Most of the time I don’t really know what to expect when I look up a band but if I find the slightest interest in one I want to interview them, like with GURUZSMÁS, Anders Ekdahl ©2017
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-We tried to found a word that takes us back to the roots and also contains some sort of spiritual being, but not from the dark elements. Playing this music is also as magical like being a mage, but this magic is clean, so as the power which comes from it. The word „guruzsmás” is untranslatable, but we did not know that, so we usually paraphrase it this way: „Somebody who is called a “guruzsmás” is a person who’s able to put a spell on someone else, or who himself/herself is being enchanted.” and trough the gigs we seen and experienced that everybody is enchanted on the concert.
What was it that made you want to do the band?
-I really like tradtitional folk music, but I did not know how to play those instruments. We had a band years ago which played punk music mixed with folk elements on guitar. Exploring the limits of the guitar, and making instrumental music is a frantic and exciting journey. On the other case, rock and roll was boring, all those lyrics wanted to say what should you do, or what should not you do. Using just the sound is pure, I mean it’s exempt of ideology. This is a common journey, experience and fun. Folk music has the power, and I don’t think we should close it to a historical coffin. We have to use this energy.
What is your definition of the music you play?
-On the web we read many descriptions, which is very good, because this means it’s hard to categorize the music, but we just designate it „post-folk”. This marker is solid, and tells everything.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-On the gigs we try arrange them by geographically (Balkans, Hungary: Transdanubia and Transylvania), but on the record they were orderd by birth.
Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-The consciousness of being a rural guy. I found my rural roots in this big city, Budapest through the folk music. It’s a fantastic and nutritious intellectual nutriment. This inspiration is from the shortage of something you have never knew completly, but you can feel it’s energy.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-One of my best friends Levente Árvai does all our graphics. He is a rural guy too, and we both like history and ethnography. I find words and sentences, call him on the phone and he envision these. Gábor Dajka helps with digitizing this graphics. All our symbols are taken from the folklore, but as same as the music they are being reused, and rebuilt by us. The symbols (like the music) are the same pieces of the idea of Guruzsmás
Do you find that there is a greater freedom in working with digital than working with physical?
-Years ago we tried to work with physical formats, but people nowadays listen to music by the net or any other digital ways, so this was the easier solution. We made a few promo cd-s, which we sent all over the world. The digital way gives bigger freedom to share our music, but on the other hand it’s more great to hold in your hands your own material, or something which is important for you. I guess these people are fewer, but who knows what comes next day?
Are there any limitations to digital? Can you do everything you like?
-We dont perceive this. This is our first band which made this worldwide step, we are very happy to work together with Joni and Inverse Records, so yes, I think we can do everything we like to!
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-In Hungary it’s not easy to make this kind of music. I mean we have these mainstream folk-pop, and folk rock bands, playing traditional songs with electronic effects, and distorted guitars all the sameway. It’s very boring. There were and are a few bands which we may fit in, like VHK (Galopping Coroners), Barbaro, Magura etc.. Maybe we’re the third wawe. I think there’s no concrete scene but the curse is also a blessing because many people are curious about what we do, and that’s really great, especially when they get enchanted over the gig!
What does the future hold?
-I don’t really know. A dream would come true if we can play more in other countries and make other experiences. The plan is to have more shows, make another more exciting album, but the future in this land is always hazy, unpredictable, and surprising. We’ll wait.