Today, we are righting an ancient wrong which stretches to the very beginning of this here show. The foundation of the last thirty years of Balkan, and specifically Slovenian, rock and roll. Today, we are going to talk about the one and only, Big Foot Mama.
It is impossible to overstate the role Big Foot Mama play in the pantheon of Slovenian rock. Starting out as a high-school rock band in 1990, they soon went from riffing the classics to making their own tunes. And just as Slovenia, so to have Big Foot Mama undergone a raft of changes over the last three decades. From youthful exuberance to realising that adulting sucks, to some sort of responsible existence. Although it needs to be said, that in April 2022, Big Foot Mama are in far better shape than Slovenia is. So, there.
Big Foot Mama was formed by percussionist Jože Habula, who needed a rock crew for a high school concert. The band caught on early on, especially after getting the attention of Pero Lovšin, the godfather of Slovenian punk. He signed them up as his warm-up act. Nevertheless, the band was and is identified by its long-time front-man Gregor Skočir who joined the line-up in 1995 and never left.
Over the course of three decades, Big Foot Mama released nine studio albums, one live album and two compilations. They were also a subject of a full-length documentary. Unlike most bands, who score big with their first release and then fade into oblivion, Big Foot Mama’s real breakthrough came with the release of their third album, aptly titled Third Dimension.
While the line-up of the band has remained more or less consistent over the years, the one true big shake-up for the band came in 2002. The band went on a year-long hiatus, during which bass player Miha Guštin – Gušti quit the band and launched a solo career. Seeing as he was the second most popular band member, many people asked if that was the end of Big Foot Mama. And it very nearly was. Still the band bounced back.
Perhaps the most fascinating part of Big Foot Mama’s long string of successes is not that they went from a high-school band to a stadium block-buster band. Rather, that they have managed to do something like this in Slovenia, a country of two million people. They never attempted to widen their appeal and do not have a single foreign-language song to their name. Unlike many other successful Slovenian or Balkan bands.
And yet, they remain the undisputed rulers of rock and roll in Slovenia. As demonstrated by the fact that they will most likely fill the country’s largest stadium to the brim in about a month, when they hold their 30th anniversary concert. Which in itself is two years behind schedule.
That’s all the time we have for today. Check out Big Foot Mama on Youtube, Spotify, and wherever you get your music from. Balkan Express will be back in three weeks’ time.
Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of, you guessed it, the Balkans. Forget gusle and tamburice, this show is about rock, pop and a sense of humour. Well, at least there’s guitars. On air most Tuesdays in a new-and-improved time-slot at 1100 hrs. Usually. Your train conductor is Aljaž (aka @pengovsky) who once did the world a solid and decided never to sing again in public. Which is why he ended up doing radio.
TuesdaysWith : Aljaž Every Tuesday at 10.00
Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of the Balkans.