Hey, this is a Beaver Times one-time exclusive email interview with Wojt3k Kucharczyk of Molr Drammaz from Fall 2002. Catch the group in concert in March 2003. Check out the homepage for info and updates.
TBT: What musicians have had the biggest influence on you?
WK: in childhood - abba and song from one spanish movie. in youth - first things like soft cell, ultravox, depeche mode, later talking heads/david byrne, yello and prince, later brazilian tropicalia things (tom ze! gal costa!), archive ethno things - pygmies, other african things, salomon islands aborigines, bengali, bollywood music, later autechre and lfo, aphex twin, mouse on mars, thru interest in electronics i came to plunderphonica and other styles possible because of development of technology. lately i like things like kid606, blechtum from blechdom, felix kubin, wobbly, matmos, dat politics, max tundra, all pungs with laptops or even smaller gadgets making heavy impact on major show business and finding new ideas. in general i like music which is rude, non-polished, filled with energy, complicity mixed with simple things, rather loud, for heart, stomach, mind and legs at once. dont like too academic, tied music, only intellectual or only danceable. i like harmony/balance in everything. also should sounds in special way. i need to feel that they know what to do with instrument, even if it is piece of paper or gameboy console. and dont like too much of ideology in music, smart ideas yes - ideology not!
TBT: How is music similar to graphic design?
WK: in electronics you can use the same tools. in construction in many points you must project/design both. you can design impressions/effects in both. but i know, and also many people told me, that because i am well trained graphic designer, my music is different than other people/not designers can do. it makes sometimes difficulties in understanding some points by listeners or reviewers, but for me it is natural. simple for me is that i can see sounds, or play visions. hard to explain, you must believe. all i do is to make the one, not separate branches in general thing that we can call art. for me, personally is competely not important what i do, i use the same elements, but effect you can take but various senses. some are easier to get with eyes, some by ears, or sometimes both etc. also, for me a record isn't finished until it has a cover designed for it.
TBT: How do you think music is different now in Poland than it was ten or twenty years ago?
WK: ten - mostly rock things, usually copies of american styles, what really sucks. to play american music you need to be american. there were some cool exceptions, but not many. two or three, really. and some stars of eighties or earlier started to think strictly commercially what made some productions completely kitsch or even impossible to hear, because they were so fake!
twenty - was better than 10 years ago, because musicians were fighting with communists and totalitarianism, so the texts were very often kind of wise and rich of meanings, some were real poetry, music was also more honest and energetic, rather nobody besides musicians on communist-tv-pop-shows were doing strictly commercial things, because it was not possible to make real money. rock music was in big boom, many many styles came, punk rock started to be popular, some early electro things, post-new-wave. of course at this time there were many copies of western styles, but they usually, through the lyrics, had a strong connection with the polish situation that sad time.
now the independent scene is really growing, but with a weak economy, even worse than ten years ago, because people are less naive now, know some economic rules and have less hope for real better future, makes polish market veryvery strange. for example there are more and more productions released on cdr than on "normal" cds, and what does make it to the "normal/official" cds is really really bad. such curiosities or atrocities which we have now on tv or polish mtv or in radio are impossible to hear at all to normal ears wanting something smart, interesting or just pleasant. a song which you cant sing! the polish underground is barely functioning, we are doing what we can to do. we have better knowledge, quite easy access to new records from the world, and the new generation is coming- used to this strange situation, wanting to survive with some kind of pleasure derived from all the obstacles.
TBT: Do you think it's easier to make music now than it was during communism?
WK: it depends. technology has made it so you can produce a better sounding record in your bedroom now than you could in the fanciest studio just a few years ago. but now there are more of people making music, and nobody wants to really pay for concerts and the market is really usa(more)/uk(less) oriented. but really now/present time - i think economical situation can produce some situations reamining about crisis in the 80s, people maybe wanted to be closer to each other, so it can be good for creativity and some protest thru music. it will be less sugar-pop, more bitter-pop or fighting-pop, besides the usual experimental scene making the usual "outsider" work. also polish hip hop scene is really strong. this is the strongest movement here at the moment, because connected with poverty, block-hauses and no future. lot of it here. aha, and with curse-words, polishmen like it very much.
TBT: Describe contemporary Poland.
WK: beautifull geographically, but abandoned by the wars and most by communist-pseudo-economy, what came with polish version of capitalism and with foreign concerns is rather bad, usually. but people are friendly, even if there are too many gigamarkets around. roads are extremely bad, communication weak, education and culture has no money almost at all for development. being honest - in present moment i feel very bad about my country and society in general. luckily there are some creative people still. but, another sad situation - once again more and more poeple right after finishing studies are going abroad, emigrating, because here the horizons for most young people are far away.
TBT: Do you consider your music to be very Polish? What things about your music can you (or perhaps someone from Poland) point to and say, "ah, that's Polish!".
WK: i dont know, but i think not. or if, i hope that are only good elements. polish can be this: that we do it all ourselves with almost no budget, we are amateur-professionals. but we put all the energy we have into it, because we want to go to the world. and this is polish. poland is only the point to start, not a place to stay in the wide sense. i am living here, but my mind is "abroad".
TBT: What things do you expect to find in the United States? What do you think will be surprising?
WK: i think everything will be surprising, because usually if i go to a country, which i know only from tales or from tv, books or from school, all the stereotypes are shattered. and i like this emotion so much. to see something real, touch it, take my private truth about this place, so it means the world in general. it gives me so much positive energy. what i expect - i dont want to expect. the ideal situation is to go there with my mind a blank slate, completely empty. but i know that it will make a big impression on me, i hope good.