Musician, composer, singer and producer David Koller accepted the invitation to the current edition of the Boomer Talk podcast and, in addition to music, the topics of the interview with Miloš Pokorný were fashion, wine and the past.
David Koller is a Czech singer, composer and drummer. He belongs to the important musicians of the middle generation of Czech big beat. The author of many classic hits, he became most famous as the leader of the rock group Lucie, where he is still active today. He also performs solo, is a member of the cult Jasná Páky and in the past worked in other formations such as Pusa, Žentour or Blue Effect. Together with artist David Černý and filmmaker Alice Nellis, he built the cultural center MeetFactory.
When you started, was there anyone in the band who was in charge of the image? And how are you today?
The first two Lucia covers were created by accident. I don’t remember the artist who came up with it. Some friend came up with the idea to strip down to our naked body and paint ourselves with bronze. So we told him to find someone else. He chatted us up and we did it. And we hoped he wouldn’t use that photo. In the meantime, the revolution took place, we were free to record and release an album, and considering that monuments were being torn down at that time, the photo was suitable and we ended up putting it there and we could make fun of ourselves. Tono Stano photographed us for the second album In the Sky. We filmed somewhere near Poděbrady and took a sea of photos. And then we were in the theater where we were rehearsing, they used mirrors, they shined on us, and that’s how the cover was created beyond the scope of the originally taken photos.
And what about the image?
You couldn’t buy anything with a tot except tesels or hideous shirts for bundlers, which you couldn’t wear. I had things that my wife sewed for me or I sewed myself. Since I didn’t have any money, for our first jeans we took the front from my brother and the back from my sister and actually made the bells from two parts. And in the first photos with Lucia, I am photographed in a mushroom jacket. In those days, you could have been a moneylender or a maniac.
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How do you currently see Czech contemporary music in the media?
Some radio stations are terribly conservative. I don’t have anything against Waldo and others, but hearing that song a thousand times makes my pocket open and I’ll never put that station down. And that excessive conservatism sometimes shocks me. I don’t want to dislike radio stations that broadcast classical music, I like them, but I don’t want to hear any modern serious music there. It seems to me that things are not developing much here and new things are not being sought. In Slovakia, they enacted a compulsory syllabus of Slovak music, and I think the musicians are happy about it.
You moved to Mikulov, is it for you, perhaps also due to your age, a certain slowing down and rest from Prague?
I think it was the nineties that were really nourishing, I wanted to get out because it started to repeat itself and I stopped enjoying going to the same pubs. So I thought I would drop out somewhere, but I wasn’t sure if it would be permanent. So we moved there with the children and they are already going to study in big cities, so I can take a break from driving hundreds of kilometers.
And your passion for wine?
I have a vineyard there, a small one, which gave me 900 liters last year, a neighbor takes care of it. And I dare to say that after those drunken liters I can already recognize which wine is good and which is not.
When you started living in Mikulov, how did the locals take you?
Now that they found out I was selling it, they asked me why I was selling it and if they didn’t like me anymore. So they took me in and I have acquaintances and friends there. It’s fine there, but when you’re taking care of multiple properties, it’s terrible.
Big concerts await you with the band Lucie, among other things you will also perform in the O2 Arena. What can fans look forward to?
It’s going to be such a canopy visual and I hope we have the money for Lis-a’s revolutionary sound system that allows for hyper-realistic sound and surrounds the fans. Our sound engineer Petr Kaláb will make a beautiful sound and play our greatest hits plus a selection from the last album. People can look forward to a nice audiovisual pop rock experience with orchestration.
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Opening photo: Expres FM / Petr Novák