Interview with DAAR


Serbian instrumental progressive rock band Daar released their debut album \"One-Way Expedition\" in October, and they were kind to answer our questions about it and more.

Hey guys. How are you doing?

Hi, we are doing great! Album is released so it’s always a good feeling when you complete something successfully.

You just released your debut album “One-Way Expedition.” How do you feel about the release?

Now that album is released it’s quite exciting to talk to people about it and to communicate about the whole process. We also learn from this interview while reviewing creative process, and comments from listeners also clarify a lot of things to us. It’s also nice to meet people that share same interests about music as we do and we are also proud that we brought something that we can enjoy together.

How much of a challenge was it to work on the album?

We haven’t been working on music for some time so when we started working on this album it was pretty fun but also challenging in terms of playing skills. We had to oil our engines at first and after that it was much easier. We also had to spend a lot of time trying to find best solutions for arrangements but it was enjoyment every step of the way.

How is the progressive rock scene in Serbia these days?

Progressive rock has been present in Serbia since first days of rock. There was a very vibrant scene visible mostly on local level but comparing to global streams quality was very height. Local guitar legends had great impact on all generations of musicians in this region. Unfortunately, post Yugoslav wars destroyed all of this and music scene has been turned upside down. Today, looks like on a global level progressive music is something reserved for people with profound taste and it’s hard to make for leaving by playing this kind of music. Here in Serbia it’s even harder. So, young creative people enjoy playing guitars but I have a feeling that progressive rock is not quite popular these days in Serbia.

What is your opinion about the new wave of progressive bands?

Being a player in a progressive band is somehow similar to being a classical music player. You spend hours and hours practicing, building your technique and fine tuning your sense of timing and dynamics... Learning music theory and odd rhythmical patterns… Spending a lot of money seeking for a perfect tone. Being a progressive rock player means that you are in love with music and you know that you can share that passion only with small group of people. But this is passion that is burning forever. Regarding that it’s not surprise that there are a lot of young talented and smart people that discover this kind of magic. But since this is relatively small world we need to stay together and build our own state of progressive rock ☺

Can you tell me something about your influences?

We are listening to all kind of stuff. From classic rock, heavy metal, jazz, classical music… whatever we find interesting. That way you look into music from various perspectives and it’s also exciting to listen musicians that have different approach to composition, tone, arrangements etc. But it looks like we like this progressive guitar sound the most. Probably biggest influence on our music is from instrumental guitarists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani etc. in terms of playing techniques. When it comes to composition we try to implement other genres when it is suitable. We admire masters of classical music like Debussy, Ravel, Liszt etc. Although this music is out of our reach, I guess listening to it opens some small doors for our creativity.

What are you listening these days?

Taste is constantly changing. One day you like something smooth, next day something heavy or shallow☺. But mostly like to discover something new (that is new to us, not necessary new in general). As a guitar player I like work of e.g. Haken, Animals as Leader, recently discovered The Contortionists, Devin Townsend and one great Serbian musician David Maxim Micic. On the other side, the drummer listening completely different kind of music. He prefers rock, jazz, funk, fusion and bands and artists such as Benny Greb, Richard Bona, Marcus Miller, Peter Gabriel, Black Country Communion and many others.

Your five favourite records of all time?

It’s hard to define top five. List is longer and it changes based on current moods and interests. But when selecting from different genres and eras let’s say:

Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock Joe Satriani – Surfing with the alien Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare Queensryche – Operation Mindcime Animals as leaders – Animals as leaders

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “One-Way Expedition”?

I am using LTD KH-602 guitar with EMG pickups for almost all songs except Cocoon where I recorded with custom made guitar with EMG 85 on the bridge. Ernie Ball 2723 Cobalt Super Slinky Electric Guitar Strings. I am also using Kemper profiler. For most solo parts its Diesel VH4 profile. There are also some 5150 and Mesa single rectifier tones (mainly for riffing).

Drummer plays Tama Starclassic performer B/B, Zildjijan K Custom hybrid, Zildjijan K & A Custom, Sabian HHX, while bass player using Fender Jazz bass & Mary by Redi Vivus Stego5.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

We surely plan some live performances. Let’s see for now how this album will be accepted. We are already working on some new material, which will be quite different from this one. There will be some songs on it and there is significantly less soloing. Whole concept will be different. Guess that it will also be EP, because this works best for us, considering that we are leaving in different cities and that we need to find a way to organize time together.

Any words for the potential new fans?

If you find our music appealing spread the word about us. Since this is our debut album, we still need to find the way to listeners all over the world. The more people accept our work, the more we will be inspired to give our best on every next release and to see you in person on tours.