In 2018, I completed my first LP album as a solo artist. It is called Kriya and features ten tracks (in 37 minutes). I later realized that even though I spent a lot of time and energy on the album, most people wouldn’t be able to listen to it from start to finish in today’s hectic times. So, I decided to tell the story of finding our center (relevant to each of us!) in the form of a shorter 3-track EP, where each song represents a different genre, a different sound, and lyrically offers a diverse point of view. The Hara EP (10 and a half minutes) was born.
Listen to the EP while reading the text.
What are these three songs about?
In the period after the Kriya LP release, many other things from my previous biography emerged from darkness into light, and I no longer deal with them as a boy but as a man. Now, as the Hara EP is released, I am almost 30 and have experienced many changes in my life (including the perception of my past). I still think and feel in my native language, so I also have to write my songs in Czech as it’s more natural for me… So what are these three completely different songs about, and how did they originate?
The first track, PředStěr, is my rant about the hypocrisy of other
people and the final reconciliation that I won’t force anyone to be
honest. The message is not to manipulate them. It is about accepting
this human trait and abandoning those with whom it is not possible to communicate well enough to maintain a genuinely profound relationship. I’ve been abandoning superficial relations for some time.
The song points to my musical roots. It has a deep grunge feel because, for me, it’s one of the musical languages I like to speak. Grunge emits a kind of aggression, but not wholly in the manner of “kicking everyone in the ass,” but rather by “yelling out my emotions,” hence a great form of therapy. I formed the basic idea during one autumn jam session in 2018. The demo was laid to rest for a while, but when I was conceptualizing the Hara EP at the beginning of the year, I knew this was the opening track, but I wanted to make it more interesting. I improved the arrangement a little and began playing with effects during production so that the listener wouldn’t get bored for a second. I call it modern grunge-rock now.
However, a collaboration with another solo artist and great musician Emit Remmus (Jan Firek) from Slovakia, who is also living in Prague, became verycimportant. We came across each other on the internet a few weeks before my EP was produced, and we agreed to meet and jam one day. While recording the bass line as I always do, I decided to ask him to contribute to the song after realizing he is such a phenomenal bass player (I was just listening to his music). He agreed and did it in a very professional manner. So, now the track has that crazy bass line that makes the song even more original.
PS: We actually met after our remote collaboration and played it live together for the first time after the track was already recorded and mixed. Amazing!
The second track Hara was created directly during the EP production at the beginning of this year. The lyrics enigmatically refer not only to the question of truth and falsehood (lies, hypocrisy, etc.), as explored in PředStěr, but also about manipulation and acting against the will of someone who can’t yet defend themselves. In this context, the lyrics also include a memory of my childhood, when I was made to change from left-handed to right-handed. The message here is not to be manipulated. There are also various changes in point of view, for example, where a person feels that everyone is crazy and then, suddenly, thinks that everyone else is OK and that they might actually be the crazy one. On the other hand, the lyrics point out that through awareness, it is always possible to regain one’s original strength.
Musically, there is a dominating dark theme played on synths. The whole song grows from a colorful symphony of electronics over a hip-hop/trance beat and the gradual enrichment of the guitars.
The idea of the third track, Musíš chtít, originated long before the
production of the Hara EP. The original demo is actually from 2010. This song belongs to the EP because it shows the way out of the feelings described in the previous songs (and of course, musically, it is totally different).
The lyrics explore the premise that it’s okay to realize these negatives so that one can determine what they don’t want to experience. On this basis, you can then formulate what you want, and that is the essential moment… Not to stand and forever complain, but just move forward. And this is a question of decision, eventually like love – and not only in the sense of a partnership, but as a state of mind, and it begins with the love for yourself. One has to want.
Musically it’s merely a sweet pop song with several acoustic guitars. If I didn’t include other instruments like the synth, or the electric guitar solo, I would say it is one of the most honest folk songs I have ever created.
EP Name and Cover
What you see on the cover is an original painting that hangs over my
desk, painted by my incredibly talented wife, Jitka, after telling her about a white tiger I saw in a dream. It represents inner power for me, but in an unexpected form (rare white tigers are anything but typical).
I had the dream at the same time I started to encounter the word Hara in different contexts. Together, it made perfect sense to me. In the tradition of Japanese martial arts, Hara means the area of the navel, where the personal power of man comes from. According to other traditions, we also speak of the soul. So, the EP is not only about finding the center of oneself but is about discovering one’s unconscious power.
Please kindly let me know which track you like best, and why? Use the comment section below…