Posts Tagged ‘Decapitated’

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Chillin’ with Decapitated: Vogg and Krimh

February 16, 2010

The original line up (left to right): Vogg, Covan, Martin, Vitek

Decapitated were hitting big a few years back around the same time that me, and many of the current generation of 20-something metal fans were starting to really explore the murky depths of the scene. So me, like many of us, were hit pretty bad by the death of their drummer, and one of the most promising young contenders in the scene, Witold “Vitek” Kiełtyka, and a small RIP poster of him still adorns a wall of my Bedroom back at my parent’s house.


Me and my intern Nev Christ were both pretty syked when this oportunity was landed with us, to hang out with the new line up on the just finished UK “Rebirth” tour, with Kataklysm and Man Must Die (reviewed here), and out of all the people I’ve ever interviewed, Vogg; guitarist and sole remaining member of the original Decapitated, is one of the few I truly idolise. Turned out he was a through and through, down to earth, straight up guy, and his simple yet admirable lease on life was something quite refreshing to hear about.

Vogg

Interviewers: Eyelicker and Nev Christ

Interviewee: Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka

EL: So firstly, how’s the tour going

Vogg: It’s getting better every day, and I can just say that I’m so, so happy about it y’know? New great line up that I can say I’m fuckin’ proud of. Last year I spent with Vader, that was really cool, but now I have my own band again, and this is just the best thing I can be doing with my life right now.

EL: Would you say that this is the final line up then?

Vogg: Yeah, I think so! The guys are doing a great job and they really love touring. We are the same blood y’know, and also the people on tour, the Kataklysm Guys and Man Must Die, really helpful dudes and really nice guys. It’s a short tour, 5 left. Today’s 3rd one, but it’s enough for beginning.

EL: Could you tell us a little bit about the recovery process and finding the new members:

Vogg: The drummer, his name is Kerim Lechner, he comes from Austria, and also he cames from youtube [laughs, Krimh sheepishly turns around, says something in Austrian and smiles]. I saw the guy a couple of years ago and he was doing our songs so I was impressed! Like, what the fuck is this guy? When I was trying to find a new drummer and vocal and as you maybe can see on MySpace we posted a newsletter about it so Kerim send me his video….and he was the best! Between like a lot of drummers.

EL: There were quite a lot of drummer there, what made Krimh so special?

Vogg: I don’t know, he plays really clean and just has…this…something that I’m looking for. It’s quite hard to describe by words. He’s really talented, this is his first ever tour. I’m really excited about him. Half a year ago we did first time rehearsals together and it was ok, and then he came back before the tour and just blew us away.

EL: So have you guys been writing any new stuff then with this line up?

Vogg: I think it’s still too early to talk about new songs, sometimes we’re jamming together with Kerim and we come up with a couple of riffs, but first we have to do a couple of tours so we can warm up together and then we’re thinking about new songs in March and I’m pretty sure we’ll go to the studio in December maybe, something like that, so new album would be like, new years.

EL: Would you say that since the reformation has there been any events or situations that might influence the way you’re gonna write in the future?

Vogg:  It’s not an easy question. I’m influenced by so many things y’know, and not just metal. All life can influence you, everything that happens around you, in your past, your feelings on the same day that you create some riff. It’s like, hard to say. It’s like, if you want to compare saying “hey, next day I will be happy”, but you don’t know how it’s gonna be. I’ve started to listen to my favourite albums from like 10 years ago, or from years when I started to listen to metal. I don’t know. I listen now to a lot of old Polish metal bands, and also new stuff like Meshuggah. I listen to a lot of classic music too. I like the piano player Leszek Możdżer, he’s a Jazz player from Poland, he’s the same guy who recorded some of the piano parts on the Behemoth album. I can say that I want to still play really hard music, extreme metal, because I have this power inside me.

EL: What do you do between tours in Poland just to chill out?

Vogg: Erm, I just like to chill out at home with my girlfriend.

EL: Does she ever come on tour with you?

Vogg: No no no, she doesn’t like touring. She’s like kind of the manager for the band, she’s taking care of a lot of things now. She helps us a lot but she hates touring.

NC: So this is your life then, you don’t have a job then or anything else going?

Vogg: No, in this moment I can live for this. It’s enough money. I don’t have to work. I used to work last year in a music store then I moved to Vader. It’s enough money, I don’t need too much, I am a simple man, I don’t want to have too much rich, I think it’s a good life I have. I’m pretty much addicted to this type of life. I love playing music even if it gets boring or dangerous and you’re spending too much time in a van or aeroplane. I just like to do it. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was very young, and this is my dreams come true, so I don’t want to change it. Life is good.

NC: If you weren’t to make any more albums, and just leave it as what you have now, would you be happy about it? Would be satisfied with your musical life’s work.

Vogg: I’m happy with those albums we did. But we have to do more. I feel like I have to do it, and I’m interested to see what else I can do. I hope we will be surprised about it. Especially me and Kerim because we will be the main composers. I think we want to take a lot of time and not just do bullshit and do the whole thing in the studio. We want to do as much as possible before the studio so we will be fully prepared.

NC: I’ve noticed that you’ve started to use different amps and equipment this time. You used to use Washburn guitars and Randall amps when I last saw you.

Vogg: Every tour there’s different stuff. Now I’m using Laboga, which I think is a really good amp, the producer is a Polish guy, they come from Wroclaw and they’re starting to get really good. I saw that Annihilator were playing with them and even Eric Rutan and a couple of really good shredders. It’s pretty nice to play, I don’t know, I just like the tone, it’s tubes but easy to play like solid state, I like the innovation of two master volumes on the same channel so you can just press the button and it gets louder. It’s important especially for me because I can almost kind of sound like 2 guitars.

NC: So you no longer need a touring guitarist like you used to have?

Vogg: Yeah, something like that, of course when I play solos it’s not the same as on the album and this is another thing I want to change for the future, when I record a solo I wana leave the solo just with the bass?

NC: So in the studio next album the solo’s will just be with bass underneath?

Vogg: Yeah

NC: And what about the amps you use in the studio?

Vogg: There’s always different stuff, on Organic Hallucinosis it was a solid state Randall Warhead, the Dimebag one. That’s pretty much the sound of Organic.

But, at the same time this sound was pretty much the result of me and Vitek, because, y’know, we were brothers….we were brothers….It makes it sound like the same blood y’know.

Also present and down to chat was the new Decapitated drummer, filling the quite frankly massive shoes that Vitek left, fresh from youtube, Kerim “Krimh” Lechner. Like Vogg, he had a pretty simple but definate idea about what he wanted from everything in life, but at the same time seemed still completely overwhelmed by the unexpected turn of events that have fallen upon him, being picked as Vitek’s replacement based on the strength of his homemade youtube drum cover videos. Essentially just a really nice kid, syked that he’s getting to live the dream.

Krimh

Interviewee: Kerim “Krimh” Lechner

EL: Decapitated’s your first major band then, so what was the shock like when you were picked as the new drummer?

Krimh: It was weird, like, some kind of a dream come true? Unbelievable is the only way I can describe it. But it’s good to see that Vogg is happy and I am happy about it, it’s really nice. Of course I was surprised because this is my first tour actually, I never played tours with my other bands. It was like, 5 bands before? Metal, rock, some experimental stuff, and some black metal stuff as well. I tried to be open minded, but I think Decapitated is the perfect band for me. It’s not only the typical blast beat and death metal drumming, that’s nice, but a lot is bass drum groove and not just how fast you can play it, there’s a lot of feeling. And that’s hard to pull off for hundreds of shows! This is only my fourth one with them!

NC: How’s it been so far?

Krimh: Yesterday was the best for me, the walls were dripping with sweat like a sauna. I’ve never played 2 concerts in a row before, so I have to get used to it, but I think today will be better.

EL: How long have you actually been playing drums?

Krimh: I’ve played since 2003, like, really playing.

NC: How old are you anyway?

Krimh: I’m 21

NC: What have you left behind, what would you be doing no if it wasn’t for Decapitated?

Krimh: I’d play! Maybe I’d study drums, I always wanted to have this and I’m just really surprised it went this fast.

EL: Obviously you’re a big fan of death metal, but who are your favourite drummers in the genre?

Krimh: Well actually I don’t really listen to that much death metal. But yeah, I like the Gojira drummer, really nice, good ideas, nice groove, Derek Roddy, Nick Barker from Dimmu Borgir. My first drummer was Joey Jordison, I think he’s not that good as in the past, but before his power and stuff was very impressive. Another one of my big favourites is Galvin Harris from Porcupine Tree, and Thomas from Meshuggah, Stef from Textures. Every drummer and every musician is a kind of an influence, everyone can show you a different way, it’s nice because you always start thinking “maybe there is a better way to play this?”

EL: So if you don’t listen to much death metal, what do you listen to when not playing death metal?

Krimh: Actually, like, Tool, A Perfect Circle, stuff like that, also like Meshuggah. But typical death metal bands, no, I don’t listen. Maybe for some fans it’s like weird, “You don’t listen to death metal?!?”, “No!, not really!”. Like, Morbid Angel and all this stuff, I’m not from this kind of musical background. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, but it will be different I guess. I like to be open minded, I like Jazz, and a lot of classical music. Anything that has a nice groove.

EL: If you could have a dream tour, who would you choose?

Krimh: Gojira! With them I want to play, and Meshuggah maybe. There are some plans of doing this stuff, like, a big tour maybe with Dimmu Borgir as well. But if we were playing with Gojira and Meshuggah I would be very happy.

NC: Are you nervous at all being in the band, knowing you have some pretty big shoes to fill?

Krimh: I know! It depends, sometimes I don’t like thinking about this too much, I just want to play music and try to focus on music, but sometimes yeah, there is like a nervousness in my depths. Of course everything is new to me now like moving to Poland, playing in a huge band, first tour…a lot of first times going on! Sometimes you wake up and feel like shit, but I just want to have fun and appreciate every little moment of this, and try to get the best out of everything. You never know when this dream ends, it could be for just one year, it could be for longer, I have no idea, but I want to appreciate everything. As long as my body can do it and as long as I have fun with it. I think that’s the most important thing, having fun, playing music.

Eyelicker

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Decapitated/Kataklysm/Man Must Die – Moho Live, Manchester

February 6, 2010

03/02/2010

This was always gonna be a special tour. The return of Decapitated to the live arena for the first time since the tragic events of 2007 that bereaved us of both Decapitated’s drummer and one of the most promising musicians in the scene across the world, the late Witold “Vitek” Kiełtyka, as well as pretty much destroying the band in it’s current form. For a long time most never really expected a return, owing to just how seemingly irreparable the damage done was. But, ever the soldier, despite the death of his brother, Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka, has powered on, and brought the band back from the cusp of oblivion, and with a new powerful line up ready to pick up the onslaught where their respective predecessors left off…

That night me and my new RC unpaid intern, Nevchrist, also had a cracking interview with both Vogg and Vitek’s replacement, the king of youtube, young Austrian “Kerim “Krimh” Lechner”, who turned out to be a humble and chill young man! Anyway, I’m working on transcribing that shit right now, so expect it to drop sometime in the next week!

Man Must Die opened the night strongly, as well as closing their set pretty well too, it was just a shame that all in the middle was kina bland. They play a sort of moderately heavy death metal that can’t really settle on a direction, so ends up just being kind of nondescript. Their live performance was nothing special either. They pan out on stage like a headliner at some kind of local rock night gig, playing to all involved’s family and friends, with generic enthusiasm. There were some ok riffs, but ultimately it was lost in a sea of bland. 4/10

I always knew that Kataklysm were shit boring, but I’d never had to sit through them before. Me and my intern pretty much fell asleep. Not only are they extremely dull to begin with, and their performance is lackluster in every sense of the word, but it drags on like hell! Nothing about them or what they do is memorable in any way, and the fact they have a semi legacy is a big fucking mystery to me. Kataklysm have, along with Benediction and a choice few other extremely dull death metal bands, managed to somehow make death metal mid tempo, boring, non threatening, and just generally nondescript. They’re kind of like the useless unnecessary horror sequels that destroy all the integrity and carefully crafted image of the first. 3/10

When Decapitated begin, Moho Live pretty much explodes. Launching into “A Poem About an Old Prison Man” , with Krimh blasting his way into everyone’s hearts and minds, any doubts about his ability to fill the late Vitek’s shoes evaporate, and is lost in the swirling melee. In fact, all of the replacements chosen by Vogg manage to easily keep up with the standard set by their predecessors. Rafał Piotrowski, from Ketha, is a fucking sick vocalist, better than both the previous ones, who takes the whole sound of Decapitated to a new level with his impressive range, and notable stage presence, sending hefty dreads flinging in all directions. There is little banter as well, most of the time we are treated to zero rest before the next onslaught, save for pausing to pay respect to the late Vitek.

I could try and go on with an analysis of just how much the new Decapitated slay live, and come up with metaphors too describe this, but ultimately, they are tight as hell, and deliver crushing, thought provoking technical death metal under absolutely zero pretense. As death metal shows go, this is hard to beat. 10/10

Eyelicker