Formed in Prague the late 1990s and having undergone a variety of line up changes across four albums, Czech hard rocking proggers Votchi have stabilised both their membership and sound while looking beyond their borders.

Founding member Mirek Mužík (keyboards/vocals) is now augmented by singer Alex McBeat, guitarist Martin Smejkal, bassist Dominik Vozobule, drummer Jan Ježek and flautist Olga Vlachová. Their latest single release //Out Of Love// -their first new music since 2015 album //Out Of Jail// – trails the EP of the same name, which will be released on Canadian label SODEH Records in early 2024.

In common with many bands from behind the former Iron Curtain, Votchi’s initial influences came from the era of classic rock before developing into more progressive flavours.

The band’s initial inspiration came from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Yes,” says Martin Smejkal. “By our third album, //New Religion//, we reached a more modern and progressive sound like Porcupine Tree or Dream Theatre.”

Along with their musical development came a change in their lyrical themes.

We’re trying to reach the inner child,” says Alex McBeat. “We’re really trying to see the world the way we used to when we were small. You want the good to be good, the bad to bed, right to be right and wrong to be wrong. It would be really beautiful to learn from children and to see the world as they do.”

With their most stable line up, Votchi are wanting to reach as many people as possible with their music, though they stress that that objective isn’t driven by any desire to achieve fame purely for its own sake.

It’s about communicating with people,” stresses McBeat.

We really enjoy the music that we’re making,” adds Smejkal. “That’s the major point for us. We want to reach as many people as possible so that we can connect them.”

With their mission firmly in place, founder Mirek Mužík is also aware of the discipline needed to achieve it and that it can be done.

It takes a lot of planning and it’s quite hard,” he says of the work that goes on behind the scenes. “We’re not always at rehearsal at the same time but, after 20 years, I’m really used to handling the situation.”

— JM

From "Around The World - Votchi" Prog Reprinted with permission.

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