Band name: DiscoBalls
Members and the instruments they play:
Anna-voc., Lukyna- drums, Smrk - bass, Nedy - guitar, Vitek - trombone+voc, Kuba- trumpet, David – trombone and Bozez-tenor sax.
Average Age: Average is about 30. Range is 24 to 36.
Year band formed: 2006
Home town: Prague
CD's (Year of release):
Disco very channel (2008)
Rise and shine (2010)
Dance like nobody´s watching... (2014)
Date of interview: 14.1.2015
Questions directly relating to you:
How did you come up with your band name? Does it have a background?
It has logical explanation in a way. Good band should have “balls”. The bass gives balls to the music and because our bass player likes disco bass lines our band has “disco-balls”.
How would you specify your style as a ska band?
We have started with an idea to set up a ska band but we have never tried to copy someone or to learn the standards. We want to play the music we enjoy (hopefully not only us). In our music you can find touch of another music genres like swing, punk, soul, metal, reggae, funk, country … but that ass kicking beat of ska is still the most important thing. We don’t want to play music for sophisticated listeners but for crazy dancers ...
Which song would you suggest someone to listen to in order to get to know your music best?
It’s hard to say, because there is no typical „Balls“ song. If I had to choose one, it would be „Dance like nobody’s watching“ or „Just one more beer“.
Which ska band/personality influenced you the most?
There are many of them. I should choose a few, that some-how contributed to fact that DiscoBalls are what they are. I should start with Big D and Kids Table. It was the first “ska” band, that our drummer started to listen to and thanks to them accepted the idea of playing ska. With Big D I have to mention also previous Czech ska punk band “2v1”. It was fronted by Mr. Krlesh who lately became Balls’ guitarist for a few years. He played the guitar on first two albums and he was the sound engineer of the 3rd one (all the albums were produced by him).
As next, I would like to name The Toasters. When I was listening to their album “Live in London”, I realised that I should stop playing the guitar and start with playing the bass. Then I tried to look for some guys who were missing a bassist. Finally, there is Mr. T-Bone. At his gig in Prague we met our first singer, a girl. Since that starts the characteristic sound of Balls with sweet girlish voice, pumping disco bass (with too many tones, sometimes) and quite, unorthodox reckless and noisy drums.
Another notable influence is 3rd wave ska band The Planet Smashers. For some of us are Smashers something like a symbol of straight, clear ska music ... full of positive energy.
Apart from ska, what music style influenced you the most?
definitely punk. Most of us started to play music in a punk band. Some of us are still more punks than musicians. Another big influence and big inspiration for our horn lines was the music from Czech
cartoon fairytails. Horn guys also like swing and some sorts of brass music. Guitarist loves metal (of course), drummer enjoys house and some other dance music and bassist likes skinhead reggae and
soul. There are a few “not-style” things like The Police, Richard Cheese, Depeche Mode, Ivan Mládek, …
What message are you trying to get across to people with your music?
We don’t have any special programme-statement or manifesto. We just want to start people moving and we want them to enjoy the gig at least as we do.
Does ska have a political meaning for you, and if so what is it?
There are definitely a few ides that are connected to ska, like antirascism, liberty, equality and fraternity. There is also a message to be calm and cool, but stay rude and rebel and enjoy yourself, that survives from times of rudeboys.
What were the best and worst venues you've played?
not important. The main thing is a good chemistry between the audience and a band. It’s better to play in a dirty pub with miserable sound for 50 people who enjoy it than to play on a big hi-tech
stage in the face of thousands people that are not interested. Hopefully, the second case Balls haven’t met yet. Even if we play on heavy metal festival, there is always a bunch of people who are
ready to dance.
If I had to mention some unforgettable gigs, it would be a gig at small Booha bar at Romanian city Cluj-Napoca. We have never seen so many people dance on ceiling. :D
How would you describe your audience?
It depends on a venue..but usually you can find there a few skinheads, rudies, punks, rastas...
Which song do you usually play as an encore?
We usually end our set with „Queen of your soul“ too say ideal farewell song. So when it happens and there is possible danger of „zugabe“ we add some encore before it .. :D
Have you got any weird touring experiences worth a mention?
those 9 years there was a lot of weird experiences. Our weirdest tour was 10 days in Romania/Bulgaria. Travelling, accommodation and other stuff and condition were sometimes rly „punk“…but people
there are absolutely awesome, nice and friendly so finally we are looking back to these days with smile.
Last year we flew to Moscow only to play one gig for a chief of a Czech brewery’s pub Velkopopovický Kozel who wanted only Czech band to play on 140th anniversary of the brewery.
Which band would you most like to play with?
Planet Smashers, Pietasters, Aggrolites, Mighty Mighty Bosstones...
I've always been interested to know how you deal with Nazi-Skins at your gigs.
of scum has never happened during our concert, in my opinion.
There's a lot of talk about 3 ska waves. How far can you identify yourselves with those? What do you think is going to come after the 3rd wave? What's the future of ska?
I think there was actually the 4th wave with all that „dirty reggae“ bans few years ago all over the world. The 3rd wave was declared like mixing ska with anything, so maybe we are still surfing on this wave.
Why do you think it is that most young bands either play traditional ska or ska-punk?
I don‘t think that there are many young bands that mixes ska in a different original style, especially in the UK ...
Why do you think it's so difficult for ska to establish itself? Do you think ska is doomed to continue to play a minor role in the music scene?
I think that all the music genres with the doom of musical industry will become more „underground“ and there will be no worldwide rock and pop stars ... So for ska it will not be a change.
Which band or ska CD do you recommend (apart from your own) to the people out there?
I like the
new CDs of “Deals gone bad” and “Planet Smashers” from the last year. The band I found out and saw last year I could recommend Canadian “The Beatdown”, Danish “Leo and the line-up”, American “Soul
Radics” and “Rapid” from Munich.
Who, in your eyes is the "Godfather of Ska"?
There are almost officially established names like Laurel Aitken or Desmond Dekker, also Jerry Demmers should be decorated as lord of the 2-tone. Nowadays it’s definitely his majesty Bucket I AKA Rob Hingly from the Toasters, who have started 3rd wave on the outflow of the 2-tone era and who is still running right through the world in a van with musicians that are decades younger.
Which ska site do you particularly recommend? What are your favourites?
Czech Republic there are no ska websites anymore. There used to be a good czech called Skaweb.cz and Slovak Ska.sk. Both of them are out of order now. There is last czech website called Porkpie
webzine. On the international field there are Reggea-steady-ska.com or rockingsteady.eu, that you all probably know.
What's going to be coming up in terms of gigs or any other projects? Is there a new CD coming out?
Less than year ago, we have released our last CD. Some personal changes were made after that. We plan to record a new music video for our song “Call me” in February. Then we have to work hard on new tunes to record a new album, earlir than in another 3 years.
A bit of space for your own comments and anything else you want to add!!!...
Fuck art, Let´s dance and don´t let the bastards grind you down!
May the Balls be with you!