The American band is building a career in Croatia: "It's all the fault of the movie Mamma Mia!"



Author: Matina Tenžera

Frontman and guitarist Francisco Fernandez and drummer Daniel Aguilar are performing again in Zagreb at the end of April

When asked when they met, they unanimously answer – 20 years, four months and two days ago! When they discovered they shared a passion for food, good fun and making music, it was love at first sight. Francisco Fernandez and Daniel Aguilar recently celebrated the coming of age of performing together. In their music, they combine blues, punk-rock, rockabilly, folk and jazz, and they say that they are not a genre band because – genres separate, and music should unite. This American duo hails from San Francisco and is called The Ferocious Few. And we can hear them more and more often in Croatia too! Namely, Francisco and Daniel fell in love with Croatia to such an extent that they wouldn't complain if they stayed here after some of the gigs.

On the occasion of their return to Lijepa Naša, we talked to this fierce few. And about what else, but Croatia!

Did music bring you to Croatia for the first time or was it something else?

F: I can thank my girlfriend for this pleasure, who suggested that we visit Croatia a few years ago. She especially liked Vis because she saw that the movie Mamma mia 2 was filmed there. Vis totally blew me away! And not only because of its natural beauty. I was surprised how on the island everyone knows everyone and everyone. I remember one afternoon, sitting in a cafe, I got into a conversation with a group of locals.

At some point I mentioned to them that I had seen an interesting dog on the island. Already after my first sentence, they knew which dog it was, who its owner was, when and where he got it, what the dog's favorite food was (laughter) and how many fleas it had… The same summer I visited Split, but honestly, I barely waited to leave. I guess I stayed in the wrong part of town. It seemed to me that the city was crowded with tourists. But, on the other hand, I returned to empty Split during the corona and only then realized how beautiful it is.

Okay, so where did your musical story in Croatia begin?

F: Behind each of our stories there is some silly American, including this one. An American, otherwise our faithful fan, celebrated his birthday in Split and hired us to play for him. An interesting club, very strikingly decorated. Especially the interior!

Which club are you talking about?

F: About the Ghetto. It is located right in the center of Split.

I know Ghetto. Great club, even better vibe.

F: Yes. I remember that I had a great time with the Croats. There was a punk-rock vibe in the air. I liked how Croats know how to live life. They seem relaxed and carefree. That experience was the exact opposite of Luxembourg, where I currently live. People live there to work and earn money. Basically, after that we continued to occasionally perform in Croatia and basically I can say that at your gigs we recharge our batteries… so that we can perform in other countries (laughs). The Croatian audience is very grateful, reacts, and truly participates in the concert. It creates a relationship with the musician.

Daniel, do you agree with Francisco?

D: Absolutely. The Croatian audience is always very enthusiastic and reacts cheerfully every time we play for them.

You both come from America, where you perform most of the time. How would you compare Croatian and American audiences?

D: Hmmm, it's a completely different energy, different people, different philosophy and way of life. I'm not even sure if the two audiences are comparable.

F: I would add that America is simply too big. There are many countries, even more cities and a lot of people. That's why you have a small million different audiences. In the same club, you can have the best and the worst time in just two different nights. Let's say we performed at the same club in San Francisco three nights in a row. We had a great audience on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday in the same club, the crowd was awful. Totally different energy. But that's why in Luxembourg, where I currently live, every day is Sunday (laughs)! Fortunately, wherever our band goes, it manages to attract some totally unusual and unique people to the audience.

You are performing again in Zagreb soon. Is there a difference between Split and Zagreb audiences?

F: Definitely. Split audience likes to drink (laughs). They are very relaxed, they know how to release the brakes. We performed Zimus at Advent in Zagreb and the energy was different compared to Split. The Zagreb public is a little more cautious, more skeptical. But, on the other hand, we also performed in a small club in Zagreb, Mojo bar. There were only ten people inside, but they made an unprecedented party, as if James Brown or some similar snob was performing. It was totally wild. Great gig. In yet another Zagreb club, it was a totally opposite story…