Arto Lehtinen and Luxi Lahtinen of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek of Polish death metal veterans VADER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal-Rules.com: Now, something has happened in the VADER camp. The previous members Mauser (Maurycy Stefanowicz, guitar) and Daray (Dariusz Brzozowski, drums) have left the band. Were you surprised that they left all of a sudden, and at the same time?
Piotr: Well, first of all, it was not at the same time, maybe close. But it is something that has happened before, so it's not like a disaster, we've just changed members. They wanted to do something different, they decided to do something different; you can't do anything good if you don't want to. So for VADER it's actually good that these guys have left the band, because now we have those who are dedicated and want to do it. The guys playing with us now are kind of like session members at the moment, so we'll see what happens in the future. It's not just my decision as a leader, but especially their decision if they want to join us for longer or not. To be in VADER is not just like the good part. The bad part is having to spend the time touring. It's hard work, you have to sacrifice yourself for that and not everybody can stand it. I think the biggest problem is to find a good member — it's not problem to find a good musician, it's a problem to find someone who can spend time touring for maybe two thirds of the year, far from family and friends. That's something hard.
Metal-Rules.com: When did you notice the first signs that the previous members weren't into touring any more — and overall the whole VADER thing?
Piotr: With Novy (Marcin Nowak, bass) it was different because with Novy, what happened before the United States tour, that was a surprise for me. Because I never expected this man to be talking about money. It was a disappointment to hear such words from his mouth because I thought he was my friend. It appeared that he was thinking more about money than about friendship, so we said "Goodbye" and "Good luck in the future." And Mauser, I knew we are going to split soon. Already we were touring in Europe at the beginning of the year Mauser had started his project [UNSUN] with his wife as the singer a long time ago. After he signed a deal for his first record, he put all his attention into that. I had already warned him that I will never accept problems with touring when something happens like there being two tours at the same time. So I'm sure that he needs to decide what's going to happen. I knew that he was going to go with his band — VADER's my band and he wanted to do something of his own. The only surprise was the kind of music, because he was always orthodox in extreme metal. But something happened and how he's more of a rocker than a metalhead. But whatever. And the drummer, Daray, when he joined DIMMU BORGIR as their [new] drummer, that was always a surprise for me — until now, he'd never told me about that, I just found out on the Internet. But he was looking for a job before, behind my back so that was not good. If he'd said he wanted to join a band he was always a fan of, I'd say okay, and we'd have a bit of more time to find a new drummer. But the day we played our last show with him in Warsaw, I asked him why he'd never said anything before about leaving. He hadn't said anything about joining DIMMU BORGIR, he'd been saying he needed to pay more attention to his family, to a girl, he needed to do something with his life, blah blah blah like that.
Metal-Rules.com: What about these new guys? You had hassles with the ex-members and some things really took you as surprise as they were really leaving the band. I was just wondering whether you already started seeking new musicians for VADER like sniffing the air a little bit in advance, who is going to replace who, etc.?
Piotr: VADER is here and we play. It's important to play a good show every night. Of course, it's easier to have permanent members because you know what to expect from them every night. But now VADER's at such a level that it's not a problem to find a good musician to play tours. You don't even need to practice hours and hours a day just to be ready for the tour. There was not a problem to find a good guitarist because I've got a bunch of friends who would be glad to join VADER even for a while, for several tours or something. So I'm so glad that Waclaw (Kieltyka, a.k.a. Vogg, guitar) joined the band because I've known him for years, since he started playing. He was talented already at the beginning, and then he started DECAPITATED. After the accident in Russia two years ago, when his brother and the drummer died, and there was a problem with the singer Covan, he was in a kind of coma. So it's a good thing for him to get back to something, to forget about the problem. He loves playing — the stage is a place for him, the best place for such a musician. So we had a month, he prepared everything, and then we spent two days before this tour practicing together as a band. So that was easy. Reyash (bass) joined us after the American tour. And that was hard for him, because we hadn't played together before. We arrived in Poland and next day without playing five minutes, then we had to play probably one of the biggest festivals in Europe, Poland. So we played with no practicing for two hundred thousand people. And everybody, especially him, were welcomed pretty good, so that was very important for everybody. And the other story is with the drummer. Because to find a drummer for a band like VADER that quick, it's not as easy. So we made something like a casting, and there was a planet of interested drummers, so we found a few names, did a meeting in Warsaw in one club, and Paul [Pawel Jaroszewicz] was the best of those three guys that we checked out. Not just because of playing, but because of thinking and mentality, and motivation, which is really important. We will see, I'm 80-90% sure that he's gonna stay. He's like Daray when he joined the band, maybe better in playing, if I can compare those two guys. But Daray, he made big progress in two years, he was working so much, so hard. And now he's a drummer in DIMMU BORGIR, so it was worth it for him. He had a big motivation and I see the same in this guy, so that's my hope for the future. As for now, there is a deal between me and the band that we have a band now but it's temporary, and after a few tours together, we all will decide, are we going to stay in this team or is somebody going to leave?
Metal-Rules.com: So you could say that these new band members are motivated enough to stay in the band and interested in touring as well…
Piotr: There's no other option. The worst thing that can happen in to play with guys who don't have the motivation and play just for money. And that was the last month with the previous members with me. This is like fresh blood for me, when I see the fire in their eyes, they play with different power, it's good. By the way, this is the best time for changes because we've finished touring and have some time for the new album, that's coming out at the beginning of next year. So this is better for us. We would like to do something like pre-production and touring together again.
Read the entire interview at Metal-Rules.com.
Fan-filmed video footage of VADER's October 24, 2008 concert at Scharinska in Umeå, Sweden can be viewed below (clip uploaded by "BobiScarecrow").