The waitress, probably born in a small, quiet and peaceful Bulgarian town, brins us the beers waaaay after we ordered them and in the meantime Levski are getting their asses handed to them by SS Lazio. For the dudes in Fyeld, however, the Bulgarian reality isn’t a reason to complain. According to them Bulgarian’s have been closing their eyes to their own qualities due to complexes and exactly this is one of the topics touched by their brand new album “Not Blonde Enough to Survyve the Holocaust”. Bobz (guitars, vocals), Emo (guitars) and to a lesser extent Timo (programming and… guitars) tell me about their new creation.
- OK. Lets start with the album. It has been six years since the previous one. You obviously try not to rush things. Still, tell me what took you so long?
Bobz: We have been recording the album since 2006 because we went through some personal soul searching periods and what not. From 2003 to 2006 we were trying to think of something new to come out with. We didn’t want to repeat the first album and rehash old ideas. I also had some personal stuff to take care of. There was this period of a year and a half when I must have touched my guitar like two times or something. But finally I and Dodo got around to writing songs. And so we did. The big problem was figuring the direction we wanted to head in with the new material. We compared the new stuff with the old songs all the time so we could avoid quoting ourselves.
Emo: I joined the band during the recording process. One morning Dodo called me. I had given him a call the night before and he said he had something bad to tell me. And he told me that I must play in the band. Which was no surprise.
- You had played together before in a band, as far as I know…
Emo: Yes. I and Gepi played in Mataka, while Axel and I had found our first band together when we were 15 and we played together for quite a while – four years. The band was called Total Power, then Overpower. We were some really excited Pantera fans back then. Now Odd Crew play like us, ha-ha…
Bobz: Yeah, exactly like Totál Power! Ha-ha!
- I can see the intrigues this statement will spark now… So, about your next album that is probably going to come out sometime in 2015 – do you have ideas and a concept ready?
Bobz: We’re half done! There are plenty of ideas and we’re halfway ready so to speak. But really, the whole problem with the delay between albums was that we had to invest a lot of time in things not related to music and then it took us a while to get to the level we were at before we stopped.
Emo: But now Fyeld’s tractor has gained momentum and there is no stopping it!
- The whole thing by the way looks quite professionally done and I guess a lot of money was poured into it. The videos for example look expensive…
Bobz: Actually yes. But especially about the videos – they might look impressive and like a lot of money has been invested in them, but in reality everything has been done with a lot of passion and we have found ways to make it work with a minimal investment.
(Here Gepi, the band’s Producer, joins in and explains to Bobz with a fatherly tone that the video for “Beefinger” is actually quite expensive – the author.)
Emo: He was just trying to say that we put a lot of passion into this…
Bobz: Yes. We have had enough of all the bands who complain about money and say “we need this many thousands of BGN in order to make a product the way we want it”. But this is not necessary and there are ways around it.
Emo: When you have a good concept and you know what you are doing it is not that important how much money you invest. It will work out well any way. On the other hand, if you concept is not good, no matter how much money you pour into it it would end up hollow.
Fyeld, minutes before being taken by extraterrestrials (note the lights behind).
Pic by Veselina Penkova (Agressiva)
- So, you started this quite big tour in support of the album. You played in Plovdiv and Haskovo last if I am not mistaken. How was it?
Bobz: Attendance was OK. But everyone who has seen us play knows that this is not that crucial for us. The important thing is that besides the concerts that did go very well there was also strong interest in purchasing CDs and band merch. So there is a market for CDs. Or at least there is one for good stuff. I do not want to present my music a s a product – like vegetables you’d buy in a retail store – but there is demand and the response by journalists and other musicians has been quite good.
- The tour is very big for Bulgaria. If I have to be honest there’s a few dates on it in places I had no idea there is a scene to play at…
Bobz: No, there’s plenty of places to play. We owe this mainly to our management by Double D Music because they have connections in places where we don’t. If we had organized it ourselves we’d end up playing in only 10 cities, but now we play 14 and there are places that we will skip now and play later. This is very important because when a band doesn’t play, it dies. Sometimes I feel really small when I see Lamb of God’s schedule – four consecutive shows then a days rest and then 2-3 more shows. We’ll have to work a lot to get there.
- Yeah, but they make a living out of this.
Bobz: That is right but as Timo can tell you a band like ours can quite easily organize an European tour that can last for 2-3 months. It is not so hard anymore. It is important to make an effort. And to have something to present to the people, something to tell them.
- You mentioned your management – Dragomir Draganov (guitar player for Epizod – the author). How many people think that Drago Chaya (a Bulgarian TV host, has the same name – the author) is your manager?
Bobz: Ha-ha! Of course there are such people.
Emo: Yeah, they do have the same names.
- But you guys are probably the only heavier Bulgarian band that has its own professional management.
Emo: It is not that important how many bands have or don’t have a manager. It is important that our band does.
Bobz: It was important for us to make professionals like Gepi and Stain Studio support us in releasing an album. To convince a company to find something in us and help us out. And also a management that would agree with us and help us get shows. This means that we really did create something that is worth it when you convince there is money in your music.
Emo: This is how real things happen. Everyone can concentrate on his own thing and do his job the best way he can. It is best to work with professionals.
Bobz: We also got the support of the Na Tamno street clothing stores chain and we will present their NTMN clothing line. This is cool because they invited us to play at their stage at the Spirit of Burgas festival this year (headlined by none other but Faith No More themselves! – the author), so they must have also seen potential in us.
Emo shows how to drive a tractor live.
Pic by Veselina Penkova (Agressiva)
- Now back to the album. What is the idea behind the title “Not Blond Enough to Survyve the Holocaust”?
Emo: Here Timo will have to explain because he was the one who thought of it.
Timo: Everyone asks me about that. And I have no idea about the story. Everyone says it is my idea while I have no memory of ever saying something like that. I must have been drunk or something…
Bobz: All I remember is that we were at a rehearsal or something and Timo said this. We thought it was cool but we didn’t consider having it as an album title at all. A long time after that, when we were wondering how to name the album Dodo remembered this episode and was like “do you remember what Timo said”. This is how things work with us. We have an idea, we write it down. The song “Beefinger” for example. The word means nothing. Dodo called the song like that because it sounded like Beastie Boys and Clawfinger to him. And then we created a whole meaningful concept for it. And the same thing happened to the title. And at this point we already had the picture of the hobo shooting himself with a water gun. So out of two and two we made ten.
Emo: This is what this band does – we have an idea and then we put a meaning into it. It is the same with the name of the band. Fyeld doesn’t mean anything at all. And then the band makes the name sound cool. It is the same with “Not Blond Enough to Survyve the Holocaust”. Timo has had this alcoholic moment of brilliance. And from then on the name fit right in with the concept of what we wanted to say with the album.
Bobz: We wanted to have a position on issues, but not to shove it down people’s throats. We want to say what we think and we would be happy to find people who are on the same frequency.
Emo: It is about something that has been observed for years now. People have been getting more and more the same, standatizing their way of thinking and their ideas in life. They become greyer and blonder in a way. Individual qualities are fading more and more in favor of group ones. But personal qualities are a statement for a place in life. When we become all the same our existence might lose its point. Why have 1,000 people like you when you can have one instead? This is why we call it a holocaust – an extermination of personal individual qualities. We want to say that we see this thing. And if you see it too, then we’re part of the same breed.
Bobz: Metal has always been something like that. For years now all kinds of people have been telling us not to be involved in this because they don’t like it or don’t understand it. But we don’t want to fit in with the rest of the masses. And this is our way of saying – we will do whatever the hell we feel like!
- But who is blond enough to survive?
Bobz: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera… and Jessica Simpson. All of them, even if they color their hair it would be artificial intelligence. They love ‘em blonde the most!
Timo: And The Scorpions!
Bobz: Oh yeah! Rudolf Schenker is blonde enough to survive all kinds of holocausts!
- The last song in the CD is called “40 Years in the Desert”. Is it about the years after the fall of Communism in Bulgaria or yes?
Bobz: Absolutely! The whole idea was about the proverb of Moses who led the Jews out of Egypt and God ordered them to roam the desert for 40 years until the very last one who remembers the slavery died so the Promised Land would be inhabited by free men. Even Moses himself only saw it from a hill but never set foot in it. And for us in Bulgaria there will also take time for people to change their mindset, so we should know it and accept it. Things will take time to become, as we say, like in the Western World. I never liked this saying this much because it sounds like we have inferiority complex. But many years will have to pass before we finally get there.
Emo: The song’s other meaning is that if someone is aware enough to make the change in his way of thinking he might help speed up things here. The re might be some path of our own that is better than the western one.
Bobz: Here everyone likes to compare Bulgaria to what they see abroad without seeing their own…
Emo: …individual qualities.
Bobz: Yes, and…
Emo: …traits they have.
Bobz: And even our own sources of wisdom.
Emo: And here we are back to the concept of the album?
- In a recent interview you did you named all the types of media, press, radio, TV shows and what now that got cancelled, taken off the air or went bankrupt after interviews with you guys. This is one of my first interviews for this site. Do I sentence it to failure by getting involved with you?
Bobz: Ha-ha… This was more in the beginning of the band. I have no idea why it happened like that. It is not because we go out with upside down crosses and pentagrams, though.
Emo: Times were turbulent back then. A lot of things that were around back then are no more.
Bobz: Yeah, it is natural. The band is not to blame…
* The picture at the top is by Petar Todorinski.