FURION was first introduced to me by Dimitar from HARDFACED, who also runs Diehard Records & booking. They are based in Skopje, Macedonia and sat down with me to talk about their amazing local scene and its unity. We discussed their new album called “Trashing Folks”, new video for the song “Queen of Thieves” and a bunch of other stuff you’ll surely love!
Hello, guys! How are you? All good? [smiles]
Definitely all good., working hard on preparing for the concert next Friday March the 22nd, rehearsing playing hard, moving equipment and so on and so on. It’s a big day for us, and we’re looking forward to it.
Who’s playing? It’s a Diehard Booking presented show, isn’t it?
It’s a DIEHARD booking and records show, they took it upon themselves to release our album, took care of the promotional material and so on. We have been friends for almost 5 years now, played with them, hung out and partied, so it is the fair thing to do, to make this show happen together.
How long have you been around? Please tell me more about FURION’s birth.
FURION is a band that was formed in the summer of 2007 by high school friends Ivo Pavlovski and Milan Tasevski. They hired their friend Ante Gulin on bass, Marjan Srebrov on drums and finally me on vocals. I knew all the guys from because we went to the same school, and Ante had a lot of friends at our school, except for Marjan who I knew from before, and I hadn’t seen him in years, so I was very excited and glad that all of us were going to play some proper fucking METAL !!! [smiles]
We debuted on the scene in Skopje, November 3rd 2007 at the 5 year anniversary concert of MK METAL the Macedonian metal portal.
Awesome! Is “Thrashing Folks” your first studio release?
YUP! It’s our first baby. Recorded, produced and mastered at our friend’s Ivica Jankulovski Straf studio MARRYPHAT. A kick ass dude with a lot of patience and nerve. We took our time with the whole process, Ivica was away a lot on tour with MANU CHAO and Kiril Djakovski, but in the end it was all worth it. We got the sound we wanted, and in my selfish opinion I think it’s good. We learned a lot from this experience.
Then the boys from DIEHARD came to us with a simple proposition – would we like them to release our album. Of course, we said FUCK YEAH!
Was it your professional debut? Or have you spent some time in the studio before? Perhaps with your other band?
No, FURION is our only recording band. We all have been parts of short lived projects, with our friends but FURION is our main concern.
Ivo our guitar player is part of a band called STAGNATOR, who are yet to have their first gig, featuring some awesome people from awesome bands from our local scene. Milan has done a bit of solo work ( a metal project, not porn [laughs]) with some interesting middle eastern and Balkan folk vibe which is nice.
Alright, boys. So how do you actually promote this new outing of yours?
Via the internet for now. We had a couple of Macedonian sites publish articles about our album and video.
This nice guy from Poland also interviewed us [smiles]. But we’re satisfied with the reviews and publishing thus far.
We only have 500 copies of the album and so far it’s going great. Soon we’ll make some merch, shirts, g strings, sex toys and such.
Great! Do you already have some ideas for patterns and graphics?
Yes of course. Our dear friend Nemanja Trajkovic already did all of it, when he concluded the work on our album cover art. He is a motherfucking genius. When I saw the completed cover art, I almost shat my pants!
Awesome. What about the video you mentioned? Who’s behind the creation of “Queen of Thieves”?
A BUNCH of people. It was our friends Simon Kiprovski’s idea to make the video, he directed along with Irena Nikolovska.
Kristijan Teodorov and Bogdan Jonchevski were in charge of camera and photography, and Bogdan also produced the video along with our friend Stefan Palitov, who also together with our guitarist Ivo edited the whole video. Sandra Kiprovska was in charge if make up, Vlatko and Maja were the male and female lead roles, and a bunch of friends were extras on the set. It was a kick ass experience, and we’re very grateful for it [smiles].
Any plans for another one already? [smiles] It’s trendy, you know? RVIVR is putting out a video for every single song from their new album [smiles].
Аs a matter of fact yes, probably another one late this summer. But we’ll see. It’s nice to have a video or two per album, more than 3 is just trying too hard [smiles].
Alright, please tell me about the friendship between your local metal and hardcore punk scenes. You were highly recommended by Dimitar from HARDFACED, who also runs Diehard Booking and label. He talked about you in nothing but glowing tones and that was the first time I noticed that you experience this very rare type of unity in Macedonia. So, how do you see it?
In my personal opinion we only have a underground scene, not a HC or Metal one. Weather in Macedonia, Poland or Indonesia. We’re a small country of warm-blooded friendly people, but with a lot of passion and energy for the music we love. From what I have experienced from these past 10 years as a proud member of the Macedonian Underground scene I’ve come to learn that there is no room for labels such as metal, punk, hardcore or whatever, rockstardom or egos. I’ve learned the value of unity, of not segregating fans and bands, but viewing the Underground scene as brotherhood and sisterhood of all the misfits from society, all non-conforming kids, that like to think for themselves and listen to a different kind of music than what is socially excepted in their peer groups.
The skinny kid headbanging on the side, the ruffian in the mosh who is a fat kid with low self esteem, the goth girl that just wants to be different, the asshole talking shit about everyone (myself past, present and future) – THOSE are our people, no matter how different or fucked up you are, we have a place for you – it’s called the Underground, and there’s no entrance fee [smiles]. Sure some kids are just in it for the trend, some are not. Either way, it’s cool.
Great to hear that. I’m afraid it’s not the same here in Poland. There are already lots of hermetic clicks not very open for “alien” stuff. People got really pampered and spoiled, I think. Honestly, I don’t get it, especially because metal and hardcore are so bloody close to each other. Do you know some Macedonian hardcore bands highly influenced by thrash metal? It’s a well-known and ultra hyped trend these days. Bands like FORESEEN make me insane. You better check’em out, bro. Go here and here.
A lot of bands in Macedonia have thrash metal influences, MINDLESS VIOLENCE are a kick ass crossover band, the Forever album by SMUT has a lot of tharshy elements, as well as HARDFACED’s Show them what they fear. Older stuff like NIHILIST, BRIGADE OD, TANK WARNING NET are also heavily influenced by thrash and crossover metal.
What are some of the most exciting things about thrash metal? Why didn’t you choose a different metal path? [smiles]
We don’t like to label ourselves as just a thrash metal band. We have a lot of different musical influences, especially from our own Macedonian folklore. We have a firm thrash base which is evident, but we like to mix it up with a lot of stuff.
Do you have some non-musical influences on the new record?
Of course. Being young in country that is in a constant state of transition, not having enough money to live OK, hatred, the fucking police, inner struggle, all that shit. We are not a band that likes to preach a lot, but we definitely incorporate our message in our lyrics. I believe that everyone should see things form their own experience and perspective.
Alright, back to your first answers and touring.. how many gigs have you played so far as FURION?
About 25 to 30 so far for the last 5 years. We are not the most active band concert wise but we play with a lot of heart.
The only 2 gigs outside our country that we have played are WOA Metal Battle in Banja Luka in Bosnia, and at the WOA Metal Battle in Wacken, Germany.
Do you think it’s enough to be well-knit, to feel each other instrumentally? Or are you still improving?
We’re still improving definitely. We’re satisfied with our current sound, but there is more work to be done. Both technically and creative wise. I think with our new material we will go into а deeper, heavier sound. But it will still be as badass as Thrashing Folks [smiles].
What shows are you gearing up for in the coming months?
Of primary concern is of course our promo concert 22nd of March. After that we will probably tour through the cities in Macedonia and in the fall probably the Balkans. It would be awesome if we can catch some festivals this summer too. But we’re taking it slow one step at a time.
Alright guys. It’s time for a few random questions, if you don’t mind [smiles].
Is it important for a metal band to have long hair?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! The only one thing you need for a kick ass band, metal, punk or otherwise is a FAT GUY!
Hair has nothing to do with it! [laughs]
Can a straight edge kid be more into metal than hardcore punk?
Hmm, probably not, because metalheads tend to embrace drinking and low personal hygiene as a large part of their sub culture.
But you never know. I’ve never met a straight edge metal kid, but I know some awesome straight edge people, who aren’t very preachy about their way of life.
Where do metalheads go when they die? [smiles]
Меtalheads don’t die man. Just look at Lemmy! [laughs]
Fair enough [smiles]. Is there anything you’d like to discuss before I let you go?
The demographic changes of the South East European nations, but we’ll leave it for another time [laughs].
Thanks for the interview, hope all you Polish dudes and dudettes like our album and video.
Support your local scene, live, love and MOSH!
Great! Many thanks for your time! Happy conquering the world! [smiles]