Behind The Scenes – Kiss 97

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We go back in time… with Ivona Bogner

Ater years of chaos in Serbia, it was clear we will wait for so long till we hear any foreign band live, so as metal. I guess no one would be that crazy to play in the country where you never know when the new war will begin, in the country where people can′t buy food, so buying concert ticket in that condition is close to insanity.

Late night… I was listening the radio and close to dream land, I thought I heard someone said KISS is coming to Belgrade in next six month. Instantly I woke up and could not sleep at all. I just wanted to check that information. Of course, we had no internet so I was hoping someone, somehow, somewhere heard the same I did. Of course, next morning in high school I could not hear any information, cause all those ten students who looked like they were listening metal, had no idea what metal is.

Six months later, it really happened. My first show ever. ″Once Wasn′t Enough″, European leg of the ″Alive/World Tour″, Belgrade Fair, June 4, 1997. Ticket price was too high, and all I could do is to rob the bank. That was my first thought cause there was no solution to buy that ticket from my mother′s teacher salary. Dad had lost his job and we were on the edge of extinction. The concert was supposed to be held only nine days before my eighteenth birthday and I just hoped as a minor I can go alone to the concert. Of course, no one cared, but if they did, it was pretty clear I would never go to that show. I hardly found money for one ticket, not two. And I am sure, if anyone would go with me, it would be my grandfather.

Anyway, KISS supposed to play with Helmet and Motley Crue. At least, that is what medias presented to us. And from this distance, I believe they lied. To be honest, I was more excited to hear Motley Crue, but… There is always some but.

Ticket price was extremely high for the country that was recovering form hyperinflation. I had to be there! It was a matter of life and death! I asked my parents and grandparents to give me money they dedicated for my birthday earlier, so I can buy the best present ever.

My first disappointment: after I bought ticket, I saw band members were signed incorrectly (see the photo below). Come on! I payed a fortune and you gave me fake ticket!

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Week before and week after that show I just could not eat, sleep… Excitement was at highest possible level. And the day finally came.

The gates of Belgrade Fair supposed to be opened at 17:30. Hour later, we knew something is wrong. Nervous… The gates were finally opened at 7PM. By than, we already knew: no Motley Crue, no Helmet… Another disappointment! We were too tired so no one cared. Support bands were Die Ӓrzte and Moonspell. It was hot summer day, mostly fans were exhausted and no one was interested to hear support bands. When Moonspell finished their set, we all rushed to the front line. Belgrade Fair capacity is 20,000 people. Will I surprise or disappoint you if I say that the Hall was almost empty?

I was in 5th row. Damn! I can′t see anything! Some guy saw me desperately jumping around and asked me where do I come from. ″Zemun″, I mumbled. ″I served army in Zemun!″ In a blink of an eye, I was in the front line by kindness of his brother. All I know is that they were from Slovenia. If they read this and remember small girl from Belgrade, thank you from the bottom of my old metal heart!

In front of me was security guy with tons of wires around his head. That man looked like he just escaped from EEG! As I will find out years later that mafia boss and paramilitary leader was somehow in charge for concert security and blackmailed KISS by 5000 Deutsch Marks. The lights on Belgrade airport were shut down, so the band just could not leave the country if they do not pay. At the end, management gave the money so they were free to leave this hole in Europe. No matter if this story is real or only urban legend, I just hope that man burns in hell for all the crimes he committed and I pray to Metal Gods send him DIO, Lemmy, or Dimebag, to spice up his eternity.

″Once Wasn′t Enough″ was also known as the ″Reunion Tour″, the first tour with original band members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley since 1979. The big black flag with KISS logo felt on the stage and the madness begun with ″Deuce″. I almost died when I saw Gene Simmons in front of me. As crazy as I am, I remember it just crossed my mind: ″Is it possible he has cellulite?″ Stop, Ivona, stop! Focus on music! And the hardest was to focus on music. There is so much going on the stage, so focusing on music was close to mission impossible. Of course, 22 years after that show, it is impossible to remember all songs they played, but some fragments had left. For me, the highlights of the show were:

1. Ace sung ″Shock Me″
2. Paul should fly over the crowd during the ″Love Gun″, maybe the first and last time in KISS history he did not make it as planned. When he realized he would fly over empty hall, he signalized to bring them back on stage.
3.Bet (Gene) out of hell! ″God of Thunder″, blood spitting, ecstasy!
4. Performing ″Beth″, Peter Criss showed us drummers and cats can sing too.

History repeats, they say… KISS supposed to play once again in Belgrade in 2008. You would say after so many wars, people in Balkans became smarter, but never say never. KISS agent realised that coming to Serbia once again and make same old mistake is not an option. So, they cancelled show due political situation (elections) and security reasons. Sounds familiar?

Organizers stated:
The members of the band regret to inform you that the concert has to be cancelled, but the situation in Serbia does not leave them much choice. However, they hope they will perform in Serbia on some other occasion. The management of the popular American hard rock band did not explain the reasons, nor what exactly happened during their stay in Belgrade.

If I would ever have a chance to ask Gene or Paul only one question, than I know what that question would be.

Till my next column, I wish you all Rock and Roll all night and party every day!

Behind The Scenes : WASP

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We go back in time… with Ivona Bogner

My parents sent me to journey across Europe in spring of 2004, after I officially finished with university lectures. North Italy, France, Spain, Austria. My first trip abroad. Alone.

After fifteen days and painful 19 hours spent in bus on my way from Nice to Vienna, I was so tired and just wanted to go back home. Two nights in a hotel somewhere in the Vienna woods seemed to be enough to change my mind. I recharged batteries and forgot about going back home. Fresh air, squirrels on window in early morning, beer and sausages recovered me instantly.

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Few days later, on my way back home, the bus stopped at gas station somewhere in Prater area. Although we were not allowed to leave the bus, I saw a huge poster and I knew it has to be mine! Yes, mostly people get Mozartkugeln as a souvenir from Austria. Not me! I brought 90∕60 cm W.A.S.P. poster. How happy my parents were!

I desperately wanted to get back to Vienna, but my visa expired, I had no money in pockets, so…

Two years later, L.A. veterans finally came to Serbia! How excited I was! Only twice in my life I was running to winner position (read front line): W.A.S.P. in 2006 and Iron Maiden in 2007. It was a matter of life and death!

So, on October 10, 2006, I was in front of Blackie f…… Lawless!

From the opening riff, there was no rest. I can clearly remember most of songs they played: ″L.O.V.E. Machine″, ″Widowmaker″, ″On Your Knees″, ″I Wanna Be Somebody″, but most of all my favorites: ″Wild Child″, ″The Headless Children″ and ″Sleeping In The Fire″. I also clearly remember I was crying while W.A.S.P. was performing ″Sleeping In The Fire″. Of course, if anyone than would ask me if I was crying the answer was no. Just sweating.

It was pleasantly warm October night and I was circling as a vulture around the tour bus. Security told us to form the line and Blackie will soon come out. Holy mother of Lord! From the bus staircase, that man looked like 80′s houswife! In blue shorts, his legs looked longer than me. On his head, there was a towel. It seemed he just took a quick shower. And there lies the modesty of the biggest stars! With no problem, no matter how tired he was, and he was 53, if I count well, he had enough patience to talk to fans, to sign all we had… From tickets to toilet paper. So polite, so patient, so normal, so perfect! Photos were not allowed, but I respect his decision. And understand it.

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Mike Dupke and Doug Blair seemed to be in good mood, so we were sitting in the front of the bus, having unformal conversation. Doug desperately wanted some chewing gum and I was pleased to give him a whole packet. Weird gift! Somehow, that night I had met their sound engineer. It turned out his girlfriend is from Serbia. So we talked about food, life in general and somehow he even told me how much money he earns per concert. I guess it was trust issue, so I will not tell you how many zeroes he has on his bank account.

The next W.A.S.P. concert was in 2009. ″Beast Of Babylon Tour″. Without me. I have bought ticket three month earlier, and what happened? I mixed the dates! Nothing strange with me, but missing W.A.S.P. when you have a ticket and a comet didn′t hit Earth is insane! When I saw no one was at the venue, I asked security if the concert was cancelled. ″No, it was yesterday″, they said. I can not describe how angry I was. But I strongly believe everything happens for a reason in life. And I strongly believe there will be more W.A.S.P. concerts for me.

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Behind The Scenes

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Let me introduce myself… By Ivona Bogner

I was born ″In a land of farmers on Hilly Balkan, far, far away″ Bloody Fairy Tale, Desanka Maksimovic) and I still live here. I did not change my address but I have been living in four countries so far.

I come from a multinational family. What a curse! In Serbia, if you are not a Serb, if you are not religious, if you are not Orthodox, if your family name does not end with ić, your life can turn to hell. During the war(s), my family faced with extreme nationalism when followers of radical politic party tried to throw us away from our home. A home my great grandparents built. I still clearly can hear their savage screams: ″Go back to Croatia!″ I was trying to explain to my great grandmother we lived with, why the toothless people smelling like hell, are screaming in our yard. When she understood, she screamed back: ″I will go back to Hitler, stupid idiots!″ Yes, she was German…

And yes… If you are Catholic, if your name is bit a different, in Serbia, everyone thought you are Croat. Nothing against Croats, but as far as I know, I have no Croatian blood. Only German, Austrian, Polish, Slovenian, Macedonian and French. I was raised by one rule: never judge people by their name, nationality, religion, skin colour…Judge them by their deeds. And that′s why I still can’t and I never will understand why when I recall my childhood memories, I recall war, hate, pain…

I was always a social person, so madness was only excuse to isolate myself and hide behind writing and music.

In my early childhood I was exposed to punk music. My uncle (mother′s brother) was a punk rocker. That word did not exist in my vocabulary. I knew I loved his hair, his needles and pins, his clothes, his boots, his friends, his music, but I had no idea what that was. He passed away when I was six years old…

Grandmother locked away his belongings, but I was too curious to find out who my uncle was. So, years later, when grandma wasn′t at home, I have opened the world of the unknown. I still keep his The Ramones pins and audio cassettes. As a tribute to my uncle and punk roots, I have had short hair cut till the end of highschool.

And metal?

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My parents decided to move from house to apartment in golden age for Serbia… 90′s. We had war, hyperinflation, embargo… And we were moving… Since there was nothing much to do during that crazy times (basically we were searching for a survival formula), my world was our basement. There, in my father′s old books, I have found newspaper article about Black Sabbath. And I was instantly hooked. One Ozzy Osbourne photo was enough. When I asked my father to tell me more about the band, he told me his father has an LP collection. And that is how I started.

At the end of 90′s, sweet, melodic and glam metal bands were mainstream. Even here, you could hear on the radio Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Europe, Gorky Park…

We were buying audio cassettes on the black market. I knew nothing about the bands, except how they sound. No booklets, not band photos… Nothing. Who they are, where do they come from, how do they look like… Music was all that matters. And even today, 30 years later, I am proud to say: ″I still love Skid Row! I still love Europe! I love metal!“

What about writing and music journalism?

I was in the first grade of highschool. My father had part time job, as an engineer on the radio, so once I went to see his working place. While we were talking, one of editors heard me and asked who I was. I jumped and said: ″Sorry, sir, I just came to see my dad, I am leaving now!″ Next I remember: I was in a studio, reading some news. Together with fifteen girls and boys of my age, I was working our own radio show every Saturday morning. And no one knew my name! I was only a kid with great voice. I sound myself like drunk Donald Duck, so how could anyone like my voice?! After a year in on the radio, and three months on TV, I decided to leave. I am not a voice! I have a lot to show!
The next step was school magazine on senior year of high school. I had a chance to learn from amazing people and I am grateful to opportunity they gave me.

After I signed up for university, I had no free time to write.

The year of 2004 came. The hardest year of my life. My mother passed away, so sudden, so unexpected… I still remember the moment and horrible scream I heard under the shower. In a blink of an eye, I was in our living room by my mother who obviously had brain stroke. Sister was in panic, dad was on the phone, and me? From that moment, my life will never be the same. That day, part of me died. Next thing I remember: I was a choosing casket, I was choosing clothes, arranging funeral. Just because everyone thought I am the strong one. I quit my education, because in that chaos I just couldn′t organize my life. I didn′t know how. It was expected from me to cook, clean, pay bills, take care of my younger sister… Dad locked himself in the room for three months, what else could I do? How to save my mental health? Writing is the solution! Music and writing! Then you create the sum: music + writing ═ music journalism. Over the years I was writing for several European magazines, but there is only one I want to mention. Polish Sepulcros. My friendship with the magazine owner who moved to Sweden, led me to few more magazines, and today, you can read my reviews, reports, interviews and now this columns in three European magazines.

In the meantime,. I am proud owner of not one, but two university degrees, two specializations I have regular job, but most of all I am writing, traveling, I′m still in the front line or even step closer in photo pit searching for the best angle, best stories, best interviews… I have met amazing people all around the world and searching the way out of this doomed country. I am searching for freedom.

I progressed. From my neighbours typewriter to lap top, from rock and metal books to internet, from LP′s to digital albums… And if you would ask me, I would always get back to the typewriter, because, if you have never felt that pain after numerous attempts to type an article with no mistakes, you learnt nothing!

Writing and music remained my psychotherapy.

Now, when you know me, join me on my journey behind the scenes.

And if anyone still wonders who I am: I am a metalhead with a punk attitude!

ivona

 

Propaganda March 8th 2019

Propaganda March 8th 2019

Welcome to the launch of Propaganda, which come your way every Friday. It’ll run as a sideline to my new radio station, which launches May 1st. And it means I can cram everything into a single post/page and spend more time making new radio shows.

We’ll begin with the new video from GoMa, for the single Los Side Effects. If you’ve taken any drugs today, don’t watch this as it will fuck with your head a bit…

The single also features GoMa label boss Chris on vocals (and groovy sunglasses)… and you can download it from Bandcamp, as a Name Your Price: https://officialgoma.bandcamp.com/album/los-side-effects

As I may have mentioned before, I had the honour of designing the cover art

GoMa - Los Side Effects - GoMa - Los Side Effects Coverart

https://www.facebook.com/JuanGomaMusic/

https://www.facebook.com/machinemanrecords/


News wise, I’ll split everything into two categories, Dark News, which will cover EBM, Industrial, Synthpop etc…  and Metal News… which covers… um, Metal

Dark News:

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Grendel Re-Issues:

The eagerly awaited redux re-mastered re-release of 2000-2002 Grendel classics “Inhumane Amusement” & “End of Ages”, combined on 2 CDs, featuring bonus remixes & previously unreleased material, are out now… and for the price of a standard cd

Live Dates:

The band have also announced 2 UK dates. Saturday 27th April at The Electrowerkz and in Glasgow on May 11th at Ivory Blacks

https://www.facebook.com/grendel.music/


Metal News:

If you want a daily fix of Metal News, check out https://www.facebook.com/MetalJacketMagazine/. Ivona who works with me on the Metal Jacket Radio show posts there most days

But for today, I have some news concerning Brujeria

Extreme metallers Brujeria have released a brand new single as a follow up to their infamous »Viva Presidente Trump!« 7-inch

Pick up your copy on limited colour vinyl today via http://nuclearblast.com/brujeria-amariconczar

»Amaricon Czar« 7″ – Track Listing:

  1. Amaricon Czar
  2. Lord Nazi Ruso

In addition, BRUJERIA are pleased to announce a 23-date European run for May 2019, kicking off at Netherlands Deathfest, Tilburg on May 3. Special guests on the tour will be VENOMOUS CONCEPT (US/UK). The opening support will come from AGGRESSION (CA) as well as SANGRE (US). All dates can be found below, tickets are on sale now.

BRUJERIA : VENOMOUS CONCEPT (US/UK) : AGGRESSION (CA) : SANGRE (US)

03.05. NL Tilburg – Netherlands Deathfest*
04.05. NL Sneek – Het Bolwerk
05.05. B Roeselare – De Verlichte Geest
06.05. D Hanover – MusikZentrum
07.05. D Bremen – Tower
08.05. D Berlin – Cassiopeia
09.05. CZ Brno – Melodka
10.05. CZ Prague – Futurum
11.05. D Munich – Feierwerk
12.05. A Dornbirn – Schlachthaus
13.05. CH Sion – Le Port Franc
14.05. I Rome – Traffic Live Club
15.05. I Milan – Legend Club
17.05. F Colmar – Le Grillen
18.05. F Paris – Petit Bain
20.05. UK London – The Underworld Camden
21.05. UK Manchester – Rebellion
22.05. UK Glasgow – Cathouse Rock Club
23.05. UK Birmingham – Mama Roux’s
24.05. F Dommarien – La Niche
25.05. D Mannheim – MS Connexion Complex
26.05. D Essen – Turock
*BRUJERIA only


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And while we are on the subject of Metal, check out The Dark Side of Metal, every Monday at 10pm UK time, via http://sinefm.com/, or via DAB in the Doncaster area

Next weeks show will include new music from Candlemass, plus AutomatoN, Foul Body Autopsy, Skaldic Curse in the Black Metal Britannia slot, also Harmdaud, Germ Bomb

Keep up-to-date with the show at: https://www.facebook.com/DSOMDoncaster/


New releases:

Norway’s Agregat have a new single out, entitled Funkhaus… it’s the follow up to the stupidly catchy, Runners, which I was also a big fan of

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/agregatofficial/

Belgium’s Dark Electro/EBM outfit, Reality’s Despair, have just released, Human Transitions, which you can pick up via Bandcamp:

I’ve only had the chance to play the whole album once, so far, but it’s destined to be one of my favourite albums of the year

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realitysdespair/

And a quick shout out to my favourite album if the year so far, which is Inner Conflict by Blinky Blinky Computerband

 It’s no longer a free download, but I know the band would appreciate a few more paid downloads… which is something I hear from so many bands, unfortunately.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlinkyBlinkyComputerband/

And we’ll end this weeks new releases with Russia’s Deflexity, who have released a couple of singles in the past week. I have one lined up for my show on Monday, the other is Valravn, which actually has a Pagan feel, mixed in with the electronic sounds

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deflexity/


 

I will include some Metal releases in next weeks feature, and there will be additions like reviews, interviews, Spotify recommendations etc… as well… this is just day one

And don’t forget, I do two radio shows every week, over at Mixcloud

On Monday, it’s the Ghost Wave Radio show with the best in EBM, Industrial, and most forms of dark electronic music and a few slices of misery

And on Tuesdays, it’s the Metal Jacket Radio show, with 2 hours of Metal every week

You can access both shows here: https://www.mixcloud.com/GhostWaveRadio/

and both are on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/GhostWaveRadio/ | https://www.facebook.com/metaljacketradio/

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