#Tishina [Tишина] 🇷🇸/🇨🇦 #Interview

6 min read

Tishina [or Tишина] is a mostly-solo death/doom metal project conceived and executed by Branislav Panic. With a great debut album, Uvod… (‘Увод…’), recently released on Hypnotic Dirge Records I caught up with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Branislav to find out more about the project.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. I’ve been enjoying listening to Uvod… (‘Увод…’). I really like the balance between melody and atmosphere.

Branislav: Greetings Tom! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to introduce this project to the readers of Blessed Altar Zine. I truly appreciate the kind words & support!

What’s the meaning behind the album title and what ideas are you exploring on the record?

Branislav: The name of the album, translated in English, means ‘Introduction’ – which is exactly what this album represents. ‘Увод​.​.​.’ will hopefully be one of many explorations of mine into the gloomy, heavy sounds of Doom/Death Metal.

To be completely honest, I am not pushing the envelope here when it comes to originality, but simply paying tribute to some of the bands who have inspired me greatly in this genre – Saturnus, October Tide, Mourning Beloveth and so on.

Lyrics for the album are credited to Predrag Rava. What is the story behind this collaboration?

Branislav: I’ve known Predrag about 15 years at this point. I first saw his band Groteska when I was a teenager at a small club show in Belgrade, Serbia and it left a huge impression on me as they were one of the very few bands who played slower Atmospheric Rock/Doom Metal in my home country. They reminded me of a mid/late era of Anathema, so I immediately went to meet him after his set. I think he was still on stage holding his guitar, hahaha, and here I was shaking the guy’s hand as I couldn’t contain my excitement.

We obviously became good friends since and a few years ago he had given me a book of poems he had published called ‘Nad Vodama Aheronta’. I read and re-read it over and over, and some of those songs really resonated with me, which was basically the defining moment when I knew I wanted to create Tишина. I had asked him if it was OK for me to sing some of those lyrics on this album, and the rest is, as they say, history.

You have plenty of years of recording experience — most notably as singer/guitarist for Bane — why did you decide you wanted to put together this mostly-solo project?

Branislav: I had always had a deep appreciation for Doom Metal, but as life went by I found myself mainly focused on other bands/projects where I didn’t get a chance to explore this style at all. For better or for worse, during the last two years when everything was shut down, I had some time to finally dip my toes in these waters…but knowing full well I wouldn’t ever be able to make this a full-time band, I decided to do (almost) everything myself – with the exception of my longtime friend Honza Kapak, who’s the drummer and sound engineer.

You started writing these songs back in 2020. Was it a difficult process bringing the album to completion?

Branislav: Actually, it was one of the least stressful writing/recording sessions I’ve ever done, as there was never any deadline or any kind of a strict timeline for completion. It did take a bit longer than expected in the end, but I’m happy the way everything turned out.

The artwork — ​​credited to Aleksandra Panic — is striking. What is the story behind this and how do you see the artwork of the album connecting to the music?

Branislav: Thank you so much – I really love that artwork. Aleksandra is also my wife and a very talented visual artist. The idea was to have a ‘creature’ without a mouth, only eyes – somewhat of a mournful silent observer of the world, which would also reflect upon choice of the band name,Tишина (Silence).

Despite relocating to Canada, you’ve held to your Serbian roots — for instance in the name of this project — Tishina (Тишина). How important is your Serbian heritage to you and the music you make?

Branislav: Absolutely! I think it’s very important for people to know their heritage and to be proud of who they are, and where they come from. Understanding your past and maintaining certain traditions are things that give us a certain sense of identity of who we are as human beings in this world. The beauty of it all is when we get a chance to share it with others.

What were your reasons for relocating to Canada and how challenging was it to settle and put a band back together?

Branislav: I relocated to Canada with the sole purpose to pursue music as a profession, which was, looking back at it now, quite the challenge I had set up myself for, hahaha. For what it’s worth, it allowed me to Tour North America many times, which is possibly something I never would have done if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith.

Getting a line-up together is always a challenge, no matter where you are in the world. Finding like-minded individuals who are as ready and willing as you are to invest all their time, energy and effort in an Extreme Metal band are very few and far in between…but if there is a will, there is a way!

How do you feel about the state of underground and extreme music at the moment? Are there any bands people might not know about that you’d like to give a shoutout to?

Branislav: There’s tons of great bands out there. Maybe even too much. It’s gonna be difficult to hand pick only a few but here it goes…

Atmospheric/Doom Metal: Negative Voice, Odradek Room, Atten Ash, TheNightTimeProject, Wills Dissolve, The Foreshadowing, etc…

Black Metal: Odraza, Mo’ynoq, Black Altar, Phazm, Veter Daemonaz, Elderblood, Sardonic Witchery, King, etc…

Death Metal: Pestilent Reign, Embrional, Brutally Deceased, Ukronakh, Neurotic Machinery, Decomposition Of Entrails, Shabti, Mutilatred, etc…

Thrash Metal/Crossover: Chronosphere, Black Breath, Saccage, TumourBoy, Dekapited, Violator, etc…

Grindcore/Hardcore/Punk/Crust: Suffering Mind, Hive, Massgrave, Passiv Dödshjälp, Six Brew Bantha, Jack, Feastem, Exegutor, FAM, etc…

If you could recommend one book to our readers, what would you select?

Branislav: I’d have to go with a classic – ”The Dirt”. So much better than the movie!

Are there any plans to put together a live band tour for Тишина?

Branislav: Not really…I doubt that there will ever be a live show with this project.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention or promote?

Branislav: Thanks again for everything you are doing, Tom. Truly appreciate the support once again.

For anybody who as not heard Тишина yet – you can download the album for free on our Bandcamp page: www.tisinaofficial.bandcamp.com

Interview by Tom Osman

Thanks to Branislav for his time. Uvod… (‘Увод…’) is out now on Hypnotic Dirge Records and well worth a listen. As the man himself says, you can pick a digital copy of the album up for free — but remember musicians have to eat too, so why not pay a little, or indeed buy a CD from the online store.

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