wasteland

RIVERSIDE – “Wasteland”:
1. The Day After
2. Acid Rain
3. Vale Of Tears
4. Guardian Angel
5. Lament
6. The Struggle For Survival
7. River Down Below
8. Wasteland
9. The Night Before

Mariusz Duda: “I'd been thinking about exploring "post-apocalyptic" regions for a long time. I read books, watched films, played video games, all connected by stories about an attempt to survive in a world that had just ended. But writing such a story myself didn't make much sense until now. RIVERSIDE are starting a new chapter and after our recent experiences, a story like that has gained more meaning. "Wasteland" is mostly about what's happening in the world these days but it also makes a reference to the tragedy that befell the band in 2016. Musically, we've returned to darker sounds but we have also turned a new page and recorded the album in a different style. It's still RIVERSIDE but expressed in a much deeper and more mature way. Most artists say the same thing while promoting their new releases: that they have just created their best work to date. I won't say that because everything we have done so far has been consistently very good and unique. But I will say that we have never had such an incredible emotional load on any of our previous releases, and it's not likely that we will ever make such a charged album again. "Wasteland" is an epic, multidimensional, poetic and very deep album. Perhaps of the once in a lifetime kind.”

wasteland story

RIVERSIDE are back in the game. The band who have been around since 2001, who have so far released six long-players, a compilation, two mini-albums and two live albums, and who have played numerous tours across the world. That band is coming back this year with their seventh studio album called "Wasteland", recorded as a trio: Mariusz Duda – vocals, guitars and basses, Piotr Kozieradzki – drums, Michał Łapaj – keyboards and Hammond organ.

"I remember the moment when we officially announced that we would continue as a trio," says Mariusz Duda, "We were doing a photoshoot at the Polish seaside. I said to the guys, 'Let's remember that this is just the beginning. Many of our fans can't imagine an album without Grudzień and for some of them the band ceased to exist when he died. We have to prove that we are able to survive not only by playing concerts but, most of all, by recording a new album.'"

The tragedy that befell in February 2016 called into question the very existence of RIVERSIDE. The co-founder and guitarist of the band, Piotr Grudziński, died suddenly just before his 41st birthday. RIVERSIDE cancelled all the concerts planned for that year and dedicated the album "Eye of the Soundscape", released in September 2016, to their late friend.

"'Eye of the Soundscape' is a compilation of old and new things," says Duda, "but it's not a successor to 'Love, Fear and the Time Machine'. It is not yet a new music chapter. The new chapter begins now, this year."

Earlier, in the spring of 2017, RIVERSIDE resumed playing live. During the "Towards the Blue Horizon" tour the band were joined on stage by Maciej Meller who officially joined RIVERSIDE as their live guitarist. Why has he not become the official fourth member of the band?

"It's not so simple," Duda explains, "To catch up with 15 years takes time. I love Maciej but everything has to have its place and time. For now we are a quartet only live."

Back then, Duda had already had an idea for another release. To begin a new chapter of RIVERSIDE, they would have to record an album from the point of view of someone bereft, someone who has survived a tragedy. The fact that the album would be recorded without their guitarist might result in having to experiment musically a little more than usual but, most of all, it might translate into deeper symbolism and carry a more profound meaning. "I had a feeling we would be alright and we could make something beautiful and exceptional," he recalls.

The band entered the recording studio in December 2017 and Mariusz Duda assumed the duties of the band's guitarist. "Since I play different instruments and compose mostly on the acoustic guitar, we decided that we would do everything just like we had done before, but this time I would play the electric guitar as well. I also wanted to use my newly acquired piccolo bass, which at times sounds like an electric guitar. We recorded a demo. It turned out alright and we had come to the conclusion that I would manage to play all the rhythmic parts, all the melodies and some of the solos. Naturally, to enhance the sound of the album, we left some space for guests."

And so on the new RIVERSIDE album, you can hear a few guitar solos by Maciej Meller, as well as one by Mateusz Owczarek, a young, talented guitarist, who played with the band during their Warsaw memorial concert for Piotr Grudziński. For the first time in their music, there are also violins played by Michał Jelonek.

"'Wasteland' is undoubtedly one of the musically heavier and more emotional albums in our discography", says Michał Łapaj "In a way, it reaches the beginnings of our playing, there are lots of guitar riffs, darker elements and space. It's all combined with a new, raw sound that we had never had before, which makes the album quite an explosive mix. We're literally going through a second life syndrome and when we were recording this album, we consciously added some elements referring to our second studio release, which sort of makes 'Wasteland' a second part of 'SLS'".

While writing lyrics for the new album, Mariusz decided on an idea for the titles of the first and the last tracks, which makes a very clear reference to "Second Life Syndrome". The album begins with "The Day After" and finishes with "The Night Before". Additionally, "Wasteland" begins with a-cappella vocals, just like the band's second release and both albums comprise nine compositions.

The main theme of "Wasteland" is attempting to survive in a world after the Apocalypse, which is referred to in a few lyrics and song titles ("The Day After" is also the title of a post-apocalyptic film from 1983). On social media, Duda clearly admitted to being inspired by Cormac McCarthy's book, "The Road" as well as games from the "Fallout" series. However, the symbolism of the album refers not only to the post-apocalyptic visions of the world, but also to the death of Piotr Grudziński, to the band's attempt to find themselves in new circumstances, and, in general, to the current situation of the increasingly turbulent world full of new divisions and conflicts.

"'Wasteland' is a big album," says Robert Srzednicki, the sound engineer and co-producer of the album. "It's emotional and full of contrasts. Serious and, for what it's worth, heavy, but at the same time extremely melodious and even potentially 'hit' in a way. The core sound is made by 'live' instruments. Sometimes spacious and soft, at other times raw and harsh. Starting from the incredibly extended drum kit through a very wide range of basses, acoustic and electric guitars, Hammond organs and analog synthesizers, to the whole spectrum of vocals."

"I had never thought that after 17 years of RIVERSIDE, after 6 studio albums and a whole lot of different releases, I will feel again as if I was about to release the first album," says Piotr Kozieradzki "It feels to me like we're doing a 'second debut‘. A very important debut, almost as important as 'Out of Myself'. The album itself carries a lot of emotions which reflect everything that has been happening to the band for the past few years. It's a much heavier and darker face of RIVERSIDE."

There are a few key elements that make the new release a very original one.
First: the characteristic and rather unusual overdriven sound of guitars and basses.
Second: the heavy drums.
Third: Mariusz Duda singing lower more often than ever before.
Fourth: elements referring to soundtracks of... western movies.

"RIVERSIDE have found their style for good," says Duda, "and widened their horizons. It's a quirky mix of contrasts, western movies, road movies and slavic melodies. All that, together with incredibly emotional fragments, creates an exceptional and original combination. It has very little to do with the music of the bands we used to be compared to."

This time, the characteristic RIVERSIDE guitar solos are played by three musicians. Duda, Owczarek and Meller make the album very rich in this respect. The majority of guitar solo fragments are played by Maciej Meller who guests on four tracks. Here is what he has to say about the new RIVERSIDE album:

"Perhaps it is easier for me to evaluate this release because I'm a little more on the outside," he says. "For me, 'Wasteland' is a synthesis of those elements from the entire history of RIVERSIDE that I like most. But there's also a lot of new things! There is the emotional weight of 'SLS' but also the space of 'OOM', there is the twisted guitar blow of 'ADHD' and the melodiousness of 'LFATTM'. And then there's a new kind of storytelling, something I haven't heard before. It's very epic and cinematic, these are music pictures. An empty road, dust, burnt soil and the main character tormented by sad experiences. The end but perhaps also a beginning? These are the things I see. And however silly it sounds, at the moment for me it's the best and the most coherent RIVERSIDE album."

Mariusz Duda: "I've been listening recently to the whole discography of RIVERSIDE, to the way our music has changed. There are a lot of production flaws on the early releases but there is also innocence and the non-repeatable, specific kind of emotions, depth, the 'inner scream', which was later lost. It resurfaced for a moment on the black album of my solo project, Lunatic Soul, but got lost somewhere as well. I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but these kind of emotions, this depth is back on 'Wasteland' and it's back with a vengeance. I honestly can't remember listening to new RIVERSIDE music with tears in my eyes, and there are such moments here. The music very often grabs you by the throat. I have recently released two solo albums, 'Fractured' and 'Under the Fragmented Sky', both talking about coming to terms with a loss, but those were the stories told by someone who had already made the decision to get up from their knees and start a new life. 'Wasteland' grabs you and says, 'wait, tell me more about what had happened before, tell me how you felt at the beginning, tell me what you haven't told me yet'. And so I go back. I go back to the darkest moment. And it turns out that I had saved the 'inner scream' for last. It looks like I had to finally deal with it in RIVERSIDE."

"Wasteland" is an exceptional release which clearly underlines the most important elements of RIVERSIDE music. The incredibly emotional nature of each of the tracks has a huge potential to move every listener. The seventh album of the band marks a new chapter, a new hand, a new beginning. We will find out whether RIVERSIDE together with their guests stood up to the pressure and the formidable task on September 28th.

And in mid October, the band will go on the "Wasteland Tour", their biggest tour yet. The concerts in 2018 have been planned in bigger than before venues in Europe and more legs of the tour will take place in the spring of 2019.

lament

Music and lyrics by Mariusz Duda
Artwork by Travis Smith
Clip by Tomasz Pulsakowski / Sightsphere
Recorded at Serakos Studio, Warsaw, Poland by Magda and Robert Srzedniccy

Mariusz Duda - vocals, electric guitar, bass, piccolo bass
Piotr Kozieradzki - drums
Michał Łapaj - keyboards and Hammond organ

Michał Jelonek - violin

LAMENT

Where have you wandered,
My only child
Why are you not coming back?
Your mother is crying her eyes out
And I
In my dreams
Hear your voice

„Father, will you take me away
Father will you take and save me from my fate”

„Father, will you take me away
Father will you take and save me from my fate”

Wanted to go 
Look for you
A hundred times
But I couldn’t leave her alone

The end of the world
Ruined our home
Yet didn’t destroy our hope

Acid Rain is pouring down
On the caravans of shadows
Once they used to be humans
Dying of too much choice

Devoid of trust and empathy
Alone
They were passing each other
Now, together,
With raised hands
In tears
They call out at the sky

„Father, will you take me away
Father will you take and save me from my fate”

„Father, will you take me away
Father will you take and save me from my fate”

river down below

Music and lyrics by Mariusz Duda
Artwork by Travis Smith
Clip by Tomasz Pulsakowski / Sightsphere
Recorded at Serakos Studio, Warsaw, Poland by Magda and Robert Srzedniccy

Mariusz Duda - vocals, electric guitar, bass, piccolo bass
Piotr Kozieradzki - drums
Michał Łapaj - keyboards and Hammond organ

Maciej Meller - guitar solo

RIVER DOWN BELOW

I.

I’d like to tell you
What I dream about
I’d like to say
How much I miss you
But

I say sorry
So come, my darling
Come to me
I’m sorry
I’m dying on the tree

I’d like to tell you
That it’s not too late
I’d like to say
That I won with myself

But I say sorry
So come, my darling
Come to me
Sorry,
I’m dying on the tree
With the world beneath my feet

II.

Since you came across my place
Stay
Sit down
And get some rest

Linger beside me
You’re all I have left
Tell me the story of your life

There’s so much that
I have got to find out
Until the next darkness arrives

I do not have too many requirements
Only one wish
Before you go
And before I crumble back into the dust

Take me to the river down below
Take me to the river down below
So you found me after all
Pile of rocks
The two nailed boards

Linger beside me
You’re all I have left
Tell me the story of your life

There’s so much that
I have got to find out
Until the next darkness arrives

I do not have too many requirements
Only one wish
Before you go
And before I crumble back into the dust

Take me to the river down below
Take me to the river down below

vale of tears

Music and lyrics by Mariusz Duda
Artwork by Travis Smith
Clip by Tomasz Pulsakowski / Sightsphere
Recorded at Serakos Studio, Warsaw, Poland by Magda and Robert Srzedniccy

Mariusz Duda - vocals, electric guitar, bass, piccolo bass
Piotr Kozieradzki - drums
Michał Łapaj - keyboards and Hammond organ

Mateusz Owczarek - guitar solo

VALE OF TEARS

Shake me down
I’ll make a noise
Tap my hand
I’ll make you smile
Give me hope
Then take away

Like you did the last time
Like the last time
Like the last time

Tell me who I have to be
Cross my head, lips and heart
Make me get down on my knees

Like you did the last time
Like the last time
Like the last time

Wading through the desert
I am wading through the desert
To the promised land
You burned to the ground

Take me to the highest hill
Show the fireworks display
Tell me it’s for my own good

Like you did the last time
Like the last time
Like the last time

Turn poetry into prose
Then launch a crusade
Make another vale of tears

Like you did the last time
Like the last time
Like the last time

Wading through the desert
I am wading through the desert
To the promised land
You burned to the ground

WASTELAND TOUR 2018

  • DATE
  • VENUE / CITY
  • TOUR / FESTIVAL
  • TICKETS
  • B Merlin Pickups
  • B Ls
  • B CM
  • B VE
  • B Audio Technica
  • B Czarcie Kopyto
  • B Paiste
  • B V
  • B Ultimate Ears