Charlie Straight Towards Glastonbury!

Charlie Straight

Charlie Straight

LONDON, United KingdomCharlie Straight are an indie-pop band that “make the kind of joyful, harmony-driven Britpop that Britain itself has forgotten how to master”, as The Guardian once put it. With almost 60 thousand fans on Facebook, 3.5 million views on YouTube, one local MTV Break-Through European Award and 3 “Academy” Music Awards under their belt, Charlie Straight just released a brand new single called ‘I Sleep Alone’ in the UK, featuring the Oscar-winning singer Marketa Irglova from the movie ‘Once’.

Without a doubt Charlie Straight are a musical force to be reckoned with and they are steadily climbing towards their undeniable worldwide success! Their first UK tour probably marked their first steps on their way to Glastonbury. Find out why in the interview the FG Magazine made to the band in London last week!

Albert Cerny (lead vocals), Jan Cienciala (bassist), Michal Supak (guitarist, electronics) and Pavel Pilch (drums)

Charlie Straight – Albert Cerny (lead vocals), Jan Cienciala (bassist), Michal Supak (guitarist, electronics) and Pavel Pilch (drums)

Do you see your two gigs at The Great Escape (TGE) Festival in Brighton as an important turning point for you?

Albert: Yes, definitely. It took us all by surprise that Adam Ryan managed to give us an extra gig as part of the TGE. I did not realised we would be playing ahead of the ‘Unknown Mortal Orchestra’, which is one of my favourite bands, until I was standing on the stage. The first gig at the Hub was an open air gig and it was packed, but the atmosphere was not that cosy and nice. However, when we played at the Coalition, it was more of a club feeling full of excitement, so I think that the extra unscheduled gig went down even better.

What was it like to play your first gig for a British audience that probably saw you for the first time?

Michael: For me, every gig in the UK is a new experience! The British audience is quite demanding and hearing applauses after our song meant the world for me. While listening to other bands there, sometimes I had the feeling the audience was rather quiet. After each of our songs, they clapped a little more, especially after the last two songs ‘Upside Down’ and ‘Try some stuff you do not think you should’. At the end of our gig, I thought it was a success and I really enjoyed it.

Paul: Every experience, especially in the UK, is definitely a turning point for the band. We always wanted to play here. We are like fish freshly thrown into water. It is definitely a big step up for us.

You have been compared to some of the Britpop bands or even the Kooks. Are there more accurate comparisons?

Albert: Every band wants to be special, original and unique. We are certainly inspired by many other bands, so I do not mind when people label us as a Britpop band. What I really like, even if it is a bit far-fetched, is when people compare us to The Beatles because I love their songs.

Johnny: Sometimes I wish I could watch a Charlie Straight gig without actually being in the band. I wonder what I would think of Charlie Straight then.

Albert Cerny  Johnny Cienciala

Charlie Straight – Albert Cerny & Johnny Cienciala

You released the new single ‘I Sleep Alone’ that was recorded in the Greenhouse studio in Reykjavik. What was it like to work in Iceland?

Paul: The fact that we ended up recording ‘I Sleep Alone’ in Iceland was already a miracle in itself. Iceland is an ever-changing place, the weather changes constantly which affects you heavily. We started experimenting a lot, used all kinds of different musical instruments without knowing what the final version of the song would be. The influence of the environment was vital!

Michael: The studio was very comfortable, a big house with lots of space. The atmosphere was calming, the nature, the surroundings, the people; they all made our stay very pleasant. I was recorded playing the mandolin for the first time in my life, which was a great experience. By the way, we sat on Björk’s chair during the recording session. She recorded in the same studio, too.

How did you find working with the Oscar-winning singer Marketa Irglova?

Johnny: She is just a normal girl and a great person to work with.

Michael: When you meet Marketa, you would never think she won an Oscar. During the recording sessions she was learning Icelandic on the sofa…

Albert: …with her shoes off. I think it is nice to keep it mysterious, just the vision of Marketa sitting there on a sofa with the Icelandic student’s book with her shoes off.

The Guardian wrote that it would be easy to imagine you going down a storm on a sunny afternoon at Glastonbury. Is this the next step for Charlie Straight?

Michael: Before we take this step, it is important for us to play a lot more gigs wherever we can. And if the day ever comes, we should be well prepared to play at Glastonbury.

Johnny: We still have a lot of work to do.

Paul: Any step is the right step. You cannot go wrong once you choose a direction. Once you decide to take the step, it is going to be the right one.

Albert: The idea behind the website Take us to Glastonbury is a sort of ‘sharing the dream’ with our fans. We tried to make it a very simple and understandable story – when the band began, when we signed the first record deal, what brought us to the Great Escape Festival, what took us to the UK and where we are going now. The idea is to let everyone know about the story of Charlie Straight concentrated in a tea cup. I like when people get excited about what we are trying to achieve, something which obviously is not an easy task, nor an unachievable goal, so it is not completely out of this world. It might happen one day, if you get 100 people who believe in something, it might as well happen.

Courtesy of: Charlie Straight | Photography by: Paulina Matova | Website: www.charliestraight.com

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