niedziela, 24 kwietnia 2016

Interview with Miloslav Čurby Urbanec/ Obscene Extreme Festival!

      I was 15 times on Obscene Extreme Festival, I had a blast every time. This is the unusual place. I made a chat chat with Miloslav Urbanec vel Čurby. Feel the vibe and see you on Trutnov battlefield.
      hey Curby, I'm glad that you've found some time for this chat. I believe you're busy with your label and with booking bands for OEF. How are you doing this? Seriously, I remember OEF from the times when stage was on trailer, totally DIY and now OEF is in Asia, America, Australia and still Europe. What's your main intention?
      Well, you're more than right, with another addition to our already big family gang in November it's crazy life, simply live fast or die haha!!!
      I just do the same thing like back in times, support my favourite music, support my favourite bands...it's quite easy like that...I'm still trying to keep the ticket price for the festival as low as possible and my main goal is to prepare a perfect weekend for everyone... I must add it's really more and more difficult to do a real underground festival and to have no sponsors at all...I still believe this way with the support from our loyal fans is much better than to lick some fat ass in big companies...and I know our supporters know this.
Miloslav Čurby Urbanec/ pix shot by Jiri Vesely Photography



        There are usually well known grindcore freaks, your friends and people who have something to say behind the organization of foreign OEF editions, but it wasn’t like this at the beginning. First Asian and American editions were fuckin' disasters - what have you learnt, what are your conclusions? I know the Aussie edition went smoothly, I couldn't expect anything else from such amazing crew with people from Blood Duster, The Kill and Captain Cleanoff. Are you going to book there the 3rd edition?
      I really learnt that I can't change countries or the way some people think, especially in the countries like Mexico or Indonesia...those people don't see tomorrow or next year...it's a hard life in those countries so I can't complain much, but trying to rip off a real underground festival is just too stupid. We did that festival in Mexico and people are still asking to go back but I'll never do it again...
      Australia is a great continent, with really great bands and a nice scene, but it's so far away from everything else that on travel expenses you lose everything...that was a really difficult part plus a few years ago lots of bands were touring Australia so people lost interest a little bit...but in Australia I really enjoyed heaps of new bands everytime I came there...it's just a never ending story and it's great, especially in the grindcore world!!! And also the vibe and nature of aussies is such a friendly one, it's shame I can't do a real open air there...laws are so strict that this is almost impossible...
      You draw conclusions, you made step forward, so now OEF is simply unstoppable. Naru, your old friend who is behind CSSO, Butcher ABC and Obliteration Records is taking care about Asian edition, Fred from fuckin' Mesrine and Deche-Charge is making the American edition and you're doing hard work in Czech Republic. What's next? I hope every grindcore maniac can expect solid line ups at OEF every year worldwide.       Haha, it looks like that but this year I'll slow down and do just one big and perfect festival in our homeland, in Trutnov. With the newborn baby I want to stay more with my family...that's the most important right now...Working with Naru was always a big pleasure, he is a real professional and a nice person to work with!!! It was just a real shame that I couldn't attend the last OEF ASIA in November as my girlfriend fractured her ankle and she was just like a week before giving a birth to our son Nicolas so I felt I have to stay and support her. Anyway, working in Japan is so hard as well, venue costs like 6000 euro from 1 pm till 9 pm then they just kick your ass and do disco and more profit...it is just way too much about money/profit all the Japanese society, so a brave underground warrior like Naru is just like one big fighter going all thru this everytime...he is doing a lot of shows/special shows/exhibitions etc., really crazy dude and he never gives up! Cheers to Naru!
      In Canada it was also an uneasy job as doing OEF first time is not easy anywhere...Fred was a big help but we did all this with Dave who has just started his own Montreal Earslaughter festival and I wish him all the best. People simply wait and see if the first year goes as planned but with this mentality there's no other OEF of course...and lots of them spend all the money on Maryland Death fest so there's not much room for another underground fest.
      Right now I have no plans, I want to keep going with the Czech OEF as long as I can and also I still like it...I need to do a really good festival with good vibe/attitude and always try to get the best possible line up and I must say in the last few years I'm very satisfied where it goes with our mother festival in Trutnov.
Čurby and the grinding bananas!/ pix shot by: Simona Bezdekova/ Metalpictures.net
      You have booked 826 bands since 1999, did you shake hand with every member of those bands? For me personally, 2 best shows ever were at your festival last year - it was LA Terrorizer and Tokyos S.O.B., I want to thank you very much for it! How about you? Could you try to give us your 5 OEF's favourite shows that you've seen?
      Yeah, it sounds just incredible to me!!! And I was close to shake hands of all the members! I always like to meet the bands, they're my heroes from my teenager time and I like to support new bands as well...I don't care, it's just about good music. Both the dudes from TERRORIZER LA and S.O.B. were my highlights of last year, such energetic and intense shows!!!
      5 best OEF shows of all times??? Ufff...that's really a difficult question!!!
      NASUM back in 2012 was very emotional ...I was thinking a lot about Mieszko (and I still am) and also during their intro we went up on the stage in masks with my girlfriend and we are always making jokes that we had that great wedding in masks with funeral flowers and a few thousands of attenders haha! And of course their set was simply incredible!!!
      Of course I must add NAPALM DEATH at OEF the first time, in Svojsice in 2009 that was one huge grind apocalypse...such a great show...I had to wait more than 10 years to invite my heroes but it all clicked and went so great!!! You know NAPALM DEATH playing my festival it was like scoring a goal in the World Cup Final haha!
      One of the best death metal shows I have seen in my life was DISMEMBER in 2006, what a great aggressive sound, that huge huge backdrop from their Pieces cover artwork! Brilliant death metal show!
      ROTTEN SOUND any time at OEF, even the first time back in 2000, no one knew them back then but we already adored them! And their show during OEF ASIA 2013 in Jakarta that was super high octane grind show with lots of mud and rain, just see pictures from that show!
      And of course I can add more BRUJERIA, such a great happening at the end of the show, every ROMPEPROP show was just a great mess...DROPDEAD back in 2010...well I can continue like that all day long.
      When read chats and opinions about OEF on grind, metal and punk forums, I noticed that people love it and hate it at same time, it's nothing unusual haters gona hate. The most common complaints are: OEF is no more grindcore friendly, it's friendly for freaks and people who just want to get wasted and go crazy like on Woodstock and other big festivals (wearing masks, contests in vomiting and drinking...); more metal bands than grindcore ones are booked; coupons for food and booze make it more exspensive; and my favorite - owners of the merch stands complaning about the place for merch area... Curby, how you deal with that? Are you checking from time to time what's going on in the internet to see what's the feedback and what things you could improve or you just follow your intuition and do the job faithfully?
      It's getting worse and worse every year...everyone, simply everyone without any history in underground or anyone who did at last one gig in his life can easily say you're shithead, and even worse, the most active haters have never been at OEF but they know best how to do our festival, it's hilarious, isn't it?
      No more grindcore friendly - that's bullshit, I really like grindcore most and I am telling everywhere so maybe people think it's grindcore fest but since the first volume we mixed all the extreme styles like thrash, death, hardcore/punk, crust, power violence, fastcore etc. except for black metal. It was always like that and always will be...so no change at all and you can see it in history on our website. Actually I wish to book more grind as well for myself but there's no new grindcore bands at all or they're from very far away (Australia, Japan, Usa) and it's not so easy to bring them over to Europe.
      Woodstock - good you say it because I think this is the way I like festivals, like a big happening...or anyone is drunk as fuck, who cares? I'll not judge anyone, if he/she likes to drink and doesn't disturb anyone else it's his/her thing...or masks? Such a powerful thing, you wear mask and you are someone else...is it better to do it this way or to have a supermarket sell out like some other big festivals with big companies backing them and to see everywhere that advertising? I have easily choosen the first option!!!
      Coupons - they make it easier for everyone, you have a coupon, you have your beer faster, your drink and your food in your hands...more expensive haha, who can complain about half litre beer for 1.10 euro??? Do you know how much beer costs at Maryland Death fest, Wacken or Hell fest? What are those people talking about? Go there and try it there...I always try to do everything so that it is affordable for everyone...It's the same with the ticket price for the festival!
      And yes with merch area - that's actually true... some people really complain, but where else should I put all those tents?
      Feedback is important. I have no problem if I do something wrong and people say you should try to do this better...but it's very rare, anyway this polite and accurate criticism is something that helps to do a better festival so it's positive, but 95 percent of those complaints are just really wrong or say something without really knowing more details...and it causes bad blood and negativity.
Čurby with family/ pix shot by Aneta Urbancová Photography
      You made dreams come true, Insect Warfare is going to shred on Trutnov battlefield. Are you excited together with thousands of grindcore maniacs? Do you have any kind of wishlist of bands that you'd like to book for OEF?
      Yeah, to be honest I have been working on it for quite a few years! INSECT WARFARE is just such an awesome live band! I was following the band on their Australian tour back in 2008 and we became good friends! Of course their show was just incredibly intense, doesn't matter if they were playing a tiny shop show or a bigger venue! Total grind chaos, tight as f.... I really loved it and I feel shame that the European grinders couldn't enjoy it...I'm really super happy they want to play OEF like their last show ever...I hope this show will kick their asses and they will do much more great music, let's see and hope!!! And yeah man, I'm super excited even I have seen them a few times!!!
      Of course I have a wish list for the bands I want to book for OEF...for example I have been trying to bring over REPULSION for at least 8 years, maybe more, since I met them at Trauma fest in Spain, it was like in 2005...I offer a good deal I guess but it never worked out...the same for BOLT THROWER... They were always great to me when we met on different festivals/shows...such a great band with a great attitude. And then of course I can continue and finish off with my favourite Swedish band ABBA haha!
      Obscene Extreme is not only extreme music - as a father, you also take care about kids and you arrange for them special area with people who keep an eye on them. How does it work? Are you satisfied with the results? I noticed that your family is also a big part of OEF - your lady and kids work with you. I would like to ask kinda bold question, can you imagine festival without them?
      I absolutely can't imagine OEF without kids!!! They're a huge part of my life and they simply keep going to OEF since their births...why should I just put them aside??? My son Nathan was at OEf when he was 3 weeks old, Agata and Maxim first enjoyed OEF when they were 2 months old and also our newborn Nicky will go with us this July!
      We started this KINDER GRINDER project back in time for our own kids, as we all work at the fest, I mean all the family so someone else must care about them so that's how it started, more kids came with their parents and we did it bigger, now we have two big teepees for them, 4 nice people that take care of their program and care about them during the day. Last year we even had a special drum kit for the kids, tattoo sessions (tattoo orange, some kind of tattoo workshop), we have a swimming pool during hot days, they have many things to do there and of course the kids are happy to be outside...so it's better and better every year which make me very happy!
      OEF charity program, doctors without borders. How this idea came up and how is the feedback?
      I always wanted to do something special, something for someone special...and believe me Doctors Without Borders are very special and the real heroes of our age!!! See what they do, how they fight every day in the worst possible conditions, territories all around the world...do you remember ebola? Of course no one wanted to go there and Doctors just did it...I really follow what they do and their stories are just breathtaking...they just risk their lives for almost nothing...just for another human to be saved!
      I can say that we have really a good relationship with the Czech office of DWB, they're great...every year we go there with all our kids and give them that money and they're very grateful for that! Their boss Pavel is really a nice guy, he used to help doing hardcore shows back in times so we have many stories we can share and we always do! I hope they will visit OEF once and do a wild stage diving haha!
Silence Sucks! This is Obscene Extreme!
      You're the owner of Obscene Production and at the beginning this was your main thing, but now you're focused more on the festival. I get the impression that you do not take care of the label with the same passion as you did before, it's result of being super busy with festival? Do you have any further plans with the label?
      Yes, it's just easier right now for me! I still do mailorder almost every day but doing festival is something very special...I can talk to my friends from extreme music across the globe and that makes me happy...also going to see bands around, visit friends etc. It's just great life! I simply do what I loved always the most...I still have a huge passion for music in general, like when I was teenager but with 3 or 4 festivals per year as I did in 2013 you simply can't do much besides that...I would like to release some great records but things changed a lot and also I don't see much breathtaking records coming out lately ...the latest one being probably "Kill Them All" by THE KILL, such a great record! Last few years I am just in a sleeping mode as for the label and I don't know where to go...I would love to release some great grindcore releases in the future but it seems very hard to choose the right bands for it... and hell yeah I'm really super busy with the festival, I work 7 days a week, almost every day of the year, sometimes 14 hours, sometimes even more (before the fest) sometimes just 2 hours but really every day...and a day has still just 24 hours!
      So right now I have not much plans for the label yet...
      I believe you noticed that Canadian film maker Doug Brown is going to make the first documentary movie about grindcore, with such a badass title Slave To The Grind. It's another step forward in grindcore history, after Albert Mudrian's Choosing Death book, Obscene Extreme Festival (first gc festival in Europe), this movie it's like the icing on cake. Grindcore is recognizable style of music that unite people around the world. You're one of the people who created this scene and still do create - what are your feelings and thoughts looking at grindcore through the prism of 20 years of being active in the undergrund?
      Well, I even sent him some $$$ for his project as I wanted to bring him to Czechia but then he changed his plans haha! I really hope to see him one nice day in Trutnov!!! It's amazing what he does and I totally understand his motivation, he is like me, he wants to help his favorite music and that's great! I can't wait for the movie!!!
      Grindcore is still intense as fuck as over two decades ago and it's great to know it and I'm still enjoying it a lot!!!
      Curby, give me titles or names of bands that pushed you into this, into grindcore. Do you still listen to Hermaphrodit- Chirurgický Řez Zhnisaným Lůnem Rodidla 7 inch on weekends? Thank you very much for the amazing job you're doing for years! Grindcore propaganda is real!
      100% sure it was NAPALM DEATH, when I heard "Scum" the first time I sold my soul to hell haha! but even before that I loved old records from the German thrash scene like SODOM (imagine how happy I am they're playing OEF this year!), KREATOR, DEATHROW, DESTRUCTION, TANKARD, LIVING DEAD, S.D.I., also the first CARCASS albums etc.
      Later on it was surely "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses" by BRUTAL TRUTH, still one of my most favorite albums ever!!! And "Inhale/Exhale" by NASUM, another grindcore milestone for me...I keep listening those records almost every week and I still love them, after so many years they were released, it's a stamp of top notch quality man!!!
      And there's of course thousands more like INSECT WARFARE "World Extermination", NAILS "Abandon All Life", CRETIN "Stranger", BLOOD DUSTER "C*nt", EXTREME NOISE TERROR "A Holocaust In Your Head" & "Phonophobia", DEAD INFECTION "A Chapter Of Accidents, REGURGITATE "Effortless Regurgitation of Bright Red Blood", REPULSION "Horrified", MACABRE "Sinister Slaughter", TERRORIZER "World Downfall", ROTTEN SOUND "Murderworks" and I'm pretty sure I forgot some real grindcore treasures anyway!!!
      I have seen a HERMAPHRODIT video not long time ago, but I didn't play that EP for a while...
      Thanx for your support and long live grindcore!!!

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