Dead Infection - Interview
From Eastern Poland's city of Bialystok, hails Dead Infection. For nearly two decades, Cyjan and the rest of the band have successfully developed from a little-known local band into a world-famous grind-metal machine. Band's drummer and one of the original founders of Dead Infection, Cyjan, lets us in on DI's life within the band, their plans, their past, present and their future. On our end - we messed up this time - this interview was supposed to have been posted a long time ago - apologies to the Band, and to our readers. Questions - by MetalBite staff. Translation - by Monika of MetalBite.
First of all, thanks for taking the time to do this. Now, on your MySpace profile you have put a new song on. I know that you are currently working at the practice room. How many new songs do you guys have ready? And how are the things coming on the new album?
The song on our MySpace profile, “Alpinists” comes from a recording session for what is supposed to be a project combined with Mortician from the U.S. – it’s supposed to be a split LP/CD. We have recorded a total of eight songs. The material has been finished back in the fall of 2007, but the production has been stretching out – at this moment, the final date is set for March of 2008. If the Americans can’t pull through, we have agreed that our material will come out as a completely separate MCD. Besides, we also have 11 new songs ready to be recorded, prepared with the thought of the split 7” EP’s with Regurgitate and Haemorrhage. When we finally put those up in the studio, we’ll then start working on the whole album.
Do you feel especially sentimental towards any of your specific albums more than the other ones?
Not especially. I cannot specify one over the other. It’s all my music, so I have respect toward each album. I would rather say that each and every album reminds me of the times that it was made in.
Over the last couple of years, there have been many changes in the line-up of the band. Do you feel that the changes helped the band, or is it the other way around?
I don’t even know what it would mean, the other way around. It would make sense for every band to develop and evolve. In the end, the personnel changes in the band were caused by personal issues, not musical issues. I am very content with the atmosphere that we currently have at Dead Infection, it’s been a while since we’ve been as stabilized. So, the machine keeps on working...
How would you rate the current label that you’re working with? How do you compare it with the other labels from before?
All of the labels did a lot for us, Morbid Rec. as well as Obliteration rec. It’s tough to say. Well, maybe, the bonus part is that with the most current label, we’re reaching the regions beyond Europe -which is a good thing.
Looking back at the stuff you’ve done in the past – do you think that all the steps you took were kick-ass, or would you change anything, given a chance?
Knowing what I know now, maybe I would’ve changed a couple of things, I would’ve steered some things in different directions, so to say. I probably missed out on some great opportunities here and there. I don’t know. Altogether, most of the things went the way I wanted them to, and I’m pretty happy with the overall trajectory of the venture.
Pierscien and Hal both have their own bands, practices, concerts, plus on top of that – all of you have jobs, private lives, etc. How do you manage your time?
I gotta say that out of all projects of my bandmates, it seems that Dead Infection probably takes up most of their time. What is most important though is that all of us love what we’re doing to the max. I think that the guys will agree with me that music is our lives’ priority. And if you look at it this way, the rest will fall into the right places as well, private lives, work and all that. Unfortunately, we all have to work, because the band is not yet at the stage of being mainstream, he he… Luckily, we haven’t had to make any choices so far. The shit hits the fan when I meet some of my old friends that tell me “they’ve outgrown the music.” Assholes.
During a live show, when you play drums, how would you describe [if possible] the place your mind is? Have you ever asked yourself then: what am I doing sitting here?
When playing drums, I’m completely concentrated on playing, and playing only. I cannot remember a situation, where while playing, I would be somewhere else mentally. I’m here, behind my drums, playing…. And that’s all that counts during a concert. I tune out completely.
I know that you can play other instruments other than the drums. But drumming is your lifetime choice. Why?
I’ve been fascinated with percussion since the grammar school. I remember that every month we had the philharmonic orchestra come out to our school. And every time they did, I had always placed myself somewhere close to the drum set. I was even allowed to sit behind them a couple of times. I knew where I belonged. I bought myself a set of sticks, and went crazy drumming on the pillows at home. In the meantime, I also purchased a guitar; also an interesting instrument, although I don’t spend nearly as much time on it as I do on the drums. Also, while in the army, I had learned the basics of piano, and for a period of time I had a keyboard at home.
Everyone has some outside influences. When did you realize the music you create has its own merit, not a mere copy of a copy of someone else?
We have many musical inspirations, but we try not to copy anyone. I think that after so many years of playing, we succeeded in creating our own specific style. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but we hear that from our fans as well. And that’s very nice.
Are there or have there been any movies, bands or people that have inspired you – or continue to do so?
Movies get me to think about lyrics for the most part. The best genres for that would be horror movies and black comedies. That may not sound too original, but I think they suit our image the best. Besides, Dead Infection has never been a band that would want to change the world or send any special messages through our lyrics. We have fun with our music. And the bands that have inspired us and continue to do so are mainly from the late 80’s, which would make them the grandparents of death and grind metal.
Do you think productivity in slaughterhouses would improve if Dead Infection songs would be served there as the main background music?
… Depends for whom… For the butcher or for the cattle?...
Metallic Butcher ‘zine Guardian, Front Terror, Hideous Chaos, D.O.C. How do you remember old time Bialystokland?
Still remember everything! Kick-ass times! Too bad it’s all gone now. Most of the people’s tastes have changed, their lifestyles changed, and they’re not into music anymore. Maybe they got too old for that? But, luckily, there are a few bands here, and the show goes on. We’re trying to set an example.
Do you still get together with your friends from back in the days, that you can reminiscence about the “glory days” in the Bialystok metal scene? What are the ex-members of Dead Infection up to nowadays?
Well, with the guys from the old times it varies. For the most part, it’s how I mentioned earlier. When it comes to the guys we played with, we hardly keep in touch, if at all. Some of them left the country to try their luck elsewhere.
How is the metal scene in Bialystok now?
Like I said, we have a few bands here. Too bad though that the grindcore genre is not as powerful as it used to be, and it fell into the shadows behind death and black metal music. Some names that deserve an honorary mention are INCARNATED, ABUSED MAJESTY, HERMH, EFFECT MURDER, and there are a couple more…
Where the heck did you get the idea for your “The Greatest Shits” album, especially songs such as “Psalms About Computers”, “Psalms About Storage Battery” and so forth?
At our practices, we have often played covers of our favorite bands. When we came up with quite a number of them, we developed an idea that we could make it into a tribute to our favorites. And “Psalms” just came up by an accident, when our friend stopped by one day, and started singing like a priest during a sermon. We gave him some newspaper pages, and he kind of hummed them into the microphone. He he!!!
I know that other than grind metal, you have a lot of interest in the field of movie soundtracks; who knows, maybe even more interest than in grind metal? Any worthy of mentioning titles that may have gone through your gut-and-gore-covered hands of yours?
Both kinds of music are pretty much at the same level for me. When it comes to soundtracks, I recently favored such titles as “We own the night” by W. Kilar, “The grudge” by Ch. Young, “Hostage” by A. Desplatt and “King Kong” by J.N. Howard.
I have heard about your movie making fascinations. Could you reveal more on that? How has it all started; is there a connection to your interests in cinema music and the movies?
Not taking types and styles into consideration, all together I think that movies and music are the most important in creative arts. And, because I’m infatuated with cinema, I have tried to direct and record something on my own back in the day. I gathered a group of friends and we made some blood-comedy short movies. All the work with recording, setting everything up, sound work… all of it is a lot of fun!
Are you planning on going back to the camera, to movies, etc.?
I would like to go back to that, but at this moment, my time frame doesn’t allow it. But the will to do that is still there...
So far, you have traveled quite a bit, saw a nice chunk of the world already. What would you say was the most interesting up to date? What other countries still remain on the “would-like-to-visit” list of Dead Infection?
We always try to visit the areas that we have concerts in, try to go sightseeing, but sometimes it’s virtually impossible. For instance, when we’re on the bus, and we have to hurry up to make it to the next destination, next venue, next concert. And then, the next day, we have to get up early again, because we have a lot of driving to do to get to the next gig – we have had situations like that already. Although, we try to plan out our time so that we can have some time for rest, some time off. We still have quite a few countries to visit… exactly 27 :)
You have toured the American continent for the very first time in 2007. Can you recollect any good impressions?
Actually, all memories we have from that tour are good ones. Cool gigs, a lot of people that we’ve known already, also some from Poland and from Bialystok. It was a time well spent. And, most importantly, we finally have our own image of what America is. He, he!
During our chats previously, you have mentioned some crazy times in South America – care to share?
Yes. We’re getting a tour of South America ready right now. Originally, it was supposed to be in the spring of 2008, but due to technical problems, we had to postpone it until fall of 2008. Plans are to visit the following: Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. So, another awesome tour that we’re very much looking forward to.
During all your voyages, was there ever a moment, a place, where you wanted to stay for longer, maybe permanently?
Permanently – rather not. But there are places where one would like to stay at for a while longer. All that remains is the hope, that there will be a chance to go back to those places again.
Spineless (Cyjan’s side project – Ed) was only a chapter of accidents. Am I wrong here?
Good description. The only material for Spineless was done in 2000. That was right after Dead Infection fell apart. That project was the proof that I cannot function for long without music.
Dead Infection’s 20th Anniversary is approaching. Do you have any special plans for that occasion already?
Just in January we had our 18th anniversary, in 2 years it will be 2 decades already. Of course we’re planning a huge party in Bialystok for that occasion. Can’t tell you the details, but there will be a lot of awesome guests!
Do you think that residents of Bialystok, or maybe even residents of Poland altogether, can hope for another gig by Cyjan Prod.?
Definitely. On Feb. 23, we already had a second concert under the wings of Cyjan Prod., and I already have plans for “treats” from out of our country to come here.
Last words for metal-maniacs?...
Thanks for the interview. It was cool and all. Best wishes to all.
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