When I get to interview talented bands from my home country, the level of excitement is always high! I am really happy to share with you one of Bulgaria's most interesting young bands - Merudia. I had the chance to see them live numerous times and gotta tell you - these guys deserve the attention! Merudia in a nutshell? Good vibe and good people!
Ivo: Hey, guys! Where do I find you?
Nicko: We just finished our first video, which we shot a week ago. We had a quick idea after the promotion of the EP and acted fast on it. We will see what has come out, but we are pretty happy with the results.
I: You have already been around for some years. How did the band form? Who is in it and are you all friends from before or was it the music that brought you together?
Veso: We got together because we wanted to try and make some fusion between reggae and other genres that we like. There are some particular cliches about reggae and we decided to get rid of those and preserve the characteristics of the genre that we believe are more important to us. We have Nicko on the drums, Peter on percussion, Lozy on the bass, Ralfy on vocals, Christian on kaval/melodica/vocals and me on guitar and voice. Music makes us friends.
I: How would you explain to our readers what “Merudia” means and why did you choose that name. Like...is there any special meaning behind it?
Veso: Merudia is an everyday word which means "herb" or "spice", something like that. It brings several meanings to those who are familiar with Bulgarian.
I: It doesn't take long for one to realize that you guys are not the ordinary reggae band. There are bits of reggae, fusion, jazz and Balkan motives blended in your music. Where is that diversity coming from?
Nicko: We don’t put breaks on our inspiration and since we are in the Balkans, it came natural to use some folk/ethno motives. Of course, the main idea behind is reggae, but with a twist of our own.
Peter: From the broad range of music that each one of us use as inspiration. All of the people from the band have their own preferences and musical orientation and the possibility to play music together also give us the opportunity to introduce different elements from what we like, what we feel as important and inspiring.
Veso: We believe that music should be a territory of freedom. There are so many rules in modern western music. We were recently told by another musician that one of our songs has a 10 bar structure (which is not very common). We never knew that. It just felt right to us. If it feels right then we do it. No matter the rules.
I: Would you mind sharing some thoughts on the Bulgarian music scene (it is not necessary to focus on the reggae scene in particular – it's up to you) right now. Do you think it has been developing and maturing over the past few years?
Nicko: There are a lot of positive tendencies lately. There are some new festivals, some recently opened clubs. The audience also has been showing a lot more warmth and attendance. Of course, the past crisis has taken a toll on the situation, but things are looking good for now.
Veso: Bulgarian underground scene has been developing over the past few years, yes. I hope that those bands and artists will come to a wider appreciation because there are some pretty damn good ones.
On the other hand music that is been played by the mass media is mainly non-Bulgarian due to major labels taking over mass media in Bulgaria, hence they play the songs that they possess (so that they can take back the royalties).
I: How does the creative/recording process behind a song look like? Where is the starting point in the style of music you guys play?
Veso: You can never tell! There are songs that have been composed collectively on a rehearse session, there are songs that are designed completely by one person only. It has to be inspired that's the only sure thing.
Peter: The starting point is somewhere out there, but it really takes the form of a song when someone of us has managed to tune himself or herself on the relevant level to be able to catch the tune.
The premiere of your newest single “Minimum Stress” is just a few hours away! Excited? Could you share more information about the song?
Veso: Actually we delayed the interview, so the premiere took place already. Pretty exciting vibe on the show. We're satisfied with the results. Music should not be a matter of telling, but of listening.
Nicko: This song is our freshest idea. The message is strong. We incorporate far more hip-hop, which is our latest tendency…
I: What are your future plans? Long and short-term?
Veso: Performing, recording, producing.
I: Guys, thank you very much for the interview! Enjoy the concert tonight! Any last words to our readers?
Merudia: We thank you!
If you enjoyed those young talented artists, keep a track on them on Facebook and in case you are reading this from Sofia, Bulgaria - you should definitely stop by their gig in the Student City tonight!