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Barehanded - Going At It Barehanded (Matija Cuk) - February 2007

Slovenia isn’t particularly known as a hotbed of Metal. In fact I only know of three bands from that part of the world, BAREHANDED being one of them. It’s just as well since this young band really kicked my sorry ass with their great demo (“Manipulator”). The entire demo can be downloaded at the band’s official site (, so if you’re curious to hear what these lads have cooked up scoot over there and get yourself a copy. And read the interview of course… Drummer Matija Cuk provided the answers.


Hi guys! Thanks for doing the interview! How are you today?

Hello, fine, thank you.


First off, congrats on a great demo offering in “Manipulator”. How has it been received by fans/press so far?

Well, some liked it, some didn’t. You know…the usual response. Speaking of the press some thought that “Manipulator” was a studio album not a demo, so some reviews were not that good. (I would think it’s a compliment if someone thinks your demo a full-length…- ed)


For a demo it certainly seems (and sounds) very ambitious – 11 tracks, various instrumentals, epic songs, classical sections/medleys and a strong production as far as sound is concerned. How long did it take you to complete this offering?

Well, from the first recording day ’till the last one it took approximately half a year. We took things slowly ’cause we didn’t have much money and the studio was occupied all the time. We were lucky the producer was a friend of ours so the work was very relaxed. We’re satisfied with the demo we made.


I hear everything from Death to Thrash to classical and even some sparse Industrial elements to your sound. Who was the main songwriter and will you continue to broaden your sound even more in the future?

It’s true…demo contains all kinds of styles. Songs were mainly written by Gregor Selak (guitarist) and me (Matija Cuk, drummer). In the past we’ve been doing a lot of searching for the sound and style that we would really like. I guess that’s the main reason why the album is so many-faceted. It’s been about a year since the departure of our former vocalist – Gregor Kozelj. Since his replacement, Andrej Valentincic, the music has become more ’defined’ and varied. The new stuff is mainly Death Metal and a little bit of Thrash. So without trying to broaden our sound “too” much, we want to create something unique.


Please name some of your favorite bands

Well, first of all we have to mention KATAKLYSM. They kind of inspire us lately. Also NILE, VADER, SLAYER, KREATOR, MORBID ANGEL and more.


Tell us a bit about the Slovenian scene. I’m completely unknowledgeable on the scene over there, so name some other promising bands to look out for.

The Metal scene in Slovenia is getting better and better. It’s not comparable with Germany or Scandinavia but it is making progress. There are a few promising bands: NEGLIGENCE, SCAFFOLD, NOCTIFERA, METAL STEEL…


You all still seem pretty young – yet your material has a varied, but still old-school sound to it. That’s definitely a good thing! What do you think of all these young, modern bands coming out nowadays?

Thank you. About those bands - I think there’s a lot of junk among them. A small percentage of those bands are actually quite good, but not all of them. That’s my opinion and I mean it in general terms.


When did this band start and did any of you play in any previous bands? Give us a short history if you will…

We started in winter 2001. It has been almost six years since we started playing music together. We’ve been doing a little bit of playing before but BAREHANDED is our first serious band. We’ve had many concerts in Slovenia and we must say the response has never been bad.


You’ve made your demo available for free download at your site – how do you feel about the internet’s influence on the Metal scene. Do you see it as a positive or a negative?

I guess a bit of both. It’s cool for a ‘small’ band like us for promotional purposes but it’s obviously bad for big bands like METALLICA. We’ve all heard about Napster. Well anyway, if you want a high quality copy of our demo you have to order it. The songs on the web are compressed versions, so the demo is not actually for free.


What are your plans for BAREHANDED? Where do you see the band in, let’s say, five years?

It’s difficult to speak so far into the future. We plan to put out our first official studio album and to have plenty of concerts to promote ourselves and to increase our merchandise (T-shirts and stuff).


What is the name classical composition that forms the basis of the track “Carmilla”? I know the original version but cannot remember its name…

Yes, the original song is an opera called “Carmen”; that’s where the name Carmilla derives from. We almost never play this song live as it doesn’t really fit the context :).


You seem to be very influenced by MEGADETH (you even have a track on the demo called “Symphony Of Destruction”, although it’s not a cover version). Agree?

Well, not really. We could say it’s a coincidence. It’s a totally different song. We know the band but they didn’t have an influence on us. (You could’ve fooled me – ed.)


What else do you like besides music?

Women, cars, computers…the usual stuff :). We go to school, have jobs, hang around, but a lot of our free time we play music. You know, you gotta do something!


OK, that’s it! Thanks a lot for taking time to do this interview. Last question – when do you think people will build a space station on Mars so all the Metalheads can go there? Hehe… Cheers!

I think Metalheads would prefer the moon :). Cheers!




2005: Manipulator (Demo, self-production)

Neil Pretorius

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