We Are the Night Part XV: Bottled Fish (redux)

Our series, “We are the night” presents artists, promoters, production managers, label owners and others who are bringing the music world of the Czech Republic forward, from the past to the present and the present to the future. This week we present the second part of our interview with indie outfit Bottled Fish.

Playing for fun, progressing, elaborating, exposing, and achieving: all the steps along the road for a band releasing their first LP.

I had the chance to observe that vital energy with Bottled Fish, and I really wanted to document the feeling and aspirations they had about the recording process, so we met for a small talk to anticipate the release of their album today, 6 April, followed up by their release party in Swim on Prague’s Štěpánská tomorrow.

So how was the experience recording in a studio?

We feel like we have exactly what we wanted now, because for the previous record we were asking ourselves whether the recording was good enough for some master mixing, and then when we asked somebody to do the mixing or mastering, it was too money related.

Now we are really recording, with all that means in terms of the studio process. If the sound engineer (Tomáš Jochmann) asks us to change a part because he thinks it will sound bad because we have too many low frequencies, we simply do it. It’s more collaborative.

So tell me more about your collaboration with Tomáš Jochmann (Baracca Records)?

He is very helpful; he is one of the best pianists in the Czech Republic.

So, he’s, like, very professional, in adjusting. And he always helps with recording in the way you play what you play. So, for example, we recorded some parts of a song like three times in a row and the sound wasn’t so good. So he suggested some changes to make the part easier and the playing simpler. It helps a lot, also as a musician.

So, his impact is important in the recording process?

Exactly. He’s like a characteristic keyword… not impacting the whole album, or compositions. But he likes trying to put his musical mind into it, proposing changes and helping to reach the result we want.

Anton (piano): For me, it’s the first experience of recording new stuff in the studio. So I don’t have anything to compare it with, but so far I am really enjoying the atmosphere of the actual process. You feel the whole process going on, not just the result. Of course, the result matters, but it’s more about this process, and I really enjoy it, even on the days when I’m not recording my parts, just being there, enjoying the vibe. And I think that when you have something to compare it with, it would be even better, with that extra knowledge…

In the studio…. Credit: Bottled Fish.

And do you think that the impact of Tomáš Jochmann on your songs will make them sound different than you expected?

I think this is a lot about the communication, and the combination of everyone involved. He asks questions and makes suggestions, but always based on what we want. We try some parts and then he thinks about it and brings his own view on it. Then the mixing and mastering will be done by Tomáš Karásek (Gaex Garle and Expel studio), which will conclude the work.

About the track list of the album, tell me how you came to it?

We created a list of songs for the album first, and we decided to record all the 12 songs we wanted, and then look at each to see if it would fit before adding or removing something. About the transitions between the songs on the album, we needed to hear how it would sound, because it never sounds exactly how you imagine, so you have to hear it all together and decide.

We have this order of songs because we thought about how the album should be an album, not just a photobook of separate things. So, we thought about an idea, and we came up with this order of songs as it will feed the idea. So, there is some mood transition I would say from the first to the last song.

Will the album be sold physically on CD or vinyl? How will you promote it?

No, I don’t think we will produce it physically, but we already have the cover for it. The album will be ready towards the end of March, and we are organizing a release party [BD: Swim bar in Prague, 7 April] and we will try to do some kind of promotion around it.

“Dreams Lie” album cover. Credit: Bottled Fish.

We have someone who will cover the Czech Republic, some possible plans in Poland, and even in other countries, and we will try to do as many festivals as possible and concerts before and during summer.

Are there any bands in the Czech Republic you would love to share a stage with?

I have only one band on my mind, the Zabelov Group. We heard them for the first time last October. It was something very interesting because of the accordion, and they use many effects. It’s not just cold atmospheric songs with lyrics.

So once the album is released, what will be the next steps? Will you look for a label?

From our perspective, we will not be looking for them. If they reach out to us, we will always listen their offer.

So, you are mainly independent?

Yes, we are really investing in our music creation. We are doing the album and with the album, we can go and ask, but a lot of bands are doing that, so we would rather wait and see if some labels will approach us.

It can be very tricky because it all depends on the nature of the label, independent or mainstream, so everything can move fast in the music industry.

The most important thing for now is to release this album, because we have 40 songs developed to different levels and one track list for concerts, so this album chapter will permit us to move on.

Thanks for your time, would you share three songs you like with our readers?

Asya: Her – Quite like

Nikita: I Am Kloot – Twist (French)

Anton: Dream Theater – The Count of Tuscany

You can find Bottled Fish on Spotify, Soundcloud, Instagram, Facebook, or Bandcamp.

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