Singer, composer and guitarist of the rock group Abraxas Slávek Janda (pictured on May 18, 2016).
Prague – The forty-year-old debut album of the group Abraxas Box, which is released these days, accompanies its creators throughout their career, and songs from it remain part of the concert repertoire. The album of the then Abraxas got into the imaginary first league and in 1983 it became a landmark act of the nascent Czech new wave. Disky Box sold around 80,000 pressings after its release, which surprised the band itself. Band leader, guitarist and singer Slávek Janda said this in an interview with ČTK.
“We play it all the time. Of course, those songs are old, but people still want them at concerts. We basically have almost the whole album in our repertoire. Of course, the biggest hit right now is the newer song “Ordinary World” because it's played on the radio,” said Janda.
In April, Abraxas is expecting several concerts, at which the songs Every day is different, Earth spins round, King-Kong, Zoo or Infinite boogie from the album Box will be performed. One of the concerts will take place on April 27 at the Parník club in Ostrava. “We will probably christen the reissue of the Box album on that occasion, Ostrava has always been a key area for us,” Janda pointed out.
So far the last album Klid! released by Abraxas in 2015. He currently has no plans for a new record. “Next month I will be seventy-one years old, so there is no such passion anymore. In addition, we have a lot of songs for concerts where we have to play six things from Box and the later hits The Ordinary World and Karel does not take drugs, so it makes more sense for us to do one new song and not the whole record,” Janda said.
The album Box was created in the period when the originally art-rock Abraxas of guitarist Janda and drummer Ivan Pelíšek, with the arrival of singer Miroslav Imrich and bassist Michal Ditrich, offered more energetic music. The records were surprisingly released at the time of the bans on rock-oriented groups caused by the article New wave with old content in the communist magazine Tribuna. . Otherwise, there were still problems, the concerts were wild. I never understood why they appointed bands instead of us that had nothing to do with the then new wave,” Janda said.
The non-conformist group led by the brother of Olympik's singer and guitarist Petr Janda also had problems with the communist regime in the past. Later, they were prevented from giving concerts, and under this pressure, the quartet gradually broke up for a while at the end of the 80s.
“At one time, we were banned from playing in the North Bohemian Region, in Prague 9 and in the Bruntál district. Prague Cultural Center sent us to Česká lípa to play at a communist event, where otherwise young people wouldn't have come. And then some party secretary took care of banning us from performing in the region. And we played a lot against the wall at that event. We weren't allowed to play in Prague 9 because of an incident at the Gong Theater, where the police broke in during our performance and then they came all the way to my house for questioning. At that time, it was about some 'ideologically objectionable' projected slides,” Janda recalled.
Abraxas was founded in 1976 on the ruins of the Prague group Abraam and experienced his most famous era in the first half of the 80s. After a hiatus, it was revived in 1995 and offered its new concert show a year later. Besides Janda, the current line-up consists of Zbyněk Husa – drums and Ivan Doležálek with bass guitar.