Interview Mariusz Duda (Riverside)

"My goal as an artist is to create something original, to create music that is different"

(April 2014, text by Martien Koolen, edited by Peter Willemsen. Pictures by Jaak Geebelen)

Recently Riverside played a gig (see review) in my hometown, the city of Heerlen in the Netherlands, so that was a great opportunity to interview bass player and singer Mariusz Duda and ask him about the second New Generation Tour and the possible plans for a new album and DVD.

Riverside are back in the Netherlands once more. Is it nice to be back?
“Yes, it's always nice to play in the Netherlands, but to tell you the truth I really don't know what day it is or in what town we are... We have returned again with Shrine Of New Generation Slaves somehow, but we know that we can count on the Dutch people to come to our show, so...”
Mariusz Duda

Are there any differences between audiences in Germany, the Netherlands and England?
“Yes, sure there is. People in the Netherlands are more into intense listening to the music, while in Germany the audience is more enthusiastic, no offence of course... In England, especially in London, the people are also very enthusiastic; they really like our music. We have been to a lot of new places on this tour and people really get used to us; they like our music.”

What has been the best gig on this tour so far?
“We have had a couple of very good gigs, actually. I don't know which one was the best. We try to keep this level during the entire tour and so far all shows got good responses.”

Do you actually like touring? I know that many musicians hate being on the road.
“Yes, I like touring. I don't understand bands saying that they hate to be on the road. It's just part of the job. For me this is my normal way of life: recording, touring, doing interviews, and so on. I have to like it, otherwise I would be doing the wrong job and I would feel miserable as a human being. Music, touring, interviews, it all belongs to my life as a musician; it's my passion.”

Do you always use the same set list on tour?
“Yes, in fact we do. But this time we try to be more open, play things in a different way. We now play other songs than last year and more older stuff. The most important thing is that we have fun on stage!”

Shrine Of New Generation Slaves
In general the latest album got good reviews. Does the new album contain music in the vein of that album?
“Yes, Shrine Of New Generation Slaves was like a new beginning for us and we will continue in that direction. We won't return to the metal sound of the first albums. We would like to explore different areas of music.”

Do you get upset about negative reviews?
“Well, on the one hand it's quite normal that there will always be people who don't like our music and that's all right. On the other hand getting bad reviews also mean that you should consider whether you did something wrong as a musician or not. However, you have to realize that you can never satisfy everyone. Of course I like it if all reviews are good and positive, but I know that our music is good, so why bother that much?”

How would you describe your current music to someone who has never heard a song of Riverside?
“Oh, well..., I think ... I would say it is rock music with lots of emotion we have found ourselves now. Our music is melodious with quiet and mellow parts, but we still use louder passages as well for the necessary variety in our songs. Our music is full of contrast; there's something for everyone to enjoy, but we are a rock band, that's for sure!”

What is your goal both in life and music?
“My goal as an individual artist is to create something original, to create music that is different, something of my own. I would like to leave a mark as an artist. I know it takes long and it's extremely difficult to reach that goal, but I am trying as hard as I can...”

What would you have become if you had not been that talented as a musician?
“I would have focussed on drawing. As a child I always made drawings. I really loved that, but I would also like to do something with movies: directing or producing them would be nice as well.”

Riverside in concert

Do you already have any plans for a new album or a DVD?
“Well, I first have to finish my solo project during this tour. We also intend to release a new Riverside CD in May 2015. This means that we have to finish the entire album in January 2015 and that we have to start recording in October. Actually I haven't got any ideas yet for new tracks, but I have some drafts and melodies in my mind that could develop into something, who knows... I think we'll release a new DVD in 2016, but first we will record and release the new album.”

Are you able to make a decent living from your music nowadays?
“Yes, we became professional musicians in 2006. It was time to get serious. We must now really focus on the music and get away from the hobby thing; get your act together! And we're still alive, so...”

Do you use Google a lot to get inspiration for the lyrics?
“Sure, of course I do. I'm not a hypocrite, but I also use knowledge from books, media and other sources. That subject I was writing about on the album: most people only use their smart phone to check Google and Wikipedia; that's their only source of knowledge which is kind of sad. I always try to find a balance, so I use different sources.”

Well, Mariusz, thank you for your time.
“You're welcome, enjoy the show tonight.”

More info about Mariusz Duda & Riverside on the Internet:
       Riverside Website
       Riverside samples

       Riverside Concert April 14, 2014

       Riverside Concert April 23, 2010
       Riverside Concert September 30, 2011

       Interview Piotr Grudzinski, March 2013
       Interview Marius Duda about Lunatic Soul, December 2010

       Review album 'Anno Domini High Definition'
       Review album 'Memories In My Head'
       Review album 'Shrine Of New Generation Slaves'
       Review DVD 'Reality Dream'

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