Getting all proggy today with Polish rockers Artyfiction…
As a band, we emerged in Wrocław, Poland. But none of us is born in this city, we all migrated here. Let us introduce ourselves then, Darek (keyboardist) comes from Tarnów, Mirek (bassist) from Opole, Kuba (drummer) from Racibórz and Wojtek (guitarist) from Częstochowa. Now, it’s your turn guys – try to pronounce all these city names correctly and we owe you at least a song!
How did you meet?
The band originated as just music project of friends who wanted to play prog, but they didn’t really have a plan or puncture, until Darek joined them in 2014. It was different band, the name, all the squad. Mirek then jumped in 2016. At the beginning of 2018 Wojtek jumped in and the band in that shape recorded its first album as Artyfiction, Preliminaries. Quite recently, in mid 2019, Kuba replaced the former drummer and we completed the line-up for good. We usually got to know each other either by internet or by some recommendation. Wrocław also united us, indeed.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We already put some dates, but Artyfiction should be considered from the beginning of 2018. It was all crystallizing and getting into shape and we are slowly, but steadily drive this machine since then.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
It’s a collage of “Art”, “Artificial” and “Fiction”. We do listen to lots of music and observe the stuff and we think there’s a lot of fake in music nowadays and a lot of so-called art, which we find disgusting and lacking any respect to music. These are harsh words, but we can’t really get why millions get interested in some poor sonic torture, while a lot of amazing bands stay in the shadows. It’s too much about the money and the business it seems, whereas it should be mostly about music. We do observe also positive things – progressive music is not dead yet and it even gains some popularity. If you stay dedicated on your road, you’ll get somewhere. All in all, that’s how we ended up with our weird name.
What are your influences?
We read a lot of books, crime fictions, novels, fantasy. Often you read some part and let your imagination flows. Melodies then come to you naturally and you can even push it further and extend the story exactly as you want it to be. We observe a lot every day. The reality we’re in, situations that just happens around. Sometimes most usual city sounds or situations bring most unusual melodies to you. We also dig existential stuff a bit – mankind and all of such stuff. We are like family, so if some of us reads about interesting person, say Quincy Jones, he shares it with the others, such people also inspire us and motivate to work harder, think broader and extend the limits. When it comes to music, we’re obviously inspired by prog bands such as Opeth or Symphony X, but we listen to jazz, classical and grunge too, just to mention few.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
This is great question as it shows how do we see ourselves and you can also get what is important to us. Well, we think that it’s the diversity – we think we play quite rich music, just using our instruments mostly, because each member is inspired by different genre and we compose together. That’s our strength and curse. If you compose just yourself, it’s at least four times faster and easier to produce song that you like. When the band composes together, everyone need to like it and feel it’s our music. We play progressive rock / metal stuff but you’ll find classical inspirations in soli and post rock influences too, even a bit of jazz. We stay open on what may inspire us. Sometimes, the best melodies comes in silence, you just need to hear them. That’s how some of the material happened on “Firing Line” – enjoy the silence!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
On Preliminaries, there are three lyrical songs. Since then, we turned into instrumental band. We auditioned some vocalists and play with some, but eventually, we became instrumental band. On Firing Line (second LP, incoming) we just have some baby samples, that’d be it for a vocals. When it comes for message – we have it, even without vocals. We play about everyday’s life – the risks, temptation, missed chances, dreams, despair, but also love – it’s not sugary, as sometimes winding road leads to love, but we do describe emotions when playing and narrate stories.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We played dozens of them. Currently, as Kuba joined, we focused on getting through material and also we recorded our second LP, therefore we kind of missed many opportunities to play in this summer, but now we’ve booked shows for autumn to promote our album. When playing live, we try to play as if it’s our last show. The gratification is the audience dancing to your odd meter riffs and enjoying it for real. Even though the songs may be a bit complex at times, we go nuts and emit as much energy as we can. That’s what we can do best for the people that went to see us live.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I think one guy made successful somersault being really drunk, that’s something. High fives during playing solos and some pantomimes. We had one concert, with power outages, twice. We still managed to improvise on top on that and it went out awesome, but that’s also thanks to great audience. Overall, I can’t recall anything extravagant, every show brings something new and crazy.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Wojtek plays scalloped Stratocaster. Japanese production. There’s also Stratocoustic for acoustic parts. He likes the neck and the feeling. Thin neck allows for more precision and somehow works for him when shredding. Scallops gives better tone control and possibilities to bend more firmly, but it’s also easier to get out of tune or press the fret too hard and go out of pitch. As far as it goes for amps, Wojtek and Mirek use Fractal Audio, Axe FX III and Axe FX II. We think these are great tools and you can sound pretty much anything you like, but you need to use a lot of time to actually found it out and create these sound presets for yourself. Darek uses Roland digital keyboard and Kuba plays on DDrum kit.
What are your plans for 2019?
Publish Firing Line, initial feedback is great, so we provide physical CDs this time. Play as much shows as possible and book another ones. Music video, maybe two, new material for the third LP, maybe start to do some visualizations – they’d extend our shows a lot!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I think we would like to support either Opeth or Tesseract or Haken, all three are fantastic bands. As a supporter – Guns’n’Roses.