This chat turned out to be quite drunken and maniacal. Mihu of the Polish black-thrashing horde WARFIST lives and breathes the Heavy Metal Underground. You shouldn’t be disappointed with this one. So grab some local beer and play your vinyl/tape collection from the back to the front.
666 Mihu! I know that you are a real Heavy Metal hunter so maybe before the WARFIST story will begin, you will be kind to share what albums caught your attention recently? By the way, this maniacal conversation is being sposored by Newcastle Brown Ale, Absinthe made in Germany, "Welcome to Hell", "Persecution Mania" and the City Council of Zielona Góra.
Hellz Dominik! First of all, congratulations on finding such awesome sponsors for this intie. I'm fuckin' flattered haha! Cool question for the beginning. There was quite a few things that caught my attention lately. Not all of them are brand new. Actually right now I'm listening to ATTIC "The Invocation" from 2012. I love this album! Nothing original, but now that MERCYFUL FATE doesn't record anything new it's really awesome to hear some new tunes in this vein. But maybe I'll just concentrate on the stuff from this year. Otherwise the answer to this question might fill the whole issue of your 'zine haha! So, I have to mention the new releases of CHAPEL, PRIMORDIAL, TANKARD, OVERKILL, THE GRAVIATORS, INCANTATION, WITCHMASTER, BÖLZER... and maybe few others I can't recall at the moment. As you can see it's quite a mix of metal subgenres, but as long as it kicks ass, I don't care if it's thrash, heavy, black or doom... or all mixed down together. I also made two little private discoveries this year. They are ZOM from Ireland and an international band SEPULCHRAL TEMPLE. Recently I had a little break from such raw type of blackened death metal, because I couldn't find anything worthy my attention there. But it all has changed because both of these bands!
You're right about ATTIC, a great album. I like them almost as much as Norwegian BLACK MAGIC and German METALHEAD when we talk about this (un)mercyful style. Here is another cool question for you. What was your way of Heavy Metal initiation? And don't worry that I will run out of space. I've got a EU subsidy as a part of the program of spreading the decadence.
Yeah, BLACK MAGIC is also a cool band. Have to check up on METALHEAD though. Haven't heard about them earlier, but I like their name already. About my beginings with metal... I have to disappoint you because it won't be too fascinating story. Well it all started thanks to my older sister. She discovered metal when I was 6 years old, and I had to listen to bands like SLAYER, KREATOR, KING DIAMOND or MANOWAR, whether I liked it or not haha! Fortunately I enjoyed it very much. But I guess I started to consciously listen to metal music at age of 11 or 12. It started from classic heavy metal, then came more extreme genres... In general there was always a lot of metal tunes in my home, so I was pretty up to date with what was going on in the metal scene back then. Anyway, I met metal over 20 years ago now, and it's still with me. And I am certain it will be with till death!
SLAYER, KREATOR, KING DIAMOND, METAL CHURCH at six? You were just a lucky kid and I don't feel disappointed. I would like to ask you about WARFIST but first of all I need to admit that I don't know your demos. "Pure Fucking Hell" was recorded in 2005 and contains 7 original tracks + a cover of your city-mates WITCHMASTER. What was the reception of this very first step in the UG?
Well the reception of "Pure Fucking Hell" was pretty mixed. You know it was our first stuff. We played in the line-up that had recorded it only for a few months... Also we decided, that it should be raw and uncompromising, so we have recorded the whole thing live in our rehearsal room. No overdubs or anything like that. Just pure fucking... reh hahaha! Back then underground seemed to get more and more "civilised", and the production from the rehearsal room did not fit everybody. That's why in some reviews we were totally smashed, they said that we could not hold our instruments properly bla, bla, bla. But hey, they wrote almost the same things about Venom after their first LP haha! Anyway, on the other hand a lot of maniacs apriciated this sonic chaos that we have created. They liked this raw and rough attitude. The good opinions were coming mostly from abroad and also from the die hard and old school metal maniacs from Poland. The rest was quite... disgusted. But that's good too. I also am aware, that these songs were quite primitive and sometimes even punky, but I still enjoy this stuff and we still do one or two tracks from this demo on concerts. Those are our beginnings and we are far from denying them.
It took only one year before you came up with another demo "Tunes of Hell and Alcohol". What was better, what was worse when you compare it to the demo number one?
First of all, we got better as instrumentalists as a band and as a whole. Second of all, the sound was far much better although we have recorded it with similar methods as we did the first demo. The only difference was that the vocals were recorded separately. Besides that, everything was recorded live again. Maybe we had a set of better microphones? I don't remember. Anyway, the whole recording session of "Tunes..." turned into a big party. Our friends came with beer and other booze, and you might say we gave them a little concert, haha! But hey, If you name your material "Tunes of HELL and ALCOHOL" you need to earn this name. Another difference was the reception of this stuff. It got a bit wider spread than "Pure..." and I guess landed at the addresses of right people, because more and more gig offers appeared, also some split offers etc. So those things were better. What was worse? Maybe the fact, that we had bigger hangovers than after recording the first demo.
Seems like a perfect way of recording a demo! What were those bands that you were sharing a stage with at this point? Have you also managed to cross the Polish border in the demo years?
Our first gig was in Zielona Góra and I remember it quite well, despite the sea of alcohol we drank on that night. We shared the stage with BESTIAL RAIDS and BLOODTHIRST, and it was a fuckin' crazy night! In the demo times we have also played a small festival in Poland with a shitload of Polish bands. I don't remember a lot of them. Most of them don't even exist today. There were also a few gigs in Poznań and of course in our hometown Zielona Góra, like for example with Italian VEXED and some band from Germany... DEAD REMAINS I guess. We have managed to play abroad only once in demo times, but man what a gig that was! It was shortly after the release of "Tunes of Hell and Alcohol". Patrick from Iron Bonehead Production invited us to Berlin, to play as a support act for the mighty PILEDRIVER. So you can imagine what an exciting offer for a young band like us that must have been! It was also on that gig that Patrick declared he wants to release us a 7" EP and it was "HellTyrant Rising". In general after the second demo we started playing quite more gigs outside of Zielona Góra. Those were pretty good times.
It could hardly be any better line-up for the first gig ever as BLOODTHIRST (you've joint them for a while) and especially BESTIAL RAIDS are among the most deadly forces within the Polish UG. I imagine that Patrick got convinced to WARFIST after hearing "Tunes of Hell and Alcohol" demo and offered you this gig spot. I remember reading that it took a while for this EP to be out hence a 2 years gap (2006-2008) in WARFIST's discography or there were other reasons?
Hell yeah! This gig was truly awesome. Maybe one day this line-up could share the stage again. About "HellTyrant Rising" and Patrick getting convinced to WARFIST... We caught his attention after our first demo already. But he said that he wants to wait and see what will be our second step. He said that history of metal knows a lot of examples of bands, that have recorded a good debut, and their stuff after that was just shitty. I guess that "Tunes..." weren't shitty in his opinion hahaha! And he also said that the crucial thing in convincing him was our live show with PILEDRIVER. Anyway, we had the material ready and recorded in mid 2007. We sent it to Patrick right away, but back then he had some financial problems as I recall, and a lot of other stuff to release. So we had to stand in line and wait. He managed to sort all his problems out in Spring 2008. That was when the 7" was released. It was worth waiting because the stuff got a very good feedback from the Underground in Poland and abroad. And also we had a piece of vinyl with our logo on it! What's not to like?
Am I right that "HellTyrant Rising" is the only WARFIST release pressed on vinyl until now? Are there any plans for more WARFIST music on the black (or other colour?) wax? How about your debut album? Is it important for you to possibly have your full-lengths available on as many formats as possible? By the way do you own more vinyls or tapes in your collection?
Yes, you're right. After "HellTyrant Rising" none of our materials were released on vinyl. You know, it would be cool if we had another thing released on wax, but then again, we don't feel such pressure to do it. When some offers will appear then we will gladly take them. But it's not like we're searching for them desperately, because we will be fuckin' posers if we won't have everything we released on vinyls in all shades of black. There are no plans for releasing "The Devil Lives in Grünberg" on vinyl at the moment but as I said - if someone would like to do that we will gladly start conversation with that person. And I think nowadays format is just a kind of fetish that some people have. In the end, it's the music that's on it that matters, isn't it? And for the last part of your question, I definitely have more tapes than vinyls. The reason is simple - I don't have a good gramophone and I don't see any sense in buying vinyls just to own them, and not to listen to them. While the situation with tapes is that they were always cheaper than CDs, and when I was still in high school, they were more in the sight of my pocket, hahaha! Also I got a lot of awesome shit on tapes coming from tape trading days. You could get some really delicious things through this method of finding new stuff!
I need to admit that "HellTyrant Rising" was my first contact with WARFIST. All of the 4 tracks included on this tiny piece of vinyl are so powerful and fist-raising Black Thrash attacks! Also the BEHEMOTH cover "Pure Evil and Hate" sounds as if it was one of your own tracks. At the beginning of this song we can hear (not so angels') scream. Was this EP recorded during another party? What have you done to your old nickname HellVomit? You don't use it anymore?
Yeah, we actually decided to cover this song of BEHEMOTH because it didn't sound like them in their own version. More like a missing track of BATHORY, of which we all are great fans! Glad that you think that we managed to do it in our own alcoholic way. And as I recall, there was a bit of a party during the recording of this material too. In general, in the old days, every occasion was good for having a party. And this was the recording of our first stuff, that would be released abroad and on vinyl. So what better reason to have a drink or eleven? After recording of all instrument tracks we decided to do an intro to "Pure Evil and Hate". I won't deny it was inspired a little bit by "Satanic Speed Metal" of mighty Destroyer 666 but it still sounds cool. Such barbaric roars always do sound good, haha! And I think I don't have a good answer to what happened to "HellVomit" nickname. Oh wait, or maybe I do. In the beginning of WARFIST all of us played in other bands like VOMIGOD or EBOLA. We didn't want anyone to call WARFIST as a side project of musicians of these bands, so we decided to get new nicknames. But it couldn't be a secret for a long time that we played in other bands too. Also WARFIST began to be something much more than just a side project anyway... So one day I woke up and said "goodbye HellVomit and welcome Mihu". I use this name in all other bands that I play or played in, so why not do it in WARFIST?
Since you've mentioned EBOLA can you say a few words about playing there? At first it was your main band but after a while you decided to quit. Also EBOLA was more in the Death Metal vein. Were you tired of this subgenre of Metal or simply lack of time?
EBOLA was my first serious band. I founded it together with Shyha, the band's bass player. I decided to leave the band about 3 years ago. The reason was lack of time that I could sacrifice for two bands that I write for almost the whole stuff. It was a choice between EBOLA and WARFIST actually. But since EBOLA managed to release two full-length albums at that point and WARFIST didn't release even one, I decided to do a little bit more with that band. It certainly was not because I was tired of death metal. I actually play in SUPREME LORD for some time now, which is also a death metal beast and I like it a lot. The difference between EBOLA and SUMPREME LORD is that in this second band it's Reyash who does all the writing and I can concentrate only on playing and headbanging, hahaha! Getting back to the EBOLA days these were really good times. First ever gigs, first underground contacts... Totally awesome. I'm still in good relations with the rest of EBOLA guys. We grab a beer or six from time to time. As far as I know, they are working on the songs for the third album. Hope it won't take long for them to record'n'release it.
As for Reyash, you have covered a WITCHMASTER (also Zielona Gora, also in this mag) track on your first demo. And actually I would give a six pack of non-alcoholic beer to anyone who would find any WARFIST release without a cover-tune. Oh wait... The debut album excluded! Do you see any WARFIST non-full-length with no tribute tune included?
Yeah, we did our version of WITCHMASTER's "Tormentor Infernal". After that a lot of people in the underground started calling us "Children of WITCHMASTER". Back then it was not only because of this cover song, but our songs were very much influenced by this band. With time it has changed a bit though. And it is true that before our debut full-length we had a cover song on each release. Sometimes even two, like on the split with EMPHERIS. We've been asked about the cover songs a lot of times - are they our tribute to those bands that we cover? Yes and no. We did cover songs of bands that were an inspiration for us and had a big influence on our musical taste, such as VENOM, BATHORY or SODOM. But we also covered songs that we just found cool, and wanted to play them, such as IMPALED NAZARENE, BEHEMOTH and DARKTHRONE. And why there was no cover song on the debut full-length? We didn't feel like including something like that. This album is kind of a resume of 10 years of our activity. We wanted to fit in there only our songs. It is not excluded that we will come back to doing some new cover songs because it's a really cool thing. Maybe on our second full-length, or maybe we'll do an EP with cover songs... Time will tell.
Here we come to the first of your split releases that appeared in 2008 shared with ACRAL NECROSIS and great Colombian maniacs WITCHTRAP. How this split came about?
Oh, this is quite a twisted story. I was in contact with dudes from ACRAL NECROSIS for a while and we were thinking for a longer time to do a split release together. One day they wrote us that Ground Zero Entertainment from USA is interested in doing a split of our two bands, plus a third band... I can't recall their fuckin' name. I only remember that they were from Canada and played death metal. Anyway, everything was going great, but the Canadians decided that they would rather sacrifice their material for a split on their full-length album and withdrawn from the project. Ground Zero wanted this release to be a 3-way split so they began to search for the third band. Luckily, guys from WITCHTRAP were willing to take a part in this project. I'm really glad that we could share a release with them.
Is there any specific criteria under which you decide whether a certain track will end up on a split release or rather a full-length?
Actually we never had such a dilemma. You know, we work like this - I do sketches of the songs at home and then bring them to the rehearsal where we all work on them. I usually just write stuff without thinking on what kind of release will they end up. With spilt releases it was like this that we received an offer and if we had some songs to spare we took and if not we didn't. Well, with the full-length it was slightly different because we knew that such a release had to be our another step. Now, as we work on stuff for the second album, it's the same... But I think I got slightly off topic, haha! To finally answer your question - no, we don't have any criteria for putting a song here or there. We just try to do songs as good as possible, and the format in which they will be released is a secondary matter.
How do you choose which tracks you would like to cover? Is it important for you that a certain song wasn't covered by a zillion of bands already and that it is old enough so people will not complain that the covered track isn't "cult" enough? I for once like your version of DARKTKRONE "Too Old, Too Cold" a lot but for some wankers it might be too modern track or maybe DARKTHRONE betrayed their Black Metal roots or another blah-blah...
To be honest, we don't give a shit about such opinions. Also we don't have any specific criteria of choosing a song of which we will do a cover version. Oh wait, there's one! We have to like it! Like I said in one of the pervious questions, it doesn't matter if the song is old or new, is the band is cult or not - if they recorded a song that we like and we feel like playing it we will play it. But I admit that we sometimes quit the idea of playing a song, which had a lot of its versions made by other bands. Although maybe the real reason was, that it wasn't that good... Because there are a lot of versions of "Welcome to Hell" and yet we have done our own. Because this song is fuckin' awesome! So the bottom line is: if we like the song we can consider doing our own version of it. It doesn't matter what genre, epoch or band it is. Our personal taste is the most important thing here.
Next one of your releases was "Live Necroism" split with a Warsaw's Thrash long-time warriors EMPHERIS that was glued to the mighty Total Death 'zine. Were you happy with only 100 copies? After all it was only a live split. In this place I would like to ask you about your own metalized editorial experiences and do you prefer to read zines or webzines while s(h)itting on a white throne?
First of all I have to tell you that the decision about releasing this live split was very spontaneous. This gig was recorded just to be a souvenir. But after the show we were drinking with guys from Empheris and someone came up with the idea to make an official release out of it. We thought: "why the hell not?". So as you can imagine after such circumstances of coming up with releasing this stuff the amount of the copies was not such an important matter. But I have to say that I consider this stuff as an important souvenir for us. I don't know if it had a good feedback - you'd have to ask Beret about that. By the way, I think it was the longest gig that Warfist played so far, hahaha! The people in Warsaw didn't want to let us off the stage, so we have played almost every song we had back then. And about my editorial experiences... I often do some interviews for Adek and his R'Lyeh 'zine. Or actually, I do them for myself and my radio show Metalizacja hahaha! But often Adek is interested in having them in his 'zine, so I gladly give them to him. Although as I write these words, Metalizacja is no longer on air... but it will be back in January 2015! I really missed this part of my underground activity, and decided to come back. Hope that it will not be as majority of comebacks on metal scene, hahaha!
"Satanic & Violent Metal Aggression" 3-way split was released in 2009. You shared a split with a good Death Metal EXHALATION and a rather mediocre MESMERIZED. What do you recall from this release and how did you get in touch with Robert / Psycho Records?
As far as I remember, I think our participation on this release was the idea of the EXHALATION guys. After we initially agreed they contacted us with Robert from Psycho and he also looked forward to this thought. This 3-way was a bit spontaneous thing. At that moment we wanted a full-length album to be our next step. We already had some new songs ready but didn't want to sacrifice them for a split. However, Robert said it doesn't have to be any brand new stuff. So we decided to records some stuff from "Pure Fucking Hell" anew. Not many people had a chance to hear it in its original issue, so we thought it would be a good idea. As a bonus, we have recorded VENOM's "Welcome to Hell". Besides we wanted to release something together with EXHALATION guys since we've been in touch for a while back then and we really enjoyed their music. As for MESMERIZED I haven't heard their stuff up until the release of this split. Robert wanted them to be a part of this release so we had no bigger power of making decisions in this matter. Anyway, everything came out quite cool. Thanks to this release a lot of people could finally get to know our music. Besides, splits are always a good thing because you can know some new music thanks to them and tighten the bonds between old metal friends.
I think Robert was happy with your part of this split offering you to continue your co-operation. What is your view on these 3 original compositions plus the VENOM cover? I don't think that at that point people were considering WARFIST as a mere VENOM or say WITCHMASTER copy?
Yeah! Actually when I had a chance to meet him in person shortly after the release of this split he said that he knew our music earlier and liked it a lot. But I assume that this part of your question is going in the direction of asking for stuff related with Psycho releasing our debut full-length, so I won't go too much ahead of this topic, haha! About the songs on the 3-way - as I said, they originally appeared on our first demo "Pure Fucking Hell". We haven't changed them too much in comparison to their original versions. I think I just added a solo at the end of "Satanic War Metal". Our main goal was to release them with better sound and we achieved it. And when it comes to VENOM cover, we have played it on our live shows for some time before releasing the split. So we thought why not record it now? It's an interesting topic you touched about people considering us as a VENOM or WITCHMASTER copy. I think the days when we were labelled as "children of Witchamster" was already gone back then but a lot of reviews stated that we sounded a lot like VENOM back then. This is kind of silly because ,as I said, those were the songs from the first demo and in the days when it was released nobody compared us to VENOM. But I think it was mostly because of the cover song. Maybe if we did our version of some... I don't know, KREATOR song, people would say we sound like them. Anyway, at the end of the day, I don't really care about such opinions. We never cared about originality of our music and if we are compared to some of our favourite bands, why should we complain?
Do you still keep any oldies that could be re-hashed on some of the future releases or that's you with the past WARFIST's tracks?
To be honest, we could release a lot of our old stuff again, just to give it a slightly better production. Actually there are 4 old songs recorded anew on our debut full-length. I also thought about refreshing "Speed Metal War" from our "United in Annihilation" split but I abandoned this idea... for now. Maybe in the future, we will record again songs from both of our demos? We were talking about such plans but there are no specific details yet to be revealed. It's still in a phase of an idea. The thing is we are totally not ashamed of our old stuff. It's part of this band's history and also a picture of a road that got us to the place we are in at the moment. So maybe in the future you will be able to hear some "2.0" versions of WARFIST's old songs. But currently, we are concentrating on brand new material for our second full-length.
The following year you’ve decided to share a split with EMPHERIS once again. If I remember right EMPHERIS replaced BLOODTHIRST for this release. What was the story behind "Beasts of Necrothrash"?
Originally those songs that appeared on "Beasts of Necrothrash" from our side were intended for a split release with BLOODTHIRST. Unfortunatelly they didn't like the sound of our material and decided to share this split with some other band. Later it appeared to be EXCIDIUM and good for them. When the guys from EMPHERIS found out about the whole situation they asked us to send over these tracks so they can give them a listen. They found nothing wrong in them and offered us to put them on a split release with them. We eagerly agreed because we finally wanted to do something with these songs. Anyway, we still had to wait a while for a label to release it. We were wainting for almost two years and the release saw the fires of hell. That's the whole story I think... or at least its part that I can recall.
I also am not finding anything that could be wrong with your sound on those 4 tracks. Do you think that the BLOODTHIRST guys are much into the NUCLEAR BLAST or CENTURY MEDIA bands, haha? I mean, how can you not like "Hellslut" or an awesome version of "Too Old, Too Cold"? You can tell me in secret if that was the main reason you've left those Poznanian goatshakers?
Some secret if a few hundred people (honestly wish you that amount man!) who will read you 'zine will know about it, hahaha! But seriously, the reason was the lack of time. I began a new job in the radio which was quite a time eater. Also, apart from WARFIST and BLOODTHIRST, I played in EBOLA back then. So I found it difficult to share my time between a band from outside of Zielona Góra. Plus, I felt that they were in a moment of their career where they needed more committed band member and I couldn't do that for them anymore. We went our own ways and all was in a friendly atmosphere. Besides, they told me that they saw it coming. As for their disapproval of the sound on our part of the split - I don't think that they were or are that kind of dudes. I've played with them in one band for two years and they were always deep into the underground. I think it's just that they have some kinds of standards of what an official release should sound like and the sound of our stuff did not fit those standards. Also they said that they have expected a similar production to the one that was on "HellTyrant Rising". You'd have to ask them for specific reasons or motives that were driving them back then. As for us, we heard their opinion and thought: "ok, you don't want it, we'll do something else with that stuff". Fortunatelly, it all ended as it ended. Cool to hear that you like these songs. We still play sometimes "HellSlut" live. And as for DARKTHRONE, we hadn't done it for a while but I'm still fond of our version of this song.
After this split release there is a substantial gap before you've managed to come up with a follow-up. Why did it take you 4 long years to unleash the debut album. I don't think that you needed some extra time to pen new songs as many tracks on the debut were re-recorded. What was the status of WARFIST during these years?
You're right. Preparing the stuff for the debut full-lenght was not the issue at that point. We had almost the whole material ready in 2011. But at that time Wrath, our bass player, had to leave to UK for about a year and a half, so our status was kind of "on-hold" using the Encyclopedia Metallum nomenclature, haha! Also in 2012 we've lost the drummer. Pavulon decided to take a break from playing music and we had to find somebody to fill in for him. That somebody was M. de Sade whose drums you can hear on "The Devil Lives in Grünberg". But as you can imagine, it had to take some time until he embraced all these tracks that appeared on album. He did a good job though - it took him less than 6 months to do that. However if you add all these factors together you will have your answer why it took us so much time to record the new stuff from the release of split with EMPHERIS. Also there were problems with the label that was supposed to release it initially. That is another reason, why the material that was ready in the Spring 2013 but saw the flames of hell in February 2014.
Is it correct that the (in)famous Mr de Sade joined the WARFIST forces only to record the debut album and maybe to play a couple of gigs as it seems that your original drummer Infernal Deflorator is back in the band again? Do you feel to have a stable line-up at the moment?
No, it's not correct. From the very beginning we wanted him to be a full-time member. Sadly his form was dropping from the recording of the album and there came a moment where we had to say goodbye to him. Everything went in a good atmosphere - he understood that he had to go, and we're in good relations from that day on. About Pavulon a.k.a. Infernal Deflorator, he wanted to take a break from playing music but through this time when we met at several ocassion, he was mentioning a lot about WARFIST about getting back etc. But we were playing with M. de Sade and he was doing his job well back then, so it couldn't happen. Besides, Pavulon joined black metal beast TARAN at that point. We didn't know if he could find time for WARFIST too. Eventually he's back behind the drum kit and I hope this line-up will last for a long time. Don't want to do any predictions because everyone knows how such things end hahaha!
Thus we approach WARFIST's first full-length "The Devil Lives in Grünberg". You decided to work with Robert (Psycho Rec) once again. Were there some other labels interested? Are you happy with the promotional side of things almost a year after the release date?
There were a few twists and turns on our way to Robert and Psycho Records. He was one of the first people we approached to ask for the release of our full-length but at that time he didn't have cash to do it. Thus we continued our search. We also spoke with Eryk from Old Temple and Tomasz Krajewski from Pagan Records. We have almost made a deal with the first one but the second one offered a better deal so we went there. Unfortunatelly, about two months after sending him the recorded material, he stopped answering his phone, e-mails etc. We got pissed and wrote him a text message, that if he will not give a sign of life within a week we consider this co-operation finished. As you can figure it out there was no answer from him so we started to search for another label and got back to Robert. This time he could allow himself to release our stuff and our search was over. Robert did a great job to promote this stuff in the underground. He sent tons of promo materials - physical and digital, all over the world. We have received quite a big amount of reviews and a few interviews... I even think that this stuff got better recognition abroad than in Poland but I might be wrong. Anyway, as for an underground label that Psycho is, Robert did a very good job releasing and promoting "The Devil Lives in Grünberg".
What strikes at first listen of "The Devil Lives in Grunberg" is the drums put high in the mix. Was it done on purpose in order to give the general sound an extra dose of power?
Actually, from the perspective of time the sound of drums is the thing on our debut full-length that I like the least. We were present by setting this sound with M. de Sade and he said that this is how he wants them to sound like. You can hear every part of the drum kit very clearly and it really does give a bit more power to the overall sound of the album... But on the next album I want the drums to sound more natural. At "The Devil..." they are too synthetic.
I also think that more organic drum sound would suit the WARFIST music better. Can you tell me what kind of devil inhabits Grünberg (Zielona Góra)? Why such a title of the album?
We will strive to achieve more organic sound on our second full-length - I can promise you that. Well, there are two reasons for this title. First one is historical. Zielona Góra was known for a witch burning in the middle ages and also in the later periods. Burning of the witches lasted there for the longest time in that part of Europe. The last pyre was burned in 1665, so as you can see it was a fucking long time when they were doing this in our city. By the way, the song "1665 - The Last Pyre" is about these events if you hadn't noticed. Of course, spiced up by metal imagination hahaha! Getting back to the witch burning traditions it kind of may prove the presence of the devil in these areas. Second reason is the metal scene in Zielona Góra. Bands like SUPREME LORD, WITCHMASTER, PROFANUM and few others prove that the devil still lives there and has a lot of fine disciples, haha! There were always a lot of metal bands here. Mostly good bands that were making the devil proud. A lot of maniacs in Poland appreciate our scene too. So I thought that those two things are good enough proofs for the presence of the devil in Zielona Góra. Does this explanation satisfies you?
Yeah, I actually quite like the answer. The devil and witches also appear in the "Black Mass Ritual" track. The lyrics on "The Devil Lives in Grünberg" are simple, to the point, maintaining the ancient Metal formula. Is it the way you're planning to keep the lyrical side of the band or maybe some more historical themes will appear in the future for instance?
I won't say a lot about the lyrics on "Black Mass Ritual" because they were written by Witchfucker - our original vocalist. But about the rest of them... Well, they might seem as typical metal lyrics at first and that was the point. But some of them have slightly deeper meaning. Well, three actually, hahaha! First of all "1665 - The Last Pyre", which has some elements of history of Zielona Góra. Second one is "The Silent Assassin", which actually is about Jack the Ripper. I am fascinated by this story for a long time now. It's because of this mystery - who he was, why was he killing only hookers and what evil had driven him to do that. The third one is "Vengeance from Hell". It's about a Lithuanian guy, Drasius Kedys. His few years old daughter was sexually abused by some people in high ranks - lawyers, city counclers or something... The police didn't bother to arrest them so Kedys decided to set justice himself and killed them. After that he was the one who had to escape and eventually police killed him. This is in how sick world we live in. Rest of the lyrics is quite typical - about drinking, fucking, headbanging and rebellion. But in general I want the WARFIST’s lyrics to go a bit more in the direction of pure human evil. You know what I mean? It's cool to write about Satan and metal all the time and I'm sure I won't quit that topic entirely. But there's so much evil going on inside of human psyche to write about. I don't have any lyrics ready for new songs yet but some ideas are already moshing in my head.
It's been almost a year since the WARFIST debut's release day. Are you still fully satisfied with "The Devil Lives in Grünberg", maybe apart from the drum sound that you have mentioned? Are you receiving a good response, both in Poland and abroad? Do you feel the sophomore album will beat your debut in terms of musical strength and the sound quality?
Yeah, I'm still satisfied with how this album came out. Although you can say it is a resume of what we did in these first ten years of our existence due to the fact that there are some older tracks there. In general though it's a good metal kick between the eyes. I wouldn't change much there... Well, except for the drums sound that you have mentioned and maybe I'd make the vocals more aggressive. But apart from that there's nothing bad that I can say about this album - production, and music-wise. About the second WARFIST full-length, we have almost all songs ready now and we are planning to record a demo within few weeks from as I'm writing these words. I must say that it will be a bit different stuff than it was on the debut. It will be more sophisticated, a little bit more in the spirit of the 80's, with slightly bigger classic heavy metal influences. But don't worry - we won't start playing any progressive shit or become the second HAMMERFALL! It still will be good old blackened thrash metal, but more... I don't want to use the word mature, and I can't come up with any other, so I'll just say - wait and see! You might be surprised! About terms of the sound, we haven't decided in which studio we will record yet. But we will still want it to be harsh and dirty plus at the same time well produced, with every instrument being hearable.
I think I know what you mean by adding some more classical Heavy Metal ingredients to the pot. I'm sure the WARFIST's music may benefit from that. As for the second full-length, are you looking forward to continue your co-operation with Robert / Psycho? Can we also expect an LP version on some label?
Well, I hope your opinion will be the same after hearing this stuff, hahaha! In my opinion we have made a step forward with these new songs, and I can't fuckin' wait to record and release them. Will it be Psycho that will do it? I don't know yet to be honest. We are considering few other options. In general the plan is like this - we record a demo and send it to some labels. We want to see what interest will be in this material. You know, we'd like to go to another level with this album. Musically, lyrically and also when it comes to distribution and promotion. So we will be searching for a label that could allow us to do that. Maybe it will be Psycho again, and maybe something else... I don't know yet. It's not that there was something wrong with co-operation with Robert. We are very fond of it. That is why we don't exclude increasing it but at the same time we have an open door at the moment. About the LP - would be cool to release it in such format and we will try to do something in that direction. But as I said, this stuff still needs to be recorded so doing any concrete plans for it doesn't make any bigger sense at the moment. We can only say "what if...".
So as I understand, you're fully focused on WARFIST's follow-up or we should expect some minor releases in the meantime? Are you going to be active live during next months?
No, we want to strike with another full-length. As we speak, there's only one song left to do and after that we plan to record a demo. We thought about releasing some EP or MCD first but... why? If we have enough material to put on a full-length why not doing that? I think that we already have enough minor releases in our discography, hahaha! We were postponing the release of our debut full-length because of them... But hey, nothing happens without a reason. And I can't say “never” to recording some minor releases in the future. It's just that right now we have the amount and quality of tracks that would fit perfectly in the second album. In our opinion it should sound like those songs do. About the gigs - we were too pre-occupied with working and improving the new material to take some serious actions concerning gigs. Although some people contacted us about playing live in a few places. Maybe we'll do some shows in the Spring but that's nothing certain yet. Although we really miss the gigs - it's the essence of WARFIST's activity. So if anybody wants to invite us - feel free to do that, hahaha!
Do you feel that with some good label's promotion and the band's busy live schedule WARFIST could reach the status of some other Polish Underground bands such as WITCHMASTER, BESTIAL RAIDS, AZARATH, INFERNAL WAR or CULTES DES GHOULES? Do you care about such things or drinking cheap vodka, shagging groupies and banging heads for Satan is what WARFIST is all about? What are some younger Polish bands we should take a notice of?
That's an interesting question. Well, I don't know if a good label's promotion will give us a status of these bands. And frankly we just want to play live as much as possible. All of us have normal jobs and it's not always easy to arrange a gig by ourselves. So if we would have a support from some label in this area that would be pretty cool. And reaching the status that you have mentioned about doesn't exclude cheap vodka, shagging groupies and banging heads for Satan... You just get more of all this stuff hahaha! About the young bands... Currently most of new groups tend to play... post black metal? Is that what you call it nowadays? Anyway, this music's roots are in black metal, but it tends to be more sophisticated and original, sometimes at the cost of its quality. But there still are some good old corpse ripping metal newbies here. Although I'd have to say that the band's names are new, but not necessarily the people that create them, hahaha! So I'd mention three names: RAGEHAMMER, OFFENCE and VOIDHANGER. These are some younger bands that create a good quality old school metal annihilation. I truly recommend them if you haven't heard them yet.
As we are running short of alcohol you can tell us about the nearest plans for WARFIST horde before taking a trip to your night shop. What's your last Metal discovery. I'm just listening to a cool Belgian SLAUGHTER MESSIAH demo. Thanks for your fully informative answers and keep on headbanging!
Well, as I said previously, our nearest plan is to record a demo of our second full-length. Actually, we are putting some finishing touches to this recording as we speak. It's going to be a damn strong material. I think I have never been that proud out of the stuff I have recorded... and it's only a demo now! Expect some old school blast from the past. Total metal to the bone - no fag tunes allowed! About my recent metal discoveries? Well I would have to say BLACKTRIP. It's a Swedish heavy metal band which was recently presented to me at a party in Szczecin and I was blown away! Also I could recommend a young Belgian band EVIL INVADERS who really know what speed metal is all about. And from more extreme sounds, a Polish band called PRĘGIERZ. They play raw and brutal mixture of death and black metal in total old school way. They have recently released their debut demo through Blood Harvest records. Totally recommended! Thank you for your time and support! Hope we will have a chance to speak again about WARFIST's second album! Until then stay metal... to the bone!!! Cheers!!!