Wednesday, February 13, 2019

interview: Negative Slug

On February 11th, 2019 the Croatian heaviness purveyors Negative Slug struck back with a work that can be only the work of not-so-sane musicians. They lovingly decided to call the 21-minute recording Knee Deep in Raw Sewage. Hip hip hooray! Joy to the world and happiness to everyone! Or maybe not. They call themselves Negative Slug and they think of such deranged titles. What if this publication sends them some questions about what exactly is taking place in the world of Negative Slug in Croatia, and let’s see if we can figure out what is motivating these young people? What if this publication can cheer them up with questions about depression and alienation? Sounds like a recipe for a good time at the O.K. Corral. May the odds be ever in your favor! Let the games begin and may Tom Brady’s luck accompany you in your journey through sludge, friends.
How is the life of a sludgecore band in Zagreb, Croatia in 2019? Do people in your city understand your music or are you too crazy for Zagreb?
Hi to all the readers of Metal Bulletin Zine, my name is Sven and i`m representing sludgecore band Negative Slug from Zageb, Croatia. The life of Slug in the year 2019, it started pretty busy, released one ep at the start of year and yesterday (I`m writing this 12.02.2019.) we have released our brand new record titled “Knee Deep in Raw Sewage”.
Played some gigs (Zagreb, Split, Zadar) and I must say that the response so far if you ask me about the fans that it’s getting better and better, so I think I don’t want to be egoistic or something like that, is that the people in our city/country maybe started to understand our music, if not that then the quality of live performance, but all in all I do think that playing sludge in Croatia is like someone asked you believe it or not type of question so yeah maybe not crazy but something awkward definitely.
Who are the members of Negative Slug in 2019? Did you have the same members when the band began in 2015?
Members of Negative Slug year, 2019 Neven Polsak – Guitar, Marijan Skrin-jar – bass, Marko Balenovic – drums, and myself Sven Polsak – vocals, and we all play on “Inbreed Retard Ep” and on the new album “Knee Deep In Raw Sewage”, 11.02.2019. The lineup in this four years of Negative Slug changed just once when Mario Komin – drums (Bliss Of Corpse last release) was replaced by Marko in the year 2017.
The first song on Inbreed Retard (Self-Humiliation) is a quick heavy rock (part sludge, with a bit of grind) song, but then the second one is more than 12 minutes of noise. It sounds like you are playing a record backwards for 12 minutes, kind of cutting and pasting the same sound for 12 minutes. Was this an experiment done by one member of the band?
The ep “Inbreed Retard” was accidentally made, it wasn’t planned, we had in plan to release just Nun`s Piss (single) before the album, but after we finished with recording, mixing, mastering our mastermind Neven just made a little experiment, he played with new record and has done something like reversing the whole album and we did like it and the same thing he did on our first album “Tumor” in a different way and Turd Gobler ( second song) had to be the last track on our new album, but in the end we decided that its maybe better to put her out to breath on her own and we chose Inbreed Retard (first song from ep) to be just one more song from upcoming album just for fans (if we have some ) just to hear in which direction the bend is going on new record.
Back in 2015 the band released its self-titled recording. It is big sludge raw music in slow motion! What inspired the formation of your band in 2015? Were you in other bands before Negative Slug?
The band on their self-titled release was trio (Neven – Guitar, Vox, Marijan – bass, Mario – drums) I came in a band a little before recording of “Anguish” Ep and on first hand as far as I know the whole thing with the band didn't been take serious at the start and the only thing was just to jam the three of them and make some ugly sludge in vein of the bands we all respect in one way or another, after all if you ever gonna go to our gig our something, we always play some cover songs to pay the tribute to bands that inspired us. At the time musically the inspiration came from the bands like Sabbath, Cathedral, Iron Monkey, El. Wizard, Ramesses, EHG, Grief, Vitus, Old High on Fire, Scum Era Napalm Death, Burning Witch, Fistula, Methdrinker, Entombed, and the bands we play/played before Neg. Slug we all are different styles musically and the list is next: Duskburn, Among The Firs, Sljam, Nina Herr Trio, KlP, GromRitual, K3P, Garbage Display, DR(0)GA, Siroke Ulice, Kiwango.
Then again in 2015 there was another Negative Slug recording called Anguish. Do you record your music together in the house of one member of the band?
At that time I came to the band and in the beginning Negative Slugs first two recordings were recorded in about one session per recording and they were recorded just to be recorded nothing seriously was back then like I said before, it was Neven ideas which he had in his head at that time and then he was the only one behind mix and all and back then we didn’t have some quality equipment to record our self but now in some ways we have to make some improvised studio in our practice space.
How did people in Zagreb react to your album Tumor in 2016? The album is, of course, sludge and it is music of a twisted reality, kind of insane and angry. For you, does your music reflect your own anger or confusion about life in Croatia? For instance, are drugs are a serious problem in Croatia?
Tumor reactions, as I remember they were good, we played first gig for that album with Monolord and have some cool gigs, so it was good and about the album itself it was the reflection of the situations in our life at that time, so yeah anger was present like always when you live in corrupted fucked up from retarded idiots who look just for their interests and unfortunately very beautiful country, then pain on some way, the title itself came when one of our friends got testis cancer, but he got through that now, so yeah the situation or the atmosphere of the album has a little of that on it because the situation was bad and now is even worse, and for the drugs, the government is looking at them, like its medieval times, so yeah for them its evil but alcohol and all the shit they did they have to ask themself why they live then.
Do you think that depression is important as a source of inspiration of Negative Slug? Do you personally feel alienated from society or is this sludge simply the music you play, but it is not necessarily a reflection of your mental state?
Maybe for the atmosphere yes, I don’t fill alienated from society maybe sometimes when you have problems with stupid people who don’t understand anything and in Croatia there are a lot of people who are like that, and this version of sludge is the sludge we always wanted to play in and from my side of watching sometimes is a reflection of my mental state but it’s a good trigger to puke out my anger because all the bullshit I have to get through the day.
Your grandparents and parents grew during Stalinist times in Croatia when it was part of Yugoslavia. But, for you, how do you feel about life in Croatia nowadays?
A lot of our friends and unfortunately a lot of young people moved in better countries so in Croatia there will be like in 10 to 15 years just old people, stupid government and their stupid “UHLJEB” families and me. So it’s very bad to live for young people.
In 2018 Negative Slug had the EP Bliss of Corpse, which has a very grim cover artwork. The sound quality is good and the songs are a filthy, dirty raw sludge. It seems like Negative Slug could be a doom band from New Orleans, U.S.A., actually. I think it is good sludge and maybe fans of Eyehategod and Crowbar would enjoy your music. Did you get some good reviews and some interviews for this recording?
Thanx for kind words , the artwork was done by one of our brothers a very good friend of ours Romario (huge talent) who moved to Ireland, looking for a better life (he did the cover for the new record), my thoughts about our sludge it mashup of everything for every sludge fan if he like that visceral kind sludge we do. Yes, there were some good reviews and I did some interviews at the time when the ep was released even the No Clean Singing site has the premiere of that ep.
Do you plan to play shows in your region of Europe? Croatia is part of the European Union, right? Does this make it easier to play concerts in Western Europe?
The current situations for live shows is that we have played last week two gigs (08. & 09.02.2019. with excellent band and very good people and friends of ours Wizard Of Stone Mountain from Croatia, Split and have talked maybe to book some gigs together to try to play as many shows but it all depend on situations we all have to go through work and all that mambo jambo thing that we all have to deal with in life. We would love to do as many gigs as possible and as far as I saw in countries we have played so far Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Novi Sad, Czech Republic, there were fans from town to town it depended where we were heading but we would love to play as many gigs as possible. Croatia is a part of EU, but it isn’t easier to play concerts in Western Europe because you are from Croatia and you have to do don’t know what just to get the gig, unfortunately and I hope some booking agent who is willing to help Negative Slug to book more shows if someone reading this. :D
What do you want to say to the U.S. fans of sludge about Negative Slug?
To all the Zine readers and sludge music lovers maybe we aren’t the best sludge or inventors of something new in sludge music but if you listen to our songs you will see the visceral structures of sludge combined with other genres that there is some potential and if there ever gonna be some booking agent interested to bring us down to the US, that we would love to do it and we would not disappoint live, so hope you like our sludge and it’s real.
Do you have any other news?
Yes, our new record is out 11.02.2019. Negative Slug, Knee Deep in Raw Sewage, you can download for free the record on our Bandcamp page even Dan (FISTULA) from Patac Records put the album on his Bandcamp label page for to people to hear some new underground bands and we are thankful from him for doing that, so hope you will like the new record to support us and help us somehow to play more shows and we are working on some split release with our buddies from Hungary, Her Highness and on some ep maybe more splits so the future looks good but first promote this new records with as many gigs as possible.

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