British expatriate David Bryan has made a home for himself in Romania. So much so that Romanian voters chose to send him and his band Hotel FM to Eurovision 2011. David recently spoke with Wiwi about how he ended up in Romania, his love of music and his plans to have plenty of girls dancing on stage in Düsseldorf.
Last year you guys finished fourth at the Romanian national selection. What made you want to enter the contest again this year?
We consider Eurovision a great challenge for new bands. Winning this competition means for us new doors opened and new opportunities in the future, all over Europe. We really want these opportunities and, as you can see, we didn’t give up after finishing fourth last year. So here we are, ready to change the world.
What’s the message of your song “Change”?
The title itself says it all. We are always hearing that we have our whole life in front of us and then we wake up to see that we accomplished nothing during our lives. So, our message to Europe is: Stop dreaming of it, take a step that’s gonna make a difference and change your world.
How long did it take you to write it?
We (by ‘we’ meaning Gabriel Baruta and Alexandra Ivan) wrote the song in November 2010, just 4 days prior to the closing of the national pre-selection. Gabi came to me with the melody and played it for me on the piano. He had written it quickly and naturally one morning. He already had the first line of the chorus in mind, “I can’t change, I can’t change the world alone,” and I asked him what the verses should be about. He said, “Well, you have time… figure something out!” And then I came up with “You think you’ve got the time to figure it out.” The rest of the lyrics had a very natural flow. I think they were ready in about 30 minutes.
What was your inspiration?
For Gabriel and me, music itself is a never-ending source of inspiration. We love what we do and truly believe that if something can influence people for the better, music is that only magical thing. Making a change that will echo into the world is something subtle, maybe a gesture or a note, a song, a promise. In the end, it’s all about clinging on to your dreams, making the most out of every day and not letting your smile be chased away by worries and dark thoughts.
Can you please tell us a little about the music video you filmed for your song?
We strongly believe that Eurovision is a great chance for promoting Romania as well, not only Hotel FM. So we decided to film the video in one of the best places in Romania, like Dracula Castle, Balea Lake, Turda Saline. It was filmed in early spring, showcasing the last shades of snow on the Carpathian mountaintops and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. I think that I should say no more… the images speak for themselves. We had a great time filming this video.
Can you give us any hints about your stage show in Germany?
All we can say about the show in Germany is that we will have some girls who will dance. The rest has to remain a surprise because that’s the point, isn’t it? To surprise the jury and the public with your performance and we are sure that we are going to achieve that.
What does the name “Hotel FM” mean? How did you come up with that?
The name of the band is more like a metaphor and it is the name which represents us the most. It refers to the lifestyle of the artists, in general. We are always staying in hotels, always on roads and always in a hurry, but in the same time we are having a lifestyle characterized by freedom. We are enjoying life to the fullest and we love that. And the most important: we live for the music. So this is what ‘Hotel FM’ means: living life to the fullest through music.
How did Hotel FM form?
The Hotel FM story began in 2005 when Gabriel Baruta (the composer) gathered around him persons who had the same passion as he did in order to create a new and modern pop-rock sound. The members of the band changed during the years. Nicu Vedinas, Berek Szilard, Marius Pop, Vlady Sateanu, Gabi Dragan and Sany Zakar were united by the same goals and vision on music. For 2011, Hotel FM brings us a new band formula: David Bryan (as a lead singer), Gabriel Baruta (backing vocals and piano player) and Alex Suzs (drummer).
How did you end up in Romania and how long have you lived there? Have they welcomed you with open arms?
I first came to Romania five years ago because I was involved in a project for children with disabilities. The first town where I lived in was Oradea, where I met my girlfriend. You can understand now why I decided to stay in the first place, don’t you? Romanians have a tradition in being very open and friendly and I had the opportunity to see that for myself. I felt great in here and I still am, especially now that new doors are open for me and I have the opportunity to meet new people.
Do you speak Romanian?
Yes, I can say that I speak Romanian. I started to learn it gradually because it is almost impossible to live in a country for so many years and not know the language. It’s a difficult language to learn but if you have the right reasons, nothing else matters.
How would you assess your chances in Düsseldorf? What’s your goal?
We don’t want to make any previsions or to think about a prize. We will do our best, for sure, and our goal is to impress the jury and the public, to make them feel our music, to offer a great show and to send the right message. We are sure that Europe will know how to appreciate us, our talent and our work.
Do you think it’s good that a professional jury accounts for 50% of the outcome?
Taking into account the importance of the contest, we think that this is the best solution: 50% the opinion of a professional jury and 50% the public opinion. The reasons are very simple: the public can for sure tell us which melody is the most ‘catchy’ and ‘cool,’ but we also have to take into account the technical part of the songs, which can be assessed only by professionals.
Have you listened to the other entries? Any favorites?
Of course that we have listened to the other entries. You have to know your competition very well, don’t you? I can say that our favorite is the song from Bosnia and Herzegovina. That song seemed to have something special. It just makes you feel good, makes you forget about all your worries.
David, you are currently a finalist in my blog’s search for Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model. Do you have anything to say to your supporters?
I want to thank all those who gave me their vote. And keep voting the U.K. guy, of course.
Is there anything you want Europe to know about your band that they may not already know?
In the last months, we have been travelling from one country to another, promoting our message and music all over Europe. The fans were amazing and together we had a great time in all of our concerts. This is how we have been preparing for Eurovision. We are prepared to conquer Europe through our music and we won’t stop until we do so!