In the beginning...

Remember being a kid, when your parents forced you to do things you hated. All they wanted to do was instill some history and culture from a country in which they originated. How uninteresting...well, at least that's what the uneducated members of Žice first thought.

The story began with four young gentlemen that were forced into becoming part of a massive folklore group known as the Croatian National Home. These boys learned to preserve their Croatian heritage by playing tambura's, and singing and dancing to old Croatian songs. After years of moving up in the ranks, from beginner-to-junior, and intermediate-to-senior, eventually the obligation to go to tambura practices and performances turned into a willing participation and love for the music (all of the free trips also helped to make the deal enticing).

By the age of 15, brač (lead melody) players Frank Perin and Ludwig 'Borga' Kovac, bugarija (rhythm) player Joe Zeleznak, and bassist Mark Vuksan created a foursome that began dabbling in extracurricular activities such as playing music at family parties. They decided they loved it so much they wanted to do it on a more regular basis. To do this they needed a name, and chose Srebrne Žice (Silver Strings).

Through the early years Srebrne Žice struggled to find recognition. But by 1997 on a CNH trip to Croatia, they found themselves in Zagreb playing to a radio reporter who recorded their rendition of 'Oprosti'. He could not believe these beautiful sounds were coming from instruments played by kids that grew up in Canada. Later in the trip, Srebrne Žice also played the Zlatni Dukati song 'Ja Polako Pijem' on stage to a full house in Varazdin.

Back home, following that summer, the group began creeping onto the wedding scene.

By 1999, Hravtsko Selo musician Joe Katkic had replaced Borga. A year later the band was determined to record their first album, which was released late in the winter of 2000. Something was not quite right though. So with the personnel change and before the release of their album entitled '...do zore', the guys decided to drop the 'Srebrne' from their name.

Žice was born

The new foursome played weddings and gigs all over Ontario and parts of the U.S. But as most things that stand-pat, it got monotonous. Enter Stevie 'Stric' Siljevinac Jr. The kid was a whiz on the accordion, and once he became the fifth member of Žice, the band quickly earned the reputation as wedding 'party-starters' (they also practically quadrupled their repertoire).

Žice were dealt a blow when, in 2003, bugarija player Joe Zeleznak decided to leave the band. With no hard feelings, the multi-talented Katkic dropped his brač and picked up the bug...Žice didn't miss a beat.

With Katkic and Stric also both playing in the band Plavi Dim, over the years Žice has found quite a few fill-ins along the way - but only the best!

They have played with Druga Noc members Billy Vrbanac and Jason Moravac, Milenia's Mike Savor, former band Divne Boje's John Busija and Steve Jurincic, Plavi Dim's Joey Vlasic, Croate's Ivica Katkic, Nocni Raj's Dave Jazvac, and violinist extraordinaire Mladen Islic. Playing with so many musical minds has only made the group better, and more musically inclined.

And that's where things stand today. It's been a long and sometimes bumpy road over the past ten years. Band members and songs may change, but
one thing that never will is Žice's love for Croatian culture, heritage and music (as well as their love of alcohol, crashing weddings, etc...).

Mi smo Žice...sviramo za sve prigode, sviramo do zore!