Why this band name?
We are VIS Limunada. VIS being short for vocal instrumental ensemble, as Yugoslav rock’n’roll bands would be defined by publishers, when in early 1960’s electric popular music was just emerging. Limunada is Serbian for lemonade, as the whole popular film and music industry was often referred to at that time.
Who is in the band?
We have six members, a basic r’n’r guitar lineup with electric organ and keyboards to add a little festival elegance or psychedelia when needed, as well as percussion to add a little Latino influence. We have four vocals, two girls and two boys to give verity and power to vocal arrangements.
How would you describe your style and where does your music come from?
We are inspired by the late 1950’s and early 1960’s popular music and culture but with a unique Yugoslav prospective. We are influenced by the early american r’n’r music as well as Italian canzone from festivals such as the famous San Remo festival. With many other influences from slager, Latino, jazz and soul to the ever inspiring music of the Beatles.
Do you have any formal musical education?
Some of us are self taught, some are schooled in different levels of music education, with one of us being a full time music professor.
How many albums do you have?
We have released a number of singles accompanied by videos, a live EP recording from a popular Belgrade radio, “Studio B” session and recently we have released our first studio LP with a title “Limunada”.
What bands are on your playlist these days?
We listen to a lot of different kind of music by many different performers. There is quite a lot of Italian performers from the 50’s and the 60’s, like Adriano Cellentano, also many Yugoslav performers like Đorđe Marjanović or Ivo Robić, but also a lot of r’n’r, surf and garage rock.
What do you think of Belgrade music scene?
We believe that there are many talented and quality musicians and performers on the scene in Belgrade, but they need more support from publishers and media to get their music to the public both in the country and abroad.
Are you involved in any other projects?
When we are not occupied with music and VIS Limunada, some of us write or paint, two of the members are a sound engineers, one is an architect, one runs a small gallery… We do all kinds of nice things.
Is it possible to make a living from music in Belgrade? What would you change in the industry?
We believe that it is, although we are aware that in most cases it is rather difficult. Industry needs more media placement and marketing in the country and abroad. It also needs to grasp the attention of the general public, which has for the past twenty years shifted from r’n’r and popular art and culture to cheap entertainment of reality shows and violent “turbofolk” music and subculture.
Also we believe that more regional contact and cooperation is needed across whole of the former Yugoslavia.
Where do musicians fit in today’s world? What is the mission / purpose?
Musicians and artist in general, are observers of the society and sometimes they can provide important comments on the epoch and even provoke progress. On the other hand there is always the danger of being just a bitter critic of everything and everyone, with a lot of negative energy and no answers. At VIS Limunada we try to give some positive critique, that is to put forward the thing and values we find important and lasting, such as love, kindness, elegance and culture.
Thank you for taking time to do this interview, what are you going to do now?
We’ll go back to our studio and play some music.
Get in touch with the band: VIS limunada official Facebook page