He sang, he screamed and he ran around the stage while his band AWS unleashed a firestorm at last month’s Eurovision Song Contest. And then he followed it up with the even greater news that he was engaged with his girlfriend!

And a few days ago, Örs Siklósi gave a very personal interview to Hungarian site fmc.hu in his Budapest home. Among other things, he discussed the legacy of his archaeologist father and made sense of his time at Eurovision.

How connected do you feel to the city of Székesfehérvár?

I haven’t lived there, but I’ve been there a lot at my dad’s. I took everyone there with pleasure — friends, girlfriends — because he was able to say things that were equivalent to an entire library. He had so many stories and such a unique view of the world that everyone was able to “recharge” from his personality.

What was it like growing up with him?

He never wanted to make it seem that he was better than any of his children. He always endorsed me in what I was doing, including my musical ambitions, which he supported with glee. He taught me a lot about work morale, about how to start and achieve the goals we’ve set ourselves. Of course, I recognized many of his traits only with time. As an adolescent, I preferred to rebel against him and a bit against the world as well. He was a hard person to deal with, I’m not easier either — there were times when we didn’t talk at all, yet these times passed fast since we loved each other. Though he’d been rebelling his entire life, and in the majority of cases it turned out that he was right! In my twenties, the values channeled by him became more and more important. Like if you start something, make it complete until you finish, even if recognition won’t come immediately.

How did you encounter music in your childhood?

I was enrolled in the Zoltán Kodály Elementary School of Music because my parents noticed pretty early how hyperactive I am and that I looked for ways to express myself. I wanted to play the drums, but since I had only classical instruments to choose from, I asked them which is the second hardest instrument. They told me that it was the violin, so I started learning that. That eventually turned out to be a disaster for my environment.

How interesting, even at the age of six you asked for the hardest…

Yeah, probably that’s my dad’s habit in me too. He was always looking for big challenges, and he usually faced them with success. That wasn’t my case with the violin, but of course, it gave me a lot – a  lot of musical qualities I wouldn’t have otherwise. By the way, I still own a violin! It was my great-grandfather’s, it just needs to be restored.

Memories are important for you, as it seems…

Yes, they are! The majority of things here are stuff gathered by different relatives of mine. I love surrounding myself with these things because they keep the good memories and experiences with my loved ones. And I’ve inherited this from my father too — there are things that I can’t just leave behind. His house back at Székesfehérvár was like a museum!

The majority of articles about your Eurovision entry “Viszlát Nyár” mentioned your father since the song is about his death. Regarding this, you said that people are scared to cope with death and to move on with their lives. This was interpreted like you rather look forward, towards the future, yet now we see that the past and nostalgia are as significant for you as the others mentioned before.

The past is important, obviously, since we nourish it and it is in our DNA. But our loved ones surely wouldn’t want us to endlessly mourn them, but to keep their words, teachings, their legacy upon us. We can keep and pass them on in little amphorae. Even in a violin or a song. Death shouldn’t be a taboo. The song is exactly about this: from the moment you lose someone, you are the one carrying the information he gave to the world.

You’ve been together as a band since your childhood. Had you dreamed of similar successes to those you have recently achieved?

This was the only thing we believed in, and we did it for 12 years without stopping.  Meanwhile, we received our slaps from life, or by critics saying that we play badly, or by few people attending our shows, or even the money missing from our tour budget. But every trial helped us to climb up step by step. Of course, at the age of thirteen, we dreamed about becoming global stars. Later we figured out how much hard work it requires. Though, success is only deserved totally if we strive hard for it.

Can this process take until you make a full living out of music?

I don’t like that idea. During the week I’m leading my own online marketing company, and I release the stress during the weekends through music.

What experiences did you bring home from Eurovision?

We didn’t expect to be loved this much! Probably we got to be liked by so many people because we didn’t play ourselves, we didn’t force any role on us on the stage. I never watched Eurovision before, but it was a positive experience — the way it brings people together. The fans, the organizers, the artists were all open and kind. It was such a good feeling that it didn’t matter which country are you from, we all had a blast. We didn’t just jam a lot, but we also had some pints of beer…

And you even got to travel! Was it tiring, or did it make you happy?

I hate flying, so every day before taking off was depressing for me. But the fact that we got to see Spain, Amsterdam, London and Lisbon was an unbelievable experience!

Did the responsibility of representing Hungary and Hungarian music create additional pressure? 

There was pressure, of course. We were the musical diplomats of Hungary, so it was important how they judge the country through us. But for real, we got tons of positive feedback. I was a bit happy for the result, as the constant attention and the flood of interviews started to be too much.

What about the band’s name? On Wikipedia there’s “Ants With Slippers”, but we’ve heard different versions during interviews. Which one is the real one?

We have a lot of fun telling different definitions. But it’s even crazier that after our show in Győr three girls came to us with an A4 sized paper, listing different definitions of our name, like “Alternative Wine Selection” or “Aron Went Shopping”, after our drummer. It was really cool from them. But yeah, “Ants With Slippers” was the original version.

So what is left in the bag for this year?

Currently, we’re writing our next album, the boys are writing songs right now at Lake Balaton. The goal is to release the album in September, which will be more complicated and heavy than the previous ones. Besides this, I have this side project of recording acoustic versions of pop hits and syncing them with Hungarian poems.

Is your private life successful as well?

I got engaged recently with my girlfriend whom I have lived with for three years now, and we plan to get married next summer. We even managed to get a priest, because she really wants to have a wedding in a church. When I was a scout, I had a very nice squad leader who became a priest — Father András Hodász, who’s a very cool clergyman riding his own motorcycle and even appearing on TV. We called him and he agreed to marry us.

Did you enjoy this insight into Örs? Would you like to see him and AWS returning to Eurovision in some form in the future? Are you excited for their upcoming album? Sound off in the comments below!

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13 Comments on "Örs Siklósi says AWS “didn’t expect to be loved that much” in first in-depth interview following Eurovision"

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Darth Thulhu
Guest

Just in case nested links don’t get seen as easily by the article author: Barnabás, you really should do an article on the Memelord Delight that is Viszlát Toy, the guys from AWS putting their music behind the lyrics of Netta’s singing. Just released yesterday on their official channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fVVPJcsT8M

AngieP
Guest

And I didn’t expect to like a hard rock song so much. A great composistion, an original performance! Keep slaying AWS!

Apple
Guest

They just released Viszlát Toy on their main channel. Love them

Darth Thulhu
Guest

Viszlát Toy is LIFE. So delightful. Please review it, Barnabás!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fVVPJcsT8M

Minerva
Guest

Very nice interview! I really liked the fact that they were completely themselves on stage. So authentic and memorable. Well done, AWS!

Authentic Warriors on Stage – here’s another definition of AWS! Ha ha!!

Dona
Guest

These guys are biggest ”discovery” for me in this year ESC, I listened to their earlier works, sounds great and would like to see them live in concert. Looking forward to new album, glad that it will have heavier sound!

Yaa
Guest

Well done AWS! And don’t forget Romania voted en masse for you, 10 points televoting in the semifinal after Moldova, signing NQ for us and also 10 points in the final after Moldova so do consider a concert in Bucuresti asap! Take the train, drive, walk!

Alex
Guest

Basically they were expected to do better in the final, like top 10 in televoting but they kinda failed.

Apple
Guest

They still ended up getting more televotes than France, who was one of the favorites. So I don’t think they failed

Sandrine Calme
Guest

I love AWS!! Yes, I can’t wait for their fourth album to be released. I will listen on Spotify.

Kris
Guest

I liked that the guys were so honest throughout the whole journey!!

Do one with lea sirk please! I’m absolutely in love with her personality

Minerva
Guest

That sounds like an interesting collaboration!

Jonas
Guest

Thanks for the detailed transcription!

Hungary this year (surprisingly) turned into one of my favorites.