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Siddharta (band)

Siddharta is a five-piece Slovenian rock band founded in 1995. They are named after the popular novel by German writer Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha.

History

Siddharta was formed in 1995 when four friends - Tomi M. (vocals, guitar), Primož B. (guitar, back vocals), Primož M. (bass) and Boštjan M. (drums) - got together and named themselves after a well-known Hermann Hesse novel because they liked the sound of it.

Siddharta's beginner rock'n'roll was first performed before an audience on March 17th, 1995. The band had 40 visitors packed in their rehearsal place at the Šentvid High School, but at this first show the raw energy significant to Siddharta's live performances in the years to come could already be felt. Soon they started developing their own sound and enriched it with the saxophone. Cene R. joined the band, who at that point mostly played club gigs and in the end of 1996 they played their 14 demo tapes in a famous progressive club in Ljubljana, K4.

In 1997 Siddharta - alongside a lineup of other promising young bands - took part in the Tivolski Pomp project, which resulted in a compilation, for which Siddharta contributed their song Lunanai and made their first TV performance in the Pomp show on national TV.

Debut album

Their debut album Id was recorded at Studio Tivoli in cooperation with Dejan Radičevič and Anders Kallmark between April 1998 and February 1999. An additional studio musician at first, the keyboard player Tomaž O. R. later joined the band as a full member.

The Id cover was designed by two students of Design and fine arts - Maja Bagič and Ivijan Mujezinovič - and won the Zagreb Art and Design Triennial award.The Id promotion began in May 1999 at the Hound Dog club in Ljubljana and met with an outstanding media response. The band overstepped Oxeía and played as an opening act for Liquido and Dog Eat Dog at the biggest Slovenian festival, Rock Otočec, and at the Ljubljana open-air theatre Križanke for the Leningrad Cowboys.

Due to disagreements with their first record company, the band looked for a new one(they signed with Multimedia Records, a Universal Music Group licensee) and new management in September 1999. Id was re-released in October 1999 with a bonus track - Siddharta's first song Stipe – and an English version of the album was recorded. The video for Pot v X was recorded, which took the name of Siddharta from the local fan base to the general public.

Id tour

In a year, during the Id tour, the band played over 50 live concerts all over Slovenia. Their live performances gave the album a new dimension. Siddharta's presence in the media increased considerably. The band did not stand still. In April 2000 they launched the video for Lunanai and released their first EP Numa Numa, to which some live songs were added; for both they collaborated with the legend of Slovene rock music, Vlado Kreslin. All major music and media achievement award shows were marked by Siddharta at that point in time. Their astonishing performance left an imprint on the Viktor 1999 media award show. Siddharta won nearly all existing awards, including Studio City's Bumerang award for Best Breakthrough 2000. At the Zlati Petelin award show Siddharta celebrated three times: they won the Zlati petelin awards for Best New Act, Best Rock Album 1791, Best Album of the Year (Id). The debut album Id went platinum. It has now been sold in 13,000 copies.

Second album

After their headline performance at Slovenia's biggest rock festival, the Rock Otočec festival Siddharta retreated from public life and locked themselves up in the studio. Six months of Siddharta silence later their second album Nord broke out in May 2001. An English version was also recorded. Peter Penko (Laibach, Silence, Coptic Rain) and Žarko Pak (Big Foot Mama, Radyoyo) worked as producers; many guests were invited to work with the band for Nord: Tomaž Humar, Anita Kay, Boštjan Gombač, Bojan Cvetrežnik, Robert Rebolj and others.For the recording of the Nord album Siddharta invited the bass player Jani H., who later joined the band as full member.

Siddharta's third video, the video for B Mashina was recorded, which launched the band to the stars; the video remained on the charts for over ten weeks. The sales of Nord broke all known records of that time as over 7,000 copies were sold in less than two months after release. In Slovenia, the only band to top that was U2. Nord has been sold in 30,000 copies.

Tour, lineup changes, remix album

Siddharta won another Zlati petelin award in 2001, the Music Group of the Year award.

In the spring of 2001 the band set out on an all-Slovenian stage expedition, playing nearly 80 live performances, selling out even the largest sports halls. In September 2001 their fourth video was recorded, Samo Edini, both in Slovenian and in English just as B Mashina was. After the launch of the video the Nord sales rose 80 per cent.

In November 2001 Siddharta filled the Kodeljevo sports hall in Ljubljana, making it their largest sold-out concert to date.

In February 2002 Primož M. decided to leave the band. Siddharta and Primož, who had been less intensively present in the band for personal reasons ever since the release of the second album, Nord, parted in a friendly spirit. Formally, Siddharta continued their work without a bass player. In March 2003 Jani H. became a full member of the band.

In spring 2002 preparations for a remix album began. Many recognized Slovenian artists and DJ's were invited to work on it, such as Laibach, Umek, Kanzyani, Jamirko, McBrane and others. The remix album Silikon Delta was released in June 2002. Along with the album release, the Under Venus video – an animation video created by Testtube Productions – was launched. It won the never-before-awarded Viktor award for Best Video.

Siddharta won the Viktor 2001 award for Best Performer of the year and Studio City's Bumerang award for Best Band of 2002.

The band wrapped up the Nord tour with a significant performance in Cankarjev dom, supported by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra on June 16th, 2002. The concert was aired live on national radio Val 202 and the video recording shown on national television.

In the end of October Siddharta recorded a commercial for Slovene mobile provider Mobitel, which was aired on MTV Europe. For the commercial Siddharta's remake of Vlado Kreslin's song Od Višine Se Zvrti was used.

Third album

The band wrapped themselves in silence once again and started their studio work in December 2002. In July 2003 Siddharta and Multimedia Records, the company they had worked with for four years of their successful musical journey and had released all their previous discography projects: their debut album Id, the single Lunanai, their second album Nord and the remix album Silikon Delta, agreed to discontinue their cooperation. The band thanked Multimedia Records for the support received on their way and proceeded to work with KifKif Records, announcing the release of the new album.

The studio work lasted many months, during which they had worked with Peter Penko, Dali Strniša, Rok Golob and Žare Pak. On August 13th, 2003 the result was released with KifKif Records: Siddharta's third studio album Rh-.The release of the album Rh- had been foretold by the single Rave. Directed by Petar Pašič, the video for Rave was recorded in Belgrade. The video was a huge success on national charts and was played on MTV within the World Chart Express. An English version of the album was recorded and released on Slovenian market as a special limited-edition album on September 1st, 2003. The album was released in unique bloodbag-resembling packages and in music stores placed on transfusion hangers. The special-edition album was released in 1,500 copies, which were sold out in a matter of days.

Rh- tour

A month after the release of their third studio album Rh-, Siddharta opened the Rh- tour with a concert on Ljubljana's central football stadium, a concert which astounded all who were there and those who were not. On 13th September Siddharta, accompanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and 60 dancers, played before a crowd of over 30,000 people and a few thousand who could not get in as the concert had been sold out way in advance. It was an event never yet seen in Slovenia and it received incredible media coverage.

The preparations for the project had begun many months beforehand, from careful stage-planning to the choreography and music arrangements for the orchestra. Siddharta chose to work with those who had proven to be the men for the job. The choreography was entrusted to Miha Krušič (choreography for the Go Easy video) and the music arrangements to Milko Lazar and Slavko Avsenik Jr (the arrangements for the 2002 Križanke concert). What sprouted was a sight for sore eyes: three stages, breathtaking choreographies and costumes, eye-watering orchestrations, Siddharta at their best, and a blanket of over 60,000 hands.

The stadium concert was the beginning of an amazing tour. Playing two to three times a week, the Rh- tour visited all parts of the country, took a detour to Austria for a day, and ended just after Christmas in a sold-out concert just like all were. The stadium concert was aired on both national radio and television in prime time during the New Year holidays. It received massive response from the media and was labeled event of the year 2003 numerous times.

MTV and other awards

In February 2004 MTV Europe chose to use Siddharta's My Dice for the new music chart show The Rock Chart jingle. Siddharta gladly accepted the offer.

In March 2004 the special-edition Rh- packaging and its designer Sašo Dornik won yet another designer award: the Grand award of the 13th Slovene Advertising Festival (SOF) in the category of miscellaneous means of advertising.

The end of March was marked by the Viktor awards. Siddharta won two: the fan-voted Popularity Viktor and the Viktor presented by the panel of expert judges - the Viktor award for Special Achievements, a public recognition of the stadium concert success. Siddharta took the opportunity to thank all who helped them bring their idea to life.

The bloodbag, the special-edition Rh- packaging, had a new - third in a row - success at an international festival of creative communication called Magdalena. In the category of Other means of communication the international jury presented the bloodbag creator Sašo Dornik with first prize, the Golden Bra award.

In June 2004 Menart Records presented to their bands achievements and popularity awards. Siddharta won the highest possible recognition of sales in Slovenia named a Diamond record. Siddharta expressed their deep gratitude to their devoted fans for all the support they had received from them.

Siddharta's special-edition CD bloodbag package has been entered to the Cresta (the world's most prestigious designer and advertising awards program) short-list of finalists.

After its world premiere on Monday 13th September 2004 Siddharta's latest video 'My Dice' was aired exclusively on MTV Europe for a week, also marked by being MTV's Artist of the Week. Since 20th September it has also been aired on other important music TV stations and the 'My Dice' single on radio stations across Europe.

Siddharta's fan base grew by the day. With the wish to act upon the requests of their most devoted fans for live performances of some older Siddharta songs and to quench their own thirst for live performances before domestic audience, Siddharta decided to go on a mini tour across Slovenia in the end of 2004 to do just that. It was Siddharta's way of bidding their farewells before retreating to focus on promotion abroad.

Spring 2005 brought the release of the international version of Siddharta’s best-selling album Rh- in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland,Croatia and Slovenia. The album was released as a special edition, with a bonus DVD, a special treat for all the fans.

MTV EMA

Spring 2005 brought the release of the international Rh- and new public recognitions. Siddharta was voted another Band-of-the-Year Viktor award by their domestic audience and received perhaps the greatest recognition for their accomplishments so far with the nomination for MTV's Europe Music Award (EMA). From the EMA awards show in Lisbon Siddharta returned with an EMA of their own: the Best Adriatic Act EMA 2005.

Members

Current members

Former members

Discography

  • ID (1999)
  • Lunanai EP (2000)
  • Nord (2001)
  • Silikon Delta (2002)
  • Rh- (2003)
  • Rh- Bloodbag Limited Edition (2003)
  • Rave EP (2005)
  • Rh- Special Edition (CD + DVD)(2005)
  • Rh- (English) (2005)
  • My Dice EP (2005)
  • Petrolea (2006)
  • Izštekani (2008)

Awards

2000

  • Bumerang award - Breakthrough
  • Zlati petelin award - Best new Act
  • Zlati petelin award - Best rock album
  • Zlati petelin award - Best album

2001

  • Zlati petelin award - Best group

2002

  • Viktor award - Artist of the year
  • Bumerang award - Group of the year

2003

  • Viktor award - Video of the year
  • Golden drum award - Rh- limited edition packaging design

2004

  • Viktor award - Artist of the year
  • Viktor award - Special achievements
  • MTV's Artist of the Week

2005

  • Viktor award - Artist of the year
  • MTV European Music Award - Best Adriatic Act 2005
  • Since they've sold over 25,000 Rh- albums (which is extremely rare in Slovenia), they've won the highest prize for such achievements in Slovenia, called Diamantna plošča (Diamond Record).

2006

  • Viktor award - Best Music Act

References

External links

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