This interview took a lot of time to make (from both sides :)). Mainly because of the vacation time, but also there were problems of personal nature which are not worthy to mention at this moment. The most important thing is that we finally managed to complete this short talk and that you are given the opportunity to take a look on what Mariusz Duda (vocals, bass) thinks about Riverside and music in general.
How was your concert in June as a support band for Anathema? I imagine it must've been a very important moment for Riverside, since most of you enjoy Anathema...
We love different kinds of music, but it's true that each one has his own favorite band. Some time ago we talked abort this and it turned out that Mitloff (drums) is a dedicated fan of Marillion, Michał (keys) enjoys Deep Purple and I fell for Porcupine Tree :) Anathema however, is most important for Grudzień (guitars). This concert simply made his dreams come true. It's really great, since he had his dream realized, maybe the rest of us will :)) And the concert? We couldn't dream of a better finish for our June and July live performances. We are really thankful for the invitation.
Talking about your live performances - what are your impressions after the first headlining tour ever?
It was a successful tour. There were many people every night. We showed ourselves from the best side. I must state, that this was just the first part. In October we are planning to hit the road for the second part of the tour, and maybe then I will be able to fully answer this question.
On your Internet site (great design btw.!!!) I read that before joining Riverside you promised yourself never to play progressive rock again. What made you change your mind?
I guess it was the different approach to the music. We left our inspirations behind, the ones that are important almost for everyone who plays prog rock (they usually don't change with time). We simply agreed to play with melody and rhythm in the way that will satisfy EACH of us.
Could you tell something about the recording process of "Out Of Myself"? Were there any problems? How long did it take to record the album?
Well, I must admit that I hate this question. It reminds me the delays in rehearsals, the recording and all that stuff... We could easily complete it in three months but there was always something that made us record the tracks at night. It took a year to record the debut. It was definitely not compressed in time... But the most important thing is that it turned out well. The CD is out, we are recognized and now we can work on new material.
What about signing a deal with record company? What was the main destination market - Poland or the rest of the world?
If we were to think only about our country, we would write the lyrics In Polish. Thankfully, on 21st September Laser's Edge will release our record worldwide :) A little bit late, since its 9 months after "Out Of Myself" hit the shops in Poland, but after all, we don't mind it. In Poland we had no problems with releasing the CD - we did it ourselves.
And the fan's attitude to the album?
Up to now it's great. We hope that it won't change on 21st September.
You recently made a guest appearance on the debut album from fellow prog rockers Indukti. It turned out a little bit similar to Riverside's music. Are you planning to sing there as a real member or was it just a one-time thing? Are there any side projects of yours?
I'm still working on my style of singing and when there is an opportunity and I am available, I prefer to take a chance. Especially when there are professionals involved. This year I did guest vocals on the 3rd effort from Amarok and on a debut album from Indukti which will be released soon. On the second one, I was given a freedom to do the vocals in whatever way I wanted, so maybe that's why it reminds you of Riverside :) However, I must mention that those where solitary cases of my studio work besides Riverside. I am not playing in any other band. There is no such need. Maybe after the release of our 3rd album I'll think about a solo record, but those are only plans.
Your voice is one of the most important elements of Riverside. I'll even say that you have one of the most interesting vocals in Polish progressive music. Have you ever taken any lessons? How long hale you been singing?
Taking into consideration the variety of Polish progressive music I'm nit quite sure if I should regard this "most interesting vocal" as a complement. But seriously speaking, thank you for kind words :) I started singing about 10 years ago, but I managed to do it in a proper way in Riverside. I haven't taken any vocal lessons, but I'm thinking about it, mainly because it will allow me to stay in good condition during long tours.
Another thing that surprised me is the fact that you not only sing, but play bass as well. Riverside's music is not so easy to perform and you still manage to play bass and sometimes acoustic guitar. Does it take a lot of effort to combine those things?
To make it more funny, I must mention that in my previous band I used to play keyboards :) I remember that since our bass player left, there was a moment when I had to sing, on one keyboard play synthetic bass with the drums, and on the other ones perform solos with the guitar. It was hilarious. Since then nothing in my life looked the same :))) For me the most important thing is composing and doing the arrangements. It's not so important whether I play the bass, only sing or play something on guitar. The most important thing is to make good songs. I haven't had any problems with combining those functions :))) Among all of these instruments my favorite ones are the bass and acoustic guitar. The latter is the one I use to write songs on. In Riverside I play bass since I love the rhythm and Mitloff doesn't allow me to use his drums. And the singing? It's just there and it doesn't matter what I do at the same moment.
Life. The real one and this created by others.
Have you already started composing songs for the new album? Any changes in the musical direction? Differences compared with the debut?
On the lyrical side it appears to be a continuation of "Out Of Myself". Music will be more "off the wall" :) We are planning to enter the studio in January 2005, but I don't know how long it will take :)
2 concerts with German band Sylvan - 11th and 12th of September in Warsaw and Poznan, second leg of our Progressive Tour and the recording of a second, better record :)
Could you encourage people from abroad to listen to Riverside's music?
Sure. Folks, is it possible that Travis Smith did such a cover for a band that sucks? :)
Thanks for your time and all the best for you!!!
Thanks. Many greetings to Fobiazine readers!!! Stay tuned!!!