Music

An interview with Amistat about their new EP, ‘The Coward’

Fresh off their sold-out European tour earlier this year, Melbourne duo Amistat has released a new single, The Coward.

According to the band – composed of brothers Josef and Jan Prasil – the song is for those who are having a hard time revealing their true selves.

The Coward is about knowing who you are deep inside but not being able to let it out,” said Josef. “People are very fast with making assumptions and judging you based on what you look like but little they know about what’s inside of the person.”

With Jan on the guitar and Josef on vocals, the twins deliver a harmonious and stirring performance that will exhilarate and make you feel. Its music video even reflects its powerful tone with a single-take clip of a man struggling to find himself at a gloomy beach.

If you’re only discovering Amistat now, the brothers were originally from Germany but moved to Australia five years ago. Unable to find work, they took up busking, and that’s when they discovered their true calling.

“We realised pretty quickly that we had a unique sound and people wanted to listen to us back home and that is how Amistat was formed,” they explained.

We recently caught up with Josef and Jan amidst their busy schedule to know more about them and their music.

Please tell us more about yourselves. How’d you get started in music? How would you describe your style?

“My brother Jan and I got into music at a young age. Jan had started playing guitar at the age of 10 and played in a few different cover bands.

“I sometimes joined and sung along. We would often just sit at home and listen to music and sing along and cover songs. That’s when we first discovered harmonizing with our vocals and it’s been our main focus ever since!

“We often describe our sound as ‘seeing with your ears’. It’s a cinematic sound with the main focus on harmonies!

You recently just finished a sold-out European tour. How was the experience? What were the most memorable parts of it?

“We have been touring Europe for the last few years and especially this time around it was just incredible! Every show was so special and there was so much overwhelming support and so many people at the shows!

“It was the first time that we had the full band with us which made it even more special.

“Touring Italy for the first time was amazing. Having grown up in some of the cities we got to perform in was a crazy feeling. The people, the food, the weather, just unbelievable!

“Also spending some quality time with family is always a highlight.”

Let’s talk about your new single, The Coward. What was the inspiration behind it?

“Jan wrote that song about himself really. He’s been going through some personal issues over the last couple of years and was looking for a way to express himself more through the music as well and on a person level.

“We live in a world where there is a lot of judgment and pressure surrounding you all the time. Your environment sometimes doesn’t allow you to fully be who you are.

“That’s the message behind the lyrics and the song, be who you are and don’t be afraid of being judged.”

We saw the music video and we loved it. It’s so simple yet so powerful. Could you take us through the creative process involved in the making of the video?

“The concept behind the video was very simple. We wanted to record something that would support the song and the message behind it and make it easier for the listener to connect with the song.

“We thought of a story of a soldier who was being denied going to war. All his life he was waiting for that moment when he could finally show his strength and courage and who he really is, yet he’s not allowed to.

“We love the concept of one shot videos. The last few video we shot were all ‘one shots’. There is something very special and unique about capturing something in one go!”

You’ll be touring in December to celebrate the release of The Coward. What should fans expect?

The Coward is Amistat’s first song that has some electronic elements to it. We have been working on developing a new sound and will be experimenting with a few different things especially for our live performances for this tour.

“There are plenty of stories to be shared about the year and we are very excited to be sharing all this with our fans around Australia! Thanks for having us on the site, we really appreciate it.”

The brothers are on a national tour during December in support of the single. Accompanied by cellist Julian Swinnerton and pianist/percussionist Ryan Oliver, the band performed in Melbourne first, then Newcastle, Canberra, Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane, before finishing the year at Woodford Folk Festival.

Head on over here to find out more.