First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
My name is Jacek Wolański, I'm unavoidably approaching my 30s (in four months I will be 28). I am living currently in Jelenia Góra, Poland.
How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
It's a smaller city, near the mountains. For sure it's not a place for everyone, but I like it.
I think there is no local scene in the city itself. I don't know about any other band other than mine from here and you wouldn't find any clubs or events concentrated on this kind of music. Still, very, very close to my city is Bolków, where every year they hold the Castle Party Festival.
What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Industrial music scene?
I never really liked to compare my music to the music of other bands. But if I really need to, I would say that there are many bands on this scene which have very similar sound, they take the same route and style. Many times they care more about how they look, than how they sound. There is certainly more aggrotech, club-oriented music.
My music is not about being cool, it's more about the atmosphere, it's dark, sad and emotional. It's supposed to tell a story, with lyrics written in the form of poems, to work the imagination of the listeners. I like to mix different sounds and styles, to not close myself in just one genre. This way you will often hear orchestral elements, mixed with industrial and dark ambient.
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What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?
I think somehow I am mostly drawn to the topics of human nature, depression, melancholy, different kind of emotions and struggles in our lives. I also like dark, gothic poetry and art. I like to include this kind of themes or mix them all together.
Industrial and Attitude seem to go hand in hand. With global war, civil unrest, injustice, and political revolution being primary musical themes that dominate your music, how do you feel nowadays about the current state of world affairs?
I don't really use those themes in my music. I always try to stay away from all the politics and similar topics. There are already tons of other bands who do it all over again. This is not my direction.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
It's really hard to predict or plan anything far, especially being a small time underground musician. I concentrate only on the near future and releasing another album.
I almost have all the material ready for the upcoming Cold Therapy's album "The Darkest Hour". I believe it should be released next year.
When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself?
The very first artist, that influenced me and inspired to even start working on my own music was :Wumpscut:.
When it comes to your musical self and your real-world self, would you say that there is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
This is a difficult question. I think mostly I am just myself. There is something sad and dark in me. While I create, I am just able to let some of it out.
Are you musically self-taught? Or have you had mentors along the way to help you develop?
Self-taught. I never even read or watch any theory, tutorials, etc. I always liked to experiment by myself, I never stick to any "rules" in music, doing everything in my own way.
When it comes to composing music, do you approach things with a clear vision in mind, or do you prefer to let songs feel themselves out? Do you have any particular techniques or tricks you use to keep yourself creative and consistent?
It's always spontaneous, I never know what I will do. I have only one "trick" to keep myself creative – never push things forward. If one day I'm not happy with the results, it's not flowing by itself, I just stop and return to it after a day or few.
Often that happens when I have too many ideas in my head... If I don't finish the whole song and return to it another day, I already have a different vision, wanting to change everything.
When it comes to making music it can be difficult to balance atmosphere, song progression, musicality, and excitement. Do you have any tricks, techniques, or methods that you commonly use to help your music sound coherent and engaging?
Not really, I don't think about it too much, I just prefer to make my music the way I feel it at the moment.
I never try to make it engaging, it can be a difficult kind of music to some people, certainly not for everyone.
Sometimes some songs can be based on the atmosphere, going more into the dark ambient direction, sometimes they can be more electro-industrial with clear melodies, or a balanced mix of everything. It all depends on my mood.
Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What' your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?
I would say it's a balance, I simply enjoy both. It gives a great pleasure to create your own, unique sounds.
It's difficult to find the presets I would really like the way they are, to fit my music. Normally I edit them to my own liking or create my own.
Fusion of both, but currently, I am mostly using software. It's also because I am not playing live shows, so, after some of it was stolen in the past, I didn't have a great need to buy too much equipment. Still, I have plans to expand my studio and get some more hardware in the future.
There maybe would be some vital parts to my music, but to be honest – nothing is irreplaceable.
Once per time, I feel the need of change in my sound and I try new things, searching for new tools, instruments, techniques, simply learning more, to take my music to the next level and evolve. I hate to stay in one place.
Do you ever find it difficult to balance the creative and technical aspects of musical creation? How do you strike the balance for the need to craft and tweak your effects and sounds, in contrast to actually just getting the song itself created with structure and melody? What sort of element of creation do you prefer, the sonic shaping or the song creation?
No, I simply find it fun, the whole process of creation gives me a pleasure, this is just what I love and do.
I tweak all the effects and shape the sound together while creating the song itself, this way I already know closer how it will sound when it will be finished. At the end, of course, I tweak it all even more.
I enjoy every element of it.
Do you find that when you are working on projects where you ended up learning new techniques during the process?
Oh yes, this happens very often. This is actually the way I've learned everything, just playing around by myself.
Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?
No, everything spontaneous. Nothing is planned or controlled in any specific way.
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
Currently, I am not playing live. I am making atmospheric, dark and mostly slow music. If I would play live, for sure it would be more thematic, presentation-oriented show. I would like it to be visually stunning, done in form of art itself. Something, that my audience would remember.
I am not that kind of musician, who would go out on the scene with just a laptop and sing when the song plays from it. I prefer to not play at all if I can't give a proper show.
When it comes to performing, what are your favorite sort of venues to play in, and what are your favorite areas to tour? If you could tour with any other band in the world who would it be and why? If you could play anywhere, with anyone, in the world, dead or alive, who and where would it be?
Well, as I previously mentioned, I am not playing live at this moment. If I could, I would love to tour with IAMX. Why? His music is simply something more, a piece of art. Chris is an artist with a dark and sad soul. I feel often a strong connection to his music. f not them, then maybe :Wumpscut:. I would play with them anywhere.
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?
This is a moment that I should give to my listeners. I am a small, not well-known musician. It always makes me very happy when my listeners actually care to support me and my music, when they order my CD's or merch. They sometimes even send me the pictures with it. Those are the moments that make me happy and motivate me to keep going. I want to thank them all!
Of course, there are other ones, which inspire me too. Those moments are when any magazines review my albums, or when anyone asks for an interview, any kind of publicity. It feels really nice, that my music is noticed and get any exposure.
There is also a particular moment, which I would like to share. I remember, when years ago I was just starting as a musician, I was not known at all, I was still learning. I was reaching out to some established, more experienced artists, asking for any kind of collaborations and remixes, etc. At this time, they didn't show me any attention or respect, some even simply ignored me and didn't bother to answer. In some cases, I really wasn't treated too nice, but I don't want to share too many details.
Years later, when I got better and gained experience, the same artists reached out to me, asking for collaborations and remixes. Now they show me respect and say very nice words about my music, etc. It gives the feeling of satisfaction, that now they are the ones that need something from me. I am not like they were in the past to me. I play along, and I act like I forgot about everything and never mention it. I believe I can be more than that. Often I help some newcomer bands too if I am able to.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
I believe it was the learning itself. I started the hard way, making... not too good music. Then comes the general knowledge of how the music industry works, the promoters, record labels, distributors, etc. When I was starting, I simply knew nothing at all. It was a long and very educating journey.
Outside of Industrial music, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by? Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?
Yes, I am heavily inspired by neoclassical, classical and orchestral music. I was and I still am composing some neoclassical pieces from time to time, but I don't publish them. Maybe one day...
I am not involved with any other bands right now. In the past, I was working with Unsinn, which was my very first project, with it I was taking my first steps as a musician. Then I was working solo as Traumatize, which was more into the aggrotech genre.
On the other hand, I am involved with W\SCHWER Music Production, where I provide mixing and mastering services for other bands, helping them out. I also make some stock music, which you can buy and use in your own productions, etc.
If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them? What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
I would love to remix or collaborate in any way with IAMX. I already mentioned before why I enjoy his music, it's a very special artist. I also would always love to do it with :Wumpscut: (I already did few remixes for him), as I have a sentiment to his music, he was the first artist in this genre to who I was listening. Because of him, I started to work on my own music. They are both a big influence.
There are for sure more bands I would like to collaborate with in any way, but those two artists have a special place in my life. I have a lot of memories connected with their music.
Promotion can be one of the most difficult things in the music industry. Do you have an agent that helps book shows and manage your online presence, or have you decided to trek it out without and mantle the reigns of the social media apparatus yourself? Is it difficult engaging the online world consistently and originally, or do you find it easy?
Oh, it's not easy, that's for sure. But from the very start, I was always doing everything just by myself and that's how I am doing it to this day. I manage everything by myself, I never had any promoter or manager.
Sometimes other bands even contacted me, asking how I do all this, who is my online presence managed by, who is promoting me, as I am doing really well. I told them it's just me and my own experience gained through all those years working on music. It is really satisfying to know that I am doing not that bad after all.
The promotion itself is still a thing, that I would like to invest more into. But it just takes so much money, that often I am not able to promote as well, as I would like to. This is certainly something, I would like to improve, to reach more listeners.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
Not many know this, but in the past, I was a football player. At first, it was supposed to be my career, it was simply everything to me. My big passion. Those were great times for me.
Unfortunately, my future career was ruined by an injury, I couldn't continue playing anymore. This was a very emotional moment for me, as all the years of my hard work didn't matter, it all just disappeared. At this time I was very lost in life. Because of that, I had more free time, it's when my journey with music started.
I am also a family man. I value very highly my time spent with the one I love, my girlfriend. She is always above everything in my plans. Every, even silly, memory with her is very special to me and I will never forget it.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
A big thank you to all my listeners, my record label Advoxya Records, and the graphic designer Infinite Design, as without them, all I do would not matter. Without their support and help, Cold Therapy would never be in the place it is right now.
I would also like to thank The Infidel Interviews for the opportunity to appear in one of your episodes, as well as thank your audience for the time to read it. It was a great pleasure.
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