When singer Gino Srdjan Yevdjevich left the ravaged by war Sarajevo and settled in Seattle in the mid-90s, he brought along two essential things, his immense vocal and songwriting talent and his relentless ambition to create. Little did he know that after starting Kultur Shock in 1996, he would not only become the beating heart of one of the most influential genre-bending bands of the last couple of decades but also the de-facto grandfather of a movement that people casually refer to today as gypsy punk.
For the following 25 years, Kultur Shock will embark on a never-ending path of experimentation, will mix Balkan folk melodies and bizarre meters with face-melting metal and blood pumping punk rock, will be lyrical, obnoxious, political, irreverent while respecting every influence they’ve had to make the sevdah more sevdah, the rock more rock, and gypsy punk-metal what it currently is- a Kultur Shock.
To describe Kultur Shock’s style and sound, people usually refer to Gogol Bordello, System of a Down, Dubioza Kolektiv, Manu Chao, The Pogues, or Gang of Four. Unfortunately, none of that does the band justice because Kultur Shock’s sound and approach to music is literally in a league of their own.
The band released its first three studio records produced by Faith No More’s Bill Gould on his KoolArrow Records between 2001 and 2006. Since 2007, Kultur Shock has been self-produced and self-released on its label and has put out four LPs, one EP, and three live albums. Currently, a collaboration between the band and Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles records is in the works, with the expectation of vinyl re-releases of some of their albums and a new record in 2022.
Kultur Shock is now 25 years old. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, the band had to postpone its plans to celebrate that milestone on the road with its fans, including Europe and selected US cities. The band believes that only a club tour can deliver a close connection with the audience at such an important anniversary, hence their plan to embark on the road in the spring of 2022.
With over 1000 shows under their belt, Kultur Shock’s most essential festival appearances include: Bumbershoot (Seattle WA), Victoria Folk (Canada), Sziget (Hungary), Exit / Ritam Evrope / Arsenal (Serbia), Sayanskoe Kolco (Siberia, Russia), Festival of Peace (Kazan, Russia), Esperanza (Belgium), Fest am Berg / Wilwarin / Folk’n’Fusion (Germany), Senglar Rock / Castellbisbal / Iboga / Capdepera / Pireneus Sur (Spain), Fete de la Musique / Festival de la Boheme / Les Musicaves (France), Ariano Irpino / Arezzo Wave / Summer Lab (Italy), Lent / Rock Otocec / Schengenfest (Slovenia), INmusic / Pula film fest / Spancirfest (Croatia), Beerfest / Kaleidoskop / OK fest / Sarajevo Film Fest (Bosnia), LakeFest (Monte Negro), IRAF / Stufstock (Romania), Spirit of Burgas / Hills of Rock (Bulgaria), Nilufer Music (Turkey), Kavala and Earth festivals (Greece), Taksirat (North Macedonia).