(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of Branislav Panić, the man behind the band Тишина (Tishina), whose excellent debut album was released in May 2022.)
It’s always inspiring when bands use their mother tongue in their lyrics or have enough courage to demonstrate their roots, their identity. But that move also builds a barrier sometimes, so there’s a kind of risk if your band’s name is written in Cyrillic, for example.
Тишина / Tishina means “silence” in Serbian, and the band’s founder Branislav Panić gained his first experience playing different sorts of metal in Serbian bands. Then he moved to Canada but the passion towards heavy music can’t be eradicated easily, and soon Тишина / Tishina was born.
Branislav chose to express his interest towards melodic death-doom through his project, and as result we have his first solo album Увод… / Uvod… released just two months ago. And if you dig old good stuff like Katatonia, Saturnus, and so on, then this album will linger in your play-list longer than you expect.
Hi Branislav! How are you doing? Are you occupied with any promotion of Tishina’s first album or is it something what happens spontaneously?
Hi Aleks! I am doing good, thank you for asking. It’s been a bit busy since we announced this album, but I am happy with the way things are going. Being in a small underground band/project, it’s tough to create a buzz but I am very grateful to the three labels that helped me release and promote this material.
Yes… Hypnotic Dirge Records, Satanath Records, and The End of Time Records. Who was an initiator of this collaboration between labels? Did it make some difficulties for you?
I’ve been in touch with all of those labels for various reasons throughout the years, and knowing how difficult it is to promote and sell copies a new band/project, I figured a co-release would take a little weight off of everyone’s shoulders. It actually worked out pretty well as we’re all focused on different territories and we all have different ways of promoting the album. Plus, we’ve all developed different audiences/followers with the previous work we’ve done, so instead of stepping on each other’s toes, we actually managed to split the work load in a logical and effective way.
You played in a lot of different bands since 2006 or so, what made you finally turn to the death-doom side?
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 worst, 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.
What’s the concept behind the Tishina project? Is it your tribute to the genre or do you put something more into that?
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.
Eventually, I think the path might lead in a different direction, perhaps towards something more unique, but we will see… these are things that cannot be forced, but have to come in a natural progression. Only time will tell.
Which elements do you value in these three bands? For example, the first and the last Saturnus albums are very different as we know.
I love everything Saturnus has done so far. Granted, I am a bigger fan of the early work, as it’s perhaps a bit more guitar-driven and a touch рeavier, in my opinion. But what really captivates my attention is simply how honest and beautiful their music is. No band out there sounds like them.
October Tide is a huge inspiration too because of how they’ve progressed over the years. Each album is different than the last, and somehow they always manage to keep things fresh and interesting. On top of that, they are all phenomenal musicians in the band, technically speaking.
Mourning Beloveth just appeared at the right time & right place in my life. Their albums Dust and The Sullen Sulcus are game-changing in the Doom/Death Metal genre… I will never grow tired of hearing those records.
What are Tishina’s songs about? Why did you approach Predrag Rava for song lyrics instead of writing them yourself?
I’ve known Predrag about 15 years… 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.
The songs are truly beautiful poems which touch subjects of mourning, loss, and love… something we can all relate to, at some point in our lives.
What about the artwork for Uvod… / Увод…? Does it supply the album’s lyrics?
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 the choice of the band name – Tишина (Silence).
So yes, I think that in some ways the artwork does reflect a visual sense of the band’s music/lyrics.
The album is relatively short, do you see it as a complete work? Did you fit all of what you wanted in these 30 minutes?
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.
It is a bit short, but I actually prefer that for a debut release. Also, do people still listen to 60-70 minute long albums?
Yes, they / we do. Especially if we’re meaning doom metal albums! So this answer regarding the album’s idea as an introduction to Tishina – do you already have a plan how to develop the project in the future?
Hehehe, well that’s always good to hear! I do have some new songs I am slowly working on… it will definitely be different that the ones on Увод... The next album will explore both even slower, but also faster tempos. I am hoping to push my creativity and diversity a bit more with each release… but we let the music do the talking, hehe.
By the way, how long ago did you move to Canada? Did it slow down your creative processes? I bet that you had to get some equipment to record your projects?
I re-located in 2012, so roughly 10 years ago. You are correct – I came here with one guitar and one suitcase, so it definitely took a while to get set-up with proper gear, recording equipment, etc… it definitely was a slight set-back, but it’s also expected when starting things from the ground up.
There’s a collector’s edition of Увод..., how does it differ from the regular one?
The collector’s edition CD comes in a slipcase (O-card) packaging, which is hand-numbered and limited to 100 copies. That version can only be found on the band’s Bandcamp page, as it comes directly from the band.
Did you publish there the songs’ lyrics and their translation?
The lyrics are printed in the booklet, yes – but there is no translation available. To be honest with you, even with an accurate translation, I just don’t think it would do it justice. These poems are deep and beautifully written, so by changing the language I just feel it wouldn’t transcend as well and it would loose its essence.
What are your further plans for Tishina?
Other than a new album at some point in the future, nothing much. At the moment, we’re just focused on promoting the first one so we’ll see where it goes from there.
Okay, I hope that the feedback for Увод… will motivate you to compose more in the future. Do you have a few more words for our readers?
Thank you so much for the support, my friend. I truly appreciate the kind words and help to promote this new release. Thanks to all of the readers as well! Be sure to download your free copy of the album on our Bandcamp page, or even pick up the CD version if you enjoyed what you heard!