24 December 2016

Rock School band ŠKART promotes its debut album

This year has been very productive for our Rock School and it seems like that’s not going to change anytime soon. One of the highlights and perhaps the most ambitious activity is ŠKART’s debut album realization.

ŠKART: (from left to right) Vladimir (drums and back vocals), Lazar (bass and back vocals), Nikola (lead vocal and guitar), Alem (guitar and back vocals)

ŠKART is a punk band that came out of the Rock School's north branch and has achieved quite a lot since it’s been formed. With their bold original songs and some covers, they have performed many local gigs, as well as at some gigs in Serbia. Led by Nikola, the band has faced many challenges over the past couple of years, but even though it was a rocky path, it hasn’t stopped them from being consistent and their voice and message are even clearer than before. Last Thursday, we had a chance to hear this message at their album promotion event. The process of the album preparations stood as a challenge for them, too, but they have proved that it was all worth it.

Album cover (photo taken from the official Facebook page of ŠKART)

The album title is Vreme Sjajno – Vreme Jadno (approximate translation: Great Times – Miserable Times) and it consists of 8 songs (8th being a bonus track). The lyrics and melodies, which have all been written by the (former and some current) band members, are raw and honest, containing just the right amount of sarcasm and tragi-comic themes, like the old-school punk that we have been missing for quite some time. Give a listen to the whole album here: 

We wish ŠKART the best in the future, but most of all to  never stop being real and honest.

Thanks for the punk, guys!

22 December 2016

Gig review: Nirvana tribute

On 15th of December, yet another gig was organized to help us get a little warmer during these cold days of winter. Our north-based vocal and keyboard teacher, project coordinator and band coach Emir Hasani is also very good at impersonating the late master of grunge - Kurt Cobain. His Nirvana tribute band exists for some time now and it has been satisfying our nostalgic needs ever since it’s been formed. Aside from Emir as the lead, the band consists of two other members – Vanja on bass and Zoran on drums. Not only do they play some of the best Nirvana songs that we can sing along to, they make Nirvana come to life again with the whole performance and let us remember ‘the good old days’ that some of us didn’t even have the chance to live, but can enjoy its believable projection through their amazing tribute.

18 December 2016

Mitrovica Rock School revisits Hotel Gracanica

 Hey everyone!

As you already knew from the announcement, we have been welcomed by Hotel Gracanica once again for another acoustic gig, and this time we had a chance to enjoy great music by High Frequency and Proximity Mine.

Accompanied by some of our staff, the bands have arrived to Gracanica in the early evening and set up the stage inside the hotel doors. It was nice to hear the transition from electric to acoustic by these bands, and they did a great job arranging their original sound to fit the acoustic atmosphere.

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After the concert, everyone has attended dinner in the hotel, after which they carried the equipment back to the bus and safely returned back to Mitrovica.

Thanks for tuning in and keep on checking our blog for all the future news!

16 December 2016

Mitrovica Rock School at Hamam Jazz Bar in Pristina

Hello, everyone!

This month is getting busier for our Rock School, especially our students. Hamam Jazz Bar in Pristina has welcomed us again, but this time for an electric gig. We arrived for a sound check, and soon after, our student's families and friends arrived safely with the bus that was organized for them. It was a full house and everyone enjoyed the music of our five mixed bands that gave their best for the performance. Besides these guests, we also had Fontys Rockacademie trainer Ronald Seerden there to support us, and we have special thanks to him for his contribution to the Rock School. You can learn more about that in this link. Also, many thanks to our donors for making this gig happen!



Proximity Mine

High Frequency

Sublime 6

Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for more news to come!

9 December 2016

Sublime 6 and Akasha at another OSCE event, at Swiss Diamond Hotel

Hey everyone!

Yesterday, the OSCE organization had another event, and again they called Mitrovica Rock School for a musical performance. Two of our mixed bands – Sublime 6 and Akasha – arrived at the Swiss Diamond Hotel in Pristina in the early evening, and they set up the stage for their performance. After the opening speech by Head of Mission Jan Braathu, Akasha opened the performance with some of their best songs and had the audience dance to their rhythm and cheer them on.

Sublime 6 was next with the performance of their full repertoire, and the audience continued with their support, also by taking photos and filming the performance.

Here’s a bit of Sublime 6 with Wearing Me Out (video by Jelena Anasonovic):

After the concert, a dinner was organized for us, after which we were safely transported back to Mitrovica.

Big thanks to OSCE and the Swiss Diamond Hotel for welcoming us and making us feel at home!

7 December 2016

The BBC interview with the Rock School’s Sublime 6

Hey, everyone!

As I wrote recently (in this post), two of our mixed bands visited Hotel Gracanica for an acoustic gig in October this year, where they also gave radio interviews, one of which was for BBC World Service. The interview with our senior mixed band Sublime 6 officially aired last weekend and you can listen to it here (photo - Proximity Mine, audio - Sublime 6):

  Sublime 6 (photo: Kiklop Kikloparium)

Rough transcript of the interview:

Jelena – My name is Jelena and I’m from North Kosovska Mitrovica, and I am a singer in my mixed band Sublime 6. Living in Mitrovica… I’m used to it. It’s not great, because sometimes there are problems, not only between Albanians and Serbs, but also Serbs with Serbs, and there’s lot of problems, but still, I try to make most of my music, and that kind of keeps me going – the Rock School is basically what keeps me going, and I write my songs and I play with people, and that’s the beautiful part of it for me. That’s the core of the Rock School, to bring people together and that’s exactly what they have achieved.

Edona – We are doing revolution in Kosovo with that. It’s the first time, really, that Serbian and Kosovar play together, really. And, we feel really comfortable doing that. I feel really comfortable doing that… and I’m happy that we are doing that, really.

Dren – We play together, and we started playing together, like, at first we maybe didn’t know each other, but then, like, now we are like a family. We speak with each other like we are real friends, and that’s a part of music.

Jelena – Sometimes, I mean, I feel more comfortable with them than some people- than some Serbs, I mean… it’s just, sometimes I feel like an alien in Mitrovica, to be honest, and when I’m with them, it’s just, like, everything- I feel safe, actually. Even though it sounds kind of ironic, but they are not- I mean, some people were against me doing that, but, it’s like, I’m not playing music with terrorists, I’m playing music with musicians, with my friends, you know?

As you can see, Mitrovica Rock School means a lot to our students and they are proud of what they have achieved by creating peace and harmony with their musical creativity. You can help them to continue doing this by donating and therefore being a part of their revolution!

4 December 2016

Gig Review: Impaler and the singer from a Guns’n’Roses tribute with our teachers

Last night was a cold Saturday night, but what’s better for a warm-up than a long hard-core and rock’n’roll performance by talented musicians?

First of all, let’s introduce the performers. We had a chance to enjoy some heavy tunes by our very own Impaler as an opening act. Since their formation, they continued to impress us with their consistency and their success serves as a great example for everyone who wishes to start a band. You can learn more about them in one of the previous blog posts from the Band Profile Series, which includes the interview with their two band members, by clicking on this link.

(photo taken from the official Facebook page of Impaler)

The main act of the night was led by a singer from Serbia who is no stranger to the Rock School’s stage. We know him as Sale, but he has made a name for himself by portraying Axl Rose in the most successful European tribute band to Guns’n’Roses called Jailbreak (official Facebook page of the band). He is one of the best Axl Rose portrayers in the world, but he doesn’t limit himself when it comes to performing in general. Instead, he also covers other worldly known names, such as AC/DC, Alice In Chains, Led Zeppelin, etc. With his vocal range, there’s no limit to what he can do as a singer. See it and listen for yourselves in this YouTube link.

As I have hinted, this was not the first time for Sale to visit Mitrovica and blow our minds with his performance. Over the years, he has visited us quite a few times, and we have Goran Vucetic (our guitar teacher, link to his bio) to thank for that. Besides performing with Jailbreak on our stage, in the most recent years Sale would come alone and have our teachers as a backup, including Goran. Others include Emir Hasani (bio link), Filip Milovanovic (bio link) and Nemanja Misic (bio link)

(photo taken from the official Facebook page of Jailbreak)

Impaler’s performance

Impaler’s act served as a great warm-up to the main act, but it can also be viewed as a stand-alone performance, thanks to their talent, the heavy sound and the charisma of the band members. With covers from bands like Korn and P.O.D., they got us to sing along and bang our heads to the rhythm. There is no shyness and insecurity coming from the stage when Impaler is on it; they give us the most positive energy, even though their genre of choice can be pretty dark and include negative lyrics. In the end, we all have a dark side and inner demons that we should accept and express, and Impaler gives us an example of how to do that the right way. The audience couldn’t get enough of their performance, so their encore was unavoidable, but we’re looking forward to their next gig and hoping it will happen soon!

Sale’s performance with our teachers

As always, we knew exactly what to expect from Sale and our teachers, and that was nothing less than excellence, which is what they gave us. They started with Alice In Chains’s “Would” and made their way up with more grunge hits, continuing with hard rock and metal. Their professional sound is undeniable; you could listen to their studio recording and attend their live gig – you wouldn’t hear any difference between the two. Sale’s connection with the band and the audience also doesn’t differ from the connection he makes with the people at any bigger venue; he stays true to himself no matter where he goes. Huge thanks to Sale for paying us a visit once again, we wish him the best in the future, but most of all to keep coming back to Mitrovica and continue sharing his talents with us!

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the future news, cause there's more to come this month!

28 November 2016

Mitrovica Rock School to revisit Hotel Gracanica

Hey everyone!

Remember when Hotel Gracanica welcomed us for an acoustic concert in their beautiful garden? (blogpost: http://mitrovicarockschool.blogspot.com/2016/10/mixed-bands-at-hotel-gracanica.html) Well, they’ve invited us to repeat the event with our other mixed bands. Everyone who has enjoyed the music of Sublime 6 and Akasha will now be able to enjoy the music of Proximity Mine, High Frequency and Crearty.

The gig is set to be on 17th of December from 4:30 p.m. Check out the official Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1607383779279150/

The plan is pretty much the same, except this time around the gig will be held inside, due to the cold weather, which won’t deprive us of having a great time.

Stay tuned for the news and photos from the event!