In the end of 50's a vehicle named Trabant was born in the German Democratic Republic and in the
same years a style called rock'n'roll was given birth in America.
In the year 1995 something called Traband was born.
"Play as you can, the rest will come by itself," the musicians said.
"Rock with clever lyrics," someone wrote about the band.
"Elvis and the Sex-Pistols, country-punk," some others guessed.
"By the way, what is it all about?!" curious people kept asking. Things could have gone on that way if some futile events hadn't steered the band in other directions.
In the year 1999 the end of the world was at hand. Traband metamorphosed into a raft exposed to wild waters and this un
quiet trip brought about the discovery of a world far from America. The lands that came alongside had names such as The Coast of Pale Mornings, Southern Agony, la Kotchichina.
By common accord, the musicians chose the Kotchichina and decided to settle down in a town called Le Grando, organising expeditions to the ends of the world. That gives them the possibility to bring home rather surprising souvenirs: a Gipsy minor tone scale, a Czech trumpet, a Jewish clarinet, a circus brass-band,
a funeral march, five violent beats on a drum, the evening call of the muezzin, a G-minor chord, a French 'r', Turkish honey, a military march, a voice calling in the desert...
"The group's music takes its source from Balkan and klezmer
traditions, while adding a modern folk twist to the melodies and making
the best out of very unusual instrumentation. Imagine clarinet, trumpet,
banjo, tuba, and drums partying through sailors' songs and Jewish wedding
music. While the roots of the music can recall groups like the Klezmatics
or France's Soldat Louis, the actual sound is closer to a klezmer version
of Ceux-Qui-Marchent-Debout or Polemic Bazar, something between cabaret
and street fanfare. Moreover, Svoboda's vocal delivery, when added to
the all-acoustic lineup, can evoke the Violent Femmes or Louise Attaque.
The arrangements are inventive and often verge on circus music... It's
not the most original music among the much-populated field of the late-'90s
back-to-trad movement in alternative European (and Qubec) music, but
CD Kolotoc comes through as a thoroughly honest and enjoyable record.
Don't miss it on account of the Czech lyrics; they are not essential to
appreciate it." (François Couture, All Music Guide)
The music of the band is inspired by city folklore. Sometimes the sound is almost antique. Do you find the old days better?
"There has always been some folklore mingled with rockíníroll in our music. We use all kinds of music of the 20th century. Traband is an up to date rock band but we use different means of expression."
Why did you change the guitar for the clarinet?
"The sound of the instrument is my voice, my other self. It is very similiar to the human voice. I like the soft, wooden sound of the clarinet, the squeaky voice. It is my hysterical mistress."
Why is it that you sing very often about the sea, about ships?
"Most of my dreams take place in water. I am either swimming or diving or in my motherís womb. Water gives you the feeling of weightlessness, safety. The ship in my lyrics is only a symbol. A ship is a family,
a community of peple who have decided to share life together. It keeps people together for example an collective idea, direction where to sail
In that sense I have always been a sailor on many boats. I left some of them before they sank, some
I cowardly deserted. But if I happened to be in a storm on the rough sea, I would forget the desire to rhyme or play a tune, I would be afraid. But I guess rhyming or playing tunes is all I am good at."
(Jarda Svoboda in the interview with Ivan Hartman for the magazine UNI 1/2001)