Kultur Shock was formed in 1996 in Seattle, brainchild of singer/ frontman Gino (Srdjan) Yevdjevich and his Sarajevan band mates- Amir Beso and Nedim H. Hamzic, who were invited to tour the States with the theater play Behind God’s Back. The band performed with Joan Baez and was dedicated to presenting the little known Balkan and specifically- Bosnian folk music, to the american public.
In 1998 Gino reformed the band, which included Borislav Iochev (Bulgaria/ USA), Mario Butkovic (Bosnia/ Croatia), John Morovich (USA) and Brad Houser (USA). Seattle’s jazz and avant- guard musicians noticed and got involved in the project.
In 1999 the band recorded “Live in America”, on Gino’s Pacific Records- an album which featured traditional Balkan songs performed with a refreshing irreverent attitude. The album was introduced by Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) to Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) – both staunch supporters, who recommended it to Bill Gould (Faith No More). Bill offered a collaborative record deal to the band for the next release on his own KoolArrow Records.
The collaboration between Bill Gould and Kultur Shock resulted in 3 releases- FUCC the INS (2002), Kultura- Diktatura (2004) and We Came to Take Your Jobs Away (2006), which introduced the band to American and European audiences alike and brought critical acclaim by Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, FRoots, Village Voice, El Pais and many other mainstream, underground and fan- zine publications on both continents. Kultur Shock embarked on series of European tours and one – offs in the US in support of the albums, and in the process became one of the most exciting and rewarding bands to see live, ever. The explosive ninety minute show takes the audience on a sweaty and loud, mosh and dance trip that goes from punk- metal to lyrically painful breakdowns, a roller coaster of rumba and odd meter rock spiced up with fast Balkan dance parts. It is funny, engaging and totally participatory experience where band and audience unite. The band jokes that it plays like a heavy metal band- precise, tight and multi layered, while performing with a punk rock attitude- irreverent, politically charged and socially engaged. Lyrics push many buttons and comment on war, peace, love, sex, partying, social justice, anti -religion awareness, sometimes is just plain goofy for the sake of simply being so.
The band’s roaster between 2002- 2008 included Gino Yevdjevic- vocals, Mario Butkovic- guitar, Val Kiossovski- guitar, Masashi Kobayashi- bass, Chris Stromquist- drums, Amy Denio- saxophone- she was replaced in 2004 by Matty Noble- violine.
In 2008 Kultur Shock released “Live in Europe”, on Kultur Shock Records, their own label. Kultur Shock was determined to reign full control over it’s creative process and shorten the distance between it’s music and the audience, who they lovingly call “our people” and who the band credits freely and honestly as the “purpose of our existence”. The album was recorded in Sofia, Bulgaria and mixed in Seattle by Jack Endino. Happy with the result, Kultur Shock invited Jack to co- produce their next release- “Integration”, released in 2009
After years of relentless touring, Mario Butkovic and Masa Kobayashi departed the band, focusing on their personal life and musical explorations of their own, while Gino, Val, Chris and Matty invited Paris Hurley- violine, Guy Michael Davis- bass and Kultur Shock’s own Amy Denio- saxophone, into the band, which consists of their present incarnation.