Interview with guitarist Matija Dolinar and vocalist and guitarist Jan Medved
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: February 11, 2017
Teleport hails from Ljubljana, Slovenia and plays Metal that is described as blackened and progressive, Sci-fi themed Thrash Metal with musical traces from bands like Voivod and especially Vektor. These Slovenian thrashers have been gaining an underground following since they started out in 2010 having released three demos and one EP in that time and showing the band's potential to become a recognizable Metal act outside the borders of Slovenia.
The Metal Crypt decided to learn more about these talented Slovenian thrashers by interviewing the band and this is what we got...
Luxi: Teleport is a relatively unknown entity so could you kindly shed some light on the history of the band and how things got started?
Matija: Teleport was formed in 2010 and was at first influenced by bands such as Voivod and Vektor. We released our first official demo, Galactic Usurper, in 2011, and the second one, Stellar Damnation, in 2013. A lot happened in the time between these two releases – Blaž Tanšek joined on guitar and we played a lot of concerts. Blaž left the band in the summer of 2014 and I replaced him. In 2015, Toni Pleško, who was our original drummer, left and was replaced by Darian Kocmur. This line-up—that is Jan and I on guitars, Darian on drums and Lovro on bass—then recorded the EP Ascendance.
Luxi: Was it easy or difficult to find like-minded musicians to play in Teleport?
Jan: When we were still beginning as a sci-fi-themed band and had no releases under our belt, it was quite hard to find potential bandmates who were also good musicians and were interested in playing such music. However, after the first demo was released and when people started hearing it, it became much easier to find other musicians willing to co-create such music. Currently we're the closest we've ever been to being a group whose members complement one another musically and conceptually with ease.
Luxi: Is the band chemistry on an optimal level in the Teleport camp? Is it hard to imagine finding better musicians for the band that you have in the line-up now?
Matija: I think the current line-up is pretty much perfect – each one of us contributes fresh ideas and executes them from both the technical musicianship and songwriting perspective. At this moment, we're writing new material for our first full-length, which I believe will reflect how tightly knit the band is as well as the progression from the EP.
Luxi: Can you tell us briefly what musical background each of you had before you decided to put this band together? My assumption is that most of you have spent years and years to reach the level of musicianship on display in Teleport.
Matija: Jan Medved, who is the original mastermind behind the band, played classical guitar for seven years in music school. Prior to Teleport he had played in a high school band that had also featured Darian Kocmur. Lovro Babič first played in the Thrash band Evokate, which he left shortly before joining Teleport. Darian played for some time in different music projects with his brother and learned jazz drumming in that time. I played in a couple of bands before joining Teleport with which I had gained quite a lot of experience.
Luxi: Musically there are some musical references within your stuff that can be linked to bands like Vektor and especially Voivod. Is it simply coincidence that Teleport took a similar musical approach to both Vektor and Voivod?
Matija: It's quite obvious that we were influenced primarily by these two bands at first. However, I think we've managed to expand our musical influences quite a bit with the EP and our musical tastes have also evolved. Now we're trying to develop, as best we can, our own approach which will still be rooted in old-school ideals. We're moving away from our first influences for sure.
Luxi: Who is responsible for what when talking about your songwriting process, promotion of the band, gig booking and stuff like that?
Matija: Most of the riffs are written by Jan and myself, though everyone contributes their own part to the songwriting process, be it lyrics, drum patterns, and so on.
Luxi: Your latest official release is a 5-song EP titled Ascendance, and it's been getting some really nice reviews in media publications thus far. How happy are you with the outcome of this particular EP and do you believe it represents Teleport today as well as in the future?
Matija: Ascendance has received good and enthusiastic responses and we're very happy with it. I think it kind of symbolizes the band at the beginning of our newer musical approach, which will be fully realized on the full-length.
Luxi: Your band has recorded three demos and one EP so far so the next logical step would be to get your debut full-length studio album recorded. How are your things standing for that at the moment?
Matija: As said, the songs for the debut are already being written. We hope that they'll be finished and recorded as soon as possible, but we don't plan on rushing anything. The quality of the songs and the album as a whole is our main priority.
Luxi: Have you given any thought as to where you'd like to record your first studio album? Are studios outside of Slovenia completely out of the question or do you just prefer recording it in your home country due to the ease of travel and getting home by evening/night after a hard day at a studio?
Matija: At the moment we have no plans yet as to where we'll record the album. The mix, or the master at least, almost certainly won't be done in Slovenia, since we already have a few foreign producers in mind. As far as the recording process itself is concerned, we're not sure yet. I believe recording abroad would be a great experience and if we manage to afford such an opportunity, we'll gladly do so.
Luxi: Are there some good venues in Slovenia for (underground) Metal gigs and how often do you get to play live?
Matija: We'd really like to play more than we do however, Slovenia is too small for us to play a lot of gigs. It's also hard to get in touch with people from abroad that would be willing to book us. Of course we'll continue to try and play abroad. There are a few clubs in Ljubljana, most of them on Metelkova where there's always a lot going on as far as alternative, non-mainstream events are concerned.
Luxi: How is the underground Metal scene in Ljubljana? Do you have a relatively good and growing Metal scene over there? What are some of the names from the Ljubljana scene that people should keep their eyes on in the future?
Matija: Though there are good bands from all over the country and not only in Ljubljana, the Metal scene as a whole—at least the more prominent bands—is not stylistically diverse enough, in my opinion, and too many bands only play certain niches of a genre but ignore all the possibilities the same genre has to offer. For instance, as far as death metal is concerned, there are quite a few bands that play the "modern version" of Death Metal in the sense that they remind of bands like Cattle Decapitation but you don't really get bands that are influenced by the more evil, old-school sounding death metal, like Immolation or Finnish stuff like Demilich or Adramelech and I think it would be good if new bands explored this kind of sound. The Slovene bands that I like and think are awesome are Vigilance, Hellsword, Srd, Ater Era, among others.
Luxi: What would you say about the common spirit among local bands? Are bands supportive of each other and do they spread the word? It's naturally important for many that the word keeps spreading on, you know...
Matija: We've noticed that we have more supporters from abroad than in Slovenia. As far as the relationships between different bands are concerned, it's really a case-by-case basis. With some bands we don't really interact much (it's almost as if we don't acknowledge one another's existence, even though we play the same genre of music), while we've developed a real sense of camaraderie with certain other bands, like Vigilance, whom we support and who support us in turn and we, of course, also advertise one another's releases.
Luxi: The Metaldays is a huge metal festival in Slovenia, held in beautiful Sotocje since 2013 and I am sure you have visited there as a "tourist", right? What are the chances that Teleport might play there one day? I didn't see Teleport's name in the previous festival line-ups...
Matija: We've visited Metaldays a lot of times, even when the festival was still called Metalcamp. I doubt there's a better location to hold a festival than Tolmin. We haven't played there yet, but we hope that we get the chance to do so in the future.
Luxi: Are there some other (Metal) festivals that you'd like to be a part of with Teleport in the future? What's cooking at the moment regarding the festival topic?
Matija: We haven't confirmed any future festivals yet. We played the festivals Metal Mania in 2012 and Live After Death in 2016, which are both held in Slovenia. We hope to play as many as possible in the future, be they open-air summer festivals or indoor underground ones.
Luxi: What's your take on all the terrorist attacks that have been happening in European countries over the past several months (Brussels, Paris, Berlin, etc.)? Are you afraid of going to different places due to these sad, unjustified and cowardly attacks or do you not let them to stop enjoying life and travelling around from one place to another, either with Teleport or without?
Matija: These attacks are cowardly and hypocritical. I believe one of the main ideas behind them is to spread fear, so I think the easiest way for the band to counter this is to simply continue doing what we're doing and play wherever is possible and not to show fear. Though the situation in Europe is quite tense and worrying at the moment there's still a bigger chance that you get hit by a car or that you break your neck by falling down the stairs than that you die in a terrorist attack.
Luxi: Last question; can you name the three most influential albums and/or bands that made you what you are nowadays, i.e. a metalhead and that led you to form Teleport?
Matija: If you listen to the first two demos it's obvious that we were influenced by Vektor, early Sepultura and Voivod. Other influences include Atheist's Unquestionable Presence and other old-school death metal like Death, Autopsy and Morbid Angel, even if these influences aren't overt. The albums that were the most crucial for my formative musical years were, among others, Covenant, Blood Fire Death and Abigail.
Luxi: I want to sincerely thank you for taking your time with my questions and wish you all the best with Teleport in the future. Now you are entitled for the final words, sir...
Matija: Thanks for giving us this opportunity! There's still a long road ahead of us and we find all opportunities to talk about the band and music very valuable. We hope that we won't fall off the radar any time soon!
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