I was very glad when Wojslaw from Stworz agreed on this interview and we could elucidate more this interesting band originated from Poland. This talk was done between headredactor S. and the personification of Stworz – W. Soon the interview will be online also in slovak and polish version.
S.: Hello Wojslaw! It has been some time since we had started our first communication. I guess it was around 2011. How do you remember that time and what have changed hence forth?
W.: Hello Stanisław, yes, I think it was 2011 and it took us 8 years to meet in person, moreover – on foreign ground! Back then everything was different and that very year I was close to putting Stworz to eternal sleep and follow other pursuits. My other project Ludola was gaining momentum back then, I was close to leave my hometown behind, many things were happening at a time. However, it all turned out different, much has happened since then and I think all those big changes were for better. Now the future is open.
Stworz is very active band or maybe we could say project. You have 6 full albums and some split albums and compilations. How it is possible to handle it? I have to admit, that I kind of missed some of your releases.
But you must realize that all of them were done in a period nearly 13 years, so it is not that big deal even knowing that between 2010 and 2013 we have done nearly nothing. I record stuff when I feel like it. And I rarely do, although I often think about the themes and concepts or how would they be realized through music. So, when the time is ripe it all just flows. I am also currently completely on my own so that saves a lot of time – no need to wait for others, no wasting time on discussing stuff and making corrections etc. All is just the way it should.
My first touch with your band was album „Synowie Slonca“. 9 years since this album we have here „Moj kraj nazywa sie Smierc“ which is kind of more atmospheric and sentimental. How you would compare these two albums?
Oh, those two albums were made in completely different eras and circumstances. For example, all tracks from “SS” (hehe) were composed long before the album was recorded – in case of “Mó jkraj…” nothing was done before. I composed all music while recording it. Also, today I have much clearer vision of what I want to achieve and express. Back in the days there was lots of emotion that was expressed chaotically without any specific direction – just look at that crap artwork of “SS”, I have no idea why we chose it. But musically I still enjoy that stuff. I guess both albums are giving an image of period they were created in. I was in early twenties back then and so the music I wrote was a bit naive just like myself.
I feel a lot melancholy and hopelessness in lyrics of recent years. „Cóż po Żyznych ziemiach, gdy nikt ich nie kocha?“ or „Będę tęsknotą w Twych samotnych oczach“ and mostly on last album. Does it reflect some pessimism in your worldview?
I don’t know really. Note that lyrics on „Cóż pożyznych ziemiach…?” were rather optimistic in overall, while on „Wołosożary” – even if they weren’t optimistic too much – they carried a sense of, let’s say, hope. It’s a question of seeing time and all affairs within in as a cycle, everything has its zenith and nadir as well. Instead of pessimism I would rather call it skepticism towards certain matters, that would eventually find its end either way in a cycle, whether we like it or not. But those lyrics are not really personal, I’d say they are quite universal in poetic way of speaking of what lies between man, soil and heavens.
All over those years you are cooperating with Werewolf promotions – underground polish label. Did you get any offer for releasing your works, or have you been thinking of „making something bigger“? You know like bands which are signing with big labels and so…
Over years I received tons of offers to release Stworz’s stuff. Some were pretty interesting, some were not. I got many offers from Southern America for example, heh. There were also few offers I agreed upon, but they never were accomplished, because labels failed to do it. I personally never really thought about signing to “big” label. Cooperation with WP is pretty convenient and smooth, you can of course always do more for promotion etc. but I am content with what we have worked out so far so I will most likely continue this cooperation.
Once when I asked you many years ago if you would like to play some live shows, you said me something like: “I don’t want to play for retarded drunk metalheads”. Is it still your opinion? What do you think in general about metal music scene?
I don’t want to play for retarded drunk metalheads (laugh). But seriously the way Stworz is working for past 9 years simply disallows any real live stuff, since – except for some new tracks – most of the music from past albums was composed during recording. Meaning – I have completely no idea how to play it now and to take those tracks apart and learn riffs one at a time would be a pain in the ass and I have seriously no motivation do to it. About the metal scene – I don’t know, in Poland the so called modern “metal scene” are mostly rats, posers and liberal losers judging from their words and activities, so who cares. There are of course exceptions in the underground, blah blahblah, you know their way around. Not much has changed regarding me – I still live distanced from all that.
What a music do you listen lately? What has caught your interest?
It depends, nowadays I mostly move around via car and listen to various stuff while at it, much of it be black metal, but depending on the mood and time of day it can be some ambient, movie/game soundtracks or neofolk stuff as well, and lately it has been mostly that. But at home it is another thing, I rarely listen to metal there, I prefer some “mood” music that would just play in the background – hence mostly ambient, movie/game soundtracks or neofolk as well (laugh). If you ask for specific bands, I don’t know, Majdanek Waltz/Vintersolverv/The Noctulians cooperation album was great, I also enjoyed Dross Delnoch debut and that Ofdrykkja album released recently, as well as Finland’s Ruumisto works. Can’t really remember more, but there sure was more that caught my last year.
I would say that you listen lot of BBH music! You released a cover of Forest and also Temnozor (it never was BBH but Kaldrad was involved in this band). Last year was somewhere in Europe festival dedicated to his memory. Do you know something about this?
Yes, I know something and I know about some Slovaks from certain webzine, who might know something too (laugh). Indeed, BBH had a lot of influence on me and I still think that both BBH and TTF were the essence of what black metal should be. Without fucking around, compromise, “statements” and looking outside. Compared to them, contemporary black metal is a joke, especially that modern, polite metal who is always ready to apologize if anyone should feel offended by their music.
It is known not only form your lyrics, but also from your activity that you are active person in Slavic native faith. I would say that for 90% of pagan metal music bands are just image and they don’t believe in Gods or something above the humankind, or they just primitively say that it is personification, what it is your point of view?
Of course, and it is not limited to metalheads, even people claiming to be “rodnovers” very, very often turn out to be just liberal normies who try to be edgy and to have something “different” in their lives. Of course, Rodnovery is for “normal people”, yet what I mean is too often that normal people (and not only them) simply fail to accept the fact that this is a religion, for fucks sake, with complete worldview, rites, precepts and dogmas. Too many times have I heard that we are “like Catholics” because we are not liberal hippies for whom native faith is fucking around in flower wreath on head and making “Slavic” photos for Instagram. I guess among pagan metal headers it is even worse, because they seek to make fame and / or money out of it, so they naturally fail to embrace actual spirituality. But there is nothing funnier than those great Rodnovers who are scared to death of key words like “ethnic” because to them it is “literally Hitler”. In Poland there is a loud group of such rabble who deny native faith it’s… nativity. Because, hey, its XXIst century, we are free, what are you, some backward fascist to actually have some values? Still, Gods do exist and do have influence on our world, all of the traditional peoples around the globe knew it and strived to find a connection and balance in it. This is not a subject for discussion.
Yes, you are right. Many modern people think that „Slavic paganism” is some kind of rebellion against religion (mostly Christian) in general. And as you said, they don’t realize that „paganism” is religion as well and you can’t reduce it into some „personification”. And also, it is not just some reconstruction or living history of resentment against something. Here comes my next question, therefore what is your view on Christianity nowadays?
Generally speaking – I don’t have a view. “Wise” people from “modern scene” already have labeled me as a “catholic” because I dare not share their naïve, simplistic views on society, thus I will once again say that I have more respect towards a simple man of faith living – or at least trying to live – in accordance with values of his ancestors, than I have towards pitiful atheists fighting Christianity by metal music. Of course, this is more complex matter than that, but you get the point, I hope. Christianity, as a religion simply does not concern me. Despite what some crybabies might say, Poland as a country is fairly liberal place when it comes to religion and I personally have never ever felt any pressure in such matters. Unless one is so outraged by a single cross hanging in public facility, he has to go online to fight it instantly and there are such people. Since much of the Poles in one way or another deems Catholicism their faith and upholds such traditions, well what can we do. I really prefer that to atheistic societies of the West. Spengler wrote that peasant is an eternal human being, whose spirituality, despite the religion he follows in current era, is much older than any of the religions. This quite generally speaking sums up my views on Christianity, even if we need to modify it to fit contemporary times and place an ordinary man in place of peasant.
You wrote book about Slavic native faith. Regarding the books, what do you like to read as recent? Last years I saw many publications released on this topic, for example from Rafal Merski. Have you red those?
I wrote three books to be precise (laugh). I mostly read Sci-Fi stuff as well as XIXth and early XXth classic literature, especially one regarding rural life or those of lower classes. But right now, I am reading a short documentary about Iran-Iraq war and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Orsinia” tales. When it comes to publications on Rodnovery, yes, I know Rafał Merski’s books but beside his works not much has been written in Poland. Of course, every now and then I read some articles and books on ethnography etc. to broaden my knowledge.
We have such a phenomenon in Slovakia called “Slavic-Arian Vedas”. It is mix of new age nonsense with Slavic native faith, strong Russian and anti-Semitic propaganda with beliefs that Slavs came to this planet thousands of years ago with starships. Is something like that existing in Poland?
We have a „Greater Lechia” ideology here. It says there was a huge Polish empire existing before 966 CE, spanning over most of Europe, trading with Rome and according to some versions having colonies overseas in Americas. This empire would be the source of most of the civilization in Europe and elsewhere. This rubbish is mostly based on false chronicles, overinterpretation of historical facts and mere charlatanism designed to bring money. Many people actually believe all that and even books are published via once renowned, commercial publishing house. I did not drill into the topic too much, so I am not exactly sure what views those “Turbolechites”, as they are being called, exactly present, yet anti-Semitism and anticlericalism are certainly strong in the movement – especially the latter one. The problem is that for a layperson the difference between Rodnovery and that is often indistinguishable. On the other hand, Rodnovers tend to waste lots of time and effort on fighting the phenomenon or mocking it online for no avail. They would have been better off building their structures so actual Rodnovery seems more attractive to people than this crap, because fighting it is just a waste of time and energy – it can’t be won. However, I must confess I am not too informed on that topic. Slavic-Aryan Vedas did not reach us in a form that can be found in Russia I think, but some elements are present among “Turbolechites”. Another thing is that there is enough idiots among normal Rodnovers even without all that gibberish.
You have mentioned political situation in Poland and Christianity. Some people may imagine, that you are super catholic country oppressed by church. This is very often presented by big names of metal scene like Nergal from Behemoth. Even west EU countries and liberal medias are painting Poland or Hungary as dictatorships. Is this reality from perspective of normal citizen of Olsztyn or person inside metal music?
Everyday Polish street is as awfully liberal as anywhere else. This dictatorship image we have solely thanks to actions of treacherous politicians who lost their rule over country, degenerate celebrities like the one you mentioned and all the elites who cannot accept or even understand reality of Polish masses. And of course, thanks to useful idiots of mentioned groups. Truly not much has changed since the last government and yet back then I did not hear we had a “dictatorship”. Polish society is religious and conservative in some areas of life and rather liberal in others and I imagine it is the same in Slovakia or any other eastern country. Perhaps we are a bit more immune to poison that West so eagerly drinks, but not entirely. Western right wingers and conservatives tend to see eastern Europe as some sort of bastion of religion, high morals, traditional values etc. and to some extent yes, this is true for Poland too, but I wouldn’t be that optimistic because much of the middle class from big cities is as degenerate as everywhere and the elites spill the same poison. Of course, I generalize a bit, but I hope you get the point.
Let’s step into another topic, which may be really hard to speak about. At late 90. and early millennium there were many polish bands in RAC and black metal scene which were (generally speaking) adoring Third Reich. But from perspective of your national experience, this was maybe second (or even first) biggest disaster (after communist occupation) in your history. What do you think about this phenomenon and can you explain it somehow?
I guess post-communist and pathologically capitalist reality of that era can be taken as an answer, partially at least. However, let’s not generalize, since I have heard many explanations from many entourages. Also, the perspective of the events of WWII was different at a time, after a half of century has passed, while the experience of communism was still very much alive. By the way in pre-war Poland we have also had national-socialist organizations (like National Socialists’ Party or Polish National-Socialist Party) who were anti-German and even claimed that they actually took the idea that was originally Polish – their ideologists would point out to XIXth century National-Socialist Commune of Limanowski or to Mickiewicz’s words that if socialism wants to be all-human it first should become national. Though I doubt skinheads in 90’s have even heard of that.
Now at the end of this interview tell us what are your plans for the future with Stworz?
To release more albums. This year will see some smaller releases and perhaps a compilation of sorts and then we’ll see, I am again straying onto some unknown paths which may very well mean a birth of something new, time will tell.
Last words are yours my friend, I wish you good luck with your creativity and I hope to see you again as soon as this plague will end up.
This plague is actually a blessing, it mercilessly shows all the drawbacks and weakness’ of liberal democracies and complete uselessness of transnational polities such as EU or UN. Apart from that it again underlines the importance of basic social structures such as family or community and how so called modern lifestyle can replace them only superficially. And finally it shows how fragile our civilization actually is, how weak are the ties that hold it in one piece. We may very well emerged a better people from all that chaos, at least on some levels.