úterý 4. května 2021

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Interview - SCAFFOLD - I have become fascinated by afterlife and the dualism of life and death!

Interview with legendary death metal band from Serbia - SCAFFOLD.

Answered Milan and Dujke, thank you.

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Recenze/review - SCAFFOLD - Codex Gigas (2021):

Ave SCAFFOLD! Greetings to the Serbian catacombs. I just got back from town, the streets are empty and I listened to your new record "Codex Gigas". The atmosphere of the album is very captivating, I really felt that the devil was lurking around every corner. I have to admit that your return was really successful. Tell me something about how record was created and what feedback you got so far? 

Milan: Hello Jakub! It's great talking to you again, this time representing Serbian deathrash old-timers Scaffold. New album "Codex Gigas" was written during few turbulent years, marked by frequent line-up changes and struggle to keep the band together.However, band's leader Dujke stayed determined, he wrote some killer stuff and gathered the best Scaffold line-up ever to record it. Album contains 8 songs, including 2 re-arranged older songs, taken from the first demo and debut album. Album was recorded during summer 2020 in "Paradox" studio in Serbia. So far the response is amazing. People really enjoy the record and we can't wait to return to stage and present this album live.

I like the old dusty death metal sound of the nineties. You managed to mix the record, which sounds like a cut-out from old times. The sound is cold, mouldy, dark, yet legible and clear. How and where did you record? Who mixed the album and who is signed under the production?

Milan: We used the same studio the band used for previous 2 recordings ("Like the Devil in the Church" and "Years of Decadence"), "Paradox" studio (Smederevo, Serbia), run by Alogia/Psychoparadox guitarist Srdjan Branković, who also recorded, mixed and mastered "Codex Gigas". We are satisfied in general with final result although some things could be done much better. You can definitelly hear clearly every instrument and fans and reviewers like the sound so we won't complain.

The main motif of the album is "Codex Cigas", which is the largest manuscript book in the world, stored in the Czech Republic in the monastery in Podlažice near Chrudim. How did this idea actually come about? Have you been to the monastery to see it? And did you read the book? The devil's bible is full of legends, it is said that it can awaken demons. Who wrote the lyrics for the new album and how much did he be inspired by this book? 

Dujke: All the lyrics on the album were written by me, but there is no Codex Gigas song! It was taken as the leitmotif of the whole story !! I got the idea back in 2007/8 watching a show on National Geographic. That's where it all started, and later I went to study and read everything I could find about the Devil's Bible!!!

Personally, the artworks are really important for me. As is well known, it must attract listeners. The cover for "Codex Gigas" was created by Ardha Lepa. I have to pay tribute to him, he did an amazing job! How did you get together and why did you choose him?

Milan: Yes, we were blown away by his work too. Ardha Lepa actually wrote to Sacramental Blood offering his service, but Sacramental Blood didn't need artwork at the time he wrote us. I wasn't member of Scaffold yet when he wrote us but Dujke had already asked me to help him find some good artist. I recommended him some artworks Ardha Lepa had available for sale but Ardha Lepa offered us to do completely new artwork. We gave him some ideas and few days later he came back with this masterpiece.

I have to ask - why SCAFFOLD have returned now? How was the band in the meantime in the years 1994 - 2008? If I'm not mistaken, the only original member is Ivica Dujić? How did you put together a new line up? And how did the new members participate in the creation of the new album?

Milan: Scaffold split up in 1996 since living and playing in Serbia was agonizing in those years. The band had already gone through numerous line-up changes, motivation was fading and the scene was horrible. No money to invest in band, no place to play and noone to play for. In 2008 Dujke gathered new line up and reactivated band but he remained the only constant in the band since then, as people were loosing ambition, focus and their priorities. Things changed few years ago when he found current drummer Aleksandar Mušicki. At Aleksandar's suggestion they invited ex guitarist Antonio Ismailović to rejoin the band and 3 of them became the core of the band. They struggled with few bass players but managed to rehearse new songs and finally recorded so many times delayed new album. Songs were already written for some time by Dujke and he just needed stable line-up to get in studio and finally record them. I joined band after they got the first mix of album. Me and Dujke have been friends for decades and he was too tired of all line-up changes so he asked me to join them on bass and put an end to it.

I like bands that not only give the fans the music themselves, but also the physical medium. You released the album on CD and digitally, aren't you thinking about vinyl? I think you play exactly the kind of music that belongs on the vinyl!

Milan: "Codex Gogas" will be released on all formats. Silent Watcher Records from Germany will release it on vinyl. Old Shadows Records from Brazil put out cd for Latin America territory while Russian label Satanath Records and The Ritual Prod from Holland cover the rest of world with their edition of cd. We will also have 2 editions of tape, one by Qalaqas Black Art Productions from Malaysia and the other one is joint effort of NecroVoid Rec from Serbia and Worship the Abyss from Croatia.


SCAFFOLD is one of the first death metal bands in the Eastern bloc. How do you remember your beginnings? Who was your inspiration and how did the idea to play death metal come about? Who were your idols in the 1990s? 

Dujke: The idea came of its own accord, the musical direction was extreme and it required extreme people, to whom I also belonged !! I met death and what it brings at very young age and since then I have become fascinated by afterlife and the dualism of life and death!!! Watching the Sepulture "Arise" video at the age of 15, I said to myself, when I grow up I want to play like this and more importantly to look like that, with all those hair and tattoos. That's why I think I succeeded in life !! :)

Let's stay in history for a moment. Serbia was part of Yugoslavia and the Eastern block, as was Czechoslovakia. For example, we were looking for cassettes from Poland, often in very poor quality. How do you remember that time? I wonder what the metal of the eighties and nineties was in Yugoslavia? How did the concerts go? Where did you get the music? Please remember for us.

Milan: Well Dujke and me, we started listenning to metal music in late 80ies. At that time Yugoslavia had good distribution of tapes and vinyls since there was state-owned music company that was releasing licensed albums and you could buy in every town some albums of Metallica, Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P, Anthrax etc. Of course those were major acts and for more underground stuff we had to dig deeper. We were also bying on the street pirate tapes of famous Takt, MG etc. and those tapes (at least those I bougth) had extra quality, but booklets without lyrics. I remember my tapes of "Cause od Death" and "Harmony Corruption" had better sound than original CDs and many friends would ask me to borrow them and make copies since copies from CDs had lower volume than copies of my tapes hahahah. One of my uncles also travelled many times to Czechoslovakia and he was bying us there many tapes. I have no idea what was his criterion when picking up tapes for my brothers but he bought us tons of tapes and he nevere missed. He never bought us bad album and thanks to him we heard for the first time about bands like Slayer, Running Wild and legendary Czechoslovakian bads Dark and Gladiator ("Sex'n'Death" is stil my favourite album from ex Czechoslovakia). We were also trading copies with our penfriends who we were seraching for in add pages of legendary Hard Metal magazine, so I have great memories from that time. Few years later when I was old enough to visit shows, Serbia was already under embargo and there was no shows of foreign bands.We had only our local heroes, so I was trying to catch as many shows of Bloodbath, Rapid Force, Necrophobia, Scaffold... as possible, and those shows still stick in my mind. There was no internet and it was more difficult to get some releases but I gues it made us more passionate about music and we appreciated it more than fans in some other countries or younger mp3/YouTube generations of fans from Serbia.

The best feedback for each band are concerts. What about SCAFFOLD and gigs? I know it's not working now, there is a pandemic, but when everything opens again, are you planning a smaller tour? I would love to see you live and finally buy a t-shirt!

Milan: Yes, we are waiting for the end of pandemic to start booking shows wherever we can. Czech Rep. is definitelly on our bucket list so if you arrange shows and you read this get in touch with us as soon as clubs are open for normal shows.

I really like SACRAMENTAL BLOOD from Serbia. Can you recommend any other bands? How does the metal scene actually work in Serbia? What about fans, concerts, labels?

Milan: We have some cool bands so besides Sacramental Blood I can also recommend black metal bands Gavranovi (ex-The Stone members), The Stone, Kolac, Svartgren, Phallelujah, All My Sins, Khargash, black/speed TerrorHammer, thrash bands Quasarborn and Alitor, doom band The Bloody Earth, death and deathrash Infest, Obscured, Dead Joker, grind core/death Marginalized and BegUsToStop. We have few small labels like NecroVoid Records (tapes) and Grom Records. Situation with concerts is not so great since we are usually out of major routes but we have them from time to time. Fans show less interest than in early 2000s so no wonder we belong there to 2nd or 3rd league markets.

What are SCAFFOLD planning in the upcoming future? What can fans look forward to?

Milan: We are hungry of live shows so we can't wait to return to stage. Until that happens we are focused on internet promotion of "Codex Gigas" so you can probably expect 1 or 2 more videos.Some time later,probably by the end of the year, we will record 2 more songs and make official unified release of that new stuff and previous 2 recordings ("Like the Devil in the Church" and "Years of Decadence"). It is hard to tell now more than this

Thank you so much for the interview. I have to admit that I'm literally bewitched by your new album. It has everything I need as an old death metal fan. Power, darkness, energy. I wish you great sales and a lot of enthusiastic fans. I hope to see you somewhere at the concert soon! Also all the best to your private lives. SCAFFOLD forever!

Milan: Thanks for your nice words and all support. We hope to see you soon and present you our new album live. Till that time, take care of yourself!

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