Tell us about your musical background
As a young boy I did not show any particular musical talents – I didn’t have an ear for music, nor feeling of rhythm. I listened to popular music, for example dance, and my favourite bands were Technotronic and Snap. Everything drastically changed when I happen to hear the ACDC track “Thunderstruck” on the radio. It was like a slap round the face, which completely altered my musical awareness. After that blow I soon became a fan of heavy sounds. My first favourites were, of course, Metallica, and then Death, Bathory, Obituary, etc. In the meantime, I took part in a neighbourhood death metal band, and we played on old Russian acoustic guitars and domestic rubbish bins. To compensate for the lack of a snare drum we used a box filled with rattling pins. The first concert I ever played was with a band called Veni Vidi Copuli. Apart from playing ridiculous songs in the style of the Polish band Wały Jagiellońskie, we performed our own tracks as well.
The experience of playing had left me wanting more, which pushed me to develop my musical skills. I met people along the way who helped me a lot – Andrzej Andrysiak, a journalist, whose dream was to record a brilliant album. He introduced me to something called a metronome and as a bass player, I should become very friendly with this device. We rehearsed at his home and used a drum machine, which led us to record a demo at a professional studio. Other helpful people around me at that time were: Rafał “Kazan” Kazanowski and Grzegorz „Dżordż” Kurek (Vavamuffin, El Dupa to name a few), who by that time (the late 90s) were experienced musicians and inspired me greatly.
Around the year 2000 I coincidentally met a group of musicians that played shanties. I joined them for a laugh and with the intention of not staying long, but this collaboration has lasted 15 years. I have played hundreds of concerts with Mordewind, travelled all over, performed at festivals (Przystanek Woodstock – the Polish Woodstock). In a nutshell – everything a musician dreams of.
This time allowed me to discover other musical genres, mainly folk, which led me to work with Robert Jaworski (Żywiołak), who invited me to work with the band Roberto Delira and Kompany. I played the mandora or gallichon lute.
The spirit of rock in me never went away. At the same time I played with Gladius Noctis, which could be described as symphonic rock. Whilst rehearsing at studios in the Wola part of Warsaw, I met the very ambitious members of the band Riverside.
Musical experiments also came about, which the band Fonofobia is a product of. I played on many instruments in this duet: bass guitar, didgeridoo, various percussion instruments – simultaneously! At this time I was also involved with the band Stwory Wodne, Jaszczury – with which we played incredible concerts, and the interesting tastes of these guys led me to discover musical wonders such as The Residents and Legendary Pink Dots.
My early fascination with Deep Purple came to fruition with the long-standing collaboration with the band Made in Warsaw – we play a few concerts a year in that style of the 1970s.
And so it continues – a bit of folk, a bit of rock, a bit of everything. Music is beautiful and every note brings beautiful vibrations!
What are your musical inspirations?
I used to admire famous bassists. Krzysztof Ścierański was the first to make an impression on me. Later my friends Kazon and Dżordż introduced me to Primus. I was shocked – I didn’t realise anyone could play like that! After a while I stopped listening to particular players and concentrated more on the power created in the music. With all this, it is the emotions that truly inspire me.
Who are your favourite artists and records?
Despite not having had formal music lessons as a child, I did get a good education at home. There was always good music on in the background and years later I recognised these bands from my childhood: Pink Floyd, The Police, Vangelis, and many others.
I listened to my favourite bands in stages. There was the Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and general 60s and 70s rock fascination stage. Later I soaked up all the output of Pink Floyd, Camel, and similar progressive rock and psychedelia bands. I don’t listen to much electronic music, but Fever Ray’s first album is phenomenal.
Why did you pick your instrument?
The choice of bass guitar is somewhat accidental with a combination of laziness. I was supposed to be a guitarist, and I bought my first acoustic guitar from the epic “Centrala Handlu Przemysłu Muzycznego” (Music Industry Trading Centre) which was then on pl. Konstytucji (Constitution Square) in Warsaw. It was an uphill struggle – I could barely tune the thing; then there was the battle of playing chords. And then the two thinnest top strings snapped. That was when I understood my calling – 4 thick strings with no need for chordal playing. The first bass guitar I ever held was the one I bought. It was from the same shop, but at a different address in Warsaw on al. Ujazdowskich.
How do you spend your spare time?
Hiking up mountains and travelling! I love learning about different cultures, which is where my fascination with Asia stems from.
I am an absolute wanderer – I don’t need much convincing to go off the beaten track up a mountain with camping gear. I spend my free time in nature, open spaces, with fantastic views, and peace and quiet.
What is your favourite alcoholic beverage?
Mead! Hot or cold. After a long day hiking I wouldn’t say no to a cold beer though. My favourite spirit is Jim Beam Red Stag on ice.