An antique book, a notebook, a pen, a cigar cutter and a comb that fits in the palm of your hand are also hidden in Iván Vitáris’ bag—without them, he never leaves home. Ivan & The Parazol’s frontman could even have the title of industrial product and design engineer (as this is his official degree), but he prefers to be called a musician.
As we tried to make a coffee machine work, we asked Iván about his favorite objects.
Do you consider yourself an object-collector type, or rather a minimalist?
I am a very serious collector and I have to overcome this in me. When I make myself select and sit down to look through the accumulated stuff, I am completely immersed in it, “wow, that’s good too, and that’s good…”—so then it all makes zero sense. Of course, I have the hardest thing when it comes to a collection of hundreds of records. But I also had a beer cap collection, for example: once we were on a class trip to Belgium, we drank better and better beers, and there I decided to keep a cap for every new beer I try—now I have about four hundred.
I rather collect Parazol relics with a kind of archiving intent. That’s when my friends rightly ask the question, “Why are you taking this flyer? Twenty years from now, it won’t make any sense.” Obviously, in many cases, I can’t even decide if it makes sense to have, say, the 2012 VOLT or EFOTT program booklet that we’re in with the band. But in some cases, I feel that it made absolute sense to buy and keep this or that newspaper or magazine because a lot of material may not be available online. It’s even more sad that we don’t have a lot of music material on certain records. About five or six years ago, we had a “winchester loss” as well: the “Take My Hand”—which is the first and perhaps one of our biggest hits—unfortunately, we don’t have it per soundtrack.
Do you have a special item in your possession that you would never get rid of? Tell us about it!
I wouldn’t get rid of stationery. I really like to write by hand, I also like paper as a material in itself. I bought this super Parker pen—quite surprisingly—in a Lidl for very little money. I also had cool fountain pens, but I lost them one after another. Of course, I am very serious about keeping a graphic marker with me all the time—it’s a Winsor & Newton fineliner, for example. The same is true with glasses. I got these sunglasses from the band for my thirtieth birthday. Such an expensive piece is a bit of a burden at the same time, but I love that they don’t tell that these are branded glasses; tasteful and restrained of their kind.
What is the object (or objects) you always have with you, that you never leave home without?
These two books are fresh purchases, so I have them with me right now: one is a Schiller drama and the other is a book by György Lukács. The comb is also a very important and practical accessory—I think it’s a really good comb that doesn’t have small spheres on its teeth—at least that’s what works for me.
If I smoke, I usually smoke cigars. This clearly depends on the occasion, the situation, and the location. If you have the opportunity and the company is good, it is good to have the cigar and of course the cigar cutter with you.
The smartphone is also symbolic because it actually has a mini studio. The basic ideas of our album, Budai Pop, are all here in this device. It’s a very extra, and a little unbelievable thing at the same time, that you have a tool here that, if you had to now, could write a song—obviously with an existing instrumental recording—that could then be uploaded to Spotify. It’s incredible.
One of my favorite brands is MUJI. This booklet was sent by my cousin from Tokyo, it contains all kinds of ideas and lyrics. I use the simplest card holder that can be bought at any stationer’s—it’s also a consumable item for me. I’ve never been serious about having a wallet: I haven’t loved cash for a long time, I don’t even have a wallet.
For my thirtieth birthday, for the first time in my life, I finally got a watch that I would wear: this Casio watch from my partner. This is not entirely true, because I had a watch before, I got it from my grandmother for my graduation. It was a pocket watch, a family relic. In addition to all this, I always have an Ivan & The Parazol sticker, just in case.
What is very important for any object is that the objects you use, the brands you wear, attract the attention of people who can then find common ground with you. This Casio watch is one such example, many can connect to this retro feel. We could also say that my objects are me, and these objects, with their harsh realities, also express what I think of the world.
If you could save an object in a time capsule for the next generation, what would it be?
I would probably put my favorite notebook in such a time capsule, because slowly handwriting is disappearing… Let’s say if I had to choose a record that I would save, it would clearly be the “Dark Side of the Moon” from Pink Floyd.
Photos: Balázs Mohai
We would like to thank Aniko Rácz and the team of Hannabi for the location of the photoshoot, who provided us with a showroom equipped with wonderful, comfortable sofas and lovable home furnishings.