We founded Altera in 1998, actually, by chance. Maja was engaged in music from her earliest childhood. In the age of 2 and a half, she started singing in a children’s choir Bim-bam-bom, led by Paula Fabinger-Orešković, B.A.; in the age of 4 and a half, she sang solo in the Italian language in the Goldoni theatre in Venice, Italy; when she enrolled in primary school, she also enrolled in a synthesizer course, after which she enrolled in the Zlatko Baloković music school in the guitar course. When she used to come home from a class, she showed all she learned to me on a big red wardrobe door with staff bars drawn in chalk on it. She started teaching me to play guitar too, so we started playing together. For her 11th birthday, I bought her the first electric guitar – which she still plays today – a copy of a Gibson named Legend, and a small 40 W Fender amp. That switched our practicing repertoire from Kelly Family to Nirvana, which we played to everybody that came to our home, and so we played it to my son’s friend Tomislav Mihalić – Mihha too, who said he knew a guy who played drums and it would be cool if we tried playing together, and acquainted us with his friend Marin Barišić. So, the four of us started to going to rehearsals, Mihha on vocals, Marin on drums, Maja on guitar, and she said to me: You are bass from now on!
After a while, Mihha stopped coming, so Maja was both, singing, and playing guitar and making songs. So, we practiced and practiced… but we did not make much progress – from the starting level… So Marin said: Let’s enroll to the Rock Academy to learn something too… And the three of us enrolled, completed a course, Marin did not wish to go on, and the two of us continued – and found our Dado, Dario Barbir, there. We invited him to come to our rehearsal, he came, immediately got into the songs he had never heard before – and stayed with us until today.
We played in various places, but the first most important thing was when we won 10 recording hours at HGF (Croatian Musical Festival, annual bands competition) held in the Gjalski castle, Zabok. We came to the Hot Music Shop studio in Zlatar Bistrica and said: We would like to record 8 songs!!! Haha! The recording engineer looked at us, and we were wondering – so what, we have two extra hours… We needed another about twenty hours, though, to record our fist demo which we entitled S Y A-F or Squash-You-All-Flat… We were so proud of that demo. But also aware that it was not of some high quality. Returning from one rehearsal, we ended up in a car crash, which was not our fault, we got the indemnity in 2002 and headed to the Monitor studio with that money to record Ablaze. Maja was 16 at the time. All the 4 songs from Ablaze are hers, excellent recording was done by Hrvoje Ferderber, and we published it through Full Metal Jacket. We made a spot for the song Suicide Sunlight and that spot was aired quite a lot on HRT (Croatian National Radio and Television), after it had its premiere presentation in a popular music show Gradski ritam.
After that, we performed a lot, and eventually started recording the 11-song CD, Alternations, in 2007, which would have been published through Full Metal Jacket too, had it not gone bankrupt. So that the CD was presented in 2008, but remained at the level of a promo CD with us sharing it at shows. In 2012, Alternations was published digitally and it can be found, together with Ablaze, in most of the music e-shops.
In 2011-12, we recorded another EP entitled Exit 320, which we also published digitally. We made a video for the song Lost from it too. We presented that CD and the video in the club Hard Place in Zagreb on 10 November, 2012.
We plan to keep recording and playing, although this will be a bit harder now because Maja is not in Croatia present
Beside our music, we’ve played live a lot of Nirvana covers and got to be known the Nirvana tribute band in Croatia. We played in memory of Kurt Cobain almost every year.