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Interview von: arne mit Aca, am: 30.06.2010 ]

New Yorker Hardcore-Klänge können auch aus Belgrad stammen. Das beweisen wenigstens die Serben von HITMAN, die mit „Overstand“ ein Debüt-Album veröffentlichen, das sich gewaschen hat. Seinen Kampf für/um „Friendship, Unity und Respect“ führt das Quartett seit 1994. In ihrer mehr als 15 Jahre währenden Bandkarriere haben die Osteuropäer die Bühnen mit allen Größen geteilt, die sich zum Balkan vorgewagt haben; darunter stilverwandte Szene-Ikonen wie Murphys Law, Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Madball, Pro-Pain und die Misfits. Mit beständiger Live-Präsenz und der totalen Verinnerlichung der selbst gewählten Spielart wirbeln HITMAN in bester Old School-Hardcore-Manier.


Musicscan: Give our readers a short briefing about Hitman, please. What do we have to know about you guys?

Hitman: It all started out in 1994 as a sideproject of three bands from the Belgrade Hardcore scene!Lala (guitar) and Ilija (drums) were in a band called “Wipe Out”.Their bassplayer at that time was Janko, that became in 1999 our bassplayer by replacing Vige.Vige (our original bassplayer) was in the first Belgrade SXE outfit called “Shackle Me Not”.And I (Aca vocals) was back then in a band called “Definite Choice”.We came together with the idea to play something different from the bands we were in, but still combined by elements from each band we were from. We played for fun and became very fast one of the most recognized bands in the scene back then.We played more shows with Hitman than with all the bands we were from!People liked our approach to the music and the message that it was carrying.So after the breakup of the bands we were originaly from we decided to take Hitman more seriously. Rigt at that time we also entered the studio for the first time to record our first record “Stories we tell”, witch we released by ourselves on tape.After that everything got more intense and we played more and more shows, that were all so crazy and made us by peoples opinion one of the best live acts in our region. After that came two more releases by ourselves.The second tape “and what about the flame we used to feel”, shortly after that a cd that was a compilation of both tapes on one cd, and the split cd “Balkan Hardcore Split 2004” with Last Hope, our Brotherband from Sofia, Bulgaria.

Musicscan: Why did you choose to be around as straight-forward Hardcore outfit? What's your motivation to play especially this kind of music?

Hitman: It just happened that way!We all have different origins and roots in music, from Punk, Hardcore Punk, Thrash Metal to Jazz and Ska, we love it all.And when we started playing our first rehersals the songs came out naturaly.It could have turned out that we play Punk or Thrash Metal as well.We like to say that we are influenced by all we listen to and live through, both musically and lyrically!On the otherside we like to play fast music with much energy and heart, that way we can express ourselves the best! The motivation comes from listening and being part of the Hardcore Punk scene.By the message that Hardcore Punk carries.By Positive thinking even when everything is falling apart around you and by pushing forward against every opstical you come on to.We love both, the music and the message.It’s one of the purest ways to say to kids that positive thinking and struggling for your life and future without being led by anyone like a sheep, is the only way to become a rational thinking person that is aware of all that is happening around him.Even if we have selfcriticaly songs, we deliver them in a way that kids can draw a lesson from it, and think about what happened to me or anyone else from the band.That way we may stop some kids to make the same mistakes we did, or at least make them think before they decide to make a wrong step!What more motivation can we have than all the kids at our shows that sing along with us, or all the tattoos with our songs names, or the kids that come up to us and say that they recognized themselves in our songs!For us that is enough motivation to go on for a 100 years more!!!

Musicscan: It looks like you are experienced with tough situations. like "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." - right?

Hitman: Experienced?What does that mean?I mean we are not like tough guys who live in the streets or something, we are four regular guys but we are from a country that was for almost 10 years at war!From those 10 years we were active as a band 6!And definitely it made us more experienced than the average European citizen from countries like Germany, France, Holland, etc !We had to face a lot of tough situations from war that was all around us since we started, through relationships gone bad (both love and friendship), losing parents and loved ones that were close to us through war or sickness, being bombed by NATO for 72 days and nights, all the time and everywhere,electricity restictins, no water at some times, black markets,smuggling gas over the border during the embargo in the ’90, hyperinflation, high crime rate, streetfights with the police in 2000, when Milosevic fell, to everyday struggle with the bad economic situation in our country!!!!Doing things you never ever imagine that you would do in your life, just to survive!And from this point of view almost ten years later.YES, it made us stronger!!!

Musicscan: Could you imagine another (legal) way to get rid of your frustration and aggression besides playing aggressive punk/hardcore music?

Hitman: Funny question!But the answer is yes, of course!I would be doing the same I do now, ride my bike and do a lot of sports, like swimming and running!Probably I would really get seriously involved in Triatlon, wich is my wish.But I just never had the time to take it really serious!But that only if I never had the privilege to get involved into hardcore Punk music!

Musicscan: Are there any messages that you guys are trying to get out into the scenes? Are the lyrics equally important to the music?

Hitman: Hardcore Punk music was for me personaly always more about the lyrics then the music!The music is something that carrys the meaning of what people tried to say through their lyrics!For us it is very important that people get the right idea from our lyrics.The message that we try to get through is that it is not important at all from wich part of the scene you come from (wich is bullshit anyways, cause we should anyways be all in it for the same reasons) you are welcome and feel free to participate.Make a band, make a zine, be creative, get to know new people, get in touch, support each other, support your local scenes by attending the shows of bands from your area, region!It’s a global thing, it always has been.Help the new kids to understand what it’s about, don’t judge them cause they are listening to maybe something that is not hardcore and think it is!Show them what the true spirit of Hardcore Punk music is and help them to understand!Don’t just talk, try sometimes to listen and understand what someone has to say.You might get something positive out of it! And stop this bullshit violence in the pit!POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Musicscan: Do you feel hardcore/punk is losing its edge by having more and more bands with no real political or social stance these days?

Hitman: No not at all!Cause there is a lot of bands who are aware what is happening in the world and talk about it in their lyrics!There always were bands that are into it for the fun and bands who were socialy and political aware!But what bothers me is that people are more into how a band looks like and how many fancy jumps they perform at a show than what they have to say and what it means!I don’t want to sound like an old fart, but 20 years back it wasn’t important how someone looks like, it was all about the music and the message!

Musicscan: What lessons have you learned from being involved with punk/hardcore for several years now? What has it done for you?

Hitman: I can say it made me a positive thinking man that is aware of all the good and bad that happens around him everyday!I started to think more about relevant issues in life!War, hunger, fashism, animal rights, human rights, How to achive goals by doing the right thing and how mistakes I make can be devastating to both me or anyone else that is involved!I learned how there are more useful things in life than getting pissed, fucked up by drugs, fight or whatever negative aspect youth and adolesentsy brings with it!Life is Party, but with a brain it works better and the fun is less painfull, both to yourself and to others!!! It depends on how deep you dig for bands!

Musicscan: Are there any principles you would never give up to as Hitman? What kind of?

Hitman: Positive approach to life, Antifashism, ANTIWAR

Musicscan: Can you take one „typical“ Hitman song and explain what you hope people are getting out of it, please.

Hitman: The problem here is that there is no typical Hitman song Lyricwise!You can say that we have musicwise tipical songs, but all the lyrics deal with different topics!So you can’t really put them in a shelve and say that’s a typical Hitman song!The only thing that they have incoman is that they are all stories about us, and that doesn’t make them typical!Cause many bands talk about themselves and what’s around them! But I can chose a song to explain it and say what I hope that someone could get out of it!Let’s take one of my favorite songs from the record “Overstand”, “Breaking the silence”.It’s a song about a few of our friends that started a radio show back in 1993 in a small city in Serbia, called Smederevo.It was and is the oldest radioshow that plays Hardcore Punk music and tries to get new kids more involved into HCP by talking about the history of the scene, about the lyrics and the message behind it!But this is not only a song that talks about them, it’s about how everone can do something positive for the scene and get ivolved if they put enough effort, love and passion in it!No matter where you are from and what age you are.These guys from this really small city in a country that was at war when they started should be a guiding line for the kids out there, how it is to be true to your beliefs and how effort pays off!!!

Musicscan: What is the song a thing about the band you guys feel especially proud of (whether compositionally, lyrically,...) and why?

Hitman: The fact that we play for 16 years now, and still have the same line up!That we stayed true to our principals ands till believe that we can make a difference!That with the years we became even closer friends with each other and gained a lot of new friends, from all around the world. We play this song that I wrote, from the Band I was originally from (Definite Choice), called “Friendship, Unity, Respect”.These 3 words could describe best what we are all about.But nor to be mistaken, we don’t connect this song to the whole scene!I mean we are aware of the fact that it is a utopic idea to think that the scene could be united.It means just that if you live with your friends unified and give each other respect in life, than the goal is achieved!!!And we are very proud of that, cause a lot of people from all around the world accepted these three words as a way of their life! Other than that, we are proud at almost every song that we made.There are some that we don’t play anymore, cause we overcame the situation that they were about.Or we just don’t think that way anymore, but in generally we love all our songs.And we are very proud of all we achieved until now!

Musicscan: Many of todays heavy bands seem to miss passion. Hitman is having a lot o fit. Is this just a question of the attitude towards music?

Hitman: Definitely!But it’s also a lot of passion towards life and a positive attitude!We love what we do, and we are definitely in it for the passion and what it brings with it!We are all around 40!So you tell me if we are either crazy cause we play still Harcore Punk music and don’t even tour or make money to cover our expences, or we just love it and enjoy every moment of the shows we play, records we release, friendships we make!?We definitely are gratefull af all the things that happened to us and that is something that you can feel through the passion in our music!!!

Musicscan: What is the essence or core of Hitman and your interpretatin of straight-forward hardcore?

Hitman: Fast music, social aware lyrics, a lot of fun, friendship, true emotions and life stories and all of that packed in positive attitude towards life!

Musicscan: Final thoughts?

Hitman: Thanks for doing this interview with us!I hope people will learn more about us through this interview and will get interested to listen to our music and what we have to say!We are not better or worse than any other band from this planet!We are just a band from the Balkan area that lasts for 16 years and play music that we love with lyrics that have a stance!!! Stay Positive – Friendship, Unity, Respect

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