DAAR: All About Gifts

Daar - One Way Expedition

Serbian instrumental prog rock band Daar just released their debut album “One-Way Expedition,” a very eclectic release that has to offer so much. As they put it, DAAR uses “all available musical tools to tell different stories with different atmospheres and emotional territories.”

The band was very kind to introduce us to their work.

Thank you for having time to answer some questions. First of all, introduce us the band Daar. What does the band name refer to?

Hello music lovers! First of all we want to thank you for showing interest for our work and let us introduce to your readers (hopefully our future listeners).

In today’s world people often take for granted everything that we have nowadays and that let us live quality and happy life. We often act like we have right to take everything that we want, as much as we want, regardless consequences that might have to other people and environment. In this atmosphere we lose sense of gratitude. We often forgot that almost everything we have is a gift. Gift from God, gift from nature, ancestors, other people…

DAR means gift on Serbian language, so using that name we try to be more aware of that fact and at the same time become more opened to surrounding world which than becomes our source of inspiration. By adding another “A” and becoming DAAR, we wanted to give this name a unique stamp and make it sound more musical.

Would you mind telling us about your musical background, as well as education?

DAAR has been created as some sort of reunion of old friends musicians. We all cooperated on some projects in the past. Nebojsa (drums) and Oliver (lead guitar) have been members of one of the first progressive bands in Serbia called “Talisman”. Band was active in 90’s, but situation in ex-Yugoslavia during that period (war and economic crises) prevented us from bringing our work to wider audience.

After that period we all went separate ways. We all thought that book is closed… but after early death of our bass player Tomovic Aleksandar, we wanted to spend some time together and honor his life by playing some of our songs again. But chemical reaction started again and we found ourselves in creative state again… after that, Sasa Kostic (bass) joined the band together with his brother Ivan (guitar). DAAR has been completed.

Except Sasa Kostic, none of us has formal musical education. We all started to play instruments purely from enthusiasm as a teenagers. So at that time it was already too late for formal education. However, being in love with music, we spent a lot of time learning from all possible sources.

We had to find the way by ourselves.

You recently released your debut album “One-Way Expedition.” How was the creative process for it?

As I mentioned, once we gathered again, everything started like some chemical reaction. In some way, we were observers of what was happening. 🙂 And when you feel that wave of creativity, you don’t have other option but to stand on the board and surf. Interesting thing is that only after some pieces are already created, we seat back and analyze the whole thing. Then, it turns out that there was already deep meaning in music we created even before it came to our conscious mind. We all really have some secret life deep inside.

“One-Way Expedition” is a very eclectic release. What do you think I should describe Daar as to my friends? The real question here is, what do you guys consider the music of Daar to be?

If you try to analyze impacts that world has on you, from widest possible perspective, you can recognize that they are completely different in nature. If you try to give appropriate response to that as an artist, you need to master some isomorphic skills. Regarding that, we like to experience completely unrelated styles of music and other arts. So that approach influences our creative process as well.

This eclectic music must have a wide range of influences and inspiration. Would you guys mind enlightening us as to some of the influences you haven’t mentioned already?

DAAR is basically guitar centric band. So, our generation has its first baby cry in cradle of late 20th century guitar heroes, while legends like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen etc. already played with their toys.

So, that was our first milk as guitar players. Later on we tried to build our unique voice and style, we discovered other musical styles, like classical music, jazz etc. We were listening and learning from all type of musicians but we still like to play with quite a bit of distortion 🙂

Can you think of some moments where musical homages have been included in Daar’s tracks?

First song on this album, Portal, has a lot of changes, quickly touching different musical grounds (Heavy Metal, Flamenco, Latino, some Jazzy moments and few more if you listen carefully). Just like traveling through some wormhole, with warp speed and fast passing by different worlds. This song might be considered homages to various music styles.

Also closing song “One-Way Expedition” in the second part touches the ground of classical music. Basic reason is that at that moment whole album transcends into more spiritual sphere. We tried to achieve that by removing intense drumming and introducing some classical instruments (strings, flute, glockenspiel and harp) which make song becoming more fluid and esoteric.

What’s the live experience with Daar like? Any plans for a tour somewhere down the road?

It’s been a while since we stand in front of an audience. Now, when album is released we are eager to see how it will sound live. Basically, material is really playable… so we think that it has a lot of potential for live performance.

For now we can plan concerts in Serbia but we hope that there will be opportunities to present our music to people all over the world in the near future.

What have you been listening to recently? Also, would you tell us what your all-time favorite albums are?

The best thing with music is that there are always some new artists with fresh and unique ideas.

When it comes to guitar it’s amazing how it constantly evolves. One of the new artists that we are listening these days is David Maxim Micic. He recently released two new EPs: Ego and Eco. And there are always some interesting musicians involved in his projects. We like his music a lot.

Jakub Zitecky is also another young guitarist and composer that makes his way with unique approach and extraordinary playing skills.

Mokhatar Samba – extraordinary Afro drummer. List is long…

And it’s always nice to taste completely different atmosphere by listening to classics like Debussy or Philip Glass or whatever YouTube random engine brings to you 🙂
Some of the best albums of all time for us could be:

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – Genesis
Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock
Passion and Warfare – Steve Vai
Angel dust – Faith no more
Animals as leaders – Animals as leaders
And many more…

What kind of advice would you impart to other musicians? Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for other artists trying to make their mark?

Music is same as life. If you are mentally healthy person you want to live your life. 🙂 You can experience every aspect of it and enjoy all the moments no matter if there is someone to share it with you or not. You can enjoy being alone or being with few friends or bunch of people.

Same thing with music. If you love to play or compose, and you can’t resist that urge, you are already an artist. Are you successful? Doesn’t matter, one adjective more or less… 🙂

It’s always nice to know that other people enjoy your work… but if it’s only one person, it’s OK. It’s not just one person, it is one whole world. The main thing is that you do whatever feels natural to you, because, only that way, you can use your instrument to really connect with other people, rather than just play it (which is also cool).

Thank you again for agreeing to do this interview. I think I’m out of questions, so feel free to add anything you like.

Thank you for letting us give a quick introspective into our creative process. What is of more importance is that you presented our work to people that like progressive approach to music. We all try to move boundaries of playing and composing a little bit further. This is collective task of all musicians involved in this approach. If we give our contribution to that task, that would be a great achievement. If there is someone out there that will enjoy our music or maybe get inspired for his/her own creativity we would consider our mission successful. Anyway, we already had a great time creating this album and we want more. 🙂

“One-Way Expedition” is availably from Bandcamp for measly €5.


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