Subversive and rebellious Bosnian band, Dubioza Kolektiv is coming Down Under for the first time ever for their politically-charged ‘Happy Machine’ album tour.
“It's a tour that evolved from the last album and touring never stops,” says bassist and founding member, Vedran Mujagic. “We've played well over 100 shows and there's plenty more to come until the end of the year. We finish with Australia and probably have a break after that.
“It's always exciting to play new countries and Australia is a whole continent. We played United States for the first time in April this year and that was a very good experience, so we hope Australia should be like that.”
Hailing from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe, Dubioza Kolektiv came together in 2003. In February this year they released their seventh album ‘Happy Machine’, a record that takes broad aim at restrictions of freedom. “'Happy Machine’ was created over the course of two years and we weren’t conscious of what it was going to be in the end, we just created songs as they came along.
“In the end when we finished it, we realised that most of the songs speak about freedom, and different kinds of freedoms, from freedom of information to freedom of movement.
“We chose the title because it is actually a term for a traditional Balkan moonshining device used to create rakija, which is the most famous alcoholic, illegal beverage. You can find it in every household, you find people moonshining in their backyard.
“In the recent years, as Balkan countries are getting into the European Union, this area has become very heavily regulated by Brussels and the European Union and it gets forbidden to moonshine. So [the title] is also a pun on this overregulation and how these things can limit freedom… this might be the definition of the ‘Happy Machine’ album.”
The continuing political turmoil of their homeland provides much of the catalyst for Dubioza Kolektiv’s acerbic and pointed music, the most prominent example being the track, ‘No Escape (From Balkan)’. “We live in a very interesting country,” Vedran laughs, “and it's undergoing this transition to very aggressive capitalism.
“This is something the entire country is suffering from. We had years of war that lead to years of horrors that are still going on. There were a lot of issues that needed to be addressed in that moment and it hasn't changed much in 13 years since we started; some things have actually gotten worse.”
Vedran says he and the band are eagerly awaiting their first Australian tour, which includes a show in Adelaide as well as sets at Woodford Folk Festival. “It's the same for any country we go to for the first time,” he says.
“You have a lot of these points that you get from the popular culture, from movies and music, that you think is part of the picture but it's not the true picture, so we're really looking forward to seeing for ourselves what it looks and feels like.
“Get those kangaroos ready,” he laughs. “We really don’t have big messages, we are open to the Australians and we hope the people will enjoy our shows. This is why we are doing this and we're not coming to pat koalas but to exchange some energies with people and get new experiences.”
Dubioza Kolektiv Shows
Thu 22 Dec - Corner Hotel (Melbourne)Fri 23 Dec - Fowler's Live (Adelaide)Sat 24 Dec - Factory Theatre (Sydney)Wed 28 Dec - Woodford Folk Festival (Sunshine Coast)Thu 29 Dec - Woodford Folk Festival (Sunshine Coast)Thu 29 Dec - Woolly Mammoth (Brisbane)