Dear reader, Polish metal legend KAT (“executioner”) to release a new album named Without Looking Back on June 7th, 2019 via Pure Steel records. For me personally, KAT is one among my personal favorite bands for years so I just couldn’t skip the possibility to speak with Piotr Luczyk (Guitars) who has created to band back in late of 1979. So just open the beer and enjoy by this interview prior to the album release date!
Hi Piotr! First of all, I am really proud to be able to talk to you because KAT is one of my favorite bands from Poland for about 20 years! How are you doing in these spring days before the release date of the new album?
Hi Oleks, I’m doing very well, particularly because of the upcoming release of our new album. There is something to talk about. And I’m glad that you remember us.
“Without Looking Back” is the tenth full-length KAT album. Do you agree that 10 albums over 40 years are not enough?
10 or 11 – the numbers are not important. It is important that the album exists. It’s been 40 years since the founding of the band, but I was just learning to play with my friends in the beginning. The first single came out in1985, the first album in 1986. So that reduces the active life of the band to 34 years. And for the past 15 years, since Mind Cannibals, KAT has not recorded a premier album. During this time I devoted myself to private life and to creating the Cover Festival. KAT did not work in a normal way, although we met at rehearsals. If you are more than 15 years old. It turns out that we have released CDs every 2 years. That’s not so bad, is it?
What are your feelings about the title of the album “Without Looking Back”? The title of the album is related to the band’s age, right? It may seem to be saying “we have 40 years of the band behind us; we do what we do and we don’t look at the team and we don’t care about the past “…
Not completely. In a way it’s a bit of a perverse title, saying goodbye to the old petrified image which I could never accept. I want to to show that we are moving forward and we don’t need a story braided with cobwebs. We set a path and go for it without being haunted by the past. Music must not be shut up in closed minds. You need to know your foundations, but always break new ground.
The previous KAT album “Acoustic – 8 films” is in Polish version, when “Without Looking Back” is completely English? Your albums have different languages, as in 2005 – “Mind Cannibals” – English lyrics, the debut “Metal and Hell” was also in English… What is the reason for changing the language from album to album?
As for the debut album, ‘Metal and Hell’, the then vocalist could not learn English or sing in English. That’s what’s on the record, rather a parody of English. We were aware of it but nothing could be done. We deliberately stopped recording English versions of the next discs so as not to be more embarrassed. On Mind Cannibals the singer was Henry Beck who speaks English. Qbek Weigel sings on ‘Without Looking Back’. As with Henry Beck, he has no problem with English. That’s the whole secret. My dream has always been to record albums in English. Ultimately, it’s the universal language of music. I can only do it now.
What is the main theme of the album? I see that there are such songs as “Medieval Fire”, “Let There be Fire”, “The Promised Land” etc. Is there something more in that?
As for the text, it is best if the author answers. We discussed the subject of the texts together but this is his work.
Robert Millord, April 2019
What is my inspiration, my afflation to write lyrics?
It usually comes from several different sources. First, I get music ideas, demos, and they evoke in me some painting-like impressions. I can see music, its colors, intensity, contrasts between darkness and light – I start to see scenes and look for words to paint them with. Very often the scenes relate to the political events, social affairs and personal episodes surrounding me in the time of writing. Obviously, the words have to be in harmony with the music, its rhythm, and sound. Vocals are very important instruments in a musical composition.
My lyrics have always been very inter-fused with politics. There are real political and social events depicted in the texts I write. My rebellious way of seeing the world probably originated from the reality, completely soaked in “righteous” political rhetoric of the communistic regime, I was unfortunately born and raised in. The explicit expressions in my lyrics often pertain to religion as one of the most significant burdens of humanity with eternal and not so obvious war between Good and Evil. The distinction between the two is often lost and far from clear.
What is the main topic of the album “Without Looking Back”? Why so many “fires”?
The general topic of this album could be described as “Humanity and its fuck-ups.”
You also asked about more explanation of these songs:
“The Promised Land”
It is so human: the faith in the “Promised Land.” It is so human to believe it was “promised”.
Promised? By whom? Where would it be? Nowhere. It does not exist. It is a typical groundless human pride putting human words and false statements into God’s mouth to justify their validity and infallibility. People are just in need of “the promised land,” they are just gasping for it. It unites them although they are never united. It gives them an excuse to fight wars, to kill, to blast with fire, to ravish, to conquer, all to reach the “PROMISED” land. Why? Because it was “promised”.
Inquisition. Conquest. Indoctrination. Sin and Fear. Punition and Obedience. Stakes. Fires.
Thousands of fires. Millions of lives. There will never be any excuse or concealment in oblivion. There will be revealment, condemnation, and punishment. That is what this song is about.
“Let There Be Fire”
I see it this way:
Where there is real love – there is passion.
Where there is passion – there is desire.
Where there is desire – there is ardor.
Where there is ardor – there is heat.
Where there is heat – there is fire.
Here are three songs and different meanings of fire explained.
Are you going to hit the road this summer with the promotion of a new album? I think fans from Europe and the USA will be happy to see KAT. Personally, I would like to see KAT in Lviv (Ukraine).
It is very possible. We’re working on it. Lviv – I was in Lviv and I was enchanted with the city I was on holiday in Ukraine. I listened to the concert of the male huru in such a small church. It was outstanding. These voices and climate and professionalism. You are a very musical nation. Much more than Poles or other Europeans. I was very impressed and I tell this story to my fellow musicians today. Congratulations!
Qbek Weigel is a new singer, how do you see his future in the band? How could you compare his work in KAT compared to all former vocalists?
It also seems that KAT lives with a “curse” on singers because you’ve changed so many vocalists on almost every album … What was wrong with the guys?
I did not change them as often as Ritchie Blackmore! 🙂
The first vocalist in KAT was Kostrzewski. It was a sick time. At the beginning (the first two albums) we managed somehow, and later we didn’t even meet at rehearsals! We recorded one of the records and didn’t even meet in the studio!! I was not interested in what he would sing. There was no question about working together.
Henry Beck sang on Mind Cannibals. A professional and a metal worker, 100%. Unfortunately, he lives in Germany and we could not meet often. Acoustic 8 films were sung by Maciek Lipina. An excellent vocalist from the border of Blues / Rock, Maciek is not a metal worker but I wanted a romantic singer for an acoustic record. I think he handled it very well. Qbek Weigel is currently singing in Without Looking Back. Qbek is a great vocalist with many years of experience. We have been cooperating on the Cover Festival for several years. It’s no problem for him to sing Godsmack, Metallica, Thin Lizzy, AC / DC or KAT Qbek is also a guitar player, that’s why we understand each other perfectly. Working with Qbek is pure pleasure.
Currently, KAT has the best songwriting/composition in the history of the band and for sure the best vocalist.
KAT is not an experimental band, but your discography proves that you are musically open, because in your music you can find speed metal, heavy metal, black metal, thrash metal, etc. Is it because you are pure metal and really do not care about you all the boundaries of this genre etc?
We’re just musicians. We do not limit ourselves to one species or genre because we are developing. From hard rock through classic to thrash metal. It’s all the same music based on blues. Blues are always there somewhere. Whether in a guitar solo or in the song’s structure. And the classics. The musician should develop all the time and understand what he is playing. That’s why you have to play different things.
Piotr, what are your favorite musical genres?
I listen to everything where the vocalist can sing and not growl. Growl means lack of vocal skills which disqualifies even the best composition. Sometimes I listen to classical music as well as soul performed by, for example Earth Wind and Fire :). I listen to everything that makes me happy and I’m still learning.
Well, Piotr, you spent 40 years in rock and metal music, how do you feel in today’s metal scene in Poland and in the world? What are the biggest changes during all these years?
How can you compare a metal scene from the 80s – 90s – ’00? Would you like to get a time machine and go back to, say, the 80’s, would you like to stay here and now?
I think I would prefer to stay in the 70-95 years. In those times the bands that are considered the most important today were formed. None of the new stars can match them. The main difference is that the songs of those years can be sung. I am not interested in the renovation of a flat record on a disc and, in my opinion a man who calls himself a vocalist should be able to sing Presley.
Do you still keep in touch with other Polish bands who have built a metal scene in the 80s, like Turbo, VooDoo (coming with a new album after over 30 years break!), Emperor, Exorcist, to name a little?
I am the creator of the Cover Festival.Recently I invited Grzegorz Kupczyk (Ceti ex Turbo) and Pająk from Vader to my festival. I choose from bands musicians who can play the material of Old stars such as Deep Purple, Judas Priest or AC / DC and we play them together with us, with KAT. We play the music of our idols and this is the coolest thing.
How do you feel as a part of the history of metal? How could you describe your activity as a person in these years; how more active or not? (not like a band, but like a metalman).
Apparently, my first two albums (Metal and Hell and Breath of Extinct Worlds) were a breakthrough in Eastern Europe. I played with Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Helloween, etc. Recently, my album was included by the British Metal Hammer in the Top 40 Ever. This sets the level of the KAT team. I think I’m part of the Metal History although I don’t think about it too much. All the time I fell I have a musical deficiency and that’s why I recorded Without Looking Back.
What are your thoughts on the Polish metal scene? I mean more aggressive bands like Vader, Behemoth etc. … How do you like what they do? Are you proud that they have broken the borders and become one of the most famous bands in the world?
Of course I’m happy. Both of these bands once recorded the album “In Homage to KAT” Behemoth I do not know and do not listen to, and with Piter and Spider from Vader, well, we keep in touch. The three of us are fans of Judas Priest. As I say, extreme metal does not interest me, but successes should always be appreciated.
Best Regards Piotr Luczyk /KAT/ www.kat-band.com