Finally, after a long time of preparing, and slacking, the interview with Zoran Cvetković Cvele is ready.
The interview was conducted in March 2021.
Photos by Dušan Mitić Car
1. Let's start from the beginning. I wonder what attracted you to music. I guess that was when you were a kid. What are your earliest memories of music? What did you listen to then and in what way (radio, TV, records)? Did you grow up in a house where music was listened to? Did you go to music school or are you self-taught?
Ever since I know for myself I have loved music. I always discovered some new things in it, got ideas and tied memories, people, colors, smells, tastes to it. As a child, I received a cassette player and a couple of cassettes from my uncle. The first thing I did was connect it to the radio, go search for frequencies and record everything I liked. From that moment, my interest in sampling, mixing and arranging began. Music was not listened to in my house and no one in the extended family was ever involved in music, and the very notion of music was associated primarily with "folk music". I didn't go to music school, but I wanted to. It was at the other end of town, and my parents didn’t have time to “take me away and bring me in”. Maybe it’s better that way because I’ve never adopted “rules”. I just like to wander and experiment with melodies and arrangements, and see where it takes me. In elementary school, I got my first guitar (acoustic) and learned chords. I hated practicing common popular tunes. It was much easier, and even nicer, to play something of my own. That's how I started.
2. Romantične boje (The Romantic Colors) band was formed in 1983 after the break-up of the punk group Elektromagnetno zavarivanje kostiju (Electromagnetic Bone Welding). What can you tell us about that punk band? When was the group formed and who was in it? What did you sound like? Did you play concerts? Are there any recordings of the band?
I bought an electric guitar in 1980 when I started high school. That is when the first group Electromagnetic bone welding (EMZK) was formed. The band consisted of Saša Panajotović Amerikanac (guitar and voice), Boban Veselinović Sulja (drums, ie drums and cymbals), Miomir Randjelović Mima (bass) and me (guitar and voice). I always liked to say that EMZK was a Punk / Jazz band for the simple reason that everyone did their own thing. Pure improvisation, like in jazz. Each rehearsal would end in an argument, but in a few days we would gather again, reconcile and continue where we left off. Unfortunately, after so many rehearsals, we did not manage to survive and record anything.
3. Very little is known about bands from Nish. Many places in Yugoslavia, such as Sisak and Pozhega in Croatia, Prijedor, Banja Luka, Doboj in Bosnia and Herzegovina, had punk bands, but not much is known about it. In the seventies and eighties of the last century, were there other punk bands besides you in Nish?
The first punk band in Nish were Fleke (The Stains), and after them Partizanska eskadrila (the Partisan Squadron), Komuna (Commune), Plišane mačke (Plush Cats) were formed ...
4. It is interesting that after the breakup of the punk band, you founded a slightly different band, Romantic Colors. How and why did this change occur? Was it a big step away from your previous band or was it a natural continuation of a story you started earlier?
I wanted to try something new, and the synthesizers made it possible for me. They totally drove me crazy and pushed me into a whole new world. I think it was completely natural for me, as I had to get one with the appearance of the first samplers. The same thing happened to me with computers. It still holds me to this day. In a word, I became, and remained, a technology addict or freak.
My story wirg synthesizers starts out of spite. The last time we had a heated argument and decided to break up EMZK, Amerikanac explained to me that anyone could play the guitar, but the synthesizer ... and I decided to sell the guitar and buy synth. I bought two Casio gadgets, started playing and ideas were born. Two Gorans, two of my good childhood friends, Goran Veljković Gax (synth) and Goran Radenković Radenko (drum machine) joined in and we start rehearsing. We did a couple of recordings in the studio of Radio Nish (Posljednji tango- The Last Tango, Noć- Night, Krug- Circle). The songs started being played on the radio waves, and we started doing shows.
5. Band Data (from Belgrade) said in an interview that they borrowed synthesizers and other music equipment all over the city and that they went to London to get the necessary musical gadgets. How did you get the equipment at the time? Where and how often did you rehearse?
It was a matter of agreement. You want to join a group, then you have to get a synth. And do you know how to play? Well, you will learn in time ;). That's how I started, and the same was true for the others who joined the group. None of us were musically savvy (except Srda) but we all had a great desire and will to create something and be a part of something. That's how we functioned. As far as I remember, we had rehearsals mostly on weekends due to obligations with the school. We initially had a few Casios, and later we added Roland Juno 106, Roland Alpha Juno, Boss Dr 110, Yamaha DX 11, Casio CZ 101. For recordings we could always borrow DX 7 and TR 707 from Vlada (Trivalia), Korg Polysix from Mane (Fleke).