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BZ, Jozzy and Rob (Wendigo)

Interview with BZ, Jozzy and Rob from Wendigo
by Yiannis Mitsakos at 28 March 2007, 2:02 PM

There are many times a band you don't know shit about attracts your attention and you can't do anything else but worship its incredible music. After the very nice Outcast by EKTOMORF, one more Hungarian band comes out of nowhere to make me lose my sleep with its debut masterpiece Let It Out. After my review, I thought it was time for an interview as well. This is what BZ (vocals), Jozzy (guitar) and Rob (bass) had to say.

 Hi guys! After reviewing your incredible debut album, I had some questions I wanted to ask you. So, for a start, could you give us a short bio of the band for all the people that don’t know you?

BZ: I’ve been playing in a prog-power band called STONEHENGE, but after a relatively successful album, the band started to face personal difficulties. I have known Kozi and Rob for a while, we’ve been touring together with their band DA CAPO. I also helped them with some English lyrics and vocals. When their band fell apart, it was an obvious choice for us to unite in the end of 2003. Then we have recruited Jozzy, who has a totally different style and approach to music, that we really liked. After a quick drummer-misery, we’ve finally found Crow, so the current lineup has formed. We have recorded a 3-song promo EP called Reconnecting just to let the people know that we are alive, and started playing concerts too. Our debut album has been released in Hungary around the summer of 2006, and now we are seeking international contacts for album distribution and touring. Briefly, that’s all until now, but I hope, many great years are to come.

 Your name is pretty strange. The only thing that comes into my mind is that curse of Wendigo, the Marvel comic. Is this where you took your name from? If yes, whose idea was it?

BZ: Not really (although I love comic books). I have been living to Canada, where I have heard a legend of a snow monster that eats the soul of the ones who have sick things in their minds or something like that. So, Wendigo was a kinda mystic law maker for me, and I loved this idea. In 2001, there was a song of mine in the STONEHENGE album, and it seemed to be a good idea to connect this song title to my new band’s name. It’s also a really strange sounding name, not really English, not really usual, so people can remember it well.

 Despite the short time that has passed since you were formed, you have managed to share the stage with bands like PAIN OF SALVATION and FATES WARNING. Do you think that this is the result of good luck, hard work or both?

BZ: Luck is really important, but these partnerships formed because of the really hard work we’ve put into our songs, the production and the live performance. We are in the Hungarian music business for more than a decade now, so we know the local organizers and key people - but of course we’ve had to prove them that we are good enough to play with such kind of bands.

 While listening to Let It Out, except from your Metal influences, I sensed some influences that are a bit out of the Metal genre. Which bands have influenced your music and which other musical genres have influenced you?

BZ: I was born and grew up with the music of QUEEN, and it can answer all: They played every possible genres and styles from jazz through pop to metal, and their key motto was quality. So, nowadays I also listen to many styles, from classical music through quality hard rock and AOR to thrash.

Jozzy: I began with THE BEATLES and SHADOWS which was my fathers impact on me. After a while I’ve found Hendrix, LED ZEPPELIN, QUEEN, GUNS N’ ROSES, and that was the time when I became addicted to rock. Since then I listen to different styles from the heaviest stuff to funky, blues and jazz. All of them had their impact on my style, and they show me the way where to improve.

Rob: The main thing is that our songs born in a natural way, without discussing a style or genre. Of course, as musicians, we implement our influences into our music, but also in a natural way. If I have to choose three from my many favorites, I would choose RUSH, SLAYER and Marcus Miller.

 How hard is it for a band to create a unique sound nowadays?

BZ: Very. :-) Okay, so I think, it is harder every day to produce something unique. So I think we are just playing what’s in our souls and minds, without sweating our pants off to create something really unique. If the audience thinks, we have something that others don’t have, it seems, we are in the right path.

Jozzy: The fact, that everybody in the band also listens to different things than pure metal, can be felt in our music. If it’s unique or not for the listeners, I don’t know - for me it is unique. I don’t think that our music is incomparable to anything else, but we don’t even intend to reinvent steel. We like to create and play modern heavy music! How hard is it? Creating and playing music is a lot of work, tenacity and concentration through years and years.

 Would you like to change something in Let It Out? If yes, what would it be?



BZ: There are always a lot of things that we would like to change - because as we go forward, the songs are evolving too. That’s why it’s useful to come to as many concerts as you can - you can hear some new features in the old songs too. But I love that album, I think it was a really strong debut, and the songs are really close to my heart.

Jozzy: At the time when we recorded Let It Out, it was near to the maximum we were able to produce, and I’m very satisfied with the result. They say that a record never can be finished; you can just stop making it. Maybe, if we made the album now, we would do a couple of things differently but I love this album anyway. The experiences we earned while making Let It Out helps us to make an even better record next time.

 You decided to release your debut album by yourselves. Why?

BZ: Because we didn’t have any other choices. This whole music industry is falling apart, and this trend is even stronger in Hungary. If a local metal band can sell 1000 CDs, they are really doing well - but this is not really a big business for any record labels. So, we have decided to release this thing under our own name, and search for distributors for the other tasks. I really hope that we can find some distros in other countries soon, because this music is too good to be missed by the rest of the world, heh heh :-)

 What are you planning to do now? Live appearances? Recordings for a new album?

BZ: Going home, sleeping more than my average 2 hours per day… ;-) Seriously speaking, we are already working on new songs, although we didn’t set any deadlines for a second album - it will depend on the international releases of the first album too. So, we will try to play as many as we can, find more possibilities in other countries to play there too (hey, people! anyone! can you hear me? invite us! we are good! we are nice! we are polite! call us now! heh heh).

Jozzy: We try to bring out the most from the first album to have a better position when we release the second one. Besides playing as much as we can, a cooperation is planned with a Hungarian famous sing-girl to make the Hungarian version of our song called Butterfly. This may help us in gaining wider publicity in Hungary, and meanwhile we’re trying to find the way for our music also abroad.

 Is it hard for a Metal band to build a good reputation in Hungary?

BZ: Really. Mostly because of the things I’ve mentioned above. So little possibilities, but so much bands in the underground. Just a funny thing: There was a TOTO concert in Budapest last summer. Steve Lukather asked the audience to raise their hands if they are musicians. Nearly all the hands were raised… So, it is really hard to jump higher than the many thousands of other underground bands. And - it is bad for the business but good for my soul - we are not the kinda persons who can lick asses and pay easy money just to get higher. We are just playing music as good as we can, and still hope that it can be enough. Am I idealistic…?

Jozzy: Each of us plays music for more than 10 years, and we are still far from reaching the breakthrough. That’s a bit embarrassing, but nobody thought that it will be easy, so we just keep on doing all that we can till we reach our goal.

 What is your opinion about EKTOMORF and the Hungarian Metal scene in general?

BZ: Their situation is strange, because a lot of people are really glad that finally someone made it to the west, but because of this fucking racism we have here, many people say ugly things about the band (as some of its members are gypsies). Personally, I don’t really like the musical style they are making but I am really glad that they’ve had the power and the will to make all the heavy efforts and finally won a place out there. All my respects!

The Hungarian scene is really an underground one because of the small country and low record sales rates - but there are many talented bands and musicians. It is a shame that it’s so hard for each of them to show their music to the rest of the world!

Rob: We are proud of the success of EKTOMORF. They have great will and fire inside, so they are doing all they can to reach the level of their idols, like SOULFLY and KREATOR.

 If you had to describe Let It Out in one single word, which word would it be?

BZ: Only one? Let it be. Heavymelodiccrushingprogpowerextasy. ;-)

 The press, the fans and many people out there in general, have described you as a Progressive Metal band. Do you agree with this or you have another name to describe your music?

BZ: The word progressive changed a lot through the years. It meant something new, some new world to explore, a new experience, white spaces in the map of music. Nowadays if you hear prog metal, you always think about music that is like DREAM THEATER. The style fell into its own trap; it is unable to renew itself. But we don’t really think, we are a prog metal band in general. We are playing a kind of modern metal that has progressive metal elements too, if you are listening it with a proggy ear. But we really wanted to write music to a wider audience - if someone wants some crush, sticky melodies and solos, he can take it as simple metal. Whoever wants more, he can dig deeper and find some tricky rhythms and other hidden prog stuff.

 I guess that except from the band you also have a daily job. How hard is it to keep a balance between your job and the band?

BZ: Our main activity is music. All of the members have other activities, but our profession is writing songs and performing them.

 Are there any modern Metal bands that have attracted your attention?


BZ: From this modern genre I really like bands like DISTURBED, SYSTEM OF A DOWN or SOILWORK, but for example I have never been really into KORN or the nu-metal wave. But I have many more colors in my palette, so my playlist can contain everything from QUEEN through Devin Townsend to these modern bands.

Jozzy: My favorites are MESHUGGAH, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, SLIPKNOT, but I don’t really listen to others from the new ones.

Rob: We are not really modern trend followers; I am also into many styles. From this genre I like TOOL, MACHINE HEAD, INCUBUS, SOILWORK and AUDIOSLAVE.

 Are you aware of any Greek Metal bands?

BZ: Unfortunately no, although Greece is my favorite European country. I have been there many times, but mostly on islands and places close to the sea - the metal penetration seems to be very low there. But I have heard that Greece is a very strong metal-country, many foreign bands record their live material there, so I am really curious about local bands too.

Just a funny story: Last summer I have been to Korfu, in a place called Messonghi. There was a bar with an old guy, making karaoke shows - but the man looked totally like Ozzy, and sang Ozzy songs. So, we sang some good old oz’songs together, it was really weird and funny.

Rob: The only one I can recall is ROTTING CHRIST – I even own one of their album, Sleep Of The Angels. I loved the weird cover, and at the first sight, I thought that it will be something like SLAYER. Later I realized that it is more melodic than that, but I like it.

 Are you thinking of signing a contract with a record label or you prefer to carry on by yourselves?

BZ: Of course if we can find a label that supports our music and wants to release our albums, yeah! I would be really glad to find one. Hellllooooo, labeeeels! ;-)

 If you could tour Europe as headliners, which bands would you choose as support acts?

BZ: Personally, I would choose some talented Hungarian band from the underground, because my current situation shows me, how hard is for anyone to break out. So, if there will be any chance for us to reach this level, I would like to share this opportunity with a worthy Hungarian group.

Jozzy: I absolutely agree with BZ.

 Thank you for your time and good luck on everything you do! I leave the last words to you guys…

BZ: Well, thank you for your interview, and thanks to all of YOU out there, all the readers who are interested in our music. We would be glad to see you sometimes in a concert, and if you have some time, just visit our website (www.wendigonet.com) for some more info, downloadable songs and other content. Keep on listening to good music, EFHARISTOOMAY and YASSAS!

Jozzy: Thanks for contacting us, and thank you for the review. People, hope to see you in Greece one day!



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