Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Joker Out: “Our ambition is to stay together as a team and friends”

Wiktor Fejkiel: The moment you are in now is, in a way, the result of your performance at Eurovision in 2023. Before it was announced that you would represent Slovenia, did you expect it would all turn out like this?

Bojan Cvjetićanin: – I will say this: everything we have achieved was definitely our biggest dream, but we are extremely happy that we managed to achieve it and that we have the opportunity to play concerts all over Europe. We are aware that many artists do not have such opportunities after Eurovision. We appreciate everything we have and we are really, really proud of ourselves.

Did you write the song “Carpe Diem” with which you represented Slovenia especially for Eurovision?

Bojan: – Yes and no. On the one hand, it was a song that we started writing independently of Eurovision. However, it was thanks to this competition that we entered an intense work mode that enabled us to complete it.

Was 21st place in the final concert satisfying for you?

Kris Gustin: – No, we should win (laughter). It’s obvious that we expected to be higher. But the fact that we were in the final was a big achievement for us. For the first time in four years, Slovenia was not eliminated in the semi-finals. But yes, we hoped for a better result. However, you see for yourself how little it matters. We took 21st place, and we have the opportunity to tour all over Europe much more often than the rest. Your position does not necessarily translate into future success.

What do you think about last year’s Polish proposal, i.e. Blanca with her “Solo”? Paradoxically, she took a higher place than you.

Chris: – Interestingly, we heard “Solo” played many times on Slovenian radio.

Bojan: – The funniest thing is that during the Eurovision rehearsals she was the artist who performed in front of us. We had to be ready to play by then, so we listened to her entire performance on headphones every time. Thanks to this, we know Blanka’s entire text and choreography almost by heart.

Chris: – Wiktor, are you a fan of Jann’s “Gladiator”?

Yes, I really liked this suggestion.

Chris: – Well, you see, he is the best example of the fact that he didn’t manage to go to Eurovision, but he still showed his quality and tours around Europe, for example now as a support act for Madison Beer. He failed to fulfill his dream and go to Liverpool, but it did not matter for his development.

Loreen won last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, defeating Käärijä in a fierce duel. Were you disappointed with the second place for the Finn?

Bojan: – Yes, we all were. If the televoting votes finally tipped the scales, we would be much happier. But in the end, it’s all about creating friendships, memories, and doing everything to represent your country with pride and to the best of your ability. “Cha Cha Cha” will definitely forever be considered one of the best songs in Eurovision history, so I think Käärijä has already achieved everything he wanted.

Let’s leave Eurovision aside for a moment. You are on your second tour in less than a year. Are you surprised by the reception you receive from audiences across Europe? After all, almost all of your songs are written in Slovenian, and yet the audience always sings them along with you.

Chris: – This is really crazy for us. Maybe in Poland this is not a big surprise to us – but these languages ​​are Slavic, which makes it easier to understand certain things. But when you come to places like Finland or the UK, it’s really crazy that these people have learned these lyrics and are singing them with us. We also see it after the concerts, that they really understand and feel the lyrics. It’s really amazing.

On February 16, you released your new single “Everybody’s Waiting”. Is this a preview of a new album?

Bojan: – Absolutely everyone is waiting for it. We are still in the process of writing it. I think he will show us from a slightly different side. As a band, we will have a more relaxed approach to music. Arrangements, however, will require a bit more time. We want to create a space in our songs where each band member can experiment with their instrument. On this tour we’re playing three new songs that will be on the album that haven’t been released yet. The audience response so far has been incredibly enthusiastic, and we can’t wait for it to be released.

Can we expect any collaborations on this album? Maybe the already mentioned Käärijä?

Bojan: – We don’t have anything specific planned for now. However, recently, when we were doing a soundcheck before the concert in Tallinn, with Käärijä, a really cool idea for a song appeared, so maybe something will come of it? You have to know that everyone is really waiting for it (laughter).

What is your approach to the language in which you create? Is the latest single, which is in English, a result of your European recognition?

Bojan: – Different languages ​​create a different landscape for a given song. When you write in a language that is not your native language, you experience other parts of yourself that you are not very familiar with. As for the song “Everybody’s Waiting”, the lyrics came to me in English, so we left it that way. However, we will try to keep the entire album in Slovenian.

Do you ever listen to Polish music?

Bojan: – We don’t actually know many Polish artists. Certainly Jann, whom we have already mentioned. I like him very much for the show he puts on on stage. However, there was another artist who was very popular in your country, who recently played at the stadium in Warsaw…

Do you mean Dawid Podsiadło?

Bojan: – Yes, we sometimes listen to him too. Among such interesting facts, a very good Slovenian director – Mitja Okorn – is quite well known in Poland. He is responsible for directing the first part of “Letters to M”.

John Peteh: – And aren’t Behemoth from Poland?

Yes, they are.

John: – We know them quite well, but their music is very metal – slightly different atmosphere.

Which countries do you most like to return to to perform?

Bojan: – Definitely Poland, we love playing here and we can’t wait to come back to play in Warsaw, where we last had a concert in November last year. It was really amazing.

Chris: – Poland, of course, but I would also like to return to the Netherlands, I really like playing there.

How do you look at this year’s Eurovision entry from Slovenia, Raiven “Veronika”?

Bojan: – I’ve been working on this song, so it’s hard for me to look at it objectively. However, I cannot hide my joy that Raiven will represent us. I’m almost sure it will be noticed by a wider audience.

Finally, what are the future plans for Joker Outs?

Chris: – World domination (laughter).

Bojan: – I think our greatest ambition is for us to stay together as a team and as friends. May we create many great albums and have fun while doing it. And yes, world domination.