DATE OF INTERVIEW:
15th May 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: Do you think you’d ever embark on another conceptual trilogy of albums in your career?
MARIUSZ DUDA: No, I don’t think so. Maybe we’ll create some kind of albums connected by the lyrics but not as a whole story. I think the next album will also be about some stuff that you can look around and see this so maybe it will somehow be connected with ‘ADHD’ but there’s not one hero, there’s not one story.
(Mariusz Duda on Riverside's progression)
"...we still haven’t recorded our top album...our best album is still waiting for us."
Mariusz Duda in the Picturedrome, Holmfirth, UK, 15th May 2011
Photograph copyright © 2011 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Riverside Official Website:
Out Of Myself (2004)
Albums & EPs
Thanks to Michal Kapusciarz and Rob Palmen for arranging the interview
Voices In My Head (2005)
Second Life Syndrome (2005)
Riverside Official MySpace:
Rapid Eye Movement (2007)
Anno Domini High Definition (2009)
Memories In My Head (2011)
MD: Would you say making progressive music is also about challenging yourself as a musician as well as writing innovative music that’s actually progressing what’s gone before?
MARIUSZ: First of all, we want to combine some elements that don’t fit too much but still elements from the same mood because I’m not a huge fan of combining things like… I’m a huge fan of, let’s say, Frank Zappa but I think we should stay on some backgrounds we know. In progressive it means that you should always think that new music can be inspiring; it’s progression for someone else in the future. So if you will do the same as many others it wouldn’t be inspirational so I think you should always sound fresh. We want to do it this way… it’s a hard way still but maybe in the future there will be a… because we still haven’t recorded our top album. It’s still waiting for us.
MD: Really? In terms of your best album? You think your best is yet to come?
MARIUSZ: Yes, our best album is still waiting for us.
MD: So what about critics who have already given your albums full marks, like ten out of ten… they’ll need to award your best eleven out of ten! Some kind of Spinal Tap rating system!
MARIUSZ: If they will do ten out of ten again, that will be okay! [laughs]
MD: Well, that’s very humble of you to say!
MD: You have two solo albums under the Lunatic Soul name, really amazing stuff and obviously a lot mellower than Riverside but have you ever considered doing a much more mellow Riverside album, kind of like what Opeth did with ‘Damnation’?
MARIUSZ: Maybe someday, why not. We did something with ‘Memories In My Head’ a little bit that’s also like ‘Voices In My Head’ which is also the mellow side of us but, yeah, maybe in the future. We’ll see. Like I don’t want to do the same… you know, I do some metal parts in Lunatic Soul, I don’t want to do the same in Riverside. If I find some idea to make it more original than just normal acoustic songs then probably we’ll try to do something.
MD: Since ‘Out of Myself’ in 2003 you’ve had an album out every two years so can we expect a new Riverside album before the end of 2011?
MARIUSZ: No, 2012 unfortunately.
MD: Ah, so you’ve broken the two year gap pattern!
MARIUSZ: But you have ‘Memories In My Head’!
MD: Which I do actually have in my bag right now! It’s kind of a mini-album, I guess.
MARIUSZ: Yeah, a mini-album!
MD: I gather you turned professional back in 2006 when you gave up your day-jobs and became professional musicians. Would you say that’s added any pressure in terms of trying to be successful or has your outlook not changed at all?
MARIUSZ: The pressure was only because of the fact that we didn’t know if we could make it without a normal job and normal money. You never know what to expect. There are months where it’s okay and there are months where we need to be saved by money from…the previous months… [laughs] But now it’s more like… I think we’ve found each other in this and we know how to do some steps and survive… [laughs] It’s a cruel world, you know!
MD: Has it made the band a lot closer since you turned professional, would you say?
MARIUSZ: Yeah, we have some business plan. We know what we should do, when we should go on tour, when we should release something. It’s planned from the band.
MD: So what are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the music business during the past decade?
MARIUSZ: That sometimes it’s good when you take a risk a little bit because later you have the profit. I think this is the biggest lesson for us.
MD: That's a good answer! Obviously you’ve come a long way as a band during the last ten years, but what have been some of the highlights from the past decade?
MARIUSZ: I think the ProgPower festival…
MD: …in 2004. And 2006, of course, when you came back to headline. I remember you made a reference on stage in 2006 to… “Last time we were here, we were Amaran!”
MARIUSZ: Yeah, I know, and later, finally, we were Riverside! It was very funny because in Holland we were Amaran and when we played at the Arrow Rock Festival we were Pavlov’s Dog! In all leaflets we were Pavlov’s Dog! Arrow Rock Festival was also nice because it was the biggest audience so far for us, about sixty thousand people.
MARIUSZ: So that was a nice experience. We were playing about 2pm but it was full, you know. This year we are going to play in Poland at some kind of Woodstock festival and it’s two hundred thousand people or something like that. It’s the biggest one in Europe.
MD: Wow, that’s incredible.
MARIUSZ: And it’s for free!
MD: So there will be two hundred thousand people there! Have you got a good slot there?
MARIUSZ: We have a very good time because it will be Friday at 9pm. And imagine that we’re playing after Helloween! But going back to highlights, apart from ProgPower, our tour with Dream Theater. And it wasn’t because of the fact that after that a lot of people just started to like us and see us at the shows but we learnt a lot from this band. We’ve learned how to work on the stage and we’ve learned how to work behind the stage. That was very cool. And I think the last album which has proved that we can also play something more than not only this trilogy stuff. So that was also a nice thing for us that we are capable of doing something interesting! [laughs]
MD: Again, that’s a humble answer because you can still see a big progression in the first three albums, like ‘Second Life Syndrome’ is a big progression from ‘Out of Myself’ and then ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ is, again, a big progression in your songwriting. You’ve always progressed.
MARIUSZ: Yeah, but where is the end of this leather?
MARIUSZ: We are trying to surprise ourselves all the time so I hope we’ll continue this for another ten years.
MD: Absolutely. So what lies ahead for Riverside in the rest of the year after your summer festival appearances and what ambitions do you have left for the band?
MARIUSZ: I don’t know the names but it would be great, someday, to be on the festival where there’s no progressive things but the normal rock bands and we could be together with them. We played a festival with Dream Theater, Slayer, Mastodon, Motörhead… that was totally different, we were totally different, but people liked us and that was a very big challenge for us. We were the first band and played for only thirty minutes but, anyway, we played together with Slayer, Mastodon and Motörhead and that was cool. It would be great, someday, to play that kind of festival but a little bit later! [laughs]
MD: You’re doing one in Holland this year that’s quite a diverse lineup… Bospop?
MARIUSZ: Yeah, that’s right, we’re playing Bospop this year and Loreley in Germany. There are some more but I don’t remember now. Maybe, finally, we can play a festival in the UK, who knows.
MD: Hopefully, yeah.
MARIUSZ: Hopefully. I need to talk to our tour manager. He promised me that he would do this! [laughs]
MD: Okay, thank you so much for the interview and your time.
MARIUSZ: Thank you, it’s always a pleasure, thank you so much.
Reality Dream (2008)