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Dordeduh interview (12/2023)

With: Edmond Karban
Conducted by: RaduP (in person)
Published: 31.12.2023

Band profile:


With 2023 picking Timisoara as an European Capital of Culture and this being the city where I spend most of my time in, I decided to highlight four of our most significant metal exports in a series of interviews, ones that would focus on both the bands themselves and on the scene as a whole; and as we can see, barely managing to sneak their publishing while the year is still ongoing.

Timisoara's scene is a decently sizeable one, as I hope I was able to showcase with this series, but I'd be lying if I said that most of its appeal abroad wasn't carried on the backs of one massive musical project, the one that put Romania on the international metal map. One can tell from the multitude of related projects I mentioned in both parts of my "Getting Into: Negură Bunget" article series that there's a lot in the scene that revolves around the history of this band. Most particularly in the present there is Dordeduh, formed by two of the three members of that band, and one whose place in the current metal world is already standing on its own feet rather than being continuously tied to a band of the past. Edmond Karban, being a member of both of those, as well a recording studio owner, and live concert sound engineer, has quite a thorough grasp on both the history and the present of Timisoara's place as a cultural hub. We managed to talk both about the bands' and the place's history over the course of our interview.

Posted on 31.12.2023 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 73 users
10.01.2024 - 16:10
This handily ranks among your best interviews, and among Metal Storm's best overall: definitely the jewel in your Timișoara series, if only because I can't imagine there are many better candidates to interview about Romania's metal history, but also because Edmond is just a great interview subject and you have managed to draw a lot of interesting things out of him as the interviewer. Broadly speaking, I appreciate how level-headed he is in his attitude towards his music, his bands, his fans, etc. (and I have definitely spent some time revisiting Dordeduh and Negură Bunget since listening to this the first time, just to refresh my context and remember how great those albums are). Not only that, but this is one of your best ventures as an interviewer, which I expect stems somewhat from your personal interest in his music and also from the two of you having some shared experiences. You did a good job of leading the conversation into interesting places while respecting what he did or did not want to talk about.

(Brief note to say another Sunset In The 12th House album would be cool and I should listen to Mozaic again, but that or more Dordeduh, I'm not picky)

Edmond is a compelling narrator of those band histories because he seems to have a fair and mature outlook on it all. Even the parts of Negură Bunget's past that he's not keen to discuss, or at times where he admits his own fault or his unwillingness to be rational, I appreciate hearing that, particularly the segment that begins around the 44-/45-minute mark. His honesty and thoughtfulness are very refreshing. The subject is not one that's personal to me the way it is to him and the way it probably is to you, so I feel a bit uncomfortable commenting on it (since that was also part of your discussion - it doesn't really concern people whom it doesn't concern), but his philosophy is one that I think could be learned from.

From an entirely nonmusical perspective, it's also interesting hearing his memories of growing up under Communist rule and in the transition out of it. Put him on a mainstream documentary and he'd be a worthwhile guest. (Another interruption to assume that everybody was legally required to own a copy of "Wind of Change" at this time?) I'd just like to hear more about Romanian history in general.

One of the key points of this interview - key in that it illustrates the necessity of this whole series - is that so few bands from the early days ever recorded anything. As you pointed out, it makes it difficult to trace the origins of Romania's metal scene, and any type of musical genesis for which this is also the case, which is undoubtedly a lot. Even the most garbage-quality demos are worth something as some kind of evidence of history. It occurs to me often that if you're trying to explore the history of a genre or a scene from a later point in time, you're really limited to the stuff that was recorded. That can count for a lot, you can do a lot of research based on that, but you miss out on so much: the interstitial spaces where music generates and trends are created, like all the venues, the specific gigs, the practices, the record stores, just people hanging out and listening to music. You don't get the feeling or the perspectives or the context just from cross-referencing a list of recordings on the Metal Archives and mowing through them on YouTube. It's never just a matter of what album was released when.

This is the type of discussion that makes you realize just how much intangible effort goes into cultivating music and turning an idea into a scene, and that's why it's such a great idea to do these interviews: you can talk about all that stuff. Even if Makrothumia never recorded very much and so many bands never recorded at all, you can still get a sense of what it was like by hearing it from the people who were there. It does make me wish that it were easier to record, and at least it probably is easier now than it was at that point in time.

Also, I find it very funny that you are fond of pointing out sometimes that Romania is so much more than just Transylvania, it's not just vampires, it's not just an evil forest on an evil mountain, and then this guy comes along and explains that Transylvania is more than a physical place - it's "something more meaningful, something beyond physics". Transylvania is a state of mind. That just makes it sound even more mysterious and horrific and representative of all Romania. He's just set the origins of Negură Bunget in the Twilight Zone. And again, when you're talking about the Dacians and how they scammed the Romans by making fake coins. Way to both dismiss and reaffirm your favorite stereotypes.
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
10.01.2024 - 20:00

^This typically eloquent comment from SSUS motivated me to get round to listening to one of your Timisoara interviews (which I should have done sooner, since I like both Dordeduh and Methadone Skies), and I agree it's a really interesting interview with someone who can provide a really interesting insight into the development of metal in post-Ceaușescu Romania, particularly, as noted by him and SSUS, given how litle of that early music was recorded. Nice work Radu
24.01.2024 - 08:54

This is a fantastic interview, man. What an interesting guy to talk to. I'll get to the other three, soon.
16.02.2024 - 15:12

Great interview. So he has Transceatla album recordered but will perhaps never release it? That's just not fair. They blew my mind when I saw them live.

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