Val Kiossovski
Guitar player and backing vocalist for Kultur Shock.
EVENT: Kultur Shock plays the Tractor Tavern Fri Feb 2.

Why do you spell "Kultur" with a "k"?

"If you notice, there's no 'e' at the end as well. It's just the Slavic spelling of the word 'culture,' basically suggesting the southeastern European origin of our music. One of the mottoes of the band members is that we are more shock than culture."

Do you ever worry that because of the spelling, people are going to mistake Kultur Shock for a bad heavy-metal band and not go to your shows?

"Not at all."

Your band is ethnically very diverse. How did you meet?

"The core of the band consisted of the singer, Gino Yevdjevich, from Bosnia, who is an attention whore. The biggest I've ever seen. Bobby Iochev, who plays drums, is from Bulgaria. He's the only drummer I know who can successfully mix world beat with Balkan folk and rock. The third [member] is Mario Butkovich, an amazing folk-guitar player. He actually was voted last year one of the 10 best in Seattle."

Where's he from?

"Bosnia, as well."

How did you end up in the band?

"I joined them just before Bumbershoot last year because they were going for a more rocking sound, and I'm a rock-guitar player. Plus, I'm one of the very few people who can sing in the languages that they're singing in, which are Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, and Gypsy. The new bass player is from Japan."

You're recording right now?

"We're finishing tracking right now, and we're going to mix it some time in February, with Billy Gould from Faith No More."

Who comes to your shows?

"Young people who ethnically identify with the members of the band, but more and more Americans who are into groove-improvisational-related danceable stuff. We had about 1,000 people at the Bumbershoot show. Lots of people dancing with long hair and hairy armpits, the whole thing."