The interview for Nocturnal Horde with Mariusz Duda.
Riverside comes from Poland. They released their debut full length album "Out Of Myself" back in 2003 and they're now ready with their second effort "Second Life Syndrome". The band delivers progressive rock infused with a cool 70's feel, delivered by the keyboard. Many solos and powerful metal moments are incorporated in the music as well, and they also paint a huge landscape with wonderful atmospherically parts. Here's an interview with the vacalist and bassist Mariusz Duda, so we can get more knowledge about this interesting and impressive band.
Hello. To begin with, as this is our first interview with Nocturnal Horde, could you present the band to us?
Of course! Mariusz Duda – vocal, bass, Piotr Grudzinski – guitar, Piotr Kozieradzki – drums, Michał Lapaj – keyboards.
On "Out Of Myself" you started a concept in which a person tries to find inner peace, to know more about himself, but is at the same time also losing control in life. As he locks himself in his mind, by doing so he finds his "self" and also more peace. Now with "Second Life Syndrome" how far has the story evolved?
"Reality Dream Trilogy" is a story in three parts about a lonely man in quest for his own "self". Something like pages from a diary. On "Out Of Myself" he tried to build a relationship with a different person but, because of his attitude, everything that was between them fell apart. However, he somehow managed to find inner peace. In the second part, he decides to change into a strong man, and erases from his mind, all that up till now has prevented him from normal functioning. But he still feels lonely. He still asks questions. I think that he'll find the answers to most of them in the third part of the story.
Once again you have composed impressive good songs. I feel that on this album you have a more "metal" and powerful approach in certain tracks than on "Out Of Myself". Was it planned like that or did it just come out that way?
That's exactly how we planned it. "Second Life Syndrome" was to be darker and heavier than the debut. We can't record two albums which sound the same. Each part of our trilogy will have different sound, a different overtone. The second part of the trilogy required a more "austere" approach, more blackness, bitterness, more aggression in music. We gave up the idea of clear sound, we gave up catchy melodies. Instead, there are more overdriven guitars, more "natural" keyboards like Hammond or piano, more vocal aggression, and I also gave up playing the acoustic guitar. We had an idea for this album right from the start. We really wanted to prove that Riverside is not just a one-album band. But we'll definitely adopt a more relaxed approach towards the third part of the trilogy.
As I read in an interview, you have planned to release a third part to the story. Do you already know in which musical direction you want to bring your music?
The third album will be definitely different from the debut and different from "Second Life Syndrome", but it will be in the same Riverside style. I can only tell you that the acoustic guitar will be back in grace and the album will be a bit more melodious. We'll do everything to maintain a good level of the whole trilogy. We want to show the full picture of Riverside's music and style on it.
Have you already written lyrics to the end of the story?
Not yet. But I've already got the whole idea for the lyrics in my mind. Now I only have to put it into words.
Do you have any planned date of when it will be released?
Where did you record the new album and how long did it take to compose it all?
We wrote the first composition for this album, 'Volte-Face', in November or December 2003 – if we assume that it was the beginning of the writing and recording process, then it took us almost two years to complete the album. But of course we weren't only working on the new material throughout those two years; in 2004 we went on two tours and played several single gigs; in 2005 we released a mini album "Voices In My Head" and went on another European tour. It was all pretty time consuming, but it didn't stand in the way of composing our new songs. We were just waiting for a moment when everything calmed down to enter the studio. The moment came towards the end of June 2005. That's when we took everything we had composed until then and locked ourselves up in the Warsaw studio "Serakos" for three months. The album was ready in September 2005, so, yes, it took almost two years.
You will play a Festival on Saturday (19.11-2005) in Germany. Have you also planned any tour dates to support your new album and when?
We're planning a European tour "Second LIVE Syndrome" for April/May 2006.
How was it to be out on your first European tour back in April?
That was our rite of passage. We hadn't had the slightest idea about what the audience reactions might be or whether anyone would even turn up at our concerts. I have to admit that we were really surprised with the interest and with the fact that despite the lack of promotion we had fans who came from distant parts of Europe to see us. We met fantastic people, we played in great venues, we established contacts which made it possible for us to perform at last autumn's festivals. I think it's also thanks to that tour, that we now are on the InsideOut label.
What was your best and worst moment while on tour?
The best – all shows in Netherlands. The worst – a club in Ghent in Belgium. The worst club we have ever played in.
You have also released a really good EP "Voices In My Head". Can you give me the signification, if there is one, to the excellent song 'Dna ts.Rednum or F.Raf'?
Yes, there is a signification but it can be 'faR From undeRstanD' :-))) This EP was initially meant just for the members of our fan club, but there was such a big interest in it that we also released it officially, unfortunately, only in Poland. Perhaps one day we'll also release it in the world? "Voices In My Head" shows yet another face of Riverside. And it's a contrast to "Second Life Syndrome".
What inspires you when you write music?
Each of us has a different musical background. I think those differences crucially influence our style and the music we compose. Each of us listens to different stuff, from relaxation music to extreme metal. Also, the films we watch, the books we read – it all depends on the time, the place, the particular moment in our lives... and it is all reflected in our music. When we're composing, we're inspired by everything that's happening around us – these are our biggest influences.
Do you rehearse a lot together?
We usually have our rehearsals three times a week. Unless a tour or studio-time is coming up ahead – then we try to rehearse more.
You've just signed to InsideOut, how do you feel about that?
Signing up with InsideOut is an honour for us. It's also a chance for the band to gain more listeners, to become more popular. We're glad that the people from that label, listened to our previous records and thought that we could make a good album. It's very motivating. We know it's a great opportunity for us and we hope that it's just the beginning.
Do you have any side projects going on, or do you only concentrate on Riverside?
Right now, Riverside is our biggest priority, but no one says we won't be experimenting in some other music projects in the future.
How did you get in touch with Travis Smith who has done beautiful artwork for your albums?
Let me remind you that one of the conditions to release our debut in the world was a change of the artwork. Laser's Edge, the label which released our first album, suggested we should work with Travis, the man behind the covers of such artists as Opeth, Anathema and Devin Townsend. And because "Out Of Myself" is the first part of our trilogy, we wanted Travis to work with us on the whole cycle. He agreed and thus we have Travis Smith's cover again.
Did he listen to your music to get inspiration for his drawings?
Travis is an extraordinary artist. It sufficed to describe the story to him. But our music certainly contributed in some way to some of his drawings.
Which band would you like to go out on tour with?
Faith No More.
Could Riverside be interested to compose music for a film?
Oh yes! I'm waiting for such a proposal!
Have you planned to release a DVD sooner or later?
Later. After the third part of "Reality Dream Trilogy".
What's the last album you bought?
Kate Bush "Aerial" and Murcof "Remembranza".
Have you seen any good films recently?
Yes – a very good Dutch film "Voksne Mennesker". (The movie is actually Danish, but who gives such small things any notice, except me, Anders).
Can you give me your favourite Scandinavian bands?
Maybe something new - Pain of Salvation and Paatos.
And your five favourites album of all time, which are they?
The list of my favourite albums constantly changes for me :)… But, ok. Let's say that today I have:
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Rush - Permanent Waves
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon
Dead Can Dance - Within The Realm Of Dying Sun
Hedningarna - Tra
I think I'm done with my questions. Thanks a lot for doing this interview and good luck!