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Let's start from the beginning: this is our first encounter with Disloyal, but your history dates back to the nineties, would you tell us something more about the band and its past?
Artyom Serdyuk: Disloyal was founded in the beginning of 1997 in Ketrzyn — a town in Northeastern Poland. The first demo called "Desire" was really well-received by listeners and critics and immediately after recording it the band decided not to slow down the pace and started writing material for the debut full-length. In less than a year after recording "Desire" Disloyal entered studio Selani again to record "Pessimistic". Thanks to this release the band really entrenched in the polish death metal scene. After releasing "Pessimistic" and playing some tours and festivals promoting this album the band had almost broken up. Our drummer Jaro had to change practically the whole line-up. So this was the first tough phase in the band's history. In its new shape Disloyal recorded the next album "The Kingdom Of Plague" in Hertz Studio in Bialystok. A bit later Lukas (vocalist and guitarist) left the band and Disloyal continued as a three-piece, as the bass player Macabre took the roles of both vocalist and guitarist. And that's where I appeared 'cause guys asked me to become a session bass player for the live performances. This resulted in a really good friendship between us which later, as you can see, brought about the new face of Disloyal. However, the next album "Prophecy" was created and recorded as a three-piece band (Jaro, Macabre and Tomasz) in Disloyal's home studio and was released by German label No Colours Records. This CD might sound very raw and is far from perfect production but this was the band's aim at that time. Despite the periodic line-up changes the band was very active live. But after releasing "Prophecy" in 2008 both guitarists Macabre and Tomash left the band. It happened due to different personal reasons, you know, families, jobs, so on and so forth. It was a point when they lost their passion to play music and didn't want to continue. Our drummer Jaro was left all alone in the band, so he had to find completely new musicians to form a new line-up and continue playing, not letting Disloyal die. So we decided that I should enter the main line-up as a guitarist and since 2009 we started to create an absolutely new musical form of Disloyal, which you can witness at the present moment. I was quite busy in my other bands: Deathbringer, Thy Disease, Woe Unto Me, Amentia, so it really took a while to write the material for the new CD and we finished it in the beginning of 2012. By this time we've finally completed the line-up with the new bass player Kolya Kislyi who is also from Belarus just like me, and of course the new vocalist Kriss, who is also a drummer in Deathbringer, Manipulation and EmpatiC. The further story is very simple. We've entered Monroe Sound Studio and recorded "Godless".
Going to "Godless" now, this is the first album you recorded with the current lineup. What are the main differences between this release and the previous ones?
I feel that "Godless" is way more intense and complex than the previous albums. There's much more technical and progressive tunes in it. It seems to me that this material is more mature, catchy and aggressive. But frankly speaking I don't like comparing different phases in the band's history. I personally divide the whole Disloyal's discography into three chapters and I like all of them, each one in its own way: the first one is more melodic and thrashy ("Desire" and "Pessimistic"), the second one is pure old school brutal death metal ("The Kingdom Of Plague" and "Prophecy"), and starting from "Godless" we've launched the chapter number three which combines all types of death metal with a bit of accent on technical subgenre, but not losing brutality and melodiousness where it's necessary. And we've done our best to make "Godless" both fast and groovy, so it could catch listener's attention and a person could listen to it at one go, without a pause, not being able to breathe out. Hopefully, we've succeeded at least a little bit.
Looking back to the album a few months after its completion, are you totally satisfied with it? Anything you want to focus on, maybe for your next release?
Yes, I can say that I'm satisfied with this album. I implemented all my ideas for this release and I'm very happy about that. Sometimes I'm thinking that I could have changed something or make some parts in a bit different manner but that's a normal thing for me, I always have this feeling immediately after finishing the album. But in general I'm very satisfied with our work and with how this record sounds.
"Godless" was released by Ghastly Music, how did you end up signing for a Japanese label?
Nothing new I guess. We were just sending our promos wherever we could looking for a new label and Ghastly Music — a division of Amputated Vein Records, offered us a deal which satisfied us most of all at that time so we decided to join their family. Masakatsu — the chief of Ghastly Music/Amputated Vein Records is a very experienced maniac and a real fan of death metal.
Your plans for the near future? Are you focusing on promoting "Godless", or are you already working on its follower?
We are totally concentrated on promoting "Godless" right now: reviews, interviews, distribution and all that kind of stuff. I think it's too early to start working on the next album, but of course ideas come to my mind all the time, so I just collect them and they are waiting for the right moment.
What about touring? I guess it mustn't be easy with your regular jobs, families and so on, but maybe some summer festivals?
We were planning to start touring in support of the latest album immediately after releasing it, but unfortunately there were some obstacles and it appeared that we needed some more time to overcome difficulties and get ready to hit the road again. We strengthened our live line up with the second guitar player, whose name is Pavel Vorontsov and he's also from Belarus, so we were rehearsing a lot lately and generally we're ready now. The first shows most likely are going to take place in spring 2016 and we are really looking forward to finally presenting "Godless" on stage.
A couple of general questions, starting from the underground (which is what Aristocrazia deals with on a daily basis). A bunch of unknown bands you would recommend to our readers?
Of course first of all I would recommend to get acquainted with my bands: Deathbringer, Woe Unto Me, Amentia and Thy Disease, maybe some of them some of you have already heard. At least I hope so [laugh]. Check out also Manipulation and Empatic where our vocalist Kriss plays drums. And now some bands that are not connected with Disloyal's line up but perform really very interesting music in my opinion. Recently I discovered for myself a very cool band called Stone Healer from United States, really interesting and progressive stuff. You should definitely check out a band from Poland called Nyia, this band was created by great musician and sound producer Szymon Czech who passed away three years ago, so the band doesn't exist anymore but their last album "More Than You Expect" is a real masterpiece. I would like to mention also my great friends from Russia — Psilocybe Larvae, and one more Russian band Grace Disgraced.
How is being a Metalhead in Poland, if you're not Vader or Behemoth? Are there a local community, events to attend, an "underground scene", or is it like in Italy, where you have to struggle to find a place where an extreme band can play, and more or less nobody gives a damn fuck? And I mean this not only as a band, but as a listener as well, as I'm not a player.
The underground scene or so-called local scene in Poland is certainly very well developed and has very strong roots which are respected around the world. This is one of the strongest metal scenes. There are plenty of concerts, events, magazines and webzines which support this local underground metal scene, and where all these little-known bands can present themselves to a wider range of metal maniacs. But there is also a flip side of the coin. The current authorities have a very negative attitude to such gigs and metal music in general. They keep trying to ban, to cancel more and more of such events, but fortunately bands and local promoters manage to organize these concerts no matter what. You know, in Poland these authorities have a very tight connection and collaboration with the church, and as we know the church is not very fond of metal [laugh]. But in general I can say that the life of the common Polish "metalhead" is at a high level because there are a lot of events happening in the metal field and their quantity increases all the time and there is a lot of choice where to go, what to read, a lot of promoters, concert and booking agencies and promotional agencies, all kinds of sources that are related to metal.
A silly question I like a lot: ten albums the band would bring to its desert island?
Well I can speak only for myself but I think that some of the albums that I will mention here would definitely appear in the lists of my band mates.
- Death . "Human", "Individual Thought Patterns", "Symbolic", "The Sound Of Perseverance"; I know it's a little bit unfair to name four albums in one position but it won't be very interesting to read a list of the albums where half of them will be Death discography.
- Morbid Angel – "Domination"
- Morbid Angel – "Gateways To Annihilation"
- Meshuggah – "Chaosphere"
- Pink Floyd – "Wish You Were Here"
- Ulver – "Shadows Of The Sun"
- Opeth – "Blackwater Park"
- Cynic – "Focus"
- Emperor – "Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire And Demise"
- Paradise Lost – "Draconian Times"
Ok, this is the end. I want to thank you for your time and give you the chance to add the last words for our readers. All the very best, and I hope to meet you in person someday soon, maybe in a backstage!
Thank you so much Andrea and Aristocrazia Webzine for this opportunity to present Disloyal and tell your readers about our new release called "Godless". Thank you for your support! Big hail to all metal maniacs! Keep supporting the underground scene and keep reading metal webzines and magazines such as Aristocrazia! Check out our web pages for all the latest news about Disloyal: Facebook, Youtube, Myspace. And visit our online shops: Bandcamp, Bigcartel. Best regards! Cheers!