Freddie Schulze és félig magyar, félig amerikai zenekara, a Morzsa Records június közepén jelentkezett új albummal. Annak rendje és módja szerint el is mentem a lemezbemutatóra a Müszibe. Azontúl, hogy egy volt angoltanárommal keringőzünk, nem sok mindenre emlékszem, pedig elég jó koncert lehetett, a végén a közönség körbevette a zenekart, meg mindenki együtt izzadt. Egy interjúnak alig nevezhető módszerrel próbáltam behozni a lemaradást.
Ma láttam, hogy egy szerb oldal szintén interjút készített a zenekar végtelenül barátságos énekesével, Freddie-vel, aki több, magyar zenekarnak is szervezett már koncertet. Így játszhattam én is a Sirályban nagyjából száz (főleg külföldi) ismeretlennek, akik egyáltalán nem tudtak hova tenni. A szerb interjú kapcsán eszembe jutott, hogy még júniusban elküldtem egy word fájlt, tele gondosan kidolgozott, a Mennybe lineárisan ívelő kérdésekkel, és az is eszembe jutott, hogy válaszokat is kaptam.
Álljon itt a budapesti Lumineers, a Pest megyei Arcade Fire, a magyar Mumford & Sons énekesével készített interjú eredeti nyelven, amibe a gitáros Justin Spike is becsatlakozott egy kérdés erejéig. Bill Murray, Texas, csellók!
So… um… who’s in the band? And what are they doing? Instruments and stuff. Who writes the songs, etc.
Barz Endre plays lots of percussion, especially a super-special Spanish box called a 'cajon'.
Bulecza Noémi sings and plays a gigantic fiddle that she claims is something called a 'cello'... whatever. Justin Spike plays everything like he was born to it, particularly the guitar, the accordion, the glockenspiel, and he sings and writes songs.
I play my vocal chords between sips of Kozel and try my damndest to line them up to clumsy guitar chords. I write the other songs.
What do you call your music? Space-mojo-voodoo-grindcore-bullshitcore-funky spongegrunge pop? Or what? ANSWER ME!!
Fuck. You nailed it. We also sometimes call it anarchist punktry or post-apoca-pop or survival pop... so I guess 'pop'?
Where do you come from?
I come from Denton, an incredibly productive center of music in North Texas. Justin comes from Grapevine, Texas which had its own unique and dense music scene which, somewhat unlike Denton, always leaned significantly more punk than country. Endre is from beautiful Budapest, which requires no introduction. Noemi is originally from Uzhorod, Ukraine, a very artistic city on the Slovakian border, though she's spent most of her life here in Budapest.
What are you doing in this godforsaken piece of shit country that i really much love by the way? Wasn’t Texas good enough? Are you on some kind of a mission?
Ha! Kind of. I'm doing my PhD here in Sociology and Social Anthropology at CEU, Justin came here a few years ago on a bike trip and never really managed to leave... in fact, he liked it so much he went ahead and learned Hungarian and is trying to find new and creative ways to trick the state into letting him stick around. Noemi studies photography here and plays in the Zuglo Philharmonic. Endre is doing a handful of a graduate studies and giving city tours in Budapest and Vienna.
Morzsa Records is a pretty fucked up name. Where does that shit come from?
An accident. When my buddy Zoltan Gluck was still around with his banjo and pretty voice we had this idea that we could start something like a record label and put our friends songs (and our own) on it. That record label never really formed and since we were playing collective shows under this name, people started to look at us like a band so the name stuck. I chose 'morzsa' because in French, the cognate morceau can also mean 'song' and I've always been a big defender of the song as a tool of communication. I love instrumental music, but the song is something truly special. Any idiot bird can sing a bunch of musical notes, but only we can fit them together into something truly apocalyptic. I have no patience for lazy songwriting. Only I'm allowed to be lazy.
So you put out this great record called Cosmonaut or something, as I understand this isn’t your first record. Then what the fuck really? Is it your second?
Yeah, our first was a lot more disjointed and folk-y. I still think it's really great and a special collection of quality songs but with this record I wanted something more focused and pop-sensible. There are less musicians and therefor less instrumental complexity on this album but I think this has been replaced by the development of a consistent and unique style of pop music that I feel confident in saying is truly ours. Mmm-hmm.
Tell me something interesting about some songs! Like you wrote them about a ghost, or a newspaper article on a serial killer, or masturbation. You know what I’m talking about. Stuff that interests people, not a fucking cello or some shit.
You got a problem with cellos? I know a very tough Ukranian chick who might have something to say about that.
Unfortunately, they are all love songs – that is to say, they are all songs about lies, self-obsession, idiocy, childish moralizing and crawling, smothering darkness. I do my best to break-up the heteronormativity of it all by introducing some queer elements whenever I think I can pull it off, but in the end I just have to accept that all of this pitiful blackness comes from quotidian boy-meets-girl bullshit.
Other projects of mine have other themes: Sleeps No Dreams is about a girl who realizes men will never be able to do for her what true liberation could, Hector & Belen is about a space station that discovers it had crashed on Earth generations ago, Class Enemy Records is an anarchist electronic agit-pop project, etc. Morzsa Records, however, is all about love and all its attendant demons.
I heard that there is a guy named Justin in the band and he had his own project and they made a record, and Bill Murray bought that fucker. You see, that’s interesting shit. Tell me THE STORY.
I'll let Justin tell this one:
JUSTIN: Years ago I was playing with a band back in Texas called Mount Righteous. It was a singalong-folk-punk-high-school-marching-band, and we had been working really hard on writing, recording and touring in the United States. We often would make the trip from Grapevine, Texas (where we were from) down to Austin, the capital. The music scene in Austin is often referred to as the best in the country, and we had a lot of fun and success playing there when we had a chance. Every spring Austin hosts the country's biggest music and arts festival, South by Southwest. One year Mount Righteous was invited to come down and play a few concerts during the festival, including a few which were not on the official program. One of those shows was under the Congress Street bridge, an Austin landmark which crosses the Colorado River downtown. It was late at night and thousands of people were filling the streets of Austin for the festival, and among them was Bill Murray. He came and watched the Mount Righteous show at the bridge, and after the show he bought all of the records which were for sale. I don't know if anyone ever heard if he liked them or not.
Do you wanna tour here, or get famous? Really, what’s the point?
Where is 'here'? We love touring Central and Eastern Europe, especially Romania, and selling a lot of records couldn't hurt. I guess it would be nice to be able to make enough money playing music and recording so that it pays for itself. If I were a real dreamer I'd wish for the day we could quit scrounging for cash all the time to buy new strings and fill our gas tanks and just do this kind of thing forever... but I'm way too old to be that optimistic... right? Right?
I guess we’re done with this shit. Is there anything you’d like to say to the bitch readers of Lángoló Gitárok, or index/zene or whatever fucking thing this piece of shit article will be put out on?
Yes. We're really excited about the development of the new Budapest underground pop and post-punk scene and are quite happy that we get to grow along with acts like Broken Cups, Aires Altos, Fancy Dress Party (hello!), Szabo Benedek's bands, Summer Schatzies, Sommersault Boy, etc. Any reader kind enough to give our band a listen ought to immediately go out and soak up these acts as well. A scene needs an audience to grow, it's a cooperative relationship and this is your city. Get you hands dirty!
Thanks for your cooperation. You’re a really nice guy.
[fotó: Mészáros László]