Stephen LadekStephen Ladek is a Budapest-based singer/songwriter originally from Colorado, USA. His music is influenced by the Indigo Girls, Pink Floyd, Nickel Creek, Rush, David Wilcox, Lyle Lovett and many others with lyrics that are generally reflections of life-as-it-should-be. Stephen was the former lead singer and guitarist for ‘The Flow.’ He has also performed as a back up guitarist and vocalist for ‘Big Orange Pop.’ Most recently Stephen performed as a member of ‘The LMNOPs’ in Washington, DC. Samples of his solo work and ‘The Flow’ can be found at:

1. Are you currently working on anything, and why’s it taking so long?

“I’ve been working on a solo album for literally ten years. After leaving the last band I played with, life took over and all the spaces that used to be filled with music were stuffed with travel, work and now… my son!”

2. Do you actually have moments of inspiration or is writing just a process of slogging day in and day out?

“I personally have moments of inspiration that provide me with a small riff, a bass line, a lyric or some other snippet that just feels right. I usually build a song by combining one or two of these snippits somehow. The music almost always comes first though. Sometimes a song takes ten minutes, sometimes years.”

3. Did you ever get laid because something you wrote?

“My wife continues to tell me that my music is a key reason she ever bothered to show up and meet me at the first party where we were set up. I’m going with yes.”

4. Name a writer who you’d be most psyched to see show up at your Bardroom gig and how would you return the compliment if he/she liked your set?

“Hands down, the Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Sailers). They’re the only group in the world whose entire collection I own. My homage to/for them? I can trace my decision to pursue song writing to their first (Grammy Award Winning) self-titled release and I like to think that Amy taught me to sing.”

5. Does music matter anymore?

“Music will always matter. We vibrate as living beings and music connects with that. The better question is do we really need a sound track to our lives? With so many of my and future generations stuck with iPod earbuds in all the time, we’re losing the authentic experience of being in the world while at the same time diminishing our ability to commercials from works of genius.”

Zaid SethiZaid Sethi was born in Pakistan and emigrated to England with his parents at the age of one. He has been writing and traveling for the last 15 years, spending time in Central Asia, the Caucuses and St Petersburg. he has lived in Hungary for three years.

In 2009, Zaid published his first book of short stories, entitled The End of the World. According to Zaid, “this is a collection of short stories in which characters enter a world where fairness and understanding count for nothing. These stories are about the relationships that inspire us as human beings to strive to achieve more than any sense of reality would allow.”

1. What was your first (poem / piece of writing), and how bad was it?

Socialist drivel but penned and executed with passion. Thirteen, and lots of people to show off to. “Oh look, it rhymes, isn’t he a clever lad!” and thinking that Elliot would be glad he was dead when I was finished with poetry and I would tell any latter day Ezra Pound to get stuffed!

But then in that quiet place we all find ourselves in when there is no-one to show off to I read Journey of the Magi and wept, there isn’t anything worse than living long enough to find out that you are a fraud!

2. Are you currently working on anything, and why’s it taking so long?

A novel. I feel I have to write one because that is the only chance I would have to find a publisher, so I’m told. I keep being asked that I need to have something to say. Really! If that were true why are there so many who get away with nothing very much. I have something to say but am afraid that it isn’t dramatic or interesting enough, you know like cutting off a hand to be free or being crucified. I suppose that is my excuse because I am not able to write like Dan Brown.

3. Do you actually have moments of inspiration or is writing just a process of slogging day in and day out?

Gosh, I wish it were a slog, day in day out. Can you imagine doing an interview and saying ‘well, I work for about 8 hours a day, disciplined, ordered, productive. Producing 500 words or was it 1500 words a day.’

No, for me it is an intellectual pregnancy the gestation of which drains any capacity for emotion that I could have left and then when it is done I bleed, I mean I write and when I have finished I can’t believe anyone could attribute the words to me. I have too many moments of inspiration that die exposed to time and inattention but then I find one that consumes me when there is nothing to distract me.

4. Please define irony.

Me, a writer.

5. What’s the worst thing about writing a book?

Finding someone to publish it so that you don’t have to worry about finding people to read it.

William S. TribellWilliam S. Tribell is an American expat, currently living and writing in Budapest. Born in Kentucky in 1977, William is a long time resident of  New Orleans and a Katrina refugee. William has lived and traveled through out the US and abroad, looking for inspiration, culture and the human condition.

1. Are you currently working on anything, and why’s it taking so long?

“Life is poetry if you try. Always working on something; Never finished.”

2. Do you actually have moments of inspiration or is writing just a process of slogging day in and day out?

“Yes, always waiting and looking for inspiration.”

3. What’s the last thing you read that made your hair stand up on end?”

“Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.”

4. Does poetry matter anymore?

“Unfortunately to a great many, not so much. But I think people will always make poetry.”

5. How much longer will the Book last as our primary vehicle of knowledge?

“I don’t think it is the primary any longer.”

Alas, the night grows long, the days grow cold and the leaves change color. Come and celebrate your melancholic literary side with us and enjoy the works of some of Budapest’s notable contemporary writers. And win prizes! On October 15, we will be treated to three local artists. Zaid Sethi will read from his new collection of short stories, The End of the World, with his uniquely universalistic impressions of people from around the world. New Orleans-based poet, Stephen Tribell has recently made Budapest his home and will be performing his poetry, and Stephen Ladek will be rounding out the evening with his own music.

In addition, you’ll have a chance to win some unique, local treasures when hosts Jeff Taylor and Kalman Farago test the audience’s knowledge on a range of obscure literary topics as the Budapest Bardroom Quiz runs throughout the evening. For all potential bards, be prepared to participate in Poem of the Evening. The night’s best impromptu poem (determined by audience reaction) will be selected from audience submissions collected throughout the evening.

Date: October 15, 2009
Time: 19:30 – 21:00
Venue: Treehugger Dan’s Bookstore, Cafe & Lounge/Discover Hungary
Address: VI. District, Lázár u. 16. M1 (Yellow Metro Line) station Opera, just off of Andrássy Ut., behind the Opera House.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.