Decapitated are widely acknowledged as one of the most important bands in contemporary metal. Having returned from hiatus in 2009, the reformed band is about to release Decapitated’s fifth studio album, "Carnival Is Forever". We caught up guitarist and all-round musical extraordinaire Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka to talk about the new album, the state of music in their home country Poland and plans to return to Australia.
Hey mate, please start out by telling our readers your name, what you play in Decapitated and your favourite non-metal record of all time?
Hey dude, my name is Waclaw ‘Vogg" Kieltyka and I play guitar. My favourite non-metal album is "F. Chopin Piano Concert E and F" by Krystian Zimmerman, Deutsche Gramofon Edition.
What would you say inspires you most to create your music?
Everything in my life.
From early on in your career Decapitated has been heralded as reinvigorating what people saw as the stagnant metal genre. How did it feel to be part of such an important extreme metal band from such a young age?
Well it’s a great honour to be asked a question like that. I’m very proud to know that our band was important for metal history and that we inspired so many bands to play and create music. I know from people who create music that our albums "Winds of Creation" and "Nihility" played a very important role in creating a new death metal scene, specifically in the US and Canada. It makes me very proud.
Your fifth album “Carnival Is Forever” is has just been released. What can fanexpect from the new material?
They can expect a new Decapitated album, even though it’s recorded with a totally new line up. It still sounds like Decap and still has all those things that Decap music should have – energy, passion, a high level of musical performance, great production, great riffs haha. This time we changed studio and we worked with a different engineer – Arek Malta Malczewski (Behemoth) and Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, In Flames) so production is killer. It sounds very natural and just good. We added some new musical elements as well which weren’t on our albums before. I personally like every song on this new album and I’m sure every Decap fan will like it.
It’s been about six years since you released your last album “Organic Hallucinosis”, prior to the band’s hiatus. Do you feel the writing and recording process for this record was quite different than for past releases?
A little bit, yes. The last album "Organic Hallucinosis" we recorded without rehearsals. I made riffs at home and Witek would listen to those riffs and would make drum parts up in his head. He also created some drum parts by himself in the practice room and he is the composer of "Day 69". This time I worked with Kerim a lot before entering the studio.We made all eight songs before the studio and we really took care of arrangements of each and every song and riff. That’s why we didn’t have too much stress before the recording session, and why everything went very smoothly.
As with past efforts, you chose to personally assume production duties for this album. What is the reasoning behind having such a hands-on approach to producing your own records?
I think I’m the best producer for my music because I know what I’m looking for and how the music should sound. Of course Malta and Daniel helped me with making decisions about sound, but the last word always belong to me.
How have you found responses to the new songs, whether live or from critics?
I’ve seen some first reviews for new album and all of them are very enthusiastic. I didn’t see any bad words about it. I also saw some bad opinions on Youtube under some live, shitty-sounding videos of us performing the new songs but I don’t really care about that. I’m looking forward to hearing opinions after the album’s release. And I cannot wait.
“Carnival Is Forever” is your first release with Nuclear Blast. How has the label change affected the band so far?
We are very happy working with Nuclear Blast. This label is very professional and they treat us with respect. Right now I can see that they do so much for us, promoting the band. I think we have to wait a little for results, but everything looks promising.
You were last in Australia in April 2010 with Psycroptic, Origin and Misery Index. What are were highlights of that tour?
That tour was very cool. It was six shows and I remember that every night we had a really cool audience. There wasn’t much time to see the country because we flew every day, and mostly spent time in hotels, airports and venues, but we had a great time anyway. All bands were very friendly so that was just good times. And I have to say that Soundworks Touring is doing a great job every time – respect guys.
Obviously your home country Poland is a bit of an extreme metal stronghold. What’s the scene there like now? Are there a new wave of younger bands coming out?
Yes that’s true that Poland has so many extreme bands. We also have many good bands that aren’t so much extreme but very, very good, like Blindead. They play a little like Neurosis-style but they are very interesting. Also Acid Drinkers – one of my favourite bands ever, who are a thrash rock and roll metal band. They are very famous in Poland and are fuckin great. Check their last album "Fishdick 2" – amazing. I think the scene’s condition is okay right now, so many bands and people are doing a great job.
Does the band have any plans to return to Australia anytime soon?
Yes we have plans for an Australia tour. This will probably be March or April 2012. Can’t wait for those shows!
Other the release of “Carnival Is Forever” what does the rest of 2011 hold for Decapitated?
We want to do a world tour. Right now we are starting rehearsals, and after this we are going to do the summer festivals in Europe, about 15 shows. Then we’re planning a Balkan tour in September, in October we’ve decided to do a US tour, and after that a European tour in November and December. So it looks like we are planning a lot of shows and I think this album deserves it.
Thanks for your time dude, any final thoughts or comments?
Thanks for the interview and the support. Cheers to all metal heads in Australia – you guys rule!