a part of DIY hc/punk. Also, when you confront some people with these critics, they will say that everything is fine and that we should all just relax and have fun. Which leads me to a drug abuse problem in Croatian DIY hc/punk which was maybe more actual in 2017 then it is now (at least I hope it isn't so anymore), but still, too many people here are seeing punk just as a fun and destructive platform without thinking of the consequences. I always thought of hc/punk as a learning process and never ending questioning process of everything around you including yourself. Yes, „fun“ part is also important in punk, but if „fun“ only means being wasted as fuck at any occasion and not thinking about your actions, then I have to strongly disagree and call you a fucking poser. Now I will say that cliche line that not everything is bad and that there are also some positive people, actions, events that are active in Croatian DIY hc/punk. Of course there are those too, but there has to be some criticism and I think that one of the main problems in today's Croatian hc/punk is the lack of criticism and the fact that people are not communicating (except the few ones) about certain things that I've mentioned above. I don't even want to go too deep into a sudden interest for fanzines by some NGO projects in Croatia because those NGO people's perspective on zines is that zines are something that was happening in the past which really don't help at all those few active punk zines in Croatia. Not that punk zines need any help from any kind of mainstream and zines will continue to exist no matter if people from mainstream culture and press think they're relevant or not. So, I'll stop here about the „scene“ topics before you call me cynical and jaded old bastard. I'm all of that but I'm also that asshole that still care about DIY hardcore punk.
THE TRUTH - Ulice Protiv Fašizma
THE TRUTH at FFUD Fest at Camping Sereď, SlovakiaPhoto by Maja Duljević
RULES at Klaonica squat in Zagreb, Croatia
Photo by Jahvo Joža
RULES at Surogat/Medika in Zagreb, Croatia
Photo by Jahvo Joža
And we got to a personal part of this post, oh, oh, whatta fuck. On a personal side of myself, this year was fucking weird and pretty depressed at some times. But, luckily those moments were present only during a few first months of the year (the usual depressive winter time) and when the spring came I got back to being my regular self, the self righteous asshole that hates everyone, but at least I sorted out everything I had to with myself. The beginning of 2018 carried some bullshit stuff from 2017 related to a roommate that me and my other friend/roommate had to deal with until the first mentioned roommate moved out. But then I got caught into a web of some other people's bullshit including a one close friend and that really made a bad mark on myself. Some of that bullshit got me in such depressive and dark corners of my mind and soul that I wouldn't want that to happen even to a worst enemy. I was so fucked up at some moments which reminded me why I stopped drinking in the first place (which was really long time ago, but nevertheless). Lots of times when I would be drinking and was wasted I would be a total asshole to other people and a dark personality that alcohol would bring out of me was just the worst shit. So, I decided to stop that shit at the right time because I was 18 when I stopped drinking. This was definitely one of the best decisions that I've made in my life. And then, 20 years later this bullshit stuff come back in form of my reaction to some selfish acts of people who don't give a slight shit how their actions will affect the people they're close with. I could write a book about this, but what's the point of that, I don't want or need to go back to that period. I've already gave too much credit to each of those responsible for bunch of selfish, stupid and unnecessary actions that not only had an negative effect on me but on some other people too. But, the interesting thing is that in between all that negativity and dark times I got to meet one awesome person and pretty soon after we met we became really good friends. So, things got much better after getting to know my new friend and when I started to play more. The summer was pretty cool with an already praised summer tour and also few awesome festivals thrown in that I've played with my bands. The rest of the summer I spent mostly chilling with dogs. After the summer, my friend and now ex roommate CursedXD (of course I'm calling him by his punk/band name, haha!) moved out, but it was all on good terms and we're still friends and we still play in bands together. The autumn was also filled with few cool shows/fests that I've played, so there was no time for depressive thoughts and I hope that the upcoming winter will not be too harsh.
Hanging out with my new mysterious friend
THE TRUTH at rehearsal
RULES at NÖ Fest in Horná Lehota, Slovakia
Photo by Déé X Géé
So, that's my flashback of 2018 in short. 2018 was an interesting year although I could easily be fine without those dark moments from the few first months that I've mentioned above. I'm sure there are people out there who have some big plans for 2019 and some other people probably don't think about that at all and just want to survive in this fucked up world. As for me, it's pretty much simple. I'm gonna continue to provide my home as a temporary home for the dogs that needs to be adopted, record and release all the songs from The Truth and Rules that we haven't recorded so far, play and tour with both bands as much as I/we can, put out the first issue of my new zine and the 20th issue of International Old School Conspiracy zine and try not to attach myself with manipulative people.
Most photos by Vjetroslav Prdinski, some by Jahvo Jože, Paayarazzi, Lea.pard, Marija Duljević, Déé X Géé, Mišo Ljuboje and few selfies by ourselves.
Before the end, here are some links that maybe you want to check out. Thanks.
MAD SCHNAUZER RECORDS
DESTROY IT YOURSELF RECORDS
You can also reach me at: https://www.instagram.com/deadly_138/
I am The Snake
PS – Greetings to TEAR IT UP army from all over the world!
Behind the merch table in Novi Sad, Serbia
Photo by Lea.pard