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.

Sister ties and common dreams in an interview with I.O.PROJECT

Hello. In the beginning I’d like you to introduce yourselves to wider audience. Who are you and what is I.O.Project?
I.O.PROJECT is a group of musicians seeking to succeed in the music market. And besides “cool people with the right sound,” as we were recently described by one of our fans.

Where did the idea to create a music group come from and how long it took I.O.Project to select the right line-up?
Ideas to create a musical group was plenty. Each of us played in different bands, participated or made a variety of musical projects.
The band was formed very quickly. At the beginning we practiced Olga’s songs as two, at home. After some time, we invited our neighbor, keyboardist Kamil, to collaboration. Then, together with Kamil’s colleague, drummer – Konrad, repertoire narrowed down in the rehearsal room . We wanted to record part of the prepared material. Andrzej – the bassist took up recording, who joined our team, encouraged by the song “Shadows”. Andrew at express pace recorded his parts and thus how our group met.

The initiative came from the sisters Szczepaniak. Did you know from the start what you want to do in life?
Yes, music has always been our passion. We’ve experimented in the times of the music school and just from this it all started .
We were always connect with this one goal – a common music project. Hence, moreover, the band took the name from. Of course, there were plenty of ideas, we’ve been through many different attempts to form a band. I.O.PROJECT is accumulation of our experiments and ideas.
Olena Szczepaniak3
As sisters you complement each other in the band. Have you never argued about it, which of you will be the leader in the team?
We make a very harmonious and good duo. Of course there are quarrels. They concern mainly organizational matters. Stormy discussions we conduct with each other practically every day. They do not apply to music, because in this field we are consistent. With no clashes and exchange of views there would be no I.O.PROJECT and through the year of existence we would not achieve so much.
It is natural that Olena is the leader of the team. She is a singer and author of music and texts.

You’re the winners of the “Otwarte Wtorki z NuPlays” first edition. You also participated on many festivals, you’ve played many gigs. Do you start to feel the pressure of creating a band?
The pressure is sometimes felt. It results from the pace of work which impose ourselves and the fact that we treat our work very seriously. Sometimes you need to quickly prepare for the unexpected concert or contest. There are various situations in which you need to strongly fasten yourself. However, it is natural to work of the musician, the realities of today’s music world and growing competition in the music industry .

The music you create is a catchy, pleasant fusion of jazz, pop, rock and funky. Thus was born your unique style and atmosphere. Have you not been afraid to mix these genres? For the average listener it seems to be an explosive mix.
Our unique style and atmosphere is caused primarily due to what would be born in Olena’s mind. It stems also from the original choice of instruments. In addition, each of us is listening to a different kind of music and has developed his own style, which certainly affects the final shape and sound of our songs.
A mixture of genres is spontaneous. None of us thinks about to push a little jazz here and there to add a little funky or pop music. Everything is like the most natural reflection of each of us, it’s just who we are.
Iga Szczepaniak2
Who inspires you to create music? What kind of music do you listen to every day?
We have a lot of inspirations. It is difficult to talk about specific examples, because we are not following nor imitating anyone. We listen to a variety of music, including classical.

The band consists of musically educated professionals. Music has always been the most important thing in your life, but have you ever wondered about choosing a different path in life?
Iga is at the threshold of a thesis defense at the Department of Geology, University of Warsaw, Konrad is a student at Warsaw Film School. Andrzej works in the family business, and Olena and Kamil are students of the Academy of Music in Łódź. We are all graduates of the School of Music I and II degree in Żyrardów.
Music and the band is a brave choice. We would like to be able in the future to devote ourselves completely to music and we strive for it. We still have a long road and hard work before us. We have tremendous support of our families and friends, so we can put everything on one, musical card.

On first of December you have finished a mini tour. What the fans that you have earned from the band, they can expect in the near future from I.O.Project?
We have a very busy time, because we’re preparing some surprises for the fans. Some are going to be surprising, but we can not tell yet. At the moment we are focusing on studio work, the effects of which can be heard, hopefully early next year. We invite you to visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/I.O.Project, there we put information on current events 🙂