We recently witnessed fantastic set by Alo!Stari from Maribor, Slovenia when they played with Lagwagon in Ljubljana. It was about time to talk to the guys for our zine. Enjoy this interview like I did.
You guys are relatively new band in the scene, as I heard you exist from April this year. Could you describe your name, music and the background story to the readers of this zine who didn´t hear you yet. As I understand you guys played in Trash Candy before this band? What´s up with that?
We are new to the scene in this band, but we play or played in Trash Candy, Happy ol’ McWeasel and some other projects also as you mentioned. So yes, the band is new but the band members are old and we played in various combinations throughout the years. The thing is, the dialect where we come from is often portrait as funny and stupid, but we tend to change that with great lyrics and catchy riffs. The name Alo!Stari is basically a hello. It’s a hello we use in our daily lives.
Regarding the last question – all our other projects live except for Trash Candy that is currently on hold as we are focusing it all to Alo!Stari.
You recently played with Lagwagon in Ljubljana. How was that for you? I think it was a fantastic show. Two guitar players really give power to the band drive. How many shows did you play until now?
Playing with the music that you loved growing up is always something special. We’ve seen Lagwagon play tons of times, we even shared the stage with them at one point, but for us that day it was two things: Satanic Surfers (duuude, Rodrigo playing and singing at the same time is priceless) and our own gig, which was a first in Ljubljana and that city is a tough crowd to get moving, especially if you’re from Maribor, but we managed to do that, so mission accomplished. Until now we’ve played 4 shows, but there’s a lot more being booked everyday. Every week is more or less full in December.
We tried to buy your record on your merch after the show in Ljubljana, but the girl there told us that the album is coming out soon? What´s up with that? When is the record coming out? Is it going to be only digital or also physical copies? Is it the full length or the e.p.? Tell us something about that, how many songs, how was the writing and recording process? Do you think merch is important for promoting band and where can people find your merch?
We know records are something people still enjoy, but majority listens to singles nowadays. What we tend to do is release 3-4 more singles and then release a full album afterwards (somewhere in late 2020). Times have changed and even though we personally love having records (Jernej and Matej have huge collections at home), we’re going the singles way. Merch is the most important thing in your band besides the music. This is your bands opportunity to get the word going. You can get our merch from our FB site and soon from our website alostari.si
I saw your videos for the singles you released. You sing only in Slovenian language or do you also have English lyrics, do you plan to go international or concentrate more on this region?
This is a regional thing only. We think that the main problem of punk-rock music is that everyone tends to sing in English to be able to tour, but we forget that people relate to the native language way more than they do with a foreign one. We are way past that mindset and we’ve done quite a lot of touring with TC and HOMW all around Europe, so this time is local only – we need the scene here.
Concerning lyrics, do you guys think that punk has somehow stopped being a threat? Did it stop somehow being a rebellion against the stupidity and is sailing more towards safe waters? How important is the message in the lyrics and not only having fun?
Man, not having a message is the biggest problem in music today, because what gets pushed to the mainstream nowadays is either some depression-related lyrics or you know the usual, chicks, party, sex, drugs… I think punkrock delivered itself a fatal blow because of the elitism. This is a complete and utter bullshit. We are the biggest promoters of equality, openess, freedom of speech but deep down inside we’re doing just the opposite, you know what I mean? Scene is too closed. How do you expect to get a following if you don’t let kids join the party? That’s why we need to get back to the roots – heavy, straight in your face, but heavy lyrics in local language but with a catchy twist and party-like attitude to get the kids excited.
You guys are from Maribor. How is the punk scene there? I know Brez Vprašanj are from there, Malo Morgen which I don´t think are active anymore and are there more bands? I know Pekarna is the place to play gigs, my former band played there in 2015.and I remember great times I had there in the 90-ies at No Border Jam festivals. Are there more venues besides Pekarna? I read that there was some hooligan attack there, that someone was beaten or something. Is there a lot of violence nowadays?
Punk scene is at its lowest point at the moment, there’s just not enough bands to keep the scene rolling. Sure there are some bands but none of them are working towards the same goal, which is keeping the scene alive. There were some festivals in the past like No border Jam but those are now a distant past. Festival Scena is trying to help the local bands and get them to perform but it’s not on the same level as were the old school festivals. There are some other venues where you can play, like Štuk, Satchmo… Everywhere you go in the world at one point or another you are going to bump into assholes, so Pekarna is not immune to that but I wouldn’t say there is anymore violence nowadays.
What do you think of the so called immigrant crisis? I saw on tv that some kind of right wing extremist paramilitaries are strolling on Slovenia-Croatia border with guns in their hands. Do you think that media should ignore those lunatics and not give them any space in news and newspapers and portals, or should people be warned about their existence?
The immigrant crisis is very real and should be addressed properly. At the moment it is not. If we (I mean Eu and Usa) wouldn’t go there and start wars for them and then leave them to pick up the pieces, believe you me there would not be an immigrant crisis. Who doesn’t want a better life for himself and the people close to him? Would a mother cross a fuckin Mediterranean sea on a dingy boat with a child if it were this great in their country? So they go on this perilous journey leaving their home and loved ones behind. Sometimes you have to look at things from a different perspective and the world seems a little nicer.
As everything else around us, everything is blown out of proportion so the media is having some content to report about. I mean does anyone takes these guys seriously? Bunch of low IQ kids and men with nothing to do on the social welfare playing soldiers in the forest is not the most important issue we have here. Bigger issue here is why doesn’t the state or province or whoever arrest those morons and send them to jail? That’s the issue. I don’t believe this is freedom of speech if you are intolerant to others and want to do them harm!
Back to the music. What´s next for the band after the record release? Gigs, tours, what´s up with booking summer festivals? Punk Rock Holiday maybe?
Hopefully to play a lot more gigs and get our message across. We won’t be touring as much as is normal for touring band mainly due to Slovenia being so small and we don’t have a reach in other countries due to the Slovenian lyrics. But we can guarantee you that you will be seeing a lot of us this year, maybe even on PRH, who knows? Stay tuned on our channels and page where we will update any news we will have.
Slovenia always had great melodic punk scene, since the 90-ies and nowadays too, with so many awesome bands playing, maybe not big, but tight and compact. Do you guys get along? I can only tell from our perspective, I have been part of the scene here since 1992.and I can safely say that nowadays the scene is great here in Croatia with so many fantastic bands, kids organizing gigs etc…the only thing that we must work on more is gig culture, attending and supporting more gigs and quit so much talking and start more working. How is Slovenia with that? I love that most of your gig venues are non smoking areas hehe. You don´t smell like smoked ham after the gig hehe.
We grew up in the mid 90s when bands from Epitaph, Fat Wreck etc… were at their peak, skate culture was at it’s peak, but nowadays we cannot talk about the scene anymore. There are two reasons. First – punkrock elitism. It’s what killed the community and the second thing, we are really small. But none-than-less there are a nice number of great punkrock bands from Slovenia that keep the music alive. What we now need are bands with Slovenian lyrics. People tend to feel the native lyrics much more than English for example. Hopefully we are giving some younger kids some inspiration to go and start a punkrock band.
As for the non-smoking venues – it’s awesome, but we remember the days of smoked ham parties.
This is is all for now. You guys watch after yourselves and I am looking forward to your record. Thank you so much for answering all these questions hehe.
Thank you for interviewing us and supporting the scene! All the best dude!