The interview was held in Tolmin on 27 July 2022, a day before Cold Snap held a concert at MetalDays, Tolmin, Slovenia. It was conducted with band members:
So, how are you?
JAN: Excellent, excellent:)
Can you tell me something more related too corona-pause? How was it for you? How did you survive…or didn’t quite us much?
JAN: It had very high influence on Cold Snap and even before Corona it was very hard to book new gig dates and even it was very hard finding someone to take over booking for the band. We came into a phase at which our contacts were exhausted, a point we realized that there is nothing more we could do. Although corona was a dreadful experience, a good side of it was strengthening our collaboration with Mr. Boban. He decided to be a part of Cold Snap and work on more intensive bookings for the band.
Those are excellent news! So a great new collaboration which will surely result in an explosion of new activities as it is also visible in other states regarding concerts and festivals, especially now, after the long break caused by the pandemic. AS some have foreseen: we are experiencing a new renaissance of the bands, concerts, festivals and events!
I think so. But not only band wise, but also the older band members and musicians. So, definitely, great things are ahead!
Us coming back together is true love and art
Oh yes! Old new members! What’s happening on that field?
LEO: Yes, we are back- after many years. For my brother Ninoslav it has been even longer. I was away for about 5 years and I can tell you that it’s a beautiful feeling to be back u Cold Snap. During that break I was engaged in other bands. I didn’t even want that…
There is only one true love?
LEO: It is so! It really is so! I have nothing more to say or emphasize apart that it’s a beautiful feeling to be here and to be on the festival. The first concert will be here at MetalDays, the firs for me and my brother Nino after a very long time. Of course, Darek is also with us; he also had a longer break from the concerts…for about 3 years now.
We are very excited, very happy and hardly can wait for the concert! That’s all, nothing else matters!
But, with these new-old band members: I’m a bit confused? Are you mercenaries or returnees? E.g. we all know BARE has a band he calls Mercenaries…so in that sense…what are you?
LEO: I feel like we never even left the band! Now, at this moment, in with this gang once again.
JAN: Fuck yeah!
It very nice to feel that energy and outburst of positivity I guess going back to the roots feels exactly that way…
LEO: We were all very close as a gang and it all came back, we can feel it. It’s not a matter of us conducting a job or some kind of an obligation. It’s the opposite. It our genuine true love and a matter of art we want to create together.
JAN: Actually Cold Snap has always functioned on that basis. Friendship has to be the basis for everything and it has to be a very solid foundation. I would like to quote my late grandmother, unfortunately she passed away:
“If it’s meant to be, it’s not lost.”
In other words: “If it’s not meant to be, it’s already lost.”
So, I strongly believe all of this was meant to be and nothing was lost. So it was only logical step forward, when Dorijan i Robi said they want to leave the band and dedicate themselves to other projects.
Return of the members who were there during the highlight years of Cold Snap, made the best projects, best videos best songs was the only way forward. It was the only way for the band to move forward and strive for better things ahead.
Absolutely, I believe so!
So regarding new projects? Do you have plans to involve your father, Ljubomir Kerekeš, even more into the new projects?
JAN: Well, a good idea. Definitely a good idea. Silent killer;) We’ll see. Now we are preparing new singles. What is cretin for now: none of us is thinking in a direction of creating a new LP. We really love making new singles and making music videos for those songs. We love the process of publishing a new music video and having a chance to promote it live. I’ll be the first to see no reason of creating an extensive LP with 13 songs, out of which 5 are the once we play live. All the other songs can be a Bonus on Youtube, Spotify and other…but unfortunately out of so many songs it’s hard to say what is left behind after all of it. Those are our plans: to focus on the singles, new music videos and as many live gigs possible!
Excellent news! There’s nothing in the world that would replace a live performance. The energy, feedback of the audience: it the essential thing you can feel. It the very thing that empowers the band and us!
JAN to LEO: How much did you miss that?
LEO: I could compare that to an adrenaline sport: Like throwing yourself out of an airplane with a parachute.
But, apart from the adrenaline rush there is also a feeling of overwhelming addiction. Always wanting for more… In a positive sense…wouldn’t you agree?
LEO: For all these years I really missed this, like an exhaust vent…I was thinking a lot about sports and stuff I could do. I’ve always felt this, being in a band, is a very HEALTHY choice: having a chance to let it all out! Though MUSIC.
All of this is visible through the feedback from that audience which is stronger than ever before. After all of corona caused grief, distance and a complete grinding halt: now we have the opposite: the audience is not happy to be here, everyone is overwhelmed with job to be here after a break that has been too long! The feelings of joy for the concerts are multiplied 10x
JAN: That’s what’s good and also we feel it inside, within the band but also from the audience. The audience has been waiting for this with arms wide open. I don’t what would it take for us to return into the “new normal state” which was without the concerts and full of distance and full of all…I think there’s no way it will happen once again. I think this is a catharsis of concerts and that it the only way, to stay on that track.
LEO: What’s interesting: we played here in 2016 for the first time, It was our first big festival so that’s the reason it means so much to be here once again. It’s the fifth time now that we will play here.
So a big comeback!
Regarding all of this, are you returning to the roots, to the point where the band started, with this old/new members changes?
LEO: Well, a lot of it has been returned in the sound of the guitars, where a lot of effects have been used, my brother and me.
Which was a recognizable sound!
LEO: Yes! We have also incorporated it into the arrangements of the new songs and in time it will be visible even more.
Old sound will be defined within the new production?
JAN: Well yes, it’s been 19 years. Next year it will be 20 years and for more than half of your life you have been fixated into something. It will be soon over 450 concerts held and its very hard to stay in line with the trends but also your own personal goals. During the phase we were in after publishing the LP “Perfection” (2010.) we searching for ourselves, but after the realize of the LP “World War 3” (2013.), which is the best Cold Snap album, we have found the direction we want to go to. And we will return into that state of mind.
LEO: But as you said, after 20 years of playing we do not have any other path that the one we have set ourselves into.
Except, you can be more energetic, as you’re a bit older and have more energy:)
Please can you share an anecdote or a funny story from your career?
JAN: Well, there’s so much…from the sinking of the car for the music video, robbery in Dublin when Leo was chasing the robbers though the mall. Well…out of all the most interesting is that for the video “Monster” we got a real church for us to us for the filming. Theme is pedophilia in the church and the priest has gave a permission for us to film.
A congratulation as it’s a rare occasion throughout the world that something like that could be accomplished!
Collaboration with Monster?
JAN: We are very grateful to Monster, for their sponsorship for the second year in a row. We will prove ourselves even more in the coming years.
Some of the ideas for the future?
JAN: Our next music video will incorporate some of the highlights from our live performances as Cold Snap is known for very energetic live performances. We stand out from the others because of it. We are a bit older and profiled in other professions apart from the band so we engage into the band activities with even more passion. There’s is no pressure on our goal that we HAVE to do something, were more relaxed.
So you became “older and more mature” or just older or “older and some other adjective”?
JAN: Hahah…well…more mature and mature and how should I put it more simple, we don’t complicate things any more:)
So, a good energy! No drama, no complications?
LEO: Well yes. We are more grounded, so to speak. And everything just flows, goes smoothly…
JAN: I’m not ashamed to admit that, at a certain point; I was a bit too ambitious and too eager to get things done which has brought a certain amount of nervousness into the band. Very high expectations have also brought big disappointments. But all of that was a big lesson and has enabled us to be here today and talk about it without any restraints and to strive for the better.
Well I believe it’s a natural process in maturation of the band, with which you have gained enviable position at which you established collaboration with all important producers and promoters you wanted.
Can you explain how do you reconcile the two brutal contrasts which are obvious in your everyday personality (kind, approachable, humoristic and helpful) with your “stage personality” (energetic, uncompromised person seemingly ready for all to gain what he wants)?
JAN: I hear that a lot, which I’m glad to hear. But the most important thing is: when I take that microphone that is something at which I’M NOT ACTING. I can act in some personal relations, which all of us do on regular basis as it is in human nature: to wear masks sometimes. But, regarding COLD Snap: there’s no acting. If we take upon the analysis of every single concert we had so far: I could exactly remember for each and every one: what was the thing that made it special and unique. If I could be only a singer in Cold Snap and do only that: I would do it. It would fulfill me!
But majority of Croatians know you by your acting roles. If there’s a situation you had to choose, eg. Cold Snap became huge very fast and you had to dedicate yourself only to the band? What would you do?
JAN: Acting would be put on hold. Acting is my love and a means to provide for my existence.
JAN: Yes, definitely. It’s important to have the answer to that question as soon as you hold that microphone. Acting career would be put on hold, exactly as I managed to put the band on hold for a while.
Ultimate plan, where do you see yourself in the future? The final goal?
E.g. Which band will be an opening act for you? I mean… Blind guardian was an opening act for you (2012.) once…what’s next? I mean…they played before you at the festival as you were the headliners!
LEO: It’s always an honor to play with renowned bands, out of which some are our role models. What happens: happens. For me personally: my goals are accomplished: right now at this moment with all I have right now!
JAN: It would be unthankful to name the bands as there are so many options. But it would be great to share a stage with bands like Slipknot, Korn or Machine Head- that would be one of the life goals accomplished.
Not impossible, definitely not! Hopefully some time soon.
Can you tell us more about the thrills of concerts at the festivals in comparison to those you are doing during regular band tours? How do you experience the feedback from the audience?
JAN: Solo concerts are beautiful as you can directly feel that the audience has come to listen to you and you solely. A very good synergy has been accomplished during our tour with Jinjer. Audience has reacted to us very good. Festival performances are different as you know you have the opportunity to gain new fans, but solo performances are great as you feel the energy from the audience that feels and knows your songs. It’s easier to build up the atmosphere we want during solo performances.
LEO: It’s a beautiful fact when someone falls in love with the band just because they first heard us live at the festival and it summons up the thrill of festival performances.
I was amazed when I saw so many of your fans wearing bands T-shirts and those were not Croatians, but fans from all over EU I met at various concerts in Budapest and Vienna. How does it feel when you see fans wearing bands T-shirts in unexpected cities?
JAN: There are funny stories; fans posting “Sold Snap is on the festival” and my heart stops beating: why I’m not there already, but then I realize: its only fans wearing out T-shirts.
LEO: a very beautiful feeling as we started creating music in order to share it and when fans recognize it: it’s as good as it gets!
So to conclude: “We don’t have the new normal” We have the new-old?
JAN: Hahahah…Yes, the new-abnormal.
The closest plans for the future? What about the concerts in the near future?
JAN: For now, after MetalDays, we are booking concerts in Croatia. On 9 September we will play in Koprivnica u Funk Clubu. It will be insane! Of course, we would like to announce the concert in Zagreb, date TBC; in the fall (editors edit: 5 October). See you next year; we believe it will be very fruitful for Cold Snap.
Interview conducted by:
Pavao Hodap and Kristina Hećimović