The Prostitutes were nominated for a ‘Czech Grammy’
This Thursday night at Palác Akropolis, the Prague-based alternative band The Prostitutes launch their third album, Deaf to the Call, produced by Youth (Martin Glover), a founding member of and bassist for the 1980’s UK, post-punk band Killing Joke who has since become a world-renowned producer.
On the scene since 2004, The Prostitutes became something of a phenomenon, quickly attracting a strong local following as well as an international one via their presence on the web through social networking sites like MySpace. The band’s first album Get Met Out of Here (2006) and follow-up Hometown Zombies, produced in 2009 by one of the Czech Republic’s top producers, Dušan Neuwerth, were well received; The Prostitutes have won a host of awards and nominations — including for Band of the Year by Filter magazine, Song of the Year for their track “Sunshine” and a nomination for an Anděl award (the Czech Grammy) for Best New Act in 2006.
The band’s current line-up consists of Martin Destroyer (Martin Přikryl) on guitar, Luke Santiago (Lukáš Přikryl) on drums, Stevie LFO (Martin Převrátil) on keyboard, and Adam Piaf on bass guitar (Piaf replaced Šmity who replaced the band’s original bassist Mark Jukebox or Marek Dziuba) and lead singer Adrian T. Bell — the band’s only non-Czech member, who hails from the UK, and granted Czech Position an interview ahead of the Akropolis gig.
Q: How did The Prostitutes come to be formed in 2004?
BELL:Martin Přikryl [Martin Destroyer] and I were working together in advertising [Bell, a former sailor in the navy and a painter, has been working as a freelance art director since he came to the Czech Republic in 1992. Přikryl, a permanent fixture in the advertising industry, currently runs a Slovak advertising agency in Prague and is also a director for advertising commercials].
Martin had a band called The Radios — along with Luke Santiago and Stevie LFO — and they needed a new singer. One day he asked me to come along to a jam session in the evening [where] he introduced me as the new singer. I was like, wait a minute, I thought I was only here for a jam session! [he laughs].
Q: Had you ever been in a band before? Did you have any singing experience? Your voice is such a defining characteristic of the band.
No, I didn’t [laughs].
Q: How do The Prostitutes describe The Prostitutes?
BELL:Well, we’ve said [about ourselves] we party on the grave of the ‘80s. This is still quite true; we have a similar sound — a sound based around guitar music, nothing too experimental or conceptual. We want to make good sounds. The word “punk” often comes up to describe us. We are almost punk, but not punk [laughs]. Energy — we like to put a lot of energy into sound. ‘The word “punk” often comes up to describe us. We are almost punk, but not punk. Energy — we like to put a lot of energy into sound.’
Q: You’ve been compared to Joy Division. Does this ring true?
BELL:I think it’s my voice — the bass-baritone thing. Musically, we’re not really connected to Joy Division. We have the early ‘80s connection. We’re from that era. But, I’d say what we’re playing is today.
Q: You write all the lyrics [sung in English]; where do they come from?
BELL:It always comes from a personal place, but it doesn’t always have to be about you. There always has to be something in there that has to be believable. [In regard to the process] Sometimes it happens that I find myself writing things I never started.
Seen here in the studio, the band recorded their third album last month with renowned producer Youth
Q: Let’s talk about the new album Deaf to the Call. How did the collaboration with Youth come about?
BELL:We wanted a new producer for our next album. We thought, we’ve done the Czech market, we’ve worked with the best producer on the Czech market, Dušan Neuwerth, and it was great, but we wanted to try something else.
Then, Martin, who is often biting off more than he can chew [laughs], said he contacted Youth. We were like “you did?!” Actually, at the beginning, Youth thought we were a girl band [laughs].
We were originally supposed to go to Granada to record, but we couldn’t raise the funds. So we decided to invite him here. We decided to work at the Faust studio because they have good equipment, good mics and so on. Youth looked at the studio and agreed to work there. He then came about one month before and watched us perform. It was a gig at Roxy. It was probably the worst gig we did in years. But Youth said he liked our energy. He really liked our drummer, Luke. He called us up after returning to the UK, and we decided on a March recording.
Q: Tell me about the experience of making the album and working with Youth?