Loud gigs with no holds barred – interview with ROAD
ROAD will have its jubilee this year, however the real gift is for the fans. The guys say thanks for ten years of support with double concerts and a DVD.
Your band has its jubilee this year, which you celebrate by giving double gigs on all your tour stops. How did you decide on this?
Máté Molnár: We wanted to make sure that this tour is something different, something unusual for us. We got a request from MR2 two years ago, for which we had to rearrange our songs in an unplugged style. The idea struck sometime last autumn: we should celebrate our tenth anniversary by having an acoustic and a „traditional” loud set as well. We began to sort it all out, and ultimately we decided in January that since it’s ten years and all, we should have ten gigs in ten cities – and double the amount everywhere. So we also perform as our own opening act.
What is the difference between an acoustic and a normal concert, besides using different instruments?
Erik Szabó: An acoustic set is totally different the way we do it. It’s not just that we turn down the distortion of the guitars, and I hit the drums a bit softer or that Máté screams less. We completely rearranged the songs and added a pianist, our dear friend Zoli Cséry, who had quite a bit of work done in reimagining the tunes, by the way. For instance, there’s a song that sounds totally different this way compared to its normal version. The chorus sounds different, the verse is not in its usual place and Máté sings different melodies too.
Máté Molnár: A lot of the tracks got a new style, for example there’s bossa nova, swing and one bordering on reggae. We tried to turn everything inside out and dress them up differently.
Imre Kádár: Of course it all requires a different type of delivery, so we had to do everything kind of low-key… which was a bit hard for us.
Máté Molnár: Yeah. We’re basically bound to our barstools while we play… however, we do the loud gigs with no holds barred!
Do the fans like these newly interpreted songs?
Imre Kádár: We noticed they’re a bit skeptical at first, but they like them. They’re interested what we could make of these songs. Since these are some of their favorite ROAD tracks, they really honor us by listening to them, and even chanting along the lyrics as usual… there’s just not that much moshing.
You prepared something special for the Budapest performance. Did you really record the whole gig?
Máté Molnár: Yes! We told the fans to shine their shoes and get their hair done too. We figured the concerts so far were pretty good, so why not immortalize our ten-year jubilee. Besides, we ourselves haven’t heard this acoustic set in this form before, and the visuals are also equally important. We really want to do this the proper way to honor our anniversary, both in terms of clothes and instruments. Not to mention that the first time we made a live recording was five years ago, so we thought the tenth anniversary would be a good opportunity to capture both the acoustic and the loud set for a live DVD. It’s pretty much an open question when and how it will be released, we’re still thinking about that.
I heard that in addition to Budapest, you might have some extras at the concert in Debrecen too. Can you say a few words about this?
Máté Molnár: The gig on March 29 will be different from the other stops in the way that we’ll bring along two buddy bands. Thus, the Debrecen crowd will be treated to a kind of mini festival, so to speak. Besides us doing the acoustic and the loud ROAD sets, the all-girl band Dorothy and Leander Rising will also perform.
How does it feel to have almost exclusively sold-out shows? How do you do it?
Imre Kádár: Well, it’s not us who are buying the tickets!
Máté Molnár: Listen, frankly we have no idea what the recipe for success is – if we did, I’d tell you. We have problems too, like with gigs in the country, it’s a completely new situation. What sucks is having to cram so many people in one place, and then what to say to the remaining crowd of 50-60 who are left outside. It happened multiple times that there were people coming to our shows from Slovakia or cities like 150 kilometres away.
What kind of relationship do you have with your fans?
Máté Molnár: We see lots of recurring faces at our gigs. In addition, it’s really important for us to keep in touch with school-age kids who are fans – there are tons of them. They’re the ones writing e-mails saying things like „I’m not a fan-type person and never really write to any bands, but I’ve just been to my first concert and I really enjoy what you do.” We try our best to answer any reactions or letters like this.
Erik Szabó: There are times when we see the same people at three shows in a row. They can be around 20-25 year olds, but we have some fans in their ’40s who we regularly see as well. We might even meet them like thirty times a year, be it at festivals or normal club gigs. We love them!