Rock group Krystof rocket to the top of the Czech music scene

The Ostrava-based rock band Krystof have gone from being unknown a year ago to being one of the biggest new bands in the Czech Republic, largely thanks to their huge hit Lolita. Ian Willoughby spoke to Krystof's singer Richard Krajco after a recent show at the Prague venue Akropolis and began by asking him if the band were enjoying their new-found fame.

"You could say we're experiencing a huge 'boom'. There's a lot of interest in the group, we're selling out venues. So it's a beautiful time for us - something we haven't experienced before. I don't know how much further we can go. You could say we're in the first division now but the step to the premier league is a verrrryyyy big one. Few bands can make it. We're hoping to make it on other markets - such as in Poland, where they'd maybe understand us. Or - if things went really well - in the west."

Is it possible for a Czech rock band to make it abroad?

"Even groups like Monkey Business or Support Lesbiens who sing in English haven't made it. Or Lucie who are the best Czech group haven't been able to do it. Either we're jinxed or it's not yet time for Czech culture to expand abroad."

As well as being a singer, you present a music show on TV and you're an actor. Which is the most important to you?

"Television is a kind of bonus for me, to be honest. It gives me independence. You're not going to make any money in the Czech theatre. I don't think I'm a world class singer - I'm more of a songwriter and a kind of showman, but I really believe in acting. I wouldn't want to leave the group but theatre is really in my blood. I wouldn't like to have to choose between theatre and music."