“Attack Of The Vak” ..Kovak Interview

“Rockstar” By Kovak

What is it about Brighton eh? So much good music seems to be coming out of that place lately, every other decent new band that crosses my path seem to be from or connected to the area. I personally can only assume that the bizarre habit Brighton and Hove Bus Company employ of naming buses after “famous” people with a connection to the area is the motivating force here… I mean really, who could resist such an honour? Don’t worry if you’ve just missed the “Kitty O Shea” the “Eleanor Marx” will be along shortly, and what stony hearted creature could resist a ride on the “Ida Lupino?” I’d recommend the “Rudyard Kipling” (which provides an exceedingly good service, no “ifs” or buts) or the psuedo-revolutionary “Monster Bobby,” an eccentric, rather unreliable service often suffering from the occasional technical hitch or two. On the down side I couldn’t, hand on heart, recommend catching the “Luke Pritchard”, a scruffy, unreliable, irritating little sh*t of a vehicle with ideas above its bus station . . Oh and a word of advice, avoid hopping on board the “Heather Mills”, it can be very erratic indeed, one wheel tends to make for a bumpy trip and a quick ride could cost you an arm and a leg. It must be said that you cannot help but feel that naming the 820; “Santa Claus” is stretching the boundaries of the “links with Brighton” theme a little. (Explanation on their website; “Santa, connections with Brighton and Hove: Every Christmas he delivers the presents to all the children!” Ah yes that explains it then!) Mind you I’ve always found Brighton an interesting and eclectic city, a place where freakish absurdity hardly a raises an eyebrow (i.e. the Kooks, Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Chris Eubank and of course Jordan…) I mean chaps, try wearing a pink wig, eyeliner, a skinny Tee and a pair of Lederhosen on a night out in Liverpool and see how long it is before you end up in A&E (actually don’t!)

Brighton seems to be a real hub of cutting edge creativity these days, and yet another band from the area has attracted my large, highly appreciative ears. Kovaks the name and they mix disco, pop, electro and Indie together to devastatingly good effect… Now being a dour Northerner, I rarely dance, there’s not really much call for it over a game of dominoes, a warm pint of “Badgers Todger” and talk of whippets whilst munching on lard n’tripe pies. Let’s face it after a hard day down t’pit, cleaving coal from the bowels of mother earth with your teeth, nobody much feels like poncing about “Pulling Shapes” on a brightly lit dance floor.. In a nutshell the view up here in t’north is that dancing should be left to lasses, nancy boys, and the mentally ill. It might be all well and good for drama students and jobbing thespians like them lot down south, but up north we deal in reality, we find “hopes” and “dreams” a little effeminate to be truthful. It’s a bit like a Totalitarian version of “Footloose” with cloth caps, clogs and gulags. Kevin Bacon? That lad wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in Little Thirkleby or Appleton Wiske, with his fancy-dan hoofing, circulation inhibiting strides and ridiculous mullet. In fact the nearest we come to anything that even resembles dancing is when we hold our traditional “ferret down the pants” competitions. Saying that I have danced in public but it’s a very rare occurrence, I suppose this is a blessing, as those who been unfortunate enough to witness such displays of unbridled lunacy would surely testify? The truth is few bands actually provoke a strong desire within me to dance (unless I’ve enjoyed a glass of “Pastor Gillespie’s Organic Brain Fog” ) But now Kovak stand accused, for it is they who are responsible for me producing moves that can at best be described as “Ian Curtis trapped in a strobe, wearing roller skates” We put the spotlight firmly on Abby, Karl, Dazza, Toby and Mr White, collectively known as Kovak.

VP: How did it all start ? Where did you meet? What’s the name all about?

Kovak: (Karl And Dazza): Me (Karl) and Dazza (bald one with glasses and levitating sideburns are brothers, we’ve always played music together since we were kids. This band has morphed from a band we formed years ago…. good things come to those that wait dear boy! The name Kovak is from Martys great Czechoslovakian Aunty….. you’ll never guess where she comes from…. or what her name is!

VP: How would you describe your music and who would you say you were influenced by ?

Kovak:(Karl And Dazza): Our music is an electro indie spectacular with a sexy dance twist, none of this flash in the pan electro 80’s nonsense with luminous pink hats and no soul…. although that is kinda fun? Our influences are spread far and wide, further than Cornwall to Kidderminster (could be a really bad album name?) we all like different things for different reasons – we all write together now at rehearsal or in the studio, kind of click into position and off we go… we finally found unified direction, (maybe they could build a direct road to Cornwall from Kiddy?)

VP: From an outsiders perspective Brighton appears to have so much going on musically, what’s the inside view, is it harder to be heard above the noise

Kovak (Abs): I don’t think it’s hard to be heard at all, if you make the right noise! The trick is to make everyone aware that you exist. There’s a whole bag of different genres, which is great for us because that live stereotypical rock-band format isn’t us at all – and the Brighton audience doesn’t expect that anymore either. The electro/pop scene is really starting to come through now, and the more decent bands there are, the more fans there are, and the more people to play to. The Brighton crowd is notoriously tough to crack though, but this scene is starting to let it’s hair down. We like it!

VP: You’re releasing a single soon, what are the plans? Lots of gigs and promo etc ?

Abs: Well, the single launch party ties in with our Club Kovak night in May, which is also the first night of Brighton’s Fringe Festival, so we’re kicking it off with a bang! We’ll be making a few appearances on the radio, and there’ll be more gigs too… so watch this space!

VP: So in your time together what’s been the undoubted highlight ?

Kovak : Well, Dazza managed a whole rehearsal once without farting… So second to that momentous occasion, I would have to say recording the album has been the best Kovak moment yet. Sure, we LOVE playing live, and have had some amazing gigs, and that’s what it’s all about, but there’s something about taking time out to record, and submerging ourselves into complete self indulgence where “it’s all about kovak kovak kovak”!. C’mon, that’s what we’re here for really…. We all have our little ego’s to tend to! And when you’re isolated in a remote haunted house on an island with an inspiring producer and nothing else to do but play music, it’s a highlight hard to beat!

VP: And what’s been the most unpleasant experience, thus far (apart from this interview)?

Kovak: Shit gigs… everyone’s had ‘em and we’ve had our fair share. What is it with people who are completely incapable of organisation, and then to make matters worse, you have to contend with terrible sound, cutting songs out of your set and blah blah blah…?! It’s one of the biggest frustrations of being in a band. Dazza, in a moment of frustrated madness, once speared a drum skin with his drumstick mid gig causing another band to engulf the stage followed by their entourage of mates, threatening to beat him up… I wouldn’t say that was unpleasant as such, but it did go down as one of our worst gigs!

VP: Met any online fruitcakes who send bizarre requests, or odd comments ?

Kovak: Only on a Monday

VP: Any upcoming bands from Brighton you’d recommended ?

Kovak: My Federation – good beard action

VP: What did you make of the smug back slapping Brit awards this year?

Kovak: Just the usual campaign to fill up the displays at the front of record shops. Although you’ve got to give it to Paul McCartney… Live and Let Die… Proper Rockin. The kids should pay attention.

VP: The Five most annoying people in Britain are ;…

Kovak: These are Toby’s answers – the rest of the band can claim no responsibility for the workings of Mr East’s mind!

Generally I’m happy to let people get on with living their lives.

Kirstie Allsop. What a twat.

Politicians who think they’re in touch with reality when they’re blatantly living in a bubble of condescending denial.

The BBC. Smoke and mirrors.

Links:

On myspace

Official site


Buy this single why don't ya!

Videos

“I Love The Dancefloor” By Kovak

Wallpaper


“Dead Can Dance?”….Dead Disco Interview

“Automatic” By Dead Disco

Art students eh, can you trust ’em to do their studies or do they just muck about eating lentils whilst daubing skulls and crossbones on Rubik’s cubes and super gluing them together to represent “The Futility Of Toil And The Certainty Of Death.?” Or maybe they pass their days putting lambs heads on the desks of a mocked up stock market office naming it something rather arsey like “Glutton Dressed As Lamb” and declare it to be some sort of postmodernist ironic statement about the erm….lets see…. “The Corporatisation Of The Soul”.. I prefer Cludeo myself, Colonel Mustard, candlestick, library, straightforward fun, nobody gets confused, nobody gets hurt- but there you go. Some students, who don’t spend all day bunking off lectures to secretly watch Jeremy Kyle and Jerry Springer, actually use their time at Uni to do something creative, like…. form a band. Don’t let Blur put you off, some art school bands are actually very good. They don’t all become bowl headed, florid faced impresarios who produce rock operas based on “Monkey” or angular floppy haired cheese makers with airs and graces who fop about on Question Time and Radio 4. A point in case of an art school musical union turning out rather well is Leeds band Dead Disco. They produce snappy electro punk pop, which we love, in fact we love it so much we risked an interview with them. We found them to be pleasant, down to earth young ladies who didn’t appear to display any inclination to cleave us in half with a chainsaw and then suspend us in glass tanks full of formaldehyde for arts sake, which was obviously a relief… They are a great, great band, very talented, and certainly deserve HUGE success (even if they don’t find tribute bands inherently evil 😉 )

VP: You met at school and then developed the idea to play music at Art College? What was it that prompted you to form the band and who came up with the name and why?

DD: Lucy and myself (Marie) were at school together in the Yorkshire Dales and we were both heavily influenced by music since we were small so it was more about when we would start a band rather than why or how. But it was when we were in Art School that Dead Disco started to take off. We auditioned for a singer and drummer as before it was just the two of us and the rest is history. As for the name, we needed one sharpish if we wanted to start gigging and sending out demo’s, so we literally picked words out of a hat and Dead Disco were just a couple that were there… best of a very bad bunch.

VP: You’ve released a couple of highly rated singles, and recently have been reportedly recording your debut album in L.A. How’s that been going and do you have a release date and album title as yet?

DD: We recorded ‘You’re Out’ in LA and we did go out again to record some other tracks but I think we’ll be doing the album over here, there isn’t a release date yet but we’re pretty much brimming with songs so it shouldn’t be too far away.

VP: What sort of music/artists would you say has had the biggest influence on you?

DD: It has to be Fleetwood Mac; Lindsey Buckingham is Lucy’s idol. They are such an amazing band both on record and live, and they have lasted such a long time there isn’t much you couldn’t look up to.

VP: What’s the plan for 2008, album promotion? Gigs?

DD: More new songs and gigs is the first step, and we’re really excited about sharing these. We think the best way to tell if a song is worth while or not is to see how it goes down live.

VP: As you all seem to have an innate sense of contemporary chic , and like myself appear to carry off a certain flamboyant panache with ease 😉 did you sit down and think, as a band , “we want to have a certain image,” is the way you present yourselves as Dead Disco a pretty accurate reflection of how you are normally ?

DD: We didn’t plan the image, both me and Lucy are very into fashion (being art students) and we actually run our own online store where we sell and make clothing and accessories (www.artdisco.co.uk). It’s just part of what we like to do so giving us an event or an excuse to do this just brings it out in us.

VP: What’s the weirdest fan request you’ve had?

DD: One fan did ask for a lock of Lucy’s hair once, unfortunately we had to pass on that offer… could’ve been voodoo or anything!

VP: What other bands do you think may make a breakthrough this year and are their any forthcoming releases you’re really looking forward to?

DD: We’re very glad that the Futureheads are finally coming back, we were big fans and its great to see that they are touring again and bringing out a new record.

VP: Tribute bands? Should they be legalised?

DD: We don’t mind a good tribute band, although we did see a pretty scary AC/DC once that actually put us off AC/DC for life. The fake Angus Young decided to get naked and run into the audience. No in all seriousness it’s just a bit of fun really, we love those shows like Stars in their Eyes and that new one The One and Only… it’s pure entertainment genius! Artists should find it flattering to have someone want to spend their lives mimicking them. (Or deeply disturbing?-VP ;))

VP: I had a terribly dull New Years Eve, I was ill and to make matters worse Nick F***ing Knowles was presenting the New Year show on BBC 1, which was incredibly dispiriting. How about you? How did you spend it?

DD: We had a very good one thanks, we got drunk on mulled wine, ate goulash and roasted chestnuts, then at midnight we all had whiskey, haggis, tatties and neaps just like you should!

VP: What things generally in life are likely to irritate you and lead to a tirade of swear words and much wringing of hands? (For example Graham Norton, bad manners, herds of unruly sheep, or children called Nike and Chelsea Lou Loubelle)

DD: We always try to think of what we’d put into Room 101 like this, problem is we have quite a few, one is Baby on Board signs, especially ‘Hot Chick on Board’ or ‘Little Devil on Board’… you get the picture.

VP: It’s been said that 2008 will be a bit of a miserable year, we can apparently expect to see a lot of Gordon Brown’s cheerless face, hewn from lumpy dough and porridge, dourly announcing the latest on the credit crunch, rising fuel bills and interest rates. Whilst terrifyingly, 2008 will also herald the return of Boyzone. What tips do you have to lift the gloom?

DD: Get yourself a new look with the help of our clothing and accessories website (www.artdisco.co.uk)... hint hint… how rude! 😉

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

Art Disco (Loads More On Website)

Icecream Necklace Notorious Ninja Necklace One-Up Mushroom Necklace Mr T Necklace
£6.00 £8.00 £6.00 £10.00
Gun Necklace Neon Quartz Watch 3D glasses Necklace Tiny Doll Necklace
£5.00 £5.00 £6.00

£8.00

Videos

“You’re Out” by Dead Disco

“Picture Perfect” (Live) By Dead Disco

“Automatic” By Dead Disco

“The Making Of Your Out Video”

Wallpaper