Fr.U.N.T. Music Interviews “Bad Buka” by Rob Smittix

Bad Buka


Rob Smittix: “One thing I think I find evident is that Bad Buka really seems to embrace a family element in the culture of the band; while many musicians try to separate the two. How does family and music intertwine so well for you? Are any of you actually related by blood and/or marriage?”

Christofer Lovrin: “Music and working together in general as a family and especially as a band seems to have evolved naturally for us in blood, marriage and friendship. Carla T, Diana and I are blood related. Our brother even joins in on tour and at gigs once in a while. We are all just very close friends who get each other and happen to come from the same parents.”

Slavko Bosnjak: “Carla and I are married and the rest of the band we adopted as a big crazy family. It’s not always easy because we are all very opinionated people but every one of us has an open mind and heart. I’m convinced we were all meant to be together because of our complimentary strengths and weaknesses. It’s Destiny!”

Rob Smittix: “Your music has been defined as “Gypsy Punk” and you obviously have roots in the Balkan Peninsula; for those of us that are curious, where in the Balkans are you from? Were you born there or in the U.S.? And besides the American stereotypes of just fortune-telling and carnivals, how would you define the lifestyle of a modern-day Gypsy?”

Slavko: “I’m the only one born in the Balkans, from eastern Croatia.”

Chris: “My sisters and I are of Croatian decent and they both lived there for years, but we were all born in New York. The rest of the band is from all across the US. Cooper Gorrie from San Francisco, California, Kari Bethke and John Carlson from Wisconsin, Illinois and Charlie Schmid and Ben Backus are both from New York, Long Island and Upstate respectively.”

Slavko: “The “Gypsy” in our band means to me the celebration of life’s joys and it’s pains and accepting the whole world as our home. All the traditions of music and art become our own. Plus we have a bunch of amazing and very different influences and technical abilities coming together in Bad Buka. Some of New York’s best musicians perform with us.”

Chris: “Yeah, being adaptable and doing it with gusto is what the “Gypsy” means to me in terms of Bad Buka’s musical possibilities. The “Gypsy Punk” label was given to us by fans and we embraced it as a genre that we touch upon. A modern gypsy lifestyle? Maybe we are more “gypsy” than we realize if it’s defined as being adaptable and making it work with what we have and yet still maintaining our unique identity. None of us in the band are of Roma Gypsy decent. And that term “Gypsy” is sometimes seen as derogatory by the Roma people. We mean no offense by it and have great respect and appreciation for what they have brought to the globe, especially musically. I personally have a distaste for labeling music as most musicians do but I understand it’s purpose in our compartmentalized world. But that’s the sort of thing we so dearly want to break down, reconstruct and create something beautiful, whole and new.”

Rob Smittix: “On the same note punk has not died, as far as I am concerned we have just evolved. Who would you say your biggest musical influences are? And do you believe these influences to be underlying or transparent in your music?”

Slavko: “I grew up in the Ex-Yugoslavian Punk Rock scene and completely surrounded by Bosnian, Serbian, Roma-Gypsy, Croatian and Macedonian folk music as well as Rock and Punk music from America and the UK. It was a very diverse and exciting scene and it definitely influenced me. I think this new Album really touches upon our musical diversity. And there is so much more to come!

Chris: I grew up in NYC where the whole world was blasting music in your ear. And I loved it. I was a closet music whore and ethnomusicologist. I always felt limited by identifying to only one musical style but I definitely had phases. From 50’s and 60’s blues and rock to heavy metal, hardcore, funk, punk,hip hop, alternative, jazz, classical and then Balkan, mid-eastern as well as all classical roots music. I think I covered it all and became a kind of jack of all trades and hopefully working my way into becoming a master of what it is we are trying to do with Bad Buka.  Specific popular western bands that I think we mutually resonate with in Bad Buka would be groups like The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Sex pistols, Queen, Guns and Roses, Metallica, Tom Waits, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Depeche Mode, Motor Head, Nine in Nails, Radio Head, Manu Chao and the list goes on I’m sure.”

Slavko: “Sounds about right. I would add Saban Bajramovic and Taraf de Haidouks. I think our influences are bubbling to the surface here and there in certain ways but mostly our sound is ,in my opinion, original and our influences are underlying.”

Chris: “I love to find out what our fans think because I’m still trying to understand our sound myself. I recently heard someone say Frank Zappa and I respect him a great deal but never really spent time listening to his music growing up. This mystery is still unfolding for me. Plus we still have like 4 full Albums worth of material yet to capture. I’m looking forward to getting more music out as soon as possible.”

Rob Smittix: “Well I hope you know that Fr.U.N.T. Music is totally behind you and we will continue to show our support anyway that we can. The new album entitled “Through The Night”, is also an album cut and a music video. I will encourage everyone I know to give you a listen; where is the best place to buy your music?”

Slavko: “We are releasing the full album on-line on our website via  February 1st 12am and the hard copy CD will be available for the first time at our CD release show and party at Club Europa in Brooklyn NY Friday night February 7th.”

Rob Smittix: “Thank you very much for your time. I have heard nothing but great reviews about your live performances, so you best believe you’ll be seeing me and my peeps in the crowd real soon!”



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