EMQ’s with HEEDLESS ELEGANCE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Budapest, Hungary based Metal band, Heedless Elegance. Huge thanks to vocalist, Samuel Konter, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Samuel Konter, I’m the vocalist of HEEDLESS ELEGANCE. The idea of creating a band came to our minds around 2015 I think, we were in a rock/metal festival in Hungary! Zsolt and I were totally sober and we said to ourselves “let’s try it one more time, but this time do it for real“. We had projects where we were playing together with Zsolt, but something was missing from them, so we decided to follow a path where we’ll be very conscious about what we are going to do. Of course, we were continuously bumped into problems and mistakes, but in a different level. Since the official start of the band, which was in 2018, we had quite a few band members on each instrument, because there was always something that came up to the surface. Those things were in a scale from ‘problems with the attitude’ to ‘the person literally went insane’! But eventually in 2020 the final line-up of the band was found and now I can proudly say that I’m in a band with amazing musicians and friends: Zsolt Forgó, Mátyás Erős, Dani Varga and Albert Csobán. Since than we got into the top 25 “Best Emerging Bands of Hungary” as the only metal music group by winning a showcase talent show in Herend and a major governmental showcase competition.
How did you come up with your band name?
The name of the band Heedless Elegance is kind of an inside joke of us. When we founded our band with Zsolt we always said, when someone asked us how we are going to accomplish something or how we can get there where we want to be, in Hungarian language: “ hanyag eleganciával” which means: “with heedless elegance”.
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
We are based in Budapest Hungary, most of us lives in the capital or in the suburbs. Hungary is a small country, so the subcultures are small as well. To be honest, it is very hard to prevail as a metal musician in the world, especially in our country. In Hungary there is no proper “industry” and the gap between the underground and mainstream couldn’t be bigger, but there is no middle class. For example, a successful metal band in Hungary who plays on big stages at festivals, and has thousands of followers cannot be a part of the mainstream, but cannot be called underground as well, so what are they? I’ll tell you what, they are mostly amazing musicians who work two jobs as bartenders or delivery guys or an electrician to pay rent and buy food and stuff, and on occasion, they are playing in front of 5-10 thousand people, but the radio does not play them, because it’s not acceptable in their visions for the average people. But there are a lot of no name artists with shitty music with nothing to tell, and making a lot of money out of the radio because that is “acceptable” for the audience. I think we can see the irony. But of course, there are a few metal bands in the mainstream who can make good money, but you can ask yourself by right, how they got there under these circumstances?
It would be great to develop an industry which pays equal attention to all genres, and pull them up if they are worthy, so the musicians only job would be to pay attention on making real, honest & professional songs. If you are looking for bands from Hungary, you definitely need to check out these bands: LAZARVS, Stubborn, As Karma Brings, Meristem and to mention a non-metal band, my dear friends, ANTARES. They are wonderful people, and amazing musicians, love them all!
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our second LP called “LIBRA” came out on the 31st of January and we are really proud of this release. We worked so much on it and we gave our heart & souls to make it as good as was possible from us. As far as we are able to look back from now to the past two years, we truly think that it has become a colourful, yet coherent album overall. It was a challenging task for us to create such an LP, while being honest and fulfilling our expectations to ourselves. “Libra” is a concept album – divided into two parts with eight songs in total – about a fictional character and his inner journey from a murder driven by a long-awaited revenge to the dissolving death of himself.
‘The Blaze Of Glory’ (Official Video)
‘Friends’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
I started my “career” with Green Day when I was a child, their CD was the first I had ever gotten, after that, step by step, I started to fall into the heavier stuff, first Metallica, than my all-time favourite band System Of A Down and after, all the metalcore & deathcore stuff. I think I can feel the impact of these bands in my vision of music, but these days my influences are coming from other genres and arts. For example, mostly these days I’m only listening to the songs of Twenty One Pilots or Ennio Morricone and some electronic music like Drum and Bass or Goa.
What first got you into music?
I think it was destiny or we can call it a series of coincidences, depends on what you believe in. When I was in kindergarten and in the beginning years of elementary school I was playing on piano, but I gave up, because I hated to practice. In the next few years, my only connection with music was the listening of it. In that time, I started to jump into the rock/metal world. After listening to heavier music, I really started to fall into the drums, it was fascinating for me, and I always wanted to play them, but never had the chance. When I started high school, my new friends were looking for a drummer, so I immediately told them, I’m your guy. My only problem was that I never played on the drums before and I did not have a drum kit, so I started to practice the first song on pillows and I used the floor as a kick drum. I remember the first song I needed to practice was Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’, I was nervous on my official rehearsal day with the band, because that was the first time for me to actually play on a real drum kit, but when we started, I played the song better than the previous drummer who had years of experiences they said. I think that is where my “career” started. To be honest, I have no idea what I would do if I wasn’t playing in Heedless Elegance.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots for sure, he is like a “lost brother” to me, he is my biggest influence as an individual artist or performer and I’m sure we would be able to make amazing things together if life would be that generous to open a path and make it happen
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
It is a hard question, because there are tons of festivals around the world where I would love to play so if you let me, I would divide this question into two parts.
My childhood dream: Nova Rock and Sziget Festival main stages, because when I was younger and I started to play music I always visited these two festivals, I love them so much and they are a huge part of my story, and I always said to myself when I was watching a concert in each of these two places ”how amazing could it be to play these stages”.
My dreams now: I think it would be Wacken. As a metal musician I think that is the top where you can play.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
To be honest, I think I haven’t received anything from anyone, or I just don’t remember, but I think I would remember, because I like these little moments. Does herpes count as a weird gift?
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Try to be positive these days, I know the situation around the world is really bad for everyone, but our bright days are in front of us, because after dark days they will always come.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
I would say Freddie Mercury, his genius is really missed from modern music and I would love to see how he could prevail these days.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
It is a hard question, because there are a lot of segments why it is good or bad to be a musician, but I would say for me the best thing about it is that I can live my freedom, my passion, I can release something that I can feel is in my core, and before that I didn’t know how to, and probably the stimulus to let it go would eat me up day by day from the inside if I wasn’t. The only thing that you need to accept if you choose this path is that you will never know if you will prevail or you will be successful, you will live with a constant feel of doubt and insecurity about your future, that is the bad thing about it, but if you can overcome your fears, there is always a chance.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I think the most important thing I would be glad to see in the industry, in the near future, is a balanced, equal representation of all genres, so the key to success is not the type of music that you are playing and its “marketability”, but the quality of it. The musicians only job would be to write honest, professional songs and if it’s truly good, it wouldn’t matter if it’s a pop, metal or a rap song, it would be on the radio represented to a huge amount of people.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
I would say System Of a Down’s “Toxicity”. That album is a masterpiece and it will always be relevant in the future. It really changed my life, and I think it will do the same for the further generations of little metal heads!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
These days I have found my way back to the physical releases and started to understand the real value of it. We know that the industry changed and to make money they are not relevant any more, but they still have their value, and I think people around me are starting to understand this so maybe it will come back to the mainstream. For me Vinyl is the top choice.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think our best concerts are in front of us with our new album “LIBRA”, but If I have to choose, I will say our last gig before the lock-down, It was in the club called Analog Music Hall (Budapest), that was our first “headliner” night. The stage was big, we brought a lot of show elements like lights, fireworks etc. and there was fortunately a lot of people. We worked so much on this concert over the previous months, so we were glad that the final result was good. We were drinking till the morning after!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I can’t imagine my life now without music because I think it is connected to the deepest part of my bones. Probably I would fall into a deep depression and self-pity, and I don’t know how I could climb out from it.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Okay let’s see! if I could invite anyone, I would choose Robert Downey Jr, he would bring the drinks and the big talks, there would be Snoop Dog with his grass from heaven, Lady Gaga with her openness and kindness, Elton John, because I love him and I think we would laugh a lot together and for the last one I would say Gyuri my neighbour, for absolutely no reason!
What’s next for the band?
With our new album “LIBRA” we hope that we will find new opportunities to show ourselves to the world, I really believe it will happen. Our plans are to play as many concerts in as many places to as many people as possible in the next few years, and we will continuously work to make our shows bigger, smellier, more colourful and more professional. We hope that the belief what we have in our music, and the attitude we are trying to follow will take us to where we want to be.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We use the same sites as almost anyone else, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Spotify, Bandcamp etc.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Usually I’m the highest, but I take the risk that this time you are my friend 😊.
…But it is a good question, what the hell are they, maybe if we can solve this question than we will find the meaning of life?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
If you would like to order merchandise or the albums, you can do it here at the webshop of metal.hu!
Thank you very much.
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