Updated: Apr 16, 2021
New interviews from people in the music scene every Monday, every week, every month!
Welcome to Monday Morning Musical Mayhem: a brand new series that will focus on musicians, bands, artists, and whoever else in the musical industry that reaches out to us! The goal is help spread the word about people doing rad stuff in the music world? Are you doing rad stuff? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured! xoxoxo
Another Monday has snuck up on us but we have something to take the edge off! Meet Martin J. Polák - frontman of Czech political punkers The Desperate Mind! Having the unfortunate timing of releasing a brand new album at the beginning of a global pandemic, the quartet is now looking to spread the word about it. So let's all have a listen, shall we? Join BRD as we quiz Martin on his band, ice hockey, and crazy skull churches!
BRUTAL REALITY DIGEST: Introduce yourself, your band, and your weapon of choice.
MARTIN J. POLÁK: My name is Martin J. Polák, I'm from the beautiful wine region of South Moravia, Czech Republic, Europe. I sing and play in a punk rock band called The Desperate Mind, along with my brothers in arms Filip Buršík (lead guitar, backing vocals), David Havelka (bass, backing vocals) and Winc Janeček (basically the God of Drums, backing vocals). My weapon of choice is my black ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar, that machine just kills (and not just fascists, haha!).
BRD: When did you start The Desperate Mind?
MJP: I started this band back in high school in 2011 with my friend Tom, under a very different name. We were called "Green Talent" (because at the time we loved Green Day and Billy Talent, super original, right?), then we changed our name a few more times before settling on The Desperate Mind and changed our lineup a bit and hey - here we are!
BRD: Aside from the obvious choices (Anti-Flag and Strike Anywhere), who are some other influences on the band?
MJP: Definitely Stray From The Path, Bad Religion, NOFX, Propagandhi, Pinhead Gunpowder and in our very early days, Green Day, the gateway band to punk rock. Recently, we're also influenced by the genre of post-hardcore.
BRD: I once reviewed an album from a band called Krang out of the Czech Republic. Do you know them and who are some other punk bands you enjoy in your nation right now?
MJP: Of course! We even played a few shows together, they're a pretty cool skate punk band. As for the others, I really enjoy BOY, they're a great "dark"-punk band from our home city of Brno, they even toured Japan and we played at their "Chaos Across Japan" video documentary release party back in 2016. Pipes and Pints and Burning Steps are among my favorites, too! I definitely cannot omit the Czech language punk bands we enjoy - The Fialky, Houba, Malomocnost prázdnoty and others!
BRD: What is your favourite Czech swear word?
MJP: Hey now, is this something you ask every foreign band so you can learn 'em all and make it to Santa's naughty list? What if my mother reads this? I have to go with "vole", it's basically the comma of the Czech language.
BRD: My friend visited the Czech Republic once and claimed he went to a church made completely out of human bones. Is this a real place or was he playing a joke on me?
MJP: It is real! It's my favorite "goth-vibe" place! It's called The Sedlec Ossuary / The Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec. It's sick as fuck! It's like a real life metal album cover, but without all the cringey elements!
BRD: Is Jaromir Jagr a God in your country or do you not care about ice hockey?
MJP: Just like in Canada, ice hockey is basically a religion here, even though we're famously atheist as fuck. He's definitely loved here. Plus, he's a former Penguin and I am a huge fan of Pittsburgh Penguins myself, so yeah! But these days, Dave Pastrnak of Boston Bruins is slowly stealing his spotlight. Kid's a beast.
BRD: Where would you like to tour with your band once COVID finally goes away?
MJP: We would love to resume our EU tour and we would definitely love to finally get our asses over to the United States!
BRD: Do you remember when Czechoslovakia broke apart and if so, what was that like for you and your family?
MJP: Nah, I was born in 1996, 3 years after the dissolution, but my brother was born in 1983 so he remembers, as well as my parents of course. It was nothing shocking, a classic, peaceful, velvet divorce. Now we're all united with other European states in the European Union as a big family, haha!
BRD: What are your future plans for the band?
MJP: We're "the band that never sleeps"! Currently, we're setting up some tour dates and we're already working on our new stuff. This COVID fuckery has sparked our creativity and I have to say that our next album is definitely going to be our most ambitious project. But first and foremost we really can't wait to be back on the road, promoting All Walls Will Fall, playing shows, meeting new friends and fans alike. Our message to other bands is: hang in there, it's going to be over soon and we'll be sharing stages and bar tabs together again real soon!