The Kolin is an indie synth pop band formed in Budapest.
The Kolin’s story is just as logical as life itself. A musically inclined, talented, eminent kid who starts singing opera at a very young age, performs with the world’s biggest names, meanwhile he learns to play the piano, later studies jazz singing, falls in love with punk rock and then goes on to form an indie-pop-trash band that takes over Hungary and breaks into European scene almost overnight.
If we can’t call Mark Linczenyi, the creative force behind The Kolin, a genius, it is because he can’t play chess and doesn’t wear glasses, but he is nothing short of a prodigy. Born in Budapest, in 1983, he started his music career in the children’s choir of the Hungarian National Opera House at the age of eight. They had two or three performances a week and travelled extensively with the choir. Once in Stuttgart, he had the opportunity to take part in the performance of Carmen with none other than José Carreras in the main role. He also had the chance to sing with some other world renowned artists, such as Bobby McFerrin, to name one of many. And how did he get to the Opera House in the first place? ‘One day I went over to my mother’s friends’ place and there was a piano in the living room. I played it for hours, which I’m sure annoyed the hell out of them, but my mum’s friend suggested that I should go to music school. She took me and I’ll always love her for that.’
Besides classical singing he started learning the piano and when he finished his studies in classical music, he began to learn jazz piano and study jazz singing. In the meantime, he discovered punk rock and got into bands like The Offspring, Rancid and he also became a fan of Mike Patton, the lead singer of Faith No More. Pretty much right there and then it was decided that he was not going to end up appearing at Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Albert Hall or Carnegie Hall, but rather in some sweaty clubs, rolling on the floor, provoking and entertaining people with his unique humour, eccentric attitude, twisted, yet innovative way of thinking and eclectic musical style.
While he was studying jazz singing, Mark, or as he is known in the scene, Marko played – in his own words – ‘in a very primitive punk band, a kind of alternative Balkan beats group and a nu metal outfit’, before he formed his current band, The Kolin in 2008. He is not only the lead vocalist in the band but also the keyboardist, main song-writer and producer.
The Kolin’s music is originally made up of pop, synth pop, 80’s disco, indie, rock and as it’s as eccentric as… well, as it gets. Their first record ‘Yell into the Kazoo’ was released by Universal Hungary in 2008.
Thanks to their relentless energy, their flamboyant stage outfits, their notorious stage antics and acts of ordinary madness on stage, the Kolin quickly became a sensation in the ‘alternative’ club scene in Budapest. Later, thanks to their catchy, electrifying, eclectic music and their super creative, funny, provoking and award-winning videos, they became nationally known when they were nominated as Best European Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2009, Berlin and at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010, Madrid.
Their videos have received much praise domestically and internationally. ‘Jimmy’ won Video of the Year in Hungary. ‘San Francisco’ was posted and hailed by famous blogger, Perez Hilton and Hungary’s first ever 3D video, ‘Mountain King’ was invited to a number of prominent film festivals, including Raindance Film Festival, Newport Beach Festival, Toronto International Film Festival. Also, in 2012 'Mountain King' was preinstalled on all Nintendo 3DS devices all over the world, so whoever purchased one, got to see the video in 3D.
The band is inspired by other bands such as M83, Alt-J, tUnE yArDs, Arcade Fire, Empire Of The Sun and the Bastille.
Being a creative, big-mouthed, opinionated, funny, provocative frontman of a successful band, Marko could not avoid attaining some sort of odd celebrity status, with popular online tabloid sights reporting about his shenanigans. One widely publicised incident involved a picture of his severely injured family jewel. The photo was taken after a fight at a club concert, and ended up on a popular online tabloid site. His favourite ‘habit’ of French kissing girls in the audience at their shows was also a hot topic, especially since it went on for a while. By the time he gave up his routine, he had kissed over a hundred girls – consensually, of course.
As of October 2015, Marko is once again in the spotlight as a judge on the Hungary’s Got Talent show. And while keeping to a strict daily routine of exercising – running, cycling, kayaking, doing yoga (he is also a fan of skateboarding and surfing) –, he and the band are currently working on their new record. ‘We are doing well. We have done all the demos and recorded the final mixes for 4 out of the 12 songs for the new album. It’s going to be a bit more psychedelic than our previous stuff and there will be more emphasis on piano and acoustic instruments. We have been experimenting with different things in the past couple of years that can be heard on our 2011 and 2013 EP’s ‘Mountain King’ and ‘Gecko’, respectively, and I think we are at a stage now where we have found our sound as a band. The radical years are over, this record is going to be a bit more serious and it is now the music, which is in focus, not the madness. A good example of the new direction is a song called ‘Recycled’. A short film was made based on the song which nicely represents the new direction we are taking. We are very excited and looking forward to the album release, which will happen sometime early next year.’