Emir Kusturica is the renowned Serbian filmmaker who is the only director apart from Francis Ford Coppola to win the highest prize at the Cannes film festival twice. Some of his classic titles include "The Time of the Gypsies" and "Underground," and when he isn't busy being the controversial film director, he is on tour with his band: The No Smoking Orchestra.
This Sarajevo band was first formed in the early 1980s, and their debut album "Das Ist Walter" sold very well and paved the way for the hit "Zenica Blues," which sold an impressive 100,000 copies. However, this early success was cut short for a while when the band faced a crackdown from the government at the time, which prevented concert appearances and general distribution of their albums.
The No Smoking Orchestra continued to experience censorship issues, and it almost finished the band. But it was all this controversy that initially attracted Emir Kusturica to the group, and he became the bass player, although, he left shortly after signing the contract because he had the opportunity to work on "The Time of the Gypsies."
Kusturica rejoined the band again in the late 1990's when he wanted music for his film "Black Cat, White Cat." The soundtrack they produced was a whimsical and melodramatic score that aptly represented the film, and it was this collaboration that brought Kusturica back to the band, only this time as a guitarist. And this director turned musician has been a part of The No Smoking Orchestra ever since.
Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra appeal to a wide audience because they are jolly and energetic on stage, and their music transcends language differences. People from Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Moscow, St Petersburg, Berlin, New York, London, Paris, Madrid and of course Sarajevo all enjoy their music. In fact, all their fans simply want to get up and dance when they hear the band perform.
"Corps Diplomatique" is The No Smoking Orchestra's brand new album. It features 11 songs, which include fun titles like "Hamburger Versa Kebab," "Cerveza (Beer)" and "Scared of Dental Drills." The album is available for download and can be purchased from all good music shops.