Welcome To The Morbid World- Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek Speaks Out.
Poland has had some decent bands back in the 80's and early 90's such as Wolfs Spider, Turbo, Acid Drinkers and now Vader. Vader hail from Olsztyn (Poland) which were formed back in 83 by Piotr Wiwczarek, who based the bands name on the Star Wars actor 'Darth Vader'. The band recorded 2 demos back in 90 with their 'Morbid Reich' demo selling over 10,000 copies is a really good start for any band. It wasn't long before the band signed to UK label Earache and their debut album 'The Ultimate Incantation' was released back in 92 receiving some awesome reviews world-wide and it was only 1 album with Earache and the band parted ways, so to release 'Sothis' in 94 the EP did well for the band and it wasn't long before another label showed interest in the band. The band soon signed to Hammer Heart Records for 3 albums but Metal Blade started to show interest in the band with the label releasing 'Revelations' in 2002, with 1 more album for Metal Blade. In 2009 the band released their next album through Nuclear Blast, this been 'Necropolis' and now the band return with their finest album to date 'Welcome To The Morbid Reich' in 2011. I had the pleasure of speaking to Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek as this is my 1st interview with Poland's best metal act about the new album and just how successful the band have become since the beginning of their career. Here is what Peter had to say. In the meantime check out this new awesome album, Death Metal at it's finest.
OK Peter tell me how successful the band have become since you 1st started out?
"Well I am now a professional musician things have become pretty chaotic but I am not complaining but I never expected this style of life with all the sacrifices I have done. Most band members within a band cant stand playing live and recording so such a long time, but with me it's something I love to do, record and tour. We have worked really hard since we 1st started and we have like most bands had line-up changes but having line-up changes happen for a reason and sometimes it's for the best. We have tour so many times around Europe and in the U.S. our sales are doing really well."
So how do you see the Polish scene change since you 1st started out?
"Yes the scene has become a lot bigger over the years and there are m ore bands from Poland what are more known now than there was 10-20yrs ago. We now have bands like Decapitated and we were one of the 1st who broke through and we are trying to open our eyes for the western world as we are a band from the east . We have a lot of fans here in Poland, as they are brutal fans who support our band. Poland still has a lot of problems and it makes this kind of angry in our society so we scream loud about that."
When you look back at all the albums you have recorded with Vader, which one if any stands out for you and why? Also do you have any albums you have recorded with the band that you wish were better sounding or just not of recorded at all?
"Oh don't ask me about that, each one of them is part of my life and it is really hard to choose, it's like which child is your favourite one? Each album in our careers has been in important so I think it would be best to ask our fans which is their favourite album and not me."
Do you have any contact with any of your previous label Earache and are you still friends with them?
"No we are not friends with Earache, I sold one of the merchandise at one of the festivals this summer. We tried to order some of our debut albums which we recorded for Earache Records in 92 and when we try to ask for any they say they don't have any. (Ed: I understand that the album is or has been hard to find at some point, is this true?) Yes it is, I was looking for the 1st album on vinyl for a month and I found it on the Polish version of Ebay but somebody over bid me so a dedicated friend just bought it and gave it to me as a gift recently."
As a band who are your influences?
"Well I think we should start with Black Sabbath, that is the band who inspired me and if it wasn't for Sabbath there would not be no Vader that's for sure. They influenced me with more of the aggressive sounds but the real beginning for me was Judas Priest and I have never seen them live, but I will soon as we are playing the Metal Hammer festival with Priest headlining the show. So I must see the show and try to meet them I cant wait, I am such a dedicated fan of the band (Ed: just like me Peter) and I have never seen them live with Halford, only when we supported them in Ripper on vocals. (Ed: What's your favourite Priest album?) Well I would have to say 'Unleashed In The East' and 'British Steel', 'Screaming For Vengeance' and 'Painkiller'. We also like bands like Saxon, The Scorpions. (Ed: have you ever thought of doing a Saxon or The Scorpions songs in the Vader style?) Well we actually did covers of these bands when we 1st started Vader, we actually did a cover of Judas Priest 'Rapid Fire' several years ago. With the last album 'Necropolis' we did 2 cover tunes, one was Metallica and the other Venom. We did these as they played a big part in extreme metal with Vader. We also did Extreme Noise Terror and Exploited. All the Thrash Metal bands came later with Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, etc..."
A lot of people compare you to Morbid Angel, do you agree? Also does it frustrate you? Also why is it that Morbid Angel don't get great productions and you always get great productions, I wonder what's going wrong with them? Maybe they should use the same producers and studios as you do.
"No not at all, why? Probably not today. You see Morbid Angel and Slayer all have the same influences as we do and I read some old interviews with Kerry from Slayer and Try from Morbid Angel usually some of the same names appear like Priest, Sabbath. I cant really answer the question about productions, sorry I guess people like to compare so what can we do haha!! Morbid Angel are a very powerful and popular band and I don't understand why they can't get a good production when they come from the U.S. and I think they are trying to do an album which is different from the others."
So out of the previous albums which is the biggest selling album?
"Please don't ask me that, we have a manager who handles that. He has been with us since 89 so he handles all that shit. I'm just the musician."
In the past you have gone through a lot of different label changes such as Earache, Regain, Metal Blade, Hammer Heart and you're now with Nuclear Blast, why do you keep moving around?
"Well it's life really, we expected more when we 1st started out and I think we were looking for something more than we wanted. Vader was never a band what would be big to high support, all we want is a record company who is family for us. A label who would look after us and not just use us. When I was visiting Nuclear Blast office I saw the people who were metal heads who love the music and are not just business guys. We just feel that Nuclear Blast is our home we are part of the family."
Besides Nuclear Blast who else did you approach for the last 2 albums?
"Well so far so good with the label at the moment and I really can't complain."
Before we talk about the new album, do you still miss Doc a lot?
"Well I was missing Doc many years ago just after he quit and I think that was the only time I was really stressed with loosing him. Letting him go was a hard decision for me at that time to say goodbye because I was trying to bring him back from his problems just in vain and the band started to get down. I wasn't sure how the future would be for the band and I was sure we would continue but how? The whole success of the band was through him and I was afraid of the future without him. Daray replaced Doc and he thought in different ways to Doc and after a few years I do feel better and I don't miss Doc any more as life must go on. I love the time we spent together but I cannot just sit and think of the past, it's now and the future that counts."
So let's talk about the new album 'Welcome To The Morbid Reich'. Why the title and did you have any other titles for the album?
"Well it has nothing to do with the old demo was did it's just the title and 'Morbid Reich' was kind of a world that I created by my imagination and I was younger and pretty much into the supernatural world and all the evil things. I wanted to try to escape into a world inside my head were I can scream loud and to escape from reality. I called the demo tape 'Morbid Reich' and years later it was totally different I became a professional musician when Vader started to grow up around the world. I still see the same problems within the world of today and I think now it is time to get back to the sanctuary and to start to scream louder. Yes I did have other titles for the album, but I don't remember them right now. When I am on tour I am sitting on the bus thinking of ideas or words and I always out them in my phone or computer if something comes up of interest. I did have 'The Return To The Morbid Reich' and this is the title of the 1st song on the album but in the last hour I changed it to 'Welcome To...'"
So Peter who did the artwork for the album and who else has he worked with? Are you happy with the artwork?
"Well in the past we have used dark images for the album covers, Zbigniew M. Bielak got some idea's from me when we were in the studio recording the album, and so we would call each other with ideas so we knew what sort of artwork we would have as the finished results. We later on met in his house and put the final ideas together but I wanted to keep the ideas slightly different from that of 'Necropolis' which was pretty much computer work. This time it has been done by hand in old style and originally it was suppose to of been black & white but I wanted to add colour to make it look even more evil looking. Yes I am happy with the artwork for sure, it was an idea taken from H.P Lovecraft something like Alien civilization or on the other side it is a combination of evilness of nazi Germany from the 30's and 40's."
So where was the album recorded? How long did it take to recorded?
"Well we spent about a month between March and June and we don't work in line in a row so we have 1 week on and a 2 week break so all in all it took about a month to record, mix etc... We are happy with the way it turned out, it was the 1st time we recorded it at Hertz Studios and it was produced from the beginning to the end and last time we were recording with them as engineers but this time around I just trusted them so much that we let them do it by themselves and it has turned out great! It was done by brothers Wojciech Wiesławski & Sławomir Wiesławski with Rafał Konopka as sound engineer."
From the new album which songs stand out for you and why?
"Well it is the same story as as your favourite album, it is really hard to say. I really like 3 song which were created by Spider, because they are not created by me and his songs sound like Vader but they have a touch of somebody else these song are called 'Come And See My Sacrifice', 'I Had A Dream...' & 'I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul'."
What sort of press reviews has the new album been getting so far, I love it!! It is a very heavy album but has lots of twists and turns.
"So far so good, I think the reaction is way better than I ever expected for Vader. I am already afraid of the future because it is usually goes really good and then all of a sudden something in my life goes bad so I need to keep the balance. The reactions so far have been great, and I am awaiting the reaction from the fans when the album is released. I am very proud of this record and I need motivation especially from the media."
Are you planning on doing a promo video for this album? If so for which song?
"Yes we will do a promo video, it will be for the song 'Come And See My Sacrifice' as Nuclear Blast put that on the net for the fans to hear but I need to think about the upcoming video clip and I am sure I will choose a different song which will be 'Only Hell Knows'. Just because it is a very aggressive song which is not too long and I have a pretty good idea in my head for what the video will be, but I won't talk about that right now."
So who writes the lyrics and music within the band?
"The music is divided between Spider and myself. Spider wrote 3 songs, I did the rest. The lyrics are done by me and some friends but this time I had so much too say I did almost all the lyrics. The lyrics within the band are like fairy tales with deeper backgrounds and the same with the new album which are close to fiction. For instance 'I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul' which sounds like a story about the incubus or a demon or vampire but the inspiration for that is about a young boy who is molested by priests in churches, and it's about people with power who use it to younger people."
Moving on, the band have recorded at least 1 live DVD, do you feel with the release of this album it could be time to record the next one?
"Well several years ago we had a few of them but maybe there might be an opportunity to record a show as a whole maybe next year when we tour in Poland but not this year for sure. We have a new line-up now since the last one so it could happen."
Are you doing any festivals or tour this year in 2011?
"Yes we are doing some shows, we have several festivals until the end of August and we will play places like Israel, Japan which will happen is September which will be a long tour."
How do the Japanese fans take to your music?
"Well if there is a land for musicians it would be Japan, they have the up most respect for the artists and I love Japan. They love our music."
Well Peter, thanks for your time, do you have anything to say before we finish? Bets of luck with the CD sales and and touring, I hope we meet again soon.
"Yes thanks to our fans for their support, come check us out live if you can. We hope to devastate your country.
Thanx to Nuclear Blast for their support.