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Off the back of a sold-out European tour earlier this year, Amistat, otherwise known as brothers Jan and Josef Prasil, will their new single The Coward on November 10– an anthem for those who are having difficulty living as their authentic selves. This effecting yet understated tune has been perfectly reflected in the song’s stunning video (see at end of profile), directed by Kathleen Mary Lee (Lanks, Batts, Canary). Jan Prasil recently put fingers to the computer keyboard to respond to our Q&A

What was your first guitar?
My first guitar was an old Alhambra classical guitar that I got given by my guitar teacher at the age of 6 which is when I started playing for the first time.

What is your main guitar now?
My main acoustic guitar is a Taylor 210e that I have been playing now for the past 8 years.  Josef’s main guitar is a Breedlove Revival acoustic guitar. We replaced both pickup’s with stage pro pickups which give both guitars an amazing live sound and enhance the bottom end especially for my Taylor as they tend to sound pretty thin and toppy. The stage pro pickups are amazing for players who use a lot of work tapping!

Which amp do you use when playing electric guitar?
When we play our Fender Telecaster electric guitar, we love using The Fender Blues Junior Lacquered Tweed Amp in combination with it. As it’s smaller than a usual amp it’s easier to transport but you still get enough volume, clarity and a beautiful tone out of it! We love using it for its Fender spring reverb and the great overdrive you get even without using any distortion pedals.

What pedals do you like to use?
With my Taylor we use a MXR TEN BAND EQ pedal which gives me more bottom end for my open tunings and for my tapping. For the electric guitar we are using a JOYO Vintage Overdrive pedal and an EarthQuaker Ghost Echo pedal which compliments our cinematic sound very well.

Got a recording out?
We just released a new single called ‘The Coward’ which we recorded a few months ago in Melbourne at Aviary Studios. We’ll be back in the studio start of 2018 to record a new EP/Album.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
We just got back from our Germany/Italy tour where we played a mix of secret house shows, music venues and festivals. Last weekend we played the Happy Wanderer Festival and are now getting ready for our national single tour in December.

Most memorable gig?
One of the most memorable gigs was The MADNESS Festival we played in the Netherlands a few years ago. It was located right at the beach and we were playing just as the sun was setting. The whole weekend, the people, the music and location was just perfect!

Any stage nightmares?
Once we played this gig and only had one functioning microphone and all the monitor speakers fell out. We had to play a 1 hour set with only one microphone and with basically no sound on stage. The band was pretty much just guessing where everyone was at in each song section by head and hand movements!!

Album that changed your life?
Ben Howard – Every Kingdom has changed our lives. Every song of that album goes straight into our hearts and resonates with every single cell in our bodies!  Ben Howard introduced us to the world of open tunings and using the guitar as a percussive instrument which has become a big part of our set now.

What’s coming up for the band?
We’ll be touring our new single in December and are playing these cities

2 DEC – Melbourne
6 DEC – Newcastle
7 DEC – Canberra
9 DEC – Sydney
14 DEC – Byron Bay
15 DEC – Brisbane
and finish playing at the WOODFORD Folk Festival

A tip for the kids?
Keep playing and practicing every day and learn as many different songs as possible if you want to improve your skills and become better and better as a musician.  Experiment with different tunings and don’t only settle for the standard tuning as it will make playing guitar so much more exciting and diverse!
Anything is possible !

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