By Nick Baldrian
It pains me sometimes to see such a waste of good bands going by the wayside, Roneet are a groovy aor/melodic rock band from Czech Republic and their cd "1999" is briliant, and which is half sung in their own language and half sung in English. So as i really hate to see people struggle i felt that Roneet deserve a break, hence the following mini-interview with Jiri Kacetl, of which i hope the record labels and you the music fan show some interest.
NB: Could you give
me a brief history about the band?
JK: RONEET came to being in 1994 as a five-piece band /two guitars, drums, bass, keyboards/. We were only 16 years old then and not much experienced. We started rehearsing, as all the other local bands, playing some heavy metal covers /mostly by the bands like Accept, Iron Maiden and the Czech well-known bands, which of course never made it on the international level/. Very soon we started to compose our own material, which differentiated us from the others. We live in the Czech Republic, in a district near the southern frontier, just 50 miles to the north of Vienna. It is very difficult for such local bands to make it at least on the national level, unless they come from the capital - Prague. But we went down with the local audience quite soon and the years 1992 through 1994 were filled with successful gigs in many local clubs and venues. 1993, we recorded our first 10-track demotape, the quality was, however, very bad for we did the whole thing quite unprofessionally. In 1994 the band had to take a break because Peter, the lead guitar and voice of the band, had to undergo his military service.
In late 1996 we got together again. Our line-up changed, however. We got a new drummer and later on our second guitar "hero" broke with us. So since 1997 we have been playing in four. Our music has lost almost all heavy or trash metal influences and we have put more stress on melody and keyboards. We are now a bit older, of course, our gigs became rarer than before. It doesn`t mean that our fans do not want us any more. We just thought it a good idea to shock all those provincial press people and "music lovers" by playing only very special shows on very special occasions like New Year`s Eve or Easter. Now it seems that we cannot get out of that place doing things like that `cause nobody important from the world around will take a notice of us. So, six months ago we agreed to record a quality recording of our own songs at last. That`s what we did this June and the result id our current demo "1999".
NB: So you started out playing thrash music and cover songs then,what made you change your musical direction into what it is now?
JK: As I have said, we were very young when we did that. Thrash and very heavy genres were very popular at that time in our country. Everybody loved old Metallica albums or Pestilence etc. But very soon we found out that`s not the way we wanted to play. Especially for me it grew very boring, you know, to stand on stage with my hands in the pocket because every other song didn`t need any keyboards. It was strange. A lot of our companions from other local bands wondered why we had a keyboard player. They did not, it was weird to have keyboards at that time when you played hard`n`heavy. So when there was no work for me on keyboards, I just sang backing vocals. Our first demo contained ten tracks, namely three speed metal pieces, three ballads and four melody rockers (two of which, "Strom" and "Pravo zit", were re-recorded on our current demoCD). Later on, when the second guitar player left the band, there were no plans to play the same music as we had done any further. We were over twenty already and the music tastes changed in each of us (maybe Peter Prodelal, our bass player, is an exception for he would like to play heavier stuff on and on). So what we do now is strong melody based stuff. And also, we use more English lyrics than before.
NB: Where do your
draw your inspirations from?
JK: You have guessed it guite right in your review, Nicko. As for me, it is definitely EUROPE. I know, a lot of hard`n`heavy fans will now say: that`s a bullshit. But they`re not right. Most of them know EUROPE only as The Final Countdown makers and that`s it. I wish those people listened to their other albums or saw the band live. They were outstanding. Well, besides EUROPE, of course, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, UFO, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and even King Diamond. Then we listen to the Czech heavy bands, but there`s no point naming them, cause they are unknown to the audience abroad.
NB: So what of the
future for Roneet, have you had any label intrest?
JK: It`s strange but this is the time for us to make it. Yet there seem to be so many obstacles in front of us, you know. The unusual thing that is happening now is that we have a couple of reviews of our CD in foreign magazines, we have a demo of our CD on mp3.com, this is our first interview in a musical magazine at all, yet scarcely anyone in the area, wider than local, has a notion of who we are. If you want to make it, sure, you must have a talent, but that`s not enough. I`d say that the talent is only one third of the success. The second third is good luck and the third third is definitely a manager, a person who`s got the money and is willing to invest them in the band. Since we have no manager like that, it will be very difficult for us to draw attention on ourselves for example on the national level, not to say the international level. And as far as the labels are concerned, it is even
more difficult. The style we play now is maybe a piece of quality musical effort, but who cares today about quality in the record companies? Teenage proves rule these days and record companies pay gold for them, the nineties are not a good time for melodic rock musicians. The only thing is the hope it`s gonna change. Anyway, we will try our best to offer our material to various Czech and international labels, maybe someone will like it.
NB: Where do you go
from here and where do you see yourselves in ten years time?
JK: It all depends on the response to our current demo. As I have said, it contains ten tracks. Our original idea was to record a 15-track demo, but in the end we gave up that idea because of time and money, of course. I commiserate that now because in my opinion we dropped some very catching in English sung songs, which could have improve the atmosphere of the CD. And in ten years? God knows... Either we drop through and will be forgotten forever, or we`ll make it and will be successful. That`s it. Or, maybe I could imagine our band becoming a professional group who would play covers live every week in local entertainment clubs and make a living out of our skills in this way at least. As I have said, today nobody cares whether you are good or not. The Show bussiness is such a dirty thing...
NB: For the people
out there who haven't yet discovered your music, i now give you
Jiri the oppurtunity to sell yourselves, so go for it!!!!
JK: OK, thanks. So this is to all of you who are reading this now: come and check out what a Czech AOR rock band sounds like. You can go straight to : http://www.mp3.com/roneet.html in order to listen to the song Time For Heroes, or download the song The Return Of The Shadow. This song is probably our most original track, Tolkien inspired lyrics and classical music inspired melody. If you want more info about who we are, go to our website: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Concert/6445
If you are interested in hearing our demo CD "1999", there`s no problem for us to send it to you. Just e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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