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  • Entertainment

The Kolacny Brothers are going to work it out

Saturday, 3rd November, 2018 5:00pm
The Kolacny Brothers are going to work it out

Scala & Kolacny Brothers revisit classic rock and indie songs.

The Kolacny Brothers are going to work it out

Scala & Kolacny Brothers revisit classic rock and indie songs.

THE Scala & Kolacny Brothers are a unique musical project.

The indie-rock choir comprises two brothers, Steven and Stijn Kolacny, and Scala, their all-girl choir. Steven plays the piano, Stijn is the conductor. The brothers usually perform with 15-20 singers, aged from 16-30.

Currently the choir has more than 150 singers which allows to perfectly meet the ever-growing demand for concerts.

Scala & Kolacny Brothers revisit classic rock and indie songs and reinvent them as elegiac hymns – to breath-taking effect. In the early years, the piano was the sole accompaniment to the voices.

Nowadays Scala performs throughout the world, still with the piano on stage, but also with drums, sequencers and synthesizers.

The inspiration to do rock songs came to Steven in 2001 after a friend in London sent him a Radiohead CD with some recordings the band had done for the radio station XFM, including a live version of ‘Creep’.

“There was something so touching and emotional in his performance,” Stephen reflects.

Scala & Kolacny Brothers had already been going for a number of years – the brothers had formed the choir in 1996 and it became successful in their native Belgium, where it was voted Choir of the Year for 1999-2000.

But it was a traditional, classical choir, “performing for older audiences,” says Steven, which was “very nice, but you always play the same old music again and again. It’s like cover ver-sions – there are a trillion cover versions of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. And I didn’t like the feeling much, so that’s why I started making my own music.”

Stijn took some persuading. He was worried that the classical press would see Steven’s in-die-rock choir idea as a cheap gimmick.

His fears appeared well founded when the brothers expanded their repertoire to include their new songs in traditional choir competitions – they were disqualified from one for using “bad language”.

But before a backlash could begin, interest in their music soared in the rock press and on the radio, leading to a record deal with PIAS in 2002; their debut album, ‘Scala on the Rocks’, went gold within weeks of its release.

In its new indie-rock incarnation, Scala & Kolacny Brothers found fame in France and Germany, releasing albums in French (‘Respire’ in 2004) and German (‘Grenzenlos’ in 2005). In 2006, they signed to EMI and launched their own record label and production company, Fratelli.

When the email arrived in May 2010, the Kolacny brothers thought it was some kind of joke.

But the request was genuine. And the film turned out to be The Social Network.

In July 2010, two months after the brothers received the email, the Social Network trailer was released – featuring Scala’s version of Creep. 

Meanwhile, their live act has evolved into a formidable multimedia experience featuring custom-made video projections, animation, light shows and electronic sampling.

Gig venues can be anything from churches to rock venues for a couple of thousand fans to huge outdoor performances and music festi-als. 

Don’t miss the Scala & Kolacny Brothers at the Olympia Theatre on Friday, June 14.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here