Yattering - Interview
Yattering is a band that many of you might not be too familiar with comparing to other Polish heavy hitters like Behemoth, Vader or Decapitated and that's a real shame cause those 4 guys have a lot to offer. Any metal fan that craves for uncompromised fury, utter brutality and tremendous dose of aggression should take a close look at those guys. Be warned that presented by them chaos is served on a 'wicked' plate where jazz like solution and broken rhythms create unforgettable listening experience but not well digested by casual listener. After years of trouble Yattering sings a new contract with British Candlelight and releases their new child "Genocide" proving their talent and dedication. Zabek (drums) answers all my questions about troubled times, new album and impact of Polish vodka on the album's final outcome.
Lets start by giving us some info on what was going on in Yattering's camp over the last two years or so. If not for your website not too much press or any kind of promotional activities would have been going out for the rest of the world. It almost felt like you guys were still behind the "iron curtain"...
Several things happened during the last two years. It's difficult to explain it all, but such a long silence wasn't really our fault. We did our stuff as usual: performed, composed new pieces, recorded them and so on. And we had gone through a hard battle... However, I'm of the opinion that such a long period of silence was to our advantage. Now we come back with a new album and it will be the best proof of our activity during that time. I am sure that our trust in what we are doing and sincerity of our message will remove this "iron curtain" soon.
Can you tell us why and how things got so bad between you and your management (Massive Management) and old label (Season of Mist) and would you handle it differently if you had a chance to do it all over again?
Sure, we have nothing to hide. The whole problem arose after I had participated in Vader's European tour, replacing their drummer. I haven't been paid for this. As I bluntly expressed my opinion on this matter, Mr. Kmiolek became very annoyed and he tried to persuade the band to get rid of me, or he would terminate the contract. He did it and now we are free. In addition, it turned out that he signed a bunch of bad agreements and we still bear consequences of our cooperation. The fact that he has been trying to slander us in every possible way isn't even worth mentioning. He is a wicked person with a kind of parochial complex.
Our struggle with SOM was quite similar. They sell our albums throughout the world and we don't receive any royalties. They were really unprofessional; for example, they modified all the graphics on "Human's Pain" and "Murder's Concept" without our agreement. Just take a look at the re-edition of "Human's Pain", thanks had been cut out and there are four of us on the picture, even though only three of us participated in the recording. And these fucking drops of blood on the discs... it was enough for us to refuse further cooperation. If everything had been all right, we wouldn't have changed the label! If we had had a chance to start again, we would for sure avoid both Massive Management and Season Of Mist. They destroy the music...
I've read the interview with Michael Berberian (Season of Mist's owner) and I was quite shocked and surprised at things he had to say about Yattering. Would you give us your perspective on things he mentioned?
Yeah, we were shocked as well. Although he threatened us that in case we didn't give him the album, he would ruin us and blacken our reputation, we didn't expect such lies and backbiting! Our personal point of view is as follows: Mr. Michael Berberian is ridiculous! We strongly discourage other bands from establishing any cooperation with his label. If they do, they may soon face problems similar to ours, and it was really a difficult situation to deal with. Everything happened because we dared to reveal the bitter truth about this music business. A band must be very careful to avoid dishonest producers. Luckily, we finally managed to find a reliable and professional label.
I understand that there's not much love between the band and Michael Berberian but can you set the record straight and tell me if 'Message to M.A.R.I.O' is dedicated to him or your other 'close friend' ex-manager Mariusz Kmiolek?
We dedicate 'Message to M.A.R.I.O.' to all the people who slandered us and preyed on us. It is a kind of protest, of demonstration, maybe a little bit funny but such effect was intentional, as it clearly reflects our attitude. Despite all the harm they did, they didn't manage to stop us. Yattering still performs and everything is fine. We love music and playing, and this is our priority, we don't want to deceive people by selling shitty albums. We believe in the music.
It's not up to me to judge the situation between the band and interested parties but I have to thank those two gentlemen for getting you motivated and inspired to release such brilliant piece of brutal death metal. How much this situation was a distraction or a motivation for harder work and did it influence your work at any level?
In spite of such an unpleasant atmosphere, our recording session went on smoothly and calmly. We know what we want when we enter the studio and we just carry it into effect. The whole situation was like a red rag to a bull, it made us even more determined to do everything as good as possible – and we achieved it! At last we managed to fulfill our plans. There is a strange coincidence: we managed to achieve our aims just after we got rid of all those tricksters...
Before we dive into the new release can you tell me how should I number "Genocide"? It's 4th full length you recorded but "III" has never seen the light so, do you treat it as your 3rd release and will "III" ever be released?
"Genocide" is our fourth album, but it's a logical continuation of the first and the second one. However, we would like to release "III" one day, because it's a really good album! Although it has nothing to do with the Yattering you know, it's a fine piece and it should be judged by our fans, not by some assholes.
Speaking of your unreleased album, I've heard that "III" was recorded in a metal and non-metal version and non-metal one was sent to Season of Mist to get you out of the contract. Is it true?
There is only one truth. We have recorded two albums: "III" and "Genocide". With the first one we wanted to end up our cooperation with SOM. I can't imagine giving "Genocide" to a company, which hasn't even fulfilled the earlier contracts so far. If we had done this, you wouldn't probably be listening to this album by now... For us, music and all the other things like graphics are equally important, and SOM took no notice of our expectations. Not the company, but members of the band create the group's image! And, assuming that SOM would be the producer of "Genocide", there would probably be another drop of blood on the disc... [laughs]... it's pathetic!
Enough of the past, you signed a contract with Candlelight, your new album "Genocide" is a piece of art, things look bright in Yattering camp again, don't you think?
Yes, everything seems to turn better. We hope that Candlelight places equal confidence in us as we place in them. We don't have any reasons to complain so far and we are very satisfied with their intentions and actions. I hope it will never change, well, we believe in the British accuracy. Candlelight was a good choice!
When you recorded "Genocide" were you still under the contract with Season of Mist or did you already know that it would be released under Candlelight? How did that situation reflect on the atmosphere in the studio?
We weren't under any contract with SOM anymore, because we had already offered "III" to them. We had no idea under which label would "Genocide" be released. We would rather split up than waste another album by giving it to SOM! The atmosphere in the studio was, as I have already said before, really calm.
While "Murder's Concept" was a very good album from the material standpoint, production side was not really up to today's standards. "Genocide" seems to take this side of the record to another level. Are you satisfied with the work of Piotr Lukaszewski and how "Genocide" turned out?
I am aware of the fact that "Murder's Concept" was poorly produced. It was our former manager who had chosen the sound engineer (B.Q.). We were really disappointed when, after all the mixing, we could listen to the recording for the first time. How could he screw it all up to such extent? That guy was a total amateur! We wanted to repeat the mixing, but Mr. Kmiolek didn't agree and he released the album without any correction. The music itself is relatively good, but spoiled by poor production – but we are not to blame.
Fortunately, "Genocide" was recorded in completely different conditions. We had a very good and professional sound engineer, Piotr Lukaszewski. He is familiar with all this business, he knows how it all works. He was very helpful and everything went so smoothly thanks to him. It was a great recording session, really.
He knew our expectations and he managed to fulfill them perfectly. We would like to record our next album with his help as well, provided he is willing to participate [laughs] I think he will agree, as he likes doing original things.
You really surprised me with "Genocide"; compared to you previous record this is a much easier listening experience. I'm not saying that it's easy-listening but at least it doesn't cost a trauma after few spins. What would you say are the biggest differences between "Genocide" and your previous work?
As I said before, the greatest difference resulted from working in a good studio with a professional sound engineer. It was our key to success. The studio was like our second home, especially since it was located in the city we live in. The drum parts were recorded in our rehearsal room, which is a fantastic place.
"Human's Pain" was quite a mess, the second album was screwed up by a hopeless sound engineer and both "III" and "Genocide" are well produced. We haven't changed our approach to recording, we do it with great engagement and dedication, but we must have a good partner. On the other hand I'm sure that our music evolves, we intend to go further and further while many bands pay no attention to the importance of progress. We just love playing, music gives us incredible pleasure.
How do you compose such 'disturbing' pieces of music? Is it a work of one man or does each member have its input on the final outcome?
I composed my drum parts for "Genocide" first, then guitar parts were added step by step, and all the vocals came at the end. We worked on it together, and even before we entered the studio, we had twelve complete songs, which we could play on stage. In fact, some of our fans could listen to them long before "Genocide" was released. And I can reveal a secret: while waiting for "Genocide" to be released, we have already composed some new songs... If someone cannot bear "Genocide", he would better step down and not follow us any longer.
Rather than asking for your musical influences, can you tell me what has greater impact on your music, beer or good-old-pure Polish vodka?
Huh, I don't drink vodka anymore, it has already damaged my mind, [laughs], but Hudy and Trufel never refuse. We all love beer, I think it is our favorite beverage... and I must point out that beer in Poland is really great. Every time we come back to Poland after some tour, we are happy to drink real beer, instead of that foreign piss (ermm, there are some brands I can exclude from that group, e.g. Heineken, which is one of my favorites). ...As for "Genocide", we used some other stuff to broaden our minds [laughs].
Is there anything else that has an impact on the outcome of your music?
Nagual – everything, with the exception of things that we are able to control.
What are the chances of seeing Yattering live on this side of the ocean? What are your touring plans at the moment?
Man, we would love to, but nobody has come forward with such proposal yet. Actually, our former manager and producer were shiftless and incompetent and we couldn't even dream about such tours. They made empty promises and we kept on waiting... in vain. Now the time of "Genocide" has come and we hope we will be able to visit the United States and perform there. We are really looking forward to it!
As far as I know, we will play in Poland in May, in Western Europe throughout July, and in October we shall give some concerts in Europe as well, together with Nostromo (a great band!).
I think that would be all I have at the moment. Once again, congratulations on outstanding "Genocide" album. Please fell free to comment on whatever subject you want...
We greet all our fans overseas! Follow the sounds of "Genocide", find power in it and hate everyone who destroys your dreams!
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