Present yourself to the readers
Hello. Whalesong was formed in 2009 in Tarnowskie Gory, Poland. The core of the band is a two-piece - me and drummer Grekh. Although we are duo we work more as experimental music collective - recording with various friends of ours - like Thor Harris from SWANS, Xiu Xiu, Wrekmeister Harmonies and Thor & Friends; Vogg from Decapitated and Machine Head, Pope from Sigihl. Our sound combines drone music, sludge/doom, industrial, no wave, jazz, post punk, ambient, black/death metal, noise, modern music and many many more. As you see it's very hard to describe it with just one genre. The most important thing is not to follow any trends and negate up-to-date fragmentary listening of music. That's why most of our songs are quiet long.
During live shows we attack with heaviness, slow industrial rhythms, hypnotic arrangements and overwhelming, more than 10-minutes long compositions. We often decide to play brand new songs (we have just released second album, but we play live also songs from our still-unrecorded third album) and deform old songs. Constantly repeated riffs and rhythms mixed with huge loudness are the key to the sound. I myself love when the music during the show overwhelms me and takes somewhere else and I can't do anything else but let it consume me. That's why I love seeing live bands like Swans, Senyawa, Wolvennest and that's we also try to achieve. Also dynamics have really great value for us and our music. We use a huge variety of instruments: gongs, hammered dulcimer, tubular bells, theremin, vibraphone and even objects like sheet metal and springs.
What’s the story for RADIANCE OF A THOUSAND SUNS ?
In the beginning the album was supposed to be an EP entitled 'Consumer', yet very fast it started to grow by itself and became a full-length double CD album. As recording session started new ideas were visiting my mind and well here we are now with this colossus.
Who composes ?...How does it work in the duo ?
I compose the songs, prepare the riffs, sometimes I even have a vision of the whole song in my mind including the rhythms (like with title track from Radiance of a Thousand Suns). Other songs are improvised in studio and we just press record and play the song and see what happens. There is one song - 'Flesh' from the new album - it was a different one, as the first was the beat made by Grekh and then I orchestrated it with all the instruments.
Who writes the texts ?..What are they talking about ?..How does inspiration come ?
I write all lyrics. Main lyrical themes are: society, inner self, human nature, chaos, devastation, never-ending struggle.
The inspiration comes from everywhere - books, music, movies, life. It just comes and goes away, I try to write down all ideas and gather them in one place. Then when the day comes I check everything together and make it. There are also situations when the words just come for the whole song and I don't have to change anything in the future.
Why the name WHALESONG ?
Many years ago I read some article that stated the whales never sing the same song twice - I loved this idea and as with this band I always wanted to evolve and seek new ways I thought this name is perfect. It's also very different to other bands and easy to remember.
What are your personal musical tastes and your influences ?
I listen to everything I think is good. It doesn't matter if it's jazz, power electronics, ambient, post-punk, metal or whatever. I love bands like Neurosis, Saint Vitus, Genocide Organ, Death in June, Trepaneringsritualen and many many more. Currently I listen to new Misthyrming album very often.
With Whalesong I was always highly influenced by industrial and no wave music - Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, Godflesh, Neurosis, God, Scorn. Yet you can hear definitely some Mayhem and Sabbath in my riffing as these were and still ofc are one of the most important bands in my life.
What's your best live memory ? And why ?
Our live show in Red&Black, Chorzow in the end of 2017 I think - we were playing there with our friends - Moanaa, Shine and darkdrone. A lot of people came to the show, we had great response from the crowd and the setlist was a mix of old and new. We were also headlining so we had enough time to give the songs enough space to form (one of them was even 30 minutes long). With set like 40 minutes we are not able to give people the whole Whalesong experience. But during this show we could and we did it - seeing people hypnotized by our music was really great experience. It was a really good one.
In studio, what was the atmosphere for your new album ?...etc.…
As usually very good one, yet the session was kinda punishing for me sometimes. I have my own recording studio, it took 2 years for me to finish the record. We recorded drums in 3 days I think. Then it took some time to record all the rest - depending on the free time of other guys. I recorded my instruments in few days, Thor recorded his dulcimer in the beginning of January 2017, I visited Vogg with mics and we recorded accordion parts in one day. Everytime we added some another layer of instrumets I was happy, as it was completely changing the sound of the songs and was giving them brand new feeling.
How does it work for the design of the CD ? and why this title ?
The booklet pictures were taken by Michał Biel while we were doing together photo session for Disorder / Disorder Deconstructed albums. I had an idea already for these pictures and they waited then 2 years for the album release. Yet with main cover I had a vision to do something completely different, what would work well with the album title. I asked my friend ftr to create these layers, showed him some different stuff similar to what I wanted to achieve and here we are now with this really great dual artwork.
The title is inspired by J. Robert Oppenheimer. Main thing was the extreme light (from the sun, or maybe from nuclear bomb?) that enlightens you, yet at the same time it can consume you. The title song is trying in some way to grab this splendour of the radiance and I tried to form this whole idea into the endless sound.
How was the shooting of the clip CONSUMER ? and why this choice ?
'Consumer' was the first choice to make video to, as it shows well our current sound. It has this crazy jazz and accordion stuff that leads the song into the unknown. It's one of my fav tracks on the album and although it's a long one (14-minutes) I didn't care and made it a first single. Also I had an idea for the video to make it in this oldschool way which works perfectly with main consumption lyrical theme.
With Management and booking, how do you work ? And with whom ?
We are DIY band, so we do everything by ourselves. Yet we are currently looking for booking agency, so we could play more shows - we love to play live and I think it's the main way to feel the bigger picture of the band's sound end essence.
What are your projects ?
Except Whalesong I have my neofolk band Grave of Love, we are finishing full length album right now. It's in some way like Whalesong acoustic version. I also play in doom metal band Black Magic Rites (something for fans of Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus etc.) and create dark ambient/power electronics with my solo project LUGOLA. Since 2018 I have played bass and writen lyrics for black metal Useless. Finally my last project is Lifeless Gaze (dark ambient / depressive black metal) - I play there percussion, guitars, loops and do vocals, it's also very experimental thing.
What's your motto ?
'Resting is not for conquerors'. Another one would be 'Carpe diem' as you never know what's gonna happen.
Website to remember
You can stream/download all our music and buy some merch here: http://whalesong.bandcamp.com
For more informations about the band visit our FB page: http://facebook.com/whalesongofficial
You can stream our music also on Spotify, iTunes and many other streaming platforms.
What would you like to say to the readers ?
Thank you very much for your support and interest. Check out 'Radiance of a Thousand Suns' and let us know how you like it.
Thanks for the upkeep