Vacation in Croatia, but still rockin’

Funny to be “back” to writing here again, got used to the Firewind-blog after all the gigs the past few weeks. It’s been hectic travelling from place to place – cause while the band can just pass out whenever they want on their tour bus and have their driver take them to the next venue, I have to take care of the logistics myself. :)
It’s a good thing I got such kicks from the shows, or else I have no idea how I would have survived that crazy lifestyle.

Right now I’ve had a chance to sleep – get LOTS of sleep here in Split, Croatia. For once, I’m NOT travelling to go to any gigs, I’m just having a vacation like normal people.
But I was just sent a video by a young, Croatian singer who I’ve been in touch with back and forth for about a year. That will be the theme of today’s blog. Maybe a bit unusual, but I’m on vacation, that IS unusual, for me. :)

There is a version of American Idol in every European country, and last year I was watching a few of the Croatian episodes when I was here to see my dad. I missed most of it, think I only had a chance to see maybe 3 or 4 episodes altogether. There were two “rockers” in the competition, but one of them stuck out more than the other.

First of all, his crazy NAME! If you think that people in Croatia normally go by names like “Vilibald” you’re wrong. Actually, the hostess asked his dad why they gave him such an unusual name and I think he answered that he and his wife couldn’t decide on a name for their son and so they just picked the name that was in the calendar the day he was born – and went for that. It just so happened to be Vilibald.

Pretty cool when you think about it – cause there’s NO way you’ll ever forget a name like that. Couldn’t be more rock’n’roll. :)
Secondly, the guy had one hell of a voice!! Holy shit, for such a tiny guy, there was a lot of voice and although he seemed very shy in the interviews, he came alive when it was time to rock the audience.

[A heartfelt version of Deep Purple´s “Soldier of Fortune”, one of my favorite songs ever]

I had to go back to Sweden before I knew how the contest ended – but I asked my dad to watch the last episode cause I wanted to know how the Vilibald-guy had done in the finals. Of course, he didn’t win. Rockers rarely do, usually when it comes to business and selling a new artist, they want something more mainstream to sell to an audience consisting of anything from old ladies to teenage girlies.
Maybe he would have done great with the girls, but maybe not so much with the older record-buying audience.

I don’t remember exactly how I got in touch with the guy, but I think I found his dad on Youtube or something, who in turn gave me the contact info to Vilibald and I’ve kind of followed his challenges on and off ever since.

Being an artist in Croatia is difficult to begin with, if you want to make it internationally, and even moreso if you want to ROCK. The guy wanted to record a real hard rock album but, of course, was not allowed to.
However, he sent me this video a few days ago, that he just completed and I guess it’s a good compromise. It’s a power ballad that works with a wide audience and is still rock. He didn’t sell his soul 100%. :-)

Of course, it had to be in Croatian, cause I assume it’s a record company requirement, but I thought I’d share the video with you guys eventhough you won’t understand a word of what he’s singing (just pretend it’s death metal, you never understand a word of any of that either, no matter what language it’s in…!).

So, it’s just interesting to follow a new, up and coming artist this way, and maybe with the new rules of the cyberworld we’re all part of, the guy might actually attract a bit of attention beyond the borders of Croatia. Seems to me like the world is getting smaller each day, who knows. Either way, I’m keeping my fingers crossed! :)

 [Vilibald hanging out with Tim Ripper Owens]



  1. Mladen

    Hi….My name is Mladen and Vilibald is my nephew.I just wanted to say I m impressed…. someone from Sweden see Vilibald and his Songs just like me.My english is not perfect and I apologize.Thanks

  2. Daniela

    Hello Mladen, thank you for dropping a line. :) The world is very small nowadays – with the internet and all other kinds of communications, there won’t be any borders. Good artists have better chances to be exposed to a wide audience today than ever before. There’s still a long way to go, but I think Vilibald is very talented and I truly wish him all the best!

  3. Mladen

    Thanks Daniela,I agree with you that Vilibald is very talented. When he was a child we were much together and listened to rockmusic. The problem is that in Croatia it is hard to succeed in this music. I send you many greetings ….

  4. Daniela

    Maybe he would have to move somewhere else for a while and try his luck outside of Croatia. Hard rock is difficult to succeed with everywhere I guess, but as long as he continues to do what he loves to do I’m sure that sooner or later he will get the rewards. Like most musicians today know, it’s very difficult to make a living being a musician. But nothing is ever impossible, it just requires more time and a lot more work. :)

  5. Daniela

    If you haven’t seen “The Story of Anvil”, try to get hold of the DVD. I think there is a lot of inspiration to be found in that documentary. And if you do get to see it, the band is now, after almost 30 years, finally making a living off their music. :-) It’s amazing how stubborn and dedicated they have been, it’s worth watching as a source of inspiration for every musician.You can watch the trailer here:

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