Meet Pafka Steidl, also called by the name Pavel. He is the lead vocalist of “Cheers!” They are one of the new bands that bring something exciting to the music scene in the Czech Republic. His sense of humor shows between their live performances. Vocally, think of The Pogues and Horslips rolled into one.
The band has an energetic sound. There are elements of punk, folk and that distinctive Czech way of interpreting Irish music. It becomes a new sound altogether. Everything about their music is precise. The execution is tight. The result is a musical identity that is something to watch out for in years to come, and see how it develops.
Why the chosen name for the band and what do you think makes your band stand out from the rest?
I’m sorry, it’s quarter to three in CZ right now [:D] well, the name just came up pretty simple – we were sitting in a pub with our fiddler Filip and questioned ourselves “how?”. But the answer showed up suddenly with another beer and that’s it. The rest of the band liked it and we are Cheers!
“What do you think makes your band stand out from the rest?” – There are many bands around the world that play the same kind of stuff and each of them are different and special in a way. Do we stand out from the mainstream? – definitely. Do we stand out from the group of other Celtic-folk-punk bands? – No, not really. Personally I think what makes a difference is that we play our songs and try not to “interpret very hard.. or be a covers only band”. And that makes it easier to answer the question. We don’t stand out, we keep the row with other original folk-punk bands no matter how lousy we might sound.
I listened to a few tracks off your bandzone page. There is this noticeable fusion of folk, blues and punk – interesting combination. You don’t get to hear blues and Celtic in the same sound often. Anything you can say about this interesting combination?
Really? I didn’t notice [:D] Blues, ok, you’re probably talking about Tea Cup. The song is a bit different than the rest as I wrote it some time ago and not for the band but we managed to fit it in. But the blues practically is a folk music. That spirit of whining about unfortunate love or lose fate is common to blues, punk and Irish poems. And music is still about feelings (thank goodness).
I spoke to Jeremy King (of Poitin) and he thinks your band is going places. I am glad I got this interview based on his suggestion as he is the authority in current bands in your country. Have you collaborated with Poitin already? And if you did, how was the experience?
Yeah, Jeremy does a lot for our band and we kind of admire that guy. We used to attend Poitín’s concerts and dreamed about how awesome would be to can play Irish music. Who could of imagine, that a few years later we’ll meet each other on the same stage. Jeremy King is also the godfather of our first single CD, by the way. We’ve collaborate with them officially twice for now, but I’m sure that more’ll be coming, as the Poitín is one of the few bands in Czech Republic playing trad Irish so traditionally. And it’s always nice to play a gig with them. It gives us the right feeling we are on the right place if you know what I mean…
Yes I see what you mean. So in terms of news or about an EP (or an Album), what can we expect from your band soon?
For now, we skimp money and look for a studio, which’ll have the capacity to record live. Our first experience with today’s way of recording wasn’t very good. The mood of songs just disappeared. But during autumn, we’ll probably make a full CD and let you know, of course. I’m really happy that Jeremy told you about us and you’re interested. Maybe there’ll be someone to hear the future album after all [:D]
Tell us something about your band mates.
There are seven of us:
Honza (Jenda) – he’s our el. guitar player with an attitude. Man got a kid already but still didn’t grow up from being a kid himself. He’s an important part of our spirit.
Káťa (Kate) – she’s the girl with a flute, soft singing and my soulmate. We started to play together a few years ago in another band. She’s also into Irish music and stout.
Filip – I met him on archaeological studies. He plays fiddle and likes to fiddle with people around him. There are a few rumors about him that came up pretty naturally. He’s the funny man.
Jára (Fredy) – accordionist, young man, dreamer and goody two-shoes. If something needs someone’s sacrifice for a greater good, he’s the volunteer. He never missed a session as well.
Pája (Paulitta) – Girl that shakes with other men’s hearts. She’s our bass and my schoolmate. Her second name “Veselá” means “cheerful” in Czech and she keeps it.
Přéma (Popeye) – “He’s strong to the finich ’cause he eats his spinach” If you need a calm sensitive precise player who is able to listen others, look no further. Přéma’s got a family and that’s his number one in his life. And I think we fill the rest very well :0)
Pavel (Pafka) – That’s me playing acoustic guitar and singing and I’ve already had my moment. But still, I want to say A BIG THANK YOU for your effort, guys!
Cheers! is paying live all over Pilsen. Pavel always makes a good craic regardless of the situation and I am sure Cheers! Will gain more and more followers in a matter of time.
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