(This article is also available in Hungarian. A cikk magyar változatáért kattints ide: Egy este Seamus Connelly-vel)
Yesterday we met with Balázs Pongrácz, also known as Seamus Connelly. He is the drummer of the Irish punk rock band, Paddy and the Rats and an old friend of Zoé.
First Joshua and Balázs played together a few songs of Joshua’s new album.
The rest of the evening we talked about childhood dreams, love, touring and family, about the new album of Paddy and the Rats and about the work with the producer, Cameron Webb.
When Balázs was four years old, he already dreamed about being musician and playing on big stages. “It was the first big idea in my head, it is what I ever wanted to do.” Balázs remembered.
Since that he went a long way and his dream came true. Paddy and the Rats is one of the most successful bands in Hungary with tours all over Europe and more than hundred of gigs in a year.
“A few days ago I was checking our old Myspace site and remembered how everything began.” Ten years ago Balázs and his good friend, the songwriter and singer, Paddy founded the band. “At this time in Hungary it was a big crisis, people had lot of problems and sorrows. They did not want to hear big thoughts, they just wanted to leave everything behind and have fun.” This is the mission of Paddy and the Rats.
The message of the music is for Balázs less important. “In the one hour of our show we want to make the people dance and forget about the heaviness of life. Although on every album we have one message. On the latest album it is about children of the night, about orphans and about the importance to take care of yourself and others.”
The mission of Paddy and the Rats did not change. But Balázs is dreaming about going further and reaching new people. “From the beginning on we wanted to be an international band. Now it was time to make the next step. For that we worked on our new album, Riot City Outlaws together with Cameron Webb.” Cameron Webb is a producer from Los Angeles and famous for his cooperation with Motörhead, Limp Bizkit, Sum 41 and Megadeath.
The work with Cameron Webb was for Balázs a life changing experience. “I grew so much as a musician. It is as if before I could only make black and white movies and suddenly I can make them also in colour. But also as a person I learned so much. I think a good producer is more than 50% a psychologist and Cameron is a very good producer. For him it is very important the attitude to your music. If he sees that you are not in perfect mood, he convince you to try his American pencakes, invites you for a coffee or finds another way to take your mind for 20 minutes completely away from music. He is full of awesome ideas. It happened many time that the band was fighting with each other about ideas. Then Cameron came and presented something that sounded completely bullshit. Instead of fighting, suddenly the whole band was united again with the idea that this guy has no idea what he is doing.This was Cameron’s first success. Even more unbelievable with his own magic he made us to really try this idea. And it worked out simply great. I am really grateful for the opportunity to work with Cameron who opened my mind in so many directions.”
But also the private life of Balázs has changed. Since March he is in a relationship. “We did not even meet and I already liked her. I saw one of her paintings, it enchanted and deeply touched me. I wrote her, we met and this was the beginning.” But love and the life in Hungarian show business is not always easy to put together. “We are living in two completely different worlds. My girlfriend is working during the week all day and is tired in the evening. I still live in the night. I wake up late afternoon. Sunday and Monday I am using normally for recreation, I am watching movies, hanging out with friends, doing anything but nothing that is loud. The rest of the week I am working on my music. My girlfriend is mostly free on the weekend, but then I most of the time have a gig or I am even on tour.” Nevertheless, Balázs wants to have family in the future. “For me family would be on the first place. Right now I would barely have time for my kids, but I am hoping to come to the point, where I can play only the summer season and the rest of the year have time for my children.”
After hours of great talk, it was suddenly nearly 10 pm. Balázs was invited to have dinner with a friend and we had to bring the most little adventurer, baby Hugó to bed.
One more time, thank you Balázs for the beautiful evening!
Love and Hugs,
Zoé and Joshua