Dávid has been in the scene before he even knew what it was. He grew up in a small town brimming with art and those who make it, and from a young age seemed destined to follow a musical path. Playing bass in the hugely popular band Brains, Dávid also finds release as a member of the highly eclectic and experimental band Tudósok. His low-key attitude and modest demeanour are all the more endearing considering his ubiquitousness on festival and concert stages year round.
The last Brains concert this year (2014) will be here at Akvárium on the 26th of December. Ganxsta Zolee and Saiid will also join you on stage. Where did the collaboration with Zoli came from? Were you a fan as a kid?
DÁVID: We’ve been playing music for almost 15 years now, so we bumped into him at concerts here and there, and he became a pal. Kartel will turn 20 soon and they asked bands like Brains, AKezdet Phiai, Alma Band, and others, to each do a cover of one of their songs. We re-worked it, re-played it, and took out all the explicit lyrics. Their jubilee concert will be next year, but since we already finished our cover, we thought we will play it now as a Christmas present.
What’s your earliest memory of music?
EfZámbó István is my uncle, and because we practically lived in the same house I was always around music. He had his band practices there with Bizottság, and later on with the EfZámbó Happy Dead Band. A lot of musicians would come over, and I got to know many of them through him. That’s where I first saw music being made. I borrowed a guitar, I was interested to find out what it was. I started playing the bass when I was 11 or 12. Once you start it’s hard to stop.
You play in Brains, Tudósok, and you were involved in many projects with EfZámbó Öcsi as well. All different styles. What music is closest to you? What were you listening to 10 years ago, and what are you listening to now?
My interest in music widened when I was 12. Before that I was only interested in hip hop. Once I started to play music, I realised that hip hop usually isn’t too complex, so I started to listen to other genres too. Since bass guitar is an accompanying instrument, a rhythm instrument, I realised that it could have many different functions. This is when I started to listen to jazz, and also studied it for a while. Classical music not so much. I like to listen to it, but it doesn’t inspire me, I wouldn’t play it.
The Brains calendar is getting busier, but it doesn’t stop you from playing in another band as well. What does Tudósok give you that Brains doesn’t?
Tudósok is about freedom. The latest album is somewhat easier to digest than the older ones, but the core concept of Tudósok was a kind of “free music” which could include anything really. Total chaos even. I’ve been playing in it for 13 years, and the members were changed many times. Since I joined, all members changed except Béla Máriás. I love this go-as-you-please kind of music, although as I said, it’s much more organised than before. The lyrics are social criticism; it’s important that the topics are serious.
Last time I saw you, you weren’t in a musical scene, but in the Nativity Play of Szamárhegy. You grew up in Szentendre, how was is it being a kid surrounded by artists? Who did you learn from?
Szentendre used to have a very sophisticated cultural life. It was the place where everyone went to see new and interesting things. Lots and lots of artists were around. A lot of them lived there, a lot of them hang out there. Many of them hang out at Öcsi’s (EfZámbó) too, and not just musicians but all kinds of artists. I heard plenty of different kinds of music from them, and they were always able to share their experiences with me. They had the answer to anything I would ask. Unfortunately this scene is dying out nowadays.
Many people share this view and say that Szentendre isn’t how it used to be. How do you see the local art scene of today? Would you do it again if you were 16 now?
For sure! I don’t regret what I’ve done so far at all. But if we look at the current scene… It’s a hard thing to answer. I feel I would do it the same way, but I don’t know what really motivates the younger generation today. We had an easier situation when we were younger I think. The world became more materialistic, but true artists are still around.
Who would be in your fantasy Dream Team band (alive or dead)?
There are quite a few… I always wanted to see Jimmy Hendrix play, he was a real ‘instinct-guy’. I love Michael Jackson, and I would still love to see him. I’d be the bass player in the band of course. (laughs) Pastorious would have a spot in it too.
Where can we catch the best carp?
I like natural waters the most, but I don’t have much time to go to places like that. Lake Balaton is a great place to catch carp, and it’s a natural lake. We caught our last one in Fonyód.
The new Brains album release is scheduled for the opening night of Park on 23 April.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GÁBOR ZOLTÁN TÓTH