Here you can read an interview I had with Bart, guitarist of the Polish death metal band, Pandrador. He discussed their debut album Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny, its theme, sound, influences, pandemic situation.
There are few elements about Pandrador, and one of them is the sound, it’s like I’m listening to Vader albums, to a point. Do you agree with this?
It depends. Vader was the first and one of the most known band which plays the genre of ”Polish Death Metal”. It has its own canon of sound, riffs and songwriting. I think you can agree that saying ”Dismember is playing like Entombed, because they’re both playing Swedish Death Metal” is a bit odd and not accurate. We’re also not about to hide that bands such as Yattering, Dies Irae, Trauma, Vader or Decapitated were very influencial when it comes to overall style of Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny. It’s just a matter of our whims, which made our album sound alike. I would compare it to Quentin Tarantino’s ”Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”, it was a puff for old times of Hollywood. Same with us, we were about to make a tribute to the bands, which were important for Polish Death Metal scene back in 2000s, because we were growing with that music. It also doesn’t mean that we won’t go for something odd. Who knows? Maybe one day we will play a ”70s Polish Blues” with Norse Mythology lyrics. Pandrador is about to tell stories, create worlds and make them shine with specific atmosphere of the music. No matter if it’s Death Metal, Black Metal or Jazz-Fusion or something more or less weird.
The other element is the theme: Polish band, nordic theme.
There’s an Asatru community in Poland. They’re religious minority, but they exist and I’m feeling like I’m one of them. Music is just louder way to say that I’m one of them in some way. For me, it’s not something odder than Batushka’s „Orthodox Christian Themes”, because Orthodox church is also a minority in Poland. It’s also interesting question for all the artist: ”doing something that you feel, because you feel it” or ”doing something that is connected to your nationality or your ethnic origin”, because you fear of being considered as someone fake and trying to be fashionable. Second option seems to be ”auto-racist” or limiting from the start, just because your mind cannot accept that you’re feeling as someone other than majority of society you’re living in. Breaking those barriers is being true to yourself.
Tell me more about your debut album Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny. What’s the story behind it?
All I can say that will be pretty accurate is understanding the minds of legends and heroes, who lived 1000 years ago. Their motivation was not to be forgotten, to take their place in Valhalla as someone, who have done something monumental for themselves – no matter the price. And that’s the most precious and beautiful thing you can ever get. Sacrificing your humanity, all that is important to you and understanding you’re brave and determined enough to become someone you wanted to be is (for me) the best way to get to Valhalla. And everybody can have their own one – it’s all standing on the pillar of value itself, it’s not blessing specific place. That’s what I can reveal as my thought about an album. If you want to have your own opinion – checkout the descriptions of our videos or our album on YouTube or Bandcamp. Let it live by itself.
How was the album feedback so far from the media and the fans?
It was good enough for debut album, at least for me. Pandemic wasn’t helpful in any way, but I think that our fanbase is becoming bigger every day and more people start to understand what our music is about. Our intention was to make people think and sometimes we receive some questions about philosophy behind the music. It makes me proud when someone is not afraid to share his/her thoughts about lyrics, understanding the Norse Mythology and contacting us to ask for something, which can be personally important. As I said, Pandrador is more ”old-story-telling-platform” than a band for me. Some of journalists or listeners understood it from the start, some after some time, some didn’t at all. But we’ll be out there enough time to invite everyone, who want to explore the sacred-self, hidden deeply in our and other people minds.
Besides the sound that as mentioned earlier, what are the other influences?
As I said earlier, it’s just a matter of a specific canon, not trying to be ”as badass as someone else”. Beside the influences of Polish death metal bands, I think that we’re bringing some of Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Hate Eternal or Unleashed vibes. If you listen closely, there are also elements of Enslaved or Bathory and some of our odd rhythm bases could be used by Wardruna or Heilung. It’s really wide spectrum of music we’ve listened to when we were thinking about arranging the album. But the core of the sound on this album is of course Polish Death Metal.
And how did you approach the sound?
You need to ask Heinrich from Heinrich House Studio. It was mainly his idea to make the overall album tone just like you can hear it. But fun fact is, we’ve used some of Vesania and Behemoth’s equipment, because some of their stuff was in Heinrich’s studio back then. It wasn’t something like ”Yeah, Behemoth uses that, so it will make us sound awesome”. It was more like ”If this tool is good enough to make our album sound just like we want to, we are about to use it”. Also, we’ve used the old Ashdown Fallen Angel cab, which was a property of Maurycy Stefanowicz (Mauser, ex-Vader) and we’ve recorded all the guitar tracks with that. From what I know, Decapitated and Vader also used this cab back in mid 2000s, so that’s probably the reason why we’re so close to them when it comes to the tone. But hey, when you’re 19-20 yearsold, working with such an equipment is like a dream-come-true! And what comes around goes around, Decapitated also used Vader’s equipment on their first album Winds of Creation, so it’s nothing new.
The founding band member left the band, right after the album was released. What can you tell me about it?
It was his decision. Marcin told us that he was about to left the band since 2019, saying that he won’t have time for all the stuff we want to do, but he wanted to wait until album release to see how it’s gonna be. But I understand his thinking. He’s at the end of his studies, he needs to devote himself even more to get a job as a journalist. It’s nothing more than ”I’m living my life and I need more time for that”.
2020 was not at all a good one, the bands did not tour much or not at all, and for the small bands, is even worse. What did you do to prmote the album during this pandemic?
We were more about to depend on social media feedback, let people spread the information about the album themselves and do some videos. We were depending on the quality of our worrk, if I can say so. I mean, it’s not something phenomenal to me just to release an album, because there are tons of badass bands out there. Our idea was to make our point of view more interesting. No one will know how we interprate the Norse Mythology without showing it directly, with our masks, our image and the story behind the album. So, we’ve put our ideas in the band and people saw that – for me that’s the strongest point of our promotion.
Do you have in plan a new album?
Yes, I’m working on songs right now. Already finished some of them and waiting for Mateusz (our vocalist) and Marek (our new bassist) to compose their vocal parts. Adrian will probably come out with his drum patterns on rehearsals before the studio, so we will think about some additional details then. What can I say? Those guys are dream team to work with, each one of them know what to do and I’m looking forward how the band will sound on the album.
Thanks for the interview. Hope to see you someday on the road. Cheers!
Thanks Carla! Hope to see you too, cheers!
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