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Interviews of Prog

Gorgenyi Tamas
Gorgenyi Tamas
(After Crying)
Interview by Vitaly Menshikov

Thank you for doing the interview, Tamas. Welcome to Progressor, one of the Battle Stations on the World Wibe Web supported the Progressive Rock movement.

1. First of all I want to congratulate you and other band members on the success of your ProGductions. Please tell me briefly a story of After Crying, who are living under the flag of Hungary, and working under the flag of Progressive Rock.

Thank you very much! It's a long story, actually it begun 22 years ago now in a high-school Budapest. Vedres Csaba, Torma Ferenc, and myself were classmates. (Actually, Beleznai Kornel, cover-designer of all After Crying albums, also went to there.) Vedres brought his friend, Egervari Gabor, and there were a few other guys in that company, with whom we made different kind of porjects, and who has been close freinds to us since then, though they aren't members of After Crying.

The first formation of ours already made some gigs in the beginning of 1980, it was called "Deneverek", (Bats). I can't remember why was that name, but I think we feel some kind of empaty with bats for some reason. There were a lot of other formations, ideas, plans... Of course we wanted to change the world. Our common taste and approach was rather different than of the most other guys' in the school and in the world around us. They liked movies like Hair, Easy Riders, Jesus Christ Superstar, and all those popular films we didn't appreciate. They loved The Beatles, Abba, Sweet, or the punk bands, while we loved ELP, King Crimson, BartŅk, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, Wagner... So we went against the flow, but not because we want to do so. We never wanted to be different or something special. We found the path what we thought the only one, and we have been going on that very path since then. It was vary difficult of a "career" with many failures and unsuccessful efforts through many years. Finally, in 1986 Vedres Csaba, Egervari Gabor and a new guy, Pejtsik Peter established an acoustic trio, (being tired of the permanent problems with tha available electric equipment)and named it After Crying, implying the difficulties in general we went through, and implying the painful detronization of a band in which we had worked together. Vedres Csaba time to time splited from the rest of the company, but after a while we always came together again. I started to work with After Crying in the Autumn of 1988, when Csaba wanted to sing again and needed some lyrics. It didn't turn out well, we couldn't agree on certain things. Still, after a year for the first official record of the band in the beginning of 1990 I wrote all the lyrics, and became the main lyricist of the band, and the personal consultant of Csaba, as it were always in our friendship, too.

The first album, Overgound Music was a great success in musical circles, but was not promoted at all. The band gave a lot of great, memorable gigs, a couple of times played complete King Crimson albums note by note beside its own stuff. It was a great period. Winkler Balazs joined the group as a regular member. We issued the second album and after that something happened. Vedres Csaba felt that he had to change again and quited in 1994. It was predictable. The band decided to go on, and then we met Boszormenyi Gergely. He was the only salesman in Hungary in those times who sell only quality music, like ELP, King Crimson, Yes, Frank Zappa, etc.

When he came to see a gig of ours in 1993 he felt in love with the music at once and after the show he asked: Have you any published material on CD yet? So, we started to work together, and he has been publishing all our recordings for seven years now. He never asks what we want to put on a new CD. He totally trust us. I wish every musician such a manager. With his great help we finally got the chance to bring our music to the world... And now it seems that after a very long and hard marshing, this paradox story had finally found its way towards some happy-ending.

2. Could you please explain the name of your band. How and why you reached the decision to name it exactly so?

We consider the act of crying as a purification, a catharsis, which helps people to go for the next round of fight with more strenght, devotion and, what the most important, with an easier heart. We experienced together so many times that after a deep crisis always something new and hopeful begins. One of our earliest bands was called "At Daybreak." I think Daybreak and After Crying mean the same for us.

3. After Crying performs highly complex and intricate music. Can you tell me what are the musical trainings of the band members?

Some guys in the band learnt music and art on their own from private teachers. Pejtsik Peter graduated from the cello division of Bartok Bela Conservatory. Torma Ferenc went to music and choir conductor division of a Teacher's College. Winkler BalĀzs, trumpet player, graduated at Liszt Ferenc Music Academy. Lengyel ZoltĀn, concert pianist, graduated at Liszt Ferenc Music Academy. Madai Zsolt, drumer and teacher, graduted at the jazz facultacy of Liszt Ferenc Music Academy.

4. Your band will be a part of the live shows that are planned for Baja Prog IV. What can you tell about the musical material selected for your performance in Mexicali?

We'll make a two-hour porgramme, which will be as strictly constructed was usual. Two main ideas determines the conception of it, one of them is that we always want to make some kind of special time, a holiday or feast for the audience. The other is that this year is the Millennium, which is an oppoętunity for the whole world to make some inventory, to think about our past, present and future. We will play some pieces never performed in concert before. I selected the material from all of our albums, and naturally we'll play many parts of the last programme (e.g. the 35 minute closing set "Conclusion, and "Hommage a Frank Zappa", Sleepin' Chaplin, some parts of "Struggle for Life" etc...

5. It's a nice surprise for many people that will see your show in Mexico. I guess, there are thousands of the After Crying fans all over the world. Is it a Mission to make people happy with the music, what do you think?

Absolutely. You can't do this if you don't feel that Earth would stop if you'd stop to deliever the message to people. It is a calling, a mission as you put, but not a mania or obsession. It can be quite dangerous when somebody has a calling and he wants to follow it. People tend to think of such devoted man as a lunatic who wants to go on his bare foot to the end of the world just to satisfy his/her freak ego... We were invited to play for 25O dollars (the whole band - eight guys) into USA, while an unimployed person gets 2000 bucks for a month there. Non-sense. It is a mission as to be a doctor who saves lives. A mission and a profession at the same time. Unfortunately, many of the most moneyed people wouldn' want to recognise that to be devoted is not necessarily equal to be a loser.

6. So, please tell us about the role that Music plays in your own life.

Music is not only the series of acoustic events, I mean, the substance of music you can hear with not your ear but your soul. I think, we seek for the music in all things, because it is the breathing and beating of God, or you name it as you like, we believe in God. The music you can hear only with ear is unimportant and meaningless for us, no matter what kind of instruments are used, which style, genre, or label is involved. The real music can give you life, can cure your soul and body as well, while the other type sounds only would waste your precious time, steal your life, and ruin your character.

7. The last question concerns the After Crying's plans for the future.

After Mexicali we'll go to Chihuahua, Caracas, and Baltimore, and maybe some other places in USA. We plan to make as many gigs as possible this year in homeland and abroad as well, because in the last four years we spended a lot of time in studio and gave very few concerts. We don't know the exact time when we start to make a new studio album, it is question of timing and fininancial conditions. It takes 4-5 months to work out the material for a new album, and another two or three months to record and mix it. At the moment we feel more important to go on tour and bring our music to everywhere.

VM: Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

GT: We thank you. Let me express our best wishes to all your readers!

February 2, 2000

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