Exploration of unknown by emotions and music
The current stoner/doom trend is gradually gaining frightening proportions, while remaining in the deep underground (paradox!). Now it's not so easy to find something worthwhile among the huge number of new releases. Polish trio Spaceslug is a special case. Though this band is very young, they are very hardworking. During just three years, this power trio managed to record two full-length albums, EP, and now a new album is on its way! But most importantly, these guys managed to find their own sound and quite interesting melodies, that distinguish them among many others. The recently released EP "Mountains & Reminescence" showed that Spaceslug are ready to experiment with sound, look for new creative solutions and expand the horizon of their capabilities.
Planning an interview with Bartosh Janick - the founder, guitarist and one of the band's main composers, we decided to move away from the boring clichés common in many interviews. We wanted something sick in the spirit of Howard Stern or Bill Zebub. What is there outside of the outer space, is it possible to have sex in weightlessness, why is the Earth flat and what to do with frozen parrots - you will find this stuff below. At the same time, we did not forget to touch on the issues on the band's life, and even allowed to philosophize a little bit. So, listen, learn, read on…
Hi Bartosz! Are you there?
Ok, I’m ready.
Eeem… Oh, man… When there is nothing to ask, start talking about the weather. So, what is the weather like there? Does it rain? How do you like winter this year?
Here in Wroclaw, there is no winter at all right now, but in my home town we have a lot of snow and its cold like hell.
And what is your home town?
Well, that would explain. Last winter, I just went to Wałbrzych to buy parrots for my home greenhouse, but on the way back all of them froze. I tried to warm them up in a puppy bath, but it didn’t work out, so in the end I had to hang their carcasses as a Christmas decorations in the yard!
Ha-ha-ha! You probably bought these parrots from my great-uncle! It would be better if you transported them in thermo mugs.
I will take it! And Say hello to your uncle! Okay, all jokes aside! Still, this is a serious publication for serious people. Since this is your first interview for the readers of Russian Darkside, please introduce your band.
So we are Spaceslug from Wroclaw, Poland. We enjoy making weird slow noise and call it music. If anyone here likes to go into space but can’t afford proper spacecraft then he should try out our art.
By the way, why Spaceslug? What did you mean by this name?
Basically I had in mind something cosmic and unknown in music terms. Tunes were initially slow so it was a natural connection. Interstellar slow riffs like a slug in endless galactic space – that’s why I choose Space Slug. Kamil (Kamil Ziółkowski – drummer) had the idea to bring Space and Slug into one word instead of two and here we are.
Ok! But if you enter this word in Google search, among the other results you get the space worm (space slug?) from “Star Wars” movie. Do you remember the episode when The Millennium Falcon (starship of Han Solo) being chased by imperial fighters hides in one of the caves of the asteroid, and then flies out of the huge mouth of space creature? It seems that he flew into the womb of the worm through his ass?!
Yeah man. I’m a big fan of Star Wars and there was a lot of inspiration in the beginning of the band. Regarding the womb and the ass... first of all, we should ask Lucas what did he have n mind. (laughing).
But it looks ambiguous, dammit!
Just imagine people seeing it for the first time when it was released!
When did you start digging into sci-fi and the cosmos, and what led you to this passion?
I don’t like education really. I mean school and the system of it sucks as hell here in my opinion. But in midschool I always loved Physics, because it was always something you can imagine and look from the life perspective but beyond boring calculations or something like that. Next big step is the astronomic aspect. I also love travelling. Nowadays, it is easy to imagine how Peru or Japan looks/smells/shines etc. and even go there to discover and experience it.But think about the space. We don’t really know how big it is, where it leads and why we are here and not somewhere else. I love it. When I was a child I always tried to imagine what is there beyond the horizon. Still, I can’t go there physically, but I can discover it by my music and my imagination.
Did you try to imagine what is beyond the outer space? What is this area where the substance of the universe exists?
Yes, and not even once. This is something that is probably the most shocking or beyond the human mind perception.
I’ve also tried to imagine it, and started to go crazy.
You mean the black horizon? Black “sky” of cosmos?
I mean something that surrounds the universe.
But what if nothing surrounds it? Try to imagine something that is infinite. It’s beyond our mind capability. All the science right now is based on experiments that are blocked by our physics rules. So, imagine that all of our rules are false or that it’s not even 0,000001% from what we should know about cosmos?!
I believe that the human brain cannot realize such colossal information. It will burn out like a chip.
I agree. We are not prepared for such data.
Sometimes it seems to me that our idea of the cosmos is too "linear".
It will always be linear until we colonize another planet and first human being will go beyond our solar system. Because our idea of cosmos is still out of touch. We can only observe.
Let's go back to music. Let's talk about the latest Spaceslug’s release - EP "Mountains & Reminiscence". Tell me more about it – about the process of recording, composing and all that I need to know about it.
So basically we had 3 tracks from “Time Travel Dilemma” that were not so much into the whole concept of this album. So, we moved them to queue, and started composing around July. We wrote 2 new tracks and wanted to make it sound uniformly. All the material, as you can hear it, is a bit different from the “Lemanis” and “Time Travel Dilemma” and I think it is a natural process. Our new album will be more like "what can be on the other side of the bridge" as we like to experiment during the process. Recording this EP was fun. We have recorded two songs one day and I thought they were quite good. Especially Bemused and Gone which was something new for us in terms of our style and composing process.
Compared to previous works, the sound of Spaceslug on this EP has become even more psychedelic. Can we say that we will hear this kind of sound on the next full-length album?
Hard to say really. New one is slightly different in many, many terms. But there is a psychedelic aspect that all the fans will dig for sure.
Why did you decide to release the stuff in the EP format, and not to reserve it for a full-length album? You acted very generously, releasing this EP. ))
We love to write material. Actually, when we released the EP we had around 50% of the new album ready and another 30% on the way. It is obvious that the new material is very different, while we want the new albumit to follow the single style. So, the songs from the EP can’t fit in the new one as well as wouldn’t fit in “Time Travel Dilemma” or “Lemanis”.
When can we expect your new album to be realeased?
I can’t talk about release date. But sooner than later.
How would you describe each of the Spaceslug albums? Describe them briefly.
“Lemanis” was like when you are on unknown planet and try to know it better and you are curious but still you are very careful.
“Time Travel Dilemma” was like when you are in this planet, you know your terrain very well and now you can freely explore it.
EP was like when you started thinking if there is something more than just a horizon here. New one is like leaving this planet and looking for something in your soul and far, far beyond of what meets the eye.
So, it seems that ALL your art is conceptual?
Yes. I’m always leaving a piece of my soul in my art.
All three Spaceslug band members are listed as vocalists. How do you share the vocal parts?
I was back vocals really. Kamil and Jan were on the leading vocals on all of the three releases, and they were the "voice" of Spaceslug. Starting from the third LP, it will be a little different.
What will be the differences?
Wait for the release…
You know, many bands in this genre are just making the correct doom riffs, and forget about melodies. But you can create great melodies, and this is extremely important! If you remember Black Sabbath, they played great melodies with lead riffs on the background . How do you compose songs?
Melodies are the most important thing in music in general. Regarding composing, it is very simple. I bring some riffs, the rest of the band works with them., The next step is a natural story told by music itself. When Jan brings the riff the process stays the same. It was a bit different on the new album, with me and Jan working hard on our ideas together and spending more time in the rehearsal room. I mean I was mixing my ideas with his “on the fly” and it gave us great results. Thanks to that, there was no typical rush during composing.
Do you use analog equipment during recording process?
You mean band equipment or the recording environment itself?
I mean tube amps.
Oh man, I’m a total amp/gear nerd! We can talk days about it basically.
So tell me about the equipment that you use in the studio during the recording process.
Jan (Jan Rutka – bass guitar, vocals) is using Ampeg SvtAv which is the most badass bass amp I know. He also owns Mesa D180 which is some sort of classic, as for example Burton from Metallica was ripping on this thing. Very good amp. For pedalboards, it is standard with Wah, distortion, fuzz and delay. His tone roars as hell. Very, very good setup. A guitar he is using is Fender Precision, made in Japan. He also owns US-made custom Jazz Bass. But Precision is far more suitable for our tunes.
I have three Matamp heads that are custom GT1 made for me, Orange Matamp from around 1968 and something like GtlDeluxemade by Dave Green during his Matamp era. Effects from fuzz to delay and modulations are standard as well. My current guitar s the best wooden instrument I have ever known. It itcustom Monson Guitars made for me. Great, great guitar! Really unique in terms of sound. I’m also starting to use aluminumwith the mighty EGC.
Tell me about your guitar. It looks very exotic.
And sure it is! It’s made from walnut which is a very dense wood. There is a maple neck with the ebony fingerboard. Lace Nitro Hemis as pickups. It has markers from wood that look very good. On the 12 fret you have an endless knot sign which is very important to me and I always keep it with me. It also gives me good vibes when it is on my guitar. Brent Monson is a very cool guy to work with. He understands exactly what you need as a musician. I’m honored to be endorsed by him and for sure you will not find better instrument made of wood. It has soul. I have played a lot of guitars as I’m working in a music store and I can tell you this machine rips off!
In general, recording live, as it was in the 70's and 80's, is quite difficult. When you have a computer, everything is very simple – it will correct all of your mistakes and make any sound you want. A live recording, besides professional skills, requires a sense of community and common purpose. What is the situation with mutual understanding in your band? Surely, the best way to get this feeling is to make long jam sessions?
You can say that. We are not calculating our music. But we are not the band that jams 7 hours in a raw and makes a single song from a 6-hour session. We work hard with the simple ideas and everything is built around it. In a studio, we love recording live. When we recorded the third album, we even played without headphones in the record room, just to bring all the emotional and organic aspect of our music.
WOW! Holy shit! That's why I love your band man!
Thanks, we are doing our best!
Your last to date album is called "Time Travel Dilemma". Do you think time travel is possible in principle? And what is time - a constant that can be measured and where the present, past and future exist simultaneously, in parallel? What do you think about this?
I think that time is the only thing known to human that can really beat him and we can’t do anything with it. It’s the worst enemy and the best friend in one time because it holds all your emotions, feelings and memories. People always have to make decisions about time travel in their lives, when you must choose which timeline is good to go for you. As you as a being can't reverse time, you must choose why and where to go. That’s what “Time Travel Dilemma” is about.
I read something similar in the books of Carlos Castaneda. But there it's about death. Best friend and enemy, symbolizing time.
Lately, the world seems to have gone mad from a new hype – this idiotic theory of flat Earth. What is this shit, and where did this nonsense come from? How do you think, how did it happen that in 2017-2018 so many people believe in such bullshit?!
People are bullshit themselves, that’s why. It’s all due to mass media and the capability to shit talk whenever you want. I can tell that I’m a Jesus Christ right now, and I bet ten bucks that if this would go to the media, there will be at least a couple of people who will believe it. Which is true of course ;) That’s why internet and all this portals are bad. People go crazy as fuck, and it’s going to be even worse every year man.
Alas, it is true. People lose the ability to think for themselves. There is something like a kind of collective mind via the Internet and other media.
Yup. And what is the worst – people can exchange their views through internet for free when they want and how they want. Look at YouTube. You have a lot of cool science channels where you can learn something and at the same time you have a bunch of assholes doing some stupid unnecessary things! World is going mad.
Yes, there is a choice. But unfortunately, a lot of people choose that kind of shit, instead of education.
And there's a voluntary slavery in the end. "We give you a set of goods, and you turn into a submissive animal".
Yes, you hit the point. I’m worried about the next generation; they will be fucked up.
In the last few years, hordes of doom/stoner bands appeared all over the world. It's getting harder to find something interesting. It's hard even to listen to all this at least once. AND! It is getting harder for new talented groups to break through this stream in order to be heard among hundreds of other groups. How do you deal with this problem?
We are not dealing with anything. I think that if you have your own way in music, if you have good vibe, energy, and some originality, and most of all, if you believe in what you are doing, you should succeed. You should bring this energy from the cosmos and give yourself into it. Perhaps that is what is called passion. Of course, you have all the stuff like media, YouTube channels, etc., that helps a lot. But it’s not enough.
Do you have a desire to make a video for an advanced promotion of your band?
Can’t talk about it ; )
How is important concert activity for you, and how often do you play shows outside of Poland?
During the last two years, we played a couple shows here and there. Mostly outside of Poland. After the release of the third LP, we will go into playing live shows with full force. We want to move our minds in this, so for sure our next target after 3rd LP will be playing live as much as we can.
There was a riddle in the 80's: What is a 2000 legs and 2 tits? ..... And the answer is OVERKILL show! )))
Hahahahaha! Good one!
And tell me, are the more guys or girls at the Spaceslug concerts?
Hmmm… We have mostly guys but there are also some girls, that is very cool.
And imagine if people from NASA called you on the phone and said: "Dude, we're here all fans of Spaceslug and we need to make a capsule with a message to aliens. So write a new song for this." Just imagine! What are your emotions and further actions?
Oh fuck man! Probably I would make an ode to extraterrestrials or something like that. And then some fuzzes and delays and bigaboo!
Imagine if one day a civilization of aliens of a humanoid type will make a contact with earthlings. I will not ask eternal questions, such as what will the Earth’s civilization face and what will it lead to. No! I have a more interesting question. Do you think there will be interracial sex? )) Or porno with people and aliens? ))) It will be a bestseller!
Yeah that could be cool. At least something new in porno industry. Hell maybe even I could try one nasty alien girl with good body!
With three tits! You hold two of them by your hands and lick the third one!
Yeah, and imagine when the alien chick has 4 hands man. Things go crazy!
Is it possible to make sex in weightlessness?
Yeah, I think for sure. I think it can also be fun. Imagine good boobs in weightlessness man.
When I watched “Private Parts” movie – Howard Stern's autobiography film, there was an episode where he brings the girl to orgasm in a live radio broadcast, seating her on top of an inverted stereo speaker and giving a low sound to the microphone. And which of Spaceslug song would you choose for such a case?
Hmmmm… very good question. Let me see... Probably Living The Eternal Now but entitled Living The Eternal Orgasm )).
Well, my questions are over. Hope you liked them.
Yeah man, great interview! To be honest it was one of the best conversations I had with an interviewer.
15 ìàð 2018
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