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intervju muzika

The Interview: JOKE!

Epiphany from France

If we became activist music, it’s not thanks to us. It’s thanks to the people who feel it as a rebellion scream. The Joke is an error in the classical cultural industry. We do love being errors. We are errorists.

By Ljiljana Samardzic

Sometimes we all need a good joke to relax. If you were a bit shy when it comes to dancing and having fun, don’t worry. This Joke will surely help you out! Catchy melody, catchy rhythm that you would like to hear over and over again and deeply profound lyrics is what you will experience listening to Joke.

Being an artist, being a musician, being a performer of any kind usually assumes desire for being acclaimed, being famous. But not for these guys. They just want to make a difference and they are doing a hell of a good job!

The Joke is an interesting mixture of many musical genres. They have their own and specific way of making a good, quality and unique sound – they bread real life in it. At the same time, the Joke has a higher aim – waking up and opening our sleepy eyes, making us ready for more to come.

There are eight band members, all perfectly synchronized on the stage.Cruising around in their van, extending their influence world wide for insignificant profit, they make us wonder how someone even gets an idea to become something like contemporary knights.     

How did it all start?

“Four of us met as kids and decided to form a band. The characters were defined to know who would take the guitar, the bass, the drums and the microphone. After many years of playing as a teenage garage band, the formation opened itself to fresh air and new blood. A turn-tablist arrived, than a horn section… Now, we are eight musicians on stage, and we have a powerful staff in the shadow behind us.

The Joke’s story is also our five of discs, which we made in a pure DIY [do it yourself] way, then the many tours we made together. Our first international tour was managed by our friends’ association AOLF, and since than we do our best to develop networks and hit the road for tours. The Joke’s Anti-Empire is getting wider and wider: Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and Algeria. We begin feeling home in the Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia. We shall go forward and reach Greece and Africa as well.”

The name Joke is quite intriguing. It pulls out the question how did you coin this name and if there is any particular meaning and message beneath it.

This is our way to make us unsinkable on Google.

Once upon a time, a peasant who was a rebel, and who was tired of not starting a revolution against the king and his bondage system, was thinking about the best way to express his rebellion. One day, the king went through his village. As usual, everybody gathered on the king’s way to bend as a sign of submission. The rebel peasant, among the others, did the same. As usual. But as the king came along, he farts in silence. Everybody around him smelled it, except the king on his horse, and found it really funny. At night, as everybody from the village was gathering, discussing this event, the rebel peasant said « This was the best Joke ever, one day a rock’n’roll band will be the Joke. » “

It seems that your music is a mixture of many musical genres, so, could you tell us which genres are included?

The Joke leads a war against categorization of music genres and identities. This is our way to free the music, to liberate its subjective and subversive potential… and this is our way to, on a misunderstanding, go on a tour with Britney Spears as her warm up band.

It seems that Joke is not just about music. Is there any political background? Please, explain.

As long as our lyrics are socially involved, we are often considered as an activist band. It’s surely true, even if it’s not to us to say so. If we became activist music, it’s not thanks to us. It’s thanks to the people who feel it as a rebellion scream.

But we do think there’s something more than the lyrics actually. In this particular world we live in, being a band, hitting the road, do it ourselves, do it the way we try to do it, is already a political action. The Joke is an error in the classical cultural industry. We do love being errors. We are errorists.

What made you make up your mind and take a big step like this, to lead life in this unusual and unconventional way? And, also, what are disadvantages and advantages of your way of life?

Main problem with your question is to define what is usual and unusual. This is an everyday life struggle. As the Zapatista uprising says, “asking-we-walk.” To scream, to say “no”, to reject, and to want something else is deeply human. The zapatistas say: “We are rebels because we are very ordinary people.” The Joke says: “Let’s build the everyday life legend.”

This idea of an “unconventional-way-we-are-walking” is like a trap. Actually, there’s nothing more simple and human than walking on this knife of ways. So this is not a big step. On the contrary, it would be a big step to try to follow the so-called “conventional way.

Which also means there’s no particular advantage or disadvantage. This way of life, or way of thinking, is nothing more than a way to live. Bigger disadvantage in living is that you may die one day.

What are the aims of Joke as a band, as musicians and as group of young people?

Meeting different people around the world. Realizing that we are the same because we are different. Spread our wings and split our venom. Be forever young.

« Will you drop the bomb or not ? » as the song says. We want to see people dancing to the music we play. We want them to tell us why they don’t dance when they don’t. Even if lyrics are tough and critical about our everyday life. We want to smile while criticizing. For us, the best way to express that this actual world is shit is to have a good party with new people, being depressed won’t make anyone feel better”.

What is freedom and what is captivity to you?

Work is captivity. Freedom is something to reach.

Jails, borders, nationalities are captivation agents. Breaking the walls is a way towards freedom.

Freedom is the opposite of captivity. We live in a world that tries to trap us in captive categories and identities. To agitate and try to do against-and-beyond these identities is a way to express freedom.

Joke made its albums widely available on the internet. All discs may be obtained on their web site www.joke-joke.net. And if you’re interested in their lyrics, there are two videos with subtitles available on youtube, so you might check them out (http://www.youtube.com/user/contactjoke)

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