Prague; the home of stunning castles and cathedrals, beautiful gothic architecture and of course, amazing beer. It's also the home of Gipsy.cz, the crazy, genre-bending band of gypsies who, incidentally are making their maiden voyage to Australia as part of The Karavan Gypsy Music Festival this month. Before members Vojta Lavicksa and Radoslav Banga roll into town, they happily answered a few questions about the up-coming tour.
You come from Prague in the Czech Republic, which isn't really known for its musical exports. Can you tell us a little bit about the music scene there?
RB: "Like everywhere, you can meet most music styles in our country; some bands are really interesting… rather, the independent and alternative ones, then there are the ones following strictly commercial trends. You should be different and original if you want to bring something more to the world, and Czech music could do that too. And our music is like this, we are sure!"
VL: "Yes, our music scene is similar to Europe; people like rock and pop stars too, some bands are trying to be 'liked'. We are trying to mix the styles in our own way; this makes us successful, probably."
So, you guys are making the long trip down to Australia for the first time!
RB: "Yes, you are right! That's our longest trip in the history, and Australia is the twenty-fitst country we're gonna play our music in. We are really happy to come and see this big and beautiful country and meet new friends and fans, and we are sure we'll have a nice time altogether; full of joy and fun!"
VL: "We are really looking forward to it! Pity we cannot be there during the time of Australian Open, as we are a big tennis fans. We are looking forward to meet the people in Australia, their culture, way of life. You'll never get bored when meeting people!"
What are you looking forward to the most about being part of the Karavan Gypsy Music festival?
RB: "Gypsy Karavan is the right truck to bring the music and joy to you! Murat and his Musiktrafik are an amazing driving team, musicians are bringing the fuel, so green lights on, big run starts, here we go!"
VL: "We are looking forward to meet the other gypsy musicians too, and of course for the audiences and their reactions!"
You have had much success in the Czech Republic as well as across Europe. Are you looking forward to playing in front of an entirely new audience?
VL: "That's the most important idea; 99 percent of musicians want to play the music for the people, only one from hundred likes to play just in his room! We are expecting some kind of nice thrill [in seeing] how the people will accept us, but we will do our best to and we will rock them finally, like we did in other parts of the world."
Considering you guys blend so many different genres into your music I'm guessing there is usually a very mixed crowd at your shows. Does this make them a little more wild and/or crazy!?
RB: "We are able to make anyone wild and crazy."
VL: "Our audiences are really motley; old and young, black and white, yellow and green, but when we start to play, all of them are great and assiduous dancers. We like this the most."
And what can people expect from a Gipsy.cz live show?
RB: "Music, joy and fun for everyone!"
VL: "Plenty of energy, rolling from the stage. And we expect the people to give us this energy back through their positive vibes and reactions. When the audience and the band have the same feeling of euphoria when the show ends, that's something near like [the effects of] a drug. But we're absolutely not dangerous - just a bit addictive... "
Finally, is there anything that you are just dying to do while in Australia, music related or otherwise?
"Dying? We don't understand what you mean here?"
Um...I think we had better leave it there then...
THE KARAVAN GYPSY MUSIC FESTIVAL featuring GIPSY.CZ, AREM'de - Yasar Akpence (Istanbul), Vulgargrad, Lolo Lovina, Arte Kanela, DJ Delay (Berlin) and more is on at The Corner Hotel this Saturday February 26 - tickets from The Corner box office, 9427 9198 and cornerhotel.com.