Interview Votum (Keyboardist Zbigniew Szatkowski)
“We evolve and we try new and different things”
(September 2010, text by Pedro Bekkers, edited by Peter Willemsen)
In 2008, Polish prog metal band Votum released their promising debut album Time Must Have A Stop. After the release of the band’s second album Metafiction in 2009 (see review), I got a chance to do my first interview for Background Magazine with keyboard player Zbigniew Szatkowski. The easiest way was to send my questions by e-mail; perhaps next time it’ll be an old fashioned phone call or even a face-to-face interview, who knows.
In my review I also stated that Metafiction lost a bit of ‘metal’ with respect to the previous album. What’s your opinion about the progression of the band?“We evolve and we try new and different things. Most probably the third album will be more forceful than Metafiction and more melodic than Time Must Have A Stop. We additionally plan to experiment with electronics and soundscapes. We’ll see where it goes from there.”
To what extent are Votum musically influenced by other bands and what is the educational background of the musicians?“Almost every one of us, at some point in time, took lessons or spent some time in a school of music. We try to learn continuously and whenever there’s a chance we attend workshops, seminars to get as much experience as we can by working with the best musicians around. What are our influences? Well, it’s a tough question. Every one of us has a different taste in music and listens to different bands. Bartek Turkowski (bass) likes vintage electronics, jazz and funk, I love movie scores, modern electronics like ambient, dubstep or dnb, the guitarists Alek Salamonik and Adam Kaczmarek enjoy everything from trip-hop, jazz to Slipknot-like metal, Adam Łukaszek (drums) and Maciej Kosinski (vocals) listen to pretty much everything they can get a hold of, so it’s quite difficult to find one, two or even a dozen things that directly influenced us.”
I notice that a lot of new progressive music’s coming from Poland and most of them have a very high quality level. Can you explain this boost of prog music from your country?“I’m pretty sure I can’t explain it, but it’s no surprise for me that good music comes from Poland on account of our national talents and all... No, no, seriously, when we started our ‘adventure’ we encountered lots of amazing bands – not only progressive ones though – who unfortunately are long gone now with plenty of reasons: no money, the misleading impression that ‘good music sells’, a lack of marketing ideas and the unwillingness to practice or play gigs. If you want to succeed you need lots of luck apart from all the hard work, the lack of survival instinct and heroic determination. If you say that you’ve heard top-notch bands from Poland you just had the pleasure to hear a couple of the most fortunate ones.”
At the Metal Hammer Festival 2010 in Katowice, I noticed many great progressive bands like Opeth and Riverside, only Korn seemed to be out of place. How did you experience playing on this event?“In a way it was an amazing opportunity. We shared the stage with some of the greatest bands in the genre, with bands we used to listen to when we were kids dreaming of becoming rock-and-roll heroes. At the same time I hope it’s just another consequent step in our career.”
Thanks for the interview! I wish you and the band all the best of the world. I would love to see you play once!“I hope you will! Have a good time!”
More info about Votum on the Internet:
Album review "Metafiction"
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