A month ago Serbian instrumental progressive rock band DAAR released their debut album called “One-Way Expedition.” About this great new release and the band itself, DAAR answered our questions.
Mixture of metal, progressive rock, classic rock and folk music. How do you go about channeling these elements in your songwriting and how do you manage to keep your sound unique?
If we tried to mix all these musical styles intentionally, we couldn’t go anywhere. It is just natural to us to come up with different styles incorporated in our music. We are listening to all kind of stuff and also try not to suppress our creative process in any way. Rational mind can often totally block your creativity, but in essence of every creative process is freedom.
There are ethnic motives present on your debut album “One-Way Expedition.” Was it a conscious decision to channel them in your music?
When we are working on our music, sometimes it just presents itself to us. We just prepare here a coffee, put a best dress we have on here and let her go out to the word. I guess GPS coordinates influenced our music taste. Serbia is on a crossroads of Easter and Western cultures so our hearts and brains needs to process a lot of different influences. Thanks to that, we have a lot ingredients on our disposal. So, strait answer would be that we didn’t have some plan in advance to incorporate any style of music in particular, it came naturally.
How would you describe the sound of “One-Way Expedition” to someone who didn’t hear you guys before?
If you look into cover of our EP you can see juxtaposed elements of nature and humanity surprising technologies. We are leaving in a world that is losing touch with real source of life and we all feel that gap within ourselves more or less. This album is also about going in one direction. Things that we pass by and leave today probably will never come back again. So are we aware of this present moment? We are enthusiastic about what will come next and also frightened of the unknown. We tried to picture that everlasting struggles of life on this album.
Why instrumental music? Do you find it more challenging to express yourselves this way?
We were always inclined to instrumental music. I guess this is just our musical taste. Maybe because it’s more abstract and esoteric form, it leaves a listener option to build his own stories based on emotional frame that instrumental music provides. But sometimes having lyrics and telling straight messages is also challenging. I guess our next album might go in that direction too.
It seems that you guys like guitar solos very much. How do you balance the importance of guitar songwriting with the importance of soloing?
We wouldn’t consider that only soloing, but rather telling stories using voice of the guitar. In some parts of our songs we just set the scene for story to be told. Then, solo guitar takes a role of story teller and brings listener to the idea behind the song. It’s all about telling stories more or less.
What is the most remarkable moment during the songwriting/recording process of “One-Way Expedition”?
For me it’s about how things fit together. Sometimes when creating songs you just feel the whole thing even if you hear just a guitar and you know that it will be good at the end. Whole song is already there in just few riffs. You don’t know what will be other parts and arrangements but you fill that it’s already created somewhere and you just need to grasp it.
And what was the hardest moment and how did you go about overcoming it?
There are no hard moments in creating a music. There are only obstacles that makes you put more effort in it, which at the end gives you just greater sense of achievement. If you put too much worries into it then you don’t understand creative process. Creativity is most natural thing in the world. You go through some emotional ups and downs but that is human nature and you can just observe that and try not to be distracted.
Which bands or musicians influenced Daar’s music at the most?
We all have our favorite musicians, so Daar music is mix of our individual tastes. It’s hard to select most influential musicians but for most of the guitar solo parts I think in technical sense there is a lot of influence from Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci and other rock instrumental guitarists. These guys pushed technique of playing to the edge. So basically, they are pioneers that discovered most of the applications of the rock guitar. Now we have necessary tools to focus more on the artistic approach and try to create something original, also to put some of our own stones to that mountain.
It’s always hard to make something different, and it’s even harder to make people accept things that are not so frequent. I am wondering, as a band that includes different styles, where do you see Daar in the future?
I think answer to that is already lying in my description of idea behind “One-Way Expedition”. Let’s be aware of present moment. Tomorrow will eventually present itself. We are conscious that our music is different in some aspects from main stream and it’s totally out of our scope if it will be accepted by wider audience or not. What we consider of importance is to present this music to wider possible audience so people that are attracted to our art can enjoy it.
Is there anything you want to share with our readers about your debut album?
Yes. Important thing about this album is that it’s been inspired and created in loving memory of our deceased bass player Aleksandar Tomovic, wonderful person who played with us from our early beginnings. We felt his presence while creating this album so we guess he is fifth element in this band.
“One-Way Expedition” by DAAR is available from Bandcamp.