A dreamland – an interview with Serbian raw screamo act EVA RAS!

Young cinematography student from Belgrade sits down with IDIOTEQ to ktalk about his love for art and new violent, dissonant emoviolence one-man project called EVA RAS!
EVA RAS!!!
Named after Serbian actress, writer, and painter Eva Ras (Ева Рас), this raw, violent offering from Filip Stojiljkovic (Филип Стојиљковић) is a perfect example of a musical niche full of contrasts and extreme. Filip himself is a prolific young artist, the owner of Confusion Specialist Records, as well as a great fan of poetic cinematography and Yugoslavian Black Wave Film movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. EVA RAS is a homage to that era, its specific forms of art, dark humor and we have teamed up to discuss it all of this and more, both in video and standard text format. Enjoy!

Hey there! Thanks so much for presenting your new project through IIDIOTEQ. You single handily recorded this raw demo and I can’t wait to dive a bit deeper into your work. How are you? Could you tell me more about your background and this new project of yours?

Hi! thanks for having me here. :) I’m feeling pretty good, thank you so much. My name is Filip Stojiljkovic (Sto-yeelykoweech), I was born in Belgrade in 15th November 1995. I’m 20 years old and I’m studying cinematography in Singidunum University.

I started making music under the name WEAREALLSLAVES at the age of 17, and year after year I’ve been forming various projects of mine and also I’m the owner of Confusion Specialist Records. (shocker!)

The new project of mine, EVA RAS, is one of my musical projects, that I’ve been making by myself, including WEAREALLSLAVES, SUEISNTFINE, ASK FOR ANSWERS and MINUTES OF DECAY, etc. The name came from our actress Eva Ras, which she was prominent of the black wave films, famously for the film “Love Affair; or the case of the missing switchboard operator”.

Wow, this sounds amazing. I’m kind of thrilled to learn more about your background and artistic approach. What can you tell our readers about that? How did you get hooked on cinematography and music in the first place? What were some of your first significant connections with art?

When it comes to my connections with art, since I was a child, I found myself surrounded by all sorts of artistic influences. My grandfather and grandmother were both actors, so I was basically pressured into being interested in those sort of things. My parents and sister, as well brought me to galleries and museums. I remember going to the Prado museum in Spain and seeing all sorts of art, also grotesque ones, and I also remember ending up seeing La Chien Andolou by Luis Bunuel…it made a great impression on me.

I guess after seeing that, I started unconsciously getting to love cinema. I was so deeply in love with directors, such as Dario Argento, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Paradjanov, Andrzej Zulawski, and so on it’s so hard to think of others at the top of my head. The one I love mostly is Andrei Tarkovsky. His style is extremely poetic, since his father was a poet too. His shots are very long and dream-like and takes so much work and concentrations to make. My favorite movie from him might be Zerkalo (The Mirror), an autobiography of his, imagining of himself lying in bed, remembering all the past times before his death.

My artistic “moto” is > make anything if it means killing the boredom and bringing some fun into my life.

Ok, so what moved you from there classics to recording this raw demo and which elements, in form or general concept and approach, characterized and differentiated your new tracks from your previous works?

In terms of music, bands like TRISTAN TZARA, ORCHID, LOUISE CYPHER and THE BLOOD BROTHERS have inspired me to record this demo. Though compared to my previous works, I think my approach with EVA RAS is pretty new to me. And pretty big. My intention of Eva Ras is to give homage to Yugoslavian Black Wave Films. That movement has its charm. It’s dark, It’s silly, it’s absurd, but it’s more powerful when it comes to metaphors of everyday life such as today. AAAAANNND For future releases, of course there will be focus on surrealism and absurdism, hahaha what do we have here.

What do you have? :) Tell me more about the absurdities you face in your everyday life.

For instance, it better be me. It’s the fact that there’s always a border between “feeling fine” and feeling nothing at all. It’s that the society is expecting me to smile more and be happy and communicate, while I just stand here doing nothing to contribute to society, to what always relies on “feeling fine”.

Another example might be (in my honest opinion) about left-or-right wing fallacy. It’s clearly us vs. them mentality. Neither of these wings let you have any critical thinking, besides how in/tolerant you are, etc. They’re just killing each other off. They’re tearing apart the mother earth. Now that’s completely absurd.

Is this one of the reasons you dove into art? To liberate your soul from all the absurd and sickness around, the sad realities you simply can’t change?

Absolutely. The sad thing is you are born in this world, it is yours. You live in it. There’s nothing you can do to change that, yeah… There’s always a dreamland for you that you can escape for some time, but the world you actually live in is still there. There’s a thing called survival.

BUT there’s one more thing we can fight the ignorance and absurdity in this world: Education.

Sure! Plus, this world is kind of as beautiful as it’s disgusting, isn’t it?

Ok, before we get too emotional, let’s go back to your new work :) What is your creative process like? How much pain in the ass is it to record such a record all by yourself?

Oh, it was fun as hell! Much noise! Such chaos! Wow! I could make another 5 songs a day! Just like I did with my SUEISNTFINE demo.

Yet, it’s pretty much of a hard work. I used Garageband to make music and I played an acoustic guitar through the microphone on these virtual amps, you know that Garageband has. It’s a pretty cool thing. The most hardest of them all is drum programming. I had to use the keyboards on the cymbals, bass pedals, etc. Harder enough to keep the beat and rhythm in line.

Another struggle I briefly have is a song idea. It took me a day later to think what kind of a song structure should I begin with and how should I end it. It didn’t took me too forever, but it’s still a struggle.

As you worked on the arrangement of these tracks, did they communicate with each other in ways you hadn’t expected?

Come to think of it, I think the guitars have overtaken the overall sounds from the drums and my vocals. If only I have someone who is badass at mixing/mastering, it would have come out with massive amounts of badassery. But, like it’s just a start, right? A good one?

Oh definitely! It’s raw, but with great potential, I think.

Why is it important for you to continually deliver new projects?

I think the reason why I deliver new projects is that the fact it’s these kinds of mindsets that I’ve been receiving for each projects. Each of them are really different and unique. I wouldn’t just go and make music for the same old same old one project and instead, creating a new one to make a difference between them. For example, my HNW project Lucy Jane Garcia and my vaporware project FreeClickTm. All these projects I have made make a huge difference. It’s more of how I’m used to making things so far.

Lyrics wise, what attracts you to the subjects you explore?

Much likely, politics, simple, yet powerful short stories and maybe love songs (if done right). I’m usually very picky when it comes to love songs. Most of the love songs I heard from Post-rock screamo bands are overly melodramatic and I’m getting tired of it.

I also would like to write abstract things in the lyrics, too. For most people, they would get lost quickly, but then end up reading the lines one or two times and then try to decipher them, thus giving them free will to interpret in their own words. It’s fun and it SHOULD be fun for most people.

Do you have particular sources of inspiration for your work? Can you give some examples of both modern and older artists who have delivered quality efforts that you truly admire?

Absolutely. Vladimir Velickovic, a brilliant Serbian modern art expressionist. He has drawn a lot of ravens… and dead bodies too haha…  (you have more on google search)

That Bananafish story by J.D. Salinger is the most powerful.

The Stranger by Albert Camus. Amazing book.

Generation P by Viktor Pelevin is complex and trippy as fuck.

Metropolis by Fritz Lang is a masterpiece. A must see in the history of cinema.

What else did I miss?

Thanks a lot!

Ok, so what’s next? What are you currently up to? You’re very young and I guess there will be many different directions in your artistic career, but can you offer further thoughts about the future direction of your work?

Currently, I am making a movie as an assignment. The first three years are always about making a film, and that is the best practice. On the 4th year, you gotta get to decide who you want to be: a director, a cameraman or an editor. I’m totally indecisive, but I think I would go for a camera haha.

Well, it is true that I am young. I have just turned 20 and I’m doing my best to achieve what I want in my soon-to-be-successful career.

EVA RAS would be this screamo legend that no one in the Balkan Punk Region should ever forget. It may be small, but you better be running, cuz it’s getting big real fast haha!

Filip!

Do you have any words of advice for young artists who may be new to the music making challenges?

Do not ever be afraid of making a mistake. It takes time to improve and upgrade your studio. I know it’s hard to make music all by yourself, even if you are young and listening to “I’m just a kid” song. You just gotta believe in yourself and experiment a little on your own, even if you have nobody to support you right now, you’ll get there.

Start some organization, start your own gig, get in contact with other bands and meet new people. Do the ‘word of mouth’ thing anywhere, in your school, workplace or on the streets. Hell, even start a netlabel, like I did (Confusion Specialist Records). You’ll get to release the music of your tastes and maybe one day, any artist will come up to you and say “hey, i am looking for a label to release my music, will you help me?” You know you’d be really glad to help. You just gotta make the best of it. :)

I am Filip Stojiljkovic and this is my interview with IDIOTEQ.

Thanks a lot guys!

Thanks a lot! Take care buddy!

EVA RAS Bandcamp
EVA RAS Facebook

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via www.idioteq.com@gmail.com

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