Drummer of Jarbola before Arsenal Fest: “I want to listen to ADF again after 20 years, I’m curious how they sound now”

The Belgrade band Jarboli will perform on June 27th at Arsenal Fest, so we talked to Nemanja Aćimović, the drummer of Jarboli.

It’s been, if I’m not mistaken, eight years since Jarboli’s last performance. Recently, you had two consecutive nights of performances. What does it feel like to be back on stage?

Jarboli have been around since 1991 in the same lineup; you could say we’ve known each other for a whole lifetime. Concerts are a normal state of affairs for us. It’s not the first time we’ve taken a break from the band’s work; that’s our secret to longevity. But as for the concerts at the Kontakt festival and the audience that clearly missed us a lot, I have to say that the general impression in the band is that the reaction and reception from the audience have never been better, for which we are very grateful to them. That’s the only indicator I care about when it comes to impressions from performances.

Has anything changed during all these years that you haven’t played? What did you miss the most?

We missed the positive frenzy around performances, nervousness, heightened emotions, and contact with the audience. It took us a couple of days for the euphoria to subside after the concerts, truly a feeling worth existing for. As for the world around us, I’m afraid not much has changed, especially for the better…

Are you preparing something new for us? Your last album was released in 2014.

The new album is ready; we’re waiting for autumn because it’s a good time to release an album. In the meantime, a music video for one of the songs from the album will be released. We’ve already released two music videos from the new album for the songs “Mladost” and “Zabluda”.

What messages does Jarboli’s music convey?

The messages are obvious for those who want to hear them, but certainly, it’s up to the listeners’ imagination to hear something else in our lyrics. Everyone should be given space to experience and understand our music as they wish.

You’ll be performing on the first day of Arsenal Fest. Have you played in Kragujevac before? What do you think of the local audience there?

We’ve played at SKC and at the Youth Center in Kragujevac. It’s one of the few Serbian cities where alternative music is very prevalent and respected. That’s an exceptional thing in itself. As for the festival itself, it expects an audience from the whole region, especially when you see this year’s lineup. We can’t wait to perform.

You’ll be sharing the Garden stage the same night with Svemirko, Ničim izazvan, Keni nije mrtav… Considering you have much more years of musical experience, what do you think of the music they all create?

New generations bring freshness to music. It’s not prudent to evaluate and generalize the music of bands that are different in expression. The only thing we can do is to support them to continue following their intuition and be uncompromising artists.

And, will you “pop over” to the Main stage for Dogstar, Partibrejkers, ADF?

If it’s not too crowded 🙂 Just kidding, of course. Boris and I helped Partibrejkers record their latest album, and I want to listen to ADF again after 20 years, I’m curious how they sound now.

What’s your overall opinion on festivals and performances at them?

Festivals have become the primary music events; they offer a great opportunity to see multiple bands in one place and meet a large number of acquaintances and music enthusiasts. Also, the amount of positive energy generated by a music festival is invaluable and highly beneficial for all attendees. For us, festivals are a chance to showcase ourselves and prove our worth to a large audience who may not have had the opportunity to hear us before.

What do you think about today’s music scene? Any new musical directions?

If we’re talking about our scene, I would say the offerings have never been more diverse. I’m very pleased to see that more and more people are deciding to try their hand at playing an instrument. However, it’s not easy to talk about new musical directions, considering that today’s music is mostly a combination of various influences from the past.

Do Jarboli have their, so to speak, musical successors?

Certainly, and I must say I’m very glad about that. I would encourage bands to believe in what they do and to work hard. I believe it’s perhaps most important for a band to find its own expression and follow that path. I’m glad that we are role models for young musicians; it’s a great honor and privilege for us.

Top 3 new bands?

Gazorpazorp, Skofja Loka VIS, Njuskaci Jabuka.

Jarboli have been around for a little over 30 years. What were your beginnings like… What is the “recipe” for staying on the scene for so long?

We started playing together towards the end of primary school. That period of growing up is full of enthusiasm and high expectations. I must emphasize that without the unconditional support of our parents, we wouldn’t have gotten through that initial period because, as I’ve already mentioned, we were extremely young for that kind of engagement. Our parents waited for us outside the Academy to take us home after our first performance in that club.


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The members of Jarboli are indeed quite talented. Boris is a poet, Daniel as well, Žolt is a visual artist, and you’re a multi-instrumentalist… How much does this versatility influence the music you create?

Certainly, yes. I believe an artist should have the broadest interests and perspectives on the world. As for the music itself, each of us brings our own unique expression, which, in interaction among us, shapes Jarboli.

And finally, what message would you have for everyone?

Enjoy the Arsenal festival, see you there…