Travelling around the world with this feature, I think we’ve hit a new country for the first time. Home of some of the hardiest motorcycles in the world (you’ll see some 60+ year old versions still kicking around in Vietnam), and of the band Weesp… Once again I have to say I’m incredibly impressed by how well people from another country can communicate in my language. I hardly had to edit anything in their responses.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Mike (guitar): We are all from Belarus, Minsk. It’s a country between Poland and Ukraine.
How did you meet?
Mike (guitar): At the age of 14 Lex came up with idea to create a band. I really liked this idea, despite the fact that we both couldn’t play any instruments or sing. Then a little bit later in a local newspaper we decided to look for a bass player. Mi was found there. Gul joined later in 2010. Unfortunately we had bad luck with drummers. We changed them a lot but after another casting Gul became a perfect addition to our band. A year later we decided to improve our electronics and that is why a twin brother of Mi Stak has joined us.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Mike (guitar): We are together for 10 years starting from 2010. Weesp exists from 2008.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Lex (vocals): It came out just like that long time ago. We just wanted the name to be short and unobtrusive to avoid putting us in any musical style limits. We liked it means nothing, but just a name. Good or not, but it is so. [I Googled it when looking for information on the band and: “Weesp is a town and a municipality in the Netherlands”! – Mosh]
Gul (drums): Every member of our band has his own influences. Of course some of them might be similar but mostly we listen to different music. For example some artists that left a big mark in our lives are Black Sabbath, RHCP, Insane Clown Posse, Muse, Queen, Iron Maiden, Korn, Rage Against the Machine AC/DC, Tool etc.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Gul (drums): First of all we put a lot of feelings, energy and emotions in our songs. Our latest release The Void gathered all our experience during a long period from 2012 till 2015. For all Weesp members, it was a hard period of important and influential events in life: losses of a loved ones, inner depressions of self-realization, a reasoning about love and people around it, stimulation of taking more and more from our lives. All these thoughts were crucial in changing our whole style of music that we played before, we brought more dark sounds and hard metal riffs to the atmosphere that penetrated us from the inside to draw it in a music.
And now we’re very excited about our second album that soon will be recorded. It’s absolutely different but still very emotional.
Mi (bass): Yeah, all the songs are elaborated very carefully. Each note carries a meaningful message. We have worked hard over the electronic component of our music that definitely added more character to our sound. Recording also took a lot of time. We’ve been experimenting with the sound of guitars, choose the most suitable amplifiers, drums and all that technical stuff. Oh yes, we recorded only analogue sounds, using real amps, drums, synthesizers, acoustic stringed instruments and even a harmonica – no soulless digital crap. The Void recording was produced with Polish professionals – brothers Wislawski of Hertz records, famous for working with such bands as Behemoth and Decapitated. Weesp were something new for them, but they did their best and we 200% satisfied with the result we got.
Check it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-void/id1021337146
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Gul (drums): You know, sometimes you want to sing about love and feelings that make you fly. Sometimes you want to sing about monsters in your head and depression in your soul. So I would say it really all depends.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Gul (drums): Wow, it’s difficult to say you exactly. We played hundreds of shows, maybe 300? maybe 500?
Lex (vocals): Well, we sound loud! You know it’s all together – sounds punch you in the head and then rise to the sky. I really feel it everytime we play live. And I enjoy it every single time. As I can notice – people often feel the same. And that’s what I like most in music – this connection.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Gul (drums): Here is the story. Lex loves to climb on stuff that stands on the stage. It might be amplifiers, drums, loudspeakers and etc. The most wild and funny climbing was when we were playing our solo a show in Zyrardow (the Void tour 2016 in Poland). We played in a club where the audience can watch the show from 2 floors. And I don’t know why but on one of our songs Lex decided to climb to the 2nd floor straight from the stage using amplifiers for it. That was awesome. The funniest thing was that then he didn’t even have an idea how to get off from there. Finally he made it while listening to a snare roll like in a circus.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Gul (drums): We use different instruments in our band. Both Mi and Mike’s guitars are custom shop (Upgreader guitars and Stap Pokotilo basses, multiscale tuned to low G# or F#). Glad to hear the unique sound of those masterpieces. Mike (guitar) also use Kemper amp in Orange cabinet. Mi (bass) uses Eden Navigator preamp, SWR minimo preamp and a bunch of pedals. Also Mi plays small analogue synth Moog subphatty. I use Sonor and Ludwig drums, and prefer Paiste cymbals. Stak is a synthporn master. He collect a lot of different analogue and modular synths (moog sub 37, access virus ti2, doepfer, pittsburg, dsi modulars, korg emx1) .
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
Mike (guitar): Starting from October 12th we are going to a small tour. We will visit Berlin, Hamburg, Prague and Krakow. We planned more concerts in Poland but unfortunately due to some circumstances two gigs were cancelled. That is why after Krakow we are going home. Next time we will definitely visit more cities!
Also soon we are starting to record our second album which will include ten new songs. Everything is almost ready for it. We need to finish one song, make a few edits in lyrics and synths and that’s all – go into a recording studio.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
Gul (drums): Interesting question. I definitely would say that some of them would be Rage Against the Machine, Machine Head and Muse.