interview by Tommygun
Enter Neo, one of our own Hungarian top acts whose members started as a bandwagon synthpop band - and finally ended up as a figurehead of the local alternative electronic acts, mixing genres like maniacs. They're not exactly cyberpunk edge but they're as hype as they can be and got talent to prove it as well.
THE DOSE: How would you sum up for the foreign readers what the band Neo means for you? Where do you position yourself musically, which genre do you feel to be yours, what kind of atmosphere and message appears in your music?
NEO: The band Neo is the scene of our musical self-fulfillment. It's very difficult to circumscribe our music since our interest is rather far-reaching. We're mixing several kinds of genres in our songs and on our albums, nevertheless we may refer to this genre as a certain kind of neo-electro-pop. As for its message, it is also rather eclectic, but it still reflects a positive view of life. On our level, we would like to make the world a better place, too.
THE DOSE: Neo is one of the most fashionable and exportable bands of Hungary. How much are you well-known beyond our borders and how much is your music popular there? To what extent do you try to meet the requirements of the Hungarian and that of the foreign audience – that is in what percent are you influenced by the international and the Hungarian influences?
NEO: We wouldn't like to meet anyone's requirements with our music at all. We simply wrap up our feelings and thoughts in music and if someone likes this, we are very happy about it. Each of our albums has found its fans - but the real success for the band came with the soundtrack for the movie "Kontroll". It's interesting as this Neo album of all has the gloomiest and darkest atmosphere. Hopefully our new album will achieve a similar success.
THE DOSE: The name of Neo can always be associated with the multimedia and audiovisuality – it is enough to see one of your videoclips or your participation in films. You have also organized a large concert in a planetarium. Why are modern animation technology, film and digital picture important for you? What do you think about these and do you have any further plans in this field?
NEO: We've found this world interesting since our childhood. For us even the visual presentation is very important, that is why we're occupied with a video for as much as years sometimes. When we are writing a new song, images and scenes appear in our minds sometimes already at the very beginning. This field still has several possibilities in store, thus it's really interesting to deal with. We had a video recorded completely under home conditions, but of course the more serious animation or videokiller works are done by professional friends.
THE DOSE: Your new album has been released recently. Does the album's world of music bring about a change for you compared to the previous ones? If yes, what is this change?
NEO: Maps for a Voyage is the most pop-like Neo album. It is the sequel to Lo-tech Man Hitech World in some respects, but the songs and musical ideas of Enik? and Péter have brought entirely new colours into the music of Neo.
THE DOSE: How did the audience take the album? Has there been any reactions to the record abroad yet?
NEO: We noticed that we had surprised our audience with each album. It's maybe due to the fact that we are always on new ways, we are always wandering in new directions with our music. Each of our albums differ, either musically, or in sound or in the view of its subject. Thus the audience always needs some time to understand what we want to say actually with the current album or image. By the way, Maps for a Voyage has given rise to very good reactions from the very beginning in Hungary and the foreign releases are just about to come. The album will have been released in many European countries until this summer.
THE DOSE: It was you who represented the home scene at the gigs of many reputed foreign bands in Hungary – what did these concerts mean for you one by one or perhaps comprehensively? Is there a band that you would be happy to play with in Hungary or even abroad?
NEO: We could recount those bands endlessly whom we would be happy to play with, for example, Depeche Mode, Björk, Kasabian, Goldfrapp... We can count our blessings because in the last few years we had the opportunity to appear on stage with such great stars as Duran Duran, Dave Gahan and Massive Attack. It is an incredible experience to play before those ideals whom we loved fanatically when we were kids. The funny thing is that now there are young bands who are thinking about us like this and are happy if they can play before us.
THE DOSE: What are the plans of Neo for the future? In which direction would you like to develop? Is there anything special in store for the fans?
NEO: Writing better and more exciting songs, of course. We have already begun to work on the new album and we would like to try out many new experimental solutions again on it. Is there anything special in store for the fans? Our first concert DVD has been released recently, containing many interesting things about Neo. Besides the concert recorded at the Budapest Planetarium, there are some documentaries on it in which the band gives an insight into the work in progress in the studio and the arrangements of the concert. Friends who have been our partners in clipmaking or in the mixing process for years also appear on the DVD. Those Kontroll videoclips are also included which the general public couldn't have seen yet.
THE DOSE: What message would you send to the readers of the Dose?
NEO: Listen to many genres as the world of music is incredibly rich. It's not worth living without having listened to one of Bach's or Beethoven's works. On the other hand, we consider it important to trying to pay more attention to the problems around us, for instance the shockingly outsized environmental pollution. We have only one Earth, so let's think of the following generations.