Boris Carloff is quite a well-known name on the Czech music scene. The award-winning producer, musician and a highly respected artist whose musical style takes in the flavours of jazz, indie rock, pop and electronic music is now releasing his second solo album called MORPHOSIS and a brand new music video DAYS GO BY. We will ask Boris about his career, life, inspiration and of course his new album release.
KALBLUT: Why Morphosis? What’s the story behind it?
Boris: Morphosis is the process in which an organism or any of its parts changes the form or undergoes a development. This is happening to any of us by our growing and aging, and we are not even able to notice it. The same is happening to me. I’m getting older and I’m a different person than I was 10 years ago. So different like different species.
KALBLUT: Your first solo album ‘The Escapist’, released two years ago, was quite dark. Why?
Boris: It had to be. My brother and father died and I needed some kind of therapy. Art is the best therapy in my opinion. I felt gloomy and sad these days and you could of course hear it in my music.
KALBLUT: You are quite of an inspirational person with an individual music style. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Boris: Haha, If I would have known it then my life would be much easier. The inspiration comes from everywhere; every touch of reality is like a piece of art which could be transformed in real art. All the beauty and horror of every grey or sunny morning is the best inspiration. Also there are a lot of nicely packed semi-products of reality such as books, pictures, movies which reflect the different forms of life and show me different directions. And the inspiration is for me to see the reality with a different approach.
KALBLUT: Boris, you seem to have a very distinctive and artist-driven approach to your music, videos, in fact a complete production even your fashion style…. How do you choose the people you work with?
Boris: It is quite funny how easily I meet the talented people. I guess I magnetise somehow people with the same energy and same approach to art. For example Martin Zivocky, the video and film director I’m working with, I just spoke to about how much I like his work. Then we found out that we share the same views about the motion art and actually art in general…we became closer..
KALBLUT: The second solo album Morphosis was recorder in Iceland. What was it like to work with the many faceted artist and producer Bardi Johansson who is mostly known for his work with Olafur Arnalds and the project Starwalker that Bari did with Jean- Benoît Dunckel from the French electro pop duo AIR.
Boris: Bardi was great. I was a bit afraid, thinking that I might rather do it myself that it would be better than hiring a producer. But Bardi was exactly what I needed. He shaped the sounds, destroyed my baroque overproducer arrangements transforming it into a crystal clear sound, and above all, we had a lot of fun together as we have both the same taste for black humour.
KALBLUT: Going back to the very beginnings of your music career, you had a grunge band called ‘Last Dream’ and they used to call you Milan ‘Howard’ Havrda. What prompted you to make such a radical change in the music genre?
Boris: Simple answer – the time. In these times it was the most progressive music that I’ve been able to do. By the way, did you know that Olafur Arnalds was originally heavy metal drummer? Funny isn’t it?
KALBLUT: You are critically acclaimed artist on the Czech music scene, you are a winner of 2 Czech Music Awards Andel for the Best Video and The Best Electronic Album and a winner of the Czech Critics Award Apollo 2012 for the Best Album. However, you also received an international recognition for your project called ‘Good Stuff EP ‘. The EP was received well from all corners of the world’s tastemakers, most notably were the airings on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide BBC show of the track ‘First Joy‘. Was this your decisive turning point in your career? And how did it influence you?
Boris: Yes, it was my personal breakthrough in my career as an artist. It was nice to know that you have a Japanese fan that is able to flight to Prague only to give you a letter that she likes your music. And this is one of the reason and many other reasons why I do music.
KALBLUT: How long did you work on Morphosis and were there any obstacles or at least interesting stories?
Boris: I worked in some longer periods throughout the whole year. I had a big problem when my computer crashed down as the only project that was not backed up was my new album. In the end, it all worked out, but I was quite stressed as I only had mp3s of raw mixes.
KALBLUT: Did you enjoy Iceland?
Boris: Iceland is amazing. The overall atmosphere is so different from anything else I knew before. The nature is like form a different planet. And people are great – calm, honest and so into music. I would love to return. But not in winter.
KALBLUT: What music do you personally like and if you could choose an international artist for collaboration who would it be?
Boris: I like classic music a lot, I would love to make something with Phillip Glass, and of course I listen a lot to electronic music which is the most radically developing music genre. SBTRKT, Hot Chip, Gus Gus, they are the people who help to find new fans for the genre of electronic music. But honestly, from the electronic music scene the person who I would like to work with would be certainly Brian Eno.