This lot came as a blank to me but after having checked out OPEN ACCESS I knew that I had to find out more about the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Jakub: We always try to not focus on only one style of metal genre. Definitely our music oscillates around power metal with some influences from the folk music, but we also want to get inspirations from genres such as old thrash or symphonic metal. We really like to be eclectic. Recently I thought about my “ideal” song and it will be probably something with old school thrash metal riffs and drums pounding, folky melodies, power/neoclassical solos and marriage between harsh and clean vocals. I think this is a recipe for the fresh sound, if we can call it like that.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
Jakub: First of all we changed our line-up a little bit. We have a new drummer and vocalist. Our previous drummer was more into a progressive rock/metal music (Rush, Dream Theater, Opeth) and our current drummer is more into old school thrash metal, so because of that our music is more “punch in your face” now. The biggest difference is definitely our singer, because her voice fits really great to our music. Our previous vocalist had a softer and higher voice and she was more into Delain kind of stuff. But we want to focus on different path of music, so that is why she had to quit the band. The second factor is a place, where we made our record. We recorded our EP album in Impressive-Art Studio and LP in B&B Records. The whole process of recording was driven by Jakub Muzyk from Muzyk Studio & Management. He recorded, mixed and mastered the whole album. After all, we are really satisfied with the results. Third thing was, that we really focused on the arrangements. In the previous work we even changed or created some licks in the studio (it wasn’t good for us), but now we had all things really well prepared before we entered the studio. I believe those three factors was a key for the better sound.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Malwina: The lyrics for the songs written by me are based mostly on my observation of the world, raising issues about the negative impact on nature due to the man’s reign, about people who want to rule the world ignoring the welfare of others. Some of the lyrics are made from my imagination or own experiences. We guess that every song should have some message to spread, but the interpretation and identification with some of the stories belongs above all to the listeners. That is not really a concept album so the subject matter of the songs is various. My opinion is that the greatest inspiration for writing comes from my own perception of life, its diversity and sometimes from disagreements on the evil in today’s world.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
Jakub: Which bands do you have in mind? Almost everybody (when they hear power/folk metal) say: Elvenking in our case it depends! We have three music composers in our band: Tomek (solo guitarist), Piotrek (rhytm guitarist) and me (bass guitar). Of course we bring only a basic form of the songs – melodies, riffs, preliminary verses and choruses, drum beats and so on. After all the whole band listen to the midi file and make arrangement for it’s own instrument. But everyone has a different type of inspirations. For example Tomek really like those old school/traditional bands from NWOBHM like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest (and also some power metal/melodic death metal like Rhapsody of Fire, Sonata Arctica or Children of Bodom). On the other hand Piotrek like bands from Metallica and Slayer, through Sabaton and Nightwish, till Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir. My biggest inspirations are definitely bands like Ensiferum, Manegarm, Equilibrium or Amon Amarth. Besides of that I’m really into modern old school thrash metal scene – love bands such as Havok, Crisix or Lazarus A.D. Rest of the band – like I said before, our drummer is also into the thrash metal scene, vocalist is a really fun of bands such as Epica, Within Temptation or Nightwish and our violin player like everything, what is good
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Malwina: We would like the artwork to suits to the character of our music, especially to the main topics of the album. This artwork is a combination of the nature which has a quite big representation in our lyrics and of some anxiety and energy flowing from the music. We guess that the name of the album “Toward the Wilderness” perfectly reflects the message of this artwork.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Jakub: Definitely agree with you! I’m an old school metalhead and really like a physical copy of the album. In my opinion everthing should be connected – title with art work, art work with song titles, song titles with music. We are not a pagan/viking band (like mostly folk metal bands), but we also don’t sing about dragons (like mostly power metal bands). I believe we have a good balance between both things and hopefully our album will show it.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Malwina: Some of the song titles were made before the lyrics, at composition phase, so I was trying to fit in with my lyrics and vocal lines to the main topics of the music. The rest titles came when the unknown music got its own stories written by me.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Jakub: Also agree. But in the other hand metalheads are a very specific group of people and they really like to have a physical copies of the albums – not only a digital version. Hopefully even the young generation of metalheads will have this attitude. We had a 300 copies of our debut EP album and we sold out everything on the concerts. Maybe not many people will go to the music store and buy the album, but when they will go to the gig, like the music, then is a chance that they will support the band and buy the cd. I suppose that metalheads are really conservative in this case and like to collect the cds
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Malwina: We really enjoy playing live, undoubtedly. There is nothing better to share our music with the people, have a direct contact with them and also share the happiness and energy flowing from live performing. We have many concert’s plan fot the nearest future and still searching for some new possibilities to play in front of the public.
What lies in the future?
Malwina: First and foremost, we will focus on promoting our new album, making everything that is possible to reach a wider audience and convinced them to our music, for example, at the concerts or spreading new songs from the album. Moreover, we will still trying to develop ourselves and making some new stuff to be released in the future.