“The black and white world is a platform that we think awakens the imagination,” says of his visual concept of the Wyfe formation, one of last year’s discoveries. After several singles, she released her debut album “Good Times”. We talked about guitarist Martyn Starý and singer Mark Kedzior about him, but also about good times.
The title of one interview with you said: “We want our concerts to work like cocoa by the fireplace.” So do you want your music to calm down and be pleasant, or how do I understand it?
Marek: It’s simple: I want everyone who comes home from our concert to have a blissful look on their faces that they got something good and don’t want it to end.
And what can I imagine behind the name Wyfe? Does the word mean anything specific?
Martyn: The name was something we struggled with for a while. It was just before the release of the first single and we still didn’t make a name for ourselves. We had a bunch of variations, and in the end we all admitted that we had this one, Wyf. It was a few days before my wedding, a few weeks before Marková and a few years after Vláďov. So we realized that thanks to the tolerance of our own wives, we can even live this boy’s dream with our families in the back. So we named the group a bit in their honor.
You all have experience from previous bands. What’s different about it now?
Marek: Somehow you know what you want. What is needed and what is no longer just needed. It’s like shopping for a shirt: when you know your size and cut, you don’t spend as much time shopping as you used to. Martyn: I agree. We are all calmed down, we know exactly what we want, we know what to avoid, and thanks to that, everything is kind of more calm and in harmony.
Wyfe is one of the most recent discoveries. They are composed of Marek Kedzior, Martyn Starý and Vladimír Staněk. All three have experience of playing in other groups. Marek has worked in Dorian Gray’s Prostitutes and I Like You Hysteric. You may know basák Vladimír from Toneless or Holden, where a third member of the Martin group also worked as a frontman. The idea to start a band arose once at three in the morning. The debut single “Is This It?” Started everything in mid-2020. – that’s when Marek discovered his singing ambitions. Wyfe is based on a combination of black and white in combination with concrete architecture. At the beginning of November, they released their debut album “Good Times”.
The idea to start a band allegedly came at three o’clock in the morning at the bar. You forbade drinking before and probably during the concert. Why? Doesn’t that go against when and where you originated?
Martyn: It’s not against each other at all. We really like parties, we just want to play the best concerts possible and that requires maximum concentration and presence in reality, not the detachment from it, which we will treat ourselves afterwards. It’s weird that this has become the main topic we have to explain! But it’s probably good, because I perceive a person’s relationship to alcohol and other things as a really big question, to which we all look for our own answer. Sometimes successful, sometimes less. Marek: When you pick up a guitar during a concert, it’s nice when the actual number of strings matches what you see on it.
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Marek said that this is the first group where you have divided roles. So who does what?
Marek: Martyn is the band’s engine, Vlada is the sensible one and I am the handsome one.
You’ve swapped roles: Martyn is no longer a frontman, you’ve discovered that Marek can sing well and has a very specific voice. Did it arise spontaneously? How did you convince him to sing?
Martyn: Marek is a frontman in body and soul, and we think he knew about himself for a long time. After all, the right frontman needs to know that. Marek: I originally thought about Marek Kędzior’s High Flying Birds, but I didn’t want Noel to keep calling me.
Martyn produces, during the first lockdown he built a studio at home. Your record is the first one you produced yourself. What was it like, Martyne, when you had it all on your shoulders?
Martyn: A huge amount of responsibility, but of course it did my ego well. Nevertheless, I must humbly say that if I did not feel great trust and support from the boys, I certainly would not be able to do it. When I saw that they liked what I was doing with the music, I became more and more confident and allowed myself to fly away. And you can hear it on those songs. I’m not going to say what ever came into being, but I feel the confidence and progress there, if I let it go chronologically.
© Philip Swindall
You have a regular guest, Adam Vychodil, who plays the drums with you. Why don’t you take it as a permanent part of the set?
Martyn: Adam is an extremely important person for our band. He mixed and mastered the whole record and kicked me to production when he didn’t like something or it didn’t work out. good enough. But he also has his great band, at the same time we ride with Lenny, he simply has a lot, and we agreed that he will be our guest and choice number 1 whenever he has the time and desire to do with us. Having a band requires a lot of work and energy even outside the stage and studio. And we fully respect that Adam already devotes this part of his heart to other projects. Nevertheless, we appreciate the fact that he likes to play concerts with us and spend time, because he is one of the most reliable drummers and people we have ever met.
Wyfe was created more or less for covida. Few bands manage to have a concert premiere in the United Islands. How do you remember that?
Marek: Like Christmas when I was five. I don’t know exactly what was going on, but it worked and it was magical. Martyn: Every first time is nervous. I have it in the fog like a prom. But with that concert, if I may speak for all of us, an incredible weight fell on us all. Suddenly it was a real band. It was real, tangible, not just on the computer.
The record came out a year later than it should have. The reasons are obvious – covid. Have the songs changed significantly compared to the original lyrics?
Martyn: One has added and a few have changed. Some cosmetically, others substantially. For example, “Babylon” was originally completely different and without Lenny.
Are you having a good time, as the name of the album suggests?
Marek: You have to have good times, sometimes it’s easier because it’s a good card, other times you’re very good at it. Martyn: I take it that the three of us, plus one boy, are having a really nice time with music. For me, this band is just a port in which it is safe and beautiful, even though there is an apocalypse all around.
Press materials claim that the songs are on the record “on the search for love and reconciliation in the backdrop of the concrete gray of the post-Soviet country and adolescence in the industrial environment”. Can you be more specific?
Marek: Girls and boys from PR can always wrap it up so beautifully. It’s simple, it’s about the more successful or less successful. We leave captions in each clip, and I’ll be happy if you read the text and try to find something for yourself, about yourself, or something close to you.
You started writing the history of songs from the album on Facebook, but it didn’t last you very long – you finished right after the first part. Why didn’t it continue?
Martyn: It will continue! I’ll tell you exactly why it’s stuck. The older songs, which include the second in line, were still on my old computer. To refresh how it came about, I need to open those projects and look at all the clues. It’s so much work and it took two years that not everything can be taken out of your head. Well, I didn’t have a working charger for that computer. So I apologize for the delay, but I promise it will!
The opening song “We Are WYFE” was created without the use of a single instrument, and it completely changed the melody. Why? Did you want to get attention at the beginning? It does not correspond to the rest of the album, moreover, it seems to me that the end is truncated…
Martyn: I guess you need to admit a mistake here. As part of the export for digital streams, there is a fraction of a second of silence between the first and second songs that were to follow each other. But there is no mistake on the CD and you will understand that it is actually one whole together with the following “Designation for Love”. It’s such an unwanted incentive to buy a CD. And as for the fact that it’s completely different, I think it’s right. The board has many positions, alternates many approaches and is mainly connected by the atmosphere. This is just an intro to get you in the right mood for everything that comes next.
© Philip Swindall
True, I listened to it through streaming services. Is there another rarity on it?
Marek: Probably the fastest song written for me. I was heading to Martyn to sing some vocals and I think it would be nice to record something new. In the end, “’95” took less than eight minutes, and we didn’t really touch it much. Martyn: Yeah, that’s right, it was really cool. And Vláďa also made a mistake, or let’s say a mistake, on the bass when recording that song. We promised him so many times that we got used to it and she started to have a lot of fun. So there it is. Lesson learned – not every mistake is necessarily a mistake. And comprehensively from a production point of view, back vocals sung on an iPhone in a car in a column are a rarity. But I will not reveal where, let someone look for it!
There is already a duet with Lenny “Babylon” on the album. Are you the link, Martyn, when you call her? And you had to plead a lot? I come across the fact that Lenny had a period when she vowed not to record duets, it was, I guess, around the “Circle” with Marp.
Martyn: I’m a link, but I didn’t have to intercede. Anyone who knows Lenka knows that he has his head and does what he wants to do. We just sent it to her and she told us she liked it and went for it. Plus, we’re probably not the type of people who want to put someone under pressure. Not even themselves. We want it all around our band to be nice, smooth and warm. We’re going back to that cocoa by the fireplace, right?
What should I imagine under the confession: “You are my Babylon.”?
Marek: It’s a reference to a biblical story about the Tower of Babel. You build a tower towering into the sky, during the construction of which you stop communicating in the same language, and you condemn this work to extinction.
Below the video I read a comment: “That clip is a total and silly copy of an amazing masterpiece – Nicola Conte: ‘Kind of Sunshine.’ How would you react to that?
Marek: I would like to thank you for this comment. I played the clip and I quite enjoyed it. Martyn: Yeah, I saw that comment and I was quite surprised. We had no idea of the existence of Nicola Conte, so our conscience is definitely clear. But it’s really very similar, so I would like to meet Mr. Nicola, he probably thinks the same way! But the intention was certainly not. We just had a beautiful house, lovestory and black and white color.
One of the faster songs is “’95”. The title is said to be the tempo of the song divided by two. Why should I look for such complexities in this? (laughter)
Martyn: There’s no need to look for complexities. That’s how I named a computer project when I started working on it. And I actually like it, because it also refers to the year when we were still boys, flying around the villages and everything was a game. The song is a bit like that, too, so it made sense to us. Marek: I’m not a fan of much contemplation over song titles, so somehow the first thing that comes to mind when we start working on it, like “Y Girls”, “Artimes”, “LBF” will always stay there. Nor is it a systematic follow-up to advice from The KLF’s “Manual” that you should not overclock the title.
You bet on a black and white visual identity. Does this color combination evoke classic, quality, a touch of retro, simplicity, or is there something else in it?
Martyn: The black and white world is a platform that I think awakens the imagination. You can paint it yourself as you see fit. And there are no rules at the moment. When you serve someone colors, you’re actually telling them how to read the information. And we don’t want that.
Another hallmark is concrete architecture. How do you look for locations?
Martyn: We look around a lot. I love the city, its moods, lights and shadows. And they are based on the majesties that stand around. But I will probably have to look around Prague now, because we already have it quite scared!
Does the combination of both deepen emotions?
Marek: It’s more for me “why?” to the already served “co?”. Each story sounds a little different when you set it in different scenery.
The debut is a timeline of material from the last five years. On that account, Marek stated that he is now looking forward to the second row. What will it be like?
Marek: We will definitely not turn from “Good Times” to “Bad Times”, but we will want to keep the vector. Martyn: I would especially like her to be honest, sincere and a little better. And so that we can always enjoy working together on it.
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INTERVIEWS: Wyfe – Not every mistake is necessarily a mistake