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INTERVIEW: Vogg Kiełtyka – Decapitated

DECAPITATED are one of the most recognised bands in death metal today. Renown for their technicality and crushing riffs, the band are a figurehead for not only Polish death metal, but for the scene in general. Despite a turbulent and tragic history, DECAPITATED are still hitting strong in 2016. Before a performance in Manchester on a co-headline tour package with label mates SYLOSIS, we caught up with founding member Vogg Kiełtyka to talk about life on the road, an update on the health condition of Covan and the next DECAPITATED album.

So we are four dates into the co-headline tour with SYLOSIS, how is it going so far?

Vogg: Oh this tour has been amazing! I love this tour, I love the package and the SYLOSIS guys are killer. We did Bristol, Glasgow and Birmingham and the shows have been killer!

It’s a co-headline tour so I imagine it’s been rotating bands…

Vogg: No, we haven’t been doing rotation. We wanted to have SYLOSIS finish every date, for me it’s great, I love playing like that so we have more time to party.

As you both have the same amount of time on stage, do you think that gives both bands enough time to present their material to the fans?

Vogg: Yes, I think it’s perfect. It’s two headlining bands, each band has the one hour set so we can show off all the material. It’s great!

This tour is still in support of 2014’s Blood Mantra, how’s the new material holding up compared to your classic hits?

Vogg: It works amazing man! It’s probably the best sounding live material we have ever written.

As it’s been two years, is there plans already for a new album?

Vogg: Yes, we have the studio booked for December 2016 so the next album will be released in 2017, probably in the Spring before festival season. We have a bunch of ideas and we cannot wait to get started!

Going back to the start now, when you recorded Winds of Creation, one of the most amazing facts about that record was that you were all so young when you recorded that album. I’m interested to know what your musical background was prior to starting the band?

Vogg: It was a very technical thing and you can really find the classical scales and technicality like that. Classical music played a heavy influence on the first album for sure! When I listen to it now I’m blown away, I’m like “oh shit, this is crazy!” There are too many riffs and they sound like solo riffs, that’s because I was in music school with the other DECAPITATED members. We went to music school in our hometown, we grew up there together and we played classical music in school. So it was natural we connect classical with our favourite styles, which was death metal and thrash metal. We connected the two without thinking about it, it was just came natural. I’d say that death metal is very close to classical music.

Because Winds of Creation is so renown in the metal word, do you feel a certain pressure when it comes to writing new records?

Vogg: No, I never think about that. I never look to the past, I always look to in the moment. I mean there is a pressure to not disappoint all the fans which I do because every album is different. There are always people complaining about that, but that’s how it is.

When you decided to start up the band again after the crash, Carnival is Forever is significantly different to the albums that came before. Was that just a natural evolution?

Vogg: Yes, it’s certainly very different to our previous albums and I can see that even more now. This is my music, it’s how I want to play and how I want to sound. I know it can be weird, but that is how it is, we change with the times.

And if we may, speaking of the crash, how difficult was it to pick up the pieces and start again?

Vogg: It was so difficult. After the crash I felt that I’m done with music. It was actually my family and my wife that pushed me to start the band again, without them I probably wouldn’t have started DECAPITATED again.

It was a horrible time and especially in the last year more news is emerging with bands suffering crashes on the road. Is it a very difficult thing to do, be the life of a touring musician constantly on the road?

Vogg: It’s like this, someone who has a job that is connected with some sort of risk. You never think about it. You think about the good times, you think about putting on a good show. This is work, this is like any other kind of work. I love what I am doing, for me it is the best job in the world. I get to travel all over the world and play music and it’s amazing. I’m really appreciative of what I have, I’m really luck to be able to do what I do. But at the same time it’s connected with a lot of travelling, planes, cars, vans. We travel every day, it’s risky but we never think about it. The other thing is to always ensure we have a good driver, a good car, the best airlines. To be as safe as possible.

And following the crash, there was the charity ‘Covan Wake The Fuck Up’, how is Covan?

Vogg: We try to keep in touch with his family as much as possible. He’s making progress and he’s getting better for sure but there’s a long way to go.

That’s good to hear, so to close this off. What else can fans expect from DECAPITATED for the rest of the year?

Vogg: We have this tour and after this we are doing a short tour in Norway for four shows. Then we do the rest of Europe and after that we are going back to Russia for two shows, the first time since the crash. Then, we have a bunch of festivals, not many as we want to begin to focus towards writing the new album, and then that will be all! Then we start to focus the new album!

Well I’m certainly looking forward to that! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Vogg: No problem! Thank you

Blood Mantra is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.

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