weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
After 11 years The bayonets from Serbia calls it a day. In may 2015 the band will play their farewell gig in their hometown Novi Sad. All questions were answered by Miljan (vocals).
April 2015 – band website
Can you please introduce the band to us?
Hi there! We’re The Bayonets, punk band from Novi Sad, capital of province Vojvodina, within Serbia.
We released one full length album in 2007. (Our Fight on Siempre Contra records), one split CD in 2012 (with Sunderland’s Dipsomaniacs on Mad Butcher) and a split 7″ with Arrested Denial from Hamburg in 2013. Apart from that we appeared on many international compilations and we also have some unreleased tracks. Also, we played about 80 concerts in 9 different European countries.
You once described your band as “too soft for Oi!, too rough for melodic punk”. I think you’re right on that one but it also sounds a but cynical…
We wrote it in the old days of the band, when some people were a bit disappointed by our sound, cause they – knowing my taste in music – expected a more typical Oi! style. Also, younger people who were into that Fat Wreck scene didn’t find us interesting, cause we had a too chaotic sound for them.
Anyway, those were just some opinions, that was not big problem for us. Maybe we received less gig/festival invitations because we are not band that you could put in some box of clichees easily, but I also think that we attracted many people for the same reason.
I always described you as the Serbian Angelic Upstarts. Do you think that fits better?
There were some vicious comments that I look like younger version of Mensi but seriously, they are our big influence, and I was happy like a little child when we played with them in 2010. in Germany.
At may 16 you’ll play your last gig. Why do you quit?
Simply, we don’t have enough time to do rehearsals and to make new tunes. Not to mention gigging and touring. Playing two gigs per year is not our kind of thing. Most of the members play in other bands and have daily jobs and other personal issues… And the only way to solve the lack of time was to change two members. After three major personal changes that happened in the past – which caused few longer hiatuses and that were a really hard period for the remaining band member – we tought time might to quit, if we can’t offer nothing new to people.
Will do you anything special for the gig, like inviting ex-members or anything?
The idea was to play a few songs in the original line up, but our old guitarist currently moved to Germany. And there’s also that technical issue (left and right handed drummers etc) but we are working on that to involve ex-members in whole event (dj-ing, inviting their current bands to open gig etc). Also, some excellent bands are already confirmed to play before us (Crasso de odio and Arrested Denial), so we expect a good party.
Looking back at those 11 years, what are your most memorable moments as band?
Surely those European tours, since we don’t travel a lot beside the band’s activities. It’s a unique experience that money can’t buy. I also miss those rehearsals from the early period when we had enough time to drink for hours and how we traveled with a big bus full of crazy friends to our gigs out of our town, or even out of country. Anyway, speaking in my name, i think that this band and my other activities in underground community and all those experiences made me a better person.
Which Bayonets song do you want people to remember?
Probably Never Forget and Moments Of Life, cause these two tunes express most of our stands: clear antifascist attitude and passion about traveling with the band and building bridges between the scenes and meeting new people. Also, i think that the ex-Yugoslavia crowd prefer few songs on native language from the two previous releases.
Anti-racism is one of the main pillars of your band. The falling apart of Yugoslavia and the war after that created an enourmous rise of nationalism in your region. Does this combination ever let to trouble with the band?
The extreme-right wing movement here are constantly strong. Unfortunately, those ideas have infiltrated the punk scene here since early 90ies. When we started the nationalist Oi! scene was pretty active in Belgrade and some other towns. But a few bands, including us, made clear stance and didn’t tolerated that crap. We have built a scene on healthy basics, co-operating with bands from other countries in our area, and somehow I think that our band was a bit important for making new connections between some scenes.
About trouble at the gigs, that was one in 2005 in our town, but that was more dramatic described in media than it really was. In recent years few times some right-winged people try to provoke people in front of the clubs on our shows, but i think both times they regret it.
What will the future hold for you guys? Any plans for new bands already?
– The other members play in a bunch of bands: Red Union (punk-rock), Lazarath (HC), Shoplifters (Dag Nasty style), Bomber (streetpunk) etc. I think i will be calm down a bit with making music, but there are other activities for me like booking shows.