In 1983 punk in Yugoslavia hardly was breathing.
Among old punk bands only legendary band Pankrti was kicking ass.
In Sarajevo more and more was heard about “new primitivism” but Belgrade’s avant-garde from early 80’s became something else - similar to bands from Zagreb. Somewhere in Ljubljana some new hairy punks played new music, which was not punk, but something worse, and the only aim was to play the fastest you can.
Just like they used to say about old punk.
From local radio station you could still hear lively new wave songs. And that was all!
In 1983rd Mostar lived its apathy, and there was no sign that anything is going to ever change in eternally red Mostar.
There were no punk bands or underground scene at all in Mostar. There were no places where you could hear this kind of music, and there weren’t enough people that you could organize something and change the situation…deadly and hopeless.
Those few punks which you could count on one arms fingers were left to their own resources - abandoned to themselves.
Harmless, to the majority we just represented silly appearance and new, ugly fashion. But we were just new kids searching for our place… which was not found. But stubborn as we were, we continued to search for it.
Punk ment buying the cheapest drink and listen mostly bad copies of tapes in someone’s apartment.
Hidden from “their red street” which didn’t want us, music was the instrument for throwing out the anger and helplesness accumulated in ourselves.
We were different and because of that ignored. But we were just new (young) kids which listened the different kind of music.
Music which had marked some of us and changed us for ever.
After that nothing was the same again.
…sometimes very little is enough to fall in love with music and feel its clear message.
In 1983 Habi and Tanja started with first punk fanzine “Under worlds pressure ” which name had intention to describe helpless situation in town. First contacts started to reestablish between punx and bands from other cities, first interviews were made, first reviews had been written… later, more people were involved in preparation of second number of the fanzine. Things were finally moving in positive direction. First lyric was written: song Mostar (in longer version). The idea about forming band was also created. First poster and first textbook were made. On it’s cover was written the name of the first Mostarian punk band “KULTURNO NEVASPITANI” (“culturally spoilt”). Good will was the only thing what band had and we could only dream about the instruments. But in the end, after many attempts, we found a place. There were all the instruments we needed in that room. But what to do with them? The only condition to get the place was that the owner plays drums. We didn’t know him, but we needed a drummer, so, of course, we accepted him. We did not agree about the name of the band, that’s why we were thinking about changing it. You could remark already then how hard was to play punk in Mortar in those days.
At next rehearsal I brought a list with five suggestions. One of those suggestions I remember very well. It was “Radnicki savjet”. Deep down I hoped this name will be accepted. Most of other suggestions were were in rebeliuos manner. Only the name “Zenevski dekret” sounded kind of “normal” and it did not associate on socialist everyday life, which was not allowed to talk about openly or to criticize. At the end this suggestion was chosen.
The first line up of ZD was:
Habi – vocal, Koka – guitar, Roza – bass and Luka – drums.
We were unskilled so we needed a few months of enduring and hard practice. But after that we made our first repertoire of 4 – 5 songs. We recorded a few rehearsals on tape recorder. It is really bad that these tapes are not saved, but who knows, perhaps they still exist somewhere. Today they must be real dessert for sympathizers of noise punk.
It is hard to define music from the first period of bands existence. It was not trash. Our bass player Roza loved Sarlo Akrobata band, so he tried to make bass sound like theirs. Drummer played crossings all the time and Koka made terrible noise with guitar. In all that mess I tried to found myself – my singing was very melodic, although everything together sounded very noisy and loud.
In my opinion music was close to slower raw chaos punk with anarchic lyrics and pretty melodic singing.
I am not sure, but I think ZD was one of the first anarchic punk bands on this territory.
At the end of 1984 drummer left the band. It was expected because he exclusively listened to rock, so he probably was sick of all the noise we made.
With him we lost the place and all the instruments but Roza succeeded to find space for us in his old house in Santic Street. We practiced there for a long time, and whenever we wanted. Really great man! (thanks a lot ROZA wherever you are).
Roza was extremely slow bass player, haha, but the rest of us were already deep in hc mood, so in the beginning of 1985 Roza left the band (after he got pains in his right arm, ...and we even didn’t play faster, haha).
Koka took over bass with pleasure and the new member of the band became old punx Golub appointed for playing guitar.
1985 line up: Habi – vocal, drum, Golub – guitar and Koka – bas.
Finally we started to play strong hc trash, like bands we liked and listened to a lot - Kaaos, Riistetyt, Discharge, Anti-Cimex, Appendix, Chaos UK, Disorder...
This might be the craziest period in band’s history. It’s funny to remember how kids from nearest school were looking at us every time we were on the street half deaf after rehearsals. Hardcore punk definitely came to Mostar, as well!!!
With this line up we had our first live appearance at concert in Buna (near Mostar). We were surprise for totally unprepared public. All along the show Golub and Koka were turned backward to the audience and I was behind drums screaming with the top of my voice.
And all that was happening in the middle of the day. Disaster!!
For the first time you could here the angriest hc trash playing in Mostar.
However, we got some positive reactions too. One of the attendants congratulated us for very effective show and expressed his wish to join the band.
On next rehearsal Kuzma became our new guitar player. Golub took the bass he wanted so much, Koka became singer, and I continued with drums.
Before that, we already have sent some garage records to people from Ljubljana and got positive answer for taking place at HC party.
In short time we had few intensive rehearsals, playing in same raw trash spirit.
Gig in Ljubljana was outstanding. In 1986 in SKUC edition the first video tape named “Ni u strahu” recorded at that gig appeared - and also tape record “Cudeza ne bo”. Soon after the gig in Ljubljana we should have gig with Mostar’s rockers “Zemljotres” in famous Mostar’s club “Pećina”. But we did not play a sound that night.
Koka came on stage so drunk that he fell into the audience immediately.
It was the last show of this trash line-up.
Next day I was on my way to military barracks in Skoplje.
My place in band was taken by Tocha, who fitted in perfectly.
After few months of practicing band recorded its first demo in studio B. Cinca, in Ljubljana. The demo contains 8 hc punk songs.
Soon after, in the beginning of 1986 Koka went to JNA (Yugoslav national army).
Nothing special was going on with the band in 1986, except searching for better rehearsal place. But in 1987 we are back together again.
This time Koka and I were supposed to sing what was a real challenge. In that time there were not bands that would have two singers.
After many rehearsals and the first independent gig on alternative scene in Mostar we decided to give up new concept. Koka left the band because of some unfortunate circumstances.
This period was the period of the biggest changes in bend. Guitarist Kuzma wanted to play slower punk hc, influenced with alternative music he mostly listened to.
The others wanted to play stronger and faster HC.
This disagreement about music was the main reason Kuzma.
So in came Djoko who was the best guitar player in town.
1987 line up: Habi – vocal, Djoka – guitar, Golub – bass and Tocha – drums.
This line up was the most active, so in 1987 we had many great gigs. A concert in Dubrovnik have to be mentioned. We got great ovations there and a few times we had to return back on the stage. Tocha threw borrowed and fucking expensive drum sticks into the audience and with that act became a star. Haha. Soon we forgot all ovations and a great feeling of good show when angry guys from Osmi Putnik came and asked for their sticks.
Later, Tocha left the band, and in the beginning of 1988 before recording of 2. demo Mujic joined it.
In Sarajevo studio VOG we recorded second demo which contains 6 songs in different style. Zeljko Mandic was the producer.
3 songs are pure crossover hc, others are in old punk style, and the last song is song named “Hit” - funny song made in rap punk style.
After recording of this demo band had no rehearsals, at all. Djoko already had other band before ZD, so he left. New drummer Mujic followed him.
Songs from 2 demo appeared on many compilations in ex-Yu and wider. (,,Nasa cetica koraka’’, ,,R’n’R je mrtav ipak’’, ,,Fuck Vivisection’’...).
In 1988 we made contact with Secro Egoismo records from Austria and got an offer to appear on their compilation LP “Return of Yugoslavia”.
The condition was to invest some money, because bands had to pay vinyl pressing. Of course, invested money returned to bands as specified number of finished vinyls.
Golub and Habi decided to invest the money what turned out as a smart move.
Freely, we can say that this record was turning-point in bands existence and it was the most successful bands presentation to the wider audience.
We got very good and positive critics and the song “Necu da budem dio jebene mase” became great hit, not only in punk circles. At that time we got most offers for gigs outside Mostar, but unfortunately nothing came of it.
However in April 1989 band succeded to play one and only show with this line up in Sarajevo’s Akademija Scenskih Umetnosti with Rijeka’s band called Grch. The concert turned out good with never seen jumping of the public. But public was not the only one who had a great time this evening. I have, storming together with public, on narrow stage suddenly felt through the curtain into backstage, directly on the table around which guys from Grch were sitting and drinking(at that time they were considered to be darkest band in ex-Yu). I think they were preparing themselves to come out on stage, when i scared them to death with my unexpected fall. Haha.
I could read on their faces:“What is this?! What is going on?!” I toasted with consused Zofa, Grch’s singer, had a swig of beer and jumped back on the stage. This scene didn’t last more than 10 seconds, but it stayed in my memory as one of the funniest gigs that I experienced. And they were many. Well, it was the last gig this line up have done.
That LP “Return of Yugoslavia” didn’t pass unnoticed was confirmed later with agreement with independent publisher from Novi Sad, who showed interest to publish first studio album.
Golub and Habi started to search for new members.
We knew Duje from earlier like very interesting guitar player, and after few successful rehearsals, there was no doubt he’s guitarist ZD needed. With him we practiced 5 – 6 songs for the first album, but the war spoiled it all. However some of these songs were recorded later in Sweden.
With exception of Duje, line up in 1990/1991 comprised also talented guitarist and great guy Ljuba and photographer, master of sound and proved drummer Sale.
The war begins… and all of us leave, disappear, slowly, invisible, losing and finding ourselves…in some ours/yours/theirs/foreign/damn/bloody sides...
Anyway FUCK THE WAR!!
Golub and Habi went to Sweden, and no one thought about playing.
But in 1997 in Sweden city Norrköping something is going happen.
There Golub, Habi, Mujic and guitarist Haris will meet. It will be new line up of ZD. After few months of practicing we entered the studio and recorded 12 songs, different than earlier material. This time band sounded like 77 punk style.
One song from 1st and one song from 2nd demo were recorded again. Also we recorded cover song “Blues”, originally performed by Proces.
Finally we recorded song “Moja generacija” (My generation), which had to be on the 2nd demo. This time without introductory crossover riff.
Soon after recording band stopped working, all members moved to different places because of work and other obligations. After this, band did not have gigs anymore.
There won’t be any attempts to revive band and do something concrete.
Save the vinyl and see you soon!
Love you all Zenevski Dekret!!!