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Interview: Heedless Elegance
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
- I think it was destiny or we can call it a series of coincidences, depends on what you believe in. When I was in kindergarten and in the beginning years of elementary school I was playing on piano, but I gave up, because I hated to practice. In the next few years my only connection with the music was the listening of it. In that time I started to jump into the rock/metal world. After listening to heavier musics, I really started to fall into the drums, it was fascinating for me, and I always wanted to play on it, but never had the chance. When I started high school, my new friends were looking for a drummer, so I immediately told them, I’m your guy. My only problem was that I never played on the drums before and I did not have a drum kit so I started to practice the first song on pillows and I used the floor as a kick drum. I remember the first song I needed to practice was Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls, I was nerves on my official rehearsal day with the band, cause that was the first time for me to actually play on a real drum kit, but when we started, I played the song better than the previous drummer who had years of experiences they said. I think that is where my “carrier” started. To be honest, I have no idea what I would do if I wasn’t playing in HE.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
- I really like video games, I’m a huge Playstation fan, but I also love to watch movies and series. Surely I can say my non-musical influences are these. The emotional roller coasters that you hop on could bring out from you so much things if you are paying attention to it.
How long has your band been around?
- We are officially on the market from 2018, that year was when our first EP came out and we had our first concert, but the forming of the band was around 2015 I think. We were in a rock/metal festival with Zsolt, and there we came up with the idea of taking one last try on making a band, and said to ourselves, “this time do it for real”. Since than, after a lot of change in the line-up, we released 2 albums, the second one just came out on the 31th of January called “LIBRA”. We also got into the top 25 "Best Emerging Bands of Hungary" as the only metal music group by winning a showcase talent show in Herend and a major governmental showcase competition.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
- We are a Budapest based band, most of us lives in the capital or in the suburban. To be honest, it is very hard to prevail as a metal musician in the world, especially in our country. In Hungary, there is no proper “industry” and the gap between the underground and mainstream couldn’t be bigger, but there is no middle class. For example, a successful metal band in Hungary who plays on big stages in festivals, and have thousands of followers can not be a part of the mainstream, but can not be called underground as well, so what are they? I’ll tell you what, they are mostly amazing musicians who work two jobs as bartenders or delivery guys or an electrician to pay rent and food and stuff, and in occasion, they are playing in front of 5-10 thousand people, but the radios are not playing them, because it’s not acceptable in their visions for the average people. But there are a lot of no name artists with shitty music with nothing to tell, and making a lot of money out of the radio cause that is “acceptable” for the audience. I think we can see the irony. But of course there is a few metal bands in the mainstream who can make good money, but you can ask yourself by right, how they got there under these circumstances? It would be great to develop an industry which pay equal attention to all genres, and pull them up if they are worthy, so the musicians only job would be to pay attention on making real, honest professional songs.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
- The name of the band Heedless Elegance is kind of an inside joke of us, when we founded our band with Zsolt we always said when someone asked us how we are going to accomplish something or how we can get there where we want to be, in Hungarian language: “ hanyag eleganciával” which means: “ with heedless elegance”.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
- The worst one I think was when I was in my first band, where I used to be a drummer. The club name was Tarajos G?te, it was a really really small pub in the middle of Budapest. There wouldn’t be a problem with that, but the stuff the vibe and the equipment was so bad. First of all when we entered I saw that there is an electric drum instead of a real one, and it was a cheap version. That was the moment for me when I realized that it will be one of the worst concerts ever. Our soundcheck was like 10 minutes because the sound engineer was an angry prick, and he didn’t give a fuck about anything what’s close to his job. After that we all realized that it will be bad, so we got drunk fast. We started to play, and I can remember it was so quiet, that I could hear more loudly my hit on the pad than the actual sound from the speakers. Nobody heard anything from what we were playing not even the audience. I remember Daniel, the bassist from that band wanted to say between two songs to the sound guy that can we get more in and more out, because it’s nothing, but the sound guy wasn’t in his spot from the beginning of the concert. That was the moment when Daniel became “ fuck this shit, get more drunk”. After this, the men came back and said loudly between two songs that it can’t be louder, because of the people who lives upstairs, and If it will be, they will call the police. Daniel after this incidence started to speak to the mic and say, “ this is a shitty club with shitty staff, you are shitty as well”. My “let it go” moment was when the fantastic electric drum fell apart between two groves in the middle of the song, and I needed to hold the structure with the left leg of mine, but in the end of the song I released it, end the whole set felt into pieces. We had 3 more songs, but I told to everyone that I will leave, and luckily they wanted to leave as well, so we finished. After that, there was a huge argument between the stuff and us, we broke stuffs and we all were shouting loudly, and we needed to leave the place immediately. I remember Zsolt was there as well in the audience that time, and broke a table before the concert and the problems even started, when this piece of memory come to my mind, I always start to laugh, he knew what’s the night gonna be!
The best concert after this is not really interesting, and I hope that I can answer that question in the future because I think the best ones are in front of us.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
- The best venue where I played in Hungary was Analog Music Hall. Big stage, good stuff, lots of visuals, I really like to play there. Most of the good places around the world are on my bucket list, hopefully, in the next years we will be lucky to visit them. My dream is to make a concert in the Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
- Good question, there are tons of bands who I would be honoured if I could share the stage with. If I need to pick 3 now I would say Parkway Drive, Twenty One Pilots, and Iron Maiden.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
- I would say, if it really means a lot for you, and you want to do this for real, than you need to be determined. It is very hard to prevail these days, and you will bump into a lot of disappointments, mistakes and problems in a scale of everything to everything, but if you are determined, and you truly believe in your music and the value of it, maybe you can overcome on those things.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
- I would go back to my 10 years old me and give myself a big punch on the face for giving up on the piano. It would be a big advantage for me whit the songwriting if I could play more professionally than I could play now.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
- I think the 7th ( or 2th ) song from our new album “LIBRA”. For me that song is very personal. It represents a certain feeling what I felt for so long, and these days I’m trying let go.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
- Now the whole new album “LIBRA” is my favourite from the beginning till the end, it feels like all the songs from this material are my children, I love to play them all. I think the most popular song is from the previous album, the song called “ There Is No If “, but I think soon some tracks from the new LP will take its place from the top.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
- There are a lot of inspirations everywhere, you just need to recognize and embrace them. With Dani, Matyi, Albert and Zsolt, we bring half or fully written songs to the band, if it’s possible we go somewhere far from our home town and start to focus on making them as much close to a perfect song as much as possible from us. It is a hard procedure but the shared vision we have helps us to overcome on problems.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
- Depends on the concept of the material we working on. Libra for example is one story from the first song till the last one, and the meaning of each tracks are relative, depends on the listener what he or she imagine into it. That is why I don’t really like to say what dose it mean to me, because I think it is irrelevant, what really matter is what the listeners think what it’s about and how they can project it into their lives.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
- I’m sure all the bands around the world has ups and downs sometimes, it is a law to have it when you share so much time together. We are not an exception from it as well. I think the shared vision and the love and respect what we feel for each other helps us to overcome those moments when we have a major disagreement or a fight about something. The goal is greater than us, and I think we all understand that.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
-With our new album “LIBRA” we hope that we will find new opportunities to show ourselves to the world, I really believe it will happen. Our plans are to play as many concerts in as many places to as many people as possible in the next years, and we will continuously work on to make our shows bigger, smellier, more colourful and more professional. We hope that the belief what we have in our music, and the attitude we trying to follow will takes us to where we want to be.