Stomping Grounds: Jovana Batkovic of HotChaCha (Cleveland, OH)

hotchachaHotChaCha has been helping re-define the label “girl band” in the Cleveland area since late 2007. Josie and the Pusseycats they are not, but for a band who actively searched out a female bass player, it’s hard to shake the stigma. Good thing, then, that HotChaCha is currently ripping out abrasive off-kilter rock ‘n roll songs chock full of controversy and abstract art-itude. Or whatever. Ghettoblaster got the chance to chat with frontwoman Jovana Batkovic about her new hometown and the pristine beaches of Cleveland.

What’s your town’s nickname?
I have no idea, in Bosnia we call it Klivlend. (I dont know why the foreigner who has only been in Cleveland about a decade is answering these questions.)

What’s your nickname for your town?

CHEAP RENT.

Why do you live there?

CHEAP RENT. Actually i think its a mixture of a true affection towards the city, the inevidable economical convenience, as well as the aspect of home – mommy lives here, daddy also, bla, bla. Some members of hotchacha have lived all over the places and YET we still come back.

What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?

The Beach!!! Many people don’t realize that Cleveland seriously has beaches.  Not super fancy or clean for that matter, and you might not want to swim on days after rain, YET there is sand and water and we roll around in it on the few sunny days we get. (I mainly just lay there and complain about the heat)

What is your favorite local event/festival?
One of the greatest things about Cleveland is the ethnical diversity it offers.  This brings about a magnitude of events that celebrate different cultures.  So, all summer long one can find wonderful festivals that offer music, food and celebration from all over the world.

What is the best time of year to be there?

Summer- for sure!!!! actually Fall is really pretty too.  Winter- NO!

Who is your favorite local celebrity/personality?
Justin Coulter


What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?

You simply must visit Waterloo Rd. and check out Music Saves as well as Blue Arrow record stores. I

Blue Arrow Records

Blue Arrow Records

have not found anything there because I have been buying my music digitally, which allowed me to buy…actually i am lying.  I have been taking music for free of the internet as well as buying music at shows.  Which is what most people do.  This is not completely cool.  That is why I got this job now making insane amounts of money, which will let me go to record stores and buy my music there.  Which is what I promised to myself I will do in order to boost local economy (besides buying from local farmers, as well as eating at locally owned restaurants).  See you on Waterloo!!!!

What is your favorite local shop?

There is quite a few that have been opening recently.  You might want to check out Room Service along a few other shops on Detroit Ave.

What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?

Scene is a great source of local info.  Pink Eye just came out recently and its a great magazine that offers art, music- very visually stimulating!