DATE OF INTERVIEW:
5th April 2014
METAL DISCOVERY: You’ve obviously had your own influences as a band, but I sometimes hear newer bands in interviews mention Riverside as an influencing them in their music on their albums. That must be one of the biggest compliments to get as it’s surely indicative that you’ve attained individuality through your music, and that’s inspired someone else with their music?
MARIUSZ: That’s the biggest compliment for me, always. There are bands which “sound like Riverside”, for instance, in the reviews, or someone “sounds like Mariusz Duda”. This is something that I think really matters for the artist.
(Mariusz Duda on his sentiments towards latest album 'Shrine of New Generation Slaves')
"I’d say that I’m very, very satisfied with the result of ‘Shrine…’. I think this is the first Riverside album that I’m very happy with the result."
Mariusz Duda backstage at the Academy, Liverpool, UK, 5th April 2014
Photograph copyright © 2014 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Riverside Official Website:
Out Of Myself (2004)
Albums & EPs
Thanks to Freddy Palmer for arranging the interview
Voices In My Head (2005)
Second Life Syndrome (2005)
Riverside Official Facebook:
Rapid Eye Movement (2007)
Anno Domini High Definition (2009)
Memories In My Head (2011)
Reality Dream (2008)
Shrine of New Generation Slaves (2014)
MD: You said to me, last time we spoke, that “we still haven’t recorded our top album…our best album is still waiting for us.” Do you feel you’ve taken another step closer to that with ‘Shrine…’, or would you say that it is your best album?
MARIUSZ: I can’t say that because I would just simply stop doing this. I need to think that I always do everything for eighty per cent and then you can do more. I’d say that I’m very, very satisfied with the result of ‘Shrine…’. I think this is the first Riverside album that I’m very happy with the result. It’s just like ninety per cent now. But I think, from this album, we started to sound like… I think we define our style, and we know who we are and what we want. Of course, we still look to push boundaries and whatever, but I think we’ve started to be a band with a character. After ten years, finally there’s something happened, so we will try not to screw this up!
MD: That’s a very humble opinion because ‘Out of Myself’, I think, still stands up today as a rather incredible album…
MARIUSZ: Of course, I can imagine, that was the first album and we did something which was kind of original but, let’s be honest, this album doesn’t sound good. But, anyway, there was a lot of ideas and, I have to say, that ‘Shrine…’ is a lot closer to this. Maybe we even did some kind of circle because we defined ourselves by what is the most important in our music, which was very important on ‘Out of Myself’ – melodies, songs. And ‘Out of Myself’ and ‘SONGS’, I think those two albums are closer to each other because they are full of nice melodies and stuff, and not a lot of those progressive elements. Some parts but, mostly, it’s based on simple songs.
MD: In the Polish magazine, ‘Teraz Rock’, ‘Shrine…’ was recently listed as number 7 in the “the most important Polish albums of the last 25 years” – how good did that feel to get that kind of recognition?
MARIUSZ: That was the journalist’s choice, of course. I think they just took the whole picture; I mean, of our band and our success abroad. We’re not so local as other bands mentioned in this top 25 so that was really nice… especially that they picked the new album and not ‘Out of Myself’!
MD: So what would be your most important Polish album in the last twenty five years?
MARIUSZ: I wasn’t into Polish music, I have to say, too much, and the best Polish albums were before these twenty five years. So that’s kind of tricky but, as Teraz Rock mentioned, there was a band Lao Che, the band which did something about the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. That was a very good choice. I have to say, I agree with this.
MD: What would be your number one most important album from any country or year; an album that’s been very important in your life, perhaps?
MARIUSZ: I have to say that the album that changed my life was Tangerine Dream, ‘Hyperborea’. There was some shop in Warsaw and it was at the time that tape cassettes started to die and CD players started to appear, and there was an option that you could record your favourite CD on a tape cassette, and you had to record this in the natural time. So this was like a lot of people were just sitting next to the table in front of their CD player, they just picked some CDs, paid for that, of course, and then maybe for two or three hours we could record our favourite albums on the tape cassette. And ‘Hyerborea’, Tangerine Dream, was the first that I did that, from the CD to the tape cassette.
MD: So a good nostalgic album for you?
MARIUSZ: Yeah, a good nostalgic album and, besides, it’s good instrumental music for me.
MD: It’s been said that you’ll be starting work on album number six after this tour, so do you have any new material already written?
MARIUSZ: Unfortunately, I’m in the middle, because as well as Riverside, I have also my solo project, which is called Lunatic Soul, and I’m just releasing the new Lunatic Soul this year… so, maybe in June I’ll close my recordings. But just right after this I’m starting new Riverside. So, yeah, definitely from July we’re thinking of new material, and we need to contact studio soon, so we need to be fast!
MD: And will the new Lunatic Soul album be called ‘Lunatic Soul III’ or ‘…IV’, or something else entirely?
MARIUSZ: I will have the title now and then it will be the new chapter of my, let’s say, solo adventure. I’ll just skip the numbers this time; it will be just a normal title.
MD: Is the emotional experience of creating music for Lunatic Soul much the same as it is for Riverside, or do you find allows you to express yourself through different emotions?
MARIUSZ: You know, in Riverside, I can do whatever I want to, and the same as with Lunatic Soul; but, in Lunatic Soul, I did a lot of things by myself. And, this time, I’m working on it with a drummer, plus two sound engineers. And because this album will be about loneliness and the sad thing again, so I just thought I would do everything by myself. In Riverside, I compose a lot but we’re just close in this together, as a band, so that’s the main difference. And, sometimes, we don’t fight, but there are some other options that we need to choose and consider. It’s a different kind of music, to be honest. I don’t want to be making this as rock music, it should be something in-between.
MD: I noticed a photo of you on the Lunatic Soul Facebook with a very small guitar…
MARIUSZ: That’s a ukulele.
MD: Ah, a ukulele, I obviously didn’t look that close. I saw the caption that was something like, “these guitars are getting smaller”.
MARIUSZ: Yeah, that was a ukulele. I love the ukulele, especially when you put it through distortion and you can just have this very nice harsh sound. I used this on ‘Shrine…’ too, on ‘Deprived…’. There’s a moment, I think, after the instrumental part with ukulele, but it sounds like guitar.
MD: Yeah, I had no idea there’s a ukulele on there!
MARIUSZ: Of course you didn’t! [Laughs]
MD: Okay, a fairly random question then – seeing as we’re in Liverpool, have you encountered the progressive piece of art that is the Superlambanana?
MARIUSZ: Oh, really?
MD: Yeah, it’s a seventeen foot tall, bright yellow sculpture by a Japanese artist. The front half is a lamb and the back half is a banana, and it’s called the Superlambanana. You’ve not seen this at all?
MARIUSZ: No. I just found out today that there’s a big horse race or whatever, and there’s four or five million people.
MD: Hopefully all coming here tonight!
MARIUSZ: Now we need to get out after the show because someone just told us there will be a lot of drunk girls with their very short skirts!
MD: I found this out earlier too. This is true, apparently.
MARIUSZ: Do you know Anathema?
MARIUSZ: Lee is coming tonight.
MD: Lee Douglas?
MARIUSZ: Yeah, we’ve stayed in touch after Progressive Nation at Sea. They’re an international band right now because Vinnie lives in Paris, one is in the Netherlands… Liverpool is only Lee and John. And Lee just told me that it will be a very tricky day today!
MD: Back to the Superlambanana, and this is a very ridiculous question, but what fruit/animal combination would you go for if you became a progressive sculptor?
MARIUSZ: What is the big bird that has the big eggs?
MD: A penguin?
MARIUSZ: Yeah. Because our keyboard player has this red one on the keyboard, so probably this one, with a banana also.
MD: A banana for the neck, perhaps.
MARIUSZ: Yeah, for the neck.
MD: That could look good.
MARIUSZ: If it satisfies you, so yes!
MD: The final thing then – you’ve already achieved so much as a band but what dreams and aspirations do you still have for Riverside?
MARIUSZ: I don’t know… I simply would like to have this one hundred per cent satisfaction with an album. That’s my dream. I hope that this dream will never come true! I wish, too, to have a chance to continue my emphasis of searching and looking for something original. You know, it’s always I would like to, one day, release something which is our, or would become our, ‘The Wall’ or some other important albums. I think, still, we have a chance for that. I hope there won’t be something like, “we did it on ‘Out of Myself’ already and that’s it”. So at least we have a chance to create something original in the future. I’m sorry, this is not very original dreams… talking about the music, and talking about Riverside, of course. There are some others, maybe private, that I would like to achieve… but I don’t want to talk about it!
MD: That’s fair enough! Thanks so much for your time.
MARIUSZ: Thank you very much.