When I first heard the band Gaia Mesiah play I was struck by their attitude, spunk and fighting spirit. They are definitely not afraid to speak out about the way they see the world. The core of the band is made up of three Czech women and one Australian man. You can feel a wide variety of influences in their music but above all, you can feel an incredible surge of energy. I spoke to drummer Misha Cortez.
We got together thanks to the spirit and it happened in 2001.
What is the spirit?
Intention, so we had the intention with Morella, we knew were creating a band. We saw it in the future, where we wanted to go, and we knew what we needed, what people we needed. So we tuned ourselves to be open to the intent, to be open when the right people come, when we meet them, wherever it is, so that we recognize them, that it's them and it happened, that's what I mean by the spirit.
How did you recognize your singer? She wasn't a singer originally was she?
She sings just in Gaia Mesiah (laughs) by voice!
Where were you when you first heard her voice?
First time I met Marka was on the street, when my dog was playing with her dog. That was the first time I heard her voice. I use to work in a pub and she went there, so I asked her if she wanted to sing cause she is a beautiful person and she has beautiful voice.
I mean you know it (laughs) from the first sight. So it happened. She said, "ya, why not?" I said, "all right, would you like to come for a rehearsal?" And she said, "sure." I said, "well we have a gig in fourteen days." She said, "ok, no problem!"
I am sitting in your rehearsal room and you have a lot posters. You have Bob Marley, Patti Smith, Rage Against the Machine, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I see it, like they are our parents. We are the next generations from these guys. We learned to play on their music. So now its up to us to generate the new music. Like architecture, you learn from a master and then you do your style. Each member of the band has different one's, so altogether it makes a good mix.
I started to play music, because listening wasn't enough anymore, I have to also create it, start to do it, like really like inner force.
Your band is dominated by women and you sing about environmental and social issues, how has the Czech music scene which is quite male, I would say, reacted to your band?
Who knows, knows, means that they are tuned to the same energy we are. We are not alone, there a lots of people tuned the same way. And who doesn't, doesn't matter anyway.
We play music, but we don't do it like men do cause we are women, we do it our way. But the reason is the same, music! The song is happening but the way we do it, it is our way, not the male way.
Where do you see yourselves going? What are your plans for the future?
We want to play abroad, wherever, to see our planet while it is still alive. And of course make a good name for the Czech Republic, represent our country, there is not Czech band in the world so that's a challenge, a real big one and we are going there. (laughs)
Is this why you sing in English?
No, the songs are happening like our band happened together. It's like a snowball, it's happening in English, we can't help, we don't drive it like that, English is great for this type of music, it's difficult to do it in Czech, it doesn't work with the notes we want to play, sometimes, the words just happen.
Relations between human beings are warped, completely, between men and women, between parents and kids and lots of artists are starting to feel it and it's a little wave and so we are part of the wave.
What is it that is warped?
Everything is about numbers. Let me give you an example. It's like our government, our president is a counter. He is not a philosopher, he is an economist and it looks like it. Our whole republic looks like that. Everything is just about numbers. The importance is put on things you can count.
Where is respect for old people? Where is respect for kids? Where is respect for just human beings? For us? No one is talking about that. It is like forgotten. It is a lack of love. Real love. Respect. That is what we are trying to first between us to generate and then we can share it with people on a gig, with you, with everybody. So the first point is me, I have to be like that first, then I can share it with my friends and then we can share it and on and on.
Have you gotten the reaction that maybe you are a bit utopian?
Of course! Of course! (laughs) we are use to that!
But also these people start to think about it, that's what's important, think, think, a little bit change, change it takes years of course, takes time, but it helps who knows if it is too late or not.