Instrumental rock quartet from Brno in Czech Republic, Ucan2 have been active since 2010 and so far they put out an album titled Air in 2012. They are currently preparing to unleash a new single “Pompeii”.
Over the three years, the band has become a stable part of the club scene in the Czech Republic and has performed over a hundered concerts abroad as well as touring in Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria.
Moshville Times talked with guitarist Petr Bartonek.
Why did you decide to go fully instrumental rather than featuring a singer in your line-up?
It was just an idea to do something different and to see if we can create music that doesn’t need words to understand it and takes you where you want to, not by words which can direct your thoughts and your feelings about the music you are listening to but just by your own imagination.
Do you find it challenging to reach out to wider audience?
Well… everything depends of what the band wants. We all are positive thinkers so we are very happy for every new fan that joins our fan base, it shows us that the music we do is understood. Yeah you have some venues that tell you that we are crazy, that it doesn’t make sense of what we do but, hey, we enjoy the music so what!
What does the band’s name represent?
There is a story to tell :) The name comes from Australia where Petr lived and studied guitar. His music teacher had a van at this was the van’s plate number. Petr and the guys thought that it would be a great name for our band, and also if you read it… well if we can do this kind of music and do gigs and release records so you can too right? There are no boundaries all is in your mind.
Which bands influence your work?
There would be a very long band list if we all put it together so let’s say that we listen to music which suits us at the moment.
Tell me about the challenges you faced when working on your debut album Air.
The main problem was what songs to record,. We had a long live set list so we decided our fans to choose, then it was just about the recording session.
Describe a creative process within the band. Where do you draw inspiration from?
We create songs together, usually someone comes up with an idea and we all jam on it, make up follow-ups so the song has something to say to us and we are comfortable with it because we understand it. But the best ideas come on sound checks before the show and we immediately record it and start working on it in the next band practice.
Which Ucan2 song do you think is the best representative of the band’s work?
Of course – all of our songs! No, we think that the new material is what we are at this moment but it’s always like this. A year ago it would be that the best songs are on our record Air!
Are you working on new songs at the moment? Can we expect a new Ucan2 album any time soon?
Yes we are working on new songs all the time. We have enough material to fill our 3rd record but we are sorting the songs during our live shows and we always listen to our fans what they think, their reactions are very important to us. Our second record called Fire should be released by the end of this year and we are very excited about it. We made a very big step forward.
Ucan2 is a band that enjoy to play live. Will you be touring Europe any time soon?
We love to play live, all the improvisation we do live is just so much fun, not only for us but also for our fans. We are heading to Italy again next year to see our friends there and this year we are going to Austria where we already made a solid fan base who comes to see us. We would love to do a longer tour, more days in a row, so we’ll see what the future will bring.
Will you spread your concert activities to countries you previously didn’t play?
Yes, we are always looking for new opportunities to play, we have been invited to Japan next year so at this moment it’s in the process of organization.
How do you see progressive rock scene today?
There are many great bands not just in prog scene so it is quite hard to pick out or point to any particular, we don’t want to miss any of our friends! But we are very happy that people are able to listen to more mature or difficult music than what is served on radio waves.