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„G- News“ soon …

By the end of the last year we informed you about preparations for the first programme with the spoken word in our radio. We are pleased to announce that our efforts were successful and the new programme "G-News" is here (The programme in Slovak language only). What will it be about? About the music, of course, but it will not be limited to it. The programme will be each time devoted to an album by one or more authors. Primarily it will focus on the news but now and then we will "brush up" some interesting lesser-known things. In the programme you will learn more about the artists, something about their lives, about how songs were created. Vlado Bis will deal his opinions on songs with you and he will also moderate the programme.

We start on Wednesday, 24 February 2010, at exactly 8.00 p.m. Programme will be held once a month. Premiere will always be broadcasted on the last Wednesday of the month at 8.00 p.m., then repeat will be broadcasted on the last Saturday of the month at 8.00 p.m. as well.

The first programme will be devoted to Matt Redman, who issued a new CD named We Shall Not Be Shaken last year. We believe that both the artist and CD are interesting enough and you will not miss the programme's first broadcasting. We will be happy if you write about your opinions on the programme or any suggestions for improvement. You can send your remarks directly to the programme's author e-mail vladimir.bis@gradio.sk or gradio@gradio.sk.

As we have mentioned, the programme will be lead by Vlado Bis. For the last several years Vlado has been a member of N.D.E. band and FBI band - a guitar player and author of several songs. The FBI band has for many years constituted an integral part of Rišo Čanaky's concerts. Certainly you have not missed the information that they together managed to reach the semifinals of Slovak Eurovision Song Contest 2010.

Apart from others, Vlado's hobbies include "Wild West" (he has created his own blog on this subject), rock music, nature, computers and books.

We asked Vlado a few questions.

We know about you that you play the guitar in the N.D.E. band and the FBI band, you write songs, ... how long have you been engaged in Christian music

Hello. To start with, I'd like to clarify that in the last half-year I swapped the guitar for a bass guitar. I don't know whether it's final, but I'm fascinated by thick strings at the moment :). I've been working in music for over 20 years, in Christian music I've been almost 10 years. With Rišo I've been playing since April 2004, N.D.E. was established in 1999, but the Christian stage we started to plow only in 2005.

That's already quite a long time. Do you have the impression that the Slovak Christian music follows the right direction, that it is progressing somehow? And what about your opinion on foreign Christian bands?

As for the foreign scene, I know it only a little, but what I know is very professional I think. And if the Slovak Christian music follows the right direction? Well, currently there is the praise boom, which I think is not very lucky. Those who don't play praise don't have much chance. You come to a festival where you are dragged into the whirl of praise by 5 bands of 7, again and again, it is impossible after all. And still the constant imitation of foreigners - a loudspeaker in hand, britpop hairstyles, violin everywhere… I'm not sure, it's too little authentic. Just enough to go to Hillsong performance or other giants and I know how the image on the domestic scene will look like soon :).

Who from the Slovak Christian scene is your favourite and why?

I have no favourite. Almost every band has at least one song I like. Well, a song by Timothy - Lost in the Dark has just come to my mind, it's great, music and lyrics especially. What I like the most about our bands - when they don't act just as the foreign models do.

And what about your foreign favourites?

I also don't have a front-runner there, I listen to foreign works only a little, but I like listening to Delirious, Matt Redman, David Crowder, Casting Crowns ...

How can you co-ordinate your family life with actions of the two bands, moreover you've got your job that provides you with living?

So far I can cope with it because Rišo deals individually with children's concerts, so with the FBI we don't play too often. I'd like to play a little more, I would handle it. And N.D.E. is an occasional matter, only about 12 concerts a year.

In the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 you are going on well by now, how do you see it?

We are currently preparing for the semi-finals, since we've qualified from the quarter-finals. It's all in God's hands already, we've made the maximum – we've tried to improve both our image and stage expression. Unfortunately, the semi-finals will be also in the hands of the jury and it may give preference for the finals to some familiar faces from Superstar TV show, so even if we got a lot of SMS votes, it wouldn't guarantee the success ....

Would the potential success in the competition have any impact on the band's further aiming or would you continue in playing Christian music only? Good qualification can open new opportunities in the commercial sphere to you.

We've entered this competition with the fact that we want to size ourselves up with the world stage and that we want to search for new opportunities. At the same time, we think that it is a nonsense trying to conquer China with rice pudding, that is to evangelize just those who are already evangelized. A Christian should bring light where there is darkness. He should try hard. He risks rejection, but as Jesus said - for one lamb he left the rest of ninety-nine lambs for a while. The fact that we have succeeded in the competition - we got to the semi-finals (current status), tells us that we - Christians musicians - often underrate ourselves and we make us believe that we can not reach the quality of the profane scene. Of course, there is always something to be improved, even in our band there are some weak points, but what an underrating would be good for? We are the first Christian band in Slovakia whose name resounded in the profane sphere. People are asking who we are. Many of them know Rišo from the projects for children, but many of them have heard about us for the first time. We want to tell people that a Catholic Christian isn't an apocalyptic fanatic, who is constantly restricting himself because of this or that, but that we live a real life with God, with our feet on the ground, and our mind in heaven. We do not want to be like a new wine, which one can just get a headache from. But at the same time, it is our priority to stay on the Christian stage, to have small concerts in parishes, this is what is close to our hearts. Recently we have noticed as if many Christians had turned their backs to our band and it was also our aim at Eurosong to let them know that they were wrong. We want to be like an old wine - high quality, proven, that never dissapoints. Old wine never comes to an end, there will always be made some more.

We keep our fingers crossed for you in the competition and we wish you the best possible placing. And the last questions. If you could, what would you change in the world?

Of course, I wouldn't want any wars, famine, suffering, but it probably isn't in the sphere of my impact. But not to let myself digress from the music: I would change the way of thinking of many Slovak Christian bands. If a nonbeliever criticizes them they accuse him of being little spiritual, not being able to understand the things about God and they add the comparison of casting pearls before swines. Finally they declare that they do not mind being a fool to the world because Jesus was considered a fool, too. I think they don't realize that nonbelievers cannot immediately accept the philosophy such as "my lifestyle is praise." Rišo Čanaky explained it nicely once - if you pour boiling water on a frog, it jumps out from the pot, but if you cook it very slowly, you can succeed. Our Christian bands, especially those younger and composed of fresh converts, act in their „hooray“ system – full of enthusiasm and not expecting any difficulties. They think they are the ones chosen by God and during their performances they use expressions which a nonbeliever simply cannot accept. And then, if they are not accepted by the nonbeliever, the musicians use to defend themselves by what I've said- rather than self-reflection they choose being safe in the armour of the statement „I'm the chosen one“.

Which words would you send to G-Radio listeners?

I hope we will hear each other sometimes :).

Thank you for the interview, G-Radio

author: G-Rádio , (2010-02-10)