Hi, Curby! How’re you doing? Probably busy with organization of another OEF?)
Hi! Yes, you’re more than right! Busy time now, I am just finalizing line up for the Czech OEF then booking the first bands for the Canadain fest and also preparing the OEF ASIA in Tokyo!!!
Looking at your photos it’s easy to see that you like to travel much. Do you have a special schedule to visit all the places you need in country you visit? Or you just hang out with local brothers-in-grind and they show you everything you need?)
Well, I simply love to travel!!! Really, I’m the happiest person on earth when I visit a new country that I have never been before!!! I simply want to discover this world as much as I can…travelling gives you everything, answers to many questions…and some places are breathtaking. Also meeting other nations can really enrich your personal life. I have no real schedule but I always have a few countries that I want to see as soon as possible…and this as soon as possible thing can be even a few years haha! For example I would love to see Island, Madagascar and India right now, so far it looks I’ll visit Island this july after the Czech OEF…well, I hope haha!
I really hang out mostly with brothers-in-grind, that’s what I love…I’m in a contact with a lot of people from all over the world…and you know what, this is the best possible travelling…my friends show me always special things, show me their way of life…not like any travel agency…airport, hotel, sightseeing, go home…this is a real life and that’s quite amazing!
I was pretty amazed that your kids also visit your festival and get into this culture, maybe love for grindcore is on genetic level after all. Do they still have grindcore inside them or am i wrong and kids are used to change their tastes after some time?
Yeah, my kids were going to OEF (and other festivals as well!!!) since their birth! And I say why not? Kids are here not as an obstacle, they are simply a big part of my life, I really wanted to have them so here they’re and going with me as much as they can…and believe me, they love to be outside, hang out with other kids, see something special…and yes, my kids live with grindcore all thier life…I don’t torture them to listening to “Scum” every day but this music shakes my office quite often and they can hear it every day.
Grindcore has really a huge impact on what we are, I’m vegan, my oldest daugher is vegan quite a few years, my girlfriend is vegetarian for decades, our 3 kids are vegetarian since their birth…we show them all this way of life, human/animal rights…we teach them what charity means, how sick racism is and so on…
But they can listen to and enjoy what they want…it’s not my life it’s their lives…
Also you are an owner of pretty old label Obscene Productions. How’s it going with the label? What new has come out and what do you plan to release? Tell our readers about your stuff)
Yeah, this label will celebrate 20th anniversary this year!!! It’s insane how time flies…it’s all fine, label is still here but I release just a few records every year…usually something that takes my breath away as a new album from the Australian grind gods THE KILL for example. So I don’t have much plans right now…I know I want to release a new album of VENOMOUS CONCEPT, but I’m waiting for master and cover for a year now so I don’t know when we’ll realize this.
When I heard that you decided to expand OEF on the entire world, I was joyed. It’s hard to imagine how much work needs to be done for this… How did you come up with such idea, are you happy with what turned out of it?
Haha, yeah, a totally insane idea!!! The idea of a World Tour came to my mind a few years ago for the first time. Then in 2013 we had the 15th anniversary of Obscene Extreme in the Czech republic so I just realized it’s a good time to make it real and not just talk…so in 2013 we did the first OEF World Tour…it was (and actually it still is) a very ambitious project as we are focused on the most extreme musical styles like grindcore, death metal, hardcore, crust, thrash or punk. So simply on music that never gets popular or is of an interest for sponsors …In 2013 I wanted to go to countries where the people are not that lucky and have no chance to fly to our mother festival in the Czech republic. So I chose Mexico for Obscene Extreme America, Indonesia for Obscene Extreme Asia and Melbourne for Obscene Extreme Australia. It was really crazy as all those festivals took place at 3 weekends in a row. I was flying to Mexico then to Prague for a few hours, then Dubai, Jakarta and from Jakarta to Melbourne… a beautiful month on the road haha…The festivals in Mexico and Indonesia were really hard to organize as those countries are very different. I had to fight with a lot of unreliability, too much fights for nothing, no one believes no one, simply no confidence at all..…just Australia worked out fantastic. I mean all festivals were great, I could meet loyal Obscene Extreme fanatics and all bands that played those festivals were simply awesome and very happy to play OEF, but on the other hand in Mexico I was happy I came home intact (guys with machetes, that’s for real no jokes haha…) and in Indonesia I felt really ripped off badly even by my friends…
It’s really a crazy thing, especially all the logistics etc. and imagine I organise it all alone, just with the help of my friends…in every country I have somebody who takes care about OEF…it’s all about friendship we have for almost 20 years…I have been active in a underground scene since ages so I have good friends all around the globe and this network helps me to realize my crazy dreams with the Obscene Extreme World Tour.
What is the most difficult thing in organizing such events?
In Mexico and Indonesia it was really hard, it was confidence what I miss in those countries…I don’t blame anyone, it’s pretty hard life in this countries…but without a confidence you can’t do anything. Even the fans didn’t believe us in Mexico that wouldl bring all those bands so I can be just happy we did that festival as we wanted, all the bands played and we can be proud of this fest as well!
Do you have any criteria for choosing a band for OEF? Is it hard for young band to come and perform there?
Well, usually I have to like the band and that’s it…I choose bands I want to see personally and then I hope that the fans will enjoy my pick ups and support us!!! I still do the festival for myself…I don’t care about business plan and all this shit…why?
This music is my thing for such a long time so I think I can be really good to do a fine line up every year…of course then you have a budget and without the sponsors it’s a different story, but we are still fighting! And playing at OEF for young or unknown band is quite easy to be honest…if you play kick ass music, you’re great live then there’s no problem at all…I really think that OEF is one of a few bigger festivals that give that chance to play at the fest to younger bands…
Just for this we launched a new OEF website where fans, band members, band’s helpers can make a submission for the fave band and introduce the band to the whole OEF community, check it out there and put you band on!!! Check it here! & help how to add band here!
Looking back a couple years, I noticed that you started to call more metal bands (famous brutal death and so on). What about good ol’ grindcore? I understand that this is logical festival’s growth, ’cause a lot of death metallic events in Europe were closed… But some of my friends keep saying all the time that Obscene needs more grindcore…
Well, that’s actually not true…OEF was about death metal, thrash metal, hardcore/punk/crust since the first volume in 1999! Just see the posters for the old OEFs…I really love grindcore, but I Iove death metal, thrash, crust, gore grind as well…I call it extreme musick and that’s the direction where OEF goes…
To book interesting death metal or thrash metal bands is much easier than book a band like REPULSION for example…I have been trying to book REPULSION for the last 6-7 years, I try every year, I am 100% convinced that the OEF is the best place for REPULSION but it doesn’t matter…and it looks they will not play the Czech fest even in 2015…and actually tell me 5 active grindcore bands (bigger ones please) that have never played at the Obscene Extreme festival…it’s quite uneasy thing I guess…
Can you ask your friends what they think about S.O.B., UNHOLY GRAVE, TERRORIZER, PIG DESTROYER, MARUTA, HEMDALE, FISSURE, GETS WORSE, NAUSEA, BLOOD, SICK OF STUPIDITY, CLOUD RAT, DILUTION, EVISORAX, TEETHGRINDER, UNTAMED, ENTROPIAH, TEETHING, FAILURE TRACE, INHUMATE? and it’s just this year… and I can mention more bands that are on a borderland between the styles like PUNGENT STENCH, UxDxS, SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS, TEST, HEAD CLEANER, FOETAL JUICE, PUTRID OFFAL..so what do you say now?
It’s pretty obvious that you’re doing this festival because you like it, but every organizer from time to time thinks about not having money problem, like, get some profit of event. Do you manage to earn some cash on OEF or at least get back the prime cost?
Yeah, well, OEF grew up step by step…I had nothing at all for the first few years, but now OEF makes a profit which is great because my job before, Obscene mailorder is getting down for easy to understand reasons…so those two things swaped…so before we lived more from mailorder, now it’s OEF…of course I am very grateful for that to all supporting fans!!! It looks like to do a festival like OEF is an easy job, but I work 7 days in a week, around 10-12-14 hours per day…but believe me I really love my “job” and I would wish that everyone.
Here comes not-so-pleasant question, sorry about that. What happened to American OEF and what was the story behind Mexican OEF?
Haha, do you want to be here all day long? I can make it shorter for you…first of all it was really very tough to do festivals in other countries than in the Czech. I mean I knew it before but when you come to a different country and you have to deal with dishonest people and are being ripped off almost on a daily basis then it’s really a hard game…I can tell you many stories. For example about a small machete during the Mexican fest that I always had to show to make people to listen to me, and of course, everything was about money in Mexico and Indonesia…almost everyone wanted money in advance which is always a problem, even in Europe so this was even worse there…there’s no confidence at all and I simply can’t work in such conditions and make an honest festival…when you’re honest you are always a step behind people that don’t give a fuck about being good. But to finish on a positive note, I must say I met a lot of really loyal OEF fans all over the world and it made me really happy!
And last year in LA, we were trying to book venue for months and it never got even close…the venue owners had just stupid conditions…in Canada it was a simple thing…it reminds me of Europe which is great!!!
As I recall, 2006 was the last year OEF was recorded on DVD. Why is that? Is it because they were selling bad or something?
We started to do those massive double DVDs in 2003, totally without any experiences…it was crazy man, we had to learn everything…I had to see every show like 5-10x then pick up the best song/moments…it was super difficult to do that and of course on every printed DVD we lost money so we continue to do video clips from the fest…it can help a lot, especially smaller bands. We still spend a lot of money on it, last year we improved the sound and we recorded everythig in a really very profi way and you can hear it on clips from 2014. It’s a crazy amount of work with those…we hope to continue with this…we don’t want to add ads on our youtube channel so we have to think how to finance those clips as it’s really an expensive thing.
Could you tell us about next headliners for upcoming OEF? How about leaking a couple of names for our readers?)
Yeah, the line up for Obscene Extreme 2015 looks awesome, but that’s only my opinion of course so we’ll see…but we have some really special shows like japanese cult band S.O.B. coming back to Europe after long 25 years for an exclusive show, same with their grind mates from Japan UNHOLY GRAVE…also PIG DESTROYER’s show will be something special and very rare in Europe!!! My fave death metal band of all times OBITUARY will kill it for sure!!! Same with really brutal bands like BROKEN HOPE or INTERNAL SUFFERING, those two have released really great albums! Italian dark thrashers BULLDOZER never played in the Czech so this will be great..also PROTECTOR’s show should be something very special! I also love the last MARTYRDOD’s album “Elddop” and I could see them last summmer, they simply delivery an awesome crust show! I can’t wait for HEMDALE, didn’t see them for ages, also MARUTA is a kick ass grind or BLOOD that will play a special “Impulse To Destroy” set!!! NAUSEA will come over just for one exclusive show too!!!
SCHIRENC PLAYS PUNGENT STENCH – the best pungent songs in the best possible line-up, I have seen them a few times last year and it was always a memorable show! And you can be sure that there will be a huge party during ROMPEPROP or INHUMATE shows! And I can continue haha! I almost forgot TERRORIZER man!!! Oscar Garcia and a real World Downfall!!! I have seen their show at GRINDCORE FEST 2015 quite a few times. I’m not much into those youtube video gigs, as live is always much better, but this one is fuckin’ perfect!!!
Thank you very much for this conversation and for what you’re doing! Cheers!
Thank you very much for your support! Hope to see you in Trutnov in the summer!