středa 12. června 2024

Home » , , , , , » Interview - WINGLESS - Wetting, dark doom death metal with morbid atmosphere! The air is heavy and the sky is black!

Interview - WINGLESS - Wetting, dark doom death metal with morbid atmosphere! The air is heavy and the sky is black!

Interview with doom death metal band from Poland - WINGLESS.

Answered Grzegorz Luzar (guitars, bass), thank you!

Recenze/review - WINGLESS - Ascension (2024):

Ave WINGLESS! Greetings to the Polish underground. I hope everything is fine with you. It should be because this year you have released a fifth full-length album in your band's career. I have to admit it has literally blown my mind. It is dark, energic and as if it cuts by the sharp edge of the knife. I can hear from the record you did a really good job and you added a big portion of the talent, too. How do you perceive the new album in comparison to the previous records? Where did you want to move and in what are these records different?

Hell-o Jakub

First of all, thank you for so many positive words about our latest album. I won't hide the fact that we are very happy to receive such positive feedback and reactions from people all over the world. We are proud that our efforts and hours spent in the rehearsal room have yielded such a good result.

With every new album, we always try to raise the bar higher and higher, surprise the listener with something and add new elements to our compositions. We don't play the most innovative music on the metal scene, nor do we try to be avant-garde. We play music in the spirit of what we grew up on and what is closest to our hearts. If anyone else likes it, that's great.

As I mentioned, ‘Ascension’ has the best production (mix + master) in our history. Apart from that, we have quite a variety of songs here, both in terms of dynamics and riffs. I cannot forget to mention here the brilliant drum parts played and arranged by Peter. In my humble opinion, he climbed the heights of creativity on this album. On top of that, everything is played as it should be. There is a lot of sincerity and energy in this music and you have a lot of heaviness, darkness and that specific stuffy, mortal atmosphere...

We don't play happy music... it's death metal with a clear doom metal influences and that's the way it's supposed to be. We don't rush around blindly, but when we need to, we can turn up the tempo and hit with effective blasts. As far as the direction is concerned, my idea was very simple - to make a record with memorable riffs/songs and a fresh take on death doom metal in 2024.

„Ascension“ includes all attributes of good death and doom metal. For me personally, it represents the record, which I really like to listen to. How did you produce it? How look the writing process of new material in the case of WINGLESS?

The production process is quite simple. I compose the guitar parts and make sketches of the songs. I then record these tracks and send them to Piotr. Piotr arranges all the drum parts, adds his parts to my tracks and we have a pre-production. Then we lock ourselves in the rehearsal room and play these skeletons. Then we add extra stuff, sometimes change things and make adjustments. When everything is finished, I add the bass parts and we send the instrumental tracks to Xaay. In the so-called meantime, I write the lyrics - Xaay arranges his parts and we go into the studio to record everything properly.

This pre-production allows us to be as prepared as possible. We don't write music in the studio because we think it's a waste of time. We have our own system that works and we stick to it. Working in the studio is a separate topic. I'm always there from the beginning to the end and I try to supervise everything. I'm a perfectionist and I like to feel that everything has been taken care of. Sometimes, unfortunately, details slip through the cracks, but this is extremely rare. On the recording of ‘Ascension’ everything went very good.

I found out that Dominik Burzym signed under the mix and mastering of the new record. I have to confirm that the sound is literally killing. It still makes me add volume to the player. Dominik Burzym has created a sound that is cruel, raw and at the same time dark and organic. How went the work with him and why did you choose him? In which studio did you record it? How did the recording process look like?

I have known Dominik since 2012, almost since the beginning of WINGLESS. We recorded with him all the albums of the band except the debut. On the debut he only did the mix & master of the finished tracks, which we recorded in our friend's rehearsal room. Since ‘The Blaze Within’, our second album, we have recorded everything in his studio in Giebułtów. Dominik also does all the mixing and mastering. Our work system has always been the same - we meet before each recording session and I present my concept to him. I tell him how I want the record to sound, what tracks it will be and what equipment I plan to use.

Dominik has gained a lot of experience over the years from working with many bands, so I often use his comments and advice. He is always trying to turn everything that is playing in my head into the final effect of the production and the sound of the album. We know each other very well and we know what to expect from each other. It's not always easy because sometimes my expectations are quite high, but as you can see they are met because we haven't changed studios yet. The process itself has always been the same and nothing has changed here. We record the drum parts, then I record all the guitars and bass and finally Xaay adds the vocals. When we have all the tracks recorded Dominik starts the mixing and mastering process. When everything is ready, we check if there are any minor changes needed and either do them together or close the session with a finished album. Sometimes this process of making an album in the studio is quite tedious and intensive, but unfortunately you have to get through it because in the end you have the reward of a finished album.

An important part and a kind of extra bonus for fans today is the physical CD. You released the new album at CD through themselves, and it has a corpsy cover art. Who is the author? Do I explain well the picture when I would think it is a body in a considerable state of decay? How did you choose the motif and how does it relate to the music at the record?

We no longer release albums ourselves. Our last two albums were released through SELFMADEGOD Records.

Both the latest album ‘Ascension’ and the previous one ‘Nonconform’ are available worldwide on CD and digital through SMG Records. We self-released our first 3 albums, but a few years ago we decided that we wanted to find record company that could take care of our work. This is what happened and we are more than happy to be part of SELFMADEGOD Records. As far as the cover of ‘Ascension’ is concerned, it was designed by Rafał Wechterowicz, an internationally well-known graphic and cover artist. The list of artists he has worked with is so long that there would probably not be enough space here to list them all... from Tool to Machine Head to Behemoth or Slayer. This is Rafał's third cover he has done for us. He is the author of the covers for ‘Triada’, ‘Nonconform’ and the latest album ‘Ascension’. When it comes to interpreting what the latest cover art contains, I think it's worth reading the lyrics, listening to the music and comparing it with what you see. There's a lot of detail, symbols and a pretty clear atmosphere that goes along with our music. It's all a planned whole and that's the most important thing.

I have been wandering the underground for over thirty years and I still go to Poland for music with certainty. I think we have a similar nature and taste when it comes to metal. I like your bands a lot and I monitor your scene carefully. Maybe I envy you a little, because we only have a few death metal bands that are worth it. How do you explain that death metal are doing so well in your country? How do you perceive your scene, fans, labels?

Thank you very much for what you said about our scene. I have almost the same seniority when it comes to penetrating the underground and I've always been proud of the number of bands that played extreme metal music in Poland. For as long as I can remember, death and black metal have always had many supporters in Poland. We had and have a lot of great bands and that's probably something I can't explain. Maybe our scene wasn't as influential as much as the scene in Sweden, Norway or the USA, but we certainly had the will and enthusiasm to play. As far as the current state of the scene and the underground is concerned, there are certainly more opportunities than in the 80‘s and 90’s, but sometimes it doesn't go hand in hand with quality and because you have access to everything almost immediately you often meet a lot of secondary bands. Fortunately, usually such bands play for 2-3 years and cease to exist. As usual, Only the strongest survive.

You play doom death metal influenced by, among other things, the old school. Today, the band can't avoid comparisons, but I would like to know how the idea to start WINGLESS was born, who was and is your metal idol? Where do you want to move your band? Are you attracted to large foreign festivals, for example, are you willing to go on tour with a more famous band?

There is no denying that our work is imbued with the atmosphere and spirit of 80s/90s death doom metal.

While in the early days the death metal influences were not always so clearly audible, for the past few years we have been moving more and more into the darker corners of the sounds we grew up on. ‘Ascension’ is a perfect example of how to play death doom metal in 2024 and not have complexes. We respect the classics to the point of pain, but we also try to add an element of ourselves to what we grew up on and play the way we feel. The idea to form a band came from me in 2012, when I had already played in various bands for a few years. Eventually, I decided it was high time to start a band that had everything I was missing when I played in other bands in the past. I think I have more or less succeeded in doing this over the years. We have already recorded five albums and we certainly haven't said the last word yet. As far as idols go, I've somehow changed my approach as I've got older. There are certainly a few musicians I respect and will be grateful to for their music for the rest of my life. Trey Azaghtoth and Chuck Schuldiner are such guys. Personalities whose achievements you cannot pass by indifferently. If you ask about festivals and playing big tours, unfortunately, at the moment I don't think we can financially afford to participate in such a tour. Of course this can always change. A tour with Morbid Angel, Paradise Lost, Cannibal Corpse or Immolation would certainly be a dream come true.

As far as festivals are concerned, we have already had the pleasure of playing several times in the Czech Republic and Slovakia among others. WINGLESS also performed as a headliner at one of the open airs in Krnov in 2018. Hopefully, after this album a few organisers and promoters will want to see us live again and we will get invitations to appear at some summer events.

When I started my website seven years ago, I had a vision that I would try to support bands that are not so much popular, or they are lost in underground. To let the world knows about them. I think I'm doing quite well, at least according to the responses. How do you approach the promotion of your music? Do you rely upon the label or do you send the CDs for various reviews by yourself? For example, I buy albums that I really enjoy. What about you? Are you also fans who often support your colleagues? Do you go to concerts?

Now, thanks to SELFMADEGOD, the whole process of promoting our albums is much simpler and more effective. Over the years, when we initially released our material ourselves, it was me personally who took care of the promotion. I know very well how much time and work it takes to send out music and try to reach as many people as possible. There's so much out there nowadays that it's no mean feat to get people to pay attention to you. Personally, I still buy records and try to follow what's happening not only in the underground but also on the bigger stages. Unfortunately, I don't go on gigs as often as I used to a few years ago. I won't hide that everything connected with WINGLESS and my private life and professional work take all my time and effectively absorb it.

As for your efforts and support of the bands definitely do not go unnoticed. I remember your enthusiastic review of our previous album ‘Nonconfrom’ I thought then that you have a heart for metal and you definitely know what this music is all about. Keep supporting metal !!!

On the one hand, today the new band has a lot of opportunities to make themselves more known, but on the other hand, there are a huge number of groups and the fans are getting lost in this big metal sea. A lot of people just download mp3s from the internet and instead of to visit the concert they prefer to spit poisonous saliva on Facebook. How do modern technologies affect you as WINGLESS? What do you think about downloading music, google metalists, streaming music, etc.?

You are 100% right unfortunately there is a lot of everything. There are dozens of metal albums coming out in the world every day. Nobody is able to listen to everything because it is impossible. That is why, unfortunately, we sometimes miss out on something valuable. I am not some kind of opponent of new technology. It doesn't make sense to fight against something that in some sense also makes it easier for us to reach new listeners. However, I definitely respect those who, despite downloading mp3s, buy our CDs and T-shirts when they like the music. I do this myself and see nothing unusual in it. Of course, there is a huge flood of mp3s being made available without the band's knowledge and consent, but I don't think it makes much sense to fight against it at the moment. To sum up, if someone thinks your music is very good for them, they will try and buy the CD anyway.

I like to ask the musicians what death metal means to them. How would they define it, whether it is more the philosophy and lifestyle thing for them or "just" relaxation? What does it mean for you? How do you perceive and experience it?

Death metal is almost my whole life. I started listening to this kind of music very early on and it has stayed that way. I don't really care if someone thinks death metal is all noise and screams. Nobody is forcing anyone to listen to death metal and that's the best thing. I've seen a lot of guys declaring death metal to the grave... and then after a few years they turned away from this music. Sometimes tastes change, of course, but not in my case.

Surely honesty is the basis of this music. I hope that I will be able to enjoy listening to classic death metal albums for the rest of my days and I am glad that I witnessed them when they were released. They are emotions and memories beyond description for me - thankfully they are mine and mine alone.

Finally, a classic but important question. What is WINGLESS planning in the upcoming months? Where can we see you at the stage and when will you visit the Czech republic?

Our plans for the next few months are to get ready to play gigs. We have a new setlist with a lot of material from ‘Ascension’ We can't wait to play these numbers live. The weight and energy they have is unearthly!

As I mentioned before we had the opportunity to play on Czech festivals several times and it was always a great experience for us. I hope that this interview will help us reach new listeners and get promoters and concert organisers in the Czech Republic interested.

Thank you so much for the interview. I wish a lot of success to the new album and let the number of your fans expand as much as possible. I will look forward to seeing you somewhere live again. I wish you a lot of success both musically and personally. I'm going to push „Ascension“ into my head again!

Thank you for this interview and the opportunity to present the band in DEADLY STORM ZINE.

For those who don't know ‘Ascension’ yet, I encourage you to listen to this album. I hope to see you at some gigs or festivals as soon as possible. Feel free to follow us on social media. Support local bands, buy their records and merch. The underground has always been, is and will be the power of metal music. Greetings to all death and doom metal maniacs.

Grzegorz Luzar

Recenze/review - WINGLESS - Ascension (2024):

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