Tom, the guitarist of Zagreb, Croatia’s TOMORROW WE HUNT, dropped me a line about his band about a week ago. I immediately fell in love with their dark mixture of hardcore punk, crust and powerviolence and decided to let you guys know about them.
These guys have just released a new EP called “Griefbearers”, which is available for a “pay what you want” fee via bandcamp (bel0w). They already did 3 European tours and can’t wait to hit the road again. They discussed what would they have done if stranded on a desert island or were chosen as dictators. Oh, and there’s a bit of music talk, too :) See for yourself.
Hello, gentlemen! Please introduce yourselves before we start drilling in your dark history and revealing all shameful secrets you’ve got there [smiles].
[laughs] Happy to share my darkest secrets and shameful history with you guys [smiles]. My name is Tom and I play guitar in a band called TOMORROW WE HUNT.
What do you hunt for? What’s the story behind the name?
I would really love to share an interesting and funny story about how we got our name, but I’m afraid there isn’t one. It just came up and we’ve sticked to it since then. If we would need to hunt for something it would definitely be human stupidity, selfishness and false moral values.
Would you hunt for meat if stranded on a desert island?
Definitely not, since I do not eat meat and think it is wrong to eat other living beings on this planet I wouldn’t hunt them for meat. Since it’s an island I would probably dive for algae and eatable seaweed [smiles] I think I would find a way not to kill animals there [smiles].
Yeah, you’re vegetarian, right? Or vegan? Are all members of the band dedicated to this path of life?
Not all of us from the band are non-meat eaters. Three of us are and two are not.
I myself have been a vegetarian for two years and in the last couple of months I stopped eating dairy products as well.
The thing about eating meat, especially in our country is that it’s more of a tradition. If you don’t eat meat you’re not a real man, go on and eat your leafs instead. But if people would just stop and think about the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, if not because of the moral heaviness of that decision, then at least for their own health and well-being.
Are there any arguments between the five of you over this matter?
No there aren’t any. They also know that the vegetarian/vegan diet is far more better and healthier, but since they live a lifestyle where it’s easier for them to grab a fastfood meat sandwich then to make a home cooked plant based meal they simply choose the first option. We who don’t eat meat often tell them it would be better for them if they stopped (and they certainly have reduced their meat intake) but we don’t want to shove our beliefs down their throat cause at the end of the day it’s their own decision and we respect it.
What about straight edge way of life? What do you think about that?
In a society where it’s normal to smoke pot on a daily basis if you choose a straight edge lifestyle you’ve got my sincere respect, especially because all of your other friends will be smoking, drinking, doing drugs, etc. It’s an admirable way of life, no drugs, no smoking, no drinking, and some of my most favourite bands and artists are straight edge. We as a band have never experimented with drugs and we do think it’s really stupid if you take them. We aren’t a straight edge band cause we love to drink a couple of beers from time to time.
Alright. So let’s go back to the very beginnings. Please tell me about both your first exposure to hardcore and how the band formed.
I think I just gradually started listening to hardcore. In seventh grade I was really into punk a lot, listening to RAMONES and THE CLASH all the time and I just found out that there is much more faster and more exciting music out there so I discovered MINOR THREAT, BLACK FLAG, BAD BRAINS, ANGRY SAMOANS,etc. and I was just drown to the whole hardcore punk scene. I’ve went to my first hardcore concert in high school, BOUNZ THE BALL from Austria and ENDSTAND from Finland were playing and I just loved the intensity of the shows.
The band started after high school but since there were a lot of line up changes I would say that “Hunt” in this formation is active a year and a half, it has been the most productive period of the band regarding tours, albums and the over involvement in the whole hardcore punk community.
Have you played in other bands before TOMORROW WE HUNT? (damn, I’m sorry, but I can’t resist the feeling you’re a metalcore band because of the name [laughs])
Any side-projects you’re currently in?
I played in bands with our other guitarist Bruno but it were all just bands who led to formation of TOMORROW WE HUNT. Well I do agree that the name is a bit metalcoreish, but it’s a really old name, we named it in 2008. And it was actually named by our ex vocalist, but a lot of people left and came, and then left and came again, and the vocalist was really into metalcore so that’s basically why it sounds like that [smiles].
Not at the moment, at least not the ones worth mentioning [smiles].
Alright. Your new EP “Griefbearers” runs for 7 minutes, so it’s definitely not metalcore [smiles]. Tell me about your baby.
[smiles] Yes, it’s just a very pissed off, dark and fast EP. On “Griefbearers” we basically talk about the general hatred we feel towards human species, religion, and mistreatment towards animals. For us humanity is a virus, a modern plague, draining everything nature has given us and not giving anything back.
The whole EP was recorded in 2 days at Chicken Sound Studio and the whole process was taken care of by our friend Vedran Kovačić Beli, a great patient guy.
How does it differ from your full length?
There is definitely a shift in the overall sound. “Bitter Words” was a lot more melodic and we tried to mix a few genres together, one guitar on the record is basically recorded on a clean chanel. “Griefbearers” is more straightforward, simple and more punk I would say [laughs]. This is the sound we’ll definitely cultivate in the future so this EP is kind of a transitional record from our old stuff…
Where would you locate the EP’s strengths? Any ideas for the next step?
[laughs] It’s a bit hard for me to say what’s the best thing on “Griefbearers” cause I wouldn’t be objective, but what I like about the songs is that they are intense, short and sweet and lots of fun to play live [smiles].
We already got half of the new record done, so we’ll be writing it till the beginning of summer and then probably record it midsummer. We intend to do a ten days Eastern Europe tour in summer and then a whole European tour in October probably.
What feedback have you got so far? Was it hard to take the new material abroad and present it to the world? [smiles]
I was really surprised with the positive feedback we got for the EP, I can’t even think of one negative comment we got for it, so thanks a lot to all the people who listened to it so far.
[smiles] I was really excited to present Griefbearers to the world so it wasn’t hard us. [smiles]
It’s funnily easy with this new invention of the Internet, right? [smiles]
[laughs] Yes, it’s really easy to get your music heard, and since we are a band that has always made our records available for a free download it’s great just to know that people are downloading something you worked hard on.
Can you imagine how hard it was for bands a bit more than 10 years ago to get their music heard, especially from smaller countries…
Yeah, and I’m quite surprised with your opinion as there’s another popular approach: “By what right do people download my fuckin’ hard work for free? They are stealing from us!”. How’s that?
I can definitely understand that point of view as well, cause if you’re working hard on something and paying for it from your own pocket then you deserve at least for people who enjoy your music to buy it.
But although I do understand that approach, I have always believed that music needs to be a free media, available to everyone. If you want to support our band come to a show, shake our hand if you liked the show and buy some merch to help us out. We’ve always put our stuff for a free download on the internet but you can always buy a shirt, CD or a patch at a show and by doing that show your support and so far people have been doing that.
And how useful do you think social media is for up-and-coming artists?
It is definitely the only way for smaller bands to spread their music and work to people. If it wasn’t for social media smaller bands coming from smaller countries would never get the chance to be heard, specially bands from the Balkans, and we do have a lot of great hardcore, punk, post rock/metal, crust bands here.
So how did you manage to build a network of contacts abroad?
The main thing is just to be on the internet all the time. We did 3 Euro tours so far, and we’ve booked them all by ourselves and I’ve searched for contacts in every corner of the internet. So I would say that you just have to be persistent, search for every single person in every possible place and try to spread your music as much as possible.
Yeah, man. 3 European tours is not so bad for such a young band, huh? Tell me more about those treks. How do you remember them?
Yeah it’s not that bad, we would be doing a lot more of them if it weren’t for college or work, but we are satisfied with what we did so far.
For the first tour we teamed up with our great Austrian friends from TREATED. Those were really great 10 days on the road. We met a lot of people, sold a bunch of shirts and played great shows. Guys from TREATED are the best possible people to do your first tour with, really great bunch of guys and we remained great friends.
The second tour we did was a small spring tour, we played a couple of shows with our friends and a great hardcore punk band called JADED HOPE, and it was really fun, went to places we never been before and again talked to and met a lot of exciting people.
On the third tour we just said fuck it, let’s just book as much shows as we can, so we went on a 21 days tour and it was the best we did so far. We visited a lot of places we already played and hung out with our friends. Also went to countries we never played before and went through so many weird, funny and great situations.
We really had a lot of luck cause we didn’t have any bad experiences. Every tour we did so far was perfect and a great experience.
Do you want to share some of the funniest stories from the third trek?
There have been a couple of them on the last tour but for me the most funny one happened when we played in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia. There was a big stage and in front of the stage there was a step so you can climb on it. When our show started I accidentally kicked the step and moved it for a few meters. As we don’t like big stages we played on the floor and the only one who stayed on the stage was our bassist. So after two songs, in the middle of the third one he wanted to get off the stage and he took a step and in that millisecond realized that the step he was supposed to get down to wasn’t there any more so he fell of the stage and he only had the time to push his bass behind him so he fell like a ton of bricks. I turned to him just as he was falling from the stage and I started laughing so hard, but when I turned to the crowd (there were around 60 people there) no one was laughing, there was dead seriousness, so I started laughing even harder. When the show was over he just came to all of us and said: “I saw the face of death”.
[laughs] I visualized the dead serious crowd and it actually made me laugh, too [laughs].
You played lots of benefit shows, right? What are some of the best things about gigs that collect money for people or animals in need?
[laughs] Yeah, for a few seconds I couldn’t play my guitar cause I was laughing really hard.
Yes, we played and organized a few benefit shows for local, non-profit, no kill animal shelters. Definitely the best thing is knowing that money you collect on those shows will help people (and with that animals) who are so devoted to helping other living beings in harm to buy them food, pay for vet. exams, pay for their accommodation. It’s really hard for those people cause everything they do, they pay for from their own pocket, so any kind of help is much appreciated. In the end the best thing is knowing that you will help another living being whose every right is to live on this planet with dignity, they don’t deserve the cruelty we humans put the through.
And what about anti-fascist events? What do you think are the key issues facing anti-fascists and anti-racists?
For me hardcore has always been about open mindedness, equality and leftist ideals so I have to say Fuck Off with your fascist activity and way of thinking. I think that a lot of countries still have problems with neo-nazis and at all the places we played through Europe there was a strong NO FASCIST ban which is definitely needed to show that they are not welcome. People with those kind of ideas do not even understand what hardcore or punk is and what it actually represents.
What changes would you be making if you became a friendly dictator in Croatia? [laughs]
[laughs] I don’t like totalitarian rule, but let’s say that I was a very, very friendly dictator [laughs] I would definitely abolish the Vatican contracts we as a state signed and I would turn this country into a real state of knowledge and not false and shitty values this country is now.
Oh and I would ban animal euthanasia and make a legislative where if you torture animals then the way you tortured them you’ll get back the same way.
Damn, you sound like a pretty nice dude. Meanwhile, you seem to be inspired by loads of dark and almost satanic shit [smiles]. I know the evil is very hot in hardcore these days, but tell me.. where do all these dark inspirations come from? [smiles]
[laughs] Well said. For me it definitely comes from the place I live in, Croatia is a shitty place with a lot of bigots and stupid people. We live in a country where there is more than 80% of the population declared as Catholics, yet we are bombarded constantly that there is christianophobia present every day and that Catholics feel threatened constantly. In the 21st century there are still bans of theater show posters which insult feelings of “believers”, yet we call ourselves a free, open minded country.
I live in a place where in 99% of cases you can get a job only through nepotism, where there is no production, no industry and the biggest joy is when our football team wins a match. When I was 18 years old I was really excited to vote for the first time but now 6 years later I will annul my leaflet cause every single politician in this country, be it left wing or right wing, is the same, only caring about his interests.
The amount of arrogance and ignorance we humans have in dealing with other living beings astonishes me. We have to understand that if we don’t understand their language, their habits or their intelligence, be it dogs, cats, cows, pigs, chickens, dolphins, whales, elephants, etc., it doesn’t mean we are the superior ones here, and that it’s our right to conduct the everyday genocide we do.
Okay, so you should maybe start an orthodox black metal band? [smiles]
[laughs] I don’t like black metal that much [smiles].
Ok. Let’s discuss your local punk scene. On average, how many shows per month do you have in Zagreb?
In the last couple of years we had a chance to see a lot of smaller as well as bigger hardcore/punk/crust/post metal/rock bands. There were always a few enthusiasts who were booking bands and doing shows in Zagreb and they kept the scene alive, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t see a lot of great bands here in Zagreb.
It all depends on the month and the touring schedule of the bands, but on average you can see three great shows per month in Zagreb.
You have been booking your local shows via Deathunt Collective. Tell me more them and other local promoters, booking crews, etc.
This is a new initiative we started up not long ago. We just wanted to give back to the hardcore punk community and help other bands who are just like us and are looking for a show in Zagreb to book them and help them play here. We organize DIY vegan, antifa concerts.
There aren’t any booking crews in our country, in every town there are a few people who book smaller or bigger bands and who have for the past few years kept the scene alive.
Concert active towns are Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Osijek, but the majority of concerts are held in Zagreb.
In the last 4 years there has been a great free hardcore punk festival called S.A.W.A. (sick as we are) in Županja and a lot of great bands like ANOTHER BREATH, NINE ELEVEN, D.R.I., VITAMIN X played there.
Do many people come to these shows? What do shows look like over there? Do people like to get crazy, get violent or just stand and watch? [smiles]
Again, it depends on the show and the band that is playing, but the average is 50 people on every smaller show and at least 200 on bigger bands (Converge was the last big show).
Mostly people just like to watch with their arms crossed, nothing crazy with that [smiles].
[smiles] Nice, a tough guy with hands crossed is one of our favorite dance moves too [smiles]
What was the hardest beating you got while moshing? [smiles]
[laughs] Well they move in the rhythm and nod their head as well.
Hm, don’t exactly know, I’m not a fan of violent moshing, just be good to people around you is my moto, I like stage dives better… [smiles]
Ok, Tom. What was the weakest thing that has happened to you as a band so far?
To be honest there wasn’t a lot of bad things that happened to us. Maybe the worst thing so far was when we played in Prague the first time, the guy that did our show fucked us over for 40 euros and kicked us out of his apartment at 6 in the morning.
Oh, bummer. Have the majority of the people that booked you treated you well?
Yes, this has been the only case of a idiot promoter, all of the others have given us everything that they can. I’m really thankful to every single person who has put on our show, it means a lot being a small band from a small country and get to play in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.
Alright, so what are your next steps, fellows? I bet you are already working on the next release.
Yes, we already have half of the LP done, so we’ll hopefully go and record the whole thing midsummer. As I said earlier we plan a 10-15 days Eastern European tour and then a whole European tour at the end of the year, we would like to visit Sweden and Denmark on this one.
Cool. Make sure to let me know when it becomes advanced.
What else would you like to add?
That’s about it. I would like to thank you for doing this interview with me and all the people who stuck till the end through my boring gibberish.
Also, please support your local non profit, no kill animal shelters, help the people who are unselfish and help other living beings in need.
Thanks, man! I guess we got a nice portion of information about you here. All the best for the rest of 2013! Cheers from Warsaw, Tom!
Some photos by Ana Mihalić.