Interview and photo: Elena Crnković
Decapitated, death metal band from Poland, this year released a new album with an unusual name “Carnival Is Forever“. About the symbolism of the title, concerts, the band’s future, and other stuff we talked with the band’s guitarist and founder, Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka.
VENIA: Your new album „Carnival Is Forever“ was released in July, how would you present it to the audience, how would you describe the album?
VOGG: Well this is a first album after 5 years from „Organic Hallucinisis“.Album was recording in RG studio Gdansk with Arek “Malta”Malczewski (Behemoth)and Daniel Bergstrand(Behemoth,Dimmu Borgir,Meshuggah..)Album sounds great and we are all proud about this new music we create.This time we add a little more for extreme metal,so you can heard everything from calm down cean guitars to mega fast blast.This album is a groove riffs,tasty metal album for real metal heads.
VENIA: What is the symbolism of an albums title „Carnival Is Forever“?
VOGG: Jarek Szubrycht- the author of the title and all lyrics simply wanted to write powerful and honest lyrics that would form the unity with the band’s new music. And I strongly believe it has been achieved. Also, what we’ve surely managed to achieve was provoking emotions. We have been reading comments on the Internet from some of the fans of extreme metal cursing the band for the use of the word ‘carnival’ in the new album’s title. I had no idea that a carnival would be associated by all those grim, fearsome quasi-individualists with having a good time, enjoying yourself and joy. For me, on the contrary, the enforcement of mass euphoria, rowdy and insincere felicity, entertainment, happiness and a brainless mob constitute a major fear. And this is how I perceive the carnival. It is as oddly disconcerting as the clown with his costume and make-up. There is a good reason why the horror directors have repeatedly been using this character in their movies. Obviously it doesn’t change the fact that the title is ironic. The carnival is the name given by Jarek to the perennial human dancing on the grave (by the way, do you think the Medieval idea of danse macabre is not metal enough?), heading for the self-annihilation with a stupid grin and lofty slogans. All the history of human species resembles a mindless jiggling of drunk mob – we can’t draw any conclusions from the past, we can’t impede the autodestructive behaviours, we know only how to mask them (the mask – the carnival – is it clear?) with the help of conventions, culture, politics … ‘Carnival is Forever’ is not even about the downfall of the human kind because if one never rises one will never fall. There’s no ideology behind the lyrics of ‘Carnival is Forever.’ They don’t intend to persuade you to anything, they don’t offer any ready solutions and don’t encourage a revolution, they make no pretence that ‘they’ suck and ‘we’ know better. They are not against religion, evil, war, politics, media – but at the same time they question all of them. They question the meaning of this world and our allleged role in it. IWe shouldn’t really explain it because Jarek wrote down all : ‘World owes you nothing/ Promised you nothing/ Don’t fight, don’t fear/ Grow up before you grow old.’ So if you’re looking for a vent to the herd instinct, if you want to brandish your sword, if you like to take it out on a real or imagined enemy by spitting on them – you won’t find anything for you here. Exactly – nothing! The key word to the understanding of ‘Carnival is Forever’. These lyrics contain no hatred, no blasphemy, no misanthropy. There’s fear and scorn. There’s doubt. There’s hopelessness. Even lack of hope for the hope itself. There’s just mud and some plastic bags. Nihilism. And so, after all, the Internet crowd was right. In a sense these lyrics are about nothing
VENIA: Can you compare the new album to your previous releases? How does the new album differ from previous albums?
VOGG: ‘Carnival..”is just another step in Decapitated history.In my opinion is the most mature album.Most difference is that album are recorded with totally new lineup but we were finish ideas which I created with Witek long time ago.
VENIA: The cover artwork is unlike any other previous album, what was the inspiration for this kind of cover art?
VOGG: Author of this picture is Lukasz Jaszak,polish artist and jurnalist.Picture is so cool,dark and crazy and what is more important -make so many people pissed off It’s dark,unsual and disturbing cover and thats the cover we were looking for. Isn’t it best review for the cover art? I’m bored of full of colour, nice looking computer design covers. I wanted something different this time and somethig what make people think-why?,Why like that? and also I was thinking about painting or photography,something that is not plastic,because computer graphics are so cool but will never look better than real picture or real painting. And also it feat really with the music production of this album-simple and good sounding. Author of this picture is Lukasz Jaszak and Jarek Szubrych was the one who found this picture and suggested to use to his lyrics.
VENIA: Can you describe a little bit a recording process of „Carnival Is Forever“?
VOGG: Well im still the main composer in the band.This time I work on new songs together with Krimh.And I have to say that this kid is soo great!!!He is very fast with making drums for my riffs,sometimes too fast so i have to tell him that maybe you can play this riff little different heheh.So i was making all riffs for new album and Krimh helped me to arrange this stuff and he made his drums for that riffs.Also,very important thing is that on this album you can hear so many ideas which came from Witek.Me and Witek we started to work for this album in 2006 and i remember all ideas and i was finish all of this on carnival..so this album is also witeks album. and this is so important to me of course.Other members-Rasta and Heinrich did excellent job in studio to record vocals and bass parts.Vocal sounds very agressive and wild in my opinion.Rasta is a master of making long time screems-you will see bass sounds also very deep and have very important meaning with whole music on new album.
VENIA: What do you think about today’s metal scene in Poland?
VOGG: I think Polish metal scene is in good condition.We have Behemoth who is return after Nergals health problems,we have Vader and their new album coming soon,we have hate who is a new export band and starting to do very well,we have vesania comeback,we have acid drinkers-amazing band,blindead-amazing band we have decapitated comeback with new album and many many more so it looks that poland its one of the strongest metal scene right now.Also finally we have more and more metal festivals in country and more promotrs.We also have a great label mystic production.
VENIA: For you personally, who are the major influences on you as a musician?
VOGG: It’s too many to say but I’m very openminded for all kind of music and every music inspired me alot. From metal bands I was and I am ispired by Acid Drinkers, Meshuggah, Kat, Vader, Metallica, Sepultura, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid angel, Slayer, Napalm Death.
VENIA: Could you tell something about the beginings of Decapitated. What was it like for you at the time, as a teenager to have a world-famous band and a record contract?
VOGG: Huh,its not that easy to make short story about last 15 years but…ok so,band was created by me, Sauron (Wojciech Wasowicz) and Witek (my brother) in 1996. After some time Martin joined the band as a bass player..after one year on playing rehearsals we make first demo tape”cemeteral gardens”.In 1998 we Make another demo tape-”eye of horus” and this demo open doors for our firs deal with earache records.IN 2000 band release first full lenght album-”winds of creation”,than-nihility(2002) negation(2004) and organic hallucinosis(2006).Since 2000 to 2007 band did many many tours and single festivals over the world playing for fans in europe,north america,canada,mexico,australia,new zeland …In 2007 Witek(drummer)past away in a car accident.Covan got serious injurence and he is still fighting for comeback to normal life..Accident happend in Russia when band was travelling to play last show on tour..After 2 years i decided to continue the band with new line up.
VENIA: And what about the future? What are your plans? Are you playing on any summer festivals this year?
VOGG: We want to do a world tour.Right now we start to rehearsal and after this we make summer festivals in europe,about 15 shows,than we planning balkan tour in september,in october we decide to make US tour and after this europe tour in november and december.So it looks like we are planning so many shows and I think this album deserves it.
VENIA: Actually, how important is it for Decapitated to be on tour?
VOGG: Its very important because we need to promote the band and also to earn money to live
VENIA: With which band you enjoyed touring the most?
VOGG: BEHEMOTH,DEICIDE,CEPHALIC CARNAGE,CHRIST AGONY,ACID DRINKERS
VENIA: You are playing in Croatia in July. Are you looking forward to that show? What do you expect from Croatian fans?
VOGG: This will be our first Croatia show ever.We expct that somebody will came to see us playing :)If yes,we expect to spend a good time with the audience,eat some good croatian food and test some nice local beers and booze.
VENIA: What would you name as the greatest motivation for Croatian people to come to see you show? What people can expect from Decapitated?
VOGG: We are not KISS and not Metallica but we can offer a great extreme metal show ,good music and great sound.Nice afterparty aswell hehe.You will be satisfy for sure and you will have a felling that you spend your money for some fuckin shit.If you like good sound and good performence came on Decapitated show.
VENIA: In the end, do you have any message for the fans in Croatia?
VOGG: Yes. We will do a couple shows in Croatia this year.This will be: Osijek-Urban fest-9.07.2011, Zagreb-11.09.2011 and also we are planing european tour in december so probably it will including Croatia aswell.