Hi. Tell us something about the NOT! Project.
NOT! is a band from Teplice in the north of Czech Republic in the half of the way from German Dresden to Czech capital Prague. The origin is dated in the year 1996 so in the next year we have a big anniversary. Since the original line-up there are still drummer Machos and singer Páca. We play in the current line-up for more than ten years – we just got (as a replacement for our lead guitarist Srpik who went to work abroad for a year) a new great guitarist and musician Kurt who alternates Srpik. However after agreement and few concerts with three guitars we trust he will stay with us for good. In these days we play in a classic five-piece line-up and after Srpik’s return in May 2016 in not-so-classic six-piece line-up – three guitars, bassguitar, drums and vocal.
Tell us something about your last musical release.
We are on our longest break between releasing the record now. The last one is from the 2012 – the split CD with the thrash band BOB with which we were on a week tour in Italy. Anyway it won’t take a long time and our new stuff we are working on in the studio right now will come into existence. So we are looking for a label or any daredevil who would help us with the release. Why not in Italy…
Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?
After the years of playing and a lot of various MC, CD, EP or LP releases everyone who knows us must see that we are the mix of miscellaneous-genre music fanatics. From pure grind beginnings through mosh, crust and old school hardcore experiments to actual blend of hardcore, crust, black metal and even funky. We call it extreme hardcore (whatever anyone could imagine in this description) for years. Diversity of our music tastes is a cornerstone of NOT! as well as our strictly DIY philosophy in everything we have ever done and do and giving no shit about the professionality and any forced drive. All of us has the job and the music is a hobby for us band members are like a family (even how cliché it could sound) rehearsals are relaxation and concerts and tours are our family vacations. So you won’t find any personal changes and unsolvable conflicts as it could be often seen (even in the bands of peripheral genres as we are) and also as I experienced in other bands too. Every one of us comes for a rehearsal with a joy and that’s it.
What does it mean to be a hardcore/crust band today?
Partly I answered this question in the previous one. In this global era it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff. It were different times when I was eleven and my present bandmates started NOT!. You could still see a lot of lagging behind the West – both in ideas and finances. It was still impossible to go to the nearest music store and buy any equipment for few bucks just like that. Even to play the genre that previous generation couldn’t even imagine. There was more and more aversion against totalitarian regime in 80’s and it was musically connected mostly with bigbeat, punk and alternative scene. Even the first forays of hardcore music in our country appeared. There occurred things that were happening twenty years earlier in the West. These bands were beaten, forbidden, oppressed by regime… They had to change their names to organize concerts incognito or they had to get tested by the committee in the musical knowledge. That was the true hardcore for me! Guys handmade or upgraded the amplifiers even seven years after revolution. In these days a lot of young people tend to be in which is starting to cover the peripheral guitar genres. They can start their musical careers with the equipment we could just dream about in those days. For me to be a grind, punk etc. band today it means to realize the origins of all of these things we do and to keep the feet on the ground, to be humble and grateful to fans, clubs, promoters and other bands. I am an active promoter for more than ten years, I have met a lot of bands which I don’t want to meet anymore but also a lot of bands which I consider my friends whether they are form Italy, England even the Australia.
How is being a band from Teplice? Tell us something about Czech Republic musical movement?
People are overfilled in the Czech Republic. There are more and more bands and concerts and people are less and less willing to go for the concerts and pay for them. In Teplice we have just two venues for concerts. And just only one of them – 3ozak Club – is ready in the week, not just on weekend.
What’s the best live act in your area? Tell us something about it.
There is an annual event called Remember for more than ten years – the memorial concert for friends who are already gone. It became a tradition and every time even the people I seldom can see appear. I really love to watch that huge crowd of friends that gathers just for this event and I’m also glad that we could play on Remember with NOT! several times. Especially in the 2014 it was really ass kicking…
What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
As I mentioned earlier I play the gigs and promote them too. I’ve seen a lot of them during all those years, dozens of great foreign and home bands who ensure first class shows and musical experience, concerts and festivals. It is hard to choose. And I don’t speak just about the extreme music. I like to watch every band which gives off the drive and fills me with the energy.
Do you plan to have a tour in the next future? Tell us something about it.
Because of four children in the band and another on the way some duties come out of course. For the band it is unpleasant but understandable. Guys have to make the money and take care of their families be there for them. That means we have to refuse with thanks a lot of gigs and planning of a tour with coordinating the timetables of band members and promoters is a long time run. But we are heading for a tour soon that’s for sure. The rest we’ll keep a secret (a little bit for us too… :)
Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road.
The best experience is every good concert, every good after-party and every new meeting with interesting people. The worst experience from our concert travels at all is an incident from 2012 on the first day of the Italian tour on a highway near Verona on our way to our first gig when the front wheel sheared off in the speed of 110 km/h. I still cannot understand how much luck we had that nobody get hurt. But the repairing which followed and cost us almost all the money we get together without playing any concert gets to one of the best memories which was the help and solidarity of our Italian friends – the band Seditius and all the people from two concerts around Milan who supported us both financially and morally and thanks to them we could go on.
What do you think of Livetrigger.com? Do you think it could be a good tool to facilitate the process of booking and organizing shows? Do you have any suggestions?
Every kind of help is a good thing for a music and especially this kind of stuff – in these days when everything and everybody is online it is a natural development to use the web for organising events. Especially the gigs abroad when you don’t know a person and you just want to make a tour. I think it would help a lot and we I keep fingers crossed.
Thank you for the opportunity of the interview and we’ll stay in touch! We’ll see you on tour! ;)