Quo Vadis - Interview
In the musical world, name Quo Vadis has been taken on by Polish and Canadian musicians. This interview will bring you closer to the four Polish thrashers. During the visit of Quo Vadis in the (Wieslawski brothers') HERTZ Studio I was able to snatch away a moment of their after-recording relaxation. They were so friendly that they have agreed to answer some of my questions, sipping a tea-colored liquid which I offered to them. Quo Vadis are a legend, at least on the Polish metal scene. The mere fact of thrashing for over 25 years despite various adversities shows the power and fortitude of these guys. Let this interview help and encourage you to get accustomed with their work. Check out http://quovadis.metal.pl, to listen to their musical achievements and regarding the recent, past and the future, just keep on reading this interview.
Greetings Skaya, 25 years of pounding on the thick strings, how you doing, how did the jubilee go?
Skaya - Fuck yeah it went, even though we celebrated it like twice in the last year. First time on our tour with Percival Schuttenbach, which was on tour with Dominus Svantevitus, so it was kind of a summary of our 25-year career, but then, because this tour ended in May, our tradition is that usually we play a concert in Szczecin in December so we purposely decided to celebrate it again. We invited our friends from In Extremis from Bialystok, with Nikt'u, Scylla (author: according to the poster: Anvill, Junkers) and Percivals. Admittedly Percival did not play, only accompanied us as our friends. It's a very intimate composition yet effective. I think Scylla did not play though?.....
Cimas (added) - that just proves how good it was [laughs]...
Even though in Poland, you can specify the band as "known", outside the borders not necessarily. Introduce Quo Vadis to our readers.
Skaya - Quo Vadis has been around for 25 years, so it's a long fucking time [laughs] ... Cimas and Matek on guitar, Seba-Borel on drums and me on bass guitar from the beginning. 12-13 years with this line up.
Cimas - so it's a half, and it's the only stable line up through the whole history of the band.
Skaya - yes, this longevity of Quo Vadis is solely based on this friendship of ours. As if the fact that we like to hang out together is more important, though technical skills also matter a lot. The first album was released in 1991 and it was titled Quo Vadis, there is a good chance that it will be reissued by the Swedish and Brazilian labels, with whom we are talking. We recorded 9 albums including 1 EP and 1 DVD that's available for download on our website. It wasn't an official-super release.
Cimas - It is true that we are not known beyond our borders, but after Infernal was released we got more positive reviews out there than we got in Poland. We got a lot of such inspiring opinions. Polish reviews were rather average such as: "they play for so many years and still recorded the same thing", but for the ones beyond the borders we were like rookies. There was some kind of enthusiasm about it. I was terribly pleased with that. Someone gave at a cool look, they were not burdened with some years of playing, and I'm consciously not using the "L" word. Because the word discredits the team, because if you're "L", you fucking play like an old fart, but they forgive you because you have to play like that, because you started playing like it in the past. There was no burden on that one. Those reviews showed that those people looked at us and treated our music like we were rookies to them and that was so great.
Matek, I have a question for you, it maybe a little late, but in retrospect it will be easier for you to answer. As the youngest "component" of Quo Vadis, tell me how did you find yourself in the band? Quo Vadis has its own constitution, climate, the boss, and as it is known: the boss is always right (laughs)...
Matek - I did not really find myself, it's rather that they discovered me in room # 5 in "Slowianin". (Author-Szczecins Cultural Center and practice spot for Quo Vadis). Arek, can you imagine that earlier I played rock, blues, pop, funk. Overall, it looked as though I was in the church, and they pulled me out of it (laughs). Well, after all I do not go to church. Sometime around 2002 I politely played some blues with a band Ogien, and then I visited them. They were after 2 bottles of "water" already and when they drank 3rd the question appeared, if I could play with them, sorry, but Quo Vadis to me is a legend all this time. You know in 1992 I was at their concert in Jarocin (author-legendary Polish rock / punk, metal, etc. festival)
Cimas - incidentally, Jacek, who was playing with us at the time, could not afford to play concerts. He had to take care of the family, money earning and such other things. The spot for him in the band was waiting all this time, however, eventually it turned out, that he will not come back because he will not have time.
Matek - Wait, I'm not done yet. This is very important. As they drank the 3rd "water" it was suggested to me to play with them. I was stressed out like a horse in a western movie. As I have come to their practice, they were drinking this pepper-alcohol mixture, and when they saw that I drink that stuff chasing it with chewing gum, because there was no chaser, Cimas said to Skaya - yes, he's good, he'll handle it, [laughs] ... And so 12 years past or even 12 and a half.
Let's go back to Quo Vadis' birthday concert for a moment; can you bring us some interesting moments or events from the stage and beyond? I wasn't there, so I'd like to know what I've lost, (laughs)...
Skaya - So, ok, here it goes, there was Quo Vadis-lemon- alco mixture, but the fact is that we got a lot of cool gifts, and one of them was: Tom and Wrona - currently playing in the band Soul Ride from England, but before played in a band Cordis, and they have this recipe for a delicious booze mixture with lemon, sugar, etc. .. They brought 4 bottles, each with a label with the name of each of us: Matek, Cimas, Skaya, Seba. Prior to this they invited us on tour in the UK. From the "Slowianin" Culture Center we got drawing of Sawka (author-well known Polish cartoonist, satirist). From In Extremis we got a 5 liter keg of moonshine and overall it was very nice. Percival traditionally sang with us.
Cimas and Skaya - you know there are 3 chicks in that band that add so much fire, that even us, we felt that as a plus. The girls came out with us, they sang, it was really very good, it was great! In Extremis also came out with us. They're cool dudes, cool to talk to, to drink alcohol with, fun to spend time.
Presicely. You're no chemists, but a certain chemical compound known as C2H5OH stubbornly accompanies you everywhere in this musical adventure. Did you have any interesting experiences with this magical substance on your last tour?
Skaya - there was bunch of different ones, but I'd rather not talk about it, [laughs]... The point is that as we played one of the shows, it was Matek's birthday. It was a concert in Glogow, and what a fucking concert it was, we got moral hangover, although the pictures came out sensational. You know usually on the tour the first shows are just warm ups, and then you reach such a level that all the concerts are coming up good or very good. But you still have to be careful to not overdo it somewhere. Well, that's what it was – Hanneman died, Matek's birthday, and before we got to Glogow, and let's say it is not terribly far from Szczecin (author: ok.280km), we got so fucked up that there were times that each of us played a different song.
Matek - But I have to mention that Skaya then brought 5 liters of homemade wine for me. All prettied up and so on. Plus some other inventions like Jack Daniels, etc..
Skaya and others - but we would rather not talk about it. We are not exactly proud of this act. In general, alcohol disgusts us and let's keep it that way….. [laughs]....
Not to be monothematic, I'm gonna direct questions into Quo Vadis' music. 25 years is a long time, you got 9 albums and one live DVD. How would you rate your creative achievements of a quarter of century?
Skaya - This is not some stunning feat if I had to convert it into years of operation, but their strength is in consistency and the fact that there are still new productions. Maybe it could be more often, but it takes many factors to make it happen and because this project is very involving financially. After the Infernal Chaos especially, when we recorded it at Hertz-Studio, it was the biggest amount of work that was ever done. Now we cannot imagine ourselves recording elsewhere, and we had such a test, but in short, it did not work out well. My point is that as we were done with "Infernal' ...", it was the best sounding album. Generally, if we decide on the recording process there are financial liabilities, so you cannot do it every year, because you feel like it, it only happens when we grow to a certain point and now it is the time for something new.
Well since we started talking about it already, let's look into the future. We are at Wieslawski Brothers Studio and you got first recordings done so how about shedding some light on the successor of "Infernal Chaos". What, how, when and why so late?
Skaya - Well, is it late, that's the time that was needed [laughs].... Now we are like after the very first preliminary part. We recorded the drums. This is an important moment, because it is like the foundation and the heart of the album. The whole remaining part will be recorded in Szczecin, so it's just a dry run here and later we try and make something out of that shit [laughs]. Stylistically, in our opinion, it's Infernal-continuation, although we think it will be with more bling, more melody and harmony...
Cimas - We tried to experiment in the past. We had keys, some lighter stuff but at some point we come to conclusion, that there must be a punch, all goods, just bass and drums and that has to be the base of the music. It must be like a shot in the face, without any additives and it simply must suffice. But there will be extras, only on the basis of additives; it will be a decoration, not a track basis. Another thing that's simply beautiful with recording of this disc is that, just as it was when Infernal was recorded we did not know what to expect. Infernal we had very well polished, every sound was refined, and every sound was well thought out. The one here is also a different, but the end result surprised me still, at least. Thanks to the realization of it, it very positively surprised me, I did not expect this.
Mothers - Besides Skaya is not singing during practices and on Infernal we got surprised by just his vocals.
Skaya - For now, the working title proposed by our friend in graphics, by Ptys, is Mind War, but we'll see if it will last, or if the graphics will go together with it. There's like an idea out there, my buddy sits by the computer and he's working on it, but he raised the bar quite high so we'll see what will come out of it. Not all lyrics are ready just yet, because now lyrically Seba will give it a shot too. I can sing his texts very well, they come out with ease. It's like they're custom-made.
Are you planning any release announcing the big "10", a single, EP, or will it be immediate knockout punch?
Skaya - No, we're not planning any such contortions. You can include the EP Novem as a link between Infernal and say tentatively, Mind War. We are not planning anything, it's supposed to be a straight knee to the face right away version, lights out, without taking prisoners.
There are so many things I could to talk to you about, like your adventure with the X Muse. I was going to finish this thing, but once you say "a", then you've got to say “b”. Where does the interest of the film industry meet the band Quo Vadis?
Skaya - It's perhaps too strong of a word, but there was an affair, which resulted from the fact that we had the pleasure to meet Boguslaw Linda (author: known Polish actor and director), during one of the concerts, he announced us with known and used by us sequence "and who died, is not alive "(author: from the film "Pigs"). We fed him with our album, and later also fed him with more of our albums, in any event, on one of them there was the song "Ostatnia Niedziela "(author: album "After" 1999.) He liked the version of that number with a strong guitar and accordion and heavy kicks and he found formula for such a number in his film, "Sezon Na Leszcza". It was such terribly nice situation as I received a call from Robert Gonery (author: Polish actor), who was the second director. He started this way: "Well hello my name is Robert Gonera, I'm calling from Boguslaw Linda, who is the director of the film" Sezon Na Leszcza "and I II, to ask you whether the band Quo Vadis..." and I - YES! Goner - "You know there would be a track of Janusz Laskowski or "Beata z Albatrosa", or "Zolty Jesienny Lisc". It's such an important scene where they are in the pub and in the background there's suppose to play some heavy shit although it suppose to be a known blockbuster. I have only one request – we need it in two weeks, because we will be filming the scene around that time and in the meantime we need to have a demo, so we can film the scene and have the music together". We had to tighten our buttholes and we did these songs in a week. I called Gonera: "... look, where do I send it?" He - "if you send it today, then send to Walbrzych to the address of some hotel, and if not, there is another..." I sent it to Walbrzych, but pointed out that those there are tracks that are ready-finalized. Then, as the feedback for us Gonera said: "Fuck, we struggled with the songs and Boguslaw L., he played those bits non-stop." I have to add yet that the film producers contacted Janusz Laskowski (author: original composer of the song) - whether this version of these songs can be used in a movie? He gave them his blessing, and it's not such a simple thing with him. We had song “Zolty Jesienny Lisc” on our You Tube channel as acoustic concert piece and he blocked the track as the author. Of course, we apologized to him that we did not consult with him about this matter. Such was the story with the movie. Secondly, I had the pleasure to "play" cameo as the narrator in this alternative, crazy film "AIRAM" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2gyJEG2-Do), and recently we recorded the title song for the film about Szczecin: "BURNING SZCZECIN" - the film is to be a unique promotion of the city because it is presented as the movie about the city, which will be its apocalypse, special effects, explosions, fire, etc. It raises an awful lot of emotions and controversy around here so then we recorded the controversial song [laughs]
Thanks for the "moment" and see you at concerts.
All - thanks for the interview and this esquisite liquor, which no longer exists. Arek, would you happen to have another one? [laughs]
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