Music sometimes transcends its original purpose of an entertainment device, and becomes a chronicle of a particular society within its historical context. With Zona A, one of the very earliest punk bands in an authoritarian communist-led Czechoslovakia, the reflective aspect of their music production is even more important. Starting out with a struggle against an authoritative regime, liberalization after to the 1989 revolution, instability of the 90s, and maturing in the recent years. In many ways, Zóna A’s milestones mirror the timeline of their home country of Slovakia with an uncanny accuracy.
The quartet, from which the lead singer is the only founding member who is still in the band, were the first to bring the influential anti-establishment subculture to Slovakia, then part of Czechoslovakia. Today, exactly thirty years later, things are somewhat different. The music and the message stayed, but the enemy’s gone. I followed Zona A on their summer tour of 2015, more than 30 years after the squad first got together. And this is what happened.