Interview with Paul & Simon
PANDEMONIUM knows the majority of old fans of Polish Metal. Their music and climate accompanied me from the beginning of their existence. And this was many years ago, when I was rebellious teenager. These black energy, mysticism and the magic flowing from their music caused that I always ranked PANDEMONIUM to one of the best bands of Polish underground. At present PANDEMONIUM appears from deep chasms of Hells to take possession next souls. About their expansion you will find out from the conversation with Paul and Simon...
Hello to inhabitants of capital of Hell!!! Hehehe... My spies denounce that you arm to next attack called "Misanthropy". I will admit that sample of your power paralysed me. I don't think that some negative reviews appeared by "Promo 2010". Am I right?
Paul: Hello! You have some good informants, I got through to the very top of hell and have a deal with them, that’s what this ado is all about. We’ll see – as Włodzimierz Smolarek used to say, but I dare to think that it should be well at the very least. The devil does not sleep, he keeps his eyes open all the time. One eye at least. I’m afraid to let those demons out, because later there may be no coming back, especially that people reacted in a really positive way to the foretaste of the new album
Simon told that you also concentrate to ritual-ethnic climate on the newest album. What to you mean? In your music we will hear some sound references to ethnic music? And maybe only texts will refer to this climate?
Paul: Simon meant some things which inspire us, which is quite free explanation which does not limit us. We want the vastly understood climate in our music. And so it shall be. Until the end neither the Devil himself nor me know what will be the final result but it’s good because whole fun is before us. We will dance to our own tune!
Simon: Apart from the majesty and motorics, which will be present on the whole of our album, you will hear very ritual sounds of kettledrums, which add to the atavistic character. As Paul mentioned before, the climate is the most important for us which is in my opinion, the climate, permeating the listener’s mind on various levels, evoking extreme emotions and being based on the very prime and basic instincts. We want to stimulate the imagination with all these sounds which come from our Hades. We want every person listening to our music felt something more than the music described as great. We want the magical aspect and, whatever you might think of it, its aim is to transport you into another dimension.
Pagan Records will release the album. Do you know date of releasion?
Paul: Naturally, there won’t be an exact date, I mean precise day or hour, until the very end, apart from the info that the album will be released in the second half of 2011. The reasons are quite prosaic. You know how it is with everything. A delay here, a delay there and later explanations are needed. We don’t need pressure. The album will be published by Pagan Records, and I trust they will do it in the best way. However, we don’t yet have specific form of the publication. We observe the reaction of the market to the trailers of „Misanthropy” and at one moment we will make the final decision about the form in which to release it. We do everything in a very non-invasive way but with full premeditation.
The distribution will spread out for others countries?
Paul: I hope so, and there will probably be the “hot” countries. Tomas has his own ways for the material not to rot in the gutter of the local reality. And although I’m aware that he’s not a distribution tycoon, I believe that „Misanthropy” will find its way to where it belongs and will be promoted well enough in order not to disappear at the very end of hundreds of thousands of albums. That’s why Godz Ov War decided to reveal the glorious news about incoming new material, to make potential distributors interested. Time will verify our intentions and possibilities.
What metalheads from others countries accept you?
Paul: They receive us warm. Hellspawn gets us all the good reviews. We get surprisingly high score. Naturally, from time to time there appears some jaded reviewer but well… that’s cool. He’s got the right to have his own opinion and his own taste. But to tell the truth, we are not a well-known band outside Poland, which is the result of long years of neglecting the promotion and a few reviews of the latest albums absolutely isn’t in any way reliable as far as the reception of our music outside. Especially that „The Zonei” or the former album of Domain were not widely known, rather with no media promotion, because nobody sent them in order to promote. However, the few ones which were in the hands of the fans, acquired in various ways, were positively received. I want to stress, however, that we treat this phenomenon very marginally. I think people remember us most from the times of „Devilri” or „The Ancient Catatonia”, but these maniacs are really few right now. And so far we’ve had very positive reception of our new songs, strongly popularized in various ways around the world.
But "Promo 2010" will overpower us earlier - two tracks announcing the next album as well as report from concerts... This was good idea - these concert recordings. Recently many "metal stars" release on DVD some materials, e.g. Asphyx, Cannibal Corpse or At The Gates. And therefore the demand for different audio-visual productions grows. You released records only from two concerts obviously. What do you have remembrance from these performances?
Paul: From only two but extremely important for us lately!!! These were our first two concerts in the new setting and because we knew that we’ll publish something „Misanthropy” we decided to use those amateur recordings. Naturally, you can complain about the quality of sounds, edition or the visual aspect itself, but it was all prepared to signal our new concert face and as such it should be treated. I consider those two concerts as our better ones as far as advertisement, visuals and marketing is concerned.At the same time we don’t pay attention to what is happening on the dvd market and what you said is a sheer accident or an overinterpretation. We achieved what we wanted to achieve so the plan realizes itself on its own accord
Simon: I’ll only add that during such concerts as these, there is the right atmosphere, totally different than the old one, and we wanted to transmit it to more people than just those taking part in the events. We’ve recently played a concert in Łódź, the next in our new settings and honestly we feel fantastic on the stage. We feel relaxed and fulfilled. It’s something charging our batteries. We can surely say that the new face of ours gave us totalny Belter climate, charakter and dimention.
What conditions are suitable for you if somebody wants to invite you for concert?
Paul: Unconditionally and optimally and mutually advantageous? You got some money to spend and you don’t know how, so let’s be in touch My Friend. But seriously, it’s all the matter of talking through. It depends on many factors. We surely are no different than average when it comes to money and other conditions. Surely, our setting is a bit of a limiting factor which is sometimes too big for some places. Therefore we, in a way, made it impossible for us to play in small clubs but it was a conscious choice and let it stay this way.
You use various symbols during concerts. Your dress also is very characteristic (I think about your leather dress hehehe... More and more bands begin getting dressed in something similar. And this looks very darkly like from movie "Hellraiser"). This surely influences favorably on your stage image?! Who was originator of the image?
Paul: Symbols, symbols, symbols…! There’s a lot of them everywhere, it’s true and we don’t lack them either. „Dress” as you called them, appeared in the concert equipment some time ago so they should not be a surprise. Lately we have supplemented our image with banners, stands, smoke and fire. We thought about it for some time but only when we started working with Godz Ov War it was Grzegorz who saw in his mind’s eye what symbols used by Pandemonium will fill the stage and we addend the elements I mentioned before. We had a „council of war” and decided what meanings we will smuggle for our concerts to be more evocative. It was a great idea and most of all very conscious and individual, no matter what opinions and comparisons we meet.
Simon: Now there is something more than just concerts, the limits between music and the performance begin to fade. This is very good. I think you have to be creative in every possible way. Naturally, not everybody has to like this and that. But it does not stop us from doing this kind of show and that’s not our final word, we’ve got many ideas and we like expressing ourselves artistically
I think that Grzegorz does for you very lot. He is only one of several such people with great passion. How did you met with him? And how did the story started - that he became your manager?
Paul: He does a lot and he works at various levels. He’s the man who does everything, to be honest. He left us only what the band should be doing – create, record and give interviews. Grzegorz is surely a man of great passion for music and all situations around it. Otherwise he wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing now. Some time ago I asked him if he wouldn’t like to work with Pandemonium. He did not say yes but he also did not say no, one day he just contacted us and somehow it all started.
The release of re-edition of "Devilri" on vinyl was next point of your co-operation. This was total surprise! The cult album was released in cult style! Was whose this idea? The quantity of copies are limited. What is interest of this release?
Paul: A year ago I did not expect it myself. Generally I did not expect that „Devilri” will ever be published on such a carrier. For me personally it is a very important event. It was a devilish idea of Grzegorz and Zibi. The idea was well received and it bloomed. People are quite interested as far as such archival material is concerned as well as the carrier, which is still not that popular. I think and hope that the 500 copies will go without problems. Some of them were also presents for interested friends and were a means of promotion.
Obviously this is not the end of your co-operation with Godz ov War Productions . The "Promo 2010" and the vinyl "Devilri" and the various stuffs, hehehe... What do you have to offer? Where can we buy your stuffs?
Paul: This „incident” is just a prelude for our further cooperation in the question of solid supply in the band’s merchandise. Soon, next load of t-shirts with several designs by me, in a bit different for Pandemonium, version. The venture will be supported by Piekielnie Dobry Sklep Internetowy www.kropa.pl Yes, we do have three black and white designs of t-shirts, including the limited design to „Devilri”, hoodies with embroidered patterns and a whole series of other gadgets such as badges, stickers and leads. Godz Ov War Productions distributes those.
Pandaemonium exists over 20 years. The majority of fans know - what changes was in rows of band and how you had problems with the band name. So I will not repeat the questions about these matters. But I wonder about somewhat banal question... What is your present relation to any religions and obviously to Satan? You began very darkly and satanic. However in the cover-art of "Promo 2010" appeared the considerable dose of whiteness. I think there is 50%. The colouring associated me with Chinese symbol of Taoism. You use a lot symbolism from the beginning...
Paul: We use symbols to point to certain issues. I send some communicates, oblique contents. As you rightly noticed, there is always the black and the white, there is a limit to the freedom of choice, the intuition, so I use it and share with people, allowing them at the same time to comment on some signs. There is nothing explicit, crude or clearly defined because it would be too trite. Thinking gets modernized, it changes its values but not to such an extent as to leave its path so nomenclature is one thing and the philosophy of life and perceiving the world has not changed in my case. I still have negative opinion of any forms of organized cult, betting on the individual and its development. If you perceive what you see in this particular case through Taoism, than you have just used the freedom of interpretation I mentioned. Black and white reality which has surrounded us for many years, is very evocative while we reach for Rother colours, which enable us to express many things, emotions and opinions
Simon: From the very beginning almost everybody representing a certain status and opinions, uses symbols and it is a norm similarly to coats of arms, emblems and signs. That’s why they became an inherent element of expression for Pandemonium, lately visible more and more clearly. The graphics appearing on the albums, certain installations used during concerts or the designs on our merchandise. With time, the way we look at life changes and it is not necessary to define it verbally. We are a biological organism whose main power is the mind and the mind with its imagination is very sensitive to symbols, visual stimuli and all the contents reaching the mind in such a form make it even more flexible and our feelings while experiencing reality are even richer. When it comes to philosophy, I’d personally incline to a development of one’s own ego, distancing oneself from the anxieties caused by energetic vampires who call themselves the representatives of The One True Religion (one or another), blind faith and submission to dogmas and overwhelming stupidity. My philosophy tells me to use the freedom, necessary to all humans, wisely. I don’t want to talk too long about it, you’ve got to be able to find yourself somehow. It works on every level of life – that’s the short version. I don’t like generalizing and forcing into frames one and only one religion and belief or only one, right worldview.
When we were young then only the music (and a school) were in our heads, hahaha... And at present we also entered to adult life additionally. Is differently play the music in youth from in adulthood? You are mature guys with problems of adulthood (like every has after 30... c'est la vie!). What do you connect the duties of adulthood with passion (playing the music)?
Paul: As you can see we manage! Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Yeah, it’s not always sweet and the way you’d want it to be but it’s not a barrier which can’t be crossed. I give credit to the guys - Szymon, Michał and Marek. They simply have lots of enthusiasm for work and what they are doing. They are the ones who level up the morale but also increase the demands. What is more, there is Grzegorz, so our special force works quite efficient.
Simon: Well, age is a heavy burden and youth is not eternal – as the old proverb states. Although each of us has lived for some time, for the time being we can’t imagine our lives without playing. I manage, somehow I put everything together, I’ve got an intelligent life partner who supports me (and is also crazy about music), so my private life influences the music in a very positive way. The music is a way to unwind, to forget about gray reality. I guess If I didn’t play, I’d become a psychopath and this way the energy has a way out. When I see people shaking their heads during concerts I unite with them and it’s fan-fuckin-tastic.
Do you still have the same musical inspirations? Once it was Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Samael... And how is today? Is Triptykon important for you also?
Paul: As far as I’m concerned, I hear Celtic Frost/Triptykon in my head all the time. From the so called metal music, Morbid Angel, Samael, Bathory, have always been and will be close to my heart. However, they are no longer as inspiring in the strictly musical sense as they used to be. It’s a natural process, I guess, for every artist that with time he seeks inspirations somewhere in the universe and not necessarily in music.
Simon: I don’t deny that I’m a fan of Morbid Angel. I think that this band, on the metal stage, ok, death metal (and with a climate) is unquestionably number one. Yes, there are many very good bands but only they evoke such emotions in me, that sometimes I want to smash the furniture in my house when I listen to sick, masterly solos of Trey and all that musical dark depth. A totally different band which makes me float, or rather swim with, Mastodon – for me a bomb, fantastic musicians. And from the new black metal Shining, actually it’s a black pearl, the first league. Generally, I used to be a fan of a very hard shit but now there’s nothing better than the old school, dynamic music but I have to say that lately I’ve been listening to various music – ‘cause what’s good is just good, without all those special divisions.
The comebacks of many old bands are often recently. What is your relation to Burzum?
Paul: Actually, I don’t listen to Burzum!
Simon: As it happens, neither do I!
Internet piracy and downloading mp3 are nightmare of every musician. I think it hasn't sense to describe this in moral-ethical matter here. Every know that this is bad proceeding. But majority of persons illegally download from Internet. But I wonder - is it some reasonable way to reduce the scale of piracy?
Paul: Perhaps we should all get together and sue them together, ‘cause it’s possible now, but we still don’t know against who. Or, like Maryla Rodowicz, accuse the Polish government of negligence. I think something like that happened once, but I don’t know how it ended. As you can see, it’s like fighting the windmills. A real fan, a collector of music will buy an original album, of that I’m certain. And piracy is a side effect of the Internet miracle. You know, just the sign of time. So I don’t think that anyone will find a solution for this situation soon.
Simon: A reasonable way would be higher salaries in Poland. Another thing is that some young people prefer to surf the net and download music or buy booze or drugs than to buy the album or go to a gig. I guess it’s also the reason why it’s not so good generally on the music market. Another thing is that there are numerous free mass events for people because they can’t afford to buy a ticket to a concert. In western countries there is no such thing because it’s not well seen and against all the capitalist rules. And another thing is the mentality of the people – definitely needs to change. Piracy is piracy, but it’s worth to say how bands are treated, especially in “Dickland”, by Sirs Organizers or club owners who earn during a gig, selling beer and so on. Practically, in the end there is not enough money for the bands but they have money for the bouncer, lightman, soundman, cleaner, etc. Has anybody ever thought that apart from hard work we, invest a lot in the equipment? So I honestly think that it’s time to end this shit if we are to move on.
We all wait to "Misantrophy", but at present - Have you some concerts or different hits from side of Pandaemonium for the rest 2011?
Paul: Believe me, I can’t wait myself. I’m somehow very excited with it. For the time being we’re playing in Katowice during Silesian Massacre Fest with Entombed, Krisiun, Kataklysm and many other excellent bands. Earlier, in May, we’re playing in Warsaw with z Incantation and Christ Agony as a part of their tour Metal Attack Tour 2011. That’s about it for now, but be alert, ‘cause you never know. Oh, I forgot about the Metal Time in Nowy Staw in the second half of August.
On the ending I will ask you - Do you remember some your concert from the beginning of 90 in Lublin, in Poland? You played together with Kat and Dragon.. Paul had short hair (I saw well because I fought for a place under the scene, near barrier ), hehehe... At that time you gave devilish show, so I think - Today your concerts throw on knees!
Paul: Of course I remember this concert, this tour. Generally it was hard. Some doors fell out and then…, well, not important. The concert – great. I had a great time, Lublin Has always been and still is a great place for gigs
But this is not the end, hehehe... And you remember concert in Biala Podlaska (Poland) from 1991 year, on Shark Attack Part II? There were Vader and Armagedon among the others... but I do not remember Pandaemonium... several bands did not arrive, e.g. Asphyx.
Paul: I don’t remember either that Asphyx was included at all… By the way, a nice little festival as for the beginning of “free” Poland. Vader began, so did Armagedon, we all did. And the proof of the fact that we were there are the movies on the Internet, e.g YouTube
Well, this is the end of these tiring retrospections! Great thanks for the interview! The last words belong to Pandaemonium...
Paul: I’ll say my goodbyes retro-style. Wait for „Misanthropy”, it’ll sure be worth it! Join us during the concerts! And I personally want to thank you for the last 20 years of our Unholy Existence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*consultation with the translation – Renata Kucharska
PANDEMONIUM line up:
Paul – guitars, vocals
Mark – guitars
Michael – bass guitars
Simon – drums
PANDEMONIUM – contact:
MANAGEMENT – contact:
PANDEMONIUM – DISCOGRAPHY:
1991 – Rehearsal - tape [Wydanie własne]
1992 – Devilri – tape [Carnage Records]
1993 – The Ancient Catatonia – tape/CD [Baron Records]
2001 – Devilri/The Ancient Catatonia/bonus live tracks – CD [Apocalypse Productions]
2004 – Devilri/Live in S`thrash`ydło `91 – CD [Apocalypse Productions]
2004 – The Zonei – CD [Mystic Productions]
2007 – Hellspawn – CD [Mystic Productions]
2010 – Promo 2010 – limitowany DigiCD [Godz Ov War Productions]
2010 – Devilri – limitowany 12”LP [Godz Ov War Productions/Hellshop]
DOMAIN – DISCOGRAPHY:
1995 – Pandemonium – tape [Morbid Noizz Productions]
1999 –…from Oblivion – CD [Apocalypse Productions]
2002 – Gat Etemmi – CD [Apocalypse Productions]