Ivan Král: “The album is dead…”

Let me share with all fans my short interview with well known musician, songwriter, singer and producer …about music recording, feelings, plans and current world – Ivan Král

Ivan – how do you feel during this crucial world times?
The World has gone crazy again.

Creating music – what does it mean for you? Is it a long-term process with inspiration coming gradually or it can be spontaneously done – due to modern technology – in a few days?
It is a wonderful experience. The inspiration comes easy to me. However many of them I do not use. For me, it comes from an acoustic guitar and a piano. Modern technology is fantastic for recording and inspires me to try new things.

Looking at it from a distance, how do you perceive the changing nature of recording technology? What would you keep/restore, if you could – what type of recording?
It allows you to record at home. I believe you still need an experienced ear of a person familiar with the traditional way of recording who helps you with a better mix. The modern way is much faster. I find studios around Michigan going back record on 24 track tape again.

Do you feel nostalgic about old recording hardware or music instruments/modules?
Of course I am. After all first 4 albums with Patti Smith including Horses were recorded on tape and also Lucie Černý kočky mokrý žáby was done on 24 track tape.

It seems that an album could be actually recorded on just one notebook with a good piece of smart software. I feel that it somehow sounds pretty much the same (take s works with all types of I-gadgets).
That is right. ProTools is used by most people. It all depends on person perceptions, why it sounds good or as you say pretty much the same. But putting on vinyl still sounds fuller and better.

Do you see any connection between recording in the 60s and today, technology left aside?
You still need ears and good songs. Yes I do. I hear many young bands loving the 60s and learning all about the way music was recorded.

How do you approach marketing/promotion of your music?

You must use social media and be present. Talk to you fans. Make special offers to them. Share your music.

It´s possible promote and sell albums without major labels?
If a major label is interested you can make a deal with them to lease your songs for a few years. 3-5 years you get your masters back. Make sure you hire a good lawyer. As far as promoting and selling your album they know better than the band.

Do you still believe in a concept of album? My young friends or kids listen 60 sec from song and skip to next…can full album alive?

The album is dead, but you can still promote and sell it at your gigs.

Can you describe your actual process with forthcoming new album?
I start picking up from songs I kept. I do not have a formula. It has to fall into place naturally.

What about Ivan Král in a next few years?:)

I have been loving music, not just rock/pop ever since as a kid. There is so much beauty in every genre. I feel blessed to be continuing writing, talking about it and performing. (2.9 -15.9 in Czecho)

Thank you for your time, Ivan, see you on tour.

Thank you Mojo

Mojmír Lieskovský

DOUBLE LOUD, 05.08.2017

Bio: Over the years, guitarist/songwriter Ivan Král has played alongside some of rock’s most influential artists, including Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, and John Cale, among others. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Král originally intended to be a filmmaker, before discovering rock & roll thanks to the Rolling Stones. The mid- to late ’60s saw Král form a Czech band, Saze, but before the group could take off, Král was exiled from Czechoslovakia, due to comments his father made about the 1968 Russian Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Turns out this couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Král, because just as he began settling down in his new hometown, New York City, word came in that a song Král had previously written and recorded with Saze had just gone Top Ten back home. Král pressed on however, looking for bands to play with, and even landing a job for a while at the Beatles’ fan club. The early ’70s saw Král get involved with an obscure group, Luger, who are best known for being part of the same glam scene that spawned the likes of the New York Dolls and Kiss. When Luger failed to take off, Král joined an early version of Blondie (then called “Angel and the Snake”), before the Czech guitarist came across a poetry reading by a then unknown Patti Smith. Smith just happened to be looking for a second guitarist to complete her backing group at the time, and after a try-out (which supposedly consisted of a 30-minute version of “Gloria,” to see if he could keep up), Král was welcomed in as a member. Král would also contribute bass, keyboards, and backing vocals in the group, and although he appeared on Smith’s classic debut album, 1975’s Horses, it wasn’t until her sophomore effort, 1976’s Radio Ethiopia, that Král began contributing significant songwriting to the group. Further releases with Smith followed, 1978’s Easter and 1979’s Wave, as well as a one-off live recording with John Cale, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. While many assumed a long and successful career lay ahead for Smith and her band, the singer abruptly decided to retire from music in order to raise a family with former MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith. Suddenly without a band, Král phoned up an old acquaintance, Iggy Pop, and joined his solo band just as the ’70s wound down. Like his previous experience with Smith, Král’s initial recording with Pop, 1980’s Soldier, failed to fully utilize his songwriting talents, a problem that would soon be corrected on 1981’s Party. The Král-Pop union would prove to be short-lived however, as the guitarist joined John Waite for his solo debut, 1982’s Ignition, before moving on once more. Král would later turn up as part of the pop group Eastern Bloc (issuing a lone album in 1987, Eastern Bloc), before relocating to Seattle during the early ’90s, and forming another group, Native. A superb Král documentary was filmed around this time for Czech TV, Dancing Barefoot (issued later on DVD as Blank Generation/Dancin’ Barefoot), while Král’s first-ever solo album, Nostalgia, was issued in 1996. Smith decided to come out of retirement during this time, but disappointingly, Král was not involved in Smith’s subsequent recordings or tours. The early 21st century saw Král produce and play on the debut recording by Triny Vocal Trio, Gypsy Streams, as well as Noel Redding’s Live from Bunk R — Prague.

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