This time on Hard Rock Service we have another band from Hungary. The band specific by any meaning of the word - K3 is a Hungarian three-piece group, offering a journey through a land of instrumental, guitar-oriented metal. Especially for our webzine - about a few albums already released by the band, main music influences, an honour of having a special guest in the studio in the person of Dream Theater's keyboardist and playing along with such famous names as Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen or Tony MacAlpine - speaks the K3's leader and lead guitarist, Janos Kallai.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: Hi! Thanks very much for a possibility of doing this interview. As K3 is not so famous in Poland as it surely deserves to be, please introduce the Hard Rock Service readers to the group's line-up.
JANOS KALLAI: Hi! It's a pleasure, and big honour for me to introduce my band in Hard Rock Service. Firstly I would like to talk about the band name. It's a simple abbreviation. The K3 it's mean, Kallai Trio. The style of K3 is instrumental metal. The band members are Peter Szuna on bass guitar, Gabor Nagygyörgy on drums, and Janos Kallai lead guitar.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: How the band's history began?
JANOS KALLAI: I founded my first band in 1995. Since the very beginning, my intention was to play instrumental rock music in a trio. From 1997 to 2001 the repertoire mostly comprised Joe Satriani songs. We have started to use the K3 band name in 2002, since we (Peter and me) started working with Gabor. I met Peter on a festival in 1995. He played on the stage with his band, and he had a great bass solo. After the show we talked about my trio. He already knew my band, so he said OK. The first meeting with Gabor was in the summer of 2001, when I was on tour with a Deep Purple cover band and he substituted the drummer on 4 gigs. One year later I called Gabor, and I invited him to my band.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: There's not many instrumental bands in the music buisness. Why you've chosen this formula?
JANOS KALLAI: I think in the music business there are some great instrumental progressive and rock bands, but K3 is a particularly colourful band and yet a bit different from the vast majority of existing ones, because we play metal style. I played with lots of bands, but the trio is what I really love. This is a challenge. This challenge brings significant progress to the development of the professionalism and harmony. On live gigs we play with the tempos, the structures of the songs, we create intros, outros on stage, we love to improvisation, and play simple metal riffs, and difficult unisonos too, besides the written parts. Sometimes we think, we are working as a jazz band, but we play metal.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: K3 is a special band because of many different reasons, being not only an instrumental band, but also - just a three-piece group. What was the idea behind forming a band out of three musicians, was it something like famous examples of Budgie and Cream?
JANOS KALLAI: Joe Satriani did a lot of gigs in a trio formula in the early days. During the studio works he used a lots of guitar tracks in every songs. In the live version of these songs he mixed in one the rhythm and the melodies, or played the most significant parts of the song. It's a great concept, and we use this idea nowadays.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: What are your inspirations and biggest musical influences and how do they influence the band's music?
JANOS KALLAI: We like the jazz, rock, metal, and blues music too. Gabor likes mainly the progressive music. His favourite bands are Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, Planet X, The Flower Kings, Pain Of Salvation, Jordan Rudess, Meat Loaf, Queen, and his idol is Mike Portnoy. Peti likes Toto, Rage, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and a lots of music. I like Satriani, Mike Stern, Pantera, Slipknot, ACDC... These musical influences sometimes appears in our improvisations, but in the songs not really. In the early days we worked under the influence of Joe Satriani and Dream Theater, but now we play our songs, and our ideas.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: What was the first breakthrough moment in the K3's history?
JANOS KALLAI: K3 Under A Spell album (2007) with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: How do you judge Under A Spell now, from a bit of perspective?
JANOS KALLAI: We got a lots of great feedback, from Europe, USA, and Australia too. The End Of Evolution: both the song, and the clip was permanently on air in the Australlian music television, in the German radio station, in the Greek radio, in the Belgian Peter live TV Show, and we got a lot of great reviews, and so kind letters from fans.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: The special guest on the album was Jordan Rudess, Dream Theater's keyboardist. How did you hook up with him and how do you recall this co-work?
JANOS KALLAI: It was an interesting story. In the summer of 2007 we were working in the studio on the new album, its called Under A Spell, and we invited our friend Peter Rajkai, to play a keyboard solo. He accepted with pleasure, and he played a great one. And than, during the mixing, he had a great idea. He said: "Hey guys, what would be if I send the pre mix version to Jordan Rudess, maybe he could say something about the songs, and the quality, and maybe he could share with us his opinion about the album?". Just to mention: Peter is in good relation with Jordan, because, Peter had the opportunity to work with Jordan as his keyboard technicians. So back to the story... We said to Peter: Yeah it's a great idea. So he sent an email to Jordan, and we sent the songs from the studio to him, and than we waited... but the truth is that we didn't believe that Jordan will answer... And he sent the answer. "Hi Guys great work!" We thought It's impossible, we got an answer, and a great answer. So we were so happy, and than I decided to talk to Peter. I asked Peter, to talk with Jordan, to send him our request, to play a solo on our album. We thought it's really impossible, but maybe... So, 2 days later we got the answer: "hey guys no problem, but now I'm so busy, but maybe in 2 or 3 days am free". Waaaahhhh. We would wait for a year if we had to, but fortunately we didn't have to wait so long, 'cause he send a mail from his phone: "Sorry guys, (this is Jordan!!!) I had no time, we are making the new DT video right now, so tomorrow I'll be free to record the solo". So 3 days later we got an email from Jordan: "I will send two solos, so you can choose the one you like" MAAAN, 2 SOLOS from JORDAN RUDESS, and we have to select, ohh UNBELIEVABLE! So we got the solos, and we made the master mix, and 1 month later we released the album.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: Also in 2007, you've gained a nomination for the Best Band of the Year by Hungarian Hard Rock magazine - and you were voted the third best band after Heaven & Hell and Queensrÿche. What did it feel like, to experience such appreciation?
JANOS KALLAI: We were so glad. This nomination is a great honour for us.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: Talking about the famous heavy metal bands and musicians, you've been performing with many great guitarists. How come that you've played together with Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen and Tony MacAlpine in particular?
JANOS KALLAI: We get requests from booking agencies usually, but sometimes I write to them. After we agree the item, the agency sends the promo package of K3 to the band manager, or to the band (Paul Gilbert has heard about K3 already before we met with him at first.) If they say ok, the gig is fixed. It sounds very simple, but it’s not always true.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: How do you compare the second album K3 has released, Garden Of Death (2009), to your previously released debut?
JANOS KALLAI: The new album is heavier, louder, and sometimes faster than the first one.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: Please, recommend Garden Of Death to those who haven't heard it yet.
JANOS KALLAI: K3 Garden Of Death New Album: Heavy! Loud! Fast! Metal! Tuned deep down into the Hell. PARENTAL ADVISORY Explicit Tunes! Order Now! and listen to it!
HARD ROCK SERVICE: Recently, K3's music has been featured in the movie "KI/BE TAWARET". Do you consider writing the film scores or plan something connected with creating the music soundtracks in the future?
JANOS KALLAI: We got one new request, and maybe we will make some soundtracks in the future.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: You've gained some publicity in Poland along with the reviews in the Polish press. Can we expect then that soon you'll present your music to the Polish audience, coming here for a concert?
JANOS KALLAI: Poland is a beautiful country with great, and so kind people. I hope we will have opportunity to play in Poland soon.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: What are your next future plans in general?
JANOS KALLAI: Concert and tour.
HARD ROCK SERVICE: Thank you for an interview, it has been a pleasure! All the best in the future!
JANOS KALLAI: I thank You HARD ROCK SERVICE! Regards!
Band's official website: www.k3music.hu
Official profile on MySpace: www.myspace.com/k3music3
(All pictures are taken from the artist's official website and are used with his permission.)
Polish version / wersja polska