Interview with the lead singer/guitarist of the Fivérek music group, about his life before and after Megasztár.
Meeting and talking with Antal Seres is always a joy. He is most widely known as the lead singer of Fivérek, a group he formed in 1998 with his two younger brothers, Róbert and Krisztián. With their temperamental latin music and boyish charms, the three guitarists/singers have won the heart of Hungary when they were chosen as the best group of 2011 on Megasztár. Despite of all the fame, however, they have remained as they were: shy, quiet, polite, honest, and incredibly tall boys from Szentes.
– When did you decide that you want to become a musician? Was this always your goal?
– No, not at all, and it certainly wasn’t a clear-cut decision. I was always close to music, though. When I was 11, I played the drums. Then I got my first guitar from my parents. They could only afford one time-worn, 3-stringed guitar, so we had to share it with my brothers. My uncle tought us the basic chords but after that we tought ourselves. There were times when we stayed up all night, sitting in the kitchen, strumming random chords and humming the rhythm. More than once did we fell asleep on the kitchen table, guitar still in hand.
– So you weren’t training to become professional musicians?
– Absolutely not. At the beginning, we were more into sports than music. We attended a sports school and we considered music purely a hobby. However, sport is still close to my heart, and to this day I teach volleyball to a couple of kids in Szentes.
– Then how did you discover your talent and your love for the stage?
– When we were young, me and my brothers had made up a game: we lip-synched to songs that were playing on the radio. We had a great time, and we found out that we were actually pretty good at it when we won the „Tátika” regional competition with this number. After that I realised that I am being drawn to the stage, constantly wishing for an occasion that would enable me to get up there. Not to play music, mind you – I just wanted to be on stage. It seemed magical. As for our talent, we didn’t realise anything until Csilla Ombódi (who is now our manager) spotted me 15 years ago, playing in the background of a show, and she saw a potential that could’ve been turned into something. She helped me to become who I am now, and after a year under her guidance, I asked her to listen to my brothers, as well. She recognised that we are stronger together than seperately, so she took all os uf under her wings. She has been helping us along our way ever since.
– What about your parents? Didn’t they want you to do something more… stable?
– I’m sure they were concerned how we’re going to earn our living, but they never said a word about it. I think this is a difference of generations. My parents raised us with instinct, while the generation of today is being raised with logic and common sense. Maybe it’s better this way, I don’t know. They were just happy that we did what we found joy in, and we never gave up on pursuing our dreams.
– Most of the people know you from Megasztár, but you weren’t idle before that, either.
– We tried ourselves on several amateur talent shows, we played in front of small audiences, and we even played on wedding receptions. We recorded a music video called „Júlia” with which we tried to get into showbusiness. We uploaded it onto YouTube and kept watching the counter, hoping for a sudden boost in viewership, but it never happened. It never became a huge success but it was a good starting point. Then about 10 years ago, I started teaching guitar to kids and we played with them annually in the theatre of Szentes. I even gave singing lessons occasionally.
– And why Megasztár?
– To be honest, me and my brothers never really liked the idea of these talent shows on TV. It seems like it… cheapens the musicians. But we were in debt because our music video didn’t do well, we were swindled and exploited by people we trusted, and we had no other means of getting out of the rut. We thought we would give it a try, we had nothing to lose. It seemed like a perfect opportunity because this was the first time that Megasztár accepted groups, not just singers.
– So you think that nowadays this is the only chance of getting a reputation?
– Yes. It’s very hard to be acknowledged and be even a tiny bit famous on your own, no matter how good you are. We tried for 15 years and never achieved anything big. People knew us in Szentes and its neighbouring towns but that’s it; we couldn’t reach other parts of the country with our music. It’s vital to have connections and money in order to start a career – and we didn’t have either.
– Did you accomplish what you wanted though?
– Yes, Megasztár was definitely our spring-board into reputation. We reached audiences we never thought we would, everywhere across Hungary. It was unbelievable. We gained a name, we were interviewed by loads of channels and TV programmes, we were invited to give concerts. The biggest one of all was when we were opening for the Gypsy Kings in the Papp László Sportaréna in 2011. The Gypsy Kings has always been our main inspiration for the music we play, it was a great honour to be playing before them. We even had the chance to visit them in France a month before the concert and to spend some time with them. Although there was a language barrier we had troubles with, but it was an unforgettable experience. If we accomplised nothing else by being on Megasztár but this, it was already worth it.
– What are you doing now? Concerts, teaching?
– Both. It seems like our „30 minutes of fame” is coming to an end, because we don’t get as many invites as we did. But we’re not complaining. We’re making a new album as we speak, although the previous one didn’t do so well, either. I’m still teaching guitar and volleyball in Szentes which I have to say is my favourite thing to do. Children are very close to my heart; which is why we also started the foundation of „Zenével a rákos gyermekekért”. I go to the hospital of Szeged every week and teach guitar to the children there. It is unbelievably hard, just watching them suffer, but it means everything to me when I see them smiling and singing, trying to strum a chord on the guitar. It is a very rewarding job.
– If you had to choose the greatest moment in the last 2 years, what would that be?
– Good question. I think there were two moments I will never forget. The first is when we had the chance of playing „Ünnep” by Zorán as our last song on Megasztár. It was special because it means a lot to us; this is the first song we played to Csilla when we wanted to prove ourselves to her. We learnt the chords by ear, we put it together ourselves. It was perfect: we kind of knew that that’s the last song we were going to play, and this was an opportunity to thank her for everything she’s done. The second greatest moment is not actually a single moment: every single day I spend with the children in the hospital is amazing and so intense that it will be with me forever.
– What are your future plans?
– We are working on our new album, and I’m also thinking about writing a musical based on a book I’m currently reading. However, my main goal is to keep spreading the word about our foundation and to raise awareness about the situation of the children. I’m also thinking about going to a music school because I never actually learnt how to sing and I believe that I could be better by learning on a more professional level.