!!!HEAVY/SPEED METAL FROM SLOVENIA!!!
We had a conversation with Robert. Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about BANDIT (Members, Starting Year etc).
I started playing guitar about 20 years ago. I was part of a local band but we played basically only covers, I always wanted to compose and record original music. In 2016 I started to record some ideas I had in mind, and in 2020, with my Peavey Bandit and an old computer, I recorded the first EP "Metal infantry". The harsh, raw sound of the old 90s Peavey Bandit (I've got the teal stripe version) mirrored the sound of the demo, therefore I chose the name BANDIT. All the guitars, basses and vocals are mine. Drums were played by Ane Kamen, who is the Slovenian version of Angelo Sasso! Running wild fans will know him for sure! hahaha! :D This was the first time ever I recorded anything, vocals included. I wasn't able to sing high notes, so I opted for a death/thrash vocal style. In 2022 I released the second EP, "Pyrates and Bandits" and a single, "Age of hate". I wasn't satisfied with the sound, production and vocal style, so I took singing lessons and re-recorded almost all the songs for the full-length album "Metal infantry". Vocal style is now very different, high-pitched and the overall production is better. I also love drawing with pencils, so I did the artwork for the EPs too. This year a friend of mine asked me if I could draw a cover for his single, and he had a very unique design in mind. This design was destined to be developed with colors, so I took my son's colored pencils and I was really happy with the result (the single is METALIZATOR - THE SACRED RIGHT). So i worked hard on the new cover for my LP, which is the evolution of the first same-named EP. Lyrics are based on my passion for 16th century history and 90s PC video games.
You have recently released your album ''Metal Infantry''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The audience of Bandit is very small for now, but I've had excellent feedback for the new album. Several local and foreign webpages/webzines wrote about the album! I hope my album can also be uploaded to metal channels and other digital platforms, so that more people can listen to my music.
Label or DIY and why?
I work alone, so everything you hear an see is DIY. I am a DIY guy even at home, I renovated the whole house by myself. So I love creating things by myself, and this can be music, art or a brick wall...but I would like to work with other people, maybe a label, maybe someone else, I don't know. A label can offer excellent promotional tools and can greatly improve the quality of music production. I think a label can also be a great way for the distribution of physical formats.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
It would be great to have Metal infantry on vinyl but for an independent band is really expensive. I've never loved cassettes, they wore out very quickly. I love vinyls, I have several of them, but I prefer CDs. They are more practical and I bought CDs as a kid so I feel more comfortable with them. None of the Bandit releases had a physical issue, but now the time has come! Metal infantry in the near future will be released on CD. I designed the artwork, the booklet and everything else. I will print independently a small batch of the record. This CD will contain the fresh Metal infantry album, and as a bonus, the two EPs and the single "Age of hate", remastered.
Your music style is Speed Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Yes, mainly speed metal, but several songs like "Shadow of the night" and "Surrender or die" are more traditional metal, I think. I am a traditional metal guy. I am mad for bands like Judas Priest, Manowar, Running wild and Omen. I also love thrash and speed metal bands, of course. Agent Steel and Sodom are the first ones that comes in my mind. I love all fuckin' oldschool metal bands out there. We have also a lot of great new and young bands! We live in a great era for metal music! Take this speed metal band - Toxikull from Portugal. I saw them live last year and - what. a. live. performance. I was stunned! For my vocals I tried to follow the path traced by Halford and John Cyriis. For lyrics, I feel connected with Rolf Kasparek's work in Running wild. I read a lot about history of 16th and 17th century. I also go to visit historical places in Europe when possible, and this is a great source of inspiration for me.
Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
I have sacrificed many sleepless nights to the altar of metal for my Bandit project! Countless hours have to be sacrificed when you're in a band. This means that some times you have to focus on the band, and you can't be with your family or do other things you love etc. But if you love metal, and metal is your lifestyle, the word "sacrifice" can be switched with "passion"!
Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
Obviously not, because Bandit are a one-man band. But I would die to play a live show! The ideal live show would be played in a small club full of crazy and drunk girls and guys. I would like to see leather jackets, long hair, headbanging, moshpit, people on stage, people spilled with beer, bloody screams! Volume also should be very loud on that kind of show! During the "Knee-deep in the dead" song I'd turn on a chainsaw (without the chain, for safety reasons, of course)! Every metal show should be like this.
What attributes do you think that a new Speed Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
A band must find a common trait in the lyrics, riff style and attitude. This recipe must be applied on all songs! But a trademark sound has to be natural, not artificial, otherwise the magic won't work, I think...the band should express itself. Maybe even the artwork style will help a little and a mascot too! We all know Vic rattlehead and Eddie! The three zombies (Yes, even the ones with helmets are zombies) are Otto, Franz and Hans, undead swiss pikemen from 16th century! Maybe they can be my Vic, Eddie and Snagletooth....
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Speed Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
We live in 2023, and I think that no one can afford to avoid the use of digital platforms. They are an invaluable promotional tool and can reach millions of fans. It is the modern way to reach a lot of people, but there are also drawbacks. There are countless bands online, and it is very difficult to emerge from the crowd. I miss the thrill we had in the era without streaming services. With a new album purchased at the record store, I was frantic and excited! I sniffed the booklet, read everything before I reached my CD player in my room...
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Slovenia (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
The Slovenian metal portal Paranoid.si is the reference point for the metal scene in Slovenia. This year it celebrates 25 years of activity! The metal scene is quite vibrant there. 20 years ago was stronger, but we have a lot of small clubs spread all over the country (and our country is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeealy small :), where you can see local bands live. Several small festivals are organized also every year (underground scene, we have also the big ones, Metaldays and the newborn Tolminator). New bands I like in the local underground scene are Razvalina (death metal), Vigilance (heavy metal), Skyeye (heavy metal), Eruption (thrash metal), Lintver (thrash metal), all these bands have recent releases and they are fuckin awesome!
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Yes. I know the famous bands like Firewind and Suicidal angels, but I LOVE the Hellenic epic metal bands. When I was a young metalhead, I fell in love with the sound of Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol and early Manowar. Imagine how I felt when I heard for the first time bands like Battleroar and Marauder! Outstanding quality, complex song structure, immortal solos and riffs, incredible performance...I also love the one-man band Validor. Hail to Hellas, a country with such a glorious history!
The last 3 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
Lock-down was a shitty situation, a black mark on our existence. But in those years I started to compose and record music. This is the only positive thing from this dark time for me.
What are your future plans?
I will try to improve as musician and vocalist. I hope I will be able to write a lot of new songs, because it's pure fun! And I hope that one day Bandit will be on stage, so I can take my chainsaw...hahaha :D
Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
I Sincerely thank you Stavros. This is my first interview. This means a lot for BANDIT. Your webzine is fuckin' great and is a proof that metalheads are strong and alive today! I will also try my best to KEEPING THE METAL FLAME ALIVE! Go to see your local bands! Support the local and global metal scene! And be crazy at the show, we need headbanging, not phones recording for Youtube....stay true! ROBERT.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.