Goatmare & The Hellspades – Bloody tales of the ghost town

If you take a look at the Serbian underground scene being a fan of bands like “Misfits”, “Blitzkid”, “The Crimson Ghosts” and other more or less famous horror punk bands all over the world, one name will certainly draw your attention – “Goatmare & The Hellspades”.

Combining horror punk and melodic psychobilly elements with comic, dark and slightly morbid lyrics on top of it, they surely determinate themselves as a distinctive phenomenon on Serbian underground scene, therefore gaining a huge loyalty of their Serbian and foreign fans. We bring you an exclusive interview with this remarkable and unusual band.

1.The name of your band is quite interesting and unusual by itself. Who was the creator and what was the inspiration for it?

-   The band was named by Slavko Kozomora, lead singer and creator of the project back in 2009, and it is a literal English translation of his last name. The whole name came as a direct influence of rockabilly and doo wop legends, such as “Dion and the Belmonts”, “Buddy Holly and the Crickets” and others.

2.When was the idea of forming this kind of band born? Tell us more about the band's beginnings.

-   The band itself began as a project in 2009, during Slavko's service with the Serbian Armed Forces. First songs were recorded in that period, and during 2010 the project became a band, gaining new members and having first gigs at the end of 2010.

3.What year did your first demo “Demo of the dead” come out? Who were the members then and did it change by now?

-  “Demo of the dead” came out at the end of 2009, as a promo release. The whole crew was way different then, and none of the original members play In Goatmare today, but they still respect our work and support us all the way.

4.There are a few horror punk covers on your first demo album. Can we expect some more of that in future or will you write only original songs?

-   No, those covers were made purely out of respect to the original authors, for promotional reasons. No covers were done since then, and I don’t believe there will be any more.

5.In August 2011 comes out the compilation “Pandemonium vol. 3” which promotes young bands from Pancevo, along with your song “Kapela”. Not long after, you released a split edition “Slike straha” with “Drugo lice” from Belgrade. Recently another split edition came out on a cassette, with a Czech band “Lucky Boneheads crew”. How important split editions and compilations are for you, and would you collaborate with some band that are not alike in your genre in future?

-   To us, split editions are a very important way of band cooperation. The genre itself isn’t that relevant because we do our best to be on the good terms with every band we respect. We are good friends with a significant number of death metal, oi!, melodic punk, black metal and hip hop bands, as well as rock, horror punk and rockabilly bands.

6. Some of your first editions were signed with  “D.I.Y or die”. Do you think that Serbian bands have problems finding publishers more often than bands abroad?

-  In our case it is not so much a question of finding a publisher, it is more about doing things by yourself the way you think is best and the way you want them done. But, to answer your question, yes, it is difficult to find a publisher, unless you have a metal band, and even then we’ve heard more than one story from a metal or rock band that, in terms of broadcasting support or marketing, got exactly nothing from the publisher, not even having the most basic contract honored. The whole publishing business is very different from, let’s say, 20 years ago, so we opt for DIY. That way we know exactly what we get.

7.Tell us more about Serbian "horror punk scene"? Does it even exist? Which bands can be singled out if there are any? Is the situation better in the region?

-   At this point, I really don’t know if the Serbian horror punk scene still exists. We do our best to make as much gigs as we can and make new songs along the way, but we really don’t know how active the other bands are.

8.Zombies, floppy discs, audio cassettes and video games. Pure horror punk story in an oldschool way. Tell us more about that.

-   Old school is the best and only way to describe it. The things you mentioned above are things we all like, and it brings out nostalgia for a carefree time we all used to have.

9.Your album “13 ways to die” comes out in 2013 labeled by “Punkthrone Mafia Records”. Could you share something about publisher and how did it get to collaboration with them?

-   Punkthrone Mafia Records is our own record label made exclusively for publishing our own work, and promoting bands we like. Other PMR releases include “Misha Mashina – Na leđima žirafe” in 2013, and “Raskid13 – Mi imamo bend” in 2015.

10.The album “13 ways to die” is in our opinion an outstanding musical and lyrical piece with every single song being a hit. Which one is in your opinion the crowd’s favorite?

-   Thank you so much for your compliments. In our opinion, we believe that “Sve je mrtvo” creates the best atmosphere where ever we go, but still, every place has its own favorite song.  Some of the other popular and very well liked songs from “13 WTD” are “40 dana”, “Sadista i Kanibal”, “Leševi u Gepeku”, “Creva u Kadi”, “Ti noćas umireš”. Those songs really pick up the crowd and people often request them for an encore.

11.Your phenomenal live acts are a rarity in our region. You have also had the chance to perform on some big festivals as well abroad. Do you have any friends and fans in other countries? Which appearance would you single out as the most special one?

-   Lately we are working on some new material which will be released soon, so we put live shows aside for the time being. Our new single “Moja si” will soon see the light of day, and we will try to promote it as much as we can by making new gigs, in Serbia as well as abroad. We have many friends that respect our work in Croatia, Czech Republic and other European countries. To us, every appearance is special, but I think that our performances in Zagreb will be the one that we remember for the rest of our lives. The hospitality of the people there and the unique positive energy from the crowd is simply unforgettable. 

12. In the last decade most of the industry in Pančevo was closed down, historical and cultural monuments were cast into oblivion and many young people have left the town. Did that fact have an influence on your inspiration and is it somehow connected with the song “Grad duhova”?

-  “Grad Duhova” symbolizes not only Pančevo, but every city that has had a great number of bands and a rich culture in terms of music and live performances. In the last couple of years concerts became scarce, but it seems that that period is slowly ending and the whole scene is picking up. All we can do is play as much as we can and hope for the best.

13. It seems that “Goatmare and The Hellspades” is a virus for which there is no cure… Thank you for this interview, and last but not the least: Are there any plans for future or everything is dead ("Sve je mrtvo")?

-   I like these 13 question interviews. Thank you for this opportunity, I hope we will have a chance to talk again soon. Our plans for the near future are to release “Moja si” as well as some other singles (complete with official music videos) as soon as we can and play as much as possible to promote them and bring our music closer to our devoted fans. Don’t be silly, Goatmare can’t die.