stroszek Interview with Queens of Steel Webzine
Published: November 8, 2011
-Hello, thanks for taking your time. First of all I would like you to tell us some history of STROSZEK if you don't mind.
Hello Tania, thank you very much.I started this off having in mind to follow the path of musicians like Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury. The first album is released by God Is Myth Rec. (which had inlcluded the song "The Night Porter" in the comp. "Absence Of Light") and is titled "Songs of Remorse". Later, the song "Land des Schweigens und Dunkelheit" is included in the 2-CD comp. "Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer (Pest.prod / Prophecy Prod.). Then, in 2009, the band participates in the "Lovecraft Series" of God Is Myth Rec.: a 3 "(limited to 100 copies) entitled" The Wild Hunt " is released, inspired by the novel "The Hound" of the writer from Providence. Unlike the previous (and the following) stuff, this one features 4 tracks recorded with just guitar and vocals, and a few piano notes. In the same year, the second album (the last for God Is Myth Rec.) "Life Failures Made Music ", which finally defines STROSZEK's style.
3rd album "Sound Graveyard Bound" will be released later this year...
- What were (or still are) your goals wen you created this project?
I guess I just wanted to write some stuff according to my age…
- And why the name of "Stroszek"? Is there any link between the band's name and its sound?
It comes straight from the Werner Herzog movie of the same name. Really worth watching if you haven’t yet. I won’t spoil anything but you can easily understand why I chose this name if you give it a try…
- For all those who haven't had the chance of listening to STROSZEK yet, how could you describe your music?
I usually say “country folk”. Maybe it’s not country and not even folk, but that’s what I feel…
- STROSZEK seems to be influenced by American Folk; how did you get interested for that kind of music? You are also playing in FROSTMOON ECLIPSE, so I guess musical influences between both bands may be different...
I think American folk, or folk in general, is much more black than any black metal band of today. I am not talking of all these neo-folk bands of today, but the good old stuff, Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Rush… Frostmoon Eclipse have always had an acoustic side, our third album “Dead And Forever Gone” was totally acoustic, that’s where the whole Stroszek idea came to my mind…
- And what about the non-musical inspirations?
As the name itself would suggest, of course cinema… Not only Herzog but I’d also say Lars Von Trier, stuff like that... And literature also, there’s a lot of Cormac McCarthy stuff going on in my lyrics… or also Bukowski, I guess you know the kind.
- Now that I mentioned this, what does STROSZEK provides you FROSTMOON ECLIPSE can't and viceversa? How does one band compliment the other?
I think they couldn't exist one without the other. Some songs could even be “shared”, since is always me writing… but is like, you know, night and day… only that in this case we have night and night.
- In my eyes STROSZEK has a more introspective feeling to it; the overall sound, lyrics... What does this band mean to you? Is it a mirror of your life and emotions?
I guess it is. I think is stuff for the older people. You have to be gone through some issues in life to even start to dig this, I think… You know, something like “old music for old people”…
- And lyric-wise, are lyrics personal? Where do you draw inspiration from to create them?
Most of them are about something that really happened to me. Some are about other people… I just have to look back to my past life, and the lyric will be written by itself. Sometimes they are just what my mouth enjoys to say in that moment but the meaning is always there, just covered by a bit of moss.
- Your upcoming "Sound Graveyard Bound" will come out really soon, what can we expect from it? "Life Failures Made Music" was to me a really dark and sad album; will you follow this path with the new release?
Well I don’t think this new one will be much happier either… If you want to listen to three songs off of the new album you may check http://stroszek.bandcamp.com/ and you’ll make up your mind. I mean no offense but it’s always hard for me to describe my music, so when I am asked I go “Well, just listen…”
- It seems you have been shaping your own sound with each album released; could you say we will find on "Sound Graveyard Bound" the actual sound and essence of STROSZEK?
I guess so. But “Life Failures” is still very much Stroszek. These last two albums are very linked one another. We have a girl on a song, on this new one, the same girl who re-arranged the vocals on the digital release “A Break In The Day” (http://www.hypnoticdirgerecords.com/download019.php ). That’s may be the biggest difference. Oh, and there are more electric solos than ever before…
- Considering that "introspective feeling" I mentioned before; how was or how tends to be the songwriting for STROSZEK?
Like Frostmoon Eclipse, I write the most of the stuff alone. I try to have the 90-95% of the song ready when I show it to the others. Then of course everyone work his part out as every bands do.
- Your music seems to be guided by feelings and emotions overall so, what do you think are the emotions we can find on this album or this album will evoke to the listeners?
If everyone will pick up his own, it will be just fine with me. There are no happy feelings behind any of these songs, but then again, if here and there someone should find some light at the end of the tunnel, that’d be ok.
- Earlier this year you signed to Hypnotic Dirge Records; how's everything going with them so far? Can we expect more albums to come by STROSZEK with this label?
I hope so, but you should ask Nick directly! ...he’s a very cool guy which works really hard on his label, you could just check http://www.hypnoticdirgerecords.com/ . I personally like many of the bands he signed, especially Netra and Immundus. So yes, maybe you could try to convince him...
- I think what has always standed out off STROSZEK is your playing style, being really diverse. I would like you to tell us a bit when and why did you pick guitar for first time, if you took any lessons, etc.
Well, I didn’t had a real guitar until I was 13, but it all started when, at 16, I broke a leg and while in bed I could do nothing but playing guitar. It was when I wrote the first songs for the Frostmoon Eclipse demo “Cold Silvery Eye” that was released in 1996... so this makes me an old man. But no, I never took any lesson. I just tried to play along the first two Black Sabbath albums. Finally in 2005 I was given a 1967 Fender Mustang from a retiring uncle, which feels like an extension of my own body, as silly as this may sound. Seems like this guitar have a soul of its own, so I just have to forget about the rest and she’ll do all the job.
- You have recorded a cover for Mike Johnson's "If the World Hadn't gone Insane". Would you mind to elaborate a bit? Why that concrete song, etc.
Mike Johnson is mostly known for his work with Dinosaur Jr. and with Mark Lanegan, but few are aware of his five solo albums which are absolutely great. That’s exactly the kind of music I would like to play, if I had the skills. Moreover, he’s a very cool guy... I met him in person last year and just asked him if I could cover that song and he was like “OK”. So, instead of the album version, I did it the way he plays in his solo acoustic shows, which I felt more “near” to me.
- And are there any other tunes you would like to cover?
I could give you a full tracklist for a cover album: let’s just say Tom Waits’ “Yesterday Is Here” and Towned Van Zandt “Tecumseh Valley”... It is always a copyright issue when it comes to cover a song, so I guess I can only cover songs of people I know personally...
- Finally, what does future hold for STROSZEK? Where do you want to get with your upcoming album?
I want to get where I could release another. I mean, no one buys anything today, and labels just close down. No labels mean no bands. I don’t know if in the future someone would be so kind to let me release something else. So this may just be the last one...
- That was everything from my side, thanks once more and our best wishes. Now the famous last words are yours.
I just hope that people will give us a chance... you could see what’s happening on the usual pages, http://www.reverbnation.com/stroszek or http://www.facebook.com/ stroszekofficial
...and thank you again for this space.
...and thank you again for this space.
Posted by Nick Skog. Posted In : Interviews