INTERVIEW WITH ZLATKO KUSTER GUITARIST/ VOCALIST OF THE BAND TEARLESS
Hello Zlatko and welcome to Symphonic – Gothic – Metal webzine , thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Hi Geo, thank you for showing interest in our music.
• Can you introduce to me the members of the band?
The current line-up of Tearles is: Ivana Novak – female vocal Zlatko Kušter – guitar/vocal Siniša Godinić – guitar Miran Špičko – drums Filip Babić – bass guitar Rudolf Lovrenčić – keyboards Over the last ten years, the band changed a lot of its members, and I would like to use this opportunity to thank each of them for their contribution.
• What is the idea behind the name of the band?
Well, we came up with the name “Tearless” after one rehearsal. We had been playing for a few months, so we started to talk about the name of the band. I still have that paper somewhere, where we wrote down few potential names. After the presentation and explanation of what the name Tearless means to me – the state in which a person finds himself, the psychological condition of someone who is so burdened by bad things that happened, that there is no more tears to be shed, we agreed on the name ”Tearless”. For one short period around 2007, we performed under the name “Seed of evil”, but we changed it back to “Tearless”.
• How do you describe Tearless music?
Well, it´s always hard to describe the music or to label it as a specific genre. The fact that all band members were influenced by different bands and music genres had a reflection on the music we created. And since I wrote the music and I was influenced by metal bands which are described as gothic, black and doom metal, I would say that the music we have created is a mixture of all of those genres listed above. We have some gothic metal elements, classical instruments incorporated into our music, we use black metal riffs, and also we have three vocals. But mostly, we prefer to use the therm “dark” when we describe our music, because of the atmosphere we are trying to create with our music, with our songs. We like to believe that our music creates a darker sort of atmosphere.
• Can you please tell me about your main music influences?
I consider myself lucky, since my first real encounter with metal music was back around 1997, and I got some tapes from, at that point, at least for me, the unknown bands like Tristania, The Sins Of Thy Beloved, Crematory, Graveworm, Moonspell, Nightwish, Dimmu Borgir, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost etc. So, this was the base of bands which made such a huge influence on me and determined the style of music I wanted to create.
• Can you tell me something about the songs of the upcoming debut album “Step into Darkness” ?
Our debut album contains ten songs, that are a “collection” of songs written from the beginning of the band until now. The songs all have different atmospheres, either because of the stories they tell, or the way they are interwoven by heavy riffs and melodic parts. But they are also a mirror of emotions, beliefs and thoughts we had at the moments of their creation. The most important aspect of the songs is probably the fact that they were not changed, neither in the musical aspect nor in lyrics, from the moment they were written. They are all a reminder, a virtual monument to those certain moments. • What is your favourite song of the album?
For me it is hard to decide or to choose a song I would mark as my favorite. Every song contains something important, something special for me, so I can find a part of myself in every one of them. But if I had to chose between all those titles, i would say Dreams of You or World of Shadows. Dreams of You is a constant reminder of the love that waits and preoccupies our thoughts, and the realisation that there´s always a perfect soul waiting for everyone of us. And World of Shadows has become my personal elegy, and I believe that everyone who has experienced a loss of a dear person can find themselves in this song.
•• From 2003 you had a lot of changes in the line- up .I think this is the biggest problem for one band to move on successfully in the music scene. After those tears how you find the power and the courage to keep alive the band?
We come from a small town with a population of around 10 000 people, and even at the beginning, when we were all careless high school students, chasing our teenage dreams, it was hard to find the right kind of people for the band, especially for this kind of music. We had to part with a lot people that were a part of Tearless. Some of them thought that being in a band was cool, so they stayed in a band for a few months or so, but then, because of their personal problems or their unwillingness to get more serious about our music, they left the band. So, with every new member we were forced to start from the beginning. But that was also a sort of “natural selection”, because I am more than satisfied with the current band members. We also have a lot friends of the band who have been helping us from the beginning and I am very thankful for them. The power and courage to endure all the changes and to keep the band alive comes from my devotion to the music, my love towards the music and that feeling you get when you stand in front of the audience and you are able to present to them what you have created. It was never about the money. Every musician knows how much he needs to invest into himself, into the gear and equipment, but that feeling of personal satisfaction when you know you have created something with your hands cannot be compared to anything. • I noticed that all the lyrics of the songs are very emotional. You express by them your personal experience? Yes, lyrics are very emotional and they are indeed an expression of my personal experiences. The writing was mostly triggered by some sad event. Somebody asked me, how come you never write songs with happy themes, songs that bring hope? Well, because then, it would be fiction. Grief, sorrow, melancholy and despair are more intense and they last longer than happiness. I have found the inspiration for my lyrics and music in that dark part of me, the part which everybody seems to hide from the world or even themselves.
• Tell please about the song “ World of Shadows”.
This song was for one former member of Tearless? World of shadows is a song that was written while our former drummer, Marko Bregović was still a part of the band. He was a great person, an amazing friend and there is still this feeling that with his departure, a piece of me is also gone. Being best friends for almost 15 years, it leaves a mark that time cannot erase, nor can it fade. This song is a constant reminder of him, we dedicate this song to him every time we play it. Actually, this album is dedicated to his memory.
• What else can we expect from the band in the future?
Releasing our first studio album was a big step for our band. We believe that we will be accepted by our fans, that more and more people will like our music and support us. At the moment, we are working on the promotion of our album, we are planing to record a video clip for one of the songs from the album and we are looking forward to playing as much live gigs as we can. Also, we hope to play at some bigger festival next year, and we are working on some new songs we hope you will be able to hear, perhaps on our next album. We think that there is more to offer, and since we are now more mature and experienced, we hope that this will reflect on our music in the future, but we’ll be following the same path as we did until now.
• Have you got any plans for live show?
We have some confirmed dates in our country, and we are still waiting for some confirmations. Also, we are trying to arrange a smaller tour across Europe. It´s a great opportunity to see new places, meet new people, exchange ideas and to have a good time.
• Tell me about your country Croatia and its metal scene, how does your band contribute to the growth of it?
In Croatia, metal music is, so to say, marginalised. Times are changing, and economic situation is hard, but I´m glad that there are a lot of good bands who are doing their best to keep the Croatian metal scene alive. There are also many clubs that are helping young bands to present their work to the audience and some individuals that are trying to organize bigger festivals. It´s hard work, but we need to appreciate every effort anybody makes so that metal bands and their contribution can be heard. It´s nice when you come from a small place, a small country to get recognized by a foreign label, because, in our country it is hard to release an album unless you are a pop or mainstream musician. So I would say it´s a big success for us, as well as a recognition for the Croatian metal scene.
• One personal question. What kind of music do you listen yourself?
Well, it seems that I am “stuck in time”. I still listen to all the bands I have listened at the beginning of the band, but I also keep an open mind. If I like the music, the song, I listen to it, and I don’t judge anyone before I give them a chance and listen to them. But yes, the music I listen is very diverse, from gothic rock, 80´s pop to black metal. It depends on my mood. I like discovering new bands, underrated bands. Also, in the sphere of gothic metal, I believe you are doing an amazing thing on your webzine, supporting and discovering such bands.
• Is there anything the readers should know that I have not asked?
Digital release of our “Step into darkness” album is scheduled for June 29th, so feel free to check out the complete album. Also, we are releasing a version of the album for Japanese market via Wormholdeath records and then the album itself, in physical form, will be released across the world. If you like our music, support us. You can also pre-order a bundle, t-shit and cd on our facebook page. We hope that we will play live as much as we will be able to and that we’ll have a chance to meet a lot of our current and new fans.
• Thank you very much again for this interview and I ‘ d like to wish Tearless all the best with the album and for the rest 2015.
Thank you for your support and I hope we´ll talk again soon, with some more and exciting news. And thank you for your wishes, likewise. Best regards from me and the rest of the band. Cheers.