1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Hi. Well, not sure what to say. I guess the normal life of the band continues. With The Hike album done we’ve rehearsed a few songs from it for the new playlist, and are now slowly starting to ponder over new ideas and shaping the embryos of new songs, for a possible next album…
2.Recently you have put out a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction it has taken and also how does it differ from your past recordings?
Tough question. We are not exactly a band that works with a concept, meaning we don’t have a target or a sense of direction we want to take. It is more the other way round. The ideas are emerging, the songs are sort of shaping themselves, filtered through our limited ability of expressing ourselves through our instruments and words we can pen down and eventually sing. It is more than often that after a recording session, we spend time trying hard to understand what have we actually recorded. So probably in truth there is no direction to speak of. And how does it differ? Another tough question. When we listened to the album during the post-production we thought it was quite different from our previous work, especially in the overall feeling, and also much more focused on the detail within the arrangements (those little bits and pieces an ordinary ear is not likely to pick up), but the first feedback we’ve got from trial listeners was that it is just the same as what we’ve been doing last couple of years. 8-) So I guess to we’d have to leave it for everyone to decide…
3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the new album?
As you wrote in your review these are sort of everyday’s topics. Still, majority is based on experience or direct observation, so although some people may dismiss these as too mundane, there is personal involvement, or angle, that we hope makes it more intensive. To elaborate (and simplify), when you’re listening to a song and it’s about someone’s crushed heart, you can tell if it was written by someone who’s really got the nuts kicked, or if it’s a fake. It’s hard to say where we go next, but I guess we will try to stay away from topics we can’t identify with. We don’t really want just a fill, just words to pour into the vocal line.
4.The band has been around since 1996, what is it that motivates you to keep going after all of these years?
Stubbornness, momentum, and shear inability to accept that all the time and money and relationships and whatever else we’ve had to give up or ignore just to be able to be in the band - that all of these sacrifices may have been for nothing. 8-) It will be a rude awakening when we finally face the truth. 8-) I guess we were no different from anybody else. Initially we were just bunch of kids interested in making noise. Later we started to dream, our ambitions grew wings and we got confident we’d break through any moment. Some time later we started to sober up, angry and spiteful for not being superstars yet. 8-) And eventually we mellowed, realizing that the simple fact of us being able to come together, and make music, is more than the naïve dreams we’ve once cherished.
5.can you tell us a little bit more about the band name?
It’s cool, isn’t it?
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Well, we’ve had good shows, we’ve had shows that disappeared from memory almost instantly, and we’ve had shows that we’d like to forget. 8-) Like every band I guess. Also, the experience on stage is quite subjective, and I am not sure we’ve ever had a show when the whole band was satisfied when leaving the stage, there is always someone who just had a bad day. 8-) Especially Pickard is never happy, lazy bastard. But as long as we’re having fun and we are looking forward to the next gig I guess that’s OK. I am not sure I could highlight this or that gig as the best. Maybe the very best are yet to come. 8-) And as for our stage performance, if you are into defined show image, genre dress-code, panda-like face-paint, fireworks or blood-spitting, we are not your band. I hope our shows can be described as intensive, but through the music and the ambience it induces rather than any theatrics. I mean there are bands with great shows that support their music and expand the experience, but there are many more that make me feel like the show is more important than the music. And I do not ever want anyone to think that about our gigs. So, maybe, one day, when we’ll have something that will bring the stage performance onto a different level, we’ll use it. But until then it is just us and the sound.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We were never a band that did many gigs, we prefer the approach of doing fewer concerts, but the ones that we do must count, if you know what I mean. There are some planned concerts shaping up, but so far all of these will be in Czech Republic.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
To be completely honest there is not much feedback any more. There may be reactions from fans/journalists such as your good self, provoked by the fact that they have received our CD for review, but even the hit rate here is low, and in our experience it is worse with every album we release. And even with all the internet and whatever you have it seems people are not willing, or do not have time to write down a few words of praise or criticism (both are always very appreciated, the second maybe more than the first) since they are too busy with posting hate comments on Justin Bieber’s site (the teenage metalheads), or playing World of Tanks (the mature ones). 8-)
9.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
Yes, Vlasser is straining his seven strings and, occasionally, his two vocal chords, in Hypnos, quite recently reincarnated legend of Czech death metal.
10.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Hey, as I said before, we never know. I think we would like to do something more crisp and faster, but despite all the good will we may end up with speed-reggae for all I know… 8-)
11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
This really is each man for himself; there are four of us in the band, and our musical tastes differ quite a lot. Within the genre I always favored moody stuff like Moonspell, Anathema or Rotting Christ. Vlasser is into guitar riffing such as Slayer, Pantera or Strapping Young Lad. Canni usually prefers less sane stuff such as Dillinger Escape Plan or Iwrestledabearonce, and Pickard is picky as the nickname suggests and can find joy both in Katatonia and Ulcerate. But if I was to look for a common denominator we may all agree on this would probably be Devin Townsend, and Death.
12.Do you have any non musical interests?
Plenty. I am raising a colony of chameleons and all sorts of awkward geckos and lizards, hoping to establish a new world order of cold blood, apart from that I try to read a lot, and am thinking of reserving for lifetime a particular seat in the local cinema since I am occupying it most of the time anyway, Canni has a behemoth of a dog that absorbs most of his free-time, Vlasser is naturally restless and has to keep on constructing something to keep himself busy (he built guitars, amplifiers, speaker-boxes, all sorts of guitar related electronics, now started on a house, a subtle change in direction), and Pickard is considering to start to practice drumming (been saying that for years now).
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Well, thanks for your time. Thank you, all of you who actually managed to read up to this point. As the last thing I’d like to make a wish of sorts: people, please, support your local music. There would be no big bands you may favor now if someone has not given them a helping hand and support when they were at the start of their carrier. There would be no records that have become classics and that you may love now if someone has not bought a demo or a debut, and maybe some merch in times when the band name did not mean a lot. There would be no new music worth listening to unless you help it to be created simply by being on the receiving end. Thanks.