Lockdown still doesn’t get the attention they deserve outside the borders of Serbia but I hope this interview will be impulse for some of you to check what these guys got to offer. Their last CD is called „Straight From The Heart” and is packed with straight in your face hardcore that will please everybody who likes it raw and mean. So check out what’s life about for the kids in Serbia.

Hi man, could you introduce Lockdown to everybody who’s not familiar with your band? How did you all get together? What was the reason to start the band?

The band was officially formed in 2001. Since then it passed through big changes, speaking bout the band members. Djemba was the vocal at first, but then he started to play a guitar; Vitke (who played a guitar when Djemba was the vocal) left the band, just as the drummer, Savic, who’s place was taken by Pedja. After Djemba, Toljaga was the vocal for a while and after him Nikola (who’s still in the band) became the singer. Today, the band members are:
Saka-bass and
I hope it will stay this way for long, without changes.
Aware of the situation in our country (when it comes to job and money) first you have to think about earning the money for basic needs and then, if there’s left any time, you can do something that you like.
About the reason we started the band, except of that we know each other for a long time and that we played in some punk oi! bands before, the most important reason was the way of life and social problems we were dealing with. We are all from working families and with that social rang you don’t have a perspective in this country.

Your new cd, “Straight From The Heart”, has just been released. Could you tell something more about this album?

The record was released in February 2008, thanks to some people who are big fans of our band and who have the will to stop the extinction of hardcore in Serbia, ‘cause publishing companies aren’t interested in bands like Lockdown. Our friend Robot gave his best to make a cover for our new CD. We did a booklet, too, that’s full of photos of some gigs and I believe that many people will find it interesting.
The name of the record: “Straight from the heart”, as it saids, what we feel and reflect in our songs is coming straight from the heart. The name has a little bit provocative side, too, that’s headed to nowadays youth that obvious has no idea what does it means to live sincerely for some ideals.
A part of the album was recorded in our friend Sneki’s studio and a part of it was recorded at my place. The album production was my job and, considering the material sources, we are very satisfied and proud of our new record.

What are the lyrics about? What do you want people who listen to your music to get from it?

The lyrics are about everyday problems that surround us, about discontent and . I think that if there was something nice and joyous around us, we would probably sing about it, but since we are surrounded with darkness, that’s the kind of our lyrics-dark.
We want people who listen to our music and come to our shows to find themselves in our songs. We bounded our shows only to Serbia, but we believe anyone who would listen to our music could find something that will connect him with our reflection.

What was the response for the record so far?

In the whole Serbia (not just with us, but with all the other bands, too) the biggest problem is publishing and selling the record. We managed to sell 10 copies at the concert and we were very disappointed. But when we talked to bands from other places in Serbia about their selling we found out that we should be satisfied with that number ‘cause not many of them sell that number of copies on the promo show. Illegal copying and publishing has very “strong roots” in our country and most of people prefer to listen mp3 music, not to buy original CD, especially when it’s about domestic bands. People just don’t realize that with buying the original CD they help the band to publish next album, ‘cause finding the sponsor for publishing is impossible. I believe that’s the problem with your domestic bands, too, so that’s more a problem with all bands in Europe that play hardcore music. Guess it’s not just us.

Is it hard for the band from your country to release the record?

Considering the fact that there’s no publisher interested in hardcore, here in Serbia, and the fact that there’s no publisher interested in bands from Serbia abroad, it’s very hard to pull through releasing the record. Many good and high-grade bands gave up because of that. As I said, that’s where the audience could help the band by buying their record. You would have another CD in you collection and band could gather the money for recording and publishing the new album.

You guys sing in English. Don’t you think that if bands do this, they’re no longer the voice of a kids living in their country? They don’t get their message to the kids who are first to support them – kids who speak the same language.

I think that it doesn’t matter if lyrics are in English or in Serbian language. Even more, if you want your word to be heard outside the borders of Serbia, it’s better if your lyrics are in English. Serbian language is a little bit complicated for music and you must be a real poet to translate your thoughts into words that should sound well. English is a lot easier to do that and nowadays 90% of the world uses English so that you could understand it in any part of the world.

Do you think bands from Balkans or Eastern Europe are often looked down upon? There are many smashing bands coming from these regions, but they don’t seem to get the same attention that bands from other parts of Europe get?

That’s true, but neither you nor I are guilty for that. As you’re familiar, Serbia was under sanctions somewhere between 1993. and 2000. Dictatorship ruled in our country, borders were closed and if you wanted to pass through you had to pay. And that’s how our band got a name LOCKDOWN. Even though the prohibitions are removed, borders opened, people in Serbia haven’t got rid of the Serbian mainstream: turbo-folk and ethno music. That music still devastates our country and keeps other music genres from progress. We hope, as all the other Serbian bands, it will be changed so that we could finally go to other countries to play and spread the realization that we have many high-grade bands as anywhere else in Europe.

Do you guys play many shows in your country? Did you played any gigs abroad?

There were many of them and there will be more. When foreign bands were playing here, mostly we were the band that played with them. Our gigs are still based in Serbia. We had a few calls to come to Croatia, Bosnia and Bulgaria, but something always came up and we never came to an agreement.

What is living in Novi Sad, and Balkans in general, like? How do you guys feel about conflicts going on in this region and recent Kosovo’s declaration of independence?

Novi Sad is one of the most beautiful towns in Serbia. You have to come and see to know what I’m talking about. Only if there could just stop these changes of robber’s governments and they could let us live in peace it would be much better, but till then we must live as they command and find out ways to survive. For 15 years we lived under dictatorship, in a poverty, darkness and misfortune, so we learned how to deal with problems and for us there’s no such thing as obstacle.
Speaking about Kosovo, we went through many wars in a short period (including the bombing), so I think there’s always a way to solve a problem without useless bloodshed. I know many people who participated in past wars, some of them never came home, and those who stayed alive are having nightmares and they’re not able to live a normal life. The thing that mostly bothers me is the fact that instead of joining and living together we’re still separating, dividing and quarreling. I’m just wondering has it an end.

What are the bands you’d like to share a stage with?

There are a lot of other bands (such as: --that we play with and we’re in very good relations. Our gigs with those bands are more like hanging out. Those bands are like us, we have similar point of view.

What are you plans for the future? What would you like to achieve as a band?

Maybe there will be “Us” in the future, and maybe won’t. We’re not earning for life with our music. Every one of us has a full-time job, so we’ll last as long as we’ll last. I would like us, during that period, to play as much as we can, here in Serbia and abroad, to meet many bands like us from other countries. We are all connected with same things, music and reflection.

What got you in the hardcore in the first place?

As I already said, we were all brought to that band by the same view and love for the music. Before that we played in punk oi! bands, but that just wasn’t fast enough and enough aggressive, and that’s how we got into this music.

What’s the most important part of hardcore scene to you – the message, the people, the music or something else?

I like the combination of all those things, but to me, personally, the most important part is sending the message to other people and looking at those satisfied faces in the crowd.

Thanx for the interview, any last words?

Thank you for calling me for the interview, it’s nice to know that yet we’re not just a blank hole on the map and that someone still heard of us. As my last words I would say that we should stick together, no matter who’s who and who’s from where. Hardcore keeps us alive!

Lockdown @myspace: http://www.myspace.com/lockdownhc