When singer Gino Srdjan Yevdjevich left war ravaged Sarajevo and settled in Seattle in the mid-90s, he hauled two things in toe – his immense vocal and songwriting talent, and his relentless ambition to create. Little that he knew that after starting Kultur Shock in 1996, he’s not only going to become the beating heart of one of the most consequential genre-bending bands of the last couple of decades, but also the de-facto grandfather of a movement that people today casually refer to as gipsy punk. For the following 25 years, Kultur Shock embarks on a never ending path of experimentation, mixing Balkan folk melodies and bizarre meters with face melting metal and blood pumping punk rock, being lyrical, obnoxious, political, irreverent, all the while respecting every influence they’ve had to make the Bosnian sevdah more sevdah, the rock more rock, and gipsy-punk-metal what it currently is – a culture 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 Band of Four but none of that does the band a 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 own label Kultur Shock Records, and has put out four LPs, one EP, and 3 live albums.
In early 2022, the band has re-released a re-mastered 20th anniversary edition of their iconic “FUCC The INS” album (Kool Arrow, 2001) on the same label. It is followed by a fresh collaboration between Kultur Shock Records and Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles Records, with the expectation of a 7” single featuring tracks “King” and “Country Mohammed” from the album “Integration” (Kultur Shock Records, 2009), and a new album in late 2022 / early 2023.
Due to COVID, the band had to postpone with a year its 2021 plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary on the road with its fans, and embarked on the European tour in summer 2022, including club, open-air, and festival appearances from North Macedonia to The Netherlands, and in selected US cities in the rest of the year. The band proved once again the close connection with the audience everywhere, delivering flawless, highly-energetic and unforgettable shows.
The lineup includes the relentless frontman Gino Srdjan Yevdjevich, veterans Val Kiossovski on guitar, Chris Stromquist on drums, Guy Michael Davis on bass, Amy Denio on saxophone, clarinet and bouzouki, and – in the good old Kultur Shock tradition – introduced young fire breathing virtuoso Eleni Govetas. Eleni is a Greek American and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist playing violin, saxophone, zourna and percussion, to complement Amy Denio in the band’s girl-powerhouse soloists duo on stage and in the studio.
With over a 1000 shows under their belt, Kultur Shock’s most important festival appearances include Bumbershoot (Seattle WA, USA); 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 festival (Greece); Taksirat (North Macedonia) and many more…
Chris Stromquist – drums and percussion
Amy Denio – saxophone, clarinet, bouzouki, vocals
Guy M. Davis – bass, vocals
Gino Yevdjevich – vocals, trumpet, percussion
Eleni Govetas- violin, saxophone, percussion, vocals
Val Kiossovski – guitar, vocals