Quiet Day Among the Penguins
The Amazing Origins of Axis Mundi The Axis Mundi band was formed in Ljubljana, Slovenia as a recording project originally intended to be nothing more than ego gratification for a group of over-the-hill jammers. What came out was a surprise to us all. The group is comprised of Zoran Petkovic on bass, Aleksandar (Sale) Petkovic on saxophone, Ivan Becan and Peter Altshul on guitar and Brad Canton on drums. Zoran and Ivan are old friends who had played together in and around Ljubljana in several guises, including a band called Sakrabolt from '94 to '98, when Zoran left to join the Mossad, complaining about lack of prospects for career advancement on the Slovene music scene. Ivan and Peter, a veteran of numerous dead-end bands both in the States and in Slovenia, met shortly thereafter and formed a lasting friendship based mostly on the fact that Peter was unemployed and Ivan's job left him a lot of time for coffee breaks. Years later they realized that they both play the guitar. With Zoran whiling away the hours trying to obtain permission to cross the Israeli border, Peter and Ivan formed a band completely misnamed The Clan with another American, Maui Brad Canton, who used to hang out in Ljubljana when the windsurfing season ended in Hawaii. Happily for all, the whole thing only lasted about a year. Zoran, having dodged the Middle Eastern authorities, showed up at one of the practices, and everyone was astounded to hear what it was like to play with a bassist who wasn't tone-deaf. This left only jam sessions to keep them all from becoming ecstasy-chomping rave queens. In 2001 a decision was made to reserve some studio time, and in August 2002 our heroes had three hurried practices, threw together a bunch of rough chord progressions and entered Èinè studios in Ljubljana nervous and disheveled. Their asses were saved by the appearance of Zoran's brother Sale, whose saxophone had made it through Slovene customs unscathed, and by Èinè's studio wizardry. Sale, the group's only professional musician, is a member of the Del Arno reggae band and the RTV Belgrade Orchestra, with whom he has played with such notables as Diane Schuur and Ray Charles. Èinè, who played keyboards for Buldozer, one of Slovenia's most legendary rock bands, cancelled half of his vacation to make the recording gig, for which the band have promised him all of their first-born children. The Petkovic brothers, incidentally, had never played with each other before the recording session. Their first live collaboration can be heard on the cut 'Jazz Hotel'. Studs that they are, all of the members of Axis Mundi are either married or engaged. Sorry ladies! The band are currently undergoing an extended hiatus, and intend to start playing regularly in the autumn of 2003, unfortunately without the services of Island Boy Canton, who has opted for permanent residence in Hawaii. What a jerk! Keep up to date with Axis Mundi at firstname.lastname@example.org.