ČURBY - for Obscene and Extreme in grind we trust

ČURBY - for Obscene and Extreme in grind we trust

An interview with Miroslav Urbanec. Rings a bell? Obscene and Extreme, football, in grind we trust...? You bet! We talked to Curby, this time mostly about Obscene Extreme background.

Hi Curby! We’ve read several times about what you deal with before the


festival. I was wondering what is there to be dealt with afterwards. I suppose you can’t call it a day on Sunday morning, can you?
Hahaha, not at all, that’s when the pandemonium begins. Sunday is frantic!!! It may even be the worst day. As soon as the show is over we start to pack sound devices, backline, and then at nine o’clock the stages, lights, then they take Toi Tois away, we start cleaning the area, you have to pay the barmen, all the crews, you do your best to hand over the area in the state it was lent to you. Well, it’s hell. And then there is the Aftershow party so this year I hardly made it to Prague in the evening. And then the next day I have to go back to Trutnov and we discuss the complete clean-up of the camp, beer stalls have to be given back, the hotel bills have to be paid and thus we carry on in the following days, we pay bills for everything and anything…

Did you expect a record-breaking attendance this year? I got the impression that it had already culminated on Thursday. How many, how many, how many?
Well man, no, I’m not naive. I thought that the attendance would be the same as it had been last year, but there were about a few hundred people less. So all in all there were 4 500 people altogether.

What is your vision of Obscene Extreme in the future? OEF hasn’t been a show for several hundred punks for a while, which is what some oldschool fans don’t like and what some other complainants don’t realize. On the other hand there must be a line you don’t want to cross so that OEF could maintain genuine underground. (I can almost see the disgruntled faces of the orthodox fans for whom this genuine underground feature is already fucked up. Nevertheless we should realize that OEF is a festival of European/world standards, not a birthday party concert in a squat house.)
Bizz: I suppose the premises in Bojiste could have room for more people…
I have no vision about what shall be in five years time. I always look about a year ahead, I’m glad we managed it this year and I’m looking forward to the next. In fact as soon as in May I have a clear idea about the headliners of the next year. The question is whether there will be enough fans and we will be able to organize it next year, which is what happened, so I can start organizing a 2011 show.
The lines are clear for OEF, that is no black metal and the music is as loud as possible. I think this year we managed to bring here quite a diverse line-up and I didn’t see a single weak band. Even the band on Saturday morning got you paralyzed which is great about it, really. And this is the way we want to carry on, to search for new talents and combine them with old veterans and then we will headbang for three days…
As I always say, there is just one extreme music and the terrible pigeonholes – this is metal, this is punk, grind etc. – is quite beside the point. It is a minority music style and we should put it together to make a single strong scene and put away all those petty quarrels. That is what OEF is trying to do, to link all these genres together. We would like to stay in Bojiste, however there was the typical Czech attitude and we had some hard-to-believe trouble in spite of the fact that everything was arranged as planned, we paid quite a packet for the premises. Sometimes the Czechs simply can’t get enough and they try to rip you off.

Bizz: Have you got an idea about the bands you want to ask for the 13th OEF? Is there a band you already count with? I’m sure it’s not always easy to agree on a certain date with bands, many times the organizer and the band agree on the next year etc.
I have prearranged about 10 bands including 5 headliners for 2011 OEF but I’m not saying anything until all the requirements are met. I’d like to see the bands that couldn’t make it this year for serious reasons, which are LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER, INSTINCT OF SURVIVAL and NOISEBAZOOKA. The other bands shall be on our web as soon as we make deal with them.

We all can see you’re working hard to improve the conditions in the premises year after year, you’re trying to diversify the selection of food, drinks and enjoyment, you invite bigger bands from all over the world, which can’t be paid from the money you get on ticket fees. How much does such a festival depend on the money from food and drink?
It’s exactly like you say, fans pay for everything, they are our main sponsor and we treat them accordingly. We try to upgrade the premises every year, to extend the food selection, simply we do our best to make it all better. Every sensible person must understand that it’s not possible to arrange a festival like Obscene Extreme with just the thousand crowns on every ticket… We can’t make it without the income from food and drinks, which is clear, I suppose.

Was this the reason for separating a camp from the premises? For the camp as a part of the premises was one of the great advantages of Bojiste. But this year any strange figure (very surprising for OEF, isn’t it?), I mean thief, could enter the camp and as you may have realized the number of those who were robbed was record-breaking this year (or so I’ve heard).
No, the main reason was that the stalls were moved to the park… Those who were on OEF in 2008 know what it looked like down below. There were stalls everywhere, many cars, for every distributor has a van and they want to park next to their selling place of course… It was unbearable. To move the Grind Market to the camp was an easy choice, there are stalls in the park in the big open air festival that takes place in Bojiste at the end of August, so we just took a page from their book. I think it was fine; the distros were in shade and in a quiet place, which was almost luxurious in the first two days.
Another thing is that had the camp been in the park it would have had to be separated with a fence which is not that easy, and what’s more, all the people wouldn’t fit in. There aren’t many things to do with a camp, everyone has to look after their things, you can lock everything up in a car or leave it in a depository or to stay in a VIP camp. People think we should employ about a hundred security guards, which is a total crap. How would these guys know whose tent is whose? There’s no way and a thief is ready to wait. And I think there are organized gangs operating in Czech festivals, they arrive, jump out of their cars and they’re off in a minute. And then there are fans – there was this guy this year. He came to tell us he left his digital reflex camera in his tent and that it’s no longer there. Can you believe it? We say all the time: don’t take unnecessary things with you, take only things you wouldn’t mind that much to be stolen… What more can you say? We try to educate, but this abuse is hard to eliminate. I would advise to go by car or to stay in a boarding house or a hotel in Trutnov… It makes me mad, these thefts; people behave as if I was the thief!

One more about money – do the OEF earnings keep you up all year or even subsidize the label or do your records make money for themselves? What about your trade certificate? :)))
Yes, I’ve been at home since January 2000 and I seem to get on so far. I run a year-round e-shop and I issue records, there are several club concerts (e.g. this October there will be a release party for the new LE SCRAWL record, on 22nd October in Club 007 to be precise, then on 18th November WEHRMACHT’s comeback, I keep looking for a club for this one) and then OEF once a year. I have a trade certificate for all kinds of things, I even have a LLC because of OEF.
I have to say the Obscene recordings make money for themselves. Just now I issued a new mini LP Macabre Human monsters and since OEF I’ve been packing one record after another and sending them around the world. I have nothing to complain about and I thank everyone who supports Obscene!

What have you issued recently and what are you planning to issue? What records have spoken to you recently so that you would say: I should have issued this record?
There are many things now, so in the last few months I have issued Australian avantgarde grinders BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE album, Our Ashes Built Mountains, Czech gore grinders EARDELETE and their new record on CD Scalpelogy and just before OEF I did the aforementioned MACABRE mini LP Human Monsters, which is a new record of these killers after eight years, and then both CD and LP Death to Everyone of American grinders BLOODY PHOENIX. All of these records are smashing and I stick by them. And the other recent records? Well, there are some who consider Malingnant Tumor to be Kabat revival, but that’s off the point. When I heard it twice I thought it was nothing special but then after the third time I stamped my feet and it’s really cool, not mentioning the sound, which is genial!!! So I do recommend Eearthshaker. What suits me perfectly are ROTTEN SOUND, they’re my favourites, I like everything by them! And they have added a DVD from Obscene Extreme to their last record, which is something! Well, that’s a kind of all, but I can hardly wait to hear the new recordings of BLOOD DUSTER and VENOMOUS CONCEPT, which should be issued this year.

Bizz: You issue mainly (in) grind (we trust) bands, but there are also thrash classics in OEF. Have you considered taking a band like that? What about the belowmentioned Exorcizphobia, they’re fucking gorgeous.
You know I grew up on thrash metal, I’m very fond of the old German bands ASSASSIN, SODOM, DESTRUCTION, KREATOR, DEATHROW, LIVING DEATH, VENDETTA etc. Thrash is a great music, you have to be quite a good player, there’s no way to hide anything. I love it, so it makes sense for me to push thrash through to OEF!!!
Look, what Skori (guitarist from EXORCIZPHOBIA) did with D. R. I. after just one day rehearsal, kicked ass!!! I just stood there, my mouth dropped open, I couldn’t believe it! Imagine how I felt the whole day – half of the band in Bojiste, the other half hadn’t arrived at all, so I called them, I called to their manager, nobody answered the phone. It wasn’t until night had come that Spike wrote to Kurt that he had had a hemorrhage at the airport in California and had gone straight to a hospital. Everyone knows D. R. I. haven’t played for about eight years because of Spike’s illness, so everyone was pretty scared. I only got some papers confirming he had really been at the doctor’s but apart from that I don’t really know what exactly happened. I have no idea why Harald (bass) didn’t arrive... He may have helped Spike to get to the hospital for all I know. I’m really sorry for that. I spoke to them in May in Maryland, they’re amazing guys, they were looking forward to coming to Europe and then this... So then Mike, their friend who only came here to party took the bass and Skori the guitar and they made it, which was an awesome experience!!!

Bizz: I agree, but what about the thrash bands with Obscene as a label? Is it remotely possible you would issue something out-of-genre thrash-based? I can name LYKATHEA AFLAME, FORGOTTEN SILENCE or for example KAVIAR KAVALIER. These can’t be titles you’re not satisfied with.
Why not? Everything’s possible, of course, when there’s something that kicks ass, there’s no reason not to issue it. But usually these are simply grindcore bands. Just now I’m working on a new record of the Finnish FEASTEM, which is bitchin’!! But back to your question. I was really happy to issue all the records you mentioned, especially LYKATHEA was a success, they have enthusiastic fans all over the world. I knew they wouldn’t be top list hits but one’s way can’t always be clear, can it? These are all hits and I was happy to issue them with Obscene.

Respect, by all means! And what about 12” Human Monsters with new music by Macabre? Have you got any figures of the vinyl sales on OEF? It’s been eight years since the killers made new recordings. And how do you like the material (according to Myspace it’s a bit more “athmospheric” music), was it also about prestige?
The cooperation with Macabre is super. We keep in touch all the time, we write to one another so when they wrote: listen, we’ve got some stuff here and we’d like a nice new vinyl”, there was nothing to discuss. They’re a genial band and I’ve been listening to them for such a looong time that it simply made another of my dreams come true. The vinyl looks cool and the sound is brilliant, so I issued it not having settled on any conditions. Whatever they ask for, it was worth it. Sales are high, people even order two or three samples at once. We only made 1 000 pieces and there will be no reedition. I think once it’s gonna be a top-seller on e-Bay. I wasn’t selling in OEF myself, so I have to check the ledger but I’m under the impression that it was selling pretty well.

I was also wondering (and I’m sure it wasn’t only me) what is the


relation between Obscene and Obscure Promotion (Bizz: organizer of Brutal Assault fest).
Hahaha, the relations are great. We meet almost daily on icq and we keep discussing stuff... Both with Fialka and Shindy. I think this coperation is mutually beneficial. I help them when I can and they do the same for me when they can. Ideal conditions. The only thing is that obscure.cz is almost the same as obscene.cz and people get confused. My friend told me once I have an advertisement on Brutal Assault stage, hahaha. So the guys should rename, for I was here first, hahaha.

Bizz: Now that you’ve got your stage on BA :), what are you looking forward to there (if you’re going to come)? Would you believe in the past that Czech metal fest could evolve this way and to become like an OEF an integral part of European/world metal festival summer?
I’ll be there for sure. I’ve been to BA since the second year it took place and to be honest, it’s quite unbelievable that it evolved into today’s form, hats off! I personally pick just a few bands every year, this year I’m looking forward to ROTTEN SOUND, NAPALM DEATH, AFGRUND, CBT, MACABRE, LOCK UP and TANKARD! And I’m sure to see at least a bit of DYING FETUS, OBITUARY, KYLESA, DESPISED ICON, DEVOURMENT… and I’ve almost forgotten about GWAR. They’re awesome, their music is no big deal but it’s compensated for by their show!!!

You’re also known as a great football fan. The Czech league sucks, but all the same – what do you think about the last (unlike the music excellent) music clip of Malignant tumor? For it has whipped up emotions.
There’s no point in discussing the Czech league, it’s far far away from proper football… However – I was in Hradec this Monday to see Bohemka and the athmosphere was superb! The clip of Malignant made me laugh which is great. If anyone takes it seriously, they should consider seeing a doctor…

Your youngest son is called Maxim Lionel. Football fans surely understand, the others may find it out with a hint “what tricolour was this year’s OEF wristband”. Whose was the idea to call him thus? If it was yours, what did the boy’s mother say about it? :)
Whose idea do you think it was? Mine, of course. I’ve supported Argentina since 1978. I was a boy then and I was bewitched by for example Mario Kempes’ long hair, those little pieces of paper that flew in the air after each goal… Everyone here supported/supports Brazil (including my Dad) and I never join the crowd, that’s why Argentina. Argentina was exciting for me when I got to know the people and the unbelievable passion for football, nothing compares to that! I was happy to see Boca Juniors stadium and Riquelme in action, marvelous!! Since then I’ve supported them even more. And why Messi? That’s obvious! When I saw him for the first time I knew he was a genius and, which is even better, he’s no arrogant prat who wants himself to be in headlines all the time like Ronaldo does. He’s a player who works hard for his team, which is amazing about him!
Monika was excited our son won’t be Mario whom I also wanted and stuck out for, hahahaha. That’s also why he’s got two names, Maxim Lionel, so that he can choose which one he likes better when he’s older…

Do you think Bilos would stay cool if I took a shit on Banik strip? I think it’s a good idea. ;)
Sure, when you take it like this you have to be ready for everything.

And now a no OEF question. I’ve heard you and your family are vegetarians. What would you do if your kids came home and told you they hadn’t resisted the temptation and had a sausage or a steak? Would you take it amiss if they, after some years (puberty, adulthood) chose to become omnivores? You never know…
I don’t give a damn, they’d still be my kids… Come what may, nobody knows. I’m just trying to pass on them my hard-gained experience and things and ways I consider worthwhile. It’s up to them to choose, it’s their life to live…

My next question concerns Rompeprop. According to fans reactions this band was Friday night’s highlight. I wasn’t the only one who thought half an hour is not enough for such a band. Wasn’t it a teeny weeny dramaturgical mistake?
Well, it’s hard to tell. There are some who tell me it was a mistake to even invite this band, hahaha. And this was their third time on OEF and we had introduced them even before people taught how to pronounce R O M P E P R O P!!! It was amazing and I enjoyed the whole performance of ROMPE! This is the way to enjoy music!

One more question concerning dramaturgy: What’s the matter with D. R.I. guitarist and what really happened?
As I already said, I’m not sure. And I have no idea why he hasn’t written to me, the festival ended two weeks ago! I don’t care for apologies, I’d only like to know what happened. My conscience is clean, I sent their air tickets in time as well as the money for their show. And I can tell you it was the highest sum in the OEF’s history. Their manager was driving me mad as well, for at the beginning we agreed on 50 % then and another 50 % after the concert. However then he comes and says he wants everything beforehand, otherwise D.R.I. aren’t even going to board the plane. Can you imagine the stress? The festival was to begin in 14 days, I had no money, so I went to a bank and got a loan. I sent the


band the rest and when the guitarist and bass guitarist were to arrive, they simply weren’t there, at the airport. Later I just got an email explaining he had this massive hemorrhage at the airport (probably caused by all his surgical operations he had to endure) and had to be taken to hospital. That’s all, since then Kurt has written several times (see photo), but nothing concrete. The manager is nowhere to be found. I hope it’s all gonna be fine and Spike will be ok, that’s all I ask for.

How did you manage to find a replacement that quickly (Tomas Skorepa from Exorcizphobia)? Did you know Tomas was a great fan of D.R.I. and so you decided to make his childhood’s dream come true? How did it happen? And who played the bass? Someone from their crew?
Exactly like you say. We started to deal with the situation, we managed to persuade Bilos, but he got slightly wasted and then he said “when I saw Skoří playing, I took a nap in the rehearsal room and got some sleep, hahaha”. So they had been rehearsing all day and they managed to rehearse those eight songs, all of it old hits, which pleased me. The bass player was just their chum who arrived there to have some fun and he had been working hard on it since Thursday, that is the day he had arrived until the time we told him he’d have to play. You saw with your own eyes how it turned up.

You’ve been in music business for so many years… Have you thought about being a musician yourself and to make your own music to your liking? What do you like best on bands (as a publisher as well), I mean what grabs your attention? Fast drums, the sound…?
Hahaha, no, I’m terribly lazy. I had a band with Bilos about 15 years ago. It was called VAGINAL TUMOR and we got some offers for concerts/festival. I had a bass at home, leaning on the wall in a corner (until I drank it away), I never touched it though. I love the energy bands emanate, so I love concerts and festivals… Most bands play with full speed and you can tell the good ones after a few tones. Well, come to see Rotten Sound and you’ll get blasted away!

The unfortunate event with Spike Cassidy wasn’t the only one this year. Could you remind me of the details of the Indonesian band NOXA?
Robin (the original drummer of NOXA) was a great pal of mine. He took care of us in Indonesia when we were there with Ingrowing and things were going pretty bad. Then one year he arrived to see OEF and he was excited. He had always wanted to play here. He had and accident in 2009 though, he was a few days in coma and then he died. And soon after him his mother and father died as well, so it’s a very sad story. I’m very glad that NOXA finally made it to OEF though!

Looking For An Answer, Noisebazooka, The Sickening... There were more bands that didn’t arrive. Could tell me the reason of their absence?
LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER hadn’t even started the European tour. There were serious reasons – health problems of a family member, so they’ll be here next year. As far as NOISEBAZOOKA is concerned, only half of the band arrived, the other guy got sick and simply couldn’t come to the Czech Republic. THE SICKENING, that was really strange. We had agreed on their participation many months ago and a week before OEF they simply wrote they wouldn’t be able to come. So the guy who had arranged it all left the band and arrived here by himself. Then there weren’t INSTINCT OF SURVIVAL, I was looking forward to them. I got a message on Friday afternoon that their drummer’s wife is in the eight month of pregnancy and she had to be rushed to hospital with birth pangs. I have just written to them… They say everything’s fine, false alarm.

How did you manage to get the festival back to Bojiste? Why did the last year festival have to take place in Svojsice exile? Was it because of the rental?
The problem was in the owner of Bojiste. We paid dearly in Trutnov and we even couldn’t arrange our own bars, he got all the money and we only paid OEF from the money we got on tickets and T-shirts sales. It wasn’t possible to go on like that. In such case you have no chance to keep the ticket prices decent, that’s why we left. Sometime in November we had a meeting, we started to negotiate our return to Bojiste and finally we made it. There are many things that are not ideal in Trutnov and you pay quite a lot of money (I think these premises are the most expensive in the Czech Republic) but then you can’t believe your eyes what they try to force you in. It’s been the same all along. You treat people fairly and they abuse it, so now I don’t know where OEF 2011 will take place. I feel bad about it, I like Trutnov, but I have no intention to let them rob me.

There was a rumour among the fans last year that there was going to be some kind of a supermarket in Bojiste. Is it true? What do they plan to do with the area? </ br> Bizz: Well, I heard there was going to be a second hand-car mart…
No, nothing like that. There were plans to change Bojiste but the crisis has stopped them all. There actually was a second hand-car mart in Bojiste, they simply took all the cars away so that the festival could take place there. There is a problem with meadows around the area, the ground plan has been changed and now it is profitable place to build something on, so if they actually start building, we’ll lose a campsite. Now it seems there will be no changes in at least two years. I don’t know whether OEF will be in Trutnov, so I put it out of my head.

Bizz: Ok, we’ll keep our fingers crossed then, so that everything turns out the way you’d like, let’s hope everything will be fine and we’ll meet in OEF again next year. I have a last question. Your birthday is right before OEF. What did you get, what would you like to be given (apart from a new record by Napalm Death :-)) but haven’t been so far and how do you celebrate it in the rush before the festival? Thanks for the chat, good luck!
Many things! The most interesting present I got was Flying man freak show in 2000 from Piranha studio guys, that was awesome. Nobody did any hangings then and they rehearsed it for my birhday! Plus heaps of silly stuff, I liked a joke


Alienation Mental did – they made masks with my photo and they all played their gig wearing these masks. I laughed myself silly then, I didn’t expect it at all. And this year it was a picture from my second son Nat. He can’t draw at all but he did a still life drawing of Messi dressed in his Argentine strip kicking a ball at me, I’m standing in the goal with my name on my strip, I make a perfect save but Messi scores, of course. Awesome picture, in short! He realized that Argentina has been important for me and when they lost to Germany he wanted to cheer me up. It brought tears to my eyes… Great! </ br> To have a birthday before the festival is great, I take kids to Germany for example to see With Full Force fest. I don’t have internet there so there’s no stress and I enjoy the festival athmosphere… Or we go somewhere in the Czech Republic… And something I haven’t got so far? I think I have everything I need, I can’t think of anything I would thirst for… Thanks for a nice interview and a good time to you all!