Interview with Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka of Decapitated

Interview with Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka of Decapitated

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Photo by Robert Zembrzycki

Your new release is not a new set of songs, but a re-recording of your first demos. Are these new recordings of your older songs?
No, it’s not a new recording, just a re-release of our two demo tapes, the songs are exactly like they were at the time. We didn’t change anything.

So you’re going back to your roots?
Yes, it’s going back to the roots after 20 years, to let people know how we sounded at the beginning.

So now, we could see how your career has evolved over the years. Your early demos were death metal.
Yes, we were influenced by a lot of death and thrash metal bands. We were inspired by bands like Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, a lot of bands from Earache Records, or Napalm Death and Carcass. We kept going with death metal for many years, but our style has changed a lot, because we have grown and changed, but we’re still a death metal band. You will hear that on our next album two.

That’s what I was wondering about. What will your next album sound like?
It will be inspired by different parts of our career. It will also be very melodic, but with a lot of death metal. There will be some connections to our demo tapes. A lot of classic death metal riffing and growling, very emotional and furious.

So you will be singing about some dark and emotional topics.
I don’t want to talk about the lyrics too much right now, because then I’ll have to go in depth and say who is the author. But it will be dark, there won’t be a lot of hope, and it will be about what is going on right now. There’s a lot of opportunities for this kind of lyrics.

This demo shows the themes that would often appear on your albums, like death or violence, but also religion, like mythologies or cults. You made an album called Anticult.
Yes, we started with death and cults, and then we became more philosophical. When we started, we had three people, our first singer’s nickname was Sauron, and he would write about hell, or death, or even Tolkien.

Of course, since he goes by the name of Sauron! Tolkien’s books have had a lot of influence on metal, with the fantasy-inspired power metal bands or black metal bands named after Tolkien characters. Metal wouldn’t be what it is today without Tolkien.
Yes. And then, we went to something more philosophical, about the meaning of life, not just violence or killing people. It’s all about the darker side of humanity, about being anti-Christian. We write about a lot of topics actually, we don’t have limits.

That’s great. You can write about all sorts of subjects, because there are a lot of ways that people can make life difficult for each other, so that’s an endless source of inspiration.
Yes, and we’ll write about that in our next album, though it’s still a little too early to tell. These subjects will touch everyone.

I heard you talk about religion a lot. It seems to be a common topic for your songs. Maybe we invented religion to give our lives meaning, but we also used religion to hurt each other. That’s why there are cults, and there can be religious cults, political cults or even cults around bands and artists. You could say that a lot of metalheads are Tolkien cultists.
Yes. Our album Anticult is also about being free, thinking for yourself, having an open mind. You don’t have to be a part of something. You can decide your own life.

That’s the problem with cults. You can’t make other people your gods, because you must control your own life, not put it in someone’s hands.
Yes, I think you can have your own beliefs but you can’t force them on other people. I’m not religious, I don’t like how the Church control so much of my life. It’s not easy, but I have to be free. I’ve never liked having people telling me what to do, especially when I don’t understand why I have to do it.

Especially since people who tell you what to do are not always right.
Obviously, politicians, religious leaders, are thinking of their own business, their own profit. That’s what’s great about the metal community: it’s about liberating yourself. I don’t understand why most people don’t want to be free, they just focus on shopping, on work, but spiritually, they’re empty. Even though I’m not very spiritual, I couldn’t go to church and having a priest telling me what to do.

The existence of a higher power watching over us might be comforting to some, but the problem is when people start playing God. It’s OK to have religious beliefs, but you can’t have a society organized around religion, there’s just too much potential for abuse.
We can’t have religion, or politicians, or the media, putting us in cages. That’s too much control, since we already can’t be completely free, we have to pay our bills and we can’t give up on modern comfort or live in complete isolation. At least, we have metal to explain what is wrong in society, it gives us more freedom.

It’s like creating another society within society for people who don’t fit in mainstream society.
Now we’re going in a really philosophical direction.

That’s because I like having people explain their music, and what it means to them, really in depth. Also, I can’t ask you too many technical questions about your next album, since it’s not ready?
We’re releasing the information little by little, to make it a surprise. But we just finished the recording. We’ve been working a lot on our new album. It’s a really honest album, very emotional. There’s a lot of melody, compared to the groove metal of our previous albums. I know every song, all the technical details of the production, and the musical aspect. It’s huge, in my opinion. The music is like a mirror into your soul, your emotions are in the music and you can’t hide it.  That’s why music is so important. It has been important to us since we were kids starting a metal band and this is why we want to share our old demos.

https://www.decapitatedband.net/

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