If you want to listen to a nice death metal release, then check out Degrees Of Isolation, the new album by Polish metallers, Banisher.
Here you can read an interview I had with Banisher’s mastermind, Hubert Wiecek, about the new album, future plans and activities during the pandemic.
First, congrats on the new album. I really like it! I noticed somehow that Degrees Of Isolation is more mellow than the previous releases. Do you agree with this?
Hello! Thanks a lot! I wouldn’t describe it as mellow at all. It is just way more diverse than the previous albums. It’s still aggressive, brutal, raw and heavy yet this time there was way more space for slowing down, melodies and few solutions that we didn’t used to play before.
What is the lyrical theme of the album then?
The lyrics are based on true events, which happened to me in USA back in 2017. Every song talks about the feelings and emotions experienced throughout the incarceration, custody, and after being acquitted.
Do you have any particular favorite part or song from the album? My favorite song is “Extradition“, which I had to play that song on repeat!
Yes! „Extradition” is probably my favorite song from this album! It has an exceptional sense of melody and melancholy in it. I also love „Lockdown”, which is super heavy, has this acceleration mid part and that touching melodic solo, which is probably the best solo I’ve ever recorded. Also I really like „Devil in ISO 5”, which is super furious, and „Echoes”, which means a lot to me emotionally, cause this song is about closing a certain chapter in my life.Are you the only one writing the lyrics and writing the band’s music?
I am responsible for all the music and arrangments. On this album tho I was also majorly involved in writing lyrics, cause they’re based on the story of my life. We were writing them together with Szczepan. On the previous albums always the vocalists were writing lyrics, previously agreeing on the lyric topics.
Along the years, Banisher had a lot of lineup changes. Does this, somehow, changed the way of the sound through the albums from the new members that joined in?
Well there is definitely a difference between bunch of 17yo kids and 4 grown men around their 30’s, isn’t it? Same with music. We’ve grown up, developed musically, developed our skills in every aspect, we are better composers/writers. The music is more mature, thought through. This is a natural thing that comes with age.
What’s the best way to get inspired for the lyrics and writing the new music: during the tour, when you are home, travelling….?
Your life. There is nothing more inspiring than the things that you’ve survived or came through, because it’s real, and it’s „you”.
You’re also busy with other bands, most known is Decapitated, Redemptor as well, how can you manage to handle the work with Banisher and the rest of the other bands?
Decapitated is a relatively big band and is touring a lot, so it was my priority for the past 4 years. I always managed the other bands in between tours. Sometimes I was also working on some stuff during the tours. If you want, you can manage to handle all the bands.
Considering the situation with the virus, tours are on hold for some time, then, what are you doing to kill your free time during this time? Any particular activities?
I am definitely not sitting on my ass and doing nothing. I am working on many stuff with Banisher because of the recent release. We are preparing few more videos and play-throughs. Also I am preparing something special for the bands 15th anniversary, which is going to be this summer. Besides that we are working on the new album with Redemptor. Will probably start writing new Banisher record very soon as well.
And of course, the online guitar and bass lessons you are giving. How is that going?
Actually pretty well! I really enjoy doing that and I am really happy when after few lessons those guys are writing me that I’ve changed their whole playing by 180o. I have this 13 yo prodigy kid that is working with me for around 1,5 years and he is developing insanely good. Already playing most of Banisher stuff and half of my solos. This is super satisfying and flattening. The other cool thing about the online thing that I can work with people around the world. I’ve had lessons with guys from Germany, UK, Ireland, Holland, Norway, Colombia and of course Poland, both bass and guitar. Besides that, I am opened for all guest studio work – recording solos, guitars or bass.
Hope this pandemic madness will be soon over and catch you on the road! I hope to see you live with Banisher too! Cheers!
Thank you so much for the interview! I sincerely hope that soon we will get back with the shows! Untill then stay safe and listen to lots of music!
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