Jaroslav Froněk is an emerging postmodern, avant-garde influenced artist, who is not afraid of non-conventional approaches towards contemporary music making. He is known for his indulgence in formal experiments as well as ambitious multi – level concepts behind his pieces.
Born in the Czech Republic, Jaroslav started his musical journey bit awkwardly as no one from his family, with the sole exception of his grandfather, played any instrument nor sung. Jaroslav nostalgically reminisce his grandfather occasionally playing the accordion, which he adored and as a result his parents signed him up for leisure recorder course at the age of 6. However, he quickly lost his enthusiasm and after a year or so dropped the lessons believing the music was nothing for him.
As the years passed, he became captured by greats such as SOAD, KoRn or the pioneers of metal: Black Sabbath, asking himself whether it was the instrument choice that wasn’t right. In 2010 he eventually got his first electric guitar and entered the music world for the second time.
Thanks to his teacher David Pear who instilled him into practicing as hard as he could, he quickly joined his first bands, one student band called Grippeds performing pop, rock and ska hits and the other playing their self-written material dabbling with underground raw vibe (they used to call their style ‘evil-disco’). This is where his sense for juxtaposition of contrasting materials and metaphor started to develop.
With Grippeds Jaroslav reached a huge success as the band won the national competition of student non-jazz ensembles as a part of The International Jazz Festival in Litvínov in 2014. With the band’s bassist he also started studio co-lab project named Šimoslav Froman with which he released two singles and the third is expected to be released soon.
As a consequence of health related issues, triggered by sleep privation and work overload, and re-evaluation of his lifestyle, Jaroslav immersed in the world of philosophy, poetry and art. He started exploring classical side of music, took up classical guitar trying to mimic his hero Štěpán Rak, and later joined a classical ensemble, with which he would often perform in galleries.
Simultaneously, in the world of popular music, through an array of his tutors, he enriched his vocabulary with funk guitar playing (and joining a funk cover band TakyFanky with some acclaimed Czech session musicians among its members). Country guitar was also an important flavour he brought in his playing as manifested in his recently released single ‘Village Chill’.
In May 2017 his hard-rock band Five Sins physically released their 2nd EP titled Five Sins And The Meatloaf Factory to which he had a significant contribution. Just after the recording has been made in September 2016, he moved to London to study at ICMP and further exploit as many different approaches and perceptions of music as he can.
Currently, his main focus is on production, experimenting with sounds and revealing different facets of their nature: the use of mundane material in unexpected ways and situations. ‘At ICMP, I am constantly encouraged to explore the hidden possibilities of my instrument, which I really enjoy and would like to intermingle with bits of classical music approach’ he says. He’s keen on questioning the genre boundaries and eclectically choosing and appropriating what he likes. His recent inspirations are NIN, Björk and Rotting Christ, so there is a lot to look forward to.
For the future, his vision is to look further into the world of classical music, especially, works of Steve Reich, John Cage, medieval chants and baroque music, and bring their attitude back to life in a brand new attire. Particularly, the often mentioned division of music to folk, popular and classical upsets him the most and he promises to try his best to bring those branches closer together.