Interview with Czech "blast core" underground band PERFECITIZEN, which released very good album "Corten" this year (review is here).
Translate by Markéta.
Translate by Markéta.
Ave PERFECITIZEN! Your album “Corten” has been published for a while now. How do fans react? How are reviews, public acceptance and feed-back? I´m personally ecstatic, however I know that not everyone likes this type of music. Have you received a critical review already?
Jarda: Hi, thank you for the questions and space you give us! Our second album has been published for a while, however reactions and reviews are showing slowly than with the first album “Through”. That album was very well accepted by reviewers and most of all by fans – from the Czech Republic or abroad. Thanks to this we were able to go on some amazing and very big festivals. During one year we played on Fekál Párty, Obscene Extreme, Brutal Assault … Naturally the acceptance of the first album has build-up big expectations. “Will the next album be great also, or the first one was just an accident?” We are glad that you are that happy about our new album! We actually received this kind of review from a lot of people.
On October 10th on Saturday you baptized the album. The band GIGAN which supposed to be the main headliner of the evening inform a few “minutes” before the concert that they were not able to went because of an illness. That must have been a shock for you. Did you try to search for another “famous” band? How the concert and the album baptism did went? And why did you baptize the album so long after publishing it?
Olda: Why did we do it on 10.10.2015? Since we have published our album we had just two concerts – Fekal Party and this concert. If we did it on Fekál Party, it would be posing and it would make no sense and that was why we had decided to do it on our next concert. Of course we were disappointed that the Gigan were not able to come, however the biggest disappointment for me was that I didn´t see my friends from band SYK and I was not able to speak to them. We didn´t search for another band and the whole party was very unusual. You were not able to stand below the stage but people sat on benches. It was amazing and every single visitor got a shot of Jameson and a lot of Albums and T-shirts by L´lnphantile Collective. We played our concert in plain clothes and on chairs. We did also tell a lot of backstage stories during breaks. Our album was not baptized by someone famous. My friend Marek Chytil a drummer from the band Fall Into Misery (he was in pure shock when I told him) did the honor. Moreover we didn´t baptized with champagne but with a clear pure water because music of the Perfecitizen is only for people with clear and open mind. This is how it was supposed to be and it was an amazing party!
This is the second album you have published with L´lnphatile Collective. Why this label and how do you feel about it? Do your albums sell? Nowadays this kind of music is not the most wanted. Is it important for labels to advertise the band abroad also? How about you? Do you have any reviews from people abroad?
Jarda: We have known Ossie for a very long time now. We think that everything should be like a friendship and you should trust the others in the band. Music is about fun and happiness and everything should relate to this. I´m not sure if people like this type of music less, however I fell that this scene is getting more and more segmented which is unnecessary. I do miss some openness and tolerance among subgenres. I think that selling of albums has been through some turbulence period. Cds were a very big hit one time and now they have to fight up with online sells, streaming with renaissance of vinyl and audiocassettes (which is so crazy, more than return of format but who knows). Big band live from concerts, merchandises, YouTube watching,… The selling of music is not at all the main source of money nowadays. This actually makes underground go again as a side stream. :)) We are like an underground in the underground and that´s why we are not capable of selling our CDs and think that we are going to keep up just with this. Well, there is some possibilities like propagation, marketing, however that means you have to pay more for this and it´s not the one possibility at all. That´s actually the road to the Hell and corporations are swimming in this nowadays. You should search for another way how to get people to know your music better. I´m glad to say that with L´Infantile Collective we have reached the harmony. J We did a few concerts in Germany, in Slovakia and probably the biggest experience was in Dutch Neurotic DeathFest in Tilburg.
Whenever I read about you guys the writers always have problems about the definition of your music. They try to define you but it´s very problematic. For someone you are a death band, for others you are death/grind band and I have heard a definition of your band as a blast core band. I think it really doesn´t matter, however how would you name your music as a founder?
Our band play metal. That´s it. If someone think that it´s not enough, we have a definition: blast core. Feel free to use any of those two definition. We don’t play the grind because it´s too arrhythmic and colorful and for me I vocally use grind pieces just to fill it in, however it´s not our main stream. We don´t play the death because you are not going to walk inside of a brook full of old and septic death bodies with us and our music. Of course there is a space for fantasy and when someone thinks we are post-apocalyptic-cossover-jungle-tekkna with a mixture of bdsm fitness black metal…why not :))
How do you actually compose your songs? Your album was published after “classic” two years. I´m interested if you compose parallel or you just go to the studio and smash it there. Who is the main leader and the main composer of your music? How is the process of composing go?
Tomáš: After our first album Through we had some rest from composing because we wanted to take some more credit to concerts and do them well. There was a few great festivals and concerts during that year so there was a lot of time to enjoy and relax from mouse clicking and studio work. Corten has started to become a thing after a year.
The composing was not very different since the first album and we just lost riffs above 320 BPM and we had to slow down a little bit. I usually bring patterns and guitar motives which are not structured and during trials we do instrumental tracks around 3 minutes with Jarda. I imagine it as a raw building: you have the shape of it and the technical song, however you don´t know how is a listener going to feel about that. You just don´t know about what the song is going to be.
In the end there is Olda who add vocal line and lyrics which makes this raw thing a song – the final product is actually a surprise for us also because we don´t really know what Olda made up before we go to the studio. Sometimes I´m surprised that our songs are able to stick together, because we work so differently and decentralized. In the beginning we don´t have a vision – it happens later, by itself.
I personally really like the sound of your album. I feel like some very angry machines were trying to kill us. Who was the bartender of this album, who “mastered” and who else did something about the sound? Where did you guys recorded?
Olda: We recorded the drums in almighty studio Davos in Vyškov and the main leader was Otyn, guitars and base did Tomáš in his house. Electra was composed in Brno (Izwa) and in Mexiko (Hjalli). After that we took those samples to Olomouc to David Spilka (DS studio) and I did my lines. After the mix and mastering in the same studio the final product was born known as “Corten”. David is an unbelievable professional, we were more that happy to work with him. What´s interesting about him is that we are the only blastcore project of his. He is not sure how is it supposed to sound. However he understands tones, he has a fantastic sense of melody and sound integrity and you can feel those factors when he works with Perfecitizen material. He always tries to meet halfway with us and he uses the maximum of his talent to make our music exactly how the musicians – we- want it. Top satisfaction for me and if there is going to be another material I would suggest the same action. What I like about Perfectitizen is that there is no main leader. We all say what we need and we worked together, otherwise the album wouldn´t be here. Naturally, everyone focused on their own instrument, however we commented absolutely everything with everyone.
Your first album “Through” has an interesting cover. The second album has even better cover I would say. I have to ask who is the author of this cover and what is it supposed to symbolize? I really like it, however I´m not sure how to deal with it. My friend told me that if he had it in his room as a poster he would think that it would change into Fredy Krueger.
Jarda: The graphics of our band is my job. If we talk about covers of our albums (with Prom, Through and Corten) there is an vision in the beginning. We want to make everything fit – music, lyrics and graphics. The Corten album cover is a glitch from our faces. Firstly there was an idea of what this material is going to be about. Then we did lyrics and with them there was themes for each page of the booklet. And finally there was “just” a photoshoot in atelier and a lot of hours spent in front of a PC with Photoshop. :))
You have your new album lyrics on your website www.perfecitizen.com. I personally think they are pretty good I especially like that they have some motive, aim, theme and they lack a Czech petit bourgeois point of view. Who is the author of the lyrics and what is the theme of them? As more as I want to I´m not able to write “rhymes” which would make sense and moreover fit to the music. How do you write those lyrics and where do you take an inspiration?
Olda: Thank you so much for this praise and you should receive some kind of an award for taking some time to study them. I make lyrics the same as the vocal lines. Writing of lyrics is very long process and my back hurts during it, I pull the rest of my hair out, I swear and I´m vulgar. Sometimes I just give up and say for myself “God, just kill me now, please before I had to go to another passage” and sometimes I just stare on the paper and I feel so untalented, primitive and absolutely dement while my inside world is annihilated by Jarda´s šroťák and Tomáš´s osmistrunka….because it´s very difficult to compose vocal lines or lyrics about some idea and hold it together with energy and emotions on Tomáš´s and Jarda´s music. Finally word after word I´m able to put it together and make my own inside world and my soul appear in the hell and I mix the unmixable, I give a breath to a machine, I touch the other side with my sixth finger, I control the chaos and I made a story. I made up the world full of emotion, thoughts, allegories, aggression, magic, anger, mercy, pity, understanding, tolerance and enlightenment. In the end I have lyrics which should leave you with some kind of a message when you read them without hearing the music. The message of restlessness. I made the world of Perfecitizen. I scream this message to the world by using all of the vocal places which I have learnt during those 15 years of deathgrind singings.
There was an interview and you guys said that you would use some good DJ who would help you with samples or who will help you during your live concerts. How did that go? Did you get someone like that? Or you just look for someone? Who actually did the samples on your new album?
Tomáš: It´s very difficult to find someone who know how to do electro and at the same time is a fan of extreme metal. (Am I right?) We haven´t found anyone yet so we play at live concerts by previously composed line when we made it before in the studio with samples. We have actually stopped the search for some DJ because we realized that we more like less people in the band with an odd number of members – that´s how is possible to hold the band together when we do things like voting which works with us.
And who did the samples for Corten album? Izwa and Hjalli (ex-guitarist from final members of Alienation Mental.
The last album was full of intros and intermezzos, however not so much in the new album. Why exactly? To be honest I like it more, on the other hand it was interesting in some way. I think that “Corten” has more pressure. There is no time for a rest.
Olda: Electros are part of our work and they always will be. They separate parts (Corten), they add some more space for listeners to get the song (Through), they prepare listeners for the next sounds of our music and they made the unique atmosphere. When we do the material there is no straight line to do it. We submit everything due to the final product. There was more of it on Through album and now on the Corten album which has shorter footage there is less of it, however it´s not like that because there was not enough material but because it just happened to be like that. We have to say a big thank you to DJ Izwa and DJ Hjalii for their amazing work and I believe that a next album will be again something special in case of the electro side.
If someone had to criticize our album I think they would criticized the length. There is just something about 23minutes which is not so much. So my question is simple – Why is your album so short?
Jarda: When we were doing this album we talked about the number of songs and the whole length of the album. However, this is how we did it and it just happened to be like that. Me personally I listen more to album which has the same length as ours. If the album is longer I probably wouldn´t listen it. More and more people consume music through online streams such as Spotify, AppleMusic, LastFM, SoundCloud, BandCamp etc. People do their own playlists. We wanted to give listeners the whole complete material and we didn´t want to add anything unnecessary. Honestly the footage of 23:23 minutes is more than you can find on long play discs. :))
When I look on your bandzone profile I feel that you are not a band which would do a lot of concerts. Why is that? I think that nowadays people are lazy and they download music online so I think that concerts are the way how to introduce your music to the fans. There is also the “personal” experience and they can buy your CD on the concerts. I know that it´s a big deal and it´s not easy to organize, however I fell that there is not enough places to see you.
Olda: In case of concerts there is no change. People can just write on our profile, to messages, on email,… and if we have a time there is no problem. A year ago I decided to go on an Univerzity so I have to be at school on every second weekend and the examinations are important and they kill my time. So it´s possible that the main problem could be me sometimes, however it depends on the distance from Uherské Hradiště (where I study) and the place where the concert is. There were few times when I drove from Hradiště to a concert and everything was great. We like concerts and meeting people on the stage or bellow it so there is no stress. If you want Perfe to play you for listen and for dance, just let us know :)
I´ve already talked about propagation abroad. Do you want to show your music abroad on some concerts or festivals? There is not enough bands who would play abroad and I think that you would do it great. My question is: Do you have some ambition to play abroad? Do you want to publish an album again and with some abroad label?
Olda: Concerts abroad – absolutely yes! Concert we dream about? “Maryland death fest”, “70.000 tons of metal” and others abroad OEF. We don´t want to be famous and big abroad, we just want to play abroad and catch the atmosphere beyond the Czech Republic boards. And last but not least we want to represeto represent the Czech Republic on abroad stages. Abroad label? Right now we are under the foreign label – L´Inphantile Collective is French, right?
I remember you from ALIENATION MENTAL where you played in rhythm of grind. How is this band? Is it over? Do you plan any comeback? I´m not sure why this band ended?
Jarda: Alienation Mental is dead, vive Perfecitizen! We were on the same place for such a long time with AM band that we just ended it. There was no reason to keep it alive. This band signed on the abroad scene especially since 2002 to 2005. After that the fame had been falling slowly and there were personal changes and not enough energy to do more ideas for next albums.
I really like your music because you do it differently and in your own style. My domain is the old death metal but when I listen to your album I´m chop up like a burger. You can find a lot of influences in your music – from death metal to core stuff, some grind moments etc. How do fans like this “chaos” ? I think that our small country is a little bit scared and not really open to new things. How do fans or visitors reply to your music on concerts? When there are two grind bands playing before you and old school death metal after that and then you I think people could be little confused. I think that reversed reaction is really important for bands. How is the reversed reaction on your band?
Olda: “Dude, that´s gruelling” This is the typical reaction we heard after concerts. I think that the Czech Republic knows metal very good so it´s able to appreciate quality and at the same time doesn´t welcome every single shitty thing. Sometimes we hear “I don´t listen to the grind, but what you do is great” – this is an open reaction, fair and we are glad when people are caught by our psycho-world. Mainly because we do this music for us. We enjoy and like what we play. This is our hobby and we spend our free time doing it. So when someone thinks that our fun is enjoyable – that’s awesome. We don´t really care before and after who we play on concerts. We play how we can. That´s how it starts and ends.
When I look at PERFECITIZEN as a unit – website, graphic, attitude, etc. I have to say that I see a band which takes more time to do these thing than other more famous bands. It has to be very time challenging. I have to ask how do you do it? How about your families, wives, girlfriends, partners? You are not some young boys and I feel that you care about it, however sometimes it must be difficult, right?
Jarda: We are glad that you feel like this about our band. We do everything by ourselves. We have already talked about our music and how we compose and we have talked about the covers. Basically, everything around graphic and communication on social media is my job website and music technical things (preparation of tempo tracks/metronomes, home records) is Tomáš´s job. Olda is the one who knows how the band should look from the outside which means lyrics, image etc. Olda and I have family and kids, Tomáš has a long-term relationship. We try to keep some work life balance rules by 888 – 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work, 8 hours of personal time) however the reality is more hectic J the 888 is actually unrealistic :-D We do what we can but this is more about fulfilling our own music visions than become a big professional band.
Finally I have one obligate but important question. What does PERFECITIZEN plan for fall and winter? How about concerts? Where can we see you in the future?
Tomáš: The fall is going to be relaxed and we have a few small club events around the Czech Republic. Besides that we would love to start to work on new materials because in two years not everyone will be interested in Corten album and we want to add something in UG scene.
Thank you for the interview and I wish your and fans who are crazy about buying your CD and I wish you have only sold out concerts.
Thank you so much for the interest and the space! You can follow http://www.perfecitizen.com/ and our profiles on social media and see you on concerts :).
Jarda, Tomáš, Olda