Long nine years have passed since black metal band from Belgrade “Kolac” has started their hellish ride on the wings of Serbian underground. Raw and loyal to their goals, they are certainly one of the true black metal followers who prevail in their battle with their distinct sinister sounds. Further on, we shall bring out more on their beginnings, distant and close past as well as their new album.
1.    When did the idea about forming “Kolac” first come to light? Tell us more about it’s very beginnings.
First of all thanx for the interview and greetings to all the dark souls reading this. Kolac was formed in 2006 by two friends Zlorog (guitars, vocals) and Grob (bass). The basic idea we had back then was to form each our own one-man bands. Fortunately, we did not have enough skills to do everything a band requires on our own, so we decided to join forces and start a band together. We agreed upon the name almost instantly, as we both wanted a Serbian word that somehow represents the obscure and terrific parts of our history, and is still eerie sounding in the ears of our countrymen, while on the other side is written in full without the Cyrillic letters, so that the people abroad can figure it out. It didn’t take us long to start working on material that would become our first demo. Still, we had a vacant position of drummer in the band, so we decided to start searching for the third part of the line-up while working on the songs. The curse that to some extent follows us today still.
2.    Your fist demo “9/11 Last minute silence” came out in 2008 in exactly 13 copies. This intriguing numeration can be seen in your other releases. How important is that numeral and lyrical symbolism to you?
I wouldn’t say there is some more profound numeral symbolism to our releases or to our lyrics. The thing with numbers was actually very coincidental. The whole story is that we were tired of looking for a drummer and wanted to show our faces to the crowd. So, after a while we decided to release a demo with programmed drums. At the same time there was a Nunslaughter concert announced in Belgrade, and it was supposed to be held on 9/11. We saw that as the perfect opportunity to spread our demo recording, so we rushed it all a bit, and recorded, produced and released it in just 3 days to be ready for the concert. Unfortunately, the concert was cancelled, and we had it released and just spread it out to some of our friends, just to let them know we exist. Limitation to 13 pieces was a choice we made because we had no money to print more of it. Actually we could have made a couple of more copies but you have to admit, number 13 looks better than for example 19. Of course we were well aware that 9/11 in the title would raise some eyebrows, but we don’t give a fuck. For us, it is just a date we released it. And, of course, there is the shock value in it, and our lyrics are filled with sentences made to shock those we oppose, so this could be interpreted as just another strike against religious extremist (there is a song on that demo about it), and politicians we also despise, even if we don’t use politics in our songs.
3.    “…No god” is on our opinion your best demo so far, where the band has clearly determined it’s lyrical style. Where do you pull your inspiration from?
“…No God” demo was a turning point for Kolac. We printed a shitload of copies, and spread it out all around the world. A lot of copies went to the zines, some distros showed interest in it, and a lot of people started noticing that we are as serious as we can be. We went for a more serious approach to our music, we learned some new tricks, and gathered all experience we had at the time. All this combined induced a good number of good reviews, a lot of the zine editors thought we were promising a good future even though we were still young and had a lot to learn. As for the inspiration, it was easy. We were young and naturally enraged at a lot of stuff going on around us. The hardest part is actually summing up that rage and letting it all burst out in the form of a song. Religion was a logical choice of topics since Black Metal was always closely associated with blasphemy, and we could see the stupidity of christians in our very surrounding. Falseness of their behavior, and swearing oaths to god whenever and wherever possible, while behaving completely opposite in their real lives was a great source of inspiration. Our lyrics usually don’t dwell on the deeper level of exploring religions, but more on the mocking of their beliefs. Same goes for other religions. We spit upon allah and his loyal suicide bombers, lazy buddhist assholes sitting on their asses all their lives, whiny jewish “we-were-harrassed-by-egyptians/hitler-feel-sorry-for-us” goat herders and such lowlifes believing some god will make their death interesting but only if their lives are boring.
4.    The third demo, ”Like a nun to the slaughter”, comes out on a cassette and since then you are one of the few bands who frequently publishes their material the old school way. Do you find the cassette someway being a better choice than a CD edition and why?
With the third demo we wanted to do a tape, because we personally like tapes. Nothing more to it. It’s just a childhood fantasy, because we grew up in times when tapes were all you can find. CDs were just getting in Serbia and tapes were much less expensive and easier to find. Especially with the music we like. After that things just went their natural way, and we started getting offers from labels to release our stuff on tape. I don’t think there is a big difference between editing your music on tape, CD or vinyl. Maybe the CD is slightly better because it is still contemporary medium, so everybody has a CD player, while much less people own a cassette deck or a record player. Of course there’s always the question of finances, because making a tape or a vinyl these days is much more expensive than making a CD. That’s probably why most people find tapes or vinyl somewhat more “kult” or elitist. As far as we are concerned, we would like our music to be edited on all mediums for our fans to have the opportunity to choose after their own liking. Of course, tapes will always have a special place in our hearts, and we will try to make all of our future releases available on cassette. As for the demo itself, we tried again to improve on our music, and especially on the visual side of the release. The artwork was done by our long time friend Danilo of Nadimac, who also made a guest appearance on vocals in the cover of Sodom’s classic “Blasphemer”. For the first time we used Serbian language on that demo, for the song “Pakleni Jebeni Rat”, and we decided to put the entire first demo on the B side of the tape, just because we had a small demand for that release and it was long gone at the time. And last but not least, we jinxed another concert with that demo, because we planned to spread it at the Impiety concert which was also cancelled later. At that time we decided not to spread anything on the concerts anymore.

5.    In January 2011 your debut album “Bastard son is dead” comes out. Were you satisfied with the cooperation of the record label “Moon Records”? What song would you especially recommend to your fans?
We came in contact with Moon Records from Poland through a trade we did some time earlier, and the owner was very enthusiastic about our music. And, of course, as soon as we started looking for a label for our debut album, he offered to release the tape version. We are still the only non-Polish band he released which makes us feel really proud. This was the first time we were on a label so we didn’t know what was in store for us. We put all our trust in Moon Records and the owner delivered with style. We are very satisfied how it all turned out. He went over the top for us, even organizing some interviews, sending promotional copies to zines, and it was a huge step forward for us. We are very grateful to Moon Records and, of course, we are still in contact, still trading whenever we get a chance. Great guy and a real professional when it comes to releases with his logo on them. When it comes to the album itself, it was another step towards realization of what we set out to do. In a way the album sums up all the things we did before, on the demos and such. It shows some progress from the raw, crude sound we had before while still keeping the roots strongly on the traditional Black Metal ground. I cannot recommend a certain song or two. I can only point out the songs our fans and the reviewers around the world pointed out as their favorites. Those are “Aeon Luciferii”, “Northern Sunset”, “Gavrana Let”… The reviews we got for the release were pretty much awesome, much better than we ever expected or hoped for.

6.    There is a quite significant number of split and live editions in your collection as well as compilations. Do you collaborate with some bands, and which one of them would you recommend for our readers to listen to?
Splits and compilations are always a great way of finding out more good Underground bands on one release, and we always liked them. So any time we spotted a possibility on appearing on one or the other we gladly took it. Of course there’s always that aspect of supporting your friends and their bands and projects. All of the split releases we made have been in collaboration with bands and persons we respect and support, so on all of them you can find bands you should check out, and support. They are all real Underground warriors, and deserve respect even if musically they are not to somebody’s liking. We are very proud of all our split releases and we are definitely going to make more of them in the future. As many as possible. Most of our previous split releases are sold out, but try and find some other releases by Stonecrypt, Mrznja, Eris, 1389, Satanic Forest, Xerion. Among them, you will surely find a couple of your new favorites. Live releases are something we like to do, because we feel our live appearances are a big part of our bands existence. They are the only genuine proof of the energy we convey through our music. Reaction of the crowd, and the sheer madness created with the exchange of energy between us and our fans is clearly felt during the live performance, and that is something we tried to immortalize on the recordings. We still record most of our shows, and even rehearsals, for our personal use, and we have a lot of them now, so our fans can expect more live releases sometime in the future.
7.    The first album “ Bastard son is dead” also comes out in a CD form with the label “Some kind of distro”. What is “Some kind of distro” and how does it work?
Some kind of distro is actually not a label at all. It is as the title says, just a distro. That is my small distro i started back at the time of “…No God” demo. We have done a lot of trades with that demo, and some releases I traded for started to pile up, so I decided to form a list, and try to spread other bands’ music. Soon enough, my distro started expanding, and I started doing it more on a regular basis. It is still relatively small but I am still trying to keep the spirit of Underground by promoting some small, unknown names. As the album story goes, we tried to find a label to release a CD version of it since it was recorded, but with no luck. With the second album coming we wanted to round up the first album chapter, and with no label in sight, we decided to release it ourselves. And since we didn’t want to put some random label name, or form our own label, we just used the name of my distro as a label on the CD. So, as you can see, Some kind of distro didn’t really release it, but just appeared as a name of the label instead of putting just blank space.
8.    During the summer of 2014 you performed at the Exit festival sharing the stage with worldwide known bands. What did it feel like and what were your impressions on that performance?
Exit Festival was a real big experience for us. It was the first time we got a chance of performing on a big stage on the most professional equipment possible, and for the bigger crowd. Unfortunately it didn’t all go as well as we planned. We had trouble with the monitors, sound crew didn’t do their job well enough, and since we got a very shitty time for the performance (at 4 AM the last day of the festival), there was not that many people in the crowd. But still, all things considered, we had a good time at the festival, met a lot of our friends, and some new ones, hanged out with some real Underground maniaks, and seen a lot of good bands performing live. At the end we figured that these big festivals are not exactly made for small bands like Kolac, so I don’t think you will have the chance to see us on one of them any time soon. We are a small band, and we work best in small, crowded, stinky clubs where we can feel the interaction with the crowd more intensely.
9.    The “Nigra Mors” record label has presented “Kolac” along with a Spanish band called “Xerion” in vinyl edition in 2013, which was followed by a mini tour in Spain during the summer of 2014. Tell us something about “Xerion” and your cooperation.
Similar story with the one I already told in the case of Moon Records. We have met with the name Xerion with the split release they have done with Macedonian band Maras, on Terror Blast Productions, also from Macedonia. I liked the band, and their approach to Black Metal which is very atmospheric and completely insired by old Galizian traditions, and I knew they were behind the Nigra Mors Productions label as well. We got in contact and did a trade, or a couple of them, can’t remember quite good at this moment. They liked our music and we became very good friends over time. At one point they proposed we do a split release, and we accepted at once. They have released a split 7” with one song from each band. At this point I must mention also the magnificent artwork done by an amazing artist called Igor Mugerza. He did a great job depicting the whole atmosphere of the release. At that time exactly we agreed that Xerion could come and play a show in Serbia, so we went ahead and organized a show that basically served as a release party for the split. It went great, and we were all very pleased with the collaboration, and of course, at the same time agreed to extend our partnership further. It all went ahead a year later, when they organized two shows for us in GalizaSpain. Absolute highlight of our existence as a band! Great couple of days we spent there, did two amazing shows, and met tons of great people, some of which, we are still in contact with. We must mention that those shows we did there served again as release parties, since Nigra Mors released our second album “Zauvek Crni” on tape last summer. Another sign of the big friendship we have going on! We are eternally grateful to them both for everything they have done for us, and we absolutely must take this opportunity to say HELL-o to Xerion!!!
10.  At the end of 2014. “Kolac” signed with well known Serbian underground record label “Grom Records”. How did it come to that collaboration and can we expect it to continue further on in the future?
As stated above, “Zauvek Crni” album came out on pro tape on Nigra Mors Productions in July 2014. There are a couple of important facts I must mention first. The album was recorded during a long time period of about year and a half. Artwork was done by Hostile Takeover design studio held by two of our dear friends. They did an amazing job, and we are very satisfied with their effort, so it is in our plans to work with them again and again, until we bore them to death. The album itself is somewhat different from the stuff we done before, much darker and less chaotic. We practically announced our subtle change of direction on the split with Xerion. Of course, we still hold on tightly to the Black Metal roots, just with a bit of different angle to the sound well established by the old ones. Tape was released in a limited edition of 100 copies and at this moment is counting the very last pieces. So, the next step was obvious. We needed to find a label to release a CD version, and htat is where Grom Records comes in. We have a long standing friendship and respect with Grom Records, and we have been supporting each other for over a decade now. This collaboration is a logical next step, and we agreed on all the terms and conditions very easily. The CD should be out spring/summer 2015, and we are looking forward to spreading the darkness together with Grom. As far as the long term collaboration is concerned, it will definitely happen one way or the other. We will most definitely remain friends and supporters forever. Whether we release something on Grom again or not, you will always be able to find Kolac releases on Grom distro, and Grom releases on Some Kind Of Distro. That is the only way Underground should work, and we will work like that as long as there is a breath in our lungs.

11.  “U smrti zatecen”, “4 boga jarca”, “Raskrsten” are only a few of many well known hits. Who writes your music and who are the members of the band today?
From the very first riff, up until today, all Kolac music has been written by Zlorog. One of the reasons for starting Kolac instead of two one-man bands was the fact that Zlorog was struggling to write lyrics and I was struggling to write music. So, in the end, Zlorog writes the music and I write the lyrics. Usually I write the lyrics first and send it to Zlorog, and then he turns them into songs. Zlorog is also responsible for the recording, producing, mixing and mastering of our releases. Of course, he also handles the vocal responsibilities and guitar. Apart from him, Kolac is formed by Grob on lyrics and bass, Omadan IX on guitars, and hopefully contributing to composing songs and lyrics in the future. Also as a part of the Kolac crew we have L’hiver on session drums. He became a part of our band during the recording session for the split with Xerion, and after that recorded our second album and a couple of covers for us. Since he is German, he is still considered a session musician, even though he comes to play Kolac shows from time to time, whenever he gets a chance. While talking about L’hiver we must mention his own band called Winterblut, somewhat of a veteran band on a German Black Metal scene. Check out this band if you get a chance, you might like it.
12.  How important is the production and sound quality in your opinion considering this music genre?
When talking about Black Metal, there is always that debate on raw or clear sound. It all derives from the early Black Metal days and demos released back at the end of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. The way I see that thing, those early recordings were made that way because that was the peek of recording quality back then. I strongly believe that if those early bands had the technical abilities we have today in 21st century the whole story would be very much different. Of course, on the other hand, that raw sound has its strong points, brings with it a completely different atmosphere to the recording, and the much needed “coldness” to the sound. Unfortunately bands today take it way too far. Very few young bands realize that you can still have raw sound but still pretty audible, in the sense that you can still hear all the instruments, and retain that dark atmosphere. After all, the darkness and coldness are mostly made by the music itself, not by pushing a huge buzz in the front of your sound. Just listen to the latest releases by most of those old bands, and you will know what I mean.
13.  Thank you for this conversation. Finally any foul plans for even darker future?
Many things are planned in the very near future. At the time this interview is published, there will already be released the “We Worship Desaster” tribute double CD with a contribution by Kolac. As already mentioned, our second album “Zauvek Crni” will be released spring/summer 2015. Also during the summer there will be released another tribute album, this time a tribute to Satanic Warmaster, which will also contain one Kolac cover. At this point we have a show confirmed on May, 23rd in Novi SadSerbia, with Krvolok and Nekropolis. Those are the closest plans, for any other news and updates, you can always check our website at www.kolac.tk or you can look us up on facebook at www.facebook.com/kolachorde. Once again we wish to thank you for the interview, and invite all the readers to support the Underground and the bands they love!