It’s been one year since the release of “V zajetí myšlenek”, the latest offering from Czech melodic hardcore punk rockers RESURGO, and it’s hard to believe we actually missed out on such an amazing record! The band formed back in 2008 and features members that played in punk crews when most of you hadn’t been born yet! We have teamed up with the younger generation’s representative Jakob Maceja to learn more about Czech punk scene and both RESURGO and his other project, female fronted metallic crust hardcore punk band TRAUMA 84, featuring members from Hungary and Slovakia. Read the full interview below.
Top photo: Jakob Maceja, live with RESURGO, by Karel Vyskocil
Hey Jakub! How are you buddy? Thanks so much for reaching and bringing both bands to our pages. Please tell us about the international line-up of TRAUMA 84 and the rest of the members involved in RESURGO. Have you been involved in more bands over the years?
Hi! I´m fine – I´m not at work today so I listen some postpunk records and have just relax , thank you for your attention! :) Let´s start with TRAUMA 84. Recently we are from Brno (Czech republic) but singer and bass player are from Hungaria. Drummer is from Slovakia. So I´m the only one czech person in the band. But Czech Republic and Slovakia were one state until 1993 – so our languges are very similar and we understand to each other in difference with Hungaria part of band – they had to learn Czech / Slovak language.
RESURGO is interesting because is multiple generation band. Me and the bass player are about 30, drummer is almost 40 and our second guitarist has 53. Interesting is also that our guitarist played in punk bands 30 years ago. Which means playing under communism regime. You had to have official permision to play in that time which punx of course didn´t have. It was dangerous because you were disturber of nation. They could you kick out the school because you were punk. They could come into your house at the night because you have “imperialistic” music records etc etc. I guess I like born in 1987 – communism regime fall in 1989. In that time Eda (our second guitarist) played in SRK and later ZEMĚŽLUČ. ZEMĚŽLUČ is punk band playing since 1986 and recently I play there these days. Which is funny because I grew up on this band. Eda left the band in 2005 and I join in 2015. If you are intersted in another projects of RESURGO members look on MY DEAD CAT or PAZI SNAJPER. In both bands played our drummer Slowcha.
Awesome, thanks! RESURGO and TRAUMA 84 have developed completely different styles and approach to songwriting. How do you balance between these moods?
It´s normal for me. I really listen everything. One moment I listen some punk stuff another moment I listen for example some soundtracks from a movie. I think you can find many interesting riffs and ways in many kind of music. So it´s my inspiration and I don´t have problem balance between these moods and bands. When I´m angry I create some metal / punk riff for TRAUMA 84 because they want to play fast and angry. When I´m sad or something like that I´m trying to create some more calm melodic riff which is better for RESURGO because Slowcha (drummer) plays very sensitive and he is able to create sophisticated drums – for example listen this song below.
So there is no problem balance between these bands. I even think it´s better when you can realize more parts of your human nature… you can feel more free then.
With new records by both bands, are you up to hitting the road and doing some live shows this year?
I don´t think they are new records. Both of records (TRAUMA 84, RESURGO) were published in spring 2016. TRAUMA 84 play constantly since we play together and RESURGO played some shows in Czechia and Slovakia in autumn 2016 and will be play again about may 2017. Neither RESURGO nor TRAUMA 84 don’t play some tour or something like that. But maybe in the future… :)
Over the years of your involvement, have you observed a development in terms of the effect that the modern technology and new digital times has had on the local scene and the audience?
Of course I observed. When I started going to gigs (it was about 2000) a few bands have just websites. Later it was myspace and now it´s bandcamp or facebook or both. You couldn´t download music like these days which was good for bands because people bought records but it was bad for people because they don´t know too many bands. But I think it´s not about our scene… it´s everywere I guess. And if you mean insturuments and amp etc I don´t think there is much difference between amps and musical instruments these days and back then. I think lots of equipment is just cheaper. But I´m not an expert, so ask somebody else :)
How do the older guys deal with the pressure of digital evolution? ;)
I´m not an older guy :) I´m just 30 :)) But if we talk about really older guys I think it´s individual. For example: Guitarist from RESURGO is 53 and I think there is no problem. We send each other links on youtube songs, he can download music etc. And of course there are many older people who are not able to download an album because they are used to buy records the whole life. But I think this question would be more interesting for some label. They really has to deal with the pressure of digital evolution.
Yup, but very happily, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing DIIY labels that know exactly how to deal with fast moving times.
Speaking of which, what labels have you been working with and what idea for the DIIY distribution process have you experienced in your endeavours so far?
TRAUMA 84 doesn´t work with any label but the LP RESURGO was released on “Papagájův Hlasatel records” – http://phr.cz/ and the other small labels (but they are more friends than labels). By the way: PHR is one of the biggest czech punk rock labels. They also released many world known bands like GBH, THE BOYS, THE EXPLOITED, RESTARTS , CONFLICT, ENGLISH DOGS or THE UNSEEN. But back to your question. I don´t surprise you because I think I didn´t experience any interesting or progressive distribution process. Every label here does the same – change their own records between other labels. Sometimes they put some record in some store but they won’t get the money back until the store / shop sell it. Of course there are many distros on gigs, there are many eshops but it´s all. I think it´s the same principle like in major part of world.
Do you recall the first record, show or zine that made a lasting impression or inspired you to make your own moves and become an active member of punk community?
When I think about it I realize it were series of my first punk gigs that I have ever seen. I think in my spirit I was always more creative person than just a guy who wants to sit and watch TV. So when I started going to gigs (it was around 2000) I wanted be like these guys on a stage. They were different, they didn’t play like others, it seemed like they have they own rules and it was very attractive for an young kid who wants to be different and who wants to play gigs and make impress on girls because he is punk and he has a band. Unfortunely I didn’t pick up almost any girls these days and my first regular punk band started in 2007. So I’m not sure if it was good idea to see these guys playing because I was just angry and I wanted to have some band goddammit :))) So these were my first memories. And if you want me to be more particular – it was a few Czech punk bands but the one band that really influenced me in this way was ZEMĚŽLUČ – the band where I also play with these days.
To join your favorite band, it must be priceless, huh? :)
I don´t think it´s priceless. It would be priceless if I joined ZEMĚŽLUČ 15 years ago. These days are many better young bands and of course I also have more favourite bands and different taste. But yes, it´s nice to play with guys who help create many of my attitudes. I appreciate it and I´m glad for it.
Photo: RESURGO live by agnostic.rajce.idnes.cz
Ok, so lastly, let’s touch upon the real reasons behind running punk bands and keeping it up for so many years. What is the most important aspect of your constant involvement? What’s keeping you engaged?
I really don´t think I´m active so many years. When I count it – I´m really active 7 years which is not many when I look on people from ZEMĚŽLUČ or for example “See You In hell” (very known czech hardcore punk band). They play 20 or even 30 years.
But back to your question… What´s keeping me engaged? I think it´s self-fullfilment. It´s need of vomiting my thoughts and frustration. I also think it´s matter of ego. And of course I like playing guitar – it´s a little bit like mathematics – so it would be pity and unlogical if I pursue so many time to learning and improving and don´t play any gigs or donť make any records. And mainly: One of a few things that stay until you die will be your records. Part of yours stay there…
Sure thing. Creating your own legacy, right? :)
Haha, ok then.
So, moving forward, what kind of concepts and messages do you try to explore and share in terms of lyrical direction? Is there something you hope listeners will take away from the work of RESURGO and TRAUMA 84?
Everything what I write is natural. It´s noise in my head. Human´s personal feelings that need to be released. When I wrote lyrics on Resurgo LP I lived through very hard period of my life. So there were not any concepts back then – just many anxious thoughts that had to be written.
And If there is something what listeners can take from work of RESURGO or TRAUMA 84? If I will speak just about my lyrics so I think there is nothing instructive. Just stories about shits in my head. So maybe they can take some of my burdens, right? :) No it´s was just joke there are no burdens. It´s just nice when I know somebody read the lyrics…
Photo: TRAUMA 84
Cool. Lastly, I’d like to ask you what are some types of activism, campaigns or grassroot movements in Czech Republic, Europe or the world in general that you’re excited about right now?
When I see the waves of hatred about refugees from Syria etc I´m glad there are people and organizations who work with them. I mean help in camps, healthcare, reports that show how it look like in Aleppo for example etc.
But if you want to talk about campaigns and organizations that I really excited from – we have to move to Czech Republic. Here are a few animal rights organizations that make good job. For example: “OBRAZ” – it´s the first organization that really negotiates with our goverment about cancellation fur farms and it seems they will win. And the second organization who I want to speak about is “Kolektiv pro zvířata” (Collective for animals). I´m part of the organization and I´m proud of it. We are all vegans and we want to show to people they can live without animal products that just create pain and suffering. We make demonstrations, public tasting, public screening and longest vegan festival in Czech Republic – VeganFest. It´s ten days of lectures, workshops, vegan foods etc. If you are intersted look on this lecture – it´s the only one in your language.
And when I again think about your question I like to mention yet two organization from my city. The first is called “IQ Roma” and the another is “Drom“. Both of organizations help Roma people to have dignified life and get out of ghettos. So their work is very pleasant and I´m glad for that people.
Ok Jakub, thanks so much for your honest answers.
What’s next for you in 2017? What would you like to accomplish this year?
I thank you for the space you gave me and my bands. I hope this interview make somebody listen what me and my bandmates create.
And what would I accomplish this year? I want to make a new record with one of my bands firstly. I think TRAUMA 84 should make it. We have couple of new songs. And I want to play many good gigs of course. And in personal life? Just calm and comfort :)
I sincerely wish you make it buddy! Thanks again and take care. The last words are yours!
Last words? I don´t know man :)) Just think about your responsibility to world and all other species here. We are not alone here, we are not entitled to do anything we want. Just be reasonable and look around you. It’s not just about us.