Interview by Vitaly Menshikov
Thank you for doing the interview, Tamas. Welcome to Progressor, one of the Battle Stations on the World Wibe Web
supported the Progressive Rock movement.
1. First of all I want to congratulate you and other band members on the success
of your ProGductions. Please tell me briefly a story of After Crying, who are living
under the flag of Hungary, and working under the flag of Progressive Rock.
Thank you very much! It's a long story, actually it begun 22 years ago
now in a high-school Budapest. Vedres Csaba, Torma Ferenc, and myself
were classmates. (Actually, Beleznai Kornel, cover-designer of all After
Crying albums, also went to there.) Vedres brought his friend, Egervari
Gabor, and there were a few other guys in that company, with whom we made
different kind of porjects, and who has been close freinds to us since
then, though they aren't members of After Crying.
The first formation of ours already made some gigs in the beginning of
1980, it was called "Deneverek", (Bats). I can't remember why was that name,
but I think we feel some kind of empaty with bats for some reason. There
were a lot of other formations, ideas, plans... Of course we wanted to change
the world. Our common taste and approach was rather different than of the most
other guys' in the school and in the world around us. They liked movies like
Hair, Easy Riders, Jesus Christ Superstar, and all those popular films we didn't
appreciate. They loved The Beatles, Abba, Sweet, or the punk bands, while we
loved ELP, King Crimson, BartŅk, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, Wagner... So we went
against the flow, but not because we want to do so. We never wanted to be
different or something special. We found the path what we thought the only one,
and we have been going on that very path since then. It was vary difficult of a
"career" with many failures and unsuccessful efforts through many years.
Finally, in 1986 Vedres Csaba, Egervari Gabor and a new guy, Pejtsik
Peter established an acoustic trio, (being tired of the permanent
problems with tha available electric equipment)and named it After
Crying, implying the difficulties in general we went through, and
implying the painful detronization of a band in which we had worked
together. Vedres Csaba time to time splited from the rest of the company, but
after a while we always came together again. I started to work with After Crying
in the Autumn of 1988, when Csaba wanted to sing again and needed some lyrics.
It didn't turn out well, we couldn't agree on certain things. Still, after a year
for the first official record of the band in the beginning of 1990 I wrote all the
lyrics, and became the main lyricist of the band, and the personal consultant
of Csaba, as it were always in our friendship, too.
The first album, Overgound Music was a great success in musical circles, but was not
promoted at all. The band gave a lot of great, memorable gigs, a couple of times played
complete King Crimson albums note by note beside its own stuff. It was a great period.
Winkler Balazs joined the group as a regular member. We issued the second album
and after that something happened. Vedres Csaba felt that he had to change again and
quited in 1994. It was predictable. The band decided to go on, and then we met Boszormenyi
Gergely. He was the only salesman in Hungary in those times who sell only quality music,
like ELP, King Crimson, Yes, Frank Zappa, etc.
When he came to see a gig of ours in 1993 he felt in love with the music at
once and after the show he asked: Have you any published material on CD
yet? So, we started to work together, and he has been publishing all our
recordings for seven years now. He never asks what we want to put on a
new CD. He totally trust us. I wish every musician such a manager. With
his great help we finally got the chance to bring our music to the world...
And now it seems that after a very long and hard marshing, this paradox
story had finally found its way towards some happy-ending.
2. Could you please explain the name of your band. How and why you reached
the decision to name it exactly so?
We consider the act of crying as a purification, a catharsis, which
helps people to go for the next round of fight with more strenght, devotion
and, what the most important, with an easier heart. We experienced together
so many times that after a deep crisis always something new and hopeful begins.
One of our earliest bands was called "At Daybreak." I think Daybreak and After
Crying mean the same for us.
3. After Crying performs highly complex and intricate music. Can you tell me
what are the musical trainings of the band members?
Some guys in the band learnt music and art on their own from private teachers.
Pejtsik Peter graduated from the cello division of Bartok Bela Conservatory.
Torma Ferenc went to music and choir conductor division of a Teacher's College.
Winkler BalĀzs, trumpet player, graduated at Liszt Ferenc Music Academy.
Lengyel ZoltĀn, concert pianist, graduated at Liszt Ferenc Music Academy.
Madai Zsolt, drumer and teacher, graduted at the jazz facultacy of Liszt
Ferenc Music Academy.
4. Your band will be a part of the live shows that are planned for Baja Prog IV.
What can you tell about the musical material selected for your performance in Mexicali?
We'll make a two-hour porgramme, which will be as strictly constructed
was usual. Two main ideas determines the conception of it, one of them is that we always
want to make some kind of special time, a holiday or feast for the audience. The other is that
this year is the Millennium, which is an oppoętunity for the whole world to make some
inventory, to think about our past, present and future. We will play some pieces never
performed in concert before. I selected the material from all of our albums, and naturally
we'll play many parts of the last programme (e.g. the 35 minute closing set "Conclusion,
and "Hommage a Frank Zappa", Sleepin' Chaplin, some parts of "Struggle for Life" etc...
5. It's a nice surprise for many people that will see your show in Mexico. I guess,
there are thousands of the After Crying fans all over the world. Is it a Mission
to make people happy with the music, what do you think?
Absolutely. You can't do this if you don't feel that Earth would stop if you'd stop to
deliever the message to people. It is a calling, a mission as you put, but not a mania or
obsession. It can be quite dangerous when somebody has a calling and he wants to follow it.
People tend to think of such devoted man as a lunatic who wants to go on his bare foot to
the end of the world just to satisfy his/her freak ego... We were invited to play for 25O
dollars (the whole band - eight guys) into USA, while an unimployed person gets 2000 bucks for a
month there. Non-sense. It is a mission as to be a doctor who saves lives. A mission and a
profession at the same time. Unfortunately, many of the most moneyed people wouldn' want to
recognise that to be devoted is not necessarily equal to be a loser.
6. So, please tell us about the role that Music plays in your own life.
Music is not only the series of acoustic events, I mean, the substance
of music you can hear with not your ear but your soul. I think, we seek
for the music in all things, because it is the breathing and beating of
God, or you name it as you like, we believe in God. The music you can
hear only with ear is unimportant and meaningless for us, no matter what
kind of instruments are used, which style, genre, or label is involved.
The real music can give you life, can cure your soul and body as well,
while the other type sounds only would waste your precious time, steal
your life, and ruin your character.
7. The last question concerns the After Crying's plans for the future.
After Mexicali we'll go to Chihuahua, Caracas, and Baltimore, and maybe
some other places in USA. We plan to make as many gigs as possible this year
in homeland and abroad as well, because in the last four years we spended
a lot of time in studio and gave very few concerts. We don't know the exact
time when we start to make a new studio album, it is question of timing and
fininancial conditions. It takes 4-5 months to work out the material for a new
album, and another two or three months to record and mix it. At the moment we feel more
important to go on tour and bring our music to everywhere.
VM: Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
GT: We thank you. Let me express our best wishes to all your readers!
February 2, 2000