Kerber (Serbian Cyrillic: Кербер; trans. Cerberus) is a Serbian and former Yugoslav hard rock band from Niš.
The original members of Kerber were Goran Šepa "Gale" (vocals), Tomislav Nikolić (guitar), Branislav "Bane" Božinović (keyboard), Zoran Stamenković (drums) and Zoran Madić (bass guitar). In 1981, formerly known as Top (trans. Cannon), the band changed its name to Kerber. In November 1981, Kerber had their first official concert in Muzički klub in Niš. During 1982 the band had numerous concerts in Niš and Serbia, while working on the material for their first album. In early spring of 1982, Madić left the band due to his army obligations. He was replaced by former Mama Rock and Plamteće Nebo member Zoran "Sosa" Žikić who had an attractive on-stage performance: he played an axe-shaped guitar and performed fire breathing. In May 1983, Kerber won the first place at Festival Omladina in Subotica with the song "Mezimac" ("Minion").
In July 1983, Kerber recorded their debut LP Nebo je malo za sve (The Sky Is not Big Enough for All), mixed in Strawberry studio in Manchester, with Nightwing's bass guitarist Gordon Rowley as the producer. In December 1983, Kerber was an opening band on Uriah Heep, Ten Years After and Nightwing concerts in Yugoslavia. At about the same time, Kerber's Nebo je malo za sve was released, bringing hits "Mezimac", "Nebo je malo za sve" and "Heroji od staniola" ("Foil Heroes"). The album was released by ZKP RTLJ and immediately became successful, with 10,000 copies sold during the first week. In January 1984, during the tour through Macedonia, first Zikić, and then Stamenković contracted infectious hepatitis, so in March, during the Kerber's performance at the music festival in Opatija, Stamenković was temporarily replaced by Generacija 5 drummer Boban Đorđević and Madić briefly re-entered the bass player's post for this occasion. Despite the good performance, Kerber did not fit well in the pop format of the Opatija festival with their hard rock sound. After returning to Kerber, Žikić continued with his on-stage performance. On May 19, 1984, during the band's open-air concert in Novi Sad, he got second-degree burns while attempting to breathe fire under windy conditions. He continued the concert despite doctor's advice, and later on continued the tour with bandages on his face. After this accident other members forbade Žikić to continue performing the fire-breathing act. In June 1984, Kerber was an opening act for Nightwing concerts in Yugoslavia. In August drummer Zoran Stamenković returned to the band for the summer performances in Greece.
In December 1984, Kerber traveled to England to record their second album, Ratne Igre (War Games). The album was recorded in Saughall, and the producer was once again Gordon Rowley from Nightwing. During their staying in England, Kerber performed in Liverpool and Chester. An English language version of "Mezimac" entitled "Get Me Out" was recorded on their concert in Liverpool and included on the album. Part of the album lyrics were written by the lyricist Duško Arsenijević, who continued to work with Kerber on their future releases. In May 1985, only a week after Ratne igre was released, Stamenković went to serve the army and Boban Đorđević replaced him once again. On June 15 of the same year, Balkan, alongside 23 other acts, performed on Red Star Stadium, on the concert which was a part of YU Rock Misija, a Yugoslav contribution to Live Aid. In October 1985, drummer Boban Đorđević was replaced by former Mama Co Co, YU grupa and Leb i Sol member Dragoljub Đuričić. In November Kerber was awarded with Smeli Cvet (Courageous Flower), an award which was given by League of Communist Youth of Serbia for contribution to rock music. In July 1986, keyboardist Branislav Božinović was, due to his army obligations, temporarily replaced because of army duty by Milorad Džmerković, former member of Slomljena Stakla and Peđa D'Boy band.
In 1986, Kerber recorded their third studio album, Seobe (Migrations), which was produced by Kornelije Kovač. Seobe included numerous hits: "Hajde da se volimo" ("Let's Make Love"), "Čovek od meda" ("Man Made of Honey", which featured Riblja Čorba's frontman Bora Đorđević on vocals), ballads "Kad ljubav izda" ("When Love Betrays", which featured a quotation from Pero Zubac's poem "Mostar Rains"), "Još samo ovu noć mi daj" ("Give Me just This more Night"), power ballad "Bolje da sam druge ljubio" ("I Should Have Been Kissing Other Girls") and the haunting ballad "Seobe". Following the success of "Seobe" Kerber performed more than 200 concerts across Yugoslavia. In 1988, the band released album Ljudi i bogovi (Humans and Gods), produced by Đorđe Petrović. Major hits were "Svet se brzo okreće" ("The World Is Turning Quickly"), "Od srca daleko" ("Far From Heart") and ballad "Na raskršću" ("At the Crossroads"). In the summer of the same year, Žikić left the band, and was replaced by former Bulevar, Suncokret and Idoli member Branko Isaković. On December 12, Kerber recorded their first live album 121288. The album was not well received by fans and critics, and after its release the band members made a two-year break.
At the end of 1990, the band released their fifth studio album Peta strana sveta (The Fifth Side of the World), which was produced by Saša Habić. For a retrospective evening of Belgrade Spring Festival, Kerber recorded a cover of Zdravko Čolić's song "April u Beogradu" ("April in Belgrade"). After this event, the band made a long break in their work, during which they recorded music for the theatre play Blues osmeh (Blues Smile). In 1994, "Mezimac" was released on Komuna compilation album Pakleni vozači: Jugoslovenski hard rock (Hell Riders: Yugoslav Hard Rock).
At the beginning of 1996, the band released Zapis (Inscription). The album introduced new members: Saša Vasković (bass guitar), Josip Hartl (drums), Vladan Stanojević (acoustic guitar), and Goran Đorđević (percussion). In January 1996, they held an unplugged concert in Studio M in Novi Sad. The recording of this concert was released on the album Unplugged. In 1998, the band released two compilation albums: Antologija 1983–1998 I (Anthology 1983–1998 I) and Antologija 1983–1998 II (Anthology 1983–1998 II), with the detailed overview of their work.
In 1998, Kerber celebrated their 15th anniversary with a concert held on Niš fortress. The demo for the song "Sveti Nikola" was recorded and soon found its way to radio stations, but the planned recording of the album was postponed. In 1999, Kerber performed as an opening band on Ronnie James Dio concert in Sofia, Bulgaria, and soon after went on hiatus.
During the 2000s, Kerber, although officially still active, performed occasionally only. On February 9, 2006, the band reunited in its original lineup for the first time after twenty-three years, to perform in the building of Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad. In 2008, PGP-RTS released the compilation album Svet se brzo okreće - The Best of, and in 2009, the same record label released the Kerber box set entitled Sabrana dela (Collected Works). The box set featured all six Kerber studio albums on CDs and the song "Sveti Nikola" on the seventh disc. After the box set was released, Kerber original bass guitarist, Zoran Madić, returned to the band.
In July 2010, the band announced that they are working on the new studio album. During the same year, Nebojša Minić (formerly of Gidra i Erotske Čokoladice and Puls) joined the band as the second guitarist. The band celebrated their 30th anniversary with three concerts. The first one was held in Čair Hall in Niš on December 15, 2011. The concert featured numerous guests: the band's former members Stamenković, Karadžov, Đorđević, Stanojević, Isaković and Đuričić, Kornelije Kovač, Smak vocalist Dejan Najdanović, Neverne Bebe, YU Grupa, and others. The second concert was held in SPENS in Novi Sad on April 6, 2012. The third and final concert was held in Hala sportova in Belgrade on December 13, 2012. The concert featured Bora Đorđević as guest.
At the 2013 Belgrade Beer Fest, the band debuted a new song entitled "Pepeo i prah" ("Ashes and Dust").
Serbian rock singer Viktorija recorded a cover of the song "Seobe" on her 2000 album Nostalgija (Nostalgia). Serbian heavy metal band Alogia covered the songs "Mezimac" and "Hajde da se volimo on their 2006 live album Priče o vremenu i životu – Live at SKC, with Šepa making a guest appearance on the songs. Serbian hard rock/heavy metal band Atlantida recorded a cover of the song "Igraj sad" ("Dance Now") on their 2009 album Put u večnost (Road to Eternity).
In 2000, the song "Seobe" was polled No.43 on Rock Express Top 100 Yugoslav Rock Songs of All Times list. In 2011, the song "Mezimac" was polled, by the listeners of Radio 202, one of 60 greatest songs released by PGP-RTB/PGP-RTS during the sixty years of the label's existence.
- Nebo je malo za sve (1983)
- Ratne igre (1984)
- Seobe (1986)
- Ljudi i bogovi (1988)
- Peta strana sveta (1990)
- Zapis (1996)