On June 2016 three guys in their twenties gathered to their first rehearsal and so was born Fiction – Macedonian modern rock band, acoustic trio between three friends.
The guys are sitting side by side, discussing on Macedonian their point of view to the upcoming interview. We are sitting in Beertija Pub with rain banging the roof and thunder yelling in the sky. Petar, the vocalist of the band explains how he and Viktor, one of the guitar players, were playing some gigs in cafes and pubs in Skopje before Fiction was formed and points out that they needed better sound.
“And more money to be honest” Viktor laughs in the background. The history of the guys goes way back from playing together. Petar and Filip, the other guitarist, met on the first grade in high school, but later on it was Victors’ idea to invite Filip to play with them.
“We were both guitar teachers with Filip, and we were drinking beer together after lessons. It was the friendship that brought us together to play and create music, and so was the band formed.” Viktor explains. The guys started to have rehearsals together and had their first gig together in a café place in GTC, in the center of Skopje. The path continued in different pubs for 4-5 months, and not long after that, guys expanded the band to a full electric band. Petar, Filip and Viktor formed acoustic trio by themselves to play covers in pubs, but wanted to “level up” as Petar stated, to play their own songs in festivals competitions.
“When it’s about our own music, we play like 5 or 6 people together. We started to create our own music exactly after one year we were formed. The first song was “После Дождот” (“posle doždot”, eng. “After the rain”)” Viktor tells the story how the song formed; it was a bit difficult time for him, and he states how Petar and Filip were there for him, bringing positive energy and shoulder to cry on, which became to be the idea of the song. “Every each of us gave something to the lyrics that describes themselves and the final product was formed.”
The friendship between the guys is sincere and genuine, which you can see just by looking how comfortable they are together. The thunderstorm on the background creates a cozy mood, while Petar explains the musical cooperation between his bandmates.
“When we are making music, everybody has something to say. No one is talking nonsense.” All of the guys have their ideas, which they bring together to create the final songs. The cooperation is strong; even though sometimes there is minor differ in opinion.
“It’s something minimal, like drum fill or how the baseline goes… But when that situation comes, we are ready to grab each other’s necks and kill each other” Viktor laughs, and states that it is actually a positive thing, not negative. They all agree that when you make music, there is no enthusiasm if you just agree on whatever the other band members have in their minds.
“The tension is very important when you make music. Because at the end the results are always better than anyone of us imagined.”
All the guys have a strong background in music, which has been leading their road all their life. Starting from the wide genres of music they’ve been listening to, to the fact that all of them started their musical journey at a young age. Filip was studying classical guitar and Viktor learned guitar on his own, having only background with violin in his childhood to which he is stating with a bit of an ironic laugh. Petar started “basically as a rock star” as the guys are laughing. He had his first album at the age of 12 when his music teacher Dame Kolarovski heard his voice and wanted Petar to sing his songs.
Fiction won a record deal in Loser Fest in 2018 and chose to record in “The Basement Studio” of Angel Kjosev. They are currently recording their first album, which they are going to release next year. Five of the ten songs are recorded; all of them are in Macedonian. They are writing and creating their songs together, and they all have their common favorite; the first song that’s gonna be on the album “Oд почеток“ (’Od početok” eng: “From the beginning”) that Viktor got an idea at the beginning of the pandemic when he was playing Ludo on Facebook with his friends, which explains the song title. The guys are frankly proud of their music and are waiting to release the album.
“I’m not saying this because I’m in the band but because I like to listen to music, I think it’s a very good album. Everyone who will hopefully listen to it will find their favorite song and maybe some song that they don’t like. But there’s a song for everyone in the album.”
The album is going to be a mix of more “radio-friendly” and on the other side, heavier songs, combining energy with heavy guitars, heavy drumming and heavy bass, with a screaming vocals, which gives them a lot of adrenaline, especially while playing live. All the songs are sharing one same element, guitar hook, which comes to them naturally while creating songs. The guys are sharing a clear mutual respect towards each other skills and music. When Viktor mentions Petar’s voice, how it is recognizable “when you hear the song, you know it’s Petar”, Petar rushes to talk behalf Filip and Viktor: “But that’s also for the instrumental part, the guitars. You know that it’s our sound.”
The best part of the music comes on the stage; you present the product of what you have been working on in the past months or even years. Guys are laughing as Viktor explains:
“Sometimes we are not trying and we are the best. And sometimes we are trying a lot and we are just bad.”
“But we leave our hearts on the stage” Petar continues.
They have come a long way together which creates many stories and favorite moments on the road. They have played at D-Festival, “We are mountain boys!” Petar laughs after explaining that they were camping without Viktor who can’t stand tents.
“I have to mention Karadzhica, we were playing 2500 meters above the sea level. And at Joy Fest in Kriva Planka, we had a lot of funny moments, walking around fully naked, doing stupid things…”
When Viktor starts to explain one of his favorite memories with the guys, the laughing is pure and the story gets many sides as they are talking on top of each other. They had a gig in Berovo on Friday and in Pehchevo on Saturday, and they went there spontaneously without plans for accommodation between the gigs.
Petar notes sincerely that they just slept in the car.
“That’s his version! Our version is much deeper because he can’t remember most of the night. Petar was drinking a lot. I mean a lot. It was raining, we didn’t have a place to stay and all the places in the town were booked, and he was drunk. He couldn’t speak. We didn’t find a place to stay, so we went to Pehchevo at 5 am in the morning, to sleep in the parking lot. Petar was silent most of the time, but just when we arrived he said something to his father.”
“I wanted to say that good, we are gonna play here later and here’s also the parking, so let’s sleep here…” Petar explains.
“He compressed it to one word” Filip continues, and the guys burst into laughter.
“Parpata. I think that word doesn’t exist in any language.”
The guys ended up getting some sleep on a meadow nearby, where they were awakened by an older lady, who gave them coffee, cookies and juice from elderberry. “The elder lady, juice from elderberry” Filip laughs and shares his favorite moment from Loser Fest where they won their record deal.
“The gig had special energy for me. Actually, I can’t remember most of the gig, not because I was drinking, I just can’t. Adrenaline and stuff like that. We won Loser Fest, and we were very happy that night, we drank a lot, of course, celebrated.”
Fiction is a band of 3 people who are genuinely best friends and are equally important with the music-making and on the stages. Filip is noting that no one feels left out, everyone has a role and does their job in the band as best as they can. They don’t feel to have one frontman in the band, as Petar is strongly pointing out:
“There are people who come just to hear Filip singing “Telefonskiot broj ne postoi” from Nokaut. And there are people who come to hear Viktor playing solo, like “Gypsy song” from Vlatko Stefanovski. And there are people who come to listen to me.”
“And there are people who come to see him! Because he’s cute” Viktor laughs.
Petar takes a moment to translate a sentence in English, which is their sentence to describe Fiction. “Young, handsome, fertile and necessary. That’s us.” (Млади, згодни, плодни и неопходни)
Viktor continues: “I’m the young, Filip is the necessary, and Petar is the handsome and fertile. And don’t forget cute.” Guys share a laugh again, which has been the key element for the whole interview.
The thunder outside is not calming down, as we cheer with our drinks. We’ve been sitting with the guys for two hours straight, chatting about so many details on their careers. They are relaxed and comfortable and they told that they haven’t been talking like this with each other for a long time. The importance of support from their families and friends becomes very clear.
“I would like to say that we have many people that support us, our families, our friends, that are really important to us, and we wouldn’t accomplish and will not accomplish nothing without their help and their support” Viktor states, and we can see all the band members agree. We stop recording and share one more drink together with the guys from Fiction, listen few of their unreleased songs and wait to hear them again live, as their energy on the stage is contagious.
Selina Niemi & Ewelina Chanska
Article: Selina Niemi
Petar Gjurevski – vocals
Viktor Zahariev – guitar
Filip Andonov – guitar
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