Bjesovi at the 2009 Nisomnia festival in Niš
|Also known as||Baader-Meinhof, Saint Gallen, China Blue|
|Origin||Gornji Milanovac, Serbia|
|Genres||Alternative rock, doom metal, hard rock, neo-psychedelia|
1989 – 1997|
2000 – present
|Labels||Sound Galaxy, ITV Melomarket, Metropolis Records, One Records, PGP-RTS|
|Associated acts||Hazari, YU grupa|
Formation and breakup (1985-1997)
The band's history began in the mid-eighties when two seventeen-year-olds, Zoran Marinković and Goran Marić "Max", started writing for the famous Yugoslav music magazine Džuboks under the names McCrywack and Max Radackow. At the same time, they began making some home demo recordings which led to the decision to form a band. The band was formed in 1989 under the name "Baader-Meinhof". After changing the name to "Saint Gallen" and later to China Blue, the band got the name Bjesovi (which is one of the translations of the title of Dostoyevsky's novel Demons). Marić and Marinković, both vocalists and songwriters, were backed by Predrag Dabić and Goran Filipović on guitars, Božidar Tanasković on bass and Goran Ugarčina on drums.
The band then won the Čačak Gitarijada Festival in 1989 and recorded their debut album U osvit zadnjeg dana (At The Last Day's Dawn) released only on cassette in October 1990. Guest appearances featured Vladimir Vesović and Nikola Slavković on guitars and Dejan Marinković who provided narration on the track "On je sam" ("He Is Alone"). The album featured their version of Philippe Soupault's poem "Georgia" (Serbian: "Džordžija") to which Zoran Marinković wrote the music, as well as the cover version af the Yugoslav beat band Tomi Sovilj i Njegove Siluete track "Vule Bule", which itself was a cover of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs' "Wooly Bully". On the track "Zli Dusi" (a Serbian language title of Dostoyevsky's The Possessed), the lyrics included lines from the Gospel of Luke and Pushkin's poetry.
The year 1991 brought the band a new lineup since Ugarčina and Tanasković left the band and were replaced by Dejan Petrović on bass and Miroslav Marjanović on drums. The band then won the Zaječar Gitarijada in 1993 and Brzi Bendovi Srbije festival (Fast Serbian Bands Festival) in 1994, which eventually led to a recording of a new album. The untitled album, also known simply as Bjesovi, proved not to be their finest studio effort. It showed the band in a new, more recognizable style. Heavy riffs, dark ambient, pessimism and unique vocals on each track of the album proved that the band could handle with more complicated themes than the common rock topics. Two tracks from the album, "Vreme je" ("It Is Time") and "Ime" ("Name") were included on a various artists tape New Rock Power '93-94. A promotional video was recorded for the former and the latter included a quotation from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.
Following the success of the second album, the band entered the studio to record their third studio album Sve što vidim i sve što znam (All I See And All I Know) and after thirteen months the album was released. The lineup, which recorded the album, included a new drummer, Igor Malešević from the band Hazari, and the original bassist Božidar Tanasković. Unlike the previous record, the band dealt with religious topics, the end of socialism and more optimistic ambient. Musically, the style did not change gradually and was still recognizable. The track "Sve će se doznati" ("All Will Be Revealed") included the theme from James Bond combined with quotations from the Gospel of Luke. The album was produced by Aleksandar Radosavljević, and Danilo Pavicević (guitar), Miša Savić (keyboards) and Nebojša Zulfikarpašić (guitar) appeared as guests. This album is considered to be one of the most expensive albums recorded in Serbia. Promotional videos were recorded for the tracks "Dar" ("The Gift") and "Kad mi stane dah" ("When I Lose My Breath"). Soon after the release of the album, the band ceased to exist.
In 1999, Marić took part in a Christian rock various artists project called Pesme iznad istoka i zapada (Songs Above East and West), which consisted of tracks recorded on lyrics written by Saint Nikolaj Velimirović. The project was released on Easter, April the 15th, 2001 through PGP-RTS and Radio Svetigora.
In Spring 2000, Marinković, accompanied by two old members, Zoran Filipović (guitar on all three albums) and Miroslav Marjanović (drummer on the untitled album), and two new members, Slobodan Vuković (guitar) and Dragan Arsić (bass) reformed the band. In the meantime, the untitled album was re-released by One Records.
On March 22, 2002, the band recorded their appearance in Gornji Milanovac. During the summer in the Free Zone Studio in Belgrade the recordings were remixed and post produced. Aleksandar Petrović "Alek" and Dejan Utvar, both percussionists from the band Eyesburn, made guest appearances. Na živo (Live) skipped the first album and focused on the second, with five, and third, with two songs. It also featured three new tracks, "Čekam dan" ("I Am Waiting For The Day"), "Čak i da mogu" ("Even If I Could") and "Kiša" ("Rain"). The track "Raduj se" ("Be Happy") featured lyrics "Vreme mu ističe, zato besan je" ("His time is out, that is why he is mad"), which were not included on the studio version since it was dedicated to the former president Slobodan Milošević. The album was produced by Zoran Đuroski "Đura" from the band Eyesburn. The cover was designed by Marinković and the band's original drummer Goran Ugarčina.
On May 31, 2003 at Belgrade's KST, the band, consisting of Marinković, Marjanović, Vuković, Arsić, who played guitar, and Marko Marković on bass, recorded a concert and released it as an official DivX Live at KST, Belgrade 31.05.2003, free of charge and available to anyone. The band itself financed the release and made a thousand copies given to the fans, reporters and TV stations. On the disc there is a text file where it was stated that this was a present to all fans and that the copying of the disc is allowed and preferable. The DivX contains songs from all four albums plus all lyrics, biographies and interviews. The band's performance featured light show, girls painted in black, psychedelic effects and Marinković was taken to the stage in a coffin at the beginning of the concert. The track "Avioni pevaju" ("Aeroplanes Sing") was sung by Marić who had a guest appearance.
In 2006, Zoran Filipović, who played guitar on the first three albums, returned to the band as a bass player. The band recorded twelve new songs in Češnjak studio in Kragujevac, and then moved to Vršac for the mixing of the album. Bolje ti (You Better), beside the title track, featured tracks "Ko te vide taj se seća" ("Who Has Seen You Remembers"), "Istina" ("The Truth"), "Besan pas" ("Mad Dog"), "Laku noć" ("Good Night") (dedicated to the band's late friends Dragan Milekić, Vlastimir Matić and Boško Drljić) and others. Part of the material has already been promoted on various radio stations. The band recorded videos for all tracks on the album and the first video presented to the audience was for the track "Laku noć" ("Good Night"). In the meantime, on March 7, 2007, the band performed as an opening act for Type O Negative. Having finished the album recording, the band started looking for a record label.
On December 26, 2008, the band signed a contract with the PGP-RTS record label and the album was released in April 2009. It was released in a DVD package, featuring the album itself and a DVD featuring promotional videos recorded for all the album tracks, plus an alternate version of the album title track. The following year, Multimedia Records released a various artists compilation featuring a live recording of "Ne budi me (Ubij me)" recorded at the band performance at the KST on November 4, 1995.
At the beginning of 2011, the band was joined by the guitarist Ivan Kovačević "Kovač", a member of the band Plišani Mališan. On June 30, the band performed on the last evening of the first Belgrade Calling festival. In 2013, the band was joined by the second drummer, Ramon Hamel, a Gornji Milanovac-based Dutch. On the band's performances, Marjanović performed old songs with the band, while Hamel played the ones that would appear on the band's cover album.
In February 2015, the band released the cover album Svetla svetlosti (Lights of Light), available for free download on the web magazine Nocturne. The band released the album in the following lineup: Zoran Marinković (vocals), Slobodan Vuković (guitar), Ivan Kovačević (guitar), Dragan Arsić (guitar) and Marko Marković (bass guitar). Three drummers participated in the recording: Miroslav Marjanović, Ramon Hamel, and Eyesburn member Aleksandar "Alek" Petrović. The album was recorded from October 2010 to July 2013 in Češnjak studio in Kragujevac and Pavarotti Center studio in Mostar. It was produced by Momir Cvetanović and edited by former Saints member Caspar Wijnberg. The album featured guest appearances by keyboardists Vasil Hadžimanov and Đorđe Tomić. It featured covers of songs by Ekatarina Velika, Angel's Breath, Idoli, Asim Sarvan, Električni Orgazam, The Stone, Mizar, Borghesia, Tako, Grč and several other less known acts. During the recording process, a cover of Braća Left song "Aikido" and a medley comprising Bajaga i Instruktori song "Godine prolaze" ("Years Are Passing") and Riblja Čorba song "Užasno mi nedostaje" ("I Miss Her so Much"), which did not end up on the album, but were released as singles.
In May 2016, the band released the single "Šta to bi?" ("What Was That?"), originally recorded for Bolje ti, but unreleased on the album as the band believed it did not fit into the album concept. In October of the same year, the band released the single "Skoro 100%" ("Almost 100%"), another song recorded during Bolje ti sessions. Marinković stated that "Skoro 100%" lyrics were originally written in 1984 by him and Goran Marić.
The lyrics of the songs "Ime" and "Vraćam se dole" ("I'm Going Back Down There") were featured in Petar Janjatović's book Pesme bratstva, detinjstva & potomstva: Antologija ex YU rok poezije 1967 - 2007 (Songs of Brotherhood, Childhood & Offspring: Anthology of Ex YU Rock Poetry 1967 - 2007).
- U osvit zadnjeg dana (1991)
- Bjesovi (1994)
- Sve što vidim i sve što znam (1997)
- Bolje ti (2009)
- Svetla, svetlosti (2015)
- Na živo (2002)
- "Vreme je" / "Ime" (1994)
- "Dar" (2002)
- "Kad mi stane dah" (2002)
- Live at KST, Belgrade 31.05.2003 (2003) - self-released, official DivX
- Bolje ti (2009) - album bonus DVD
"Ne budi me (Ubij me)" (Groovanje Devedesete Uživo, 2009)
- Pesme iznad istoka i zapada official page
- "Bjesovi potpisali za PGP", Popboks.com
- Groovanje Devedesete Uživo at Discogs
- "Bjesovi najavili novi album i koncert u Beogradu", balkanrock.com Archived March 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "BELGRADE CALLING - ČETVRTI DAN: Odvedi me iz ovog grada", popboks.com
- "“Lutak iskrivljenog lica” u obradi Bjesova", timemachinemusic.org Archived April 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Bjesovi - Svetla svetlosti", nocturnemagazine.com
- "Bjesovi predstavili album “Svetla Svetlosti”", balkanrock.com
- "Bjesovi obradili još tri pesme", balkanrock.com
- "Bjesovi: Proverite „Šta to bi“", rockomotiva.com
- "Bjesovi objavili novu pesmu", balkanrock.com
- Janjatović, Petar (2008). Pesme bratstva, detinjstva & potomstva: Antologija ex YU rok poezije 1967 - 2007. Belgrade: Vega media.