(c) Maja Topčagić - The Loudest Silence
Interviews

A talk with The Loudest Silence

The Loudest Silence - Logo
The Loudest Silence – Logo

This interview with the metal band The Loudest Silence is in English. We talked about depression, war, fugitives, personal experiences, Aesthetic Illusion – the upcoming album by the band – and also about the guests on the record, music, lyrics and more. Have a fun read.

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us, what you‘re doing in The Loudest Silence?

Taida: I am the lead singer and lyricist in The Loudest Silence. Besides my band, I worked as English language teacher and I write my blog for eight years now. Music is my biggest passion but I have a lot of hobbies such as make up, photography and design.

Mirza: My name is Mirza Coric and I play guitar in the band The Loudest Silence. I also mixed our debut album ‘Aesthetic Illusion’.

Dzemal: My name is Dzemal Bijedic. I am the bassist of The Loudest Silence. I worked on the lyrical concept of the album with Taida, I designed all our logos and I also did the art direction for the cover art of the album. Besides being a designer, I also run a radio show devoted to metal with my co-host Emir Saracevic for almost 20 years now.

2. On July 7th the debut album Aesthetic Illusion will be released. How do you feel about it? And what can you tell our readers about it? What topics do you deal with?

Taida: I feel excited. It has been a long journey, and it definitely feels great after all these years of hard work. The fact that we managed to stay on the same path in the pursue of our dream we once started as teenagers is something I am really proud of.
We actually deal with this topic. Pursue of one’s dream. Chasing the opportunities and fighting for the goals. The most basic message of the topic we deal with is: Never give up, stand up for your goals and fight for your dreams, no matter how hard the path may seem.

Mirza: It feels great, but on the other hand, in all of this time of creating this album, we all thought we will never finish it, and now that it is finished, I’m all like, oh already done? I think it goes to show how much we enjoyed the creative process. And the general topic of this album is self awareness and pride in your identity, regardless of how others see you.

Dzemal: The excitement we feel at the moment cannot be described. We have worked so long and so hard on this record that we cannot wait to get feedback from people from all around the world. I know that the real work starts once the album is out, but I cannot wait to bump our creative minds for a whole new adventure.

3. The Loudest Silence is from Sarajevo. How easy is it for a metal band to find possibilities to play live, find a label et cetera?

Mirza: I would have to look at it from a regional perspective. Our country was a part of former Yugoslavia. Today, in all the countries that gained independence from Yugoslavia, bands and musicians struggle a lot for a possibility to play live, find labels etc., let alone a metal band. I think it’s a political issue since all the countries of ex-Yu have very low grades regarding creating possibilities for young people, for culture in general, and freedom of expression. That is why all ex-Yu countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina are faced with large number of young people leaving for EU, US, etc.

Taida: Not easy at all, since there are no labels in Bosnia that support metal bands.

Dzemal: There used to be an underground metal label called Walk Records, but even that closed years ago.

4. Is there a big scene and what bands can you recommend?

Mirza: If you could “profile” a metalhead today, it’s a young person, either a university student or a bachelor in arts, IT, architecture. Well, as I said above, the whole region is faced with exactly those types of people leaving to find a better life abroad, and of course it affects the scene. Only a few years ago we had a metal festival, number of bands, but now only a handful unfortunately. I would have to name Silent Kingdom, Flatline, Dözer and Snake Eater.

Dzemal: In general, wherever you have young people who are not satisfied with their surroundings, you will find metal bands. Sarajevo is not an exception. So, there are bands, but the circumstances, political and economic are very tough for bands to survive or make decent records. My radio show supports metal bands, but that’s it regarding media exposure. With no labels, and small festivals that make no money at all, it is really hard for bands to survive or to stay motivated.

5. You have a few guests on the upcoming record Aesthetic Illusion. How did you find each other and how was working together?

Taida: Most of the guest musicians on the album are our friends. So, we worked in a friendly atmosphere while recording in the studio.
When I wrote the lyrics for the song ‘‘Gallery of Wonders‘‘ I immediately knew that the growling part was perfect for Mark Jansen. As a matter of fact, I could not imagine anybody else singing that part. So, our bass player contacted him. It was a great experience working with such a professional musician.

Mirza: Yes, all of our guests are dear friends. All of them are fans of metal music and it was absolutely natural for us to do something together. Our country has a lot of talent to offer. We wanted to give a chance to some of our talented friends to shine. As for Mark Jansen, Dzemal and Taida knew him from before, so that as well a collaboration between friends.

Dzemal: Sending the email to Mark was easy, but you never know if a musician of that calibre has any interest in collaborating with you, no matter if you are friends or not. So he had two conditions: One was that he likes the song and the other that the end result sounds good. Since he is now on the album, I guess we did everything right. Actually, the fact that Mark Jansen likes the song made us even more motivated.

6. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Taida: I get my inspiration from my life. My life is such a rollercoaster that I always get inspired by its path. The biggest inspiration are my own experiences and dreams. But also, nature is a big part of it all. I like to observe nature and spend a lot of my free time in the forest. As a huge fan of Transcedentalists and their view on nature, I also get inspired by the work of the writers such as Walt Whitman, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Byron, Poe.

Mirza: My personal inspiration comes from stuff I listened to when I was a lot younger. The bands and musicians that inspired me when I was 17 years old, stuck with me to this day, and I can hear that influence very clearly.

Dzemal: Taida, Denijal and Mirza are all perfectionists in their areas and I am more of a whole package guy. For instance, when Taida comes up with a title, I already get ideas not just for the possible sound of the song, or even the whole album, but also about the visual presentation of it. Having Taida bring in ideas about photography is also very helpful. Or when I hear Denijal’s song ideas or riffs by Mirza, my head almost explodes because I start thinking so far ahead, while they are cherry-picking notes and details. That’s one of the reasons we all work together so well, I think.

(c) Maja Topčagić - The Loudest Silence
(c) Maja Topčagić – The Loudest Silence

7. And because all artists have something personal to say: Have you experienced depression or alike – direct or indirect? And how are your recommendations to deal with depression? What does work? How much help do you get with depression and alike in Sarajevo?

Taida: I can say that I went through some hard times in my life, but I can not say that I went through depression. I know that I felt like I can not get out of the dark cloud surrounding me, but music and art definitely helped me. I wrote lyrics, melodies. Creating art is a way of dealing with anxiety and dark times.

Mirza: I have personally suffered from depression, and still do from time to time. It’s a mild form, and I’m not shy about it. I think it helps a lot to share it with the people you love and love you. I have a friend who I spent almost whole war in Sarajevo with, that committed suicide. You can’t really see it before it’s too late. Depression is a silent killer, and it’s very hard to tell anyone what to do, because people that suffer from it, can’t just snap out of it. I’d say, find someone to talk about it. Because of war and PTSP, there are a lot of internationally funded programs in Sarajevo that anyone can attend and seek advice and help.

Dzemal: I think that everybody goes through hard times in life. Sadly, some of us do not get over it and some need serious and professional help. Personally, I think I never had a serious condition. Mostly, I am the one telling everybody that everything will be ok and that they should not worry so much. But I’m far from any professional help, though. What does help is to concentrate on things that are good and that make you happy. And do not break your head over things you cannot affect in any way. But, like Mirza said, that is much easier said then done.

8. Mirza, you were in the documentary of Scream For Me, Sarajevo. How is your memory about this day, did it change your mindset and if so, how?

Mirza: You know that movie “Tenacious D and The Pick Of Destiny” where the boy is grounded by his father and he is sad and seeking guidance from a DIO poster on the wall and it comes alive? Something like that, but the father in my story is an army that shoots at you for years, your school and neighbourhood is on fire, you don’t have electricity and water, your friends either die or leave the city, and all of your dreams of attending big metal gigs have been destroyed when the war started, but the poster on the wall doesn’t come alive, but instead an all-powerful, in the flesh, awesome Bruce Dickinson comes to your city and makes a free gig for you and your friends. What bigger miracle exists for a 17-year old metalhead?

Dzemal: I have seen the documentary a couple of times now, and I think it is one of the best documentaries not just about music and what it can do to people, but also describing Sarajevo and the spirit of that city under the siege. I strongly suggest to everybody to go and see it. You don’t have to be a Bruce Dickinson, or even a Iron Maiden fan to like it. Just go and see how music can help in the most crazy situations.

9. Džemal, I‘ve been told, that you lived in Germany during the war. How do you feel about it? What do you think countries should improve for fugitives? How were you treated, how easy was it for you, to live and stay here?

Dzemal: When the war in Bosnia started, I was only 13. In the beginning nobody thought that the war would last so long, so my parents did not immediately send my sister and me somewhere safe. But after months of living without electricity, water and food and the atrocities getting worse each day, my parents decided to send my sister and me to my uncle who lived in Italy. We left Sarajevo with the last convoy of children and we went to Split in Croatia. Normally, a ride from Sarajevo to Split is around 4 hours, but it took the convoy three days to get there, because we were avoiding war zones. From Split, a military air craft took bunch of children, including my sister and me to Milano in Italy. We lived there for three months, but the Italian government did not provide a good care for the refugees, so my mother’s cousin who lived in Germany suggested we move to him. And here comes the difference in German efficiency: We came to Germany on a Wednesday evening. The following day, we went to the local school to meet with the board. And on the next Monday, my sister and I were attending school, just like any other pupil! I still cannot believe how fast it happened. And after the first day at school, we received so many calls from classmates that wanted to meet us and hang out. I will forever remain grateful of how these people treated us. We were integrated extremely fast and after living in Germany for 5 years, I consider it my other home. Needless to say that most of my best friends and people I consider family now are German.
Now, the world faces a new refugee crisis and the difference of how they are treated, compared to how my sister and I were treated in the nineties is huge.

10. What does The Loudest Silence mean – in general and for you personally?

Taida: The Loudest Silence is my life. It defines me as a person, and without The Loudest Silence I would definitely feel that a part of me is missing.

Mirza: It’s an unlikely success story of 3 older ugly guys and 2 beautiful young people that we started a few years ago, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.

Dzemal: I met Taida and Denijal and the band The Loudest Silence first through my radio show. Even then I knew that the band has huge potential, because the songs, even at that early stage had that extra something. When I heard that the two of them were left without band members and that they needed help, I was on board immediately. The chemistry and what we can achieve together is so full of potential, that we all consider The Loudest Silence our main priority creatively. And in a way, after all these years, even though there are age differences and we are all different, we are like family.

The Loudest Silence - Aesthetic Illusion
The Loudest Silence – Aesthetic Illusion

11. Aesthetic Illusion. I am always wondering if it is really an illusion or if „beauty lies in the eye of the beholder“ is true. And if it is an illusion, is it only yours or do variations of this illusion exist for everyone else who saw you? What do you think?

Taida: I truly believe that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. We create our own stars and universe the way it is. I think it is only ours. Nobody can see us the way we are. Or at least, it is the rarest thing on Earth. We connect through energies, but we definitely see variations of it all. The way we percieve it. Nobody can feel or see what we feel.

Mirza: Nothing captivates human attention as an illusion. We are swept away by movies, lighting, magic. Our goal is to invite you inside our illusion, so you can experience the reality of it.

12. Based on the previous question. Buddhism includes something called Anatta, which is – so to speak – an illusion of your self. And that‘s also the goal while meditating, to lose your self and see that something is greater is more important. But, you need to develop as a human being, which also includes aesthetics. You need to be with how you look like, your work, everything you do and everything you are. If the self and aesthetics are an illusion, or part of a big one. How do you find an equilibrium between those aspects? And do you think that‘s one of the reasons people get depressed, get a burn out et cetera?

Taida: I think it is just one of the reasons. Human beings are capable of such extraordinary things, and overthinking and questioning everything may also lead to a burn. We need to work on ourselves each day, and accept the illusion the way we see it. Make the best out of it, and accept that after all it is all just an illusion. But the one we designed and shaped, unique and beautiful.

Mirza: Happiness is not hard to find, even if you are not 100% happy with yourself. Life is precious, and we need to look at it that way. Also, we all need to try our best to do something during our lifetime. Doesn’t matter how small or insignificant in the big picture it may seem. People will remember, regardless.

13. So, that‘s all for now. Here‘s room for greetings, videos, links et cetera – everything you‘d like us and everyone else to know. Thanks for the interview.

Thank you for your interest in The Loudest Silence. Make sure you listen to our record, and see you on the road soon!

The video for our song ‘The Loudest Silence’ can be seen here:

Fotos: Maja Topčagić.
Cover illustriert von: Eugenia Bathoriya (Bathoriya Art).
Art Direction, alle Logos and Grafik Design: Džemal Bijedić.

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