Band members:

Goran Dolšak – Gogo / (vocals)

Robert Mahović – Maha (guitar)

Zlatko Novosel – Brzi (drums)

Mario Kenđel  – Joe (bass guitar)

Siniša Antunović – Medo (bass)


Q: Please tell us something about yourselves?

Maha: The original setup of this band started playing in 1986. Some of the original band members are not alive anymore but the name ALKOTEST stayed alive through various setups, all up to now. There are many people and music styles that have changed over the years. For many years it was the band that played only our original songs, until we changed course and said: from now on we will be a cover band! So, In the 90s we started playing Metallica, Iron Maiden, The Cult and other hard rock bands. That phase lasted for a while.

Later on, we returned to the original garage idea and switched from Croatian into English language and started mixing the two. But it became hectic as it was a mix of very different songs and it was not systematic. We learned that was not good so we changed that.

During the war years all collapsed and I created the band RITUAL and recorded the album all by myself and afterwards I gathered musicians around me and decided to name ourselves: ALKOTEST and that was the roots of creation of the band we have today. Unfortunately, the founder of ALKOTEST died 3 years ago and I wanted to keep his legacy alive and we continued playing with the ALKOTEST name. Finally, this gang gathered together and we had many turmoil and changes as it was very hard finding the drummer for instance. Also, we had trouble with finding the singer, as all are very engaged and mainly play in too many bands, 7 or 9 bands e.g. I believe it is the story of every band in the beginning.

The biggest problem is the lack of determination. Mainly, guys are ready to commit to rehearsals that go on 1 a week. That’s nothing!! People don’t understand that.


Q: Yes, lack of determination stops a lot of good things. What is the main motivational factor for you to keep the band alive and give your all for the music you create?

Gogo: For me it’s: when I hear something that makes me feel good. Hearing Maha how he plays in an AC/DC tribute band- its that energy that just lifts you up and you don’t need anything more. You just come alive and burst with energy. So, Maha asked me if I wanted to sing although I’m engaged in two other bands, all in different genres. I was amazed by this hard rock sound Maha presented and when he asked me to join the band he already poured several drinks and I was not able to say “No” any more. Hahahahahahah:)


And Maha started gathering the guys for the band and took a guy from my band, like an octopus, he had contacts everywhere and just gathered guys from all around! Hahahahahahah:D

Maha: Yup, I just stole the whole band and just took the guys for myself! Hahahahah:)))

At one point we had 3 guitarists and members from the band TREĆI KANAL.


“We are ATEST. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”


Q: So, you just assimilate like Borg?

Maha: Yeah:D It might seem that way, but I just ask and don’t have anything to offer. I just offer the songs. I never said: “We will play and make money and stuff…”; I never promised something in the future. I just offered the songs and asked if you like them: “Yes or no?”

Gogo: We had no plans to make money, that was never our primary goal.

Maha: It is because we are aware of the conditions on the scene and our advanced years. Of course, we are still good looking, that not questionable:))

Gogo: That’s right! No profit was the motive, I was amazed by the sound of the band! That was the most important thing! A fucking rock and roll band that sounds perfect and that was the only important thing!


Q: Let’s hear from others? The motivation? Money, high on gigs, fame or something else:))

Brzi: When I first came to the band, Maha played several songs and we also had several drinks. He asked did I like the songs and I couldn’t say no as I liked the drinks, so I stayed in the band:))))

Gogo: The best part is that he didn’t even buy me with the drinks, I bought the beers:)))

Brzi: I started playing at 14 years old with one a great bass player and it sounded great. I met and collaborated with Dario Jelušić, Bruno Kovačić, Bero Blažević and the bands DAN D, LEGIJA, NEKI TO VOLE VRUĆE and solo project of Enio Vučeta. That’s when I met Lipošek Damir Keks and many other great musicians. I also collaborated with MILADOJKA YOUNEED on their first album. I also had a pause from music due to my business but I found this band to be a challenge so I have returned to my first love: music.

Joe: Maha didn’t buy me drinks but we have known each other for many years:D He asked me if I would be willing to play a bass guitar although I played the guitar exclusively before. And I played the bass for many years until we found the bass player and now we have 2 guitarists and a bass player finally. I play the rhythm guitar and Maha is solo. I also have my own band ULTRAZVUK.

Medo: I played for a very long time with Maha on many occasions before, but I was the one to call Maha and say: “I want to play, let’s play!”


Maha: At that point we had a problem as we already had the bass played but we switched him to the original guitar position. It was very spontaneous and it turned out great!

Medo: But I started out as a drummer:)))

Brzi: I heard that the drummer was wanted from my friend, a great guitarist Mario Mravak. I recommended a young drummer but he wasn’t serious and that’s when I decided to give it a try myself. I think there was some constraint at first, but from the very first song we played together: we knew: “This is it!”


Q: All of you seem like you function perfectly together, I’m amazed! What is the secret of having a great band cohesion?

Maha: We are musicians before anything else. The music we create is the most important thing. I create a song and have it in my head and I call it finished, but when we start working on that song on a rehearsal- it is a great satisfaction. You just met the guys from the band that played before us and they all have regular jobs, they come to rehearsals exhausted but creating and playing music is a psychic exhaust valve. I think that the thing that makes us stick together as we create new songs. This creative energy is insane and it makes us stick together.


Muscle, heart and balls

Q: So, you have a democratic approach as the songs grow and change with influences from all band members?

Maha: Absolutely! All have absolute freedom as I come with a base of the song, a skeleton. Sometimes I do insist that a particular part of the song must sound the exact way I want, but very soon it’s clear to all why I insist.

Medo: You come with a song and then Gogo and Joe add a bit of muscle and heart, and Brzi and I (bass and drums) add balls to it!

Maha: Everyone contributes with their own ideas and most important of all: we function well together as friends!

Gogo: That’s it, when you really enjoy doing this. There isn’t anything better in the world!

Maha: We never argue. We can argue about how we can make a song better, but never among us! No way!

Gogo: Everybody here is positive and kind-hearted!

Maha: That’s right, I deal and get rid of people with negative energy.


Q: What is the advice for other bands to keep the band cohesion and have regular rehearsals and make everything work out?

Medo: It’s simple. Never forget how to play. If you forget: no use and nothing will be good.

Maha: We enjoy what we do and I’m sure if anyone didn’t enjoy it- he wouldn’t do it! We love this! People play here as they want and we have a good energy.

Brzi: It’s simple, you either have that within yourself or you don’t. You are either a musician or you’re not.

Gogo: And faith! We all had mutual faith we are doing a good thing all together!


Q: Plans for the future?

Maha: Our first concert coming up is the one on 6. June 2024 in Hard Place. We will play our songs and we will play with the band ULTRAZVUK. Interestingly, we have never played in this set up before. We have all played many times before but this will be our first time together live.

Brzi: One thing is very significant. We will plan on 6.6.24; which can be also considered as: 6. 6. 2+4=6 so we get 666, The number of the Beast!

Maha: All the priorities today have changed. Once upon a time, the most important thing was: record the album. Now we have something very different. Now, we have business first and then everything else.

Joe: In those days we went to see only the bands that played their own songs, there were no cover bands. Paying for the tickets to see the bands wasn’t a problem.

Gogo: That’s the best way to introduce yourself to the audience: play your own songs! And you will immediately see if they love you or not!

Maha: I played in Požega and saw this old school mentality as the audience there was willing to pay the tickets to see a band play live. In Zagreb we have a completely different story: there is no payment of tickets for venues. The problem with clubs in Zagreb is they don’t invite bands that play their original songs and cover bands are everywhere.

Gogo: We play garage rock, hard rock and there are not enough venues that recognise that and could invite those kinds of bands. E.g. Močvara prefers more extreme bands but we are unique in terms of Croatian bands as there are not a lot of bands in Croatia that play this kind of music.

Gogo: Maybe only KOJOTI and MAJKE could be compared to us, but we play heavier.

Maha: Yes! We combine rock ‘n’ roll, hard rock and even punk and metal. When you get the final result of that fusion it is not possible to put in any of those genres! That is the unique energy that has not been present in Croatia until our band!

The interview was conducted on 19. April 2024 with Kristina Hećimović, journalist.

Photos: private archive.


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