Leaving the out-of-town amateur rock charm behind – Interview with Atilla Győri (Trick)
There exists a somewhat underrated three-piece band with a hunger for success: Trick. While musically evoking the ’90s Seattle grunge scene, their lyrics provide the listener with some food for thought as well. Entertainment and culture can both be found at their gigs and their brand-new record Álomgyár (“Dream Factory”). We sat down to talk with singer/guitarist/songwriter Atilla Győri about the past and future of Trick.
What is there to know about Trick? How would you introduce the band?
This whole story started as a classic childhood garage band thing, as far back as elementary school. We grew up in Nyergesújfalu, Komárom-Esztergom county with my friends Zoli Jáger (drums) and Ádám Zdosek (bass guitar). The level of education at the local school of music is extraordinary. Besides our elementary studies in classical music we began to feel an undying urge to play the kind of music we listened to and traded on our free afternoons. We begged and fought tooth and nail for our instruments, which we then got as Christmas or birthday presents from our parents. Needless to say, these were quite crappy and primitive instruments but just enough to make some noise with. Of course we, too, got our taste of East German amps, detuned guitars and tin-can cymbals, which now (10-11 years later) seems kind of funny. In the first few years we had our practice at Zoli’s garage. We didn’t have a vocalist but that didn’t stop us from playing loads of cover songs. Later I was the one who began shouting at the mic, mainly because there was nobody else around who would, I might add. We just needed someone who would sing.
Who were your influences?
Our biggest mutual influence was definitely Red Hot Chili Peppers. We learnt whole albums’ worth of material and played for ourselves without vocals for years, just for fun. It was also important because we had to count everything. Meanwhile we began to learn to pay attention to each other and to use our ears. And anyway, the Chili is like a big school of music, since their music teaches you the basics of dynamics and playing tightly. Our other big influences include Jamiroquai and Seattle grunge music like Nirvana, Alice in Chains or Pearl Jam. The funky style of Tower of Power and the riffin’ rappin’ uniqueness of Rage Against the Machine also inspired us. We listen to contemporary jazz artists too: lots of Marcus Miller for Ádám and Scofield for me. Apart from music, a book containing all the poems of Attila József also made a lasting impression on me. I took it off the shelf because I liked the colors of the cover but then it started me off on a lyrical journey. We didn’t have internet at home back then, so I went to the library and read volumes from Radnóti, Villon and Babits. But if there’s something that cannot be topped, it’s the works of Sándor Weöres.
What have you incorporated into your music from all of these? What is the style of Trick like?
Perhaps we fall closest to an alternative-grunge subgenre but we’re not tied down to any limitations. We just write songs that come from us naturally. Who knows what it’ll all be like five years from now?
Your first album Álomgyár was released this year. How did the writing process go and what can you say about the finished product?
The making of Álomgyár (“Dream Factory”) was a dream-like process, so to speak. Few bands have the chance to record a whole record in their practice room. R-Stage, a local enterprise and its leader Laci Raschek is in the sound recording business, and they supported the band by lending us the equipment necessary for recording. Ádám Zdosek, having previous studio experience, directed the whole process of recording and he mixed the material afterwards. The end product is as perfect as can be, both in terms of sound and quality. We wanted to make an album that doesn’t feel like a demo, and we succeeded. It’s already available on Spotify, Deezer, iTunes and as a physical release. This wouldn’t have become a reality without our friends from Szombathely, Peti Punger and Dávid Kovács. They are the staff at Pistons Pub, and they called us up after a gig we played there, saying they’d buy 500 CDs…
Trick has existed for a few years now but it seems you made a kick start only this year. What is it that made you more active in 2014?
A lot of factors came up in the past half year that made me straighten out things. First and foremost, I realized that we do have a place among the other top-notch Hungarian bands because we communicate ideas through quality music for the people. I think we left the out-of-town amateur rock charm behind. This, in itself, doesn’t instantly make us pros but it’s far too much to leave in the practice room. I believe that the spirituality of our music gives something to listeners. Of course every performer might be a bit of an exhibitionist. If not, there wouldn’t be a drive to get on stage. But something else brewed in my mind over the past few months, namely that we are not the owners of our songs, only their writers. As long as they don’t find their way to the people, they simply remain compositions. They only fully become songs when we feel like they’ve become a part of our audience too. That’s why it all sounds different if we compare an empty pub with a sold-out gig. So the first step was an inner decision: realization and confidence. In and of itself, however, that wouldn’t have been enough. We signed to Magyar Zeneműkiadó who have now become essential to the band. They have a lot of experience in the music scene, and we like that they don’t keep things to themselves but want to help in whatever way they can. This can range from photo shoots, organizing gigs, promoting, handling royalties, basically anything. Signing this deal was like a springboard for us. What’s more, we got to make new friends in the music business, we’re thankful for that too.
What are your plans in the near future?
We’d like to get more people to hear our music and to make ourselves known nationwide. We know these things don’t happen overnight but we’re not the impatient types. We enjoy playing wherever they are receptive to our brand of music and we’ll gladly go step by step to “conquer” the country, one venue at a time. Currently we’re playing material from our album Álomgyár.
Where can we see you guys next time?
Next, we’ll be opening for Fish! at Sportalsó in Esztergom, on December 13. After that, we’ll perform at the birthday gig of our buddies from Szombathely, Burnout, on January 10. There will be an event at Petőfi Kultúrtér as well. See you there!