pondělí 13. dubna 2020

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Interview - TRAUMA - Music is my passion and lifestyle.

Interview with legendary death metal band from Poland - TRAUMA.

Answered Jarosław "Mister" Misterkiewicz, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - TRAUMA - Ominous Black (2020):

Ave TRAUMA! Greetings to Poland. I must say, I was looking forward to your new record „Ominous Black“ a lot. I made an interview with you on the occasion of releasing the previous album „Karma Obscura“ and back then you told me that if someone browses through your discography it is like viewing your family album. What you can say about the new record? Did you have some vision about where to move your music? Personally, the album „Ominous Black“ seems to be even more colorful, powerful, monumental, maybe also colder? 

Thank you. Greetings to our southern friends. You weren't the only one who couldn't wait for the premiere of our new album. We were waiting for this moment as well. It's true, the music I create is stuffed with emotions, it describes a specific moment in time, moment of its creation, and all situations, relationships, psychophysical states that were present at that point of my life. I compare it with photos from family album because when I come back to these or other sounds from Trauma's albums, some memories come back to life again. I am a sentimental guy, so maybe that's why I feel this way. In this context, the album "OMINOUS BLACK" is no different from others. It was created longer though, because we evolved as musicians and as man and all these changes in ourselves affected the musical content of this album. A lot has happened over the years. Maybe that's why our music has become more colourful, essential and mature.

At first listening, it looks like you still have the same sound. You're still loyal to Hertz's studio. Last time you said that your recording is sometimes very expensive. What about this year? How long did you actually spend in the studio? As I’ve already written in the first question, this year I found TRAUMA again by some order colder and darker. The sound is beautifully legible, dense, yet it possesses a certain tension, animality. Personally, I like such production in death metal records a lot. 

This time I registered all the instruments in our Traumatic Sound Studio. It was quite a challenge for me, but we gained a lot of freedom because we did not feel such pressure as during every other recording session, for which you had to pay dearly. For this reason we worked for many months without stress, so we recorded when we felt was the best time. I prepared all the material for the mix and then we went to Hertz studio to finish the album and sculpt the final shape of it. Based on the great knowledge of the Wiesławski brothers, in their studio, we made the final mix and mastering. We know HERTZ studio perfectly because we have been working together for over 20 years and it has always guaranteed the best sound possible. "OMINOUS BLACK" sounds a bit different from previous albums but also the music is a little different. Technical conditions and our sound taste have changed. We are very pleased with the production of this album because it glues together the mood singe songs and creates solid sound monolith.

Mariusz Lewandowski took care of the cover art at the new record and I must say, I immediately ordered also the t-shirt with this motif. Those hunched and dark figures remind me of ghosts, maybe nightmares. How did you get together with this great painter and how did you choose that motif? I can't literally take my eyes off the cover art! Please tell us exactly what the cover should express in relation to music? 

Mariusz Lewandowski is a large-format artist with great achievements and experience. He is also a kind and warm man. When we started to consider who to ask for the front cover for "OMINOUS BLACK" I contacted him, but honestly I didn't think he would take up the quest. Mariusz, when he heard our music, showed interest in cooperation. His work perfectly illustrates our intentions and perfectly matches the concept of the music contained in this album.

What is the main idea, mission and content of the lyrics on the new album? "Ominous Black" can mean a foretaste of something new, evil, the end of life, apocalypse. Personally, I like the anthem “I am Universe” the most. How the lyrics were written and who is signed under them? Where did you get the inspiration for them? 

I never go into discussion about lyrics. The texts of the songs are attached to the CD so that anyone interested can read it and interpret it according to their own recognition and their own feelings. I don't like a school approach like "What the author wanted to say through these words." Talking about lyrics kills imagination and takes the recipient the joy of discovering and celebrating our TRAUMAatic message. All lyrics are written by Artur „Chudy” Chudewniak and are inspired by collapsing image of society we are living in. 

Jaroslaw, do you still compose all the riffs and motifs of the songs by yourself? Seven years have passed between the last album and the new one. Why did it take so long? Wasn't inspiration coming? How do you actually create new music? Do you write, or record your new ideas on your mobile phone? Do you use modern technologies? 

I work on composing by myself, mainly because the rest of the band members live in another city, and it is logistically difficult to meet often. We have become used to this way of working and, in essence, it works. It did take a long time to create this album, but we needed this time to do it well. I always care about the honest message and spontaneous energy driven by creative inspiration. If I don't feel it I simply do something else, I don`t want to ruin it by some unnecessary pressure. This is always a guarantee of the highest TRAUMAtical quality, which generates a real honest message. I try to be updated, when it comes to recording. I work with a computer and the latest software. I do not use a telephone or analog recorders for this, but whenever possible I try to use the newest solutions for home recording.

Last time we also talked about how the world has changed in recent years. Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union, people can't make a move without a mobile phone, many individuals live more on the Internet than in the real world. We can listen to the bands from the other side of the planet and we don't have to know anything about them. It has a lot of benefits, but it also seems to me that we are overloaded with information. How did these things influence you? And now I mean also in personal life as well as in music life? 

I agree that the situation of our countries, after they joined the European Union, has changed dramatically. You can look for faults in this and complain, but I think it was a very good step and life in this European community is much better than before. You are right, we live more and more in the virtual world attached to smartphones, tablets and computers and it cannot be changed. This has both good and bad sides. However, progress cannot be stopped and these changes are not to be avoided. The world is developing and today, being „off grid” is almost impossible. You have to accept it. We are already part of it. 

I have a friend and I think, we both are the biggest fans of TRAUMA in the Czech Republic. At the beer in the pub, we still complain about the same bands playing here over and over again, but we haven't seen TRAUMA before yet. In a few years we will be fifty years old and going to concerts is becoming more and more difficult. Aren't you going on tour? I could imagine how you would join some other Polish bands and come to cut us up! I know it's about money, but how often and where does TRAUMA perform? 

It's nice to hear that you value us so much. We'd love to play in the Czech Republic and I think it will happen sooner or later. Maybe at some sort of summer festival, which your country has a tone of, or at a single concert, but I think it will happen because it is simply inevitable. We are all getting old but lets not get curried away, it doeasn`t depend on our age but on our desire to go to the concerts. If you do something, just do it and don't care about your age. I will be 50 next year but I love playing in Trauma and I have been doing it continuously for over 30 years. We play a lot in our home country. We plan series of spring and autumn concerts. Maybe not a lot, but we will also play outside of Poland.

A long time ago, I got a "Comedy is Over" cassette, and it was actually the first record thanks to I discovered TRAUMA. It was released in 1996, but you've already had a lot of work and music behind you. Firstly under the name THANATOS and then under TRAUMA. You performed with many famous bands, the scene in Poland was incredibly active back then. And of course, we were also younger. How do you remember those times? Would you change any decision you made then? I mean for example in the direction of the band, etc.? I think you had an open door to the music world, you were maybe more famous than BEHEMOTH, but then I stopped hearing about you. Better to say, you weren't be seen and heard everywhere like some of your colleagues. Doesn't it bother you? 

It is possible that we have made some swift decisions regarding the band, but on the other hand we have never had any special crave for media attention. We create a Trauma team primarily for our own satisfaction and fulfilment. It is important for me to make music sincerely from my heart and to be 100% satisfied with it. I don't really need a lot of applause to feel this way. We try to promote the band the best we can, but achieving commercial success is not out priority, and it never was. 

I know about you that you go to work normally, that music isn’t your source of living. We gradually get old, have family, work, we are solving completely different stuff, but how do you do it as a fan? Do you follow new bands? Or do you stick to proven old names? Are there any records that have really caught you in recent years? I try to watch the Polish scene a lot, I am very close to it also historically, but I could have missed some news there. Are there young bands that "goes up"? 

Yes you are right, being a musician is not my profession I have to do other things to pay the bills. Nobody ever promised me it would be easy, so I don't expect an easy life. Music is my passion and lifestyle. I like to play and compose but also listen to various types of music. I like almost all metal genres, but I also appreciate other styles. As a fan, of course, I follow what is currently happening in music and appreciate young bands. The Polish metal music scene is impressive, because, in almost every genre we have really worthy representatives, admired by fans around the world. I also listen to old artists. I like everything that is simply good and has artistic value.

Do you still have a specific goal as a band? What do I know, in Poland, you have a lot of fans. Do you have so many fans also abroad? Do you often receive the orders for records also from Germany or the USA? Do you have a dream about a festival where you would like to play? Or some band you would like to share the stage with? 

It may sound strange after so many years, but there are no specific goals related to the career of our band, its development and financial profits that could possibly end up in our pocket. We have fans not only in our country but also in Asia, Western Europe and both Americas. It's very nice and encouraging. People from Australia, Singapore, Iran contact us, and they are always great people. Se stay in touch with some of them. 

We have played in our history with many excellent bands, we also played at large summer festivals in different countries. I dream of playing at several Czech festivals like Brutal Assault, Obscene Extreme, Symbolic, Slovak Gothoom or French Party Sun. Maybe someday we will.

My parents always taught me to ask questions to more experienced, to learn from them, so I ask - how would you define death metal? What does this dark, energic music mean to you? I don’t mean the playing technique, but rather a philosophical point of view. 

Maybe that's right, but I don't feel like an old sage who knows everything, and the world has no secrets from him. For me, death metal is my favourite music genre and as both, a musician and an ordinary fan, it is my whole life, adventure and a steppingstone from everyday problems. I don't like to philosophize about simple and clear things, that's why my answer must be enough for you:). 

I go through your discography and I have to write that it really resembles a family album. Thank you very much for the interview, for me as an old band fan, it means a lot. I firmly believe that I will see you perform live before I will go to the metal retire. I wish you success with the new album, many sold-out concerts and inspiration. And also good luck in your personal lives! Thank you very much and I'm going to listen to "Ominous Black" again! Excellent album, thanks for it!


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