Meet Iván Vitáris, the front man of the Hungarian indie-garage band Ivan and the Parazol. His style is full of energy, and so is his rock and roll band. And as he says, fashion and clothes get out-dated, so cultivating one’s own style despite trends is needed. In Budapest’s Custom Studio by Pepe Jeans, he proved so by customizing a cool jacket. Take a look and have a listen, because after one of their songs was selected as the official promo for the SXSW festival a few years ago, their rise has been unstoppable. Actually, it seems to have no end, as they’re about to publish their fourth LP, Exotic Post Traumatic.
It’s been said that you sound very British, a very pure and direct rock and roll that makes us think about the ‘60s and the ‘70s. But how has Ivan and The Parazol changed since that first album released in 2012?
We still play rock ‘n’ roll with a lot of love and energy, so that's never gonna change. A lot of things happened during these years. Mainly, we’ve become a more experienced band with heavier sound and better songs.
A few years ago, Deep Purple chose you to play before them at their concert in Budapest. It’s been some time since that but, how was it going through all of this?
It was awesome. I'll have to admit that I started playing music just because I heard their Made In Japan live album. I mean, that record changed everything. These are great opportunities, playing in front of a big crowd, together with the band that inspired you the most. This year, we're touring with Rival Sons, which is also a blast, cool guys, and their sound is magnificent.
This summer, you have scheduled a good number of concerts, most of them in your country, Hungary. What is it like to live this routine with the rest of the band and spending so much time together, travelling constantly from one place to another?
We're like a family now; brothers who are travelling together all the time, with the pros and cons that a family can have. You get used to it after some time on the road and now that everybody kinda knows the others’ habits, it’s really comforting to travel together.
It’s true that your music has a lot of ‘60s and ‘70s rock influences, but what current referents do you have? What albums are you listening to the most nowadays?
There are a lot: Jack White's new album or the new Arctic Monkeys. We listen to a lot of Kasabian, Band Of Skulls, etc.
How are the creative process and the creative synergies like when you are producing a new song?
Mostly, we're working in little writer duos or trios. For example, our guitarist and me. Somebody comes with an idea, we start to build it up to like sixty per cent, and then everybody joins in and we put the whole song together. It’s very interesting how a song can be twisted around when it’s seen through five different perspectives. Maybe we write a lyrical song in a little group, or someone alone, and when we put it together it turns out to be a punk song.
You've recently released Serial Killer, a theme with Kyiki from Crystal Fighters. I imagine that it’s always a good experience to create a theme with other artists. What do you enjoy the most of these collaborations?
That little secret ingredient that only another one can add. We have our own recipe, but when someone gives a new flavour to it, that’s magic.
Your style is simple and direct but powerful; songs hit you. What should we expect from your next work? Will you continue with rock and roll or should we expect something different?
Yes, we did three LPs. This new one, called Exotic Post Traumatic, was recorded in the legendary East West studio in Los Angeles. This place is amazing! They did Michael Jackson's Thriller and even the last Foo Fighters albums. I think it’s not really about style, it’s about inspiration. We don’t have the same inspiration as two or three years ago – I mean that we have a lot of inspiration but not the same kind. As we're getting older and more experienced, things are changing and that can be heard on this new LP.
You have been one of the artists who have participated in this project with Pepe Jeans and its Custom Studio. How has your experience customizing a garment been like? Is it something you made before?
Great! I was always into renewing, changing, recreating things. At the university, I learned industrial design so we had a lot of projects like this. For me, this recreation period can be also a solution for a more bearable consumerist society. For example, clothes and fashion are always changing, but styles come back from time to time. So rather than throwing pieces out, we should redesign them or something.
What do you think about customizing?
It’s cool. Everybody has a style, we're all individuals. Everybody wants to have something specific that fits him/her. I think that’s where the world product design is leading now, so you can have your own version of everything.
What about the future? What are you planning for the rest of this year?
Touring, finishing our new record, and trying to find a way to have this jeans coat in our merch.