On Wednesday May 2nd at 12:00 o’clock sharp, rehearsals start for one of the most remarkable participants in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Metal band AWS from Hungary will take the stage in Lisbon. And while they do, many will wonder whether lead singer Örs Siklósi can keep his grunting vocals in tact.
Grunting is the official name for the special singing technique typical for metal music. You can here it in AWS’ performance of their Eurovision song “Viszlát nyár”. Particularly in the choruses and in the bridge towards the end. The vocals, while perfectly in tune, sound rough around the edges and it seems like a difficult technique. Will his voice hold up during the entire competition?
After all, he Eurovision Song Contest, originally a “sprint” of one performance, three minutes, becomes more of a marathon each year. The rehearsal time takes longer, and more and more performances become important. First there was the introduction of the semi finals. Then there were separate shows for juries to vote on. And now, there’s the second rehearsal round, in which an official EBU video clip will be shot that the entire internet community can see.
AWS: “Grunting is very comfortable for me”
During Eurovision in Concert, ESCDaily asked Siklósi about the difficult challenge ahead of him. He did not seem to concerned. “Grunting has been kind of natural for me from the very beginning. I didn’t learn to sing this way, this is just the way my voice is. It’s not difficult for me technically, in fact it is very comfortable for me.”
Even throughout two weeks of many, many performances, the Hungarian delegation believes that his voice will hold up and AWS can deliver all throughout the competition. Still, a lot of preparation goes into preserving the lead singers voice. “We try to rest and relax as much as we can – but that really will not be enough. That is why we will bring our favorite typical Hungarian thing: Béres drops.” These traditional Hungarian drops contain minerals and vitamins and help against fatigue.
Hungarian Metal in Eurovision
AWS won the Hungarian national preselection A Dal in February. Throughout the years, A Dal has been known for its alternative music styles and several rock and metal bands have preceded AWS in the competition. However, none of them ever made it this far.
“Hungary is a very alternative country,” says the band members. “Not only when it comes to music. We are very lucky for the Hungarian metal scene who came together and supported us in the final of A Dal. It was not just our victory, but a triumph for the whole scene as well.”