Interview with SLIOTAR (english)
This is your fourth visit to the Czech Republic: What do you most like about the country?
Ray: “The people and their appreciation of Irish music”
J.P.: “The Beer”
Des: “The roaming hill’s”
...and do you have any dislikes?
J.P.: “When the beer runs out”
Des: “Flat bits”
What are the biggest differences you have noticed between the Czech Rep and Ireland?
Ray: “The Czech Rep. Will one day win the world cup”
J.P.: “There are lots, the weather and people drive on the other side of the road etc…”
Des: “The Highs and the lows”
Are there many Czech people now living in Ireland? Do you have any experience of them?
Ray: “I’m not aware of any Czech people living in Ireland, those I have met have been on holidays”
J.P.: “Not sure how many, but there are some. I knew one, but she moved back. There is a Czech bar though”
Des: “Only the Bar staff in our local Czech bar in Dublin “the Czech in”
Do you prefer Czech beer or Irish beer? And have you tried slivovice?
Ray: “I prefer Czech beer and yes, I have tried slivovice”
J.P.: “I do like Guinness, but Czech beers are some of the best I’ve come across, as for slivovice, I don’t think it’s possible to play at Keltska noc without having substantial experience of slivovice”
Des: “Czech beer. I have tried slivovice many times, but for some reason I can never remember where. Thanks Tom”
Have you tried any local Czech/Moravian/Hana specialities, ie utopenec, halusky etc, and what did you think of it?
Ray: “I can’t say I have”
J.P.: “I have tried some local food, don’t know what they were. Most of it was fantastic. One or two things will take a little longer to get used to”
Des: “I’ve tried many local specialities and enjoyed them all”
And how do Czech girls compare to Irish girls?
Ray: “They have different type of beauty”
J.P.: “There is no comparison”
Des: “They’re bouncier”
Czech is a very difficult language to learn. Have you managed to learn any?
Ray: “Yes, I have learnt some Czech but find it very hard to remember. Although two words come to mind, Pivo and nastrovi. To be honest I still struggle with English.
J.P.: “Doing what we do, you go to a lot of different countries and I find it hard to hold on to words that I don’t use frequently, but there are few necessary ones that stick”
Des: “I’ve learned the important words and some unimportant words and invented few”
What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
Ray: “Being on holidays in Lanzarote, getting up with a hangover and walking around for an hour in my underwear”
J.P. :The day I was asked to join Sliotar! Only joking. In general I find it very easy to laugh at myself so rarely feel embarrassed. There was a time while touring with Sliotar that I had a little too much to drink and got sick all over our hotel room floor. The rest of the band had to clean my mess… Sorry guys”
What do you want to be doing in 10 years’ time?
Ray: “Still playing in Sliotar having brought our music to every corner of the world”
J.P.: “Music is very much my life and I can’t see myself doing anything else. I would like to see the fruit of Sliotar’s hard work and play festivals like Keltska noc all year around.”
Des: “I want to be the ruler of a medium sized island! With its own football team”
As a Group
Which singers or groups had the biggest influence on your music? Who are your favourite bands/singers?
The music Sliotar plays is very unique, and we don’t really have any direct influences. We all listen to wide variety of music, too many to mention.
How would you define your style of music?
We try not to define our music as this might restrict us musically. But I suppose its Acoustic, folk, Irish, original… It’s Sliotar.
Why do you think that Irish music is so popular around the world?
Riverdance… Well it was pretty popular before that anyway. Through out history Irish have emigrated all around the world and brought their music with them. Also music in Ireland is very much a social thing, and many people find this appealing.
How long have you been together as a group?
March 2007 is going to be 10 years! The line up changed once six years a go when J.P. joined the band.
Is your music evolving into other areas, or are you happy to focus on your primary style?
As we said before, we try not to define our music. As long as it sounds good to us and feels natural, we will play it.
Has the “Keltska Noc” festival changed much over the time you’ve been coming here?
It is getting better by the year. 2006 was fantastic. The new location works much better.
Will you be coming back here next year?
2007 Sliotar is touring Europe extensively, and yeas Czech republic will be part of our tour. Definitely won’t miss Keltska noc, but also hoping to do more dates in Czech.
How has the fame affected you? Are you still able to go out without being mobbed by autograph hunters?
Folk music scene is still small enough that fame is not really a problem. But it does make you feel pretty special when in festivals like Keltska noc you get to sign body parts.
Do you tour elsewhere in Europe? Do you have any other dates fixed for this year?
Yeah we have toured a lot in Europe. This year our Middle east tour is in doubt due to the heated political situation. But 2007 Sliotar will tour Europe extensively. And bring our music to new audiences and countries as well.
Do you have a website or other point of contact, where fans can find out more about you and your music, and where they can buy CD’s?
Yes we do have web site www.sliotarmusic.com There you can order our CD’s, Wring tones, find out about the band. And leave messages for us. We always love to hear from our audiences, and get feedback. So go on line, join our mailing list and say hello.
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