MILOŠ | 2007-05-17 >>>
"We are still rockers!"
a n i n t e r v i e w w i t h J i ř í
K u b o v s k ý a n d J i ř í Z i
Most of the metal fans even did not noticed that some eigth years ago
there was a short comeback of heavy metal band Puls. Maybe because it
was too long since they had been on the top of their popularity, maybe
because of this popularity was mostly of local importance only. But
thanks to this comeback the band released a compilation of their
greatest hits from the 80s period. This CD was also
by a Greek label. Aside from this CD the band left behind one 7" EP (find
its review in our reviews section) and an interview done in 2001,
which we now invite you to read.
In the 80’s Czech Republic, there were a lot of heavy metal bands,
which fell into oblivion. No matter if they play first rate metal or
if they music was rather average. It means, that there were many bands,
which will forever remain unknown and unappreciated. In 1999 Puls
released a CD "Bigbít je v nás" with songs from the period 1985 - 1991
and when I found out that the band is alive again, I realized that
they belong to the „first rate but unappreciated“ category. It is an
very emotional to meet the band whose music you grew up with, whose
music you know by heart. It was big honour for me to talk with Jiří
Kubowský (vocal) and Jiří Zich (guitar) about Puls, and the heavy
metal scene of the 80’s and how it all changed during a decade.
How is it possible, that you have no official releases? At the end of
80’s a lot of bands released an LP, or at least a single. Such
recordings made the bands quite popular and a little unforgettable,
although their music is not always the best. Was it the period when
you no longer played? Or there was no interest from any label? In fact,
you remain only in the metal underground.
JZ: I think it is because of we were never much cheeky, we were rather
modest. Puls came into being in 1984 and we didn’t fight for it.
There were many bands, which came into being in the middle of the
80’s. And many of them were fortunate to make some records at the end
JZ: Well, it is not so simple if you mean the political changes in
1989. In the communist regime, it was easier in some aspects, and
difficult in other aspects. People craved metal, most of the teenagers
were metal fans. After the changes, the interest in metal was not as
strong. On the other hand, after it we could make some recordings in
studio, we could get together money for it, so the conditions were
If I understand, you have recorded something?
JK: Half of the material on the CD is taken from those recordings.
It is the second half, recorded with Pepa Nykl. (notice: the singer
who joined the band in 1990. In the period 1984 - 1990 as well as now
Jiří Kubowský is on vocals)
JZ: In fact, we had recorded a complete album. It was in 1990. But the
album was never released.
JK: It also depended on who came earlier. A band must be promoting
themselves, they must have a good manager. Look at Titanic, they had
such an manager who made the band. As well as Kern. So if someone at a
label listened to our music, he must think that there is Titanic and
Kern, and that is enough from Brno (notice: Brno is second biggest
city in the Czech Republic, but all the important labels were from
JZ: We didn’t fit with any label anyway. In addition, after the 1989
we had problems within our personal lives. I worked abroad. Jiří, you
left the band at the time as well
JK: Yes, I had two children, so it was because of family.
JZ: The line up changed, and then, I don’t like to insult the guys,
but there was no one, who would lead the band. So it was not released.
But Puls played on.
JK: Yes, but in different line up. And they split six years ago.
And we started again two years ago. We had a few concerts but not
many. Otherwise, we would need a manager, and even if there is one, we
are not as flexible as we all have to take care of own jobs.
Nevertheless, we are still rockers. We need to make music moreover
some fans still remember the 80’s. There are some live recordings, not
only from the non-released album and fans know them. You know, people
went to concerts with tape recorders. But the quality was not good. So
we recorded some the old songs again and we put them into the CD with
the album ones.
How many copies did you make?
JK: There is about 560 copies. And as we said, we had a few shows.
The attendance was quite good, but we don’t have time to make
publicity to the concerts. You know, if there are to be a lot of
people at a concert, you would need money for advertising it, posters
in advance etc. We don’t have this management. But if someone invites
us, we are happy to accept it. This year we played with Tublatanka; it
was a great evening.
JZ: For example last year we played with Arakain.
Can you compare it with the 80’s? What’s the major difference? What
JZ: Certainly, there is a big difference. Realize, that ten years is
quite a long period. I think that young people are not interested in
JK: Metal moved to clubs, concerts with thousands people are deep in
the past. At that time, no foreign bands played here. So if people
wanted to se them, they must go to Hungary or to Poland. Today here,
almost each week, there is some foreign band playing in Czech.
At that time, you played pretty often, didn’t you?
JK: Very often. At least two or three times a week. We played
mostly here, in Moravia.
JZ: Several times we played in Prague as well, for example in Lucerna.
(notice: that was one of the two heavy metal tabernacles in Prague and
in Czech Republic - it was a success for each band to play there) It
was sometimes with Merlin, Vitacit etc. Generally, we played much more
often in Moravia. We were never very popular in Bohemia.
Did you often play at festivals? There were some at the time.
JK: Yes, we did. For example here in Brno we played with TSA from
Poland, Arakain was there as well.
JZ: I don’t remember it all. We played often in Slovakia (notice: at
the time it was one republic, Czechoslovakia) and so on.
JK: And TSA, they were better than all our bands. It was great when
they told us that we played well, that they like it. Do you know TSA?
I’ve never seen them, but I know their records.
JK: The show was so great, so convincing. I can’t believe it.
In Prague, the scene was very extensive and it worked well.
JZ: But in Prague, they had own bands. Only a few people were
interested in bands from elsewhere.
JK: We had to divide our time to music, family and job. Bands, which
play currently, like Arakain for example, they decided to earn their
living by music. Of course, it was difficult from the beginning. Some
bands came short of their expectations, for example Arakain managed it
very well, as you can see.
Arakain today produces different music than in 80’s. They managed to
obtain new fans. As for your concerts, do new fans come there, or do
you think there are mostly the older fans, who come to remember Puls?
JZ: I think the later is the case. To remember, to relive fond
memories. Arakian has much easier task as for fans. First, they are
from Prague, and second, their label pushes them into TV, radio, of
course, mainly into magazines. They give a lot of money into these
issues and they have appropriate outputs. But I have to say that it is
a great band, great musicians. But for other bands, it is not enough.
JK: I think that we have many great musicians, with great ideas. But
not all can put themselves through.
It was 1987 or so, there was a radio show called Větrník. Only radio
show with metal music at the time. There was a chart or something like
that and you won it three times, which was the maximum as each band
could get on just three times. Even this success remained unnoticed?
JK: We didn’t manage to take advantage of that. We were satisfied with
that large amount of people, which come to our shows only. Now I think
it was a mistake. Look at Titanic, they gave their full attention to
music. Music must be the first priority, second priority and
ultimately the third priority. Family, for example is fourth etc. If
you want to be at the top, you have to give up all the rest. We
enjoyed all our shows, and we maintained our families, I think that’s
a success as well.
Sure it is. Are you already thinking about the future, will you work
on the next CD sometimes?
JK: Ha ha. Yes, if some rich man remembered he loves Puls in the 80’s,
perhaps he wouldn’t build two more swimming pools at his garden and he
would gave some money to us to make a CD then maybe. But who knows
what can happen. Look now at the interview. We met here thanks to that
metal show on the radio, which was on the air some 12 years ago, or
maybe even more. So anything can happen. To your question, we don’t
concert very often, but mainly we don’t create. We thought that we
would try to make five or ten new songs, but people want us to play
the old stuff anyway. If I will do something at all, I am thinking to
collect the old recordings and burn a CD with them, of course, the
sound will be of lower quality. It would be just a few copies, for the
most loyal fans.
Thank you for the interview, it was nice to meet you.
Note: The interview was done
in Brno in 2001.