Finland-based band Dope Aviators make rare return to Prague

Dope Aviators, photo:

The rock band Dope Aviators were formed here in Prague three years ago, and the group, who are originally from Slovakia, recorded their debut album Product in the Czech capital. However, by the time it was released they had moved to icy Finland. Dope Aviators made a rare concert appearance in Prague at the weekend, which is when I spoke to core members Emilia and Kasko (real name Marek). They began by telling me why they had first moved to the city.

Emilia: "The truth is that Marek was escaping from having to either serve as a civil servant or go to the army. And I wanted to study molecular genetics at Charles University, so we came here. In the end we stayed here for six years...I wanted to do my dream job, which is testing molecular genetic theories of aging and neurogenetic processes. And I really wanted to escape this busy Prague and go to some more nature..."

Which is how Dope Aviators came to move to Tampere in Finland a year ago. But while the singer's day job may be ideal, it doesn't leave too much time for the group.

Emilia: "We are terribly tired because we have to work very long hours each day at work, during the weekends and stuff. Then we come home and it's, OK, let's rehearse. Sometimes it's not even fun because we are so tired."

Kasko: "A hundred more interviews like this and we can make a living from music!"

The cover of the album Product features Prague's Zizkov TV Tower. Though not in its usual context.

Kasko: "The front picture has the High Tatras, Lomnicke Sedlo, which is high in the mountains. It's part of a photo-collage with Prague Zizkov's got the line we've been passing along, from the High Tatras, where the first songs happened, to Prague, where we did the whole album and mixed it and prepared it. Then we moved to Finland, so on the back side of the album there is a photo of a Finnish lake, frozen in January."

Finally, the name Dope Aviators does sound rather druggy. And that has led to the occasional delicate moment for the band.

Emilia: "This was a hard job for me, because I was so worried about explaining what it means to my Slovak granny who does not speak English. So I translated it as 'dope' is an expression of something which people are addicted to. It could be any form and mostly it makes them feel really good. I explained to her that dope is music for us, and we are bringing it to the people."

Kasko: "We are flying it to the people."