On May 28th, 2006. which was ten years ago, my old band VASELINE CHILDREN recorded its first EP. Some of you reading this blog may know a bit about Vaseline Children because I mention this band from time to time and maybe you were even there when Vaseline Children played shows. I will go into details about this recording, release and also about the period of the band when this EP was recorded. At the time of recording this EP, the complete line up was together only for a few months. Before Cane (vocals) and Kiki (bass) joined, Zhbla (guitar & back ups) and me (drums) were having rehearsals as a two piece for a few months until we find the rest of the members to complete the band. This was the first band of Kiki and Cane and Kiki practically learned to play bass through Vaseline Chidlren songs. Also, before this recording, we played only two shows. I don´t know if all that shows on this EP, I´m definitelly aware of all the flaws of the first recording, but maybe I´m more critical about it because I was in the band and I´m more fond of how these songs sounded live, but considering that this is still the most known and loved Vaseline Children record, I´m probably too critical about it.
VASELINE CHILDREN before the first show
On afternoon, May 28th, 2006. Vaseline Children recorded 12 songs in a garage, which was a rehearsal place of Usud, death metal band where some of the people we knew played at the time. Everything was recorded in 3 hours by Brankec (who was the drummer of Usud) and we recorded all live at the spot except for vocals and second guitar parts that were dubbed. The recording was mixed, produced and remastered in June 2006. by Jakić (who played in bunch of Croatian hc/punk/metal bands like: Clean, Nikad, Senata Fox, Amok and now play in Ponor) at his home (so-called: „Kut Sobe“). This recording was released first as a Self Titled CD at the end of 2006. on bunch of Balkan DIY hc/punk labels: DHP & AK47, Brand New Place (which was run by Cane), Ha-Ko Bastards, Obsolete Man & Burn Their Trends. All of these labels were run by our friends, so it was all based on friendship and supporting and spreading the DIY hc/punk conspiracy. The CD has all 12 songs that we recorded which include our 10 songs and 2 covers, one by Fx Px Ox (our friends from Skopje, Macedonia) and one by Circle Jerks. In spring of 2007. the recording was released as a Self Titled 7 ˝ EP by Thrashbastard, DIY hc/punk label from Berlin, Germany. Seven Inch has 10 songs, missing "Svi Ćete Umrijeti" and Circle Jerks cover and song order is slightly different from the CD version. 3 songs from the recording was also given and sent on a CD-r to some people as a promo CD. Songs on that promo CD were: "Wrong Time, Wrong Place", "We Are Taking Over" & "Nothing To Give". Also, few songs from this recording were released on a few international DIY hc/punk compilations.
I can´t recall much from the recording process except that it went pretty smoothly (I mean, it took us only 3 hours to record everything), because we were having often rehearsals at the time so we were tight enough and the songs were pretty simple which only helped us to record everything so fast. One thing that I remember was that when Cane did vocals, the rest of us had to get out of the garage, because it was so funny to hear his vocals without the rest of the music. After we recorded this, I remember that we sent few songs from the recording to lots of people but the interesting thing is that it was Vasko from Fx Px Ox, who gave VC promo CD to Andreas who was the guy behind the Trashbastard label and just by hearing those 3 songs, Andreas decided to release VC on 7 inch. Andreas helped us a lot with releasing the seven inch, he spread the release to countless distributions and I think this was and still is the most known Vaseline Children record and from time to time I still bump into the seven inch on some distros. As for production of the recording, I can´t say that I´m totally satisfied with it, but concerning the shitty instruments we had at the time, I don´t think it could be any better, so that´ what it is and at least the recording is raw like hardcore punk record should sound.
VASELINE CHILDREN, September 20th, 2006. - Show with Fx Px Ox & This Home Is Prepared at "Vila Kiseljak" squat, Zagreb, Croatia
VASELINE CHILDREN, September 30th, 2006. - Show with Theysuck! at "Barijera" squat, Metlika, Slovenia (the last photo ended up on the first record)
The cover art is simple but effective. I think that Zhbla was mainly responsible for cover art and graphics. As for mutliplied skulls on the cover, I guess Zhbla also found the skull somewhere, I´m not sure where he took it from. The logo on the first record is the first version of the logo, we changed it later. Both CD and seven inch covers has explanations of lyrics, all written in English and CD version have also text about DIY hc/punk from each member of the band written in Croatian. It was important for us to express our point of view on things that mattered to us like being into DIY and hc/punk (3 VC members also did zines at the time), so each of us wrote something about how we view DIY hc/punk, what it means to us and also we expressed strong critic of the local hc/punk scene. The same was with our lyrics, we pretty much wrote short and to the point angry and pissed off lyrics about stuff that frustrated us at the time, being that the local hc/punk scene, pressure of society and your peers and similiar themes. The photo on the back of the seven inch (or in the lyrics sheet in CD version) was taken by Mirna von CFB (Evazija & Ugly Fucks vocalist) and that wasn´t credited on either version of the record. The photo was taken on Vaseline Children/Theysuck! show, September 30th, 2006. at „Barijera“ squat, Metlika, Slovenia. If anyone cares, the seven inch was pressed two times, 500 each press, all on black and there are few test presses. As for CD, I´m not sure how many were pressed, probably not more than 150/200. There is one interesting thing with CD version that something like 30 or 40 copies were lost somewhere on the streets of Zagreb, thanks to one of our friends (that will remain nameless here, haha) who took the copies for the distro and forgot the bag with the CDs somewhere on the street.
VASELINE CHILDREN, November 17th, 2006. - Show with Growing Rats & Aktivna Propaganda at "MC SG", Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
As for writing credit, most of the lyrics were written by Zhbla, I wrote „Hardcore Starts In My Room“ and „We Are Taking Over“. „Svi Ćete Umrijeti“ was written by both Zhbla and me and Dropdead was written by Cane. As for the music, it was pretty much the same case as with the lyrics, most of it was by Zhbla, mine music was for the same 3 songs that I´ve also wrote the lyrics. I could say that „Jadranka Kosor“ was done by Zhbla and me, but that´s like only few seconds, so who cares… Some songs were dropped out of our live set pretty soon, like: „Hardcore Starts In My Room“ and „Jadranka Kosor“, while most of the other songs were played until the last fucking VC show. Lots of these songs were favorites of people who were into VC, especially „Nothing To Give“ (which is actually one of the least favorite songs of mine from this record) and „Svi Ćete Umrijeti“ (guys from Mladina Kina loved this song). I could list you bunch of bands that had some influence on us at the time, but the fact is that Tear It Up had lots of influence on Zhbla and me during the VC and it was one of the most important bands that had impact on us to start the band in the first place. All of us in VC loved Youth Of Today, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Fx Px Ox and few more bands that I can´t remember now. All of these bands had major influence on us, if not musically then it was their dedication to DIY hc/punk what inspired us. The cover songs for the debut recorind were chosen pretty simple. Circle Jerks – Group Sex was also one of our favorite hc/punk records and "Deny Everything" was pretty easy to cover. Fx Px Ox were our friends and they were one of the most important DIY hc/punk bands from Balkan and they were very active at the time so, they definitelly inspired us a lot.
Few VASELINE CHILDREN posters from the 2006. shows
It´s interesting how things moved quick then. At the time of the first VC recording, even that we played only two shows, the word about this new fast and pissed off sXe hc/punk band spread around quickly. Until the CD was released, we already played 15 shows in bunch of towns, including Slovenia and at the end of 2006. we played in Serbia and Macedonia. Also, by the time the CD was released, If not interviews then VC infos were in pretty much every active hc/punk zine at the time in the ex YU area. We were definitelly taking over and we took no prisoners, haha. Oh shit, I didn´t even mentioned all the rumors and crap that people talked about VC at the time, well, maybe some other time.
VASELINE CHILDREN walking in the streets of Pula, Croatia during the two day 3rd Anti-Fa Fest, November 3rd, 2006.
VASELINE CHILDREN & THE TRUTH OF XXX, Belgrade, Serbia, December 30th, 2006.
So, this is how I see the first Vaseline Children record, if any other VC member or anyone else wants to add something or correct some of my errors, be free to leave the comment or drop me a line. The fucking struggle continues!
Get it here: VC 7 ˝