Interview with SHEEVA YOGA

“We played an unplugged show in a Tram years ago which was amazing !”

I usually suffer during these pseudo-acoustic shows. no fun at all while playing fastcore on acoustic guitar !”

Sheeva Yoga

First, can you provide us your fav’ playlist at the moment? What people should listen to while reading this interview?

Maro : ONA SNOP – all discography on bandcamp

Skulda : LEFTYFISH – jazz grind from Yogyakarta in MELT BANANA vibes.

STIMULANT – Sensory Deprivation LP. Noisy inventive powerviolence from US.

BOLOGNA VIOLENTA – Bancarotta Morale LP– classical music meets grindcore/power violence.

GEFYR/FÖRGIFTAD split LP – typical swedish disbeat, for fans of TOTALITÄR.

Can you please introduce your band : how did you start, what is/was the line-up, your discography, your past tours, highlights ?

Skulda : The band started in september 1997 as a metamorphosis of grindcore band SOCIAL DEFORMITY. We wanted to play a more aexperinmental stuff in the vein of LE SCRAWL or MEXICAN POWER AUTHORITY, but we sucked in our effort, so since the start of 00´s, the band sound/expressioon took the direction of more straight forward fastcore/powerviolence waters. We also started as a four piece with a female singer. Then we continued as a threepiece combo, until 2010, when the second guitarist Maro joined us. Line up-wise, those were quite hasty years. In 2011 founding member – guitarist Fido left the band, and just one year later Jirka, first front-vocalist of SHEEVAYOGA jumped on the ecclectic fastcore train. If you are interested in our discography, I´d recommend you discogs, where everything we ever released is written down. We did few tours arcoss Europe, but due to lack of time we hadn´t been touring recently. And when I look around, it seems that we will continue in this trend in the nearest future 🙂 Basically all the moments with the band are highlights. OK, maybe with different intensity… I value more tours and playing in Leeds or Lyon, than paying bills for rehersal room 🙂      

It seems that your first demo tape was released in 2000. So, is your new album a twentieth anniversary release ? Will there be a party or a cake to celebrate ?

Skulda : Actually the band started in 1997. It just took us 3 years to record some proper demo. Older recordings will stay secret files. Eveyrone will benefit from it 🙂 There was 20th anniversary show in september 2017. No cake, but lot of booze, food & friends and great bands. 

Sheeva Yoga

How was the recording ? Do you usually work with the same team after all those years ?

Maro : This recording was far most different ever after the years. We usually recorded and mixed/mastered in our favourite studio in Ostrava (Mroš), where at least 3 or 4 records were made and also our other bands recorded there, we also tried a different studio (Shaark) for our split with SAYWHY? and for the split with DOG EGGS. For Communal grave compilation we recorded at our friends DIY studio (recorded in SF Mini with Blum from GATTACA, ARALKUM etc), and we were always like 90% satisfied with each one. One studio was fine with guitars, other with better drums sound…So this time we’ve decided to try something completely new for us, to record instruments in different studios. So we recorded drums in Ostrava (02/2020, Mroš), guitars, bass, sax, vox and samples in Olomouc with Blum (05/2020), and mix/master was done by Amak (Golden Hive studio, Prague, 09/2020).  Due to 2020 covid-19 problems it took us almost a whole year to get it all done, plan was to make it all in maximum 3-4 months, but the result is very good I think. And because of cancelled shows and tours and lockdowns, there was no hurry to finish it.

Also this is maybe the first time that the cover art was made before the recording – usually the record waits for cover, sometimes months, sometimes years.

What is the most memorable moment you had with Sheeva Yoga so far?

Maro : Besides all of our tours with GRIDE, TUMMO etc. I think that the 20 years anniversary show in 2017 was pretty sick ! In our home town, in Ostrava, with a lot of people and friends, great bands and atmosphere.

Skulda : Because it´s a recent experience. The very last show before autumn Covid-19 lockdown in Prague, in Eternia. Totally crowded. People did stagediving in facemasks.

What’s the worst ?

Maro : For me probably 2011 release show of LP ‘’Svět ten čert vem’’ on Play fast or dont festival. Our former guitarist Fido quit the band few days before and we had to play like 8 min playlist in emergency as a 3 piece line-up in front of hundreds of people. Finally at least there was time for unplanned guerilla PRÜGELKNABE set as part of ours.

Skulda : Yep, i agree. I would add one more story from that show. While setting up on the stage, one of the festival crewman accidentally plugged Maro´s new guitar amp in and forgot to include 220V to 110V convertor. Soldano immediately burnt out. That made the show even more miserable.  

Sheeva Yoga

Do you have side projets ?

Maro : Together with Viki and Skulda I play bass in fast-raw-dbeat KULMA, and a year ago I moved from Ostrava to Brno (Czech) where I joined our long time friends TUMMO with their heavy-hardcore-stoner also on bass.

Skulda : Unfortunately I do. I´d rather call it, other bands than side projects.

PRÜGELKNABE – half of the SHEEVAYOGA, shorter songs.

KULMA – As Maro mentioned it.

3 ONANY BOYS – Early 90´s noisecore outfit, got ressurected in 2016. Me and Viki joined in.

SMÍCH HYEN – emocrust/emoviolence

OTLOUKANEK – free member, freejazz PRÜGELKNABE alternation

APOLITA – straight forward hardcore

Drummer Viki has prolific two piece freejazz/grind/noise improvised band called MASSOLA.

 

We’ve seen you guys before, but where? Old bands of yours we must know about?

Skulda : Drummer Viki and me used to play in SOCIAL DEFORMITY, a grindcore outfit active in the mid of 90´s.

During the 13 years existence of XDIS-NEYX, ¾ of current Sheeva Yoga line-up were part of this alcoholfriendly chaotic D-beat commando.

Between 2006-2007 we had project called COCONUT BULLDOZER with Jason Flower from M.P.A., THIRD WORLD PLANET, SUPREME ECHO, who lived in Poland in that times. We made 16 songs, including few coversongs and few recording sessions happened in Wroclaw. Before Jason moved back to Canada we played couple shows.

I also used to play bass in KRUPSKAYA (UK death/grind) in 2009 and in slovakian powerviolence commando VOCATIO INTERNA from 2008 to 2012.

Maro used to play in crust band SYNHYSTEMI and SMICH HYEN before Sheeva Yoga.

Jurek played in KAHKASHAN and ES UNA MIERDA.

You’re involved in the “Fluff fest” organisation with the “play fast or don’t” tent, how did those two festivals  merge ? How do you feel about the next edition ?

Play Fast or Don´t Festival quit in 2014, due to many reasons. Guys who run the festival got offer from Fluff Fest crew to morph festival into one of the stage at the festival, which they accepted. So in 2015 there was new Play Fast or Don´t stage. Next year I officially jumped in as a so called « booking manager ». Also name of the stage changed to All Go – No Slow stage. We wanted to preserve the spirit of the fest and also distract it from the former name, whom suits better to be remembered as unique festival. No one knows what 2021 will bring. I am quite pessimistic about next year. But if the festival occurs, you can expect a part of 2020’s line up there. To discover two names, I especially hope to have the chance to see CHIENS & HORSEBASTARD.

 

Even if it’s probably the worst time to play gigs with the pandemic, you managed to play some shows. How was it ? Will there be more coming ?

Maro : I must say that 2020 was first time, when we had some plan to record, release, play some nice shows even bigger festival, tour….Sure there was a plenty of gigs cancelled, including Obscene Extreme, Fluff fest, Chimpy fest, but when first wave of covid slowly weakened, we played our first 2020 gig in June, it was an outside gig with plenty of space so, must say it was pretty safe. Since that there was a few smaller shows during summer, almost everything in Czech, and in September, when was originally our EuroTour planned, we managed to play 3 shows « tour » with our friends BRÜNNER TODESMARCH (fast-raw-hardcore) and it was fine to sit in the van for at least few days and especially the last gig who was pretty intense – I must say that people fucked all actual state restrictions and wanted to have fun at least one night (for that one night it was ok, but I think we are all trying to obey actual rules, we do not risk anything at all and stay mostly home, distanced and safe). Our first gig of this trip was cancelled due to new restrictions but we managed to replace it with a small show in Prague. Also because of the second wave of covid-19 and another set of restrictions, we had to cancel our long planned battle show with GRIDE (which was already postponed from april 2020), so we hope that 2021 won’t be worse.

Sheeva Yoga

What’s your point of view on the grind scene these days?

Maro : Grind (or power-violence) scene still produces plenty of bands (like in every genre not all of them is good or original), old bands are releasing new albums (DROPDEAD etc), and bands like ONA SNOP are releasing more and more vicious records ! For me there is nothing to complain about actual scene, spent last night with new releases from TO LIVE A LIE rec and new SIDETRACKED wins it all hehe. Same with 2020 releases from DEAD HEROES rec, HORSEBASTARD !

Skulda : Even though grindcore is more than 30 years old, it seems that around the globe there is still enough people who appreciate it as extreme music exppression. It´s kinda fascinating if you realize, that in nearly every corner of the world you can find people loving grindcore. (OEF as perfect example) It makes this subculture truly universal, haha.

 

How is the fast scene more specifically in Czech Republic ?

Skulda : Generally prolific. Anyway, sometimes people wonder if it is true. Czech Republic is considered to have relatively grindcore superpowers thanks to all the Brutal Assault, Obscene Extreme, Play Fast Or Don´t festivals, but there’s not many fastcore,  p/v bands playing here. Just lot of gore grind and grind approached more from metal side. Which is basically true. Not that there aren’t any bands here, but there aren’t many. But as Maro shows in the next question brighter days are ahead of us. 🙂

Sheeva Yoga

Do you have bands in mind in your area we should know about that you’re not playing in ? Do you have any Czech bands in mind that we should listen to ?

Maro : There is new power-violence band ORBAN, check them out, band of friends and active people from Brno playing in many other bands, saw them several times this year, 9 minutes, total P/V worship, best new power-violence in Czech in years ! Then there is BRÜNNER TODESMARCH (with members from ORBAN, EVIDENCE SMRTI etc) with extremely good raw-hardcore with « northern feeling », especially with vocals. Also impressive is a new band IMPULSEALER (two piece intense grind-core) with their new split with NO GOD RHETORIC. Older bands like PRUMYSLOVA SMRT or more strict grind NEEDFUL THINGS or CONTROLLED EXISTENCE are still active and recording. Something completely new is now happening and this is a band called SKIPLIFE (members of LYCANTROPHY, DECULTIVATE etc), which is gonna be all-star team 90’ P/V worship, with first record to be released soon, wait for it ! DECULTIVATE (more convergish hardcore) are also about to release a new record.

Skulda : I would add brand new bands with no record yet. SAY//RAID – Los Crudos meets Crossed Out. IDIOCRACY new powerviolence with former members of Gride.

 

We’ve seen you play unplugged shows and pirate shows in public places, what is the next step ?

Maro : I love loud amps, big stacks of cabinets and good sound…hehe, so I usually suffer during these pseudo-acoustic shows, that other members love, but I am bored – no fun at all while playing fastcore on acoustic guitar – or worse, playing reggae fun songs etc. I complain but I do it. Mostly these shows are for small range of local people, rest of them are usually absolutely confused about what’s happening.

Skulda : I really appreciate that Maro is so honest & frank. As oppposed to him I love unplugged shows. I like to push limits & boundaries and I find playing fastcore in an unplugged way to be quite experimental. I´d like to make unplugged fastcore battle shows. But it seems, that a majority of grinders have similar approach towards unplugged shows as Maro. We played an unplugged show in a Tram years ago with Prügelknabe which was amazing. I´d like to make it one more time, but with proper classical (I mean amps) sound. So even Maro might like it. 🙂

sheeva yoga

Last and strange question, we often find that punk/metal music sung in Czech sounds like French words to our ears. Would it be possible that punk singing in french could sounds like Czech words to you?

Maro : Haha, never heard it from you before and I can’t even imagine how Czech can sound to you like French ! For me French is something completely different.

Skulda : That´s quite a laughable idea. I really like it. It might be harsh, hard « rrrrr », and few other letters which are pronounced with similar emphasis in both langagues. Occasionally some of the bits in the french hardcore punk sounds czech. I remember while listening LA FRACTION, I often had that feeling. But I am afraid, that this impression/perception doesn´t work both ways. The French language is very distinctive, so even in Czechia, we have the impression built in uncounscious of how the french accent should probably sounds. There are even some czech tounge twisters which has to be said in what we consider « french accent ». On the contrary soundwise, czech is quite flat not very distinctively sounding with not very memorable accent and also not very known language.  

Sheeva Yoga
Sheeva Yoga

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