Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?
Piotr: Defying was formed in 2008 by Tomasz Semeniuk and Rafał Warniełło. Since the end of 2016, after , we act as a trio: Tomasz, Paweł, and me. Currently we are looking for a replacement on second guitar.
Can you tell us about your main influences?
Piotr: It is hard to pick the or even a few main influences. At the beginning of the band these were undoubtedly Opeth, Katatonia, and Riverside. Along with the next recordings we became influenced by other metal genres. In our music there is also a place for doom metal, post, or sludge. We enjoy to draw inspiration from various metal genres and not stick to one.
How would you define your sound?
Piotr: Just as I said before, we enjoy to draw inspiration from various genres and these are not only metal but also rock music. That is why it is hard to clearly define what we really play. You will find a lot of elements in our music, but these are doom and post metal that stand out the most. We’ll see what it is like in the future. The label someone will ascribe to us is not really that important.
What does the name Defying represent?
Piotr: It’s opposing set patterns and rigid forms. If you decide to perform one particular genre, you’ll lock yourself in a cage and after some time each subsequent recordings will be similar. We focus on diversity. I really like bands that seek diversity, that record different albums under the same name. We can see then that the musicians are seeking new sounds, new inspiration sources, that they want to develop. Even though sometimes the result of such seeking is an awful album, it is still better than the copy/ paste pattern on every album.
Your latest album ‘’The Splinter of Light We Misread’’ was released back in May, 2016. Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to discuss?
Piotr: ’’The Splinter of Light We Misread’’ is an EP and that’s how it should be perceived. It’s an experiment, a kind of ‘sexcapade’, by means of which we wanted to check out some solutions we never introduced before. We introduced new instruments, changed production, and wanted to see the result. When it comes to lyrics, I had no concept on my mind before, but as it turned out later, it formed itself in the process of writing. First, we had the Joy Division cover. In the meantime, I read the band’s biography written by Peter Hook. I thought I could touch upon the typical human relationships and try to capture some of this “dirt” ( things weren’t working out between Ian and his wife). These were the topics I didn’t touch upon before and they opposed the topics from our first album (ancient astronauts, the rise of the human race). I was inspired by the work of Polish post-war poets, especially Rafal Wojaczek and Andrzej Bursa’s poems. The poems, especially Wojaczek’s, are suffused with the disturbed, to put it mildly, relationships. On the one hand, the ‘I love you’ phrase frequently occurs there, but on the other hand the aura of dirt and physiology hovers above it.
In this album you’ve worked with many artists like Rafał Wawszkiewicz from Merkabah. How did these collaborations come to be?
Piotr: There was a transformer which rumbled unbearably next to our old rehearsal room. We had an idea to record it, modify it with the use of different effects, and make a drone out of it. And to make it even more psychic, we added the saxophone to it. None of us play the instrument and so I immediately thought of Rafał Wawszkiewicz form Merkabah. I enjoy the way he combines the saxophone and metal music. I wrote to him and he immediately agreed to cooperate. He recorded our parts, which we cut a little and slightly modified. Some parts we recorded, we later put backwards on the album.
You also did a cover on Joy Division’s New Dawn Fades. Why did you choose this song? Is this your favorite Joy Division song?
Piotr: While preparing to the concerts promoting the first album, we agreed that it would be a good idea to have a cover that would end each show. Our compliments to the classics that inspire us. The main assumptions were that it must be something from the past and from outside of the metal music itself. The choice was the “New Dawn Fades”. It is hard to say whether it is our favourite Joy Division song because there are a few of them. Certainly this number had a huge musical space we wanted to use. We were so pleased with our version, we decided to record it at the earliest opportunity. And here it is.
What inspires you the most?
Piotr: I’m mostly inspired by the sound and musical freedom. It’s not so much about playing an instrument but making the sound. Apart from playing a particular instrument, you can still knock at the sticks or bang on the iron. As I mentioned before, there is the clipped transformer combined with the saxophone in the “Till Shadow Is White”. It is freedom that is the most inspiring. What else can you refer to when you want to write down what’s in your head. It is discovering new solutions and surprising oneself.
What was your favorite album of 2016?
Piotr: In 2016 lots of fantastic albums were released; adding the ones I haven’t heard yet. So I can’t say my opinion to be 100% reliable but my choice is our Polish band Furia and their album “Księżyc Milczy Luty”.
Any live shows planned for this year?
Piotr: At this point it’s hard to say how many shows we’re going to have this year. Currently we are looking for a new guitarist and we don’t know how long it will take.
What does the future hold for Defying?
Piotr: Though there are three of us now, we’re still playing. We focus on the new material which we’re gradually preparing. We’ve got an idea for a second album and we’ll gradually work it out during the rehearsals. Thank you for the interview. Greetings from Poland.
Hi there! Congratulations on your new album! First of all, i would like you to introduce us to Art of Simplicity. When was the band formed?
Hello, and thanks for the support! Me and Nikos, our drummer, formed the band in 2003, while our demo “asymmetric” was released in 2005. It created a buzz that led us to our then record deal, to release our debut “Caught in this Iless Storm” in 2007. After quite some time spent on regrouping we finaly released “When Fables have a Bitter Taste” this October. The current line up consists of Chris Kounelis on vocals, me on violin, Dim Koskinas on guitars, George Pagidas on the bass guitar and Nikos Miras on the drums.
What does the name Art of Simplicity represent?
We picked that name for several reasons, but mostly we thought that it better described the way we write music. It describes a balance between a cerebral approach against a more emotional one.
‘’When Fables Have A Bitter Taste’’ is your new album. How did the recording sessions go and how has the reception been so far?
We worked with Yiannis Fasoulakis at Uprising Studios, and he did an amazing job, we are very happy with the results. He really made his best, it was like he was part of the group. Since it’s release, “fables” has only got favored reviews from greek and international press. This is very encouraging, but what really makes us proud is the fan reaction we have so far gathered, which is really great and we hope that it continues that way.
I realize this is a concept album. What is it about?
It is a comparison of the world we dream about against the one we are actually living in. In pretty much all of the songs we examine a story of an individual, trying to compare what he or she was dreaming about and what finally happened, and what significance the fairytales we heard, believed in or dreamed about, have in a more mature age.
How would you define your sound?
This is a tough question. When we first formed art of simplicity we labeled ourselves “progressive metal”, because we thought that at the time that gave us a flexibility to merge our different influences, and play something not very common. To be honest I am not very comfortable with the way most people understand the term anymore. I think that our way of thinking is closer to art rock, but on the other side we are definitely not a rock band.
Can you tell us about your main influences?
Not really… Our music background was never an issue so as to be a part of aos, we never cared what anyone was listening on his home, we cared on what he or she had to offer to the group. I can only speak about my influences, and that includes Pink Floyd, Pain of Salvation, Fields of the Nephilim, Isis, Psychotic Waltz, In the Woods… and other stuff like that. Of course since I play the violin, and my father was a contemporary composer, I have also been influenced by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Debussy, Stockhausen and more.
What inspires you the most?
It really depends on the situation. Sometimes it’s just poor experimentation, others it’s the reality the way I understand it.
Do you have any live shows planned for this year?
Yes, we have a show planned for 3/2, along with Immensity, Celene and AlphaState in Athens at MODU, and another one on the 12 of the same month in Patras, again with Celene, and we are really excited about both of them. Other stuff will be announced soon.
What does the future hold for Art of Simplicity?
As I said, more shows to be announced, we hope to appear on some festivals abroad, and generally promote our new material. We have however started working on new one, hopefully to be released next February.
And finally is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you very much for the support, both you and your readers, we hope to see you all at MODU!
Yes, it’s this time of the year. Time to choose my twenty favourite albums of 2016. It wasn’t that easy and that’s because this year we were lucky enough to listen to some tremendous music. This was also a fucked up year. Please excuse my language but it was. So many great artists passed away. Back in december we were shocked with the terrible news of Lemmy’s death. I still can’t believe he’s dead. His music though will live forever. And then David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen died as well. Recently it was Micky Fitz of the Business who passed away. This was a sad year for sure. But life goes on. Anyways, here’s a list i made with my most favourite albums of this year. Count with me from 20 to 1.
20. Ayahuasca – Yin
19. Unyielding Love – The Sweat of Augury
18. Worm Ouroboros – What Graceless Dawn
17. Vermin Womb – Decline
16. Minerva Superduty – Gorod Zero
15. Art of Burning Water – Between Life and Nowhere
14. Cough – Still They Pray
13. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
12. Sarabante – Poisonous Legacy
11. Kvelertak – Nattesferd
10. Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows
9. Ancst – Moloch
8. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
7. Nonsun – Black Snow Desert
6. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
5. Oathbreaker – Rheia
4. Phantom Winter – Sundown Pleasures
3. Cult of Luna + Julie Christmas – Mariner
2. Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
1. Morrow – Covenant of Teeth
Art of Simplicity is a five piece band from Athens, Greece. On the 23rd of October, the band released their new album ”When fables have a bitter taste”. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Uprising Studios by Giannis Fasoulakis. Artwork was made by Giorgos Chras.
Six tracks are included in this album. This is actually a concept album and it is about childhood traumas and unfullfilled expectations. And i must admit, listening to this album trully feels like someone is telling you a story. In my opinion the band’s music is heavy, a bit experimental and in a way quite smooth. Apart from that, this album sometimes sounds a bit dark and esoteric. These six tracks sound definitely inspired and they’ re also good written songs. A thing that made an impression on me is definitely the band’s vocals. Christos Kounelis has some serious vocal skills. As for a favourite track, that would had to be ”Τέλος” (in greek it means end), namely the album’s sixth track.
Trying to sum it up i would have to say that i enjoyed this album. Thus i would like to recommend it. This is our suggestion for today. Here’s a link where you can also listen to ”When fables have a bitter taste”.
Many great bands have come out of Poland. You’ll probably know Vader, Behemoth and Mgła but have you checked the following bands? Let’s take a look:
Drip of Lies
- Genre: crust, hardcore
- Genre: dark hardcore, neocrust
- Genre: avant-garde, progressive, psychedelic
- Genre: progressive metal, post metal
The Gentle Art of Cooking People
- Genre: psychedelic rock, post rock, noise rock
- Genre: post metal, sludge metal
- Genre: grindcore, crust, hardcore
- Genre: post metal, progressive metal
- Genre: sludge, crust, black metal
- Genre: black metal
Defying is a four piece progressive, post metal band from Olsztyn, Poland. ”The Splinter of Light We Misread” ep ,which was released on the 20th of May, is their latest release. Their music is a mixture of post, atmospheric as well as progressive metal. Personally, i’m not a newcomer to this band. Their debut album ”Nexus Artificial” had made quite an impression on me.
This year the band returns with a four track ep. ”The Splinter of Light We Misread” was recorded in Olsztyn Bat Studio. Mixing and mastering were made by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio. Defying’s music is dark and heavy. Nevertheless what’s really interesting here is that they’ re not afraid to experiment at all. I mean , i’m always down with songs like ”The Sunlight Recedes” but what i specifically liked was ”Till Shadow is White”. This song holds a certain degree of an unearthy charm. Claustrophobic and mesmerizing at the same time, this song has been haunting my headphones for some time now. ”Irreversible” is this song’s continuation. This is another nice song by Defying. In my opinion post metal blends idealy with progressive. The album’s fourth track is a cover on Joy Division’s classic ”New Dawn Fades”. I think that their approach to this song is quite satisfactory and they definitely have my respect for choosing to cover a Joy Division song.
Overall, trying to sum it up i would have to say that i enjoyed this album. I would also like to recommend this album. So this is our suggestion for today. Check out this link.
Starchitect is a four piece band from Kherson, Ukraine. Their music is a blend of progressive metal, sludge and some metalcore also. There is no doubt though that progressive metal is predominant in their music. ”Results”, which is the band’s new album, was released on January 30. The band sent us a message requesting a review therefore i decided to give it a listen. Eleven tracks are included in this album. Let’s initiate review process and wait a bit for the results. Apart from being heavy their music is also what you would call as technical. The thing is, these guys here have some serious skills who seem to love what they’ re doing and they definitely know their craft. In my opinion, ”Results” is an intriguing album. The more one listens to it the more things he discovers like some really nice riffs and great vocals as well. Yes, i liked their vocals a lot. I must be really honest though. I have a few objections that i want to bring to the table. First of all you have hardcore vocals combined with technical, progressive metal. Something doesn’t really fit here for me. I know what you might think. Starchitect is not a mathcore band. At least the impression i got is that they do not wish to be related to mathcore. ”Results” contains some songs where you really want to dig in, like ”Mila” for example. You can surely find here songs with nice melodies. Personally i singled out ”Minaria”, ”Ltwo” and ”Wastewater”. Some songs though can become a bit monotonous insisting on a constant, complex, jazzy scenery. Nevertheless that’s not necessarily something bad or something to frown upon. There’s a song though where they kept it a little bit simpler producing a beast of a song called ”Interlocutor”. I think that most people are going to enjoy this song. Before i conclude this review, i would like to say i have what you might call ”mixed feelings” about this album. I mean , generally i enjoyed it but from time to time i found myself in a position where i simply wanted to check out the next song. Keep in mind though that this is just one man’s opinion. So our outcome is this: Results may vary. Have you already listened to this album? Would you like to share some thoughts about it? If so please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section.