Translation: Dope Fiend
Paul – Vocals and Guitars
Mark – Guitars
Michael – Bass
Szymon – Drums
Is with us today a piece of history of death metal "made in Poland", the Pandemonium. They are released at the end of 2010 a "Promo" which tell us that they are ready to flash the 2011 with the arrival of a new album after four years from the good "Hellspawn".
Welcome to our site, the first step is usually the band's history so that even those who had not yet had the pleasure to meet you, know better your reality, I leave you the word.
Hi there, bastards! Regards from Poland! Before I start, some shortcut of Pandemonium history, because we celebrated our 20th anniversary last year. We prepared some good stuff for this occasion like t-shirts, long sleeves, printed stickers and more, all under the common name "Two Decades ov Unholy Existence", more details you will find on the band’s offical websites and profiles. OK, so this dark history began in fall 1989, guitarist Paul and drummer Peter started a band. The music they composed for the first "Reh Tape" was slow, dark and very heavy. There were no bands like that in Poland, and abroad there was only Samael, Celtic Frost and Bathory. In a very short time Pandemonium gained lots of fans and, after releasing the cult album "Devilri", became the most popular horde in Poland next to KAT, Imperator and Vader. Pandemonium also gave plenty of gigs abroad with such bands as Morbid Angel, Samael, Cannibal Corpse. In 1994 guys recorded their second album "The Ancient Catatonia" and it was the last album in the 90's era. Then some cross-purposes appeared in Pandemonium and finally the band suspended its activity. A few years later Paul started the band again under "Domain" name and recorded three albums. Fans accepted changes and liked the music but there was a longing for a Pandemonium name. Then, one day, some lucky circumstances allowed Paul to go back to the former name and a new era began. I joined the horde and we recorded an experimental, atmospheric album "The Zonei", next we got new rhytm section – Simon and Michael, and we released "Hellspawn" – the most brutal album in Pandemonium’s history. This line-up is stable ‘till now.
I had the pleasure of approaching your sound with the first "The Ancient Catatonia" that remains for me one of the best album released by the extreme landscape of your nation, why did you decide after that step of change name (Domain) and then back to the beginning Pandemonium?
Brutal life, hah , the guys were young and "Devilri" and "The Ancient Catatonia" success caused turbulences in their relations, there were some discussions between Pandemonium’s founders and finally Paul was forced to change the name to Domain. There must be something magical in the Pandemonium’s name, because, although Domain released some good stuff, it wasn’t as popular as Pandemonium. Anyway, some time passed and lucky circumstances allowed Paul and the new horde to go back to the former name.
Both "The Zonei"and "Hellspawn" offer two ripe tests, a dark and highly blasphemous sound, but the last "Promo" seems to have taken a more modern Behemoth style direction while maintaining the "black mantle" that feature you, how as evolved the way you write and who is the architect of creation of songs? And of the texts who takes care of them?
Naturally, ancient deamons brought us some fresh ideas and inspiration. Seriously, this time we wanted to create something ritual and more haunted than "Hellspawn". It resulted in different sound, riffs, drum section and also vocals that became more black metal. Each one of us is engaged in the music creation process, practically – Paul and me create riffs and the whole songs ideas, then Simon with Michael start thinking about rhytm section and finally we add solos and all the sounds that make songs satisfying for us. Last thing is lyrics, that's Paul's thing to make them go along with such a dark music’s character.
Talk about extreme music and Poland is almost normal for a habitual user of metal, the scene to which you belong is one of the most prolific and has reinvigorated with the addition of a large group of aggressive young players, what pushes a part so important of the movement to bet against one of the biggest "evils" that affect the society? I speak of religion.
I think in Poland a lot of young people are fed up with catholic religion that wants to have influence on every aspect of life and forces people to live by its sick morality. Metal is a form of rebelion and a philosophy, which expresses freedom and free will. So, pray or start thinking and experiencing life and the humanity.
Paul is the only founding member left in the line-up, what are the memories of the initial steps stirred by Pandemonium? How was the air you breathe in that period and what changes in society and music (for better and worse than) you think there have been since then?
It is really a topic that requires many bottles of whisky to discuss , I think of it in a very sentimental way, man. I perceive nineties as a gold era of death metal, it was then when I first met such an aggresive and dark music, it made me crazy and changed my life. Instead of P2P and Internet there were mates with double cassette decks , if you couldn't buy tape you copied it from your friends. For every gig crowds came and there was always ocassion to meet new people. I guess that it was a better time for a social life and music, there was some magic, more true expression and it required some kind of effort to learn any news on bands.
In the last few days has bounced between various media another case of a boy who had killed a relative because the music he heard. The media pilloried by the politically correct and pro-clerical associations have become a stale cliché but that lets go. What are the values ??that you recognize in your art? And what those who brought forward in life? What is important for Pandemonium as a band and as men?
I really don't believe that music could lead someone to a homicide. If someone is in trouble or has a freaked mind even a glass of water might inspire him to do something stupid. You want to know what we expect from the fact of being musicans, touching a satanism ideology? Actually the main thing is rebelion and a man being conscious. Religion and conservative politics put your mind into chains and you are not allowed to think freely and realistically, the consequention is that you can't really experience life and can’t understand that the only meaning of life is the life itself. As a Pandemonium we have a lot in common, similar ideas, views, opinions and sense of humor. We're not just musicans playing in one band, but also friends and comrades.
In the "Promo" you have entered a beautiful series of live performance, a welcome gift for anyone who enjoys watching the band play and go beyond listening. There were live in these twenty years of career that have been particularly exciting for the formations with which you have shared the stage and it is worth remembering? There was also one of those moments when you had the feeling of being blocked or when the day was really bad?
Mate, life on a scene is something specific and it is always a kind of exciting adventure. Yes, sometimes shit happens, regarding organisational issues for example, or if any of us gets sick – it makes it impossible for us to enjoy the gig and its magic, but most of performances we recall were fucking great moments. We got to know plenty of bands we shared the stage with, mostly they are fantastic people and we will probably never forget huge festivals where we met and supported such bands as Samael, Slayer or Celtic Frost. Always the greatest gigs are when we have as much joy and satisfaction as the audience.
What is your position about the file-sharing, mp3s in general and the management of music on internet?
Honestly, I am keen of sharing music. It is the simplest way to find interesting band and album in the current ocean of music. Of course, bands put their songs on youtube or myspace but sometimes it is not enough to learn if I really want to buy the album. By the way, many people can't afford to buy every album they like or they don't want to risk buying something that doesn't come up to their expectations. But, in most cases, if you listen to downloaded mp3's and find it interesting you will buy CD. Then you get high quality, cover, lyrics, photos and satisfaction from appreciating artist’s work. If not – you just get virtual music in poor quality instead of full album with cover, inlay book and what’s most important – original high quality CD. On the other hand, there is lots of bands who’s albums are almost impossible to buy in Poland. The only way to listen do their stuff is to just download it. It that case, sharing music on-line is a rather positive aspect for widely unknown foreign bands.
Social networks vs. word of mouth, the first giving a great exposure but it seems the "media department stores" where the products are placed at the mercy of anyone, the second was one of the classical methods (along with the magazines) that you were aware of new band. There is a kind of nostalgia for the past, the vinyl is back in vogue and luckily the faithful purchase physical products there. What can you say to the generations that are now approaching at your music to that effect? You can still teach the younger to give proper weight to the artistic value?
Of course, I can tell thousand of stories and praise old good times when every metal album was worshiped and celebrated although it was recorded on an analogue tape, but I don't think younger generations will understad that phenomenon. Nowadays there is too many bands, music is very popular and lost its magic in most cases. Right, vinyl is back in vogue so we re-released Pandemonium’s most cult album “Devilri” on this media. The only thing that has to be done is to record true, good fucking music and believe metal fans understand it.
At the end of the year should come out "Misanthropy", what can we expect?
I'd rather not speak about expectations. "2010 Promo" contains two new tracks and it already got very good reviews so I am not afraid about the rest of "Misantrophy" album. We worked a long time to arrage songs which blow minds and I am sure that metal maniacs and all guys who are looking for some oldschool metal breath won't be dissapointed.
Short-term projects? Pandemonium are to playing around and maybe we will see you here in Italy?
Hah, it could be great, we never played in Italy. We already have some planned gigs but there is still plenty of free dates. Are we invited?
Thanks for the time spent with us, the interview is over, the final message for our readers is up to you.
Thank you, mate! Best fucking regards to the readers and all metal fans in Italy, meet us on myspace and facebook profiles and hopefully on the gigs!