DAMIR IVIC Q&A
-Hey Damir, before we start, how’s it going? How are these ‘lockdown days’ treating you?
What a delightful question! I mean, apart from all the jobs and collaborations I’ve lost throughout the whole year and all the invoices that will be paid God-knows-when, all the rest is more than fine. I keep up with writing, do a lot of Zoom calls discussing with artists and promoters the future of our scene (we ain’t saving anyone, don’t worry…), started a few new collaborations, watch basketball games on TV (strictly local basketball and Euroleague, no NBA circus for me), spend time with my girlfriend and our cat. We shall ask the cat, if she’s happy to stay with us…
-We know for a fact that you’re a keen interviewer so we’re quite excited to fill your shoes for this one. How do you feel to be interviewed? I mean, is it something you always feel comfortable with or not?
I love it. It’s like going on vacation and being treated like a rockstar. Switching roles is a treat. Should do it more often. But I’m a fucking no-one: there’s not a single reason to see me as ‘famous’ or relevant. True relevancy stays in the arts and in the creative process. So yes, once or twice a year it makes sense to do the switch, but once or twice a year you’re allowed to play, to have fun. And I’m so happy to be featured on the Apparel Music website, as I admire you so much.
-Talk us through the beginnings of you passion for music. Was it love at first sight?
Yes it was. Thanks to my father – an avid jazz fan. The very first record I’ve been listening to with my headphones was ‘Spectrum’ by Billy Cobham and I was, I guess, five or six years old. Then my older sister introduced me to Frank Zappa. You’re quite a freak if you’re ten years old and into Frank Zappa and Jazz (I had an obsession with Pat Metheny Group’s ‘Travels’ and several stuff with Miroslav Vitous), but that was me. Synth pop came as well as a personal, intentional choice: the very first record I bought with my own money – eleven years old, ladies & gents – was ‘Human’s Lib’ by Howard Jones. Next came the Eurythmics and after all that for me started a Joe Jackson and Level 42 era, but still listening to Jazz, continuously. I became obsessed with the Peter Erskine / Marc Johnson rhythm section. I still feel they’re my favourite drummer and double bass player, by far. They’re heroes to me, and the ‘Bass Desires’ version of Coltrane’s ‘Resolution’, with John Scofield and Bill Frisell as guitarists, is still today a religion. I’m atheist. But that version of ‘Resolution’ is religion, believe me!
-Being fond readers of yours we can have a rough idea of the amount of music you listen to everyday and the load of books, articles etc. you read to keep yourself informed. Tell us how’s a typical day in Damir’s world and how do you relate with the word ‘organisation’.
Never heard that word. I’m more familiar with the phoneme ‘random’. I can tell you I receive a daily dose of 300/400 e-mails, of which I read a good 10% and answer a hundredth (…so if I’m not answering your mails, don’t hate me, it’s a matter of surviving and having a life). I browse through the web hunting for hints, sounds, suggestions, links (mostly Facebook, in an ‘Ok, boomer!’ fashion, I know…). I’m a irregular reader. Sometimes I read five, six books a week and sometimes I spend five, six months without reading one. I’m a much better person when I read, though. Sometimes I have to do meetings: once we used to travel to do that, and sooner or later we’ll get back to that habit. Proper writing takes a daily dose of three, four hours, average.
-In the matter of personal curiosity, can you describe to our readers how does your desk look like?
I’m so focused on my laptop’s screen that I don’t even realise what surrounds it. Usually it’s a mix of CD’s, books, useless papers, a pen, a bottle of sparkling water.