!!!OLD SCHOOL DEATH METAL FROM SLOVAKIA!!!
We had a conversation with Tomáš Hudáč (Vocals). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
The history of SURGERY started back in 2002. Which are your memories from these days, and which were your main influences back then?
I'm the new vocalist of Surgery since 2018. Back in 2002 when Surgery was formed, I was still a young boy. However, I had many conversations with Rado, the founder of Surgery, about what it was like to establish a band and what led him to do so. Rado always had a deep love for metal music; he listened to bands like Death, Pestilence, Cannibal Corpse, and similar ones. Inspired by his idols, he and his friends decided to form a band, just like them, fulfilling his dream.
You have recently released your album ''Living Dead''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
Our fans loved our album "Absorbing Roots," so they were incredibly curious about what our new album, "Living Dead," would bring. Honestly, we were filled with anticipation, wondering if we could deliver what the fans were expecting. Their reactions, however, were intense. The album surpassed all expectations and shredded our fans' ears into tiny pieces.
Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
The recording of the album was influenced by the departure of our longtime drummer due to his health issues, which halted us for a while. That was a really unpleasant experience. But the pleasant moments? During concerts, people give us incredible energy. I've seen a mosh pit so wild, I didn't know if I should call paramedics or funeral services; our fans are like a dog off the leash, unleashed with immense fervor.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
In today's world, cassette tapes, CDs, or vinyl are primarily for collectors and true music enthusiasts. The digital era has brought new possibilities; it's just about utilizing them correctly. Yes, of course, we still release CDs and tapes because there's demand for them. However, we've also brought our music to Spotify and other digital platforms because we realize that this way, we can reach more ears. My motto is: If you have the opportunity, show what you're made of.
You have cooperated with some labels in the past. So, after that experience, what would you say that is better for SURGERY? Label or DIY and why?
I believe that, at this stage of our career, a label is a better choice for us as a band. Especially a label that takes care of the band and shows genuine interest in getting our music out to people.
Your music style is Death Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Yes, we define our music as death metal, but I think on the album "Living Dead," we've shown that we can blend other styles of extreme music to create an interesting result. All of us in the band listen to death metal, but also thrash metal, hardcore, or deathcore. We seek inspiration everywhere to keep evolving as a band; we don't want to remain stagnant.
Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
As a band, we've sacrificed a lot for our music. The lineup of the band has changed several times over the years, and Rado (the founder of Surgery) always found the strength to discover new musicians. We've also experienced concerts that weren't the best or made mistakes, but the important thing was learning from those errors and improving. We've sacrificed much, but we'd never sacrifice our integrity and friendship.
What attributes do you think that a new Death Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
I believe that if you want to break through as an individual or a band, you should be something exceptional or different from the others. That, of course, is demanding, but there are bands that have succeeded in doing so. The paradox is that some bands aren't exceptional artists, but they managed to build such an image around themselves that it became a cult, and they still have their fans. As I mentioned earlier, it's about knowing how to present and sell yourself, engaging in projects unrelated to metal music, as you can still attract new people to yourself.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Death Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
Digital platforms represent an immense force that, when used correctly, can significantly assist bands in their progress. I believe that especially for young bands, there's a greater chance to break through, and they should certainly seize this opportunity. That's why I've established our band on Spotify and Instagram, and I have further projects in mind to engage our fans. Our sole principle is not to share things from our private lives. We strictly separate our personal lives from the musical sphere, ensuring that our social media platforms revolve solely around our music and band, not our real-life activities.
Do you see any differences in today's Metal music business in comparison with the Music business back in the '00s & '10s?
There are significant differences between metal music from the 80s and 90s compared to today. Back then, extreme metal was emerging and catching attention, but now, almost everyone has heard metal music. Metal has risen from the underground to the forefront among other musical genres, and many artists even blend modern styles with metal. The metal stars of the past would never have believed that metal could combine, for example, with disco music today. I don't perceive this negatively. It's fantastic that music evolves, and it's up to people to choose the style they enjoy and what they add to their music library.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Slovakia (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
The metal and rock scene in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was very popular in the 90s. Czechoslovakia was once a single country; we share a very similar language, and to this day, we collaborate on many projects. We also have a joint metal community, the Old School Czech and Slovak brothers. In the 90s, legendary metal bands emerged here, some of which still perform today. However, the modern metal era faces some challenges in the mainstream. Bands have to put in more effort to break through, and the underground scene finds it tough. Few people attend events, which also reflects on the organizers. Everyone wants to make money but struggles to organize a proper event. We're fortunate to have our manager, Stefan Skokan. He organizes the annual metal event, Black Valentine, in our city. Instead of focusing on profits, he aims to deliver the best musical experience to the people, which he succeeds in doing. He invites quality foreign bands, devotes enough time to promote the concert, we have a quality underground club, and the attendance is enormous. It's unbelievable.
You have been an active band almost 21 years! Are there any changes in the band as well as in the Slovakian Metal Scene within all those years?
In our band, over the years since its inception, several members have changed. Mostly, it was due to the work and family commitments of individual members. We treat our band as a hobby; we don't devote ourselves entirely to music, as we all have our jobs. Just as our band has changed, the metal scene in Slovakia has also evolved. There were times when there were fewer bands, but more people attended concerts because they appreciated someone playing metal here. Nowadays, in every city, there are a few metal bands, anyone can organize a concert, but the quality is declining. Nevertheless, we've seen the emergence of a few unique musical groups here that produce proper music and have fantastic ideas. I won't tell you which ones they are; it's a challenge for your readers to do a bit of exploration and discover the metal bands of our scene.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
We're aware of your scene; in your country, you have several big names in metal, known worldwide, representing your nation musically. At the Symbolic event held in the Czech Republic, we played with a band from Athens called Typhus. The guys put on a fantastic show, gained new fans, and we greet them this way. If your entire scene is as excellent as your bands, we admit, we're a little envious of your scene.
The last 3 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
For us as a band, Covid didn't pose a problem. We didn't play any gigs, and we missed live performances a bit, but it gave us more time to focus on our families and work on our new album. However, the problem was more significant for club owners; for some, it was their sole source of income, and several clubs had to close down. Essentially, the entire Covid period for us meant concentrating on our album. We were locked in our rehearsal space, working hard on our musical dream.
What are your future plans?
Our biggest plan is to record another album sooner than in five years. Musically, we want to continue evolving and improving. Perhaps our next album will be a bit more diverse in terms of music and technique, as we plan to incorporate new methods, but we'll keep that as a surprise. Of course, we also aim to gain new fans, perhaps even in your country.
Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you for the opportunity to conduct this interview. You've asked us very interesting questions, and we appreciate your interest in our band. We wish you much success and many readers. And of course, greetings to the entire metal community in your country. We believe that your bands will continue to entertain people with their music at concerts.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.