German synth-rock on a rise! – interview with SOULIMAGE

Hello guys! I hope you are well and “ready, steady, go!” for these questions I prepared for you.
1. As for the beginning I’d like you to share the story of SOULIMAGE. How did that started for each one of you: when did you join the band and what were your first thoughts about the project?

SI_Juergen: I already played several times with Luck in different bands/projects since the 90s. In summer 2014 he asked me if I would like to join his current formation “soulimage”. All the time before I “only” made hand made music and was quite interested in interacting with electronic music. At the end I was challengenged to try something new, which lead me to soulimage.

SI_Burbn: I started in summer ’15 at SOULIMAGE and played in different bands and sideprojects before (unknown for the most). I answered on a posting by Robert at Facebook and now I am here 😉

SI_Stefan: I already saw Soulimage live in 2006 and did the livemixing on one of their concerts in 2010 something. When Robert needed new musicians I called to do guitars or keys, what I ended up with. Before that I did my own gothic rock band from 2000 to 2010 and participated as live musician or sound engineer for several bands in the german gothic scene. Ironically, in my own band I played the bass, but I am nothing against Juergens skills.

2. And I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t add one extra question for the vocalist Robert, about the idea behind the formation of the band. When did you know that you want to form a band and what was your vision about it then and how does it look now? Did that change or is it still the way it was in the very beginning?

SI_Robert: Soulimage was created in my mind in 2005. Even before any music was written, I knew that the band or project should be called Soulimage. Then I started to work on songs. Everything was created on typical electronic pattern, until a few years later the idea of a real band came up. There were many line-up changes and the music sounded different over times. That’s why it was so hard to get some constance in the music. For me Soulimage should just sound awesome, no matter if it was electro pop or hard rock. But that, maybe, was also part of the problem, why it took this long to find the real Soulimage sound. It really took several years, but now we have arrived.
3. It’s not that common for a band to describe the performing genre as “synth-rock”. Please explain where did that come from and why did you choose this over other music genres?

SI_Juergen: The term “synth-rock” is the combination of our most dominant music styles. “synth” stands in general for electronic music and “rock” I think needs no explanation 😉

SI_Robert: Synth-rock is only a description of what we unite in our music. Synthetic sounds with some hard but also melancholic rock. We are no gothic-rock band, certainly influenced by this genre, but no way bogged down. Maybe there will be a new style of rock with Soulimage – I don’t know. But no matter what you want to call it – we just make our music.

SI_Burbn: I dont like to put our style in a typical genre like “synth-rock”… We use synths and playing a basic-rock-set, yes, but we are too “unclassified” i think 😉 Sometimes we play metal with synths, sometimes we play industrial-rock, so every guy where listen to us has different explanations for this style. I dont care ’bout that 🙂

SI_Stefan: Synth-rock is a defined term in germany to describe Bands like The Birthday Massacre, A Life divided and so on, everything thats not tough enough to be industrial rock/metal nor “Neue Deutsche Härte”. Technically it’s a spoof, most people forget how much synthetic stuff is common these days in produced music. For me it’s a punctation to point out that the digital parts are as important as the rockish parts, though the mass of the ingredients might vary. Maybe someday, the term will change. It’s just a word….

4. Connection of synth music with strong rock is so intriguing that I need to ask for the influences. What was your inspiration in the creating process and what ispires you in general?

SI_Robert: I hear a lot of different music. Classical music as well as hard metal. However, most affect me “Depeche Mode”. I love the mood of their songs.

SI_Juergen: The biggest inspiration for me was the work of bass player Twiggy Ramirez on the albums “Hollywood” and “Mechanical Animals” together with Marylin Manson. The way he supports the band and song is quite imposing. He’s also the reason why I started using distorted bass sounds.

SI_Burbn: I have a big repertoire on music styles i like, but mostly something with guitars in it 😉 I learned a few instruments, but my favorite instrument was since the age of 9 the guitar. I listened to a lot of bands, but two guitar-players with very significant styles/sounds gave me goosebumps everytime i heard them and they impressed me alot; Richard Z. Kruspe (Rammstein) and Paul Allender (Cradle of Filth).

SI_Stefan: Speaking of electronics, my greatest influence is the work of Bruno Kramm, how he mixes harsh electro sounds and classical tunes perfectly on a very artistic level. Despite that, my favorite Bands is “Samsas Traum”. And I love the stuff Stevie Wonder did in the 70ies.
5. Many great music bands and artists come from Germany that gained international popularity, such as Rammstein, Reamonn, Scorpions, Kraftwerk or Die Toten Hosen to name a few. Do you have equal ambition to become globally known or do you focus on your homeland?

SI_Juergen: We definitely do not restict ourselve. The rest is up to our fans and the music society. Try it on yourself, invite us to a Polish festival and meet us 😉

SI_Burbn: I would love to play in the whole world, but like Juergen said; it’s up to the fans and the industry 😉

SI_Robert: We focus on what the future will bring. It is much of the financial resources, whether you reach a corresponding degree of popularity. Money is not everything, but it’s definitely important to get further.

SI_Stefan: I like most of the bands you named, but I’d rather aim for a “cult-band” status, that is not that dominant in the charts but could manage to gain a solid fandom all over the world for decades.

6. On 20th of May this year your debut album “The Whole Universe” had its release. Can you share something from the working process? How long it took to record the album and what music lovers can expect from it? Also, how involved were you during the process of the making?

SI_Burbn: Most of us recorded our instruments at our own “home-studios”. I recorded only the guitar-parts for the album. Most of the work had to be done by Stefan 😀
Expect nothing peticular of this album and you will love it 😉

SI_Robert: Partly, I was really frustrated about my voice and the singing. This is certainly due to my perfectionism. 😉 But ultimately, we have produced a good debut album, in my opinion. Even if it took really much time and nerves.

SI_Stefan: I hate them. All of them *laughs* The whole process took about 2 months, but everyone had about 3 weeks of work on their own, my job was to collect all the recordings, arrangements and ideas everyone had and put them together in one piece.
7. Aside from the album release, you seem to know some other German artists like Florian Grey or Bitch&Chips that you already performed live with. What do you think about these other artists? Are they a serious competition to you or is it that you don’t consider anyone a competition?

SI_Robert: Why should good artists represent a competition? We only can learn from each other. Everyone invests time and money for the success. Florian Grey is a really talented musician and singer and he really deserves it. Bitch&Chips changed their name again to “Darkh”. But no matter how they are called – they fuckin rock the stage!

SI_Juergen: Bands should not be competitors at all. The most important thing is that we and our fans have fun and enjoy our music. Some people(and also bands) hopefully like us and others will not. That’s life.

SI_Burbn: Juergen’s right. It should be fun, so we don’t care ’bout competitions with other bands. I personally don’t give a f*** ’bout that 😉

SI_Stefan: There is no competition in music. You have your occassional divas and “superstars”, fuck them, otherwise it’s important to help each other out, otherwise this whole underground music thing would not work at all.

8. As a band there must be a true bond between the members. What is the most funny memory you have with one another so far?

SI_Burbn: We don’t have fun and we don’t have funny memories. We are the most evil band in the world… I’am just kidding 😉 It’s always fun to play with this guys and i’am very proud to be a part of it! But I could not name a particular memory with one of them, there are so much of it 😀

SI_Stefan: I wanted that cake so badly…. *lol* *

* – What Stefan meant was most likely the cake one FOB (fan/friend of the band) made for one of the gigs that was unfortunately canceled due to bad weather).
9. You are the members of the synth-rock (but still rock, though) band. How do you like to spend your time off? Or is there even any amount of time off for SOULIMAGE? Do you spend it together and separately and what gives you relief and calms you after a gig or time in the studio?

SI_Juergen: To be member of a band is a kind of partnership. But beside of the band almost everyone has his own family with childrens. A well balance is very important to keep both partnerships working. Most of the time when we are not busy with tormenting our instruments we are kidding each other.

SI_Burbn: As Juergen said, most of us has a family and working besides the band (we have to). There’s not much time besides that, so we “hang out” at gigs and at our “super-creation-room” 😉 But personally i like to play video-games at home and going out to concerts, cinema, eating at restaurants and so on.

SI_Robert: Nothing else to say! 😉

10. You have a strong bond with your fans. What is the most memorable thing you remember from your live performances?

SI_Robert: Our keyboard-player Stefan has pulled out his shirt on the stage. That has really traumatized me. More than anything else! 😀 Otherwise I remember well in every single show. People give back so much energy.

SI_Stefan: It was at this one show, where I dared the audience to move at least as much as my mother (she’s a 5 time granny) that danced the whole time 😀 And HEY, it was hot on stage!!

SI_Burbn: A complete family (grandmother, mother, children) where’s rockin’ to our songs! It was fascinating to see, that we could animate 60+ and 18+ year old people with our songs 😀
11. To stay with relations with others. Do you consider yourselves to be a role model for young artists and bands that are still in a phase of playing in the garages and trying to knock out for a bigger stage? What would be your advice for those young people?

SI_Juergen: The best advice to musicians is: never stop making music and keep your ears open.

SI_Burbn: Play the style you like and never (!) give up! But focus on your school/work! Don’t see it as something you had to do, it’s very important to have a good job… to finance your equipment 😉

SI_Robert: Do your own style! Be faithful to yourself and always listen to your hearts!

SI_Stefan: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try again. In art, everything goes!

12. Going back to your debut album, share with us some of the dates and places where people can find you performing live. How does the tour looks like and what are your plans for the near future?

SI_Robert: You can see Soulimage live: 08/20/2016 – Dresden (Club11), 08/27/2016 – München (Garage Deluxe), 09/03/2016 – Regensburg (H5). We will plan some more shows for autumn 2016. Otherwise we plan to release the second single from the debut album this year. For sure we will work on new songs and on a second album, but we don’t want to commit us still in a date.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview and I hope that soon a group of your listeners will significantly grow!
Iwona “Izzy”

SI: Thank you very much Izzy

Sand in other drummers vaginas in great drumming entertainment show by Kunt & Hyttinen Drum Inc

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So, let’s begin with the usual question: How did you get together, and why? Whose idea was this project?
HYTTINEN: Well, we have been friends for a long time, before this project and played together at Cold Cold Ground. But actually, the head of this idea to do this kind of a two drummer thing, was Sami, from Bar Bäkkäri. Good friend of us too. Bar Bäkkäri crew was starting to do those ‘Party Like A Rockstar’ party’s at The Tiger nightclub in Helsinki. Sami asked me one day last summer that if this two drummer thing sound stupid? The point was of course that not just drummers, but also the style how we play, lots of energy and stick spin and stick flips etc. Miikki and I both were totally in for that idea and started to think and make this happen, that’s how Drum Inc got started.  We have done three shows by now, and every show had been a little different and we’ve kinda been trying out different stuff, what works and what doesn’t. Talking a lot behind the scenes, what kind of songs were good  and taking the feedback from our friends what more we would need, and what we need to do better and etc. Progress! Now I think we are starting to have Drum Inc in control and the concept is starting to get in shape.

Although drum cover bands are not unheard of, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that in Finland you’re the first formation like this. How was your reception? Were you accepted right away, or (considering you both have played with numerous bands), did you get smth like „where did you leave the guitarist/singer/bassist/etc. this time?”
HYTTINEN: No nothing like that. The audience was totally in for this right away. This is new in Finland like you said, and lots of people wore on fire about this, which was great! But other drummers…  they got a lot of sand in their vagina about this kind of  a project. Not everybody offcourse, but drummers are the worst. Those ‘drumming is about drumming’ and like professional drummers.
I don’t know why they don’t see that this is not just a “two drummers playing songs”, this is a show, we entertain, that’s the point of this, it’s a one show number, not band or anything. But those who play the same beat one hour, don’t smile at all, not even move their head, just sit straigth and play with those tired Finnish popstars, they just don’t get it, for them the drumming is all about some lame techniques, 16th note and jerking new snare sounds, and stick flips have nothing to do with drumming.
But, I don’t care about that. They can cry themselves to sleep. I love drumming and I like drummers, I can find everytime something good about the drummer. Some of us can’t do that. But like I said. I don’t care, if they can’t face the reality then they can’t. This is how you can play drums too, get that or go home and cry your mommy about it.  When we play a show and people are coming to tell us like that was so great, that was insane, that matters to me. They come to see us again. We do this together, it’s super fun and I enjoy it! We can do this shit and we have sky as a limit. You don’t need to play drums at the rock-venue at the stage. I wanted to play drums there, that no one have ever thinking that there could be play drums, that’s my goal with this project.
Drum cover group’s are not new, that’s true. But I’ve been checking some those from Youtube, drum covers can be done two ways, play drums with the songs, or play the songs like we do. Everyone is free to choose which looks good and is better. We play the songs and give complete show too. Anyone can play drum covers, that’s a fact. To play the songs like us – feel free to try!

Niko, you took part in 2012’s Marraskuu song, and I admired your stick flipping (actually, this is how I identified you, when saw Juho Rinne’s video about P!nk’s So What cover) I was like, okay, the flipping seems to be similar, but his looks seem to have changed… How did you get involved with the Backstache project, what was it like for you?
HYTTINEN: I was younger at the Marraskuu video, haha 😀 Yeah. That’s about Movember, and mustache. Backstache is our Movember-team too. And again, Bar Bäkkäri crew take this credit too 😀 They got this idea to do kind of a “theme song” at Movember. I have no idea why that song, probably because Marraskuu means November in Finnish. We did the Muotitietoinen (and english version Moustache Does Suit Me) in 2013 too. I’m not in those videos but I played the drums at the studio for the track. Bäkkäri crew got the idea and asked their friends to play different instruments in the studio and they do the singing. And offcourse I’m in for those kind of a thing!  It was fun to do. And I hope we are going to do those song’s every Movember!

Miikki, you played in the short-lived band, The Salvation. This was the first time actually we heard about you, about a certain Mr. Kunt. As Jack Smack of Private Line put it, you were popular with this name among the ladies. Is that so, is that name a reference to that vulgar English word, or was it an accident?
KUNT: HAHAHAHAH! Actually the name comes from my Last Name Kunttu. First i used it as Mr. Cunt but then i tought that it’s too straight up and Kunt is more read between the lines name J

Also, if you could say some words about The Salvation (I’ve been nagging Japa for an interview about it, he said yes, but forgot obviously).  The Salvation was short-lived, but this short life was chaotic. As far as I know, you were the one who had a near-death call during this period. What exactly has happened?
KUNT: Yeah! I almost died 😀 I had a bad heart disease. I was in ICU three days and it was a bit scary when the doctor said to me „We dont know will you wake up in next morning…” well I did wake up 😀
But that band… actually I don’t know have we even broke up 😀  well we got lots and lots of attention from magazines, TV, Internet etc… but everything just went wrong. Bass player Sohei was exiled from Finland by a finnish coverment, label totally fucked up, BUT we recorded Live album and you can buy it from iTunes and listen it in Spotify – that is the legacy of The Salvation
AND have you ever heard that any other finnish band who have not released ANYTHING…had a interview in a national finnish television show 😉

Mikkii, you’re into body building as well, it seems to be a very important part of your life. Why? Do you intend to take part in contests?
KUNT: YES! It all started after I had those heart problems. I didn’t want to be a skinny girly guy and I wanted to be in a better shape. First I just jogged and about two years ago I went first time to gym. And before that I hated the gym! I didn’t understand people who go to gym J but I got totally hooked up! Nowadays I go to the gym about five times a week. I dont want to be as big as Arnold. It is about the feeling after the gym and also all the good things what comes from it. It is not about the muscles, it is all things what that kind of lifestyle includes. Healthy food, gym, good feeling and all the muscles are more than welcome, but I’m not going that far that I will hire a hitman to kill my wife 😀  And NO, I will not be involved in any contest.

Drumming seems to be a lifestyle for you. Why the drums, how did it all began?
KUNT:  I saw a VHS tape from the US fest 83 and the Mötley Crüe was playing there and Tommy Lee was on the drums. I started to smash the pillows and wached that over and over again. I was on the second grade when I got my first drum kit as a birthday present
HYTTINEN: Drumming is a lifestyle for sure dude, you nailed that. For me it started when I was 11-years old when i started to play drums. I was totally blown away by the first hit I made. That was it. It began when my friends wanted to have a band, they asked me to play drums, I haven’t played drums ever but I was like okay why not, I have no idea but let’s do this shit. I always had that attitude, I still have.
These days I have a 11 months old son with my wife, I’m a father now and wanted to be best father so I needed to learn to say No. It’s been hard sometimes 😀 But this year, it’s February now and I have got three contacts about drumming. One studiosession and two bands to join the band.
The year 2013 was great for me, played drums from two records, Snow White’s Poison Bite “Featuring Dr.Guesome and the Gruesome Gory Horror Show” and Cold Cold Ground “Lies About Ourselves”. We had a minitour with Cold Cold Ground at Czech Republic and Spain, and I played live percussions with Black Light Discipline and Fear Of Domination. A good number of gigs. This year I decided I’ll take things easier, learn to say No for a while. Now I have this new band hardcore band and we are making songs, still playing drums with Cold Cold Ground too, but more at the practice space with both of those bands, making songs and can go sleep at home. And offcourse, sitting a lot infront of the computer and having good ideas at the Drum Inc. We are having goooood stuff coming up, so stay tuned for sure!

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You both have been drumming since more than 10 years. What physical setbacks does it have to be a drummer, how do you keep yourself in shape? Sometimes I see photos of drummer’s badly hurt hands, bleeding fingers. From where do you get the strength to go on with the show, against such hurtful wounds and bruises? How do you handle yourselves afterwards?
HYTTINEN: For me it’s lot of the attitude. But offcourse, it takes thousands and thousands hours of practice. I run and skateboard, thats how I get myself in shape. Nothing big, Kunt is working with the bodybuilding too. He can tell if that has anything to do with drumming? One really big thing is stretching and warming up before the show, hands, legs and neck. Few push-ups, little running and jumping, spinning the sticks. I think pretty normal, lots of water too. Bruises and wounds coming yeah, every show. But I don’t feel those when I’m playing, I might see that now I hit my knuckles at the cymbal, but the pain comes after the show. Afterwards… it’s just needs some time, hahaha! Streching a little, sometimes a cup of coffee (hello to friends who get this 😉 ). Like, after the first Drum Inc show, I was totally falling apart. Every piece of my body was hurt, places and muscles I didn’t know they exist! It took a couple of days to walk again normally and be able to turn my head, but it’s worth it, every fucking time.

KUNT: There is no other choice than just go on. Sometimes it hurts like Hell but you just have to take it J gym helps physically. Only bad setback for me was the heart thing. My shoulder is smashed up and sometimes it hurts sooooo bad but I just have to bite my tongue 😀

Do you plan to go on tour, or making merch, some T-shirts maybe with that awesome profile pic your current page has? (I’d buy it 😀 ) In Germany, for example, Finnish bands are really loved and welcome. Do you think you’d have a chance with the German audience?
KUNT : It would be SOOOOOOO awesome to go on tour! Just two D(r)ummers and nobody else! Yes we have thought of t-shirts and we will make those absolutely but don’t know when. I think that Germany would like this kind of thing. We can do a setlist by a place. So if the place is rockbar we can do rock and if it’s dancebar we can do you dancelist. Only sky is the limit 😉
HYTTINEN: And eat Döner.

You both have numerous tattoos, we’d like to know more about them. What symbols do you have, what do they mean?
KUNT: I have a lot. So I pick up few of my faves. When me and my wife went to get married, we took each other’s names to our back of the hand, Then I have my sons names tattooed, my whole back as a Brandon Lee – The Crow character. It was my first movie what I remember and the whole story behind it is so sad but great J. Then I have BATMAN. Why? Because im HUUUUUGE Batman fan. Then I have the chest piece which is dedicated to my father. Then DRUM LIFE and LIVE WIRE on my fingers. On my throat is coffin and text over it NEVER. I’m not religious and I will never go to coffin when I’m dead, so that is my own fuck you to the different religions.

HYTTINEN: I have basic stuff,  about my mom,  about my kid, drum stuff, favorite band logos, actor Michael C Hall (Dexter) portrait . Nothing weird symbolic stories or anything. Black and gray, that’s my thing. When I want a tattoo, it’s pretty much straight up the thing  I want, like my kid’s name. I’m not that type who gets a dragon and it has symbol of my son cos dragons are something something something.

Did you ever have bad experiences with fans, stalkers, groupies? Do you get recognized on the street?
HYTTINEN: I just got my first fan art, which was great! Greetings to Gaston at Portugal for that. Also those ‘you are my favorite drummer’ feedbacks are awesome, makes me feel so great every time! Those I won’t get bored ever, haha. It’s awesome that someone really likes my playing. But nothing hardcore, sometimes someone  recognizes me, but usually at the venue. Also the younger drummers or band members from other bands have been coming to chat at the bar or venue but that’s just fun to chat with them. I keep my personal Facebook as a personal account, I add only people I know, but I get a lot of friend request from the fans, I counted about 400 last year. And that’s probably nothing, I can imagine how “bad” it is for the singers and those who got a bigger band and are bigger name at scene 😀 I’m sorry for those but I wanna keep it personal, that’s why I have my artistpage.

What is the most important to you in your lives?
KUNT: Family, friends and health.
HYTTINEN: My son, Noa. More than anything. I could easily give up on everything else!

Why should people go to your shows? What can we expect from you?
HYTTINEN: If they want to see show. They see a show. It’s more than drumming, its a drum circus with tons of energy uploaded onto that. If I go to see a band, or anything, I wanna see a show! But if I see dudes standing and playing, and a drummer just sitting and playing, I will leave really fast. At our show you can focus on such small details like how the stick is spinning and rolling, or the whole show. There is lots of stuff to see!

And finally…. what is your advice to the readers of Crack in Reality?
HYTTINEN: Keep reading and stay tuned. Believe in yourself, and if you do something, even you have no idea what you are doing, do it with a full attitude! And remember to laugh at yourself, nothing is more funnier than laugh at your own stupidity, I enjoy it a lot!!

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You can find Kunt and Hyttinen Drum Inc here: Facebook

Miikki Kunt, drums and percussions

Niko Hyttinen, drums and percussions

Potion full of romantic music vibes in an interview with Na Tak

Na Tak 1
At the beginning I wanted to ask what is Na Tak. Where did it come from and what does it represent?

Dorota: One day I came to Piotr and Sebastian to a Bychawka rehearsal. I did not know them before, nor their music. But when I heard how and what they play – I mean some kind of sensitivity to music – in a moment I made a decision regarding my future. I decided that, together with them, I will seriously deal with the music, which I have not thought about before. And so was created Na Tak.
Piotr: Line up has since changed, people came and leave. In 2011, the final line up was made, and from that moment actually the story of the three of us begins.

You claim that you follow mainstream New Wave, but people can hear and see in you a great deal of inspiration from artists such as Imogen Heap. But how you, as a trio, see yourselves in comparison with other artists?

Seba: To be honest, the work of this otherwise very talented lady had no direct or even indirect influence on our music. I suspect that we grew up on a similar music and probably hence the similarities. We are children of the same age!
Piotr: Artists in a given time often think alike, and apparently there are still others who have a need to make music in this way. We like playing style, but we use it only as a tool.
Dorota: So hard it is to us to define our music. Hence, these not entirely successful for determining the time used which , in order to bring our music to the audience. There was avant pop, minimal pop, electro pop , every time someone approached after the show and said that we make great music, but the description on our website does not reflect what we actually play. Recently, our friend noticed that after all we’re playing classic krautrock and that we stick to that (laughs). And we used new wave because it was roomy style in music and in a sense we are followers of it.

Following this path, what is your inspiration? Probably each member of the band is inspired by something individually.

Piotr: First of all, we do not play what we are listening to. And we are listening to various music. If I would have to confess, I’d say in the approach to the implementation of music, it would be Brian Eno.
Dorota: What I’m looking for in music is a certain sensitivity that somehow moves me, and then it does not matter what genre it is, or artist, or that this is just one song for this artist.
Seba: The work of Frank Zappa – the basis for further conversation.

You say you are romantics who believe that you can change the world. What then, is your driving force in this romanticism?

Dorota: Literature and music, works of sensitive and thinking people are our driving force.
Piotr: Luckily we still believe in humans, for example, I draw strength from not avoiding the pain or difficult moments in life. I try to take life the way it is, and in this I see beauty. The world is not only a joy, a lot of great thoughts arose from suffering. But of course the point is not to force suffer (laughs). Difficult things simply happens. Besides, we also believe in our abilities and sense of taste and do not doubt in what we do.
Seba: The driving force is undoubtedly the belief that by playing and singing for people and to people we share with them our point of view on the world and life. However, we don’t expect that we will change their lives, but that our point of view will enrich their own worldview.
Dorota: In addition, very inspiring is that we are at the same time a harmonious package, we not only have the same goal and the level of determination, but also musical sensitivity and insights on the world, we’re just good friends, we support each other and trust each other. Then we can confidently gain the highest peaks.

You played so far in several major Polish cities. Does this mean that you can see yourselves only on the stages of clubs in the major cities or whether you anticipate (or you’d expect it) also shows in smaller cities? Or maybe you dream the other way: to perform before the audience abroad?

Dorota: We’re willing to play in smaller towns such as Świdnik or Kraśnik as well. We like a bit more intimate atmosphere of pubs and small clubs where we have closer contact with the audience. Many times we were pleasantly surprised with how closely people listen to music and texts, how they trace the relevant similarities, how they comment. But on the other hand I think that our music would sound good on stadiums too and of course we are curious what will be the reception abroad.
Seba: Every audience is worthy of respect, if they come to a gig to take a part of something valuable for themselves.
Na Tak album cover
The “13” appeared. How would you describe your music to people who have never heard about you and your music?

Seba: That it is raw, beautiful and true.
Piotr: This is a stylistic reference to the current new wave, but not only, because you can hear on the album an alternative rock, club music, dancing, mentioned krautrock, and for curious listeners even jazz music as well. But it is not a hybrid of these styles, only some feeling, impression and need. The lyrics speak of the contemporary man in the age of consumerism. It is greedy and absorbed gaining of illusory position, the one created by the system. And yet, at heart, each of us would like to be romantic (laughs).

How did the work on the album went? Did you have a plan for it or you flew with the mainstream improvisation and spontaneity? Were you expecting more that everything will come out during recording or everything was planned at the beginning of the work in the studio? Or maybe it was a “planned improvisation”?

Piotr: The registration of the ideas went quickly. After few days we had a plate shape. But the implementation took us about one and a half year.
Seba: I’m sure a lot of things has to be prepared before starting the work on the album. The reality, however, absolutely verifies all our “fantasies” and there comes a moment in the production of the album, in which you need to answer the basic questions. Why am I doing this? To whom I address the information in the music? Is musical – verbal content sufficiently understandable to a potential audience? Won’t it be wrongly understood? Recording a CD is a responsibility and not, as many believe – just great fun. When you find an answer to these and many similar questions, you can really begin to work on something that people will listen to, that they will spend their time on, for which they will pay the money, and something, as you assume, will be present in their homes on the shelves and in their players for many years. The answer to this question is not at all simple. We are convinced that what we could make from the ideas we’ve planned, we’ve already completed . On this record, there is not a single sound, which would be dissatisfied. The album was created in a sense in the context of creatively processed improvisation. The rest remains a mystery of our craft.

On what Na Tak will be focused this year, apart from gigs to promote the album “13”?

Piotr: At the new material. We already have an idea of how our third album should look. We have already started work on a single promoting this album.
Seba: I hope it will be more direct than “13”. That will be even harder referring to feelings. This does not mean that there will be no room for reason. We are not in danger of stupidity.
Dorota: Well, we still have a lot of work on this, so that people know about us, because in the flood of music it’s not easy.

Thank you for your time and I wish you many successes!
Na Tak 2

Snickers, table tennis and great amount of energy – an interview with members of Plug&Play

"Reisefieber" album cover

“Reisefieber” album cover

Plug&Play is a Lublin-based band who has been playing alternative music since 2006. They are considered the pioneers of Lublin indierock scene. Their stage experience and activity leading through both small venues and underground parties as well as the biggest alternative music festivals in the country (Opener, Jarocin, Rafineria) has constituted and confirmed their place among the most important Polish independent bands.
Band’s line up:
Kuba Majsiej (vocals, guitar)
Wojciech Papierz (bass)
Maciej Stachyra (drums)
Luiza Orpik (vocals)
Agnieszka Ozon (keyboards, vocals)

As with any fresh breath of music, I wanted to ask where did the Plug & Play came from? How was the band formed and how your style evolved?

Kuba: The band was created because a group of people wanted to play music in genres they were listening to themselves, and some wanted to go to gigs with such music. In Lublin, in addition it was something new, just coincided with a wave of guitar music revival, so our style quite a bit initially set in strictly guitar play in the style of new wave and post punk, with time we wanted to expand our sound, with the influx of new inspiration and skills, so was today, we change all the time, both under the influence of other skills of listening, as well as skills and musical history of individual members making up the band.

Staying with the history of the band. Your line-up has changed since the uprising almost completely. Are you happy with the current composition? How do you work together?

K: I’m very glad, because I generally managed to capture a valuable artistic and creative balance – a community, and it’s a team thing basic.
Maciej: I personally work with the current members of the team very well. It is true that I am not in the band since the beginning but I worked with almost all people that have scrolled through the Plug&Play outside Michał Branicki. Working with some was better with others worse but in the end we all get along now without any exceptions. At least on my part so it would seem.

You share your menager with few other bands. Isn’t it hard for you to fight for attention?

K: We don’t fight for attention at all, it’s not in the nature of our band.
M: Tomek joined the team recently and luckily there was still no discord on this issue. The guy is doing his best and up until today we have nothing to complain about.

Band consist of 5 members, including 2 girls and 3 guys. How come you haven’t kill each other yet?

K: Basic skill in life is – on the advice of the great Roman Wilhelmi – know when to punch, and when to let go. It is essentially a golden recipe for a successful life.
M: I often wonder about that. We all know how to differentiate between friendship from short circuits or tensions, and this is probably just the reason why we all live still. Not only we do make a good team but also musically we all really like each other in private.

You’ve got great contact with fans, soas on stage and on social network. Have you ever felt like „typical” artists, that act like celebrities? What makes that, despite being in a band you preserved the clearance in dealing with the audience?

K: Perhaps after so many years in independent music, you just know your fans, of course, not all by the name, but you know this type, you know that it is intelligent and demanding person, grabs your sense of humor and aesthetics, often because they understand the texts derive from a common generational experience, it’s easy to say to someone you know.
M: Superstaring is for celebrities. I personally eat a lot of Snickers and therefore I’m not superstaring.
You’ve released several EPs, last year was released your debut, and recently – with a hurray! – Mini-album, and in addition by effort of Scotch label. If you had to say which publication you like the most? What are you most happy about?

K: I like the most the latest album – Reisefieber, because it was able to (probably since the Electric Night) finally catch up with artistically of what we deal with on a regular basis. But sentiment, as a composer, I feel to everything that we published, it is a musical record of a history.
M: I have been involved in the recordings to “Why so close?” and “Reisefieber” so I can only comment on these two publications. Definitely Reisefieber. I think that the release of the EP_ without haste, in peace and in 100% as us, and only us gave the desired effect.

In the next year, according to the calendar you will hit a decade of existence of Plug & Play. Are you planning to have any specific form of celebration or you are not thinking about it, and you will go with the flow?

K: Sometimes, we have something in mind, it would be worthwhile to meet after many years and, together with the most important people in the history of the band to do some jubilee gig. But on the other hand I do not feel this decade on the scene, so it’s a little overwhelming.
M: Although there are no specifics about it, but I see no other possibility than to celebrate this fact. We’ll definitely figure something out.

Your name screams out: plug it and play! But tell me, how Plug&Play is relaxing?

K: I mentioned before that aside from playing we give much time for fun, I think that in general we like to spend time with each other , so we meet both to party, to celebrate our birthdays together or to play the console, I still feel a little lack of small DKF.
M: Certainly atmosphere of Lublin pubs helps to relax. We also have a table tennis table in the room that sometimes discharges us during breaks in the rehearsals. Me and Wojtek also like to go fishing during summer season.

2013 was a very hardworking year for you. Will your schedule be equally busy this year?

K: In 2013 alone, by itself and the means we have completed a four-song muinialbum. It took us almost a year. 2014 should be even more diligent, we will try to remind ourselves often about.
M: 2013 was busy but we are not afraid of work, and frankly, we hope that we will work more often and more intensively.

You see a falling star: what do you wish for?

K: To be able to maintain with what I do and therefore completely devote myself to music.
M: I wish that I’d never ran out of energy and the desire to create music.

Whatever you wish, I wish you twice as more. And thank you for your time.

Crabs are invading! – an interview with the vocalist/ guitarist of Crab Invasion.

12430008 - KopiaFirstly I’d like you to introduce yourselves to readers. Who is the Crab Invasion and where did the nicknames of individual members come from? And where did the idea for the name come from?
Jakub “ZaStary” Sikora :
Crab Invasion is a band that I started with my brother Robert (bass, vocals) in 2009 in Lublin. Since then almost everything changed from the place where we played rehearsals and recorded material (Warsaw), the line-up (today it is the quartet – before the trio and duo), the music we play. Today, we try not to operate our nicknames, leaving them to our friends. Let the source of their origin remains a mystery.
The name comes from previews of a natural phenomenon. We recommend to google it. For the lazy ones:

Your sound is classified as a mix of disco, indie and funk. However, if you had not pigeonhole in the context of musical genres, how would you describe the sounds that you create?
It’s hard for me to find a common denominator for everything we do. I think the easiest way to understand it all is being on our show. There’s a whole combinatorics and some kind of melodic motifs excess disappears under the weight of trance and dance pulse. As for the album “Trespass” it should be treated as a journey through our musical interests run over. It is very colorful and heterogeneous trip, but coherent melody shouldn’t make anyone get lost in it. It’s also a bit of a stylistic kaleidoscope.

So far you’ve released your work, “Dart” and “Trespass”, that listeners can for example listen on Spotify. Your music has a unique sound. A little bit of melancholy in it, a bit of nonchalance, all composed in the songs that once lured with its gentleness, and immediately afterwards makes people want to jump on the dancefloor. How did you manage to create music that enjoys each ear?
I think it will be enjoyed by people with open heads. It’s also who we are. None of us is tied to any particular genre. On the other hand, each of us for a moment was. After this stage of life, there comes a time (at least for me), where you want the music to speak its own language. You try to understand the musical message, cutting off pieces of all other codes that accompany it. Such an approach opens the head in countless sound experiences. This is of course much easier today than in the pre-Internet era. In such an environment (excess stimuli) this album was created. I would add that it’s about life stimuli, which probably explains the emotional variety of the album. For example, during the formation of the material I moved five times. And this is just me – one of the four people in the band.

Is there a band or an artist that is important for the development of your music or you don’t direct your personal inspiration to create music for the Crabs?
Referring to the previous answer – there is a whole bunch of artists. I think that the way this album is worth mentioning since from what it all started almost two years ago – fascination of the 70’ties; both “black”: funk, soul, fusion, disco (including Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Parliament, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Earth Wind & Fire, Chic, George Duke) and “white”: progressive rock or soft rock (Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, Fleetwood Mac). Quite important was also the influence of contemporary dance music and some kind of roots Crab Invasion – the American indie rock. At some point, music was all around us so much that we began to neglect our real, ordinary lives. Crazy period. Something like the beginning of a relationship – only that made of four.
Okładka Trespass
Returning briefly to the history of the band . How four such talented guys from Lublin met?
At the beginning two people met and it was more than 20 years ago. After receiving a thorough musical education from my elder brother that bought plenty of CDs, I began to repay the sacrifice by teaching him to play the instrument. After a brief stint in a post rock project CoveInsight – I’ve recorded at the age of 16 and I thought that I know about music production (we got up on the American compilation of fan covers of Depeche Mode!), then came the time to play indie rock with a real drummer. Then we let into the network our first demo and EPs, drummers were changing (greetings for Twilight Man, Raspberry Boy, Thesmonda and Gajos, who played a session in Lesson 01 and Margin of Order) and finally after more than a year since my move to Warsaw, Tomasz Bala and Tomek Skórzyński fell from the sky. Then cosmic things had happen.

When creating Crab Invasion have you thought about success? What were your plans: have you been warned that one day you will play concerts in whole Poland, or that you’ll end up as a sub band playing in small smoky clubs?
Quite frankly – I do not remember too much about our plans at the beginning. I always wanted to deal with the music, but in the beginning I did not know anything about this market. That changed over time, but the fact that we have survived so much adversity and not broke up despite internal problems makes me think that the plans were always big. Perhaps more dreams.

Crabs’ songs are written in English. How did you made the decision to create in this universal, global now language? Were you afraid that the Polish language will not adopt to a wider scale?
The issue of scale has never been considered. As a child I listened to music sung in English. I have lived under the shade. Except to Polish rap, which in my childhood passed the period of the mainstream, I had a greater awareness of Polish music. Or rather, I was, but I was not attracted. I started relatively late fascinated by the Polish lyrics. Therefore, quite naturally I have written in English. Over time I start to feel a slight discomfort. Why I read books, I communicate with friends, talk to people at the concert in Polish and sing in English? Such a testing ground for my solo project ZaStary. Perhaps in time the song of Crab Invasion in our native language will appear.

What do you like to deal with outside of time spent with the band? Is there anything besides music, what gives you joy?
Movies, books, talking to people, drugs, dancing (recently!) 😉

Hardball : What Crabs have in plans for the next year?
All the greatest. We will communicate them on a regular basis. For now we will focus on the promotion of the album in unexpected places. We want to go all out, not looking to the nature of the medium in which we act. In addition, in the winter there will be a new video, remixes, gigs in places where we could not play last year, and later spring tour. It will be loud!