Polish band QUO VADIS is full of surprises.
First, in 2011, the Poles released simply a terrific album that will be sound in the ears of many fans of heavy music long time ago. Secondly, it is not the first album, but personally I did not hear anything about them. Third, the Ukrainian label had courage to release this album and most importantly for promotion to smuggle a band on tour in Ukraine in March, 2011. That’s some approach to the business. I am personally very impressive by such professionalism. Taking into account all the above-mentioned, the interview with the band is simply obliged to appear in our magazine and to complete the picture we have and thereby the label to communicate.
Interview was prepared by Neophyte.
For a start let me congratulate you with the release of an excellent album. I listen to lots of music and it’s one of the most brilliant albums recently.
Greetings! I am very glad that you like it:-) !!!
How it turned out that you exist since 1988 and has already released 8 albums & I have not heard about you? Why have you never visit Ukraine & why your release is not available here?
Unfortunately, many factors contributed it: first – the texts were in Polish, secondly – every label that released our albums did not make the proper promotion, and the third – most of those labels no longer exist … We worry too much about it & therefore pleased that the situation now is corrected!
So acquaint us with the major events from the history of the band.
Since the releasing of «Infernal Chaos» we have played many gigs in Poland, as well as in England, also we made a clips for “Blood For Oil” and “Cross Of Gold”, preparing for the third clip, as well as getting ready for the road to Ukraine. 😉
Your last album is simply murderous and it was released here in Ukraine by Metal Scrap Records. Now you will be known in Ukraine. Why didn’t you do that before?
Thanks again! We are very satisfied by cooperation with Metal Scrap Records and glad that now we are known in Ukraine and beyond, and that we will have the opportunity to play in your country. Previously, it was not possible owing to the fact that our texts were in Polish.
Most songs from your previous albums were in Polish & now you have released an English album. Why this change of orientation?
It became very important for us to find listeners outside of Poland. Our first two albums: “Quo Vadis” /1991/ and “Politics” /1993/ which were sold 40 000 copies each were the most famous in Poland. Now, in our country we are viewed through the prism of these two releases. For us it is very difficult because the music market has changed, the Internet appeared, a band highly evolved … but whatever we do – anyway we are compared with those albums, which are 20 years old. :-))) We are impressed by the fact that we “debuting” outside of Poland, because every place we perceive is already without those years “baggage”. Imagine that a review of our album in Ukraine, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Britain is much better than in Poland…
Cannot help but ask about your namesake from Canada. Whether you like Canadian QUO VADIS creation? Were there any problems associated with the existence of two bands at once?
🙂 I’m a fan of Canadian Quo Vadis especially the album “Day into Night”. My dream is to play tour together ever under the name for example: “Quo Vadis attack” 😉 … of course it’s OK, we communicated with them and know about each other’s existence :-))) … we all know that they are better known in the world but we were the first :-), because we exist from 1988 and they are from 1992. Between us everything is OK!!!
In spring 2011 you together with your fellow countrymen from CRYPTIC will have tour in Ukraine. What do you expect from this tour?
Cannot longer wait! 🙂 I’d like to know your region, customs, to see people at concerts, to taste the food – everything! We hope that our live shows and our music will enjoy the Ukrainian fans and that we will have more opportunity to come to you and stay in the memory of the Ukrainian “metalmaniacs”.
What inspires you in 1988 that you have decided to organize your own band? Which commands had influence on you at that time?
🙂 Sepultura “Schizofrenia”, Slayer – first three albums, Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, Helloween – early albums. Then we listened to it and I think their influence can be heard on our early releases 🙂
You change the label from album to album, why? Only the first three albums were released on Baron Records and then each new album – on the new label. Did you ever trying to contract with any major label?
Of course, we tried to negotiate with major labels, but somehow we couldn’t manage it or they were not much interested. Rather small labels were released and as I said earlier most of them no longer exist. Looking from a height of time and if there would be an opportunity to start all over again then surely much earlier we would start singing in English and promote our music outside of Poland.
Whether there is merch from QUO VADIS and whether you are going to take it to Ukraine?
Yes, of course, we have plenty of t-shirts, longsleeves, patches, all of very good quality and all are planning to bring in Ukraine 🙂
How much music from your previous albums different from music of the album «Infernal Chaos»? Are you going to sell your old albums on tour in Ukraine?
Shortly if it necessary to describe our albums, it would look like this:
Music is very technical and complicated many changes of temp & broken rhythms. Lyrics are strongly political. Unfortunately, the sound as for that time not the worst, but 20 years later it sounds weak.
Music is a bit gently than on the debut album, but still a lot of politics in the lyrics. Sound is raw, but is better. There is a cover of Pretty Woman, which brought us more and more popular in Poland.
Rather controversial album – a failed experiment to mitigate the music. Musically it’s very mature album with modified sounding, but the vocals are sung too easy, so it gets weak estimates.
Music is equally smooth and sharp, good sound, good songs, simple in execution – the album was recorded in a super atmosphere, so it’s one of my favorite albums.
The music is very deliberate and refined. Recording at studio took almost half a year with intervals so the album was decent. For me personally, the album is particularly important because my father Antoni Skuza participated as a guest in the record of it 😉 – he played on harmonica in one cover.
The music is very “modern”, many keys, samples … Unfortunately the terrible sound could not stand the test of time, too quiet vocals … hard to hear, but musically the album is good. Video on composition “Zegary” from the album can be found on our YouTube page or on our website.
Music is good (some kind a prelude to “Infernal Chaos”), sound is good too. There were many problems with the releasing of this album, because of that the difference between this album and the previous are 5 years. Particularly noteworthy the clip “Dominus”!!!
Without a doubt is the best album – musically, soundly, as well as design.
Usually how much people come to your show in Poland?
In various ways the case, the average 100-150 people… used to 700, and another time 50 … Currently in Poland there is a fall-off in the number of people coming to concerts.
Given the fact that I learned not so long ago about your band, then perhaps there is still great Polish bands, which we need to know, but so far cannot guess? You have the word for free advertising of your friends and rivals and then they will owe you a beer.
:-))) There are several young really decent commands: WARMAGEDDON, CALM HATCHERY, COBWEB, and REBELHOUSE. From old bands worthy of attention: MAGNUS, MERCILESS DEATH, THRASHERS DEATH…
How do you feel about creativity of such monsters of Polish scene bands VADER and BEHEMOTH? Not long ago, HATE had a tour in Ukraine, how do you feel of what do they do?
Honestly I am very proud of them! Behemoth recorded a good album and Nergal became a celebrity in Poland, so all eyes are now looking towards the Behemoth. Vader – is a separate conversation. I am familiar with Peter from the very beginning; we played a lot together… keep fists for him and enjoy his success. HATE are known in Poland, but lately not that popular as Vader or Behemoth, but I like their way and I know that they will be Polish megastars in the end.
What musicians of QUO VADIS do for a living? Or perhaps in Poland you are major band and have enough money to live on?
:-))) Unfortunately, we does not live from just one music … it’s a pity ;-)))… me and Seba (drums) work in the Polish Post :-), Matek – selling tools in a music store and Cimas working in a geodesic firm…
Your wishes to our readers, especially to those who are going to visit your shows in March, 2011.
From a deep heart I’m inviting you to visit our show in March! It’ll, necessarily, be a lot of sharp & good thrash! At the shows we give ourselves for all 100percent! Visit our page on the Internet:
www.quovadis.metal.pl, www.youtube.com/quovadisPL, www.myspace.com/quovadispl
Greeting for everyone and see you soon!!!
When Piotrek, aka Kreator asked me to write a few words about one of most important for me albums of Polish Metal, at the first moment several titles occurred in my head. Among them was QUO VADIS from Szczecin with their debut “Quo Vadis”. For me this material has been something exceptional thru all these years. Bunch of hits played with bravado – and even if it may sound strange after all those years, I still see the disc in this way.
LP “Quo Vadis” in my opinion is a classic of Polish Thrash. Numbers played with a kick, relax and power. This record for me is Polish through and through, first of all because of the lyrics which masters from QUO VADIS sang. These lyrics (mostly by the band founder Mariusz B№czkiewicz) dealt with problems with which young people had to battle against at the turning point of political transformation in Poland (compulsory enlistment into the fucking army among the others). Lyrics – we have to stress – in a daring voice setting of Tomek Skaya. Up to this day I’ve had a goosebumps on my neck listening to such numbers as “MONofobia”, “Trzy szуsteczki” (“666”), “Albo nie byc” (“Or Not To Be”). It proves the power which this music possesses. Smashing, powerful sound drum sound and sensational, Thrash and melodic at the same time ear slaughtering guitars and bass. Everything here is without a slightest flaw. No weak points.
First vinyl LP QUO VADIS , which dazzled with power landed in my hands perhaps in 1992 via mail from Tomasz Jaсczak, who used to lead QUO VADIS Fan Club. The album was released in edition of 1500 copies and since there was a possibility I had ordered it with autographs, but the guys fucked up something while signing and I’ve got one with a dedication “for Artur and Jarek”, heh, heh! Never mind…it’s just a detail. After all, the most important thing was music itself and a form of release, which have compensated for that trivial mistake.
And I thought to myself (I hope, you won’t kill me Kreator, huh, huh!) that because of this so special for me album I’ll conduct a short intie with Tomek Skaya – a guy who has been playing in QUO VADIS since the very beginning of the band.
Interview was prepared by Wojtas Lis – NAJSWIETSZY NAPLETEK CHRYSTUSA’ zine (RIP)
Answering: Tom Skaya (QUO VADIS)
1) What kind of feelings accompanied you before recording the debut album of QUO VADIS? Was it joy that after several years of existence you were finally doing it? Maybe some irrational anxiety that something will go wrong? Or maybe some other emotions about which you’d like to write?
Recording of your band’s album is always exciting, but recording of the first one especially! It was first time that we were registering stuff on a 8 tracks, which was at that time pretty unusual phenomenon. I have to remind that at that time bands used to record “rehs” in a way that all the guys played together and it was registered at the same time. I remember that we recorded our demos on two tape-players/recorders “Mechlabor”. It worked like that: firstly we played all together and recorded it and then we played what we had registered from one tape-player and recorded on the other one while adding vocals and solos at the same time.
I had to sing without any mistakes from beginning to the end. Baczek had to do his solo right, and on top of that the volume proportions had had to be set correctly, because after the recording it was impossible to change anything (laugh). Now, when I reach back in my memory to the time of recording our first album, when I think about possibility of using an eight-track recorder…that was something!
2) Had you felt a pressure before recording the first album? I’m asking because the expectations were huge after a brilliant demo “MONofobia”.
Absolutelly not. Between upeіnie nie. Between the “MONofobia” and the first one, in so called meantime we registered two numbers (“NKWD” [NKVD – Soviet Secret Police] and “Bуl Istnienia” [“Pain of Existence”] which we have been playing since then) and they also got a very good reception, so we felt that the material is OK. The only part we had feared was the sound. Unfortunately, at that time, domestic productions sounded pretty weak comparing to what was being recorded in the world.
3) The line-up at that time seamed to be a perfectly cooperating collective. How it was in the reality? Did you like each another? Drunk together? Was there space for friendship outside the rehearsal room?
Sure! We even had a routine to go to Wojtek’s for tea after every rehearsal. We used to talk there, listen to music and everything when sober!!! Of course all parties we also attended together!
4) Did you also score the same chicks? He, he…Could you attempt to shortly describe each of the friends with whom you played at that time? When have you seen them last time?
Wojtek Sіabicki – mine of ideas, all craziest and weird tricks are of his authorship. On top of that he’s the one who got an idea to play cover of MAANAM and “Pretty Woman”, our two motor forces of that period of time.
Jacek Gnieciecki – good, diligent and certain guitarist. He joined us a little bit later, but it didn’t prevent him to harden off and build indissoluble ties of friendship with the rest of the gang.
Mariusz B?czkiewicz – the founder member of QUO VADIS, kind of a father in the band (he was the oldest), wrote lyrics and music. Together we formed kind of a leading duet; the oldest with the youngest, which also from organizational point of view was quite active.
5) In that period of time your Fan Club led by T. Jaсczak was thriving. How do you recall that cooperation? How did you guys meet?
The cooperation with Tomek was superb. Everything that was happening was based on friendly, youthful verve, enthusiasm. We have met by mail (laughs). In the old days whole correspondence was happening traditionally, but there was something special in it – waiting for a replay and checking whether or not there is a letter in the mailbox.
6) The artwork of the album… those copulating rats’ skeletons on a news kiosk and good, old “chuj” [dick] on the garbage can… he, he… Who was the author of the cover art?
…I must put you right here; these copulating skeletons were actually cats (laughs). The idea of skeletons carrying a controversial flag with images of Hitler, Stalin and Jaruzelski and request for plethora of details on the cover art was ours, whereas workmanship and enrichment by his own visions was an act of Maciej “Kosa” Kosiсski (these cats). And the inscription “chuj” of course the author is Wojtek (laughs).
7) The first album came out as an analog. Why vinyl?
At that time there were only two carriers: cassette and vinyl. Cassette was only a cassette – but you couldn’t release any album that was only in cassette version (laughs). Record had to be a record! Besides it raised prestige! Even though it was the declining years of the vinyl records, we’re very happy that the record has come out. And the greatest experience of the whole process, which I have printed in my memory, was printing of the cover! It had to be done on the side in some state owned printing house. On the side meant at night. B№czek and I were there to see the process.
It looked like that; first they printed yellow and it was okay. Next in line was magenta, and here the cover began to have a look, but a funny two-colored. Only after the cyan came, suddenly from two bland colors appeared the whole thing and black has sharpened the details! Describing of the print process is taking me here like two minutes, but then each stage (preps and run thru the press) took an hour and a half. I remember when after that cyan B№czek and I were so overexcited. We went outside. The morning was dawning….and that rising sun together with joy of having the record cover was just unforgettable.
8) Who has pressed the vinyl itself? Was it easy to find a place that would do it? What was the edition of the first album?
It was ARSTON. And there as well we had to arrange it under the counter. The edition was pretty small – only 1500 pieces. We had to go through some troubles to get it done.
9) In my opinion the debut material sounds phenomenal. How much time did you spend in ARP studio? I’m asking, because there is no info about it on the cover of the vinyl record…
It was some two weeks of recording and a week of mixing. Maybe for those times it had a good sound, but from the perspective of time we have developed an expression for it: mosquitoes in a tin can (laughs).
10) How was the cooperation with Marek Szukaіo over the production of the first album?
What that poor guy had to endure with us… (laughs). We were displeased most of the time. As it is with youngsters – they come in to the studio of not the highest quality and want to sound like MACHINE HEAD. We wanted to have sound like EXODUS on “Bonded by Blood” (laughs). Once Wojtek said a sentence that has still functions among us: “you know what? This is a TV theatre play and you make a feature film out of it”. This statement pissed Majуwa off so much that he had to get out the studio for an hour… (laughs). We have milked the studio…and Majуwa all it was worth (laughs).
11) Do you remember how fans – those whom you were meeting then – received you debut?
You know what….It was time when everybody was hungry for music, and reactions were very positive! It’s nice to encounter people who with pride show me our first long play (laughs).
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