Answers by: Real Life Version
We are Real Life Version from Ajdovščina/Vipava (Slovenia), Jani J. on vocals and guitar, Nejc on drums and vocals, Jani P. on bass and vocals and Aljosa on guitar. We´ve been together since 2005 under a different name (Evelyn), which we changed in 2009 just before releasing our debut album Resistance from Within. We played on Got Punk tour in most of slovenian clubs and embarked on a couple of european tours later in the year. In 2010 our singer Jernej left the band, so we carried on in the current line-up. We had to learn to sing and play our instruments simultaneously which has been quite a battle. The best school and a bump in the lurning curve were the tours around Europe (one with the finnish punk-rockers Part Time Killer), where we also played the new songs and worked on them according to the feedback we got from the audiences. When we felt we were ready, we decided to record the album ourselves, bought all the recording equipment and started the long process which took a while, but we did the things our way. We are really happy with our new album, which we named The Sound of Progress. It is being released by a german label Fond of Life Records and Gijotina Records in Slovenia.
2) What are the themes of your lyrics and where do you find inspiration for them?
Lyrics vary a lot, but they have a common positive attitude in a sense that we don´t just bitch about the usual problems of our society, but try to include a certain positive outlook on our lives, without being naive or utopian in our thoughts. Inspiration usually comes when you least expect it and it´s great if you have a pen and a sheet of paper to pur your ideas down in those moments. The themes of the lyrics span from personal, familiy problems, concepts of appropriation and representation as tools of cultural assimilation by the capitalism working as a hegemonic ideology of how we should live our lives and even love, but with a certain twist that looks at love as something that has a tremendous power over politics.
3) Do you remember which was your first song that you learned on guitar/drums/bass?
I am not sure about the others, but the first song I learnt was something based on G, A and C chords, which an endless amount of camp fire songs are based on :) . When I started playing the guitar I listened to Face to Face and Strung out a lot, so maybe one of the first songs that I learnt was Solitaire by Strung out and You´ve got a problem by Face to Face. As a band (including our the previous bands we´ve been in – Cloudland, The Love Typewriter) we never played covers first and then started working on our own material. It has always been our own songs from the get-go.
4)What is the strangest thing that happened to you on stage?
Hmm…one of our fondest memories (maybe not strange) was when we first played shows in Poland where people knew all our lyrics and sang the songs with us. In Krakow we got carried around the club, they even wanted our drummer to go and crowd surf, but that was not possible obviously :) . There are other weird moments like feeling really sick in the middle of the show and eating your own puke, carrying on playing the song and some crazy drunk chick in Czech Republic going ape-shit on the stage until she was told to fuck off.
5) If you could play one song with any artist/band dead or alive who would that be and why?
We haven´t really thought about this…I guess it would be really hard to chose, because we listen to so many different genres of music and like various artists. I guess it would be an honour to play with some artist that had a huge impact on the history of music and musical genres…maybe Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones or some similar rock and also some punk oriented artists.
6) What's the first album you ever bought?
Mine was probably City of…compilation and albums by our local heroes like Low Punch, Entreat., Man in the shadow etc. I have an older brother who listened to the same music as I, so I borrowed his CDs J. Otherwise I buy most of the CDs on tours, when I listen and experience the band in a live set-up and if I like their show I buy their album to support them.
7) What do you like the most vinyl, cassette, CDs or mp3s?
We all love vinly, it just sounds better if you have a good enough of a equipment to listen it on. Hopefully we will be able to release our next album on vinyl, so far we haven´t been able to afford it. I think as far as these older mediums are concerned, they are not a part of some retro-hipster-nostalgic trend, but just show that in music analog stuff always beats digital in my opinion. Of course mp3s and CDs have their advantages, like portability and convenience.
8) The strangest thing you have ever eaten/drank?
There have been many weird things we ate and drank on tour. Mostly cooked by us on some deserted mall parking lot in the middle of nowhere. It´s amazing how tolerant and »inox-coated« your stomach becomes when you are hungry on tour. The meals usually consists of all the ingredients that we find in the boxes filled with food in the back of our van. I would say that the common ingredient are beans, which form the basis of the concotion. As far as drinks go, some were so vomit-inducing that asking what they were made of would probably make things even worse ;).
Our worst habit is probably bad time managment. I guess promising our friends that the CD would be released any day now and than saying the same thing a year later and than postponing it another two months shows that we are pretty shit in this :) . I think one of the most important things for bands is for members to tolerate each other and their bad habits. We´ve been best friends for a long time and consider oursleves as a family, so bad habits are never something that leads to arguments.
10) What is your biggest wish right now?
Our biggest wish right now is for people to hear our music, to tour as much as we can and carry on with this band that has become a way of living, not just a saturday afternoon hobby. Of course just wishing something won´t make that wish come true, so we are working really hard to accomplish our goals.
11) If you had to do a cocktail named Real Life Version what would you put in it and what effect would it have on people?
We would probably put in some rum to pay tribute to the »pirates« from Ajdovščina (they are punkrockers in our hometown), some Pelicon beer, because that stuff would make anything taste like the most delicious chocolate Crème brûlée (Pelicon is our friend´s local brewery, amazing beer!), some lard, cose we like thick sounding guitars and riffs, a lemon, which represents mistakes that we make, an onion, so that the girls leave our handsome singer alone and some chocolate to glue together the drums and the bass. It would taste great, I promise! :) It would make you feel warm inside and turn you into a better person.
12) What is the most unusual gift you got by one of your fans?
If I am honest we got some amazing gifts by our friends and fans. I think one of the best has been a special RLV edition home made moonshine liquor that our friend Zunk got us for our release party (had it´s own label and all). There is just so many nice things we were given, that I would rather not start listing them in case I forget someone!
13) What do you do in your life when your not writing recording playing with Real Life Version?
We are working and studying, trying to finish the exams and diplomas while making a living. It´s not as easy to find time for touring as it used to be, but we plan things in advance so we are staying as active as we had been while we were still in school. Maybe we are even more active now. We work in different areas from software development to manufacturing drums and so on.
14) What's the worst idea you ever had on tour?
The worst idea was probably ignoring Jožica, our GPS device. Or maybe driving on the french highways, which are really, really expensive.
15) Do you have any tattoos? Whats your favourite style/piece?
Our drummer Nejc has tatoos on his arm and elbow. He has an abstract styled tatoos which kind of connect and make a complete »story«. Others don´t have any tatoos. I like them, but whenever I have any spare money I usually buy something guitar oriented.
16) What are your plans with Real Life Version for the future?
Right now we are booking a 16 day long tour in February (Italy, Austria, France, Belgium, UK and Netherlands). We plan to have a short tour in Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia in the near future and than a tour in Finland in the summer. There are some plans to record and EP early in the 2014, hopefully we will be able to squeeze this in the schedule.
17) Some last words for our readers?
We would like to thank Jza Crew for this interview and doing a great job for all these years. If anyone wants to listen to our music, we have our both album streaming on bandcamp http://reallifeversion.bandcamp.com/ Check our webpage for gig announcments and hopefully we cah see you at on of our shows! Thank you!
Thank you for your time!