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In Words: Spellbound Dazzle

- Kreso Stekovic - February 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Spellbound Dazzle
© Spellbound Dazzle

Kreso Stekovic - February 6th 2011 (by email)

Spellbound Dazzle is a band which can't be labeled easily. It's the band of Kreso and Branko Stekovic who are the driving force behind Spellbound Dazzle. Time to learn more about the band, thanks to singer and keyboardist Kreso for taking time to answer my questions!

Most metal fans won't know you, so please tell us a bit about the beginning of Spellbound Dazzle! And what's the story of the name?

Hi everybody, we're a four members band: I am Kreso, lead singer and keyboards, my brother Branko plays guitars and back vocals, Stefano and Dante, drums and bass. We're an Italo Croatian band started playing several years ago and yes there's one truly interesting story behind the name of the band. One day after a long period of searching for the right name we just got our brain stucked and no name seemed to satisfy us, so my brother took the vocabulary looked in, pointed his finger with his eyes closed and the word that showed up was spellbound. Then it was much easier to join dazzle and it came to be Spellbound Dazzle.

You seem to be influenced by a lot different bands / artists, even genres. Please tell us about your influences!

Well, me and my brother have different musical tastes: when I was younger I used to listen the Beatles, Queen, Elvis Presley, now I love to listen to almost any kind of music as long it's well done. My brother instead always liked heavy music: Metallica, Pantera, Fear Factory and bands like those. But we also listen to some ex-Yugoslavian popular and rock music that's how all those different songs came up in our album.

What make you pick up an instrument first? Did you always wanted to be a musician?

Since I was a child I used to sing with my dad everywhere we were and when I was eight I had my first keyboard. I just felt that I wanted it without really knowing why. It was something from deep inside of me and a few years later I started to study piano, so I better knew what I was doing. Then my brother took his first electric guitar and we started to create something on our own. Today I don't feel like a musician only, on this way I can better explain my feelings and thoughts, which I could never better do with any words.

You are living in Italy for many years now. I guess, it was quite a change coming from Croatia, do you feel home in Italy now?

I left home when I was 8 and since then we moved seven times to different places in Italy. So it is almost impossible to feel at home once you've lost your roots, left your parents and friends. But we feel fine, made new friends and knew a lot of people. Furthermore our grandmother is Italian. She left Italy in the early years of 1900, because of the national slump, then arrived in a little town in Croatia where only Italians lived since then. Even nowadays if you go there you can hear people speaking Italian (the place is Plostina). The curiosity is that now we live exactly where my grandmother left when she was a little girl. Life is strange sometimes, isn't it?

In your music one can find references to your origin, but that's also make it difficult to get into your music - at least for some metal fans. How important is it to add this sounds to your music?

We didn't do it intentionally, but the album sounds better with Ruska (the balkan song), because it is a funny song. That's what we are also, so it represents us and shows our roots giving a bit of personality to the album and we think it's important. We also hope that it doesn't take so much for somebody to appreciate it, no matter that song is something new or different to their ears, because music talks and unite people. At least that's how we think about it.

It seems to me that bands from the Balkan are pushing boundaries - thinking of Analena or Hesus Attor or even Kulturshock -, that they more courageously create something unique. They aren't taking the easy way. Is it in your genes?

I don't know, maybe this Hesus Attor (I've just heard it now on his MySpace, sorry) is a bit too experimental and this is not the way we would like to go. But now that you told us we will play something easier on the next album like a waltz or mazurka ha ha ha... just kidding. We simply tried to make something different, because there are a lot of bands playing almost all the same music and I don't like this. I mean they're good bands, but I prefer to hear something that remains in my head and when listen to it again I can recognize the sound and the band – like AC/DC, Queen and Korn – they all have a unique sound, you know what I mean?

After some more general questions let's talk about the album Unreal FairyTales! Have the songs been gathered over a longer period of time? Or have they been written just prior the release?

Some songs were written even two years before the studio recording and others were intentionally written for Unreal FairyTales. This is another reason why the songs are different from each other. I mean if they were all written in the same period they would be more similar, instead it's like a greatest hits where the songs were taken from different albums. However, we don't mind this, we like the songs to be a bit different from each other so the album is not boring. When I listen to a band and hear that the songs are all too similar, I get bored quickly that's why we try not to do so.

What inspired you? Musically? Lyrically?

I personally love rock, metal, disco and dance, I particularly like these last two genres, because of their dancing rhythms and you can hear some of those in a few Spellbound Dazzle songs like Foolin' Of Each Other, SBD, Monster and a short piece in Goodbye My Love. I also love some old ex-Yugoslavian rock and folk singers, maybe you know Goran Bregovic and of course I like all the artist I've already mentioned.

How long did the recordings take?

Two weeks of recording in Majestic Studio and two more weeks of mixing in the Woodhouse studio with Siggi Bemm. The recording time was very short considering all the backing vocals and double guitar solos that we had to record. Most of the parts were changed and created at last minute, which resulted to be some of the best album parts. However we had a good time those days and can't wait to be back there again.

Please tell us a bit about the cover artwork! Who had the idea? And who realized it?

It was meeeeeeeee, it was my idea ... ha ha ha. Still kidding, but yes, this idea just came up in my mind after so many other non satisfying ideas I've tried. So I first made some drawings and then made a good version that lately was re-designed by illustrator Malte Zirbel of Black Bullet Tattoo in Hagen. The meaning of it is a little bit complicated: the devil on the hell side represents the evil and the man on the paradise side represents the good. So it's like a battle or a mental match between them. That's why there's a chess in between (chess=match). But both of them are located at the end of this chess or I could better say chessfall (it is a mixture between chess and waterfall, if you have a look under the title table on the cover there's a chessfall) it means that this match is nearly done, so at the final move and who is the winner? This is a short description, because the cover artwork is illustrated on five pages and so it requires even more explanations.

The album is just about to be released, but as the release was initially planned for 2010, I guess you already got some feedback... Satisfied so far?

We had some good reviews from all over the world and we're very glad about it, because it seems a good beginning for us. And yes, it was planned for 2010, but it was impossible so we just concentrate on this year now and hope for the best.

What about a video clip? Which song(s) would you choose?

We already have a video that has just been released and the song is Foolin' Of Each Other. The video is directed by Salvatore Perrone who also worked for Evergreen Terrace, Exilia, Underoath and many more. Watch it on our YouTube channel and it's coming on German music TV soon.

Are any shows planned? Or do we have to wait til you have another album out?

Oh God, I hope we don't have to wait so long, cause time is running out and we are gettin' older ha ha ... It is not easy for new acts as we are to be booked, but we're faithful and hope that something good for us will happen. We would like to play as much as possible for the fans and gain new ones at our explosive live shows.

What are your plans for 2011?

To play as much as possible and that our fan base grows. That's all we need now. We're also working on a new album in the meanwhile. We have a lot of material to work on and we want it to be good and even better than this album.

Let's see, if they can hit the road... Or if we get another album of Spellbound Dazzle first. But one thing's for sure, it will be an interesting experience.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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