About two years ago the debut Bullet In Your Head of Made Of Hate was the first step into the spotlight for the Polish band. Now Mike Kostrzyński and his mates are back with Pathogen - and a few things changed... Time to talk to Made Of Hate mainman Mike Kostrzyńnski!
It's been 2 years since Bullet In Your Head - and an opening show for Iron Maiden in Warsaw -, and there was a major change... Let's start with the fun part, how was it to open for Iron Maiden?
It was just awesome! I remember when we were waiting for the show just behind the stage and we were looking at the audience. There was 30,000 people in that stadium and I tell you, that was an entire army of people! Big sea of heads and hands! We were both excited and nervous! We were also so focused and prepared to hit the lights! Once the light went on, curtain went up we were sure that this is what we had been waiting for! I also remember when I walked on the stage for the first time and I raised my fist up in the air and thousands did the same along with screaming and shouting! We knew the night was ours! Even though we had some technical difficulties at the end we came home with huge victory and with the story that will never be forgotten. In just few words, that direct support for Iron Maiden was a dream and I'm sure that this is something we want to do on a regular basis!
Mike, when did you decide to concentrate on your guitar play and just do backing vocals instead of lead vocals?
It was actually few months after the Iron Maiden show. I had been thinking about my vocals and I got to the point when I realized that my vocals were limited and I couldn't do any better, no significant progress. That was no doubt the weakest link in our group and we decided to make a change on the new album. We also wanted to make a change in our style, to create something new. We've always wanted to sound heavy and make fine vocal lines. With me on the vocals that wasn't possible. Plus, and that's also very important, I wanted to focus on the guitar even harder. I knew that my guitar skills are something that every single listener underlined and I wanted to expose it in a different dimension and basically give something extra. Nevertheless, I still do some screaming and clean vocals on Pathogen. I know that fans are expecting some of my fills and they will get it for sure!
Have you been considering to bring in someone new? Or was there no doubt that Radek will take over?
Well, most of all we are all bunch of friends and we never thought about loosing anyone from the squad. The same about inviting other dude to the band. We know each other too much and there are certain connections between us. With a new guy that could be awkward or at least not easy, especially at the beginning. But it's just a theory. In realty, lately, before the change on vocals, Radek had been singing choruses and he had been backing me. He knew the drill. Plus, his voice is much, much deeper and stronger. There was no doubt about him whatsoever! He made a terrific progress in last few months, he became a real singer. He has wide variety of vocal skills – he can sing, growl and scream. When you add to all that my screams and cleans we have a wide possibilities. And that's what makes us happy. Plus, and I'd like to underline that once again, our music with his vocal became exceptional in style. We are on our own way. I remember first show with Radek on the vocals. People loved that, we loved that. We are sure about this step!
Radek played rhythm guitar, are you looking for a new rhythm guitarist? Or will he take care of both - rhythm guitar and lead vocals?
No, there won't be a rhythm guitar from now on. He was the second guitarist in the band and no one will take his place. I take all responsibility on the guitar lines. Having one guitar in the band is like many well known bands play: Ozzy, Dream Theater, Nightwish, Van Halen and so on. This is classic squad and now I can fully express myself on the guitar! It's a proved thing, shows are great when we play in this new setup.
How long took the recording of Pathogen? And did you work again with Zed?
In contrary to Bullet In Your Head session, this time we had the chance to work in comfort and without strict deadline. Once again we came to Zed Studio and all the recordings took place under his supervision. This time we had three separate sessions in both, old and new Zed Studio. Firstly, we recorded all drum lines in the old place. Since we, again, were pretty damn good prepared, it was real quick. After that we had some days off and we went to the new studio, which was in the nearby village. We had some sightseeing and hanging out. We bought a football and we played a lot! Then we started second session, which was dedicated for rhythm guitars and bass guitar. In the end I stayed alone in the studio and recorded all leads, fills and of course solos. With that, I finished the session number two. Then we made a break for like three or four weeks. We came back for third session and we recorded vocals for entire Pathogen. That would be all of the recordings. After that, we had this long period of mixing and mastering, the final effect is awesome, but that waiting sucked big time!
Your new album is called Pathogen. Why this title?
Well, pathogen is a source of diseases, illness and so on. It can be viral, bacterial, but also social and mental. Our Pathogen is an attempt to go inside the twisted mind of a serial murderer. This title says exactly all what we could say in one word about the main theme of this album.
Lyrically you deal with every-day-life experiences, but also talk about serial killers and their twisted minds. What's fascinating you about serial killers? And did you do some research about serial killers? Did someone specifically 'inspired' you for a song?
Serial killers are very interesting! I read a lot about them, read interviews with them, watched documentary movies and of course classics like Seven or Bone Collector. In fact, the literature is full of such subject. In general, their point of view is pretty amazing, sky is the limit for them. And I don't mean I admire them, of course not! Most of them were lunatics. But those with rituals and so called mythology around the crime are really interesting. Their twisted code and modus operandi sometimes are speechless. I can't imagine now better subject for lyrics! I'm huge fan of thrillers and probably that's why I used this subject area in writing lyrics for this album. Yet, there wasn't anyone particular that inspired me to write. I kinda like to create my own character and put him in many different angles. I was trying to think like one and put in on the paper. That's how those lyrics were created.
Have you considered to do a conceptual album about serial killers in general?
Well, in some ways Pathogen may be considered as a concept album, Yet, it's not a full study of the subject. Those are up to scholars and other people with complete background of education. All I did was to create my own expression on the matter!
Would you like to do a video for one of the songs? Which one would you choose?
In fact we are working on it at this very moment. We would probably make a video for Lock'n'Load, but you know, sometimes it changes so fast and so drastically... though as for this moment we are making the video for that song. I can't tell now when you can expect it, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be out in soon future, probably it's a matter of few weeks, maybe a month. Please be in a loop, these days news are coming every day!
Mike, you did a video about the gear you use. Who had the idea for this gear talk? Have fans been asking you about it?
I got a lot of questions about my sound, about my instruments and basically entire guitar rig. It's really hard to answer everyone separately, so we decided to make this rundown and show people full spectrum of my tools. We recorded it while we were recording the guitar preview for Pathogen. Once we did the preview, I was like: "Ok, put it on once again and I'll tell something about my rig". Everyone said it was great idea and that's how it all happened. Plus, I was happy to pay credits to Ernie Ball and Music Man for supporting me in my guitar journey!
Any news about a tour? In Poland? Outside your home country?
We are looking for a decent booking agent for Western Europe and maybe other places. Our big dream is to get to USA! Basically, we have a lot of fans over there and we get a lot of mails asking us to come. As for now, we are negotiating terms of a tour around Poland. Also, we have been invited to few abroad shows. Everything will be cleared and announced soon.
Btw, did you have had the chance to play a show with Radek on vocals yet? If so, how was the reaction? Did everything work out the way you want?
Yeah, I told you about it when you asked me about Radek's vocals, but I can repeat it: hell yeah! It was one of the best shows I've ever played. People accepted that change and went mad! Radek became wild on the stage and all worked just great! Plus, this show was memorable also due to the little accident we had. We used a friends car to get to the venue. Unfortunately... we broke the rear window. It was on Saturday afternoon and I could let the car be parked without real window! We looked everywhere for that window. Finally we found it but those mechanics at the repair garage billed us very hard. Maybe because of that we had this adrenaline during the show, because I tell you once again, it was awesome!
Are you currently working on your website to adjust it to Pathogen? Or is MySpace now the source for your fans?
MySpace is our primary web page. We made new layout and there are new features on the profile. Finally it looks how it should have a long time ago. In the meantime we are working on our website and it will be ready soon! Again, finally it will be something good for any type of news or features. We are also on YouTube and Twitter and Facebook! Now, there are several ways to contact us!
Two years ago Ryszard Nowak and his followers made it into the news... Is he still a 'thread' for bands in Poland? Or did the public is more open now and ignores him?
You know, people like him are rather mentally ill and should be closed. He is delusional and that should be treated. To be completely straight, people like him can't be taken serious. He had a thing with Behemoth, but he lost every single case. Every single case! His ideas and logic have been always wrong. That's what may happen when one is devoted to a particular type of stereotype and basically to the Christian church in Poland. Poland is weird country and many weird people live here. That guys is from fuck know where and he should stay there and never ever lean from there! But you know, now there are other weird things going on in Poland. Like for example big fest with the cross at the white house in Warsaw. Nuts!
Anything you want to add? Some news to share?
Well, as for now I'd like to thank you for the interview and interest in Made Of Hate! We appreciate that a lot! We would like to also invite you to listen to best album ever - Made Of Hate's Pathogen! Try it, buy it, love it! This is something you won't regret! All in all, stay heavy and see you at the shows!
It would be nice to see Made Of Hate hit the road to give more metal fans the chance to check them out. Meanwhile visit their MySpace and check out the songs.