A while back I had the opportunity to sit down with Josef Prasil, one half of the band Amistat. The twin brothers were in Switzerland to perform an amazing gig at La Cyma in Winterthur. The venue was packed and at times people even had to stand outside as there wasn’t enough space inside.
After playing the sold-out gig at La Cyma and taking care of all picture and autograph requests, Josef brought me “backstage” which ended up just being a with curtains separated part of the bar 🙂
Interview with Josef from Amistat
For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your music in one sentence?
I think it’s like soundtrack music with vocals. We grew up with soundtrack music and always listened to this kind of music.
You were on a bigger tour with the Sons of the East earlier this year. Were you able to learn something from that tour and take it to your own headlining tour you’re on right now?
You can definitely take away fans, for sure. Most people probably don’t know you. You can recruit those fans. Just in general, you learn a lot, how you perform, how you prepare for a tour, how everything works. I think you can definitely learn a lot from the people that are the next level up.
Was there a highlight on that tour for your personally?
There were a lot of special things happening at each show, but I think one highlight was in Oslo, the venue was amazing, the lighting and just the room. The whole energy, it was very special. But then also here in St. Gallen (Kulturfestival), we had Nick from the Sons of the East come up and play that Lewis Capaldi song with us. Like Jan and I were practicing the song backstage and Nick came up and just said, let’s do this together! That was really special! That was definitely a highlight. It’s super special when someone from the main act comes and supports the actual support act. That was great.
If you could tour with any other musician, dead or alive, who would you want to share a stage with every night?
Obviously Mumford & Sons! They’re a big inspiration and amazing band and energy. I’d love to meet the guys, it would be cool to be backstage with them and travel and see how they are. There’s a lot of bands out there, but I think Mumford & Sons is up there, top of the list.
So do you think you’ll be star struck when you meet them?
See, I don’t know… I hope not, but you never know! When you meet your idols, it’s special. I don’t think it has actually happened yet, really. But you know, when I was younger I was a huge Passenger fan and I met him by chance at the airport, I was so star struck at that moment, I was just like aaaaaaaaah, I couldn’t say anything. But that was like 10yrs ago, so maybe I would handle it a little more mature now. I’ll probably still be super nervous.
Your EP “Love & Light” has been out for a little more than a month… During the show you revealed that “Remember Me” was your favorite, can you tell us why?
Yeah, we played this festival in Australia and a lady gave us this handwritten poem. It was a lovely poem and the very next day when we were driving, I started adding some things and writing parts a different way and said, we should turn this into a song. So that’s how that song happened. I don’t know, just the way that it happened was really organic. A little later we were planning on recording a different song, but on the day, we just decided to do Remember Me! It’s just so special because it wasn’t planned, so that’s why it’s so special to me. The entire EP really was a lot of work and there were a lot of things building up over the last couple of years, we’ve both gone through some challenging times, so each of those songs has a lot of memories in it. Far from home, we wrote that in England, that was a tough time. And Love & Light happened when Jan was going through a break up, so it’s all inspired by some big things in our lives.
OK, so I’m wondering, there’s one song on the EP that you also released as an acoustic version. How or why was this song chosen?
We play most of our songs more acoustically. It’s just songs where you think, uuuhm, it doesn’t need a lot more, it works perfectly like this. “Something Wrong” was just that song, we played it on the piano and guitar and it just sounded so complete, we thought it would be nice to give people an acoustic version of that too.
That’s great! I really love anything acoustic!
Yes, same! I always prefer that too.
Sandra: What venue is on your bucketlist to play?
There’s a venue in Melbourne, Australia called Hamer Hall, it’s like a theatre kind of setting, holds about 2000 people, but really special. We’ve seen a lot of great acts there and it’s always been a goal for us to one day play there.
Alex: What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
I recon the Sons of the East tour. Being on tour with a bigger act and supporting them, being able to play these great venues, that was probably a highlight for us, yeah.
Daniel: What was the first song you learned to play on guitar?
I think the first song I’ve played was a Robbie Williams song. It’s actually a fairly unknown song, a b-side. It’s the one he wrote for his Nan who passed away. I’m a huge Robbie Williams fan! He was like my idol when I was growing up, he’s one of the reasons I started singing!
Follow up question then. At what point did you really know that you wanted to do this for a living?
I always enjoyed singing, I started at 10yrs old. But I never thought I’d want to sing as a profession. I think it happened in Australia by chance really. I quit my job and started busking after I met this band who told me they quit their jobs. I hated my job then and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I knew I was “an OK singer” I didn’t play and instruments at that time but just picked up the guitar, started playing like 4 chord songs. And then I started making money, people told me that I was good and that I should do that, so that’s when I called my brother and told him, let’s do this! He always wanted to be a musician and played music, so why not!
Quick Fire Round
The first thing I do when I get home is… wash my hands
I’ve always wanted to go to… Las Vegas
Being a twin is… exhausting
Worst joke I’ve heard… (long pause) wow.. I’ve got nothing….
First thing that comes to mind when seeing a giraffe… awkward. Just awkward…
After talking to me, Josef went back to mingle with his friends and fans. How lucky are these fans to have such humble and down to earth idols 🙂 This is what every fan wants from his favorite musician.
Make sure to go check out Amistats music. Or even better, go see them live. Their records are great, but seeing and hearing them live is amazing. The harmonies are insane – only siblings can sound like this!
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