Goran Bare & Majke have become a rock institution on Croatia’s music scene. Last year, after seven long years, the band released its latest album, Nuspojave (Side-Effects), which then went on to win a Porin for the rock album of the year. The Black Sheep is looking forward to a concert by Majke and the charismatic Bare, and this will be their first time at the festival. We interviewed Bare on the eve of the band’s concert at this year’s Black Sheep.

Are Nuspojave really the side-effects of Bare’s life?

Nuspojave is an album that reflects my view of the world I’m living in. I made it the way I felt it should be made and I’m pleased with it. So, yes, Nuspojave are the side-effects of my life.

You hadn’t released an album for a long time and there were some who said Bare wasn’t satisfied with the music he’s been making so that, eventually, everything ended up in trash. Nuspojave also won two Porin Awards. Does that mean that with this particular album, you appealed to not only your own taste but the tastes of others as well?

While making this album, we never thought about whether somebody was going to like it or whether we would match someone’s taste. I only thought about appealing to my own taste as I wanted to distance myself from what I’d been doing before. And this album that you say ended up in trash was too conventional, too close to what, for instance, I’d been doing with the previous album, Teške boje (Difficult Colors). That’s why I didn’t like it at all. I’m not saying I don’t like Teške boje, but we’re not going to keep doing albums like that all the time. We simply didn’t think about anything else but our own taste. And the fact that we then won some awards… Well, that’s great, I like that.

The songs are quite long, which is why you didn’t perform live at the Porin award ceremony. Is it something that’s keeping these songs from reaching a wider audience?

Beats me. I really don’t know. At one point, back in the seventies, people used to lengthen my singles, making them longer than they were on our studio albums. And, nowadays, a song needs to be three-minute long for the radio stations to play them, and I’m not interested in that at all. I only care about the quality of a song, and not how long it will be. Some people probably hate it when songs are so long but I like it and that’s what I care about the most. And, anyway, I don’t think that people who like that kind of music really listen to Croatian radio stations.

Still, the album is selling well, isn’t it?

The album is selling really well and we know that it’s already reached quite a lot of people. Obviously, the important thing is that the songs are good and not how long they are. When I recorded the demo for Ljubav krvari (Love Bleeds), some people listened to it for a whole hour, non-stop. I don’t think that song would be a waste of time if it were aired on a radio show.

What side-effects of your concert can we expect at the Black Sheep?

At the Black Sheep, you can expect your usual rock ‘n’ roll concert by your usual rock ‘n’ roll band. Well, not exactly usual… We’ll do our best to satisfy the fans, and ourselves, naturally.

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