Updated: Apr 24
RIFFS AND RAKIJA !!
Photo by Robert Šostar
For several years, Achachak's name has been growing exponentially with their high-spirited stoner rock / metal that infuses Sabbathian blues, desert session vibes, and a trippy rebellious rock ethos. After gaining no shortage of positive reviews on three albums released rapidly in almost as many years culminating in this year's Planet Hashish, we were invited into their coven for an introduction....
For anyone who has never heard of you, tell the world about Achachak and how you came into existence.
Achahahah… Achchchchchcaaaa… Kahahca… Cough, cough!!!
Achahak is a legend as old as time. It is a spirit of freedom, a ghost story revived to its physical embodiment by acolyte Mile (drums) in 2020. He chanted lost and forbidden mantras of old and thus summoned the rest of the hateful crew around the Achachak. The other acolytes Patrik (Guitar), Luka (Guitar), Lovro (Bass) and Kodžo (Vocals) heard the call and made the lonely pilgrimage over the harsh wastes of the High Mountain to the unholy coven. Once they met in 2021, all five acolytes merged their minds, skills and vices to summon Achachak to its true and full form and unleash it upon the world… The coven delivered its first harvests… The inhabitants of the Planet Hashish are the first worshipers, and now their spirit is free…
Bloody hell. Well…I did ask. So, you’ve just released your third album - the mighty Planet Hashish – this has an ‘interesting’ concept I believe – tell us about it and how you came up with it.
Well, the idea for the concept album came kind of by itself… After the High Mountain record we realized that the creative process was not over and since we had gathered in this formation, there were many ideas still popping out…
So we gathered them and started composing the songs and we realized that, thematically, they have some story-like pattern. It was a new challenge for all of us to make it interesting yet keep it within the intended context. We hope that we delivered it well enough so that anyone who listens to the album can create these mental images of the alien planet and some stuff happening on it…
Planet Hashish has a different style to High Mountain and you released it very soon after the last record – please explain and do you think you’ll continue with this sound?
As mentioned before, we had so much of a creative boost that we decided we would just channel it and see what happens and it happened hehehe! The album was ready quickly, so we didn’t see the point of delaying releasing it.
Regarding the sound, we approach each album, and even individual songs, as an experience of itself. We try not to be driven by patterns but by the feeling at the moment of the creative process. The subject matter and arrangements of the songs somehow create the sound. Also, we all listen to various different styles of music which also brings inspiration… We do not think much, we just do!
Photo by Marita Bulimbašić
Your home country is Croatia, what is the rock / metal scene like there? Did it help or hinder (if either) the growth of Achachak?
The scene in Croatia is stable and has some variety but it is still mostly underground. There were, and are, lots of bands in different genres that have admirable qualities but, unfortunately, they just lack the exposure that would help them make it into a wider scene. It was never easy but, especially now since the music market is saturated it is harder for underground bands to get heard. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm is still huge and the rock/metal/punk/hardcore community is always supportive and bands and organisers find ways to help each other. Achachak is well accepted and has been since we appeared on the scene and we are very grateful for everybody who finds our music fun and interesting and supports our work. We are always open for lending a helping hand to colleagues from other bands not just from Croatia but anywhere.
Do you get growing interest internationally and online?
Yeah, we try to maintain good online presence and it seems it pays off. Albums are shared and reviewed and more and more people discover us which hopefully will bring us more gigs. We love gigs! :D
With three albums now under your belt and Covid restrictions easing to allow more live shows, are you starting to get noticed more and get more widespread attention?
Yeah, easing of Covid restrictions immediately opened possibilities for live shows and we already have booked some for the summer. We hope for more of it, call us, we are coming!
Achachak has a certain rock n’ roll party vibe – how much does that reflect you or do you, in reality, just like gardening and knitting with some cocoa?
After hard day of gardening and knitting what is the better way to ease your stress levels than with some partying! Rock ’n’ Roll is a powerful tool for many things including partying so we strongly recommend for high combination of both in every occasion!
Sound advice. You have upcoming festival appearances? What are Achachak gigs like? Describe the Vibe!
We are really hyped about it! Two festivals are coming our way soon in Croatia. Bear Rock festival in Slunj from 1st to 3rd of July and so many great bands are going to be there, both local and international. The other is Nebesa Fest in Sinj one week after Bear Rock, so 9th of July. That also has a kickass line-up. We recommend everyone who will be nearby in that period to check it out.
The vibe of our concerts…. Hmmm… we guess it’s good and loud. Feedback has always been very positive! We have loads of fun and people have bought us drinks while the merch was sold out! Come to some of the upcoming shows and you be the judge and jury!
Sounds brilliant. Jamm Tomorrow is still trying to forgive Croatia for dumping Scotland out the World Cup in very humbling fashion. What is the biggest success for Achachak or your biggest ‘win’ so far?
We still hope you will find forgiveness in your hearts for the World Cup. Because of our love for Scotland in general, this victory was bittersweet ha ha! The biggest success for Achachak until now are the albums we have made. We are very happy at how they came out and the really positive attention they are gathering. Basically we had fun making them, expected nothing, and as the time passes we get more and more from them…
Croatia is forgiven! Scotland is not for being so horse piss. But what is next for Achachak? What would be your next step and who would like to play with live?
Next step are the upcoming shows. The work on new material is omnipresent and some of yet unpublished songs will be also part of the set lists. After that we will see, we don’t plan long-term, we just adapt to the situation. Clutch is coming to Croatia and it would be really nice of them to invite us as local support! We bring our own rakija (google it if you don’t know that is it)! It would be also great to arrange more shows with local bands that we like such as Wizard of Stone Mountain, Essence, Negative Slug, Muka, Obsidian, the Countess, Arises… We go where we are summoned, we are nice, clean and low maintenance guys and we bring rakija!
Please pour yourself a large rakija and check out Achachak's music - especially you Clutch - on their bandcamp https://achachak.bandcamp.com/
Here are the album reviews for High Mountain: https://www.jammtomorrow.com/post/achachak-high-mountain