In the third part of our Discovery series, we travel to Veszprém county to learn more about The Crazy Rogues a folk punk rock band who started their journey in 2014. They brought their unique and unusual music style to Sziget Festival in 2015 and 2018 and they keep bringing them to those who wish for a brand-new experience. Celtic tunes, folk components, the country’s easiness, and the fast-paced rock music are all part of the band’s image.
Band: The Crazy Rogues (HUN)
Genre: Folk Punk Rock
- László Verrasztó – lead vocals
- Krisztián Fellegi – mandolin, banjo, backing vocals
- Dávid Csillag – violin, backing vocals
- Teo Biermann – flute, backing vocals
- Gábor Fazekas – guitar, lead vocals
- Péter Németh – bass
- Ákos Nagy – drums
DISCOGRAPHY The Crazy Rogues (Demo) - 2015 Chapter One (EP) - 2015 Rebels' Shanties (EP) - 2017 Man Cave (Single) - 2019 Stranger’s Tale (Single) - 2019 Fight You (Single) - 2019 Advanced Roguery (Album) - 2021
Name ideas, the fox logo, the main inspirators, the more beautiful and more complex sides of music. It’s only a few subjects we touch upon during the interview. Also, you can learn more about the members’ personal favourites from the album, how did they work on it in the past 4 years and what are their plans for the future! Let’s go!
How would you describe yourselves?
Krisz: It’s a tough question. A few years back we defined ourselves as a friendly madness which still holds its place, I think. It must be known that there are 7 members in this band, and we are also close friends. The chemistry was always important and luckily it remained throughout the years even with the member changes. We have our common history, stories and (usually) crazy jokes.
How did the name The Crazy Rogues and the fox logo came up?
Gábor: The name was the topic of our first argument. Back in those days we imagined us in an Irish pubpunk style so we tried to came up with something that fits this world, something fresh and dynamic. Finally, this name was the winner, we loved it, got used to it, although we always struggle with the misspelling of ’Rogues’.
Krisz: I had the idea for the first text logo for the band and it worked for a long time, but we always had the feeling to have a more visual approach to the word ’Rogue’. In our Stranger’s Tale single in 2019 Laci wrote a line: “Choose the rogue life / Hunt with the foxes”. I liked it so much that I paired the two words in my head because the fox is the best rogue of the animal kingdom. Boglárka Fekete, one of our friends helped to breathe life into this logo and it became so good we put it on the album cover.
Which bands and musicians inspired You the most?
Krisz: It is a common thing with us that as musicians we love instrumental music, but it is a pretty huge palette. When we launched our band, we were inspired the most by foreign bands like Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, the more metal Alestorm but also ska like PASO or Ska-P. We still follow these giants beside the national favourites (Paddy, Firkin). Personally, I like to listen to Hungarian alter, progressive metal, liquid drum and bass.
Gábor: I discovered Dropkick Murphys and the others in the same time and I was captivated in an instant so I try to bring more metal music elements, luckily the others are open to these ideas.
What do you like the most in making music and what is the most challenging?
Gábor: It might sound as a cliché, but we all love music and the feeling of creating something, this brought us together and this is our best motivation. It is a recurring question within the band to what we should focus on, what should we do in our free time and mostly we write new songs. In these years we went through a lot of things so we complement each other’s ideas, lyrics so nowadays after 1 or 2 tries the songs get to a certain level when we can happily say it’s almost done. Our main challenge also comes from this, there is always another new idea, something to change so we have a hard time to truly say that this track is finished. Our fans know that even after a studio track we don’t necessarily hold ourselves to that version, there can be small changes in our songs.
Dávid: Even in my younger years I moved in music, it’s hard to imagine my life without it. Classical music and the band’s rogue n roll style are both have effects on different parts of myself, but I search for the same in both of them: the crystal clear emotions and feelings and their most perfect interpretation. It’s difficult to grasp what I really like in music I would say that I’m in my best self if I can play. Starting from this every obstacle and hardship seems less threatening.
Do you have a favourite track from your releases so far? If yes, why is that your choice?
Gábor: One of my favourites is Empire of Sand which was featured in our new album. It is an old song from us, it had an earlier version in 2017 when we were preparing for az event in our hometown. Since then, we’ve worked on it, tinkered with ituntil we made the version that is on the album. On the other hand, it was our first track which wasn’t a clear-cut pubpunk song and because it has a massive success on our concert we can see that it’s worth experimenting.
Dávid: For me Too Far Away will remain the best, I feel that in this track we can experience truly how the clear emotions surface by music. It is our child. everyone added their flavour and ideas, it is a harmonic ballade, and it takes us and the audience to a magical place every time we play it.
Your first album Advanced Roguery came up recently. Why did you pick this title? Were there alternatives or it was obvious choice?
Krisz: Well, there were many options, we made multiple votes until we chose Advanced Roguery.
Dávid: We had many ideas but, in the end, we picked the one we thought is the most expressive regarding the tracks because every one of them is connected to the rogue lifestyle. Additionally, we feel like this is a step up in the band’s life, a milestone both artistically and musically.
Could you share some details about the preparing of the album? We would like to know about the progress of the past 4 years since the debut ot Rebels’ Shanties EP. What was helpful and what were the setbacks?
Krisz: This album’s material is quite colourful. There isn’t a single hard concept behind it because after our Rebels’ Shanties EP we had a much denser period of concerts. When we had a little time between concerts, we went to the studio to jam and sometimes there were songs taking shape but not every one of them live to be completed. The more solid ones were played at concerts to give them a try. In 2018 we’ve already knew that we want to release a whole album, the heralds of this album were the „grey cover” tracks which were put in this album too in remastered forms. We met Matyi Botlik from Grenma Studio during the making of these tracks and we worked with him on Advanced Roguery.
Gábor: Just like everyone else we had trouble practicing and holding concerts in these times. Many musicians and bands released new content after the quarantine, we also did this, but I have to mention that it was the lockdown that made us work very hard on the song writing and preparing phase. I can say that we did our best in 2020 and in 2021
Both the album and the music you play can be explained as diverse. Slow acoustic ballad, Ethno Speed Punk and Irish rebel songs all can be found on this album. Why do you move on such a big scale?
Gábor: We knew from the beginning that we want a varied and colourful. We started to play for our own entertainment so all of us can find the thing in the songs they like the most, a sorrowful ballad, a fast-paced ska or a true pubpunk shanty. Also, for me it’s important to not write our songs by the same method, we like to have a challenge. Mixing styles that are far away from each other (or completely different folk music), temp changes, multi phrase vocals, structure diversing from the usual intro-verse-refrain-solo-refrain, these are all characteristics that birth more creativity.
Dávid: Nowadays that are numerous bands that are colourful and step over the genres border, it isn’t always conscious, it depends on the trends and musical curiosity. In our case it is the later, all the 7 of us has different taste in music and it is crucial to represent ourselves in the music we make. Of course, these tracks aren’t completely different from one another, each of them carries our marks on them. And the audience likes it so why not continue it?
Turning back on our previous question, you work with rather unusual genres. Why did you take this route? Is there a style you want to try but you haven’t done it yet?
Krisz: There was a high school predecessor to this formation. We adapted the songs of our favourite national and foreign folk punk bands (Gogol Bordello, Bohemian Betyars) and we wanted TCR to be a folk and rock like band. This provided the instrumentals we use banjo, flute, violin and beside them we have a rock foundation which gives opportunities but on the other hand gives restrictions. Ska, country and blues were always close to us but we even tried some rap too. We never opened to electric music it is a little far away from us, but we’re always open to other ideas. We heard country EDM so anything can happen. In the end what matters is to enjoy what we do, to be diverse and yet have some kind of frame.
Dávid: We were thinking about other styles recently, hopefully we will go on an adventure building on Hungarian and Balkan folk music. Because of this there might be a change in the instruments we will use, and this is pretty exciting.
What comes to your mind first about Advanced Roguery? In what do you see its uniqueness?
Krisz: Beside the fox logo, the picture paired with the album is the most emblematic and it was made in our spring photoshoot. We held a nice session with our photographer friends in the Papírkutya in Veszprém. We tried many settings. One of our last ideas came from my little brother: he said we should lay down on the carpet with our instrumentals. This is how the picture was made and I think it’s a very strong picture of us.
Gábor: To me it’s a box of bonbon or a lucky bag, I would compare it to them. You can mostly know that there will be rock music with weird instruments, but you won’t know what will be the result only if you listen to it.
Are you planning to make a videoclip to your tracks? If you want to, when can we expect it and what gave the idea?
Krisz: We definitely want to have more video appearances. A lyrics video has already been released to our remastered Stranger’s Tale and Empire of Sand had a studio live in Soundcam’s #fridaysession series. Also, we are currently working on a video for one of our song which was inspired by an interesting video effect. But the train won’t stop we have so many ideas…
What are your primal goals for the coming year(s)?
Gábor: Fortunately, we have many plans and goals we only have to fulfil them. We finished a program for our album debut, but we want to work on it a little. We want to change some track places on the setlist to provide a better experience. As for concerts next year we want to present our music in more places even as a small tour. We want more video content and smaller albums, but now we focus on our album debut concert show.
To sum up: When and where can we meet you next?
If the interview caught your attention and you would like to listen to The Crazy Rogues previous releases and would like to learn more about them then click on the links below:
by: Wolfy & Shadow