Eruption – Devotion to Oblivion Part IFriday, 9th June 2017
Breaking though in the metal scene remains a constant uphill battle. Thousands of bands vying for limited attention spans, and tighter economic constraints to boot. What can these newer acts of the digital age do to stand out? In the case of Slovenia’s Eruption, it’s strive to be as original as possible given the tools you are born with. While their debut album Lifeless Paradise certainly possessed equal Bay Area/Teutonic thrash affinities, the follow up Tenses Collide in 2012 showcases proper advanced growth with riffing, pacing, and melodic versatility. Following a couple of more lineup changes, their latest album Cloaks of Oblivion puts the band in rarified territory – exuding confidence while once again expanding their ideas into power, speed, and traditional-oriented dynamics while still being thrash at heart.
Feeling the need to learn more about this group and the general state of heavy metal in Slovenia, we reached out to the entire band: vocalist Klemen Kalin, guitarists Andrej Cuk and Gregor Kamensek, bassist Nika Krmelj, and drummer Ivan Cepanec. They give us insight into how they feel about being on Xtreem Music, the landscape of the current metal scene, the burgeoning movement within Slovenia, as well as the excitement of what will be taking place from Eruption in the coming months and years ahead. Open your hearts and minds to the fact that there’s a wealth of quality metal beyond bigger cities and countries – your ears and eyes will thank you for the discovery in the end.
Dead Rhetoric: What were your first memories of music like growing up? How did you make the move from being a music fan to discovering heavy metal, and eventually the desire to pick up an instrument and develop your own original music?
Klemen: Music was always present at our house. My mom’s an opera singer, my grandfather used to play the accordion and my uncle played the clarinet and saxophone in a rather successful Yugoslavian progressive rock/fusion band. So good music was really easy to come by. I was introduced to heavy metal by my cousin who used to live with us. The first two albums I heard were Against by Sepultura and Metallica’s Ride the Lightning. The album that made me want to be in a band was Walls of Jericho by Helloween. The vocals on that album are just so crazy – not particularly good really, often barely in key, but just so wild and full of energy. One of my favorites to this day.
Nika: Music always played a big role in my life. I went to music school in first grade, where I played recorder for 10 years and double bass for 2. My parents are very much into Yugoslav rock, so I’d been introduced to that kind of music at a very young age. I first started exploring rock and metal when I heard Dio’s Holy Diver through the closed door of my sister’s room. I was instantly hooked.
Andrej: At the risk of sounding super clichéd, I always wanted to listen to music that had energy and punch when I was a little kid. I was crazy about Bill Haley and wanted guitars and vocals that were even more in-your-face, I somehow pieced together that what I wanted was called hard rock and heavy metal. I asked my dad for recommendations and off I went with Sabbath and Metallica, no big surprises there!
Gregor: My family also loved music and passed it on to me but I could never relate to the national folk music they liked. My parents wanted me to play citre (national instrument) and they signed me and my sister up for private lessons. After 9 years and several live performances with my sister, I decided to switch from citre to guitar. My sister is to blame for me becoming a metalhead. Her current partner, Branimir (from the band Gonoba), also had a big influence. I am a self-taught guitarist but the theory from private music lessons for citre definitely also helped me develop and gain my style. I started with Aerosmith in elementary school, moved to Metallica, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Megadeth in high school (at that time I started to play guitar) and later less mainstream thrash, heavy and power metal bands.
Ivan: My parents, their radio and their small, but awesome record collection, filled with rock, pop, blues, even country (my dad was a Willie Nelson fan). My first meeting with harder types of music was Yugoslavian rockers Plavi Orkestar and then Europe’s Final Countdown – also my first ‘’hard rock’’ LP. But Queen’s Live Magic album was also the shit! Soon Bon Jovi and AC/DC on TV and throughout the years tape compilations, featuring hard ‘n’ heavy bands. Metallica’s Master of Puppets was the real deal breaker. Me and my older brother started scavenging for metal videos, magazines, tapes. One day, when I was in 3rd grade and already crazy about Sepultura and Morbid Angel, he brought the tape of Sodom’s Persecution Mania. That was the moment I realized drums are the instrument I wanna play. Watching Sepultura’s Under Siege VHS tape made me wanna be in a band and to make a really long story short, the rest is history.
Dead Rhetoric: Coming from Slovenia, do you believe there are any struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to establish Eruption as a viable, professional band that can be competitive with other international acts?
Andrej: Oh yeah, for sure. Slovenia isn’t seen as a hotbed for metal music internationally so naturally there’s less of a pull towards our band because of it. In reality though there’s quite a few bands around and there used to be more. Back when the band was starting out and even around the time when I joined, it really wasn’t that hard to cut your teeth on the local live circuit and network with other bands if you wanted to because the country is so small, so that was actually a big plus. Learning gig etiquette, how to handle merch, shaking off stage fright, how to sound good through the P.A., all of that came to us quickly, as far as this goes I don’t think we have anything to hide from bigger international touring acts.
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