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About criminal complaints, necessary subsidies and the new album by Lucie.

Fast Confession - Michal Dvořák: Lying and cheating is a national sport

Tereza Janatová
08.Aug 2018
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7 minutes

A coin has two sides. And this is exactly how Michal Dvořák perceives the “case” that has erupted in relation to the subsidies from companies owned by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. The entire affair was initiated by a statement from Tomáš Klus. Michal Dvořák understands his viewpoint, but....


The Soundtrack Poděbrady 2018 International Festival of Film Music and Multimedia will take place again this year. What can we look forward to this time?

I believe that we have managed to improve the quality of services and presentation of film music and multimedia in general again this year. Visitors can look forward to a large concert tent. We call it the covered concert hall. It has a capacity of approximately two and a half thousand seated visitors on a wooden floor with elevation and this is not something absolutely standard here. In fact I am certain that it is unique in the Czech Republic. Basically a high-quality space for high-quality concerts. With regard to sound, it will most certainly be better than in the O2 Arena, also due to the fact that we have the highest quality sound and light equipment. We place emphasis on presenting film music accompanied by the highest quality video. We try to achieve such high-quality not only for our visitors, but also for the Czech and foreign performers. With regard to the programme, this year we will be able to see truly interesting world stars. For instance the Symphonic Orchestra or Eric Serra, who is the court composer to Luc Besson and created the music for the Fifth Element, James Bond – Golden Eye, Brutal Nikita or The Big Blue. For me as a diver the last of the aforementioned films is the best cult film. And by chance this year The Big Blue is celebrating 30 years since it was filmed. As a result I was invited to Monaco to the court of Prince Albert, where Eric Serra presented his show, which will also be presented at the festival in Poděbrady. Ondřej Soukup and his symphonic orchestra will also appear. I think we all know the music to the films Kolja, Akumulátor or Vratné láhve by him. Fans can also look forward to Čechomor – Rok Ďábla or the successful computer game called Kingdom Come – Deliverance with a symphonic orchestra. Vivaldiano will also appear, with a special guest from the USA who is Tina Guo, a Hans Zimmer soloist. Another thing worth mentioning is that the entire programme in the park is free of charge. Czech stars such as Emma Smetana, David Koller, Ondřej Brzobohatý, Adam Mišík and others will also perform.

I am sure that it a takes a lot of patience and certainly organisational skills to put everything together. How is an event like this organised?

It is true that I have wanted to pack it all in several times. Sometimes it is very miserable. Finding money is one of the hardest tasks today. And what is more, people are very vicious and envious nowadays. They try to harm you at any cost and try to throw a spanner in the works. And of course the communal elections are coming soon, so its everyone against everyone else. We can also admit that this festival is a sort of tool for those who permitted it to take place, to dictate what goes on and how. So it is very difficult. Fortunately I have an excellent team of people. Each member has worked on the Film Festival in Karlovy Vary or on Colours of Ostrava for example. I myself have done several tours with Lucie. So all this experience makes it a little easier for us. On the other hand we know that nothing is free. Unfortunately, there is always someone who wants to make things difficult for us, so we have found ourselves in situations when we want to “pack it in” several times.

An anonymous criminal complaint was submitted in relation to the festival. Why? What is it related to?

We cannot do this without subsidies. This means that we need financial aid. The city and the Central Bohemian Region contribute. Let us hope that the Ministry of Culture will also contribute in the future, as it has not done so in the past. When you receive subsidies you are examined under a microscope. And any anonymous complainant who hasn’t had a good night’s rest can file a criminal complaint. This is something that is possible here, even without evidence, which I simply don’t understand. We have undergone an audit. We invest a lot of money in this. We have been working free for the fourth year now. And we still have to prove that we are innocent.

Prodej luxusního bytu 5+kk Praha 7 - Bubeneč
Prodej luxusního bytu 5+kk Praha 7 - Bubeneč, Praha 7

The Colours of Ostrava Festival took place recently and there was a lot of talk about who actually subsidises this event. The entire affair was initiated by a statement by Tomáš Klus …

Of course I registered the statement. I have to say that this is an opinion that can be shared, if you are not completely familiar with the entire issue. I think that Tomáš Klus’ opinion is correct. Of course you should do things that you think are worth it. On the other hand, as the organiser of a festival I know what promoters of these events have to come up against. It is not possible for us to investigate where the money actually comes from. In that case nobody would be able to do anything. If you took things right to the limit, then the festival would have to be funded from ticket sales alone. But you simply can’t do it without funding from any subjects at all. And it’s just not possible to have someone who will make sure that all your supporters are perfect when you need another 3 and a half million for instance. So yes, I understand Tomáš’s opinion, but I also see it from the other side. And nothing is black and white in this world. Of course people have tried for years to use public events for some political purposes, so I also think that’s a little funny.

And do you also think that Andrej Babiš and also our current government are “funny”? We finally have a government, but it looks like it is slowly by surely falling apart again....

Every nation has the government it deserves. I stand by this opinion. Unfortunately society today is a little sick. There are no morals. Lying, cheating and doing things slightly differently than they should be. I think that this is a sort of national sport. This is the regretful consequence of the fact that we had communism here for 40 years, which basically did not permit any other type of behaviour. So if people want to change something, then they must first of all stop rambling on about things in the pub. You have to get up and start doing something. This is the first step to getting society back on the right path. And when people start doing something, then they can get elected themselves. And maybe they will do better. And one other thing that is very important. I try to do it and we also do it in Lucie, we are apolitical. We do not play at any festivals or other events for the communists, TOP 09 or the ODS or any other political party. Politics and show business should remain strictly separate.

It has been very busy on the music scene and in regard to the Chinaski band. Do you think it is wisest to stop completely when you have reached the top or “just” to make changes?

I have done three albums with Chinaski, so I know them quite well. I spent a year and a half of my life with them. I have actually known Franta Táborský since we were children. I think, and I have experienced this with Lucie, that time will tell. I think that what they did right or wrong will become apparent in the end. In any case I know one thing. Every change is a step towards new quality. And it doesn’t matter whether this change is painful or not. Every breakup is painful, there is no doubt about it. But the truth is that the party who is broken-up with always takes it worst, whether this concerns a marriage or relations within a band. Of course it is very difficult to mentally “get over it”, however, Lucie got back together again years later and there is nothing to say that Chinaski won’t do the same. Or not. In the end everything breaks up into anions and cations and everyone will make their own solo albums. With over fifty years of life experience I would dare to say that it’s all trivial. In actual fact it is important that they do things with enthusiasm. That they enjoy the music. And that this music if finally enjoyed by others.

At the time we were arranging this interview I caught you abroad? Were you on holiday?

We are travelling to play at a festival in Greece with Vivaldiano, in Thessalonica. So things aren’t too easy for us. So it was part holiday and part business trip. Otherwise I have just been to Monaco to see Eric Serra and we stopped in the Alps for five days on the way back. We had a long holiday in February. We are currently working and working because musicians have the most work at this time. So I won’t stop until September. We have to finish an album with Lucie. And then October should be a little less hectic.

And how are things going with the new album?

We will continue work on the album in September. We have to finish it because we are going on tour in November, so that would be quite a good idea (laughter).

And what will the album be like?

Round, flat with a sort of hole in the middle. And we are printing it on one side and there will be a lot of silver on the other side. I recommend you don’t scratch it with your keys. (laughter).

Have you ever thought about just disappearing from the music scene and just quitting everything?

I have, several times. But I don’t consider myself to be just a musician. I try to become a renaissance person in the things I do, regardless of whether I do them with Lucie or Vivaldiano. I think that everything is connected. The same as in a film, which is the most complex work of art, even a band is simply a collection of all sorts of professions. So if you want to have it under control, then you have to work on everything together. This means that we discuss what the clips should look like together. We work on the cover of the album together. We want everything to be how we like it.

Are you capable of agreeing on things in the band?

No, absolutely not.

So how do you agree on a final appearance?

Sometimes we slap each other (laughter). Sometimes things are easier and sometimes not. I am talking about the discussions, which are actually the way to making sure that other people, than just us four, enjoy out work. Robert Kodym once said that we are like a sort of mix of spices, which taste good to our listeners, but are also quite explosive. And I have to admit that sometimes it is difficult to stay together and endure. We are all different. Several personalities heaped together. But it all works in the end. Today Lucie is clearly a factory, which employs over two hundred people when it is on tour. Another twenty people work with the band over the year. I think that it is still worth it. The effort it still worth it.


Fast confession:

What do you think the Czech music scene is lacking?

New, young, aggressive…

Who or what made you angry most recently?

Human envy and stupidity.

Which trait can’t you stand in women?

Not just in women, but in general ....there are many traits, but I am a fairly tolerant person.

What do you think about our current government?

Well, three words are not enough. I think that we most probably deserve a better president in particular.

What are you most afraid of?

Of negative human traits, because envy and human anger can cause terrible things.

What do you consider you greatest success in life?

I think a healthy and beautiful family. And most particularly two wonderful boys. Everything else is fleeting.

Do you think we should introduce the death sentence?

No, certainly not.

Your greatest vice?

I have no idea. Someone else should judge that. But probably being a workaholic.

Would you like to look into your future?

Probably not. Everyone has the future he creates. And I know pretty much what I will be doing.

Your biggest role model?

I have many role models, because I am a renaissance person....I don’t know, I actually try to forge my own path.

How did you surprise your wife most recently?

You have to ask her.

Do you give people another chance?

Of course. It is human to make mistakes and if you don’t do anything, then you don’t make any mistakes. That is what my gran always said and I think its true. People should automatically understand that others make mistakes and continue to develop. This is necessary. It does depend on the situation, but I say that it is normal to make mistakes. It is part of development and a sort of self-education and personal growth. So you have to make mistakes in order to find out what you are doing wrong. And then you can do it better.

Your favourite Czech food?

No-one wants to cook it for me. I love rice pudding with apricots

Where were you yesterday at this time?

At home in the garden.
The interviewee asks the interviewer:

How are you?

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