Interview: THALIA ZEDEK / Intervju s Thalio Zedek

photo: Lana Caplan After 5 years here you are with your new masterpiece, album Via. What have happened to you in all these years?
-Part of this time I spent touring on Liars and Prayers. Maybe a year or two? And then we spent some time looking for the right drummer to replace Daniel Coughlin. I was also going through some personal stuff and family stuff that I needed to deal with. My father passed away and I moved a couple of times etc.

Liars and Prayers was so damned in time, they predict the future in a way, very political? You captured the time and feelings about time on this world.
Liars and Prayers was definitely a reaction to the re-election of George Bush and the chaos that his policies caused through out the world. I think that the policies of Barak Obama are much wiser but unfortunately he is not able to implement many of them because the Congress is dominated by right wing politicians. I think that the USA is more deeply divided politically today than at any other time I can remember.

Via is for me yours most personal, intimate work of art . You are so good with words, an excellent songwriter? I can feel all the passion, feelings and attitudes, that I can easily empathy with. How are you satisfied with the work on a record?
Thank you very much! I'm really happy with how the record came out. A lot of credit goes to Andrew Schneider , who produced it. It was my second time working with him in the studio and he is really amazing!

I love your latest stuff, because they're so damn personal and real. Like life itself. Like love itself. Like death itself. Like Woman herself. Like Man himself. How do you feel in your skin, anyway? Is the future female, what do you think?
Thanks again! This latest record definitely was written while a lot of things were going on in my life. The circle that is birth and death was definitely on my mind. I think the future is transgender! Tell me something more about your work in progress ? Do you have ever any doubts about the way you are composing songs? Are you a perfectionist?
I've got some new songs that I'm really happy about and I also have a side project where I play much more avant-garde music. We But for the Thalia Zedek Band I usually just record a lot of ideas spontaneously at home on a little cassette deck, and then come back to them later and try to flesh them out into songs. I wish I could do more composing on computer because it seems like it would be a fun way to write. But I'm just not very good at that sort of thing. I'm not a perfectionist because to be a perfectionist you must believe that you are the best judge of quality, and I don't think that I necessarily am, even of my own songs.

photo: Lana Caplan There are some changes in your band. I'm missing your ex drummer Danel Coughlin very, very much?hough a new one Dave Bryson is amazing too, but in a different way. How do you approach such situations?ow stressful is, especially if you are in a middle of a creation of a new album?
Daniel Coughlin and I played together for over 10 years, so it was a big deal when he left the band. But that's life, people need to move on and we are remain friends! We were very very lucky to find Dave Bryson right away. There was a lot of chemistry between us right away and he is an amazing drummer. Then he had to move to Buenos Aries suddenly because of his wife. So we recorded the record quickly before he left , but I don't think it was too stressful really. In a way it was the push I needed to finish the songs that we had been working on together and to get back into the studio.

Via is your best album ever. Really. Very mature, strong, with a lot of positive vibrations. Especially for women. And?y the way, you are one of the most powerful voices of the rock music nowadays. How different is Thalia Zedek in 2013 then in l983, or 1993 or 2013?
- Again, thank you very much for your complements! I think in some ways I'm a very different person than I was in 1983. And in 1993. And in 2003! I think I am less screwed up emotionally and less angry . I'm a happier person now and I probably take myself a lot less seriously!

How much autobiographical moments are captured in your latest work?
It's all autobiographical to some degree, it varies from song to song. I'd say in general "Via" is more autobiographical than my past records.

How did music scene changed from 80s till nowaday from your point of view? What do you think?
It would be easier to list what HASN"T changed then what has. People still have the need to write and perform music and to try and touch other people with it. And people are still emotionally moved by music in a unique and powerful way and they continue to seek out music that moves them.

photo: Lana Caplan What are those things, that makes you happy and strong? What do you read and which movie atracts your attention lately?
I still very much enjoy making music, also hanging out and cooking with friends, and being near or in the ocean. I'm currently reading a novel by Chris D. called Mother's Worry and I'm looking forward to seeing a movie by Jem Cohen called "Museum Hours" that's supposed to be very good.

How do you live today ? Do you noticed any improvements in the standard of living over the years, particulary in your hometown of Boston or where you live recently?
I still live in Boston, where I share a flat with my girlfriend. It's a nice , calm place with a garden in a part of the city where a lot of other musicians live. In general I would say that the standard of living in Boston is worse now than it was 10 years ago. Like everywhere else we were very affected by the economic crisis in 2008.

What about music?you've been on tour with Come (11:11), what do you feel about it? 20 years from then and now.
I actually just finished the last Come shows this past weekend. It was really incredible to play with those guys again and I felt like we still had a very special chemistry after all these years.

And back to Via? Is your back still straight and strong, are you still young ?? Tell me more about it, please.
My back is definitely NOT still straight and strong. 30 years of touring and carrying heavy amps has taken it's toll, and like most of my other musician friends, my back is not in great shape.

Will you be touring with band to promote Via in Europe? Maybe in Slovenia too?
I'm currently booking a tour in Europe with my band for this coming November/ December and I would love to play in Slovenia.

(Rock obrobje, August 2013)

Varja Velikonja