translated by Markéta, thank you!
Interview with Polish death metal band LOST SOUL - answer Jacek Grecki.
Ave LOST SOUL! I´m just listening your new album “Atlantis: The New Beginning” and I was thinking about how this album mature with time. What about reviews on this album? Do fans like it and how your songs work on concerts?
Hey, what’s up?! I’m glad you’re listening “Atlantis”, it’s a good album, haha! You know, I’m 38 years old and I feel I’m mature as a composer. I could compose albums like Atlantis every year. The music just flows in my head. When creating a riff, I immediately visualise drums, vocals and other instruments. Of course many things change in the process but the backbone is always there. It all comes very natural to me. I always seek development in the composing process and I have never been afraid to take brave steps in music. Feedback is really awesome! We have had only one worse review and it was in our country, some child made mistake, nothing important :) I think I can tell that our fans really love this album. It’s great feeling to me as a composer when the people appreciate your work. I know my worth but deep inside I’m a decent, modest man and such opinions always embarrass me a bit. But opinion is opinion, big respect and thank you all! We have to get used to playing new songs live. We've played only two shows this year. I think I'll be able to tell you more in 2017.
Firstly, the thing that hit me the most was the amazing sound. It´s readable and heavy at the same time. It also cuts like a sharp knife. Where did you record? Who did the mixing on this album? Were you allowed to make some changes?
We mixed Atlantis on Hertz Recording with Wieslawski Bros, like our two previous albums. It's a great studio, great professionals. They are amazing people and consistently deliver the highest quality. Since “Immerse in Infinity” we've recorded our albums in one of studios in our home city – Wroclaw. It’s very comfortable for us for various reasons. On the release day of a new record I immediately leave the past behind and start thinking about another album. There are no second thoughts. The album is what it is, I just live it that way and don't think about it too much.
The cover is also very beautiful and apocalyptical. Who is the creator? Is this the mythical Atlantis how you imagine it? When I saw this picture for the first time I thought that it would be a great picture on the wall of my room. Amazing! There are only a few times when bands takes that much care about their album cover. Do you care a lot about graphical designs? Also your websites are nice!
I came up with the album artwork concept together with Piotr Szafraniec, who also designed it. We wanted to make it match the lyrics as much as possible. It contains the motifs from all the tracks, while the key element of the cover artwork seals the entire release together as a concept album. If I say too much, people stop looking for what is hidden, and that's what is most fun. In Lost Soul all the things must be highly polished. Sometimes I can't even control my perfectionism, it just comes naturally. It's some kind of ambition deep inside my head and I'm probably too to find the desire to contain it. I enjoy to do all that things associated with my band.
The album holds itself together in compact very nicely. It reminds some cruel story which is bitter and at the same time it´s melodic and it has a dark atmosphere. I´m interested how does LOST SOUL compose new materials? Between the last album “Immerse in Infinity” and this year´s album is 6 long years. You take a lot of time to do this album. Who is the main composer? Is there anyone who has the last word? Some band create in democratic way and some has a “dictator” who makes all the important decisions. How about you?
I've been the band's main composer from very beginning. I composed 95% of music on our new album, came up with bass tracks and drums backbone… I was responsible for the album's sound engineering for guitars and bass, I did the samples and keyboards and wrote all the lyrics. I organized pretty much everything about recording of this album, ranging from music, recording sessions, mixing process, equipment and deadlines… to financial matters. But surely I’m not a dictator, I just think that it is ok when you demand from others as much as from yourself. Lost Soul is a band, not a solo project. It’s very important for me to play with people who bring understanding to the band, and have appropriate skills. The band is made of four different, adult people who must be able to accept each other with all advantages and disadvantages. It’s definitely some sort of marriage. Please allow to me to elaborate now why we had six years break. In 2011, two years after the release of "Immerse in Infinity", our previous label - Witching Hour Productions - got in trouble. I don't know what kind of trouble, but I know they are fine now and we are in good contact. However, these problems significantly influenced our further decisions. We decided to release an anniversary album - "Genesis XX Years of chaoZ" via WHP to complete the contract, which amounted to the release "Immerse in Infinity" and the subsequent album. The premiere was moved from the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2013. For various reasons beyond our control we could not finish the mix of "Genesis ...". But in the end it worked out! The label ultimately financed the completion of "Genesis ...". Looking back, I think we should have had recorded "Atlantis..." and not a jubilee album back then. The work on this album took just a few months. I created most of the material on "Atlantis..." by the end of 2011. The rest was completed in 2012 and we were ready to start the recording process.
Who is the author of the lyrics? I have to say that your lyrics are great. How did you make those songs? The theme of Atlantis was mentioned by Plato. He said that this is a land which has a very developed civilization which was destroyed because of a nature catastrophe. When I think about that I can see it happening in today’s world which is very similar like the other days. History is repeated and people are incorrigible. What is the message you want to send with your songs? Was it difficult to compose songs on music? This is a very difficult topic and difficult music.
I am the author :) Again :) There are some big artists who use the theme, but each of them uses Atlantis as a symbol, artistic agent serves to hide the real message of their lyrics. In our case it happens to be quite similar. Based on lyrical theme of our previous one ‘Immerse in Infinity” I was trying to create something what could be perceived as a specific kind of continuation. I mean cosmos, paleoastronautics, but also myths and history. But the lyrics on Atlantis are more conscious, mature and fully thought out. The story narrated by Plato is enhanced only in small part on the "our" Atlantis. There are only some influences and images - but very important - based on widely understood, available knowledge about the myth. My main inspiration for the lyrical concept of this record comes from Alistair Crowley’s work of similar tittle “Atlantis: the Lost Continent”. The way in which Crowley cleverly concealed the true meaning of his work vastly inspired me to create my own Sexual Magic with a few additional layers, with some science fiction elements of top of it. Each inner and outer planet – over millions of years and the cooling of the Solar System – has been inhabited by successive generations of Atlantean Kings on their way to the Sun. Each planet is assigned to one song and has its own history. Analogically, it refers to the anti-religious aspect. There is an anti-comandment thread in every song. Hope it encourages you to explore the lyrics more. It could make the music even more attractive after reading this interview. All that is sincere, everything what comes deep from your heart, is not difficult to compose. It comes naturally.
The album was published on the classic CD as a digipack. Are you thinking about vinyl? Nowadays this format is having a boom and I think that a lot of fans would be so happy about this. How about you and gram desks? What do you think about them, do you collect them or you are a fan of CDs?
Remember this date! February 26, 2016. It's the day when a vinyl version of “Atlantis: The New Beginning” will be released via German Supreme Chaos Records! Check this out and be ready! I’m the fan of both of them:).
Your new album was published by German Apostasy Records. Why this label? Correct me if I´m wrong but this is the first time you published with this label. How did that happened and were you happy about the collaboration?
We have been in touch with Apostasy Records for a long time and this is the first time when we co-operate together. I sent them a finished album and we started searching for solutions. Ultimately, the optimal solution for us was to sign a contract just with Apostasy Records. This took place in May 2015 after several months spent searching for the best possible solutions. Yep, I feel very well working with them. Hope our label will take the band to a another level. Both in terms of popularity, and in terms of touring. We also have a lot of support from the labels we talked with about the release of Atlantis before we signed with Apostasy. But you know, these are business affairs, I am a musician, I don’t like discussing this stuff. My work ends on creating music and playing live.
Jacek you are in LOST SOUL since the beginning. How do you think will this band continues? Do you plan to play more technically or darker? A lot of bands in Poland combine death metal with black. How about you?
I don’t want to reveal my plans. I’ve always been a big fan of black metal, really love this genre from crude and primitive to beautifully produced symphonic stuff. Whether it is 1349 or Mayhem, Emperor or Dimmu Borgir – I just like it. Lost Soul always combined death and black metal but I believe it’s more evident on Atlantis.
When you compare recording in 90th and today, how much did change? I don’t mean the technical possibilities but the access, finances, etc. Today you have a lot of experiences as a band. Does that mean that you go to the studio, you are ready to record and you do it at the first take and that´s it? Or do you guys harmonize those songs in a studio for a long time?
I believe we've always been well prepared to recording sessions. Yes, access to all high quality equipment is unlimited right now, but finances… well, this is a never ending problem :) We are quite lucky because now we have well elaborated process of recording albums and we can do it better than before.
Death metal is not the number one thing in today´s world. At least in the Czech Republic. How about in Poland? In our country the polish death metal has a very good name and we think about you like the Canaan. Is that true for you?
I don't want to come across as ignorant but I don't follow the Polish scene that much because of my daily work, which keeps me occupied all the time. The rest of the time I spend with my family and doing pure dark magic things around my band.
How about LOST SOUL and concerts? As I saw on the internet you don´t do them too often. I know, everything is about money, however don´t you think about any Europe tour? I can imagine you guys as a pre-band for VADER on some small tour.
Currently we’re working on some huge projects. We will inform about it on our official website and LS FB profile when it's be confirmed. We had our “golden age” of touring between 2003 and 2005. We did a few tours with Vader, Rotting Christ, Anorexia Nervosa, Monstrosity, Vomitory, and played some gigs with Nile, Decapitated and bands like this. Also from 2010 to 2012 we were on a tour with Nile, Rotting Christ and also had several gigs with Bolt Thrower for example. I hope another “golden age” for Lost Soul will come this year.
In the Czech Republic we see the polish scene as something huge and for your small country it is something untouchable. You have a lot of clubs, amazing band, labels and thousands of excited fans. How is it in real life? Is it true that there is a lot of people on concerts? Do you feel some support from fans? Do they buy your CDs, merchandise? When you have a concert in some smaller club how many people would come?
It’s hard to say right now, I will be happy to answer your question after the upcoming Polish tour. As I said before I’m a family guy and prefer to stay on the sidelines. You know it depends which band is playing. If it’s Behemoth, the tickets are always sold out. One thousand or even two thousand people are in the venue. If it's Vader or Decapitated, around two maybe three hundred people comes to see them. Our latest show was watched by around 150 people. And yes, they buy CDs, they buy t-shirts and stuff, it’s not like in western Europe, but it’s pretty ok. Recently we've launched our new webstore: lostsoulshop.pl and this is the place when you really feel the feedback from all world. With clear conscience I can call this our small (or not that small) success. Taking this opportunity I’d like to invite you to visit our webstore.
Do you listen some bands from the Czech Republic?
I’m very sorry but… I don’t. Except Norwegian black metal I am more into modern jazz and classical music.
What does LOST SOUL plane for the next few months? Can we get excited for some concerts in our country?
I can’t tell the secret. Visit our facebook profile on a regular basis, more good news coming soon!
Thank you for the interview and wish you the most CD sales and crowds of devoted fans.
Thank you very much! Follow Lost Soul and hope “Atlantis: the New Beginning” will appeal to you in its every aspect! All the best!