Melanchollic Metallica? Yes! (Interview in Metro)

(Pro českou verzi rozhovoru sledujte následující link // For the Czech version of the interview, follow this link.)

Tribute bands celebrating their idols are a common part of the music scene. However, a year ago in the Czech Republic, a project was born that breaks away from the usual imitation of foreign songs. It targeted the famous hard rock band Metallica and transformed their notoriously known songs into melancholy with an acoustic guitar and trumpet. „We want to present you, in our own way, twelve chapters of the story of the band Metallica,“ says Jan Černý to the Metro newspaper, one half of the authoring duo. He plays the guitar, while Martin Petřík plays the trumpet. In the near future, you can hear them as the formation Melanchollica at the Libeň cultural center Velký Mlýn, where they will perform on Monday, May 6th.

How big fans of Metallica are you?

Jan: Metallica is a life philosophy, inspiration, energy, and an incredible musical story that has changed the world and the perception of harsh music. The life stories of all Metallica members can make one reflect and contemplate what you actually want from life and whether it really is so. Over the decades of listening to Metallica, I always find something new. Incredible. And I wouldn’t exchange it.
Martin: I’ve avoided Metallica’s music most of my life. My older brother, being a „Depeche Mode fan,“ directed me towards listening to electronic music. And back then, the metalhead camp was mismatched with this direction. My interest in electronic music remained, but unlike my brother, I moved towards a more dynamic approach. Working with synthesizers, discovering new layers of sound, energetic rhythms, and pronounced opinionated expression still excite me today. I can also say that a number of tracks from the albums Load and Reload appealed to me sonically when they were released, but I simply didn’t have them in my walkman. Only with the Melanchollica project did I start listening not just to the songs we processed daily to get under my skin. And today, I admire and enjoy the details in Metallica’s composition.

Metallica, in your rendition, sounds really melancholic, isn’t it a pity? Does it also capture their more lively aspects?

Jan: Their music represents an incredible amount of energy with many twists and surprises. But even under that harsh exterior, it often hides vulnerability, fragility, difficult life moments, and also loneliness. Martin and I have discussed a lot about what all emerges from that combination of acoustic guitar and trumpet from Metallica. And it often involves quite strong emotions. Metallica offers various layers and perspectives. Personally, I enjoy every note; it’s truly a joy to play Metallica – on the other hand, I think we both also feel a huge respect and challenge to their work.

Martin: Interpreting Metallica’s songs for two instruments doesn’t leave much room to convey the energy they have. Therefore, we primarily worked with those parts of the songs that are calmer, where the melody stands out. But we interpret the faster passages as well so that our listeners don’t fall asleep, right? 😀 I hope that our processing is not just melancholic, although we have it in our name.

Have you ever thought about sending your work to Metallica?

Martin: Of course, we talked about it. We agreed that if it is meant to find its way, it will.
Jan: I am personally grateful for every rehearsal and concert where we can play Metallica’s music. You always discover a completely different dimension. I don’t know if this „melancholic“ approach to Metallica will ever reach them; if it does, we’ll be happy if they listen to it and think, „It’s good to have Melanchollica in Europe.“ And if not, it is also fine; we are glad that we can play their unique music to people who may not know it well – to help the Metallica family grow a bit more. And that’s worth it.

Metallica is a life philosophy, inspiration, energy, and an incredible musical story that has changed the world and the perception of harsh music.

Your next concert is in May, what are you planning?

Jan: At Velký Mlýn, we’ll perform our main program, namely the presentation of all Metallica albums with excerpts of key songs that we connect together. You will hear, for example, The Thing That Should Not Be, Eye of the Beholder, King Nothing, Halo on Fire, and many others. You will have the opportunity to perceive their development as it has been shaped in certain periods, including comments and curiosities related to all members, especially regarding their creative activity influenced by a number of key events. Forgive us for the program length, which we again predict to be about 150 minutes. We might announce a break.

Martin: Right now, we play what we prepared and processed in the first year of playing. We have ideas in our heads but we are not rushing. We want to go into the studio; we are planning a music video to allow listeners to access our interpretation even outside of concerts.

Melanchollica interprets the work of Metallica (Authors: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Rob Trullijo, Cliff Burton, Jason Newsted, Dave Mustaine). Authors of the photos and videos used on this website: Kristina Černá (, Miloslav Reiterman (, Jiří Svačinka (, Michal Karlesz a Martin Petřík (Melanchollica :-))