Time to welcome a new Headline Act, one who have recently released a new single and video and who have an album due in August. Thanks to Maciek Papalski, guitarist of Chemia, for taking the time to rattle off the answers to our profile questions…
The band was formed by our guitarist Wojtek ‘W’ Balczun in Warsaw, Poland. Although each of us were born in a different city in Poland, Warsaw is the place where we work & create music.
How did you meet?/ How long have you been playing as a band?/ How long have you been playing as a band?
Band started over 10 years ago. During these times, there have been a few personal changes. I have jointed the guys 4 years ago, when the previous guitarist left the group. Chemia already has two records and a lot of touring experiences. Current team (Wojtek – guitar, Łukasz – vocals, Maciek- guitar, Adam- drums and Błażej – bass) started working together in year 2017. So far we have recorded a new record with Andy Taylor (ex Duran Duran, The Power Station) as a producer. LP will be released this year on August 20th. We have played lots of concerts around Europe, countries like: UK, France, Germany, Ukraine and Poland of course. During the pandemic we have managed to travel to Turkey to shoot three music videos. Times are difficult for all artists, but we’re trying our best to promote the band, rehearsing and getting prepared to play concerts once the world has reopened.
How long have you been playing as a band?
As I’ve mentioned before, band’s history begun over 10 years ago, but latest chapter, current members started working and playing in 2017.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The answer is simple Chemia means nothing more than chemistry, good vibes between people, in our case between us as members of the band. To create, compose good music in our opinion doesn’t come with musician craft only it’s related to the feelings and good relationship. We are friends, good fellows, we feel chemistry and want to share that with our fans.
What are your influences?
Each of us has different one, but definitely the main one is rock music. Starting with some classics like: The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin though grunge music: Nirvana, Soundgarden, some glam metal bands like: Kiss, Winger heavy metal icons: Iron Maiden, Metallica ending with some modern vibe of rock: Shinedown or Skindred. Some of us studied jazz or classical music at schools. In the end it’s always about a song, it’s like preparing good meal. We’re only add some spices we like.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
It’s always hard to talk about music, especially about your own stuff. What grabbed me when I joined Chemia and we have started working was that we didn’t work out what was good, better, which way to go during creating process. We simply want to make good songs, based on our emotions and rock influences, never try to copy anyone. I think you’ll hear that on our upcoming record. ‘Something to Believe In’ is a mixture of all rock genre, that is what makes Chemia unique.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Not really, I don’t think so. I’m also not a guy who wants to share his feelings through lyrics, so it’s hard for me to tell. All I can say is that Andy Taylor wrote all lyrics on ‘Something to Believe In’ after he and Luke had a few hours talking, sharing views – finding same ones, simply trying to feel chemistry. Both are 100% satisfied, rest is left to the listeners.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
During all these years Chemia played hundreds of shows, since 2017 we have performed a few dozens, travelling around Europe mainly.
Shows are always different, depends if it’s our tour, you’re a headliner, supporting other bands, playing acoustic or big festivals. For sure the most important thing to us during live concert is to perform our music best we can. Of course, we do not forget to entertain the audience. Our music contains lots of dissimilar climates, vibes so the way we behave on stage is definitely related to that. The only way is to check it live, when, as we all hope so, going be possible this summer!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
To me nothing compares with rock concert like Metallica or Kiss. Shows are crowded, venues are big, stage is enormous. This is wild enough to me. Ok, sometimes when you’re enjoying let’s say a jazz concert, in a small club, where your 100% concentre on musical aspect, nothing else disturbs you, some ‘wild’ things may happen too. An instrumentalist improvising a great solo for example. That’s kind of wildness I like too.
Personally, I’m rather a normal guy on stage. I perform my guitar, feeling the music, giving a smile from time to time to the closest audience.
We use mainly classic. As far I can recall same in studio and on concerts. Guitarists (Maciek, Wojtek) rely on good old Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Telecaster, Marshall, Vox, Fender and Mesa Boogie amps. Recently I’ve started playing Jackson guitars (Dominion Pro, MF-1) and Schecter (Nick Johnston Signature Model). We are thinking about adding some digital stuff like Headrush pedal boards, which might be very easy and useful during supporting concerts and festival shows.
Our bassist (Błażej) uses Fender bass and Ampeg amps, Adam (drummer) plays DW drums and Sabian cymbals.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Using same stuff since ages. As I’ve mentioned Gibson, Fender, Jackson or Schecter plugged into Marshall, Vox, Fender or Mesa Boogie amp.
Sometimes I change my pedal board settings, depends what music needs to be played. To me, if it sounds good and everyone is satisfied, it’s better not to change it! Maybe one day some big company will offer to do any series equipment for me, who knows!
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
Right now we’re promoting our latest single called “Angina”. Probably there will be something more before releasing the record Something to Believe In on August 20th. Depends how fans will react to “Angina”.
Meantime doing rehearsals, preparing for late summer/autumn concerts, and working on new stuff. Times are difficult for all of us, especially artists, but if you want to survive this crazy pandemic you’ve got to be on the move all the time.
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!
That’s not an easy question! Wouldn’t surprise anyone if I’d say all rock bands would love to perform a concert placed between, let say… Aerosmith and Foo Fighters, that would be something!
Recently heard my pal’s new band, called Wake Up Giant. They are still working on their material, but I really like what I have heard so far. Great musicians, cool guys, good rock. Would love Chemia do a tour with such a band!
The single “Angina” is out now on available to stream on all major platforms.
Pre-order the forthcoming album Something To Believe In via Townsend Music alongside some brand new merch D2C exclusives.