The trio, born in Vienna in 1997, consisting of Roland Pickl Mudungaze (git / voc), Kurt "Dogfather" Toncar (bass / voc) and Bernd "BBKong" Bogensberger (Stix & Stones / voc), has joined forces 24 years after their debut work "Unreal" (@gutenTagverlag) and found itself on the other side of the world in Inhambane, Mozambique to finish it´s long-awaited second album. "Antagônica" (@ gutenTagverlag), an album about contradictions in approaches, perception, doing and letting go:
Awesome! Everything from classic rock to psychedelic/ hippie/ 70ties, supergroup sound and a bit of stoner rock and punk. Nowadays you call it a jam band. Reminiscent of long-term stays in desolate backstage areas and basement studios. It smells like rock'n roll.
Somehow serious and not so serious at the same time.
Get into it!
The Next is an anthropological project that has been self-supported for more than two decades.
Kurt Toncar: Bass guitar, vocals
Bernd Bogensberger (B.B. Kong) – Drums, vocals
Roland Pickl Mudungaze – Guitar, vocals
listen to the new album 'Antagônica' : www.thenextgalaxy.bandcamp.com
All three members sing, and when they sing well, they call themselves the ‘Spiegel Singers’. While they occasionally invite guest musicians for some of the overdubs, they mainly record all instruments themselves, including organ, keyboards, percussion, frog and cat appearances.
In 1997, Kurt works at the radio in Austria at the oddest hours of the day and night, while Bernd occasionally works as a doorman in the Metropol Theater in Hernals, and Roland rarely attends lectures at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences.
All while the energy and soul of these three -the musicians of ‘The Next’- is vested in the production of their first album, titled ‘Unreal'.
The compositions of this album are inspired from travels to Africa, South America and Asia and were recorded over 6 months in their commune 'The Loft', in Bad Vöslau, Lower Austria.
The album was later mixed over 3 days in the Matterhorn Studios in Vienna's 6th district.
Without any promotion, it quickly becomes a favourite of some blues and rock fans in Vienna. Although its fan base is rather small, the band's musical approach is quite different from most of the local Viennese bands at that time. There are a few events from that time that still stand out:
Still in its early stages, The Next is featured on an ORF (Austrian National Broadcast) sampler called “I want too”: 3 songs (Alive and Alone, Craft, Snowchild) are recorded in the ORF Funkhaus in the Argentinierstrasse in Vienna’s 4th district, a legendary studio for large classical orchestras. Though the ORF radio producers assume that the band will enjoy great international success, fortunately most of the CDs still remain in the band's possession, the album's playlist featuring The Next along the side of other bands does just not seem right. The recordings can certainly still be found in the archives of the broadcasting station.
When the band presented 'Unreal' at the America Latina Club, (the result of a grandiose idea of manager Joachim Dellefont -Jockl), South American culinary specialties were served as a backdrop event during the course of the concert.
Memorable as well were the early concerts at the Shelter Club on Wallensteinplatz in the 20th district, which the band considers home because they can play there for free. However, they haven’t played any concerts in the Shelter Club since the last time it got flooded with groundwater.
Another unforgettable event was when the band featured in the line-up of a rock festival in the Gasthaus Stieglreith at more than 1,500 m. altitude in the mountains near Innsbruck. With an unbelievable view over the Inn valley and few spectators, The Next could once again open up their intense live rock sound. There were some doubts after the concert though, when the organiser Michel Andergassen said to the bass player Kurt : "Let´s call it 8,000 Schillings straight"; The band was not sure at the time whether this meant earnings or debt.
Unlike 'Unreal', 'Antagônica' is not created out of inspiration from travel, but rather from the new, unfamiliar, and sometimes unusual life on the African continent.
2007: Roland leaves behind his band Turbodeli around Bernd Püribauer (well-known in the subculture of Vienna) to co-found the ‘Associação Positivo’ in Mozambique www.mozpositivo.com. The aim is to create awareness and educate communities through positive musical messages ‘from youth to youth’. The idea catches on very quickly and becomes very important in Mozambique where 50% of the population is 15 years old or younger, and where poverty, HIV/AIDS, and insecurity, remain daily issues. Mozambique is also the second-most affected in Africa in terms of climate change. The association becomes Roland’s full-time job over the years.
The work of ‘Associação Positivo’ in the communities and the influences of rock'n'roll and blues on the African population have a noticeable impact on the music world of Inhambane.
2011: In the course of his world tour, Kurt goes to visit Roland in Mozambique,
Kurt's world tour is combined with the movie production "Bom Dia Inhambane" (direction, script and camera by Falko Purner and Daniel Jarosch). This film (available as various segments on Youtube) is about the music scene in the province of Inhambane and is set around the Bom Dia studio and the creative work of the Austrians, abroad in Africa. The film is premiered at the Leokino in Innsbruck.
In the course of its the production, 2 snakes are found, one eating the other. This inspired the lyrics of "Snake eat Snake", a song about the rural surroundings of The Next, the new Mozambicans from Austria.
At that time there was no music studio where the band could work, so the first song was recorded on the terrace of a palhota (pronounced 'Palyotta'), a round straw hut, common in Mozambique, with electricity from a gasoline generator.
Due to the positive response to this event in the neighborhood and the memories of ‘The Loft’ that it evoked, the band decides to produce another album.
Kurt then continues his world tour on to New Zealand and later Mexico, but over the years that follow, Kurt and Bernd are drawn to Mozambique over and over again, on occasional visits of a month or two, to continue working on the production of "Antagônica".
2014: Querétaro, Mexico. A tragic accident happens and Kurt breaks his wrist, falling down a staircase in a tequila buzz, at the new home of Jockl, the manager of the band.
Suddenly, further production has become impossible, until time heals the wounds.
Meanwhile in Mozambique, Roland has set up his music studio “Studio Bom Dia” and produces local, as well as international bands, mainly from South Africa, various European countries and the US. The area around the Studio Bom Dia resembles a small African village, which offers a relaxed environment for musicians who want to let off steam creatively in the studio. Traditional straw huts provide sleeping space, and the campfire and African village life set the daily environment for the musical guests.
2017: Kurt and Bernd keep returning for musical visits to Mozambique, and slowly but surely the follow-up album is starting to take form.
2019: Kurt finishes his job as news editor in Austria and emigrates to Inhambane, Mozambique in the footsteps of his band colleague, Roland. He devotes himself entirely to various musical experiments, but above all, the production of ‘Antagônica’.
In the process of Kurt’s move to Mozambique, a 23-year-old Mini-Disc is rediscovered; it contains the recording of The Next’s famous last concert at the Zugabe Club in Vienna in 1998.
Impressed by the compositional quality of those time-forgotten songs, the idea is forged to incorporate some of the old songs into the new album. (Ouverture 98, Great Balls on Fire, The Needle, 3 minutes late, In Utopia)
Bernd's life runs completely different; 6 months per year he works in Vienna, in a fashion shop in the first district, to spend the other half of the year in Mozambique, playing with the local bands that are formed around Roland (mainly ‘Laka Laka’ and ’ Positivo’, amongst others). As a result, and with Bernd’s familiar presence in Studio Bom Dia, the 3 Austrians abroad can devote themselves again to their passion and the music comes naturally.
From 2019 onwards (and largely facilitated through the permanent stay of all 3 band mates in Mozambique), the last songs of the album were completed.
The Next were playing their music around the local 'baracas' (bars), with great success and very often to the amazement of local rock fans. However, COVID-19 has brought much of the live performances to a standstill.
The last concert (so far) was on the veranda of Studio Bom Dia as part of a small festival, at which befriended bands perform. Though the plan was to keep this type of festivals going, the Coronavirus created a different reality.
'Timeless music takes time.' (Kurt Toncar)
Roland lives with his family in his small African village and runs Studio Bom Dia, publishes music by African artists and produces albums of various styles by many international bands, some of which spend weeks in 'artistic residence' in the studio in Inhambane.
He is president of the Association Positivo Moçambique, a street and a district are named after him, and he bears the Mozambican honorary title 'Regulo'.
Bernd lives with his family in the same district and runs a jazz bar with live music.
Kurt lives in the same district as well and is building his own African village.
The Next is not the only band the 3 Austrian musicians are part of; The positive platform that Studio ‘Bom Dia’ provides, together with the influences of many musicians from all over the world, has changed and catalysed the music scene in Inhambane and bands are sprouting up like mushrooms. In addition to The Next, the three Austrian musicians run an average of 3-4 other bands. The nationalities of their fellow musicians cannot be counted on two hands.
The number of Austrians in Inhambane has increased to 6 since Roland's arrival until 2021. All of them are permanently settled and work in creative areas such as music, video & film.
'Antôgônica' Cover design (picture, skull, rays) from Falko Purner, the mask with sunglasses shown is the studio mascot of the communal kitchen.
The font on the cover was designed by Bernd Püribauer.
Why Mozambique, why Inhambane:
The original idea, of touring in the Mozambican sub-culture through playing Blues and Punk-Rock in the local baracas (bars) inspires open-minded world musicians and continues to excite everyone. The settings range from mobile stages and cultural exchanges about the age of globalization paired with films and documentaries, to a potpourri of music productions.
Mozambique offers a simple life and our musicians can concentrate on the essentials, their music.
About the music: Influences from old hard rock like Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Stoner Rock and Doom Metal, but also Pink Floyd, Dub, African rhythms & jazz
Guest musicians on "Antagônica":
Pierre Dufloo - saxophone on 'Great Balls on Fire'
Maritza (Melissa Loov) - voice on 'Babalazza Dingi', 'Painted Wolf'
Luis Cerqueiro - organ and keyboards on '3 minutes late', 'In Utopia' and 'She's a woman',
Falko Purner – Ring master - voice on 'Snake eat Snake' and Indian singing before 'It's Alright'
Bento Vasco and Christiano da Saquina - voices on 'Snake eat Snake'
Harald Chmela - voice on 'Burli'
Tánia Herndl, Saquina Augusto, Latifa Karimo, Orlanda Mapanzene - choir parts on' Burli '
Nobina Marimoto - violin on '3 minutes late' and 'The Needle'
Abel Mangga - percussion on 'Babalazza Dingi' and '3 minutes late'
most band and all nature photographs by GVHORST