This interview was published at the official blogspot of Deathcanwait Records - The Loving Sounds of Silence |
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Q&A with Industrial Music "Factory" owner.
Interview with Katarzyna “NINa” Górnisiewicz of Fabryka Industrial Rock ( Poland )
Abraham Isaac: Tell me about the cultural revival going on in Krakow right now? What effect is this having on the industrial music scene?.
NINa: The industrial culture in Poland - if there is something like - it's hidden... No places for playing shows, not many labels and promoters, no TV channels, no radio broadcasts and people messing other music styles with "industrial" term. Sure there are some parties and shows in one or two proper clubs but very seldom and it is connected with noise and avangarde music. I'm proud of Wroclaw Industrial Festival organizers that they have been doing the event for 4 years so far and that festival is of the high quality that it is.
Perhaps I am kinda a visionary and dream too much. But if someone talks to me about a subculture I see a bunch of fans having their shows, parties, clubs where they can go and relax listening to their favourite music... Unfortunately, there's nothing like that in Poland, except that one Industrial Festival I'd mentioned above.
I am not saying that there is no alternative to the pop scene, or that industrial music is dead in Poland. It's not, it is alive very much as the answer for pop music playing in radio stations over and over again. There are some internet radios and people ready for doing parties but mostly they are focused on electro/EBM, gothic, metal, hard core and punk music. People interested in industrial style of music often live in small towns and villages and do not many chances for going to any industrial shows/parties taking place in bigger cities like Wroclaw, Krakow or Lodz.
And We lack big concert halls where such gigs could take place. There were no NIN, no Ministry, no other industrial rock shows at all. KMFDM announced two shows in Poland and suddenly cancelled one of them. Sad. I just feel jealous looking at lists of upcoming shows in London or NYC ;) On the other hand I'm not quite convinced if the industrial scene needs to grow bigger... Growing bigger could make it popular and this is not always something you want. It just needs proper people to save its uniqueness.
Q: You have an impressive portfolio of artwork. The cover for Chemlab has to be my favorite --- I will get back to that later. When did you start producing album covers for other musicians?
A: Thank you :) Making CD covers for bands is still my aim and I hope I will be getting some more orders with the beginning of 2006. Making covers for CDs, books and other things like that attracted me to computer graphics in the beginning of the 90's. I spent lots of time drawing at primary and secondary schools but since I have had a PC I use only that for designing so that's why the collection of the works grows.
Q: I noticed that you have a certificate in Corel Draw 7.0 that you received back in 2000. What have you been doing since then?
You may find this weird, but i just left a position in hospital administration where I worked for two years. It's a job which gave me neither financial nor mental satisfaction. I'm going to look for another job and hope to get back to the graphics again this coming year. Actually I had a testing job interview 2 hours ago so if they call me next week I can be sure I will be sent on the training and would start work soon. I'd like to move to the States, Chicago perhaps and work in some publishing company or a record label but the problem is a visa...
Q: Now, Fabryka is also an industrial complex, is it not? Tell us about the similarities between your work and that of the factory, or the symbolism in choosing the name.
A: [she informs me that "Fabryka" is the Polish word for "factory".]
I think it was the proper name for the website gathering informations about industrial music. First I was about to write albums reviews and some articles only in 2000 when I got an idea to launch Fabryka. Next I enriched the site with projects of CD covers, pictures, biographies of bands, links and interviews. I found a good source of my favourite bands at Myspace this year so I started interviewing them via the web and presenting them on my site every month :)
As for similarities to working in a real factory - it's hard work because I love details and most time is spent on editing sites, pictures, text correcting, learning new things like operating gallery or forum and some other stuff like that. The difference to real factory is one - I do all things by myself, Fabryka is a one woman army ;) No one is engaged in creating Fabryka because I like to have control and go with my ideas only. Of course there are 2 people who helps me with translation of some of the sentences contained in the interviews, because I'm not good in English idioms and slang yet ;) Some musicians use their specific vocabulary so that help very necessary sometimes so that I can communicate the exact message they wish to get across. There are also 2 people who give me advice for technical improvements and maintenance of the site. My thanx are going to Matt, Vesper, Si6 and Ergo now ;)
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from? How do you set about doing a design?
A: It comes during creating. I love to experiment. I make many attempts to set the suitable design usually and I never have any prepared idea before I sit at the PC screen. I can say I'm self-taught in Photoshop and other software for editing bitmaps. I went to University to get a piece of paper only. The rest I feel like I taught myself. And they gave me a title: graphic designer. I've never used any magazines, newspapers like f.e. Computer Arts to learn from, because I would rather do it all on my own because for me the most important thing is discovering things by myself instead of repeating patterns, or copying what has already been done. Groundwork of my CD covers lays on blending photographies on layers. At the end I think up some fitting name and then you get a whole cover.
Q: When did you first discover NIN and what is it about their sound that keeps you on? Your reactions to “With Teeth”?
A: The story begins in 1992 when I was in a college and I was very deep into music as usually teenagers are. I was looking for something new and something that could break me out my anger and let me react in sounds. I was a fan of new romantic music style for many years, next I began listening to gothic rock, art rock, progressive styles but it didn't give any life power. There was a radio broadcast ran by Tomasz Beksinski, --- he committed suicide in 2000. --- He used to invite some guests to the studio and one of those was Anja Orthodox the leader of a Polish band named Closterkeller. She brought her favourite albums and as you can guess , among them were also 'Broken' and 'Pretty Hate Machine' records by NIN. I sat astonished with my ears greedy for every sound.
And the adventure with industrial rock begins right there. The 'Broken' album was that turning point that attracted me to that style of music which I am still faithful to and stand for. As for 'With Teeth'???... I don't like that. The only song I can accept is 'Sunspots'... I love Reznor because I do believe he's talented enough to afford writing another masterpiece like 'Broken' or 'The Downard Spiral', he just should work alone. My admiration to NIN stopped when I heard 'Fragile' record because it was something very different to previous Reznor music... And it didn't fit my emotions, my life power so I couldn't find myself in such vibes.
I noticed some of industrial rock 'gods' begin recording softer music now. Well I cannot criticize that because it could come off really funny if a 40 year old like Trent shouted about his fears and bad feelings covered with flour, wrapped in cables and latex stuff :) Like he used to do. I understand musicians are ordinary people who get older like all we do. I just don't get it when some very talented musician starts earning money on his fans and all the music he makes lays on testing new software like Ableton or new ProTools versions.
I would be glad if Trent quit NIN and begin making music for movies like for instance Charlie Clouser does. Can you hear how NIN sounds without Clouser presence there? NIN achieved the greatest successes when both Reznor and Clouser were included in the band. They two were the best team I have ever listened to. Honestly, I can say with conviction that in my opinion the basics of everything that made NIN so well known and the NIN sound is Charlie Clouser. Trent doesn't try to find new solutions, or ways of inventing music for today. Instead, he just sat down on his buttocks and has been trying to find a way to market to younger listeners. Reznor could even run a business, establish a record label and even could be a teacher of sound engineering. He knows how that business works. But running NIN in its current incarnation and what it has been since 2002 , and whats more, releasing an album as weak as With Teeth, is only going to make his fans turn their back on him. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Trent please wake up, it's not too late yet ;)
Q: Filter, Ministry, NIN… these are the names most commonly associated with the “industrial” sound. You discuss “cleaning” industrial out… what exactly does this mean to you?
A: Good question ;) Yeah, this is what I'm still fighting for. Look at all those bands like Rammstein or Zeromancer which are described 'industrial'! It cannot be like that. The most ridiculous thing is that the media called their music that. So as you see it's better to straighten the terms and show them that there are still people that know what true industrial music really is. The term industrial got misused because of media ignorance and big label avarice, creating some wrecked form like a Frankenstein of Mary Shelley's story. Not pretty, completely weak and what's more - scary. I'm almost 30 so I care about younger people and music they can meet because I see it as a way of music education. We had in Cracow a few episodes with parties that were announced as 'industrial'. The only thing they played was EBM, dark electro, future pop. No real industrial at all. I know I'm detailed but if someone made up the term and described how music should sound like to be included into that term, then we should make a use of it. Imagine there are young people who look for new good music coming to a party. They get some music presented to them as 'industrial', they like it and tell other people later: "Hey, I was at fucking good party, they played industrial music and bands like .. [such and such]! Man industrial music is incredible!" [and they might not have played a single industrial song, the kids were just told it was and they would never know. ]
So you see what a bad effect can be caused. That’s why I run Machinery and Suburban Sounds parties to keep industrial rock/metal clean and show people that there is the difference between industrial and other styles of music. Good atmosphere demands suitable visuals, suitable music and suitable people at any industrial party. I wouldn't say I play true industrial music with all those avant-garde noises because I don't want to pull the leg of true industrial music fans who may not like such dynamic industrial rock/metal sounds I focus on. Sure I could do another party for true industrial fans but I'm not sure if there are many in Cracow.
Q: Lets play comparisons: Let’s compare a gangster rap concert circa 1995 in Detroit to a typical Machinery party… what’s different?
Do you think that certain people are more welcome than others at a Machinery party? I have to ask questions like this… I live in the United States and people are obsessed with “race”.
I do believe that people have their tastes. If someone feels they don’t like listening to some kind of music then it probably means they just don’t need to listen to it, rather than going back just to irritate people with their comments and lack of interest. Some organizers do selection at the club door but I don't. If there comes a girl who needs to show off with her latex clothes or a man who needs to pick up girls then sooner or later they will get an idea that people coming to the Machinery are not quite interested in such behaviours. The most important thing it is music played there. People who come to the Machinery want to freak out their emotions and get new power from music and that's why the Machinery parties were launched. I'm not quite interested in race problems because music is for everyone who deeply feels and understands its source, and it definitely doesn't depend on the race ;) Every subculture has its heroes and tastes so if someone likes real industrial rock they can go to the Machinery or Suburban Sounds (that's the second party I run with my friends) and it doesn't matter if he's Jewish, Buddhist, Black, Yellow, Red, Green or whoever ;) Charles Levi ( from My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult or The Urban Soundtrack bass player, amongst many others) is a Black man and feels industrial music very well so we can't make those assumptions :)
About Machinery parties [ taken from the official site ]
"The main idea of Machinery is to show that one music style (industrial) contains lots of interesting branches and bands. "Industrial" in the meaning of the music style is widely known, so I don't see any point of playing only it. The problem is "industrial music" is wrecked nowadays and I need to keep it clean. No gothic, no electro, no EBM. Industrial rock came to Poland in a small percentage and a freaky shape, so demands corrections. I take into my consideration that people usually don't have fun when they don't know whose music is played, but we need deep changes in that area. The human mind needs continuous progression and there are more interesting bands than well known Filter, NIN, Ministry bands included in that style."
Q: PC or Mac?
A: PC only, Mac is too expensive for me what's more I like playing video games which don't run at Mac OS. Sure if I had enough money I would have bought Mac and feel 'professional' but truly it doesn't make any difference to me, it's just a tool. Some people say Nokia mobile is better than Siemens because it's easier to operate. I had Nokia once and it's too easy for me so I got back to Siemens again ;)
Q: The music industry is moving away from actual physical releases at an accelerating pace, going more and more towards digital releases… will this threaten your business? What do you foresee the future of Fabryka being should the digital release soon dominate sales?
A: If you mean CD business and the fact digital/mp3 music doesn't need any booklets, I can answer - I make web designing too so there is no threat at all ;) What's more there are people who like old-school stuff like the 80's Puma sneakers, analog records or video tapes instead of DVD. CDs with true paper booklets could prove strongly desirable in the future! ;D
Q: My favorite interview that I have read from you was with Jared Louche from Chemlab. What makes a killer interview for you? The man clearly is brilliant… do you look for this in the people you interview? He mentioned that you do a lot of research on your subjects.
A: I want to be prepared for any interview I do. It's my respect for people I'm going to talk or type to. That's why I google a lot and collect a few sheets of printed informations usually about the band before I write any question. I try to find who they have collaborated with, their companies or labels, if there are any remixes and every thing which I could pick up ;) Jared is an amazing guy to interview with because first he likes to talk about himself and for the second he has interesting personality, he's a thinking open-minded man, sees everyone as an individual and is always busy with things that make his brain active. I don't know him personally but I can suppose as „the total ADD-driven artist” he may belong to those kind of people who cannot stand still.
Q: How do you decide whether or not to pick up a design project? What kind of cost are we talking? Do you have sliding scales, on the socialist front?
[ Um… sorry to bring business into the interview c But i am curiously interested in having you design a logo for me]
A: It depends on the band needs. The more I have to work the more expensive a cover becomes. It also depends on the band if they want to have covers printed or a project burnt to a CD-R only. I don't run any printing company so I'm dependent on some printer companies and their price lists. Grayscale works are cheaper than full-color ;)
Q: What is your musical background? Have you ever been involved in any projects, done guest vocals, or modeled in any videos?
A: Nope, I have never been involved in any band or any video. I bought a bass guitar when I was in college but my ex-boyfriend borrowed it and I haven't seen it for ages c I'm going to start making music soon. I mean either industrial rock or dark ambient pieces plus short footages for VJ shows. It all seems to be fun and a new field of activity to put my expression into.
Q: Do you accept demos and do reviews from lesser known acts? What makes a “nobody” a “somebody” for you… You stress the importance of artwork… Do you expect the same when you receive a DIY demo submission?
A: Sure I did some contacts via Myspace and I'm waiting for a few CDs the bands promised to send me. Then I would do reviews and try to promote them via the Internet (links, banners). This is the idea I joined Myspace for - to search for new bands playing good, TRUE industrial rock/metal music, to have something new to review and to see how this music evolves.
Q: Tell me about “dark ambient” music; what it is, and why it appeals to you.
A: Oh this is very interesting music style. It it has very powerful energy and is filled with imagery and fits as a soundtrack to most of dark plot movies ;) You can choose some thriller, go to the cinema, take your iPod, iTunes or i-whatever and dive into music and images, without listening to original movie score if you don’t like it. I can't imagine listening to dark ambient music during a day, it's music of night, rainy fields, deep caverns, high ancient towers, gloomy dungeons, dark forests and the outer space. I love it, it makes my brain thinking in pictures. It’s the best music to listen to during designing. I was listening to Sephiroth and New Risen Throne bands recently, they make awesome music. I like Lustmord too. There are lots of bands all around the world but that music is fortunately such elite as industrial :D
Q: Let’s talk about live performance. What do you demand from an act? You are very computer friendly – does this translate into your like or dislike of artists that generate their show from laptops?
A: I think most of industrial scene needs visuals and laptops are the most desirable for shows. I know a musician who belongs to the laptop scene, I've seen Zenial's live performance. Zenial is a very talented musician, worked with many international musicians in the laptop scene and has had many performances in foreign countries. He also had some sound workshops in Wroclaw in December 2005. Also I've seen Paul Wirkus show at some Cracow club and both of them were very good. Lagowski used his laptop during the 4th Wroclaw Industrial Festival, there were lots of musicians who used that for playing music and pre-prepared video visuals as well. Laptop it's just a tool that helps you define sounds or make movies using appropriate software. It's commonly used because of its weight and small dimensions. I seldom go to live shows because there are no industrial rock shows at all in Poland. If there is any show I’m interested in there’s no way the computer could stop me ;)
Q: Are you anti-loops?
A: Why? :) No I'm not. Loops are OK but need predatory guitar riffs to get me interested ;)
Q: Tell me about this not liking people computer love of yours.
A: I think I'm introvert and extrovert both, it depends on the environment. I like to be active but also like to do most of things alone. People with their gossips, mumbling and complaints seem to be hectic to me. I like spending time with people who have their hobbies, passions, who are brave and revolutionary enough to make their dreams real. But there comes the moment I'm definitely tired of ALL people. Then I want to spend time with books or riding the bike
or gardening, sunburning, taking pictures, repairing something etc. but I want to do that alone. It helps me to concentrate. I run another Polish website about jungle inhabitating plants like Philodendrons - they stand tall in my hobbies hierarchy :) I worked in a glasshouse of the Jagiellonian Botanical Garden in Krakow for three days to get the cuttings of plants I couldn’t buy in Poland ;) Actually I cultivate six Philodendron variations kept in a glassbox at home and another four which can be kept out of totally humid environment.
If you have lots of hobbies and you are self dependent then there is no way to get bored. I do believe in energies what every living and inanimated creates. Energies of the living exhaust quickly especially when they live on full power. That’s why everyone has his/her ways of rebuilding lost energies. I choose going solo.
Q: Have you done much world traveling?
A: I've been to Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia so far. I'd love to travel but it demands lots of money which I don't have now. It demands a suitable person to go with too because there are lots of traps and dangerous situations in foreign lands. I'd love to go to Tibet, Mongolia, the Alps in summer time, the Sahara Desert, Nevada, Mexico, Brazil and the Colorado Canyon because I love nature and beautiful landscapes. And wide free spaces I love to be in ;)
Q: Are you afraid of Americans? And what are your thoughts on the current regime in office?
A: I liked that song by Bowie & Reznor ;) No I'm not afraid of any foreign nation. I have good contacts with foreigners because I'm open-minded and I like to use the English language :) I have an American friend and as I said before I’d like to move to the States to see if I like living there. Most of industrial rock/metal bands come from the U.S., what’s more the Chicago area is the cradle of industrial rock as well.
As for the American government… I’m not a qualified person to talk to about it. I’ve never been interested in politics. It’s boring and as for me discussions about it are just wasting time. I don’t vote, I don’t mess with any demonstrations. These are not things that even interest me though I love Ministry music ;D
ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW
I recently met "NINa" on Myspace and immediately decided to add her to the list of current graphic designers, visualists, musicians, and label heads that I am seeking to interview here on the Deathcanwait Record Official Blogspot/Culture page. I wrote her on Myspace and she immediately wrote back telling me to fire away. This post is part 1 of 2 related to the ensuing conversation.
ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW [ part 2 ]
As you will immediately gather from her replies, NINa gave me a wonderful interview, answering every question and going through the trouble of even posting back the questions for me!!! I was blown away by her efforts, and respect her professionalism. I will be sending some music from Deathcanwait Records her way to get her take on it... I feel that some of the work that we do here fits into the "dark ambient" genre, and I want her reactions to it. I have no doubts in my mind that she will give a very straight forward and professional opinion. And once you see her gallery you can understand why we would be interested in having her do some design work for the label in the future. Particularly a logo for Deathcanwait Records.
: EBM/Gothic/Industrial/Electro/Ambient/Noise/Darkwave/Coldwave/Neofolk Fabryka's web partner, and key player in the success of Fabryka, Ergo of Darknation and NINa work closely together in promoting their respective projects.
Fabryka Digital [CD/DVD, digital release, book, e-book art covers]
industrial, metal, hard core, dark ambient, noise