I remember very vividly the first time I read The Raven by E.A. Poe. After reading his works, I enjoyed books by A.C. Doyle or J. Verne. But most of all, of course, I loved the mystery in the Boston native’s paragraphs, and I began searching for an author who was like Mr. Poe and myself. Thanks to the Internet in school classrooms, which was not nearly as accessible then as it is now, I’ve found references in the lyrics of metal bands to the writer H.P. Lovecraft . I had no idea at the time that he was the legend.
The first stories I read were Cool Air and Polaris. They completely enchanted me with their atmosphere, in which there is room for the reader’s imagination. Of course, this author is known as a master of horror, but I admired the dreamy and sometimes almost scientific atmosphere far more. So I began to seek out more of his works. To this day, I still fondly remember traveling to school and university when I was literally devouring every line, projecting the story in my head and imaging music that no one had composed yet. I felt a special connection and a great deal of inspiration…
My first music compositions were published on BandZone and MySpace at the time under the name Oakvyl, which was a made-up name for a fictional town similar to H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham.
Back then my songs were without drums and vocals, just pure instrumental guitar compositions and I hadn’t even heard of a genre like post-rock.
That changed when I discovered Sigur Ros, God Is an Astronaut, Butterfly Explosion and If These Trees Could Talk. It was the last- mentioned American band that charmed me with its natural atmosphere and showed me that music can be without vocals and still say a lot. Inspired by these artists, I started to compose more and learned how to program drums. I was fascinated by the connection between art and modern computer technology…
KATATONIA, especially in the beginning, had a huge influence on my sound and compositional style. Specifically the album Brave Murder Day. Although it doesn’t seem like it, the song One World Is Not Enough is actually a riff from the Swedish legend’s Murder. I had the pleasure of meeting them a few times and getting the album signed. I’m still secretly hoping we’ll play on same stage one day.
At that time, part of the international music scene was centered on various internet forums where composers exchanged their music. Of course, it was a deep underground, but it was then that I fell in love with the dense and unreadable sound of these projects.
We could say that Oakvyl was the first phase of the Postcards From Arkham project …
During my time in Dissolving of Prodigy and AWRIZIS, I had a lot of material that didn’t fit the genre of those two bands or was labeled as too commercial.
I recorded and arrange these bits of songs together at home like Professor Frankenstein, not knowing that they would someday become a literal monster. We even played some of the parts in the rehearsal room, I had a project in my head at the time called Corners of Arkham. In my free time I would record at home and in the rehearsal room until I realized I had almost thirty minutes of music.
At this time, heavy music in the style of metalcore, deathcore and hardcore was very popular. No one was interested in post rock at all. I remember when I played the record to my friends, everyone discouraged me from this project. They said that such music had no future and that I should continue with AWRIZIS.
Even though I had the album finished and ready for release, I spent several months deciding whether to release it to the world.
I deliberately didn’t want PFA to act as a solo project, partly because my self-esteem was at point zero and also because I was a bit ashamed of it. After all, it wasn’t exactly professionally recorded and was out of step with the standards of the time. So I staged a band photo shoot where I invited some friends and took some photos.
So PFA pretended to be a regular band for a few years, even though some people on the promo photos didn’t recorded anything or even played a gig.
Despite all this, the album OCEANIZE was voted as the 5th best newcomer album in the Břitva awards
Search for a label
To my surprise, several labels contacted me after the whole album was posted on the internet. Most of them were from abroad and sent the classic offer, which was not free, but in hindsight I sometimes regret not accepting one of them. Unfortunately, as a student at the time, I literally didn’t have a penny, so I turned everything down.
A (unnamed) label from Poland also wrote me a message. Their offer was the only one I could afford to accept at the time. It included the production of physical media and basic promo.
I was thrilled, they officially announced the collaboration on their website and on the band profiles. So I started preparing print data and looked forward to the physical release. A month went by, two months… So I sent an email asking when the album would be released and the reply was that it would be in about two weeks. Four weeks went by, a month … Another apology followed another inquiry and this repeated for almost half a year. Then the label disappeared and I never heard from them or about the CDs they didn’t produced …
Also the Czech label (now defunct) contacted me with a particularly interesting offer, which they wanted to discuss in person in Ostrava. I arrived at a fancy Ostrava restaurant very curious and waiting. After twenty minutes of waiting, my phone rang with an apology and a request if we could discuss the offer on the way in the car.
A luxury car arrived with two gentlemen in it (one was missing a tooth).
They introduced themselves and they were very knowledgeable about the Czech music scene and were very complimentary about the OCEANIZE record, saying how much potential this music had and that they wanted to invest in it. They offered me 3 types of contracts to go through and think about. The contracts were really interesting but again required some financial backing. I thought for a long time, but due to my financial situation, I had to call them and thankfully decline.
About three days passed when my phone rang. They said my music was so interesting that they had one more offer for me and if we could meet as soon as possible .
The meeting took place at a gas station where I learned that they were really interested in my music and that I wouldn’t have to pay anything. I’d just sign a contract saying that I’d sort of paid something, but they’d take care of the rest. Of course, this would be our secret…
All excited, I told this to my girlfriend at the time, who looked at me like I was crazy. She had to explain to me that it was the shortest way to trouble and that I must not accept it at any cost. Again, I refused and never heard about them any more.
Five years later, at a concert, I learned quite by accident from a person who had known one of these gentlemen since their youth that they were really interesting artists and businessmen. They had several successful years during which they had squandered all their finances and ambitions and lost almost everything, and in this way they were trying to extract money from young and naive people. I might have spent a lot of time in court by now…
I lost all illusions about any cooperation and since then I have been dealing with everything exclusively on my own and by myself.
That’s why I was very distrustful and cautious., when the offer from MATELGATE arrived. So at least we agreed to perform at Czech Death Fest 2014.
After the release of OCEANIZE, several offers for live performances came. All of them were from abroad, but since the band had only one member and there wasn’t enough time to teach other people the live set, I had to refuse the offers.
The first concert with three members was finally in Černá v Pošumaví together with Austrian NEONSTREAM in a beautiful summer cinema. Of course, nothing went according to plan. At that time I didn’t know anyone who would play samples from the computer at concerts. Even though I had graduated from an IT school and was interested in electronics, it took me a long time to come up with a suitable and affordable solution. Of course a few minutes before the concert started I plugged the USB cable into my laptop and … nothing. There was only noise. After an endless five minutes I managed to get everything working and could play. PFA live for the first time ever ! I did it and it was great! The atmosphere of the nature and the Lipno lake enchanted me so much that I go back almost every year. We had the opportunity to play unplugged at the same place.
For PFA I always tried to be as genre-open as possible, combining heavy music with folk or electronica. So between album OCEANIZE and AE0N5 I recorded a cover of my favourite DNB track by DNB icon Pendulum. I also needed to practice my 3D graphics skills, so the final video is a bit of a tech demo.
Carnival of Souls
Once I had confirmed at Lipno Fest that the tracks from OCEANIZE are playable live, I took the chance of placing PFA at the Carnival of Souls festival, which I organized with my then work colleague and editor of Pařát Anxur magazine. We started the festival for fun and also to create a genre-spanning event focused on the dark arts. This festival became a kind of home event for POSTCARDS FROM ARKHAM.
The first short film to feature the music of POSTCARDS FROM ARKHAM was the 2014 animated film The Noonwitch. The adaptation of Erben’s poem featured the track Pais des Merveilles from AE0N5. It was released the following year. Again, I worked with 3D graphics and animation. The film won an award in Bratislava and the song is still played as an outro during our concerts. Since then, we have been perfecting the connection between our music and film …
Single you know there’s Something
During the recording of OCEANIZE, I learned a lot of new things about music production and recording and I wanted to capitalize on those in the new single. You Know There’s Something … was a bit better than the previous work in terms of composition and technique, and also a stepping stone for the second AE0N5 album.
I also wanted to push my filmmaking and VFX skills a bit so I started working on the music video, which again combined 3D graphics but this time with rehearsal room footage shot by my then girlfriend on her camera. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is where my filmmaking career began, and it’s been going on ever since…
Czech Death fest 2014
At this festival I played not only with PFA but also with AWRIZIS and one more band. So three shows in one day. Before the PFA show I met with the MetalGate people. It was a very nice meeting which resulted in a very good offer to release a second album. After previous experiences with publishers I thought about it for a long time and went to Prague several times to discuss the terms of the release. However, everything turned out well and the release of the second album was set for 2015. Here began the cooperation with Metalgate label, which lasted almost 6 happy years.
While the first OCEANIZE album was made entirely at my flat (that’s why the re-edition was made, after all), the whole process was more difficult for the second album. Not only that, but the recording was preceded by almost three years of pre-production, where I actually recorded and polished the whole album to perfection at home, so as to deliver the best possible material to the label. In the studio itself, we took care of every detail, thanks also to Libor, who took on the role of engineer and producer. He made sure that I recorded all the instruments correctly and properly. It was a strange feeling to be in the studio all by myself and to be fully immersed in art. I remember when a friend of Libor’s came in and asked if it was sad to be in the studio without the band. I said it was a dream come true. Because of the compositions, the mixing was also very difficult. After that Libor also participated in the album MANTA or the EP AWRIZIS
I always try to make the most interesting visuals for each album. This applies not only to the cover art or music videos, but also to the t- shirts or merchandise for the album. For AE0N5 for example it was an original postcard, a pick or a tentacle.
Music video Aeon Echoes
For the video to the first single from AE0N5 I collaborated with Martin Ferko, from whom I learned a lot about filmmaking. However, the whole shoot was very wild. It was a big problem to find a pure white rabbit. I had to visit at least 10 shops and kennels, where I was looked at like a fool because nobody wants a pure white rabbit. Eventually I found a white rabbit, but after the shoot I couldn’t keep the rabbit…
Martin was supposed to take care of the post-production, but just at the beginning of post-production his daughter was born and he had other things to worry about. So I did all the post-production while I was studying for my state exams. The music video then won 2nd place in Břitva awards as music video of the year.
BRUTAL ASSAULT 2015
The 2015 Brutal Assault festival played a big part in the evolution of PFA. When I got the offer to perform at the biggest festival in the country, I had a few weeks to create a band that didn’t really exist. Plus, work on AEON5 was peaking, so we spent two weekends in the summer in the rehearsal room playing the new playlist.
Something must have gone wrong again. Early in the morning, while we were loading up the equipment, the drummer showed me his hand, which was swollen to the point where it looked like it was broken. A phone call went through my head telling me that we would not be playing at Brutal. It turned out to be an allergic reaction to a bee sting and it was not certain whether it would be possible to play with this handicap at all.
However, everything turned out well and we performed at the festival again in 2017. We sincerely hope to return again soon, it’s always an unforgettable experience.
Dreamscapes 2015 tour
Everything was going well at the Brutal Assault festival and it was necessary to support AEON5 album, which was gathering positive reactions, on tour. So I arranged with my friends from ADOR DORATH a coheadlining tour. METALGATE added in Six Degrees Of Separation and went on a few stops in the Czech Republic. I was in charge of all the promotion and Martin from Ador Dorath was in charge of the technical side of the sound. Everything worked great. We still remember the tour fondly, we had a lot of fun together and all the hard work of organizing and working on the album paid off.
2016 was again a busy year because we were preparing the MANTA album and playing several concerts. Once again we played at our favourite CDF this time with the thematically related THE GREAT OLD ONES. We also got the honour to open for ANTIMATTER or MORTIIS.
The year 2016 was mainly in the spirit of supporting the successful AEN05 album and composing its successor. The biggest event was the European tour we went on together with MINORITY SOUND. I was a bit nervous before the start, because I knew the MM guys from Prague only a little bit and the bands didn’t know each other at all. We were to set off in one van, in which Otus and I were the first to meet. After getting in and full of expectations Otus turned the key and … nothing. Several attempts to start the car were futile. At the engine, Otus asked me: do you understand cars? It was clear to me at that moment that we can’t go anywhere .
Eventually it turned out to be a battery fault, which was solved and I sprinted across Prague to get our CD from the publisher. We even managed to open for MORTIISE from EMPEROR in Germany. At that time I was a bit surprised by his professionalism. He shook hands with everyone and signed posters all night in the backstage and was very polite. We weren’t so professional because it was quite normal for me, Ales and Otus not to sleep for days and to drink uncontrollably after the gigs…
We always remember the tour fondly. We are still good friends with Aleš, Otus and Peta…
Of course, we also had some funny moments on the tour. For example, in Vienna we found ourselves on the street at 2am with nowhere to sleep. The band that organized the event went a bit overboard with the alcohol and even damaged our equipment after a small scuffle. It was too late for a hotel and we didn’t even have the money for one. We had no choice but to drive a few hours to Olomouc where we spent the night.
Videoclip One World is Not Enough
After the production-intensive Aeon Echoes video, I wanted to make something more band-oriented. Also to reveal the title of the new, upcoming album in the video. I asked Libor (producer of AE0N5 and MANTA) to be a videographer. Lenka for illustrations to introduce MANTA. Rendolf from Barrocko club for the location and Martin from GM studio for the lights. These people helped PFA especially in the beginning and often for free, for which I am very grateful. The whole shoot was supposed to be simple and quick …
But we left Libor for a few tens of minutes with several hundred thousand worth of equipment and a second cameraman in the car. On the spot, we also discovered that we had no drums. The whole shoot dragged on till late. Fortunately, neither Libor nor the people from the Barrocko club minded. I took care of the editing and post- production. It was the biggest song from the second album, which we are still playing now…“
The 2017 was probably the most challenging in the last 10 years. Because of Release of the long awaited MANTA album at Brutal Assault festival. Acoustic Busking tour. Supporting JINJER , OBSCURE SPHINX, TIDES FROM NEBULA. A MANTA OVER POLAND tour
I was really excited and full of energy about the success of the AEON5 album. Almost immediately after its release I started to compose its successor, which was supposed to be a bit more progressive and diverse. For the first time ever it was foreseen that the songs would be played live and for that reason I wanted to record live drums and strings for the first time. With every record we wanted to push the production higher. MANTA even has live and professional strings instruments, which was a dream come true for me. But I didn’t realize that professional musicians would need professional music papers – that is, sheet music for everything I wanted them to play. So I spent many evenings writing down sheet music and reminiscing about flute playing, but it was worth it!
Again, much of the recording took place in the MetalGate studio. But for the first time ever, I experienced the feeling of wanting to leave the studio. The previous recording and preparation had given me quite a hard time, plus I had school and work to deal with. When I arrived in Vsetín, I found out that Libor was also very busy. So we usually worked half of the day and only in the evening or early morning, very tired, recorded. It didn’t suit either of us very well and the mood was at the freezing point. I even had an email already written out, where I informed the publisher about postponing the recording to another date. In the end, Libor and I sorted everything out and the record turned out great.
Music video The Kvlt Ov Dream
Again I wanted to push my filmmaking and directing skills a level higher. So I developed the project and documentation for the single The Kvlt ov Dream and approached Jeden Kmen who created an impressive multi-genre project. The shoot lasted from early morning until the evening, and the next day we shot the band part, when we again faced problems regarding the drums. The post-production was also challenging however the whole video was again awarded second best in the Břitva Awards.
Busking ritual Tour 2017-2018
Before the release of the acoustic album SPIRIT we went on a busking tour. This was one of the most important experiences I have had. Playing acoustic instruments, often for ordinary listeners, really tests musicianship and songwriting skills. We played in interesting places, cafes, wine bars, on the street… This experience was one of the main inspirations for my solo acoustic album.
Brutal Assault 2017
We decided to schedule the release of MANTA on the same day we played at the Brutal Assault festival. There was even an official meet and greet where many people came and then interviews followed in the press center. I went there straight from the signing and a bit fortified by the alcohol we drank with the fans during the signing. I was a bit worried as we were playing at the same time as the legendary EMPEROR were performing. But we had a full house and the experience was unreal. The new songs worked great and poured a lot of energy into my veins.
festival Castle Party 2017 (with MY DYING
We managed to play at one of the oldest festivals in Poland twice so far. The first time in 2017 we played in a church, sold out the merchandise and fell in love with the Polish crowd, which we have come back to several times on tour. The second time we went to Bolkow Castle, full of the goth community, was in 2021 and we strongly hope to return in the future!
Tour MANTA Over Poland
With a fresh MANTA album, we went on tour to Poland with AU DESSUS from the North as our touring companion. The gig in Warsaw was not one of the best. The lights weren’t working, so we played practically in the dark. We had an early playing time and we were tired from previous gigs. People didn’t come much either, except one gentleman who kept walking past our merchandise and said that he came mainly to see us and that he really liked the concert. I thanked him, but I didn’t really believe it. After a while, he told us that he was the organizer of the Prog in Park festival where Anathema would be and that he wanted us there. I almost fainted…
The touring for the MANTA album was quite exhausting and the problems regarding the reliability of the drummer started to come into full effect. The biggest trouble happened in Bratislava, where we played in front of my favourite OBSCURE SPHINX. A long sound check and repeated problems with the equipment kept almost two hundred people waiting for several tens of minutes, during which the musicians from OBSCURE SPHINX and the organizer kept coming up to me and asking what was wrong. The situation was going nowhere so I decided to start playing the whole set without samples and metronome. On the fly, I chose songs where the orchestras were not missing so much and I set the tempo myself, which was damn fast. The audience was very forgiving but I was so embarrassed even in front of the Polish band that I told the organizer not to give us a fee. The journey home was not pleasant at all.
Music video Owls not what they Seem
The video for Owls Not What They Seem from MANTA is a tribute to the work of David Lynch. I have always been fascinated by his art and not only this track, but the whole album is inspired by shows such as Twin Peaks. The recording itself was very challenging (again, there were problems with the drummer and drums) and involved drone flyovers in several parts of the country. The hardest part was our friend Marie, who spent a whole hot day in an owl mask!
Prog In Park
Undoubtedly a dream come true was performing in Poland at the Prog in Park festival. We had the honour to play witch artists who still influence our work. Anathema, Ihsahn, Leprous and Tides from Nebula were absolutely amazing. In the backstage I had the opportunity to have a nice chat with Einar from Leprous, when I asked him if I could have a photo with him, someone came up behind me saying: I’ll take your picture. It was Ihsahn from Emperor. Of course I had to take a picture with him too. I was also surprised by the attitude of British Anathema. I sat on the side of the stage for their whole set, listening with tears in my eyes to songs I once admired and never thought I would meet this music legend on the same stage. After the concert I chatted with Danny and I offered him a shot of alcohol. He declined and added with a smile that he stopped drinking alcohol twenty years ago. I nodded my head in acknowledgement. To this he added: „That’s when I started taking drugs …“
Music video Leviathan
On the MANTA album I finally used acoustic guitars, which have always attracted me with their sound. I recorded a few songs where there was a lot of room for them and one of them was the song Leviathan. I wanted the video for it to be very special and symbolic. I used a haunted house in Rymice and the goblins from One Tribe.
I’ve wanted to make an acoustic album since I heard Agalloch’s White. But over the years I realized that playing acoustic instruments is much harder than amplified ones. Plus, acoustic arrangements always tests the quality of the songs, so preparing our acoustic album SPIRIT was very difficult and stressful. Problems with the drummer were unbearable and all the work on the sound side of the record fell to me. I was so happy with the result that it was then that the idea for a solo record first popped into my head. However, as a band we also played a few acoustic gigs in support of this record and it is still one of my favourite things to this day.
Tour Manta & Dissonance 2018
Together with the Czech NEUROTIC MACHINERY I went to several stops in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. As a band we were very experienced for those few years, but the cooperation with the drummer at that time didn’t work very well. After playing that tour we had to cancel the rest of the shows and look for a new member to play drums.
A Mile Beneath The Ocean tour
I’ve been working on the songs for the OAKVYL album and they sounded fine in the rehearsal room, we just needed to try the material live before recording. Together with ET MORIEMUR from Pilsen we organized Czech stops and several concerts in Poland, where we always experienced only the best. This time the concert in Krakow was very difficult. The local sound engineer was a bit too much with alcohol and was not able, already later in the evening, to do his job. So I somehow plugged everything in with the supervision of the paying visitors and we played our set late in the evening. Otherwise everything worked and we were ready to record the Oakvyl record.
The title of the album Oakvyl is of course a reference to the very beginning of PFA because I was finally able to make the record I dreamed of so many years ago. But in the final stages of making this project had really had enough. I was trying to get everything perfect at all costs. I would get up early in the morning and before work, I would do edits on the album and record. In the evening, I was dealing with the publisher or Jens Bogren about the production of the album. I felt that OAKVYL was going to be a really great record, but at the same time I knew it would be the last music I would write for PFA for a long time…
Working with Swedish producer Jens Bogren, who has produced all my favourite records from OPETH, KATATONIA and SWALLOW THE SUN, was a dream come true. The album got an amazing sound and I gained a lot of great experience.
The album gained positive reactions upon its release and was awarded second best in the Rock & Crossover category in the Břitva Awards. However, there was still work to be done on tour promotion, music videos and other essentials, so a lot of work was still ahead of me.
For the first and last time I tried to make PFA a normal band where everyone has a function and everything doesn’t stand and fall on me. At first it looked promising, but after a short time when the musicians realized that the band was not just about playing and enjoying themselves at gigs the morale started to drop. I was so disappointed that I decided to definitely manage this project as my own authorS work and treat all the other musicians as guests.
Music video Erich Zann Syndrome
Making the Oakvyl record was so challenging that I decided to make the lyrics and music video for Erich Zann Syndrome a bit personal. I felt more and more the pressure around PFA as the expectations grew. I was also getting tired, because for the last 10 years I have been writing one album and several music videos every year. Plus, I was becoming more and more noticeably distant from the metal community, where it was all about being the biggest badass, warrior, army and I don’t know what else. Playing as fast and hard as possible, but without soul, originality and personality… Not to mention bringing politics into the music.
My inspiration was, of course, the short story The Music of Erich Zann by H.P. Lovecraft.
In the video clip I cut my hair and tried to portray my exhaustion and disappointment. It was filmed in the attic at the Kino from the BBYB band and the video was again awarded second best in the Břitva Awards
Videoclip of Spiritual Transcendence
After the production complexity of the video for Erich Zann Syndrome and the long process of making the Oakvyl album, I wanted to make something purely natural as a second video. I’ve wanted to film in the place where I grew up for a long time and the lyrics of Spiritual Transcendence encouraged it. Libor helped us with the filming again. It was necessary to carry all the equipment, including the aggregate, deep into the forest, where we tried to make as little noise as possible (of course we had no permission)…
The song and the video clip were the culmination of a long-term cooperation with the group Jeden Kmen. Together we developed a short film, for one of the most complex songs I have composed. Ctibor from Jeden Kmen was in charge of the lyrics and the theme. The result was an almost ten-minute audiovisual presentation that premiered on fantasy.cz. We even thought several times about a live performance of this composition, maybe some day the time will come …
Tour Oakvyl Live Session Chapter I
For the first time in the history of the PFA project, we practiced in the rehearsal room before the release of the album and even played some of the songs before the release. The combination of active promotion, fresh musical material, and organization under our direction ensured that the first chapter of the Oakvyl tour was a great success, as was the response to the album. This project was at its peak point.
We visited new and old familiar cities, and the next batch of domestic and international shows were to be played in the spring.
However, in February 2020, disturbing news began to spread around the world …
The first part of the Oakvyl tour was really successful. For the first time ever we even managed to make some money.
But the tour was interrupted by the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. I remember postponing the first cancelled show for a week because of the pandemic, thinking that the culture must return to normal in a week. Today we know how serious the situation was…
The pandemic had a big impact not only on the concerts, but also on the functioning of the band. Most people lost motivation to do anything when the gigs were postponed. There were further problems with the drummer and the overall relationship between the members cooled down. So much so that I was left alone in the band again.
The gigs kept getting postponed. After Oakvyl was released there was a great future ahead, in 2022 I wasn’t sure if there was a future. The pandemic also had positive effects. When I finished the Oakvyl album, I was convinced I wouldn’t be writing anything for PFA for at least 2 years. Mainly because I was very happy with the album and I couldn’t imagine that I could compose anything better. I was happy with result but I felt completely exhausted at the same time.
To this day I don’t know how I managed to do it. Whether it was the situation the world was in or the situation I was in, but within about 3 weeks I had composed a brand new record. And not just any record. Even during the composition, which was very natural and fun, I felt like I was composing the soundtrack to a movie…
Crowdfunding and film
The idea of a film has been dormant somewhere in my mind since the beginning of my work. I always thought of PFA more as an audiovisual project than as a band. But especially in the beginning the idea of making a film was completely unrealistic.
All those years of making music videos and composing music led to making a film. While the COVID-19 epidemic has pushed back the second part of the Oakvyl tour, it has given us more time to prepare the crowdfunding campaign.
It actually required dozens of hours of work. Thanks to that, we found out how many people are rooting for us. After a successful ending, we felt a lot of gratitude, but also responsibility …
In addition, the concerts were cancelled and there was time on weekends to prepare the project and make active use of the whole pandemic situation.
Video clip Mutual Distortion
The song Mutual Distortion itself deals with human relationships in connection with modern technology in a somewhat atypical way. The whole shoot took place in front of a green background and all the post-production was done over several months. Moreover, the song has taken a solid position in our live setlist and received an acoustic version. The premiere of the music video took place in cooperation with the biggest Czech fantasy magazine pevnost.cz
At the beginning of the global pandemic, no one knew how long the cultural restrictions would last. We already know that we had to wait almost two years and postpone the second chapter of the ØAKVYL tour three times. Nevertheless, we tried to use the time creatively: working on the soundtrack, the film, re-editing OCEANIZE, organizing a virtual festival and also playing for the very first time in Ostrava’s Barrák club – albeit empty …
Oakvyl tour CHAPTER II
We had to postpone the concerts on the second part of the Oakvyl tour three times. We also had to find a new drummer and a bass player again, which took a lot of strength and motivation.
However, we took our friends from Arch Of Hell in Brno and we actually played a few gigs. It was far from ideal and smooth, but I was happy to be able to stand on stage again and play songs from Oakvyl, which deserves a lot more gigs.
Unfortunately, already during the tour the restrictions were coming again due to the coronavirus which made it very difficult to organize concerts and the last two concerts that were planned didn’t even take place.
My motivation and power to pull the band was at zero due to the cultural situation and the attitude of the band. I wanted to work mainly on the new record, the film and the re-release of the first record and not deal with constantly moving gigs, travel and accommodation or transport for my bandmates.
I knew very well that I didn’t want to experience the stress of recording the Oakvyl board again. New music from PFA was not yet expected, so I could record and produce in peace. Plus, with my previous experience, I could record anywhere. I recorded some of the music in a cabin in the Beskydy mountains where there was no shortage of inspiration. Musically, the soundtrack is very diverse and there is no shortage of atmospheric parts.
The Pandemic brought out so much creativity in me. That I not only composed a new album for PFA but I also had other songs that were not suitable for PFA or AWRIZIS. For the first time ever, the idea of an album bearing my name flashed in my head. Gradually I recorded and mixed the songs everywhere possible on the road. I didn’t want to relive the stress that was around the Oakvyl record. So I did everything in a way that was mostly fun, which reminded me of when I recorded the OCEANIZE record. The album was nominated for Břitva awards and I even managed to go on a few shows, which rekindled the flame of hope in me.
I’m sure there will be another solo project …
Shooting the film
I was pretty clear about the cast of our film before the crowdfunding campaign. We’ve met many talented people during the making of the film, but it’s already a tough task to choose reliable and passionate artists, especially when our story has three main characters …
The filming itself was of course very complicated. For logistical reasons alone, with each actor coming from a different part of the country, we had to deal with accommodation, make-up, schedules, props, locations, production. Of course, even the first weekends of shooting were not without problems. For example, we had to replace one of the actors and we also lost a filming location. Fortunately, thanks to my previous experience as a filmmaker, I was aware of the size of the project and didn’t let a few problems discourage me. This project is very important to me and not only the quality but also the experience is top priority for me.
Carnival of Souls V
In the midst of the ongoing global pandemic, we decided to organize a virtual festival. Although we had many years of experience in organizing events, this was something completely new. With two people, we were in charge of everything from technical organization to promotion. After the live broadcast late in the evening, our work of several months was successfully over and we could enjoy the atmosphere and the joy of playing live, at least for a while. It was worth it.
OCEANIZE ten Years in Arkham
The year 2022 was approaching and I felt like I was back at the beginning again. Postcards from Arkham was a solo project that no one believed in but myself. No Gigs in sight and my future was very unclear.
I figured that was true in a way, because it’s exactly 10 years since the release of OCEANIZE. I also figured that I finally have a chance to use all the experience of all these years and record an album again and better. I always regretted that we couldn’t play some songs live for technical reasons.
The re-release of OCEANIZE after 10 years was actually very similar to what it was 10 years ago, but still different. I recorded the music in my home studio and also created the cover and all the promotional materials. All without official announcement, because I didn’t know if the songs would stand up after so many years. I was pleasantly surprised. This time all the work had a purpose. It was to use all the experience gathered in 10 years and to pick up all the bugs so that we could promote the whole album live. This meant live drums, better sound and of course a quality release on multiple platforms. The album has finally after 10 years been released on CD, cassettes and digital platforms.
Unlike the original release of OCEANIZE, the re-release has a live drummer!
I met Honza (DUSTBORN, ex Desire For Sorrow) during the European tour of DfS, where I played guitar. We have fond memories of the whole tour and stayed in touch afterwards. With DfS I played live a cover of Hypocrisy (link below), I made two music videos for Dustborn, but the musical collaboration happened only here…
Documentary ten years in Arkham
When I started playing the songs from OCEANIZE again, all the memories and experiences from the past 10 years started to come back to me. And I must admit that they were very pleasant memories that filled me with hope and strength, because all the dark days were overcome and used as a shield for things to come. That is why I had the idea to make a documentary in which I will write down all these experiences while they are still vivid in my memory and before it is too late.
I was very inspired by a documentary by KATATONIA that traces their career and I was very interested. So I decided to make a documentary like Ten Years in Arkham.
Ten years in Arkham tour
The cultural situation was far from ideal and it was very strange to play concerts because of the war in Ukraine. However, 10 years since the release of OCEANIZE is only once and I wanted to celebrate this anniversary with at least a few concerts.
I followed the same procedure again to make everything as relaxed and stress-free as possible. So I approached bands that I have got to know over the last 10 years and are reliable. The same applied to the band line-up or choice of clubs.